Countries, Culture, Music, UK

Britannia? Yacht to try these UK sites instead

You know when you live somewhere but never visit that famous site, like me and the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

It can’t be because I take a stand against lavish palaces or ostentatious wealth… I love Rome and the Vatican.

Comfort is the watchword

So, I’ll need to get myself along and see how the other half live.

One would like tea for two

Heck, who am I kidding? It’s how I like to live when our killjoy leaders aren’t closing down all the borders.

But for now, and in the spirit of the Which survey of the best of the top 50 most-visited attraction I give you…

My entirely scientific and undeniably definitive five UK attractions.

Cottage industry

Anyone know a poem? Burns Cottage

Alloway, Ayrshire: Well, if it was good enough for Wordsworth and Shelley and Muhammad Ali to visit!

Robert Burns’ home village in Ayrshire, the centre point of which is the cottage in which he was born in the 18th century, is a truly spiritual place.

Check out the statues of Tam O Shanter, Souter Johnny, Burns’ father’s grave, the statue of a mouse and Brig o’ Doon.

Robin reliant

Boy and the Hood: Nottingham

The Robin Hood Experience, Nottingham: It takes an outlaw to know an outlaw.

You’ll immerse yourself in Sherwood Forest in an un prepossessing building near Nottingham Castle and get a chance too to twang your arrow.

While actors dressed in costumes of those heroes of legend interact with you.

Chocs away

The best bar none for chocolates

Cadbury World, Birmingham: And you thought Willie Wonka was an invention, you Willie Wonka.

You can take a cart through the history of cocoa in this chocolate heaven in Bournville (yes, really), Birmingham.

On your tour, you’ll see how chocolate is made and best of all are sent away with a handful of bars.

Daddy’s Little Girl took two handfuls.

Churchillian speech

Mapping out a day out… in the War Rooms

The Churchill War Rooms, London: And deep within the vaults in Whitehall in the heart of London, Winston and his pals waged the Second World War.

You can see his bedroom, the map room, the decoders.

And when we found all the other sites were closing up for the day they let us in. Well, we were on the right side!

Get back!

Fab Four in Liverpool

The Beatles Story, Liverpool: If The Beatles had been American then they’d have turned their home city into a visitors’ attraction.

Which may seem like a step too far although it does work in Graceland because it is outside of Memphis.

Yes, it’s great to have the museum down by Albert Dock in Liverpool, the bus tour, Penny Lane and the Eleanor Rigby statue.

But the idea that the Cavern Club should be in danger of closure because of financial troubles is a local and national disgrace.

Over to you Paul McCartney… don’t let it be!

Countries, Culture, Food & Wine, UK

Opening time – my Five best English pubs

Whose round was it?

It will be seventy-six days since the pubs shut their doors when they reopen on July 4.

So why is that important? Well because that was how long it took Wuhan to come out of lockdown.

And it will be the same number of days between the UK lockdown and us emerging blinking into the sunset.

And, of course, July 4 was the day your Nostradamus of a travel blogger predicted it would take for us to get back to some kind of normal.

So in celebration of that here are five English and Welsh pubs I know and will toast…

While I’m waiting for the Scottish pubs to reopen.

Ye Olde boozer

Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham: The oldest pub in England, dating back to 1189.

Carved into Castle Rock, upon which Nottingham Castle is built, it’s sad that pilgrims would stop here on the way to Jerusalem.

And you know how I love a good pilgrimage, and tankard of ale A pilgrim’s prayer, Small roads lead to Rome, www.CaminoWays.com and www.FrancigenaWays.com.

Nooks and crannies and history and if you want to make like your a local they call it ‘the Trip’. See https://www.visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk.

A masterpiece

The Dundas Arms, Kintbury, Berkshire: Sitting proudly in Chez Murty I commissioned this painting from a photograph of The Scary One’s local.

The grumpy owner, David, was of Scottish origin and cartoons hung up behind the bar of him and his Dad.

The counter had polished copper coins embossed into it, while at the bar were an eclectic bunch.

Including the 6 O’Clock Club, off the train, Terry, the spoons player, Chris the estate agent and horse tipster and me and Miss F. Visit https://www.dundasarms.co.uk and https://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/places-to-visit/berkshire.

No show without Punch

The Punch and Judy, Covent Garden, London: Covent Garden is a mix of trader, buskers, kerching shops, office workers and tourists.

And the Punch and Judy spans generations for me.

From us travellers taking a pit stop and drinking on its balcony to a return visit to take in Beautiful: The Carole King Story with The Scary One.

Great memories… and more to make https://www.visitlondon.com, https://www.coventgarden.london/pubs/punch-judy and https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/29/carole-king-youre-beautiful-londonwestend-musical/amp/.

The apple of Liverpool’s eye

Flanagan’s Apple, Liverpool: Now you’re not wanting fancy-dan wine bars… this is Liverpool after all.

And being an Irish pub I had to seek it out the first time I visited Liverpool for a job interview.

And on many occasions after in the year we spent in Liverpool and brought a Son and Heir and Liverpool’s greatest fan into the world.

See https://www.flanagansappleliverpool.co.uk and https://www.visitliverpool.com.

Grapes of froth

The Grapes, Sheffield: And another Son and Heir related hostelry.

And where his favourite band The Arctic Monkeys played their first gig in their home city.

And which we had to seek out on a return trip where we namedropped to try to get a free drink… the father-in-law, of course, who hails from Steel City.

Visit http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/visit, http://thegrapessheffield.com.

And www.visitengland.com.

MEET YOU IN AN ENGLISH BAR