Holyhead in Wales

22 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Boats in Holyhead Harbour © geograph.org.uk - Mat Fascione/cc-by-sa-2.0

Boats in Holyhead Harbour © geograph.org.uk – Mat Fascione/cc-by-sa-2.0

Holyhead is a town in Wales and a major Irish Sea port serving Ireland. It is also a community and the largest town in the Isle of Anglesey county, with a population of 13,659 at the 2011 census. Holyhead is on Holy Island, which is separated from Anglesey by the narrow Cymyran Strait and was originally connected to Anglesey via the Four Mile Bridge. In the mid-19th century, Lord Stanley, a local philanthropist, funded the building of a larger causeway, known locally as “The Cobb”, it now carries the A5 and the railway line. The A55 dual carriageway runs parallel to the Cobb on a modern causeway.   read more…

Theme Week Wales – St Davids

9 July 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

St Davids Cathedral © Chrisrivers/cc-by-sa-3.0

St Davids Cathedral © Chrisrivers/cc-by-sa-3.0

St Davids, is a city and community in Pembrokeshire. Lying on the River Alun on St David’s Peninsula, it is Britain’s smallest city in terms of both size and population, the final resting place of Saint David, the country’s patron saint, and the de facto ecclesiastical capital of Wales. St Davids was given city status in the 16th century due to the presence of St David’s Cathedral but lost this in 1888. City status was restored in 1994 at the request of Queen Elizabeth II.   read more…

Theme Week Scotland

14 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  4 minutes

Welcome to Scotland sign - A1 road © flickr.com - Amanda Slater/cc-by-sa-2.0

Welcome to Scotland sign – A1 road © flickr.com – Amanda Slater/cc-by-sa-2.0

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the south-west. In addition to the mainland, Scotland is made up of more than 790 islands including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides. Edinburgh, the country’s capital and second-largest city, is one of Europe’s largest financial centres. Edinburgh was the hub of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century, which transformed Scotland into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, was once one of the world’s leading industrial cities and now lies at the centre of the Greater Glasgow conurbation. Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europe’s oil capital.   read more…

The seaside town of Blackpool

4 May 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Central Pier © flickr.com - David P

Central Pier © flickr.com – David P

Blackpool is a borough, seaside town, and unitary authority area of Lancashire, in North West England. It is situated along England’s west coast by the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, 17.5 miles (28.2 km) northwest of Preston, 30 miles (48 km) north of Liverpool, and 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester. It has a population of 142,900, making it the third most populous settlement in North West England, and a population density which makes it the fourth most densely populated district of England and Wales outside Greater London. Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was a coastal hamlet in Lancashire’s Hundred of Amounderness, and remained such until the mid-18th century when it became fashionable in England to travel to the coast during Summer to bathe in sea water to improve wellbeing. In 1781, visitors attracted to Blackpool’s 7-mile (11 km) sandy beach were able to use a newly-built private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton. Stagecoaches began running to Blackpool from Manchester in the same year, and from Halifax in 1782. In the early-19th century, Henry Banks and his son-in-law John Cocker erected new buildings in Blackpool such that its population grew from less than 500 in 1801 to over 2,500 in 1851. St John’s Church in Blackpool was consecrated in 1821.   read more…

The Isle of Man in the Irish Sea

14 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy statue at Snaefell, showing Joey Dunlop by sculptor Amanda Barton © Finn Bjorklid

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy statue at Snaefell, showing Joey Dunlop by sculptor Amanda Barton © Finn Bjorklid

The Isle of Man, otherwise known simply as Mann, is a self-governing British Crown Dependency, located in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland within the British Isles. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann. The Lord of Mann is represented by a Lieutenant Governor, but its foreign relations and defence are the responsibility of the British Government. Although the United Kingdom does not usually intervene in the island’s domestic matters, its “good government” is ultimately the responsibility of the Crown (that is, in practice, the Government of the United Kingdom).   read more…

Fishguard in Pembrokeshire

2 January 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

High Tide © geograph.org.uk - Pauline Eccles/cc-by-sa-2.0

High Tide © geograph.org.uk – Pauline Eccles/cc-by-sa-2.0

Fishguard (Welsh: Abergwaun, meaning “Mouth of the River Gwaun“) is a coastal town in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, with a population of 3,300. The community of Fishguard and Goodwick has a population of 5,000.   read more…

The Wales Coast Path

9 November 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  5 minutes

Wales Coast Path logo © Hogyn Lleol/cc-by-sa-3.0

Wales Coast Path logo © Hogyn Lleol/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Wales Coast Path (Welsh: Llwybr Arfordir Cymru) is a long-distance footpath which follows the whole of the coastline of Wales. It opened on 5 May 2012, and offers a 870 miles (1,400 km) walking route from Chepstow, in the south, to Queensferry, in the north. Wales is the first country in the world to provide a dedicated footpath along its entire coastline. The Path runs through eleven National Nature Reserves and other nature reserves, including those managed by The Wildlife Trusts or Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Lonely Planet rated the coast of Wales first in its Best in Travel: top 10 regions for 2012.   read more…

Theme Week Wales – Swansea

8 June 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Swansea Harbour Trust Building © jrw/cc-by-sa-3.0

Swansea Harbour Trust Building © jrw/cc-by-sa-3.0

Swansea, officially the City and County of Swansea is a coastal city and county in Wales. It is Wales’s second largest city. Swansea lies within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan. Situated on the sandy South West Wales coast, the county area includes the Gower Peninsula and the Lliw uplands. The City and County of Swansea had a population of 239,000 in 2011, making it the second most populous local authority area in Wales after Cardiff. During its 19th-century industrial heyday, Swansea was a key centre of the copper industry, earning the nickname ‘Copperopolis’. Swansea can be roughly divided into four physical areas. To the north are the Lliw uplands which are mainly open moorland, reaching the foothills of the Black Mountain. To the west is the Gower Peninsula with its rural landscape dotted with small villages. To the east is the coastal strip around Swansea Bay. Cutting though the middle from the south-east to the north-west is the urban and suburban zone stretching from the Swansea city centre to the towns of Gorseinon and Pontarddulais.   read more…

Theme Week Wales – Barry

7 June 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

Barry Waterfront © Cane Giapponese

Barry Waterfront © Cane Giapponese

Barry is a town and community in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales. Located along the northern coast of the Bristol Channel less than 7 miles (11 km) south-southwest of Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, Barry is a seaside resort, with attractions including several beaches and the Barry Island Pleasure Park. Once a small village, Barry has absorbed its larger neighbouring villages of Cadoxton and Barry Island.   read more…

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