Features

Mid Wales coastline excels in latest bathing waters survey

 Wales coastline

The good reputation that the Mid Wales coastline has for the standard of its bathing waters and sandy beaches has been endorsed by the latest survey results.

 

The vast majority of the beaches have achieved the highest rating of excellent or good, as 99 per cent of designated bathing water surveyed along the Welsh coast complied with strict European standards.

 

In the northern limb of the Cambrian Coast in Mid Wales, both Harlech and Llandanwg received an excellent rating and the beaches have achieved the Green Coast Award from Keep Wales Tidy.

 

The quirkiest places to stay in the UK that you never knew about!

quirkiest places to stay in the UK

Have you ever dreamt of spending the night in a stunning old castle out in the countryside? Perhaps you have always wanted to experience staying in a working farmhouse? Or what about a lighthouse by the sea? 

 

It might sound absurd, but these are just some of the quirky and unusual places available to rent thanks to UK holiday rental provider Snaptrip.com .With over 50,000 properties in all shapes and sizes, there is something for everyone from romantic retreats to larger trips for all your friends and family.

 

Snaptrip.com has put together a guide detailing just some of the weird and wonderful places you could book to stay at:

 

1.      Castles

National theatre Wales announces its 2018 season

Kully Thiarai announces her first full season as the company’s Artistic Director

It includes collaborations with female artists from across the south Asian diaspora, Migrations, Quarantine, Junoon, Oily Cart, Gruff Rhys and Elis James

Multi-artform work including new writing, contemporary dance, music, comedy, sensory theatre and visual art

Performances in hospitals, schools and theatres, on a boat, underwater and at locations across Wales

The company also welcomes its first ever Associate Artists; theatre makers Mike Pearson & Mike Brookes, digital installation artist Shanaz Gulzar and television drama executive producer Bethan Jones

Discover Whisky Galore at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival

Speyside Whisky Festival

Thousands of visitors from around the globe will celebrate Scotland’s national drink this spring at one of the world’s biggest whisky events – the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. The Festival is a five-day celebration comprising around 500 different events scattered across the beautiful region, which lies directly between the cities of Aberdeen and Inverness. 

Distillery tours, food pairings, whisky tastings, music and fun combine to provide a packed programme. Visitors will have the chance to take exclusive behind the scenes distillery tours, learn how to pair whisky with food, enjoy traditional music and even take a ride on a whisky themed vintage train.

Last Choir Singing Announce Song Writing Contest Shortlist

Last Choir Singing

Last Choir Singing, the premier choir competition for Lancashire Junior Schools, has announced its shortlist of nominees for their song writing award. The competition was open to anyone in the UK. 

Shortlisted applicants will have an acoustic version of their song performed live on BBC Radio Lancashire by the International Vocalist, Duncan Heather, on Friday 24th November. The songs will then be put to public vote with the winner being announced live on the radio on Monday 4th December by sponsors and competition creators and organisers, True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners.

Charity family fun run set to attract hundreds of Santas to Shrewsbury

Mini launch

Hundreds of Santas will be heading for Shrewsbury next month on a mission to raise money for the Severn Hospice with a charity fun run.

The Salop Santa Dash on Sunday, December 3 is designed to be a fun event for all the family. Runners will have the option to run one or two laps of a 2.5 kilometre course around Salop Leisure and the adjoining Love2Stay glamping and touring resort.

The £10 entry fee includes a Santa suit and all the money raised will be donated to Severn Hospice. Entries will be limited to 500 and places will be on a first come basis. For details visit www.salopsantarun.co.uk.

The best places to visit in Birmingham this Christmas

With the festive season right around the corner, this time of year presents many opportunities to spend time with loved ones. Birmingham is a hub of activity during the festive season. Whether spending time with friends, enjoying a family day out or a romantic evening with that special someone, the city has a range of events perfect for everyone this Christmas.
 
This year some of the best places to visit in Birmingham at Christmas time include:
 
Birmingham’s German Market
 

A warm welcome awaits at Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre; an all-weather heritage attraction for families and enthusiasts alike.

Heritage Centre Pembroke Dock Coming in to land

The Heritage Centre is housed in the former Royal Dockyard Chapel, in the heart of what was the only Royal Dockyard in Wales. The Heritage Centre offers modern, comfortable and fully accessible facilities – including free parking and free Wi-Fi throughout! The exhibits and displays are designed to cater for a wide audience, with a regular programme of activities for families in school holidays and a range of other events to suit local people and visitors, whether they are enthusiasts or new to the subject matter.

Top 10 spooky UK destinations to visit this October

Churchyard

Love the thrill of being scared and looking for something different to do this month? With Halloween creeping ever closer, last minute rental holiday provider, Snaptrip.com, reveals the top 10 spooky destinations to visit this October:

 

1.       The village of Prestbury 

Located in Cheshire, on the edge of the Cotswolds, Prestbury claims to be the most haunted village in England. Its spooky reputation has stuck ever since the sighting of a hooded monk known as ‘The Black Abbot’ who is said to regularly appear in the church and churchyard. Somewhere to visit before retreating to the safety of your cottage or guest house!

 

2.       Winnats Pass, Castleton 

UK’s best surfers gather inland for landlocked pro surf competition

Major event at Surf Snowdonia draws more than 1,500 surf fans to heart of Conwy Valley
 
More than 1,500 surf fans and curious onlookers made their way to the heart of the Conwy Valley at the weekend to watch the UK’s best surfers take part in a unique inland surf competition.
Against a backdrop of the Conwy Valley’s forests and mountains, the UK’s best surfers came together to battle it out on Surf Snowdonia’s land-locked man-made waves. Thirty elite UK surf athletes competed in all, travelling from all over the country to the UK’s most unlikely break.

Verdant Leisure Launches Its Unique UK Photography Competition

Verdant Leisure, the UK’s bespoke holiday park operator, is offering budding amateur photographers the chance to have their images published in the company’s 2018/2019 brochure with its unique scenic photography competition. Winners will also be awarded holidays at Verdant Leisure parks of their choice.
 
The competition launch follows Verdant Leisure’s 2017 survey showing that the UK’s coastline and countryside is so stunning, it led Brits to think they were looking at photos of exotic foreign climes!
 
The competition will be hosted for four weeks from 18th October, on Verdant Leisure’s Facebook page and entrants will be able to enter as many images as they like into the following five categories……
 
Scenic Scotland

Why Glamping Is Good for Your Health

Glamping

In 2016, 4 in 10 people went glamping or camping, and by 2020, it’s expected there will be 21 million trips of this type in the UK, totalling £3.2 billion.

 

There are many health benefits to being in the great outdoors, but lots of people are put off by the idea of camping: “roughing it” with no heat or electricity.

 

If you’re one of the many people put off by camping, then it’s time to give glamping a go.Camping with a hearty injection of glamour, glamping means you can still experience the great outdoors, but with a touch of comfort. Think actual beds and running water.

 

Leyton Cricket Pavilion to become food hub

Cricket legend Graham Gooch has spoken enthusiastically about a plan to transform a decaying Victorian cricket pavilion in Leyton into a miniature version of Borough market.

Cricket legend Graham Gooch has spoken enthusiastically about a plan to transform a decaying Victorian cricket pavilion in Leyton into a miniature version of Borough market.
 
Waltham Forest Council has just been awarded a £1.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to turn Leyton Cricket Pavilion into a real food hub. This funding, generated by people who play the National Lottery, comes as Waltham Forest bids to become London’s first Borough of Culture.
 
The Grade 2 listed building will house a restaurant, café and training kitchen serving locally sourced food. Meanwhile, the historic tin hut and former dining room on site will become a food market selling local produce.
 

Last chance to ride Britain’s steepest cable railway ahead of refurbishment

Llechwedd’s original cable train will make its last trip underground on 5 November
 
 
Visitors to one of North Wales’s most popular family attractions have just a few more weeks to take a ride on the UK’s steepest cable railway before it is dismantled for refurbishment.
 
The cable railway at Llechwedd – which made its first journey underground in 1979 – has transported over a million visitors to a depth of 500 feet, right into the heart of the slate mountain.  
 
Its train, which is named ‘Wil Cribau’ after one of the mine’s former rock men (Wil Jones) and a local mountain, descends at a gradient of 1 in 1.8, or 30 degrees, and marks a dramatic start to the attraction’s Deep Mine Tour.
 

The colossal engineering miracle ‘Man Engine’ will be coming to Blists Hill Victorian Town on 14th April 2018

Man Engine

After recent news of the win of the ‘Best Arts Project’ in the prestigious National Lottery Awards, it has today (Friday, 13th October), been announced that the largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain will rise again next Easter in an ultimate ‘Resurrection Tour’ and visit a number of sites around the UK including Blists Hill Victorian Town, one of the ten Ironbridge Gorge Museums in Shropshire.

 

4 worthwhile investments for camping holiday enthusiasts

camping

It's official, camping is a British obsession: in 2016 we made a total of 14.94 million trips, making up a sizeable 12% of all excursions in the UK (Visit Britain). This just goes to show that we're a country of camping enthusiasts who like to keep in touch with nature.

If you're one of the millions who enjoy regular camping trips, you're probably always on the lookout for ways you can make your next trip even better. To give you a helping hand, we've rounded up four worthwhile investments you can make that are sure to enhance future camping holidays. Read on to find out more.

Self-inflating camping mat

Make a clay ghost at Halloween themed workshops at Coalport China Museum 21st – 29th October

clay making

Sculpt your own ghost, pumpkin or creepy bat from air-drying clay to take home at the Halloween themed ceramic workshops at Coalport China Museum, near Ironbridge.  Part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums’ 50th anniversary celebrations, the drop-in sessions will take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the October school half-term holiday from Saturday 21st to Sunday 29th October.

 

Every day throughout the holidays young artists can also decorate ceramic money boxes or fridge magnets and paint delicate china flowers. 

 

Tiny Tots Trail of Treats set to enchant little ones at Blists Hill Victorian Town in November and December

Santa grotto

Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge, is putting some magic into Christmas especially for their youngest visitors with an enchanting festive trail for under fives. Available on selected days leading up to Christmas, the fun, new Tiny Tots Trail of Treats will delight children and their grown-ups as they follow clues to find treats around the Town on 22-23 and 29-30 November and 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21 December.

 

‘Life-saving surfing’ helps military heroes overcome trauma and injury

Military heroes who competed in a world-first adaptive surf championship in North Wales say that surfing has helped them to overcome trauma, mental ill-health and serious physical injuries.
 
Sixteen surfers, all either serving military or veterans who have battled physical or mental injury, competed for the top spots in the Help for Heroes Adaptive Surf Championship last Saturday (23rd September 2017). The free-to-attend one-day tournament took place at inland surf lagoon Surf Snowdonia, seven miles from the sea at Conwy.
 
Winner of the open category, Yianni Karakousis, served as a Captain in the Royal Engineers. He suffered horrific injuries in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan in April 2013.
 

Rooftop Hotels With Incredible Views

Rooftop Hotels

Few things are more relaxing than having a glass of wine or enjoying a great dinner with an incredible view in front of you. This infographic from Top Grade Roofing takes you through some of the best rooftops from around the world if you’re ever lucky enough to visit any of these places. 

For example, Las Vegas is a very popular resort and if you are there to hit the tables or catch a show, be sure to check out the 55th floor of the Palms Casino Resort. See the whole city beneath you while enjoying a drink. Dubai has become a very popular destination in recent years and has a wonderful rooftop hotel on the 24th floor of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Be sure to check it out if you’re planning a holiday there.