The Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde

May 21st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Arran mountains over Rothesay © flickr.com - SeaDave/cc-by-2.0

Arran mountains over Rothesay © flickr.com – SeaDave/cc-by-2.0

The Isle of Bute is an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It is divided into highland and lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault. Formerly a constituent island of the larger County of Bute, it is now part of the council area of Argyll and Bute. Bute’s resident population is at 6,500. Farming and tourism are the main industries on the island, along with fishing and forestry. The only town on the island, Rothesay, is linked by ferry (Caledonian MacBrayne ferries) to the mainland. To its north is the coastal village of Port Bannatyne; hamlets on the island include Ascog, Kilchattan Bay, Kerrycroy and Kingarth. The interior of the island is hilly, though not mountainous, with conifer plantations and some uncultivated land, particularly in the north. The highest point is Windy Hill at 278 metres (912 ft). The centre of the island contains most of the cultivated land, while the island’s most rugged terrain is found in the far south around Glen Callum. Loch Fad is Bute’s largest body of freshwater and runs along the fault line.   read more…

Temple Church in London

May 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

© geograph.org.uk - John Salmon/cc-by-sa-2.0

© geograph.org.uk – John Salmon/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Temple Church is a late 12th-century church in the City of London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames, built by the Knights Templar as their English headquarters. During the reign of King John (1199–1216) it served as the royal treasury, supported by the role of the Knights Templars as proto-international bankers. It is jointly owned by the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Inns of Court, bases of the English legal profession. It is famous for being a round church, a common design feature for Knights Templar churches, and for its 13th and 14th century stone effigies. It was heavily damaged by German bombing during World War II and has since been greatly restored and rebuilt. The area around the Temple Church is known as the Temple and nearby formerly in the middle of Fleet Street stood the Temple Bar, an ornamental processional gateway. Nearby is the Temple Underground station.   read more…

Isles of Scilly

April 20th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

St. Agnes Lighthouse © Andrewrabbott

St. Agnes Lighthouse © Andrewrabbott

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. One of the islands, St Agnes, is the most southerly point in both England and the United Kingdom, being over 4 miles (6.4 km) further south than the most southerly point of the British mainland at Lizard Point. The population of all the islands is at around 2,300. Scilly forms part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall, and some services are combined with those of Cornwall. However, since 1890, the islands have had a separate local authority. Since the passing of the Isles of Scilly Order 1930, this authority has had the status of a county council and today is known as the Council of the Isles of Scilly. Little of the fauna on, above or in the seas surrounding the isles was described prior to the 19th century, when birds and fish started to be described. Most records of other animals date from the 20th century onwards.   read more…

The HMS Trincomalee

April 1st, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month

Stern © geograph.org.uk - Ian Petticrew/cc-by-sa-2.0

Stern © geograph.org.uk – Ian Petticrew/cc-by-sa-2.0

HMS Trincomalee is a Royal Navy Leda-class sailing frigate built shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. She is now restored as a museum ship in Hartlepool. Trincomalee is one of two surviving British frigates of her era—her near-sister HMS Unicorn (of the modified Leda class) is now a museum ship in Dundee. After being ordered on 30 October 1812, Trincomalee was built in Bombay (todays Mumbai) by the Wadia family of shipwrights in teak, due to oak shortages in Britain as a result of shipbuilding drives for the Napoleonic Wars. The ship was named Trincomalee after the 1782 Battle of Trincomalee off the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) port of that name.   read more…

Chelsea in London

March 7th, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Clabon Mews © flickr:com - Cristian Bortes/cc-by-2.0

Clabon Mews © flickr:com – Cristian Bortes/cc-by-2.0

Chelsea is an affluent area in West London, bounded to the south by the River Thames. Its frontage runs from Chelsea Bridge along the Chelsea Embankment, Cheyne Walk, Lots Road and Chelsea Harbour. Its eastern boundary was once defined by the River Westbourne, which is now in a pipe above Sloane Square tube station. The modern eastern boundary is Chelsea Bridge Road and the lower half of Sloane Street, including Sloane Square. To the north and northwest, the area fades into Knightsbridge and Brompton, but it is considered that the area north of King’s Road as far northwest as Fulham Road is part of Chelsea. The football club Chelsea F.C. is based at Stamford Bridge in neighbouring Fulham.   read more…

The Savile Row in London

February 2nd, 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Gieves & Hawkes © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0

Gieves & Hawkes © Gryffindor/cc-by-sa-3.0

Savile Row is a street in Mayfair, central London. Known principally for its traditional bespoke tailoring for men, the street has had a varied history that has included accommodating the headquarters of the Royal Geographical Society at 1 Savile Row, where significant British explorations to Africa and the South Pole were planned; and more recently, the Apple Corps office of the Beatles at 3 Savile Row, where the band’s final live performance was held on the roof of the building. Savile Row runs parallel to Regent Street between Conduit Street at the northern end and Vigo Street at the southern. Linking roads include New Burlington Place, New Burlington Street, Boyle Street, and Clifford Street.   read more…

Torbay on the English Riviera

October 11th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

View from Torquay towards Paignton © Kicior99/cc-by-3.0

View from Torquay towards Paignton © Kicior99/cc-by-3.0

Torbay is a borough in Devon, administered by the unitary authority of Torbay Council. It consists of 62.87 square kilometres (24.27 sq mi) of land, spanning the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, located around an east-facing natural harbour (Tor Bay) on the English Channel. Torbay is roughly equidistant from the cities of Exeter and Plymouth. A popular tourist destination with a tight conurbation of resort towns, Torbay’s sandy beaches, mild climate and recreational and leisure attractions have given rise to the nickname of the English Riviera. Torbay’s main industry is tourism. It has a large number of European students learning English. The fishing port of Brixham is home to one of England and Wales’ most successful fishing fleets and regularly lands more value than any UK port outside Scotland. It is also a base for Her Majesty’s Coastguard and the Torbay Lifeboat Station. Famous former residents of Torbay include author Agatha Christie, who set many of her novels in a thinly disguised version of the borough.   read more…

Strawberry Hill House

August 28th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, London, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© panoramio.com - Maxwell Hamilton/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Maxwell Hamilton/cc-by-sa-3.0

Strawberry Hill House—often called simply Strawberry Hill—is the Gothic Revival villa that was built in Twickenham, London by Horace Walpole (1717–1797) from 1749 onward. It is the type example of the “Strawberry Hill Gothic” style of architecture, and it prefigured the nineteenth-century Gothic revival. Walpole rebuilt the existing house in stages starting in 1749, 1760, 1772 and 1776. These added gothic features such as towers and battlements outside and elaborate decoration inside to create “gloomth” to suit Walpole’s collection of antiquarian objects, contrasting with the more cheerful or “riant” garden. The interior included a Robert Adam fireplace; parts of the exterior were designed by James Essex. The garden contained a large seat shaped like a Rococo sea shell; it has been recreated in the 2012 restoration.   read more…

Design Museum London

July 7th, 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Design & Products, General, London, Museums, Exhibitions

© designmuseum.org

© designmuseum.org

The Design Museum is a museum founded in 1989, originally located by the River Thames near Tower Bridge in London, and later relocated to Kensington. The museum covers product, industrial, graphic, fashion and architectural design. The museum operates as a registered charity, and all funds generated by ticket sales aid the museum in curating new exhibitions. Entrance is expected to be free to the museum’s permanent collection display, “Designer Maker User”. In June 2011 Sir Terence Conran donated £17.5 million to enable the Museum to move in 2016 from the warehouse to a larger site which formerly housed the Commonwealth Institute in west London. This landmark from the 1960s, a Grade II* listed building that had stood vacant for over a decade, was developed by a design team led by John Pawson who made the building fit for a 21st century museum, whilst at the same time retaining its spatial qualities.   read more…

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