Category Archives: Tourism

British Makeup | Barry M’s ‘Jewel Britannia’ – LIMITED EDITION

Proud to be british


This nail varnish is truly wonderful. It embodies the British spirit so well I get all giddy inside when I see it online! (crazy, I know…) Anyways, this is going to be my first Barry M product and a very special one at that… And it’s only £2.99! Get it from Boots or from the Barry M website – and hurry up!, it’s limited edition. Get your hands on this gem!

Discover Aberdeen | Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle is a pinkish harled castle six miles (10 km) south of Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was the seat of Clan Sempill. The setting is among scenic rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains. The contrast of its massive lower storey structure to the finely sculpted multiple turrets, gargoyles and high corbelling work create a classic fairytale appearance.

An excellent example of the original Scottish Baronial architecture, the great seven-storey castle was completed in 1626 by the Aberdonian merchant William Forbes, ancestor to the “Forbes-Sempill family” and brother of the Bishop of Aberdeen. Forbes purchased the partially completed structure from the impoverished Mortimer family in the year 1610. Forbes’ nickname was Danzig Willy, a reference to his shrewd international trading success. The Forbes family resided here for 350 years until 1963, when the property was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland.

Designed in the L plan, as was Muchalls Castle, which is located in the same region, Craigievar is noted for its exceptionally crafted plasterwork ceilings. Craigevar, Muchalls Castle and Glamis Castle are generally considered to have the three finest ceilings in Scotland. The Clan Forbes family were close friends of the Clan Burnett of Leys, who built both Crathes Castle and Muchalls Castle.

The castle originally had more defensive elements including a walled courtyard with four round towers; only one of the round towers remains today. In the arched door to that round tower are preserved the carved initials of Sir Thomas Forbes, William Forbes’ son. There was also a massive iron yett or gate covering the entrance door.

The castle interior boasts a Great Hall that has the Stuart Arms over the fireplace; a musicians gallery; secret staircase connecting the high tower to the Great Hall; Queen’s Bedroom; servants’ quarters and of course several splendid plasterwork ceilings. There is a collection of Forbes family portraits inside as well as a considerable quantity of Forbes furnishings dating to the 17th and 18th centuries.

During the First World War, it was used as a hospital for wounded Belgian soldiers.

As of 2006, the castle, its estate, and over 200 acres (0.81 km2) of adjoining farmlands and woodlands are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. They are open to tourists during the summer months. The castle is closed to tour buses and large groups, but may be accessed by guided tour. During the summer the castle is open from 12:00 until 5:30 with the last tour leaving at 4:45. Between November 2007 and October 2009 the castle was closed due to its exterior being given an entirely new harl, returning to it what is believed to be a close copy of its original colour shade.  It was reopened to the public in April 2010

London Olympics 2012 | Travelling, Accommodation, Food, Security + what you need to know!

(please bear in mind that all the info presented here can be found at Have a safe trip and enjoy your stay!)

  • To plan a journey in London on days when you’re not going to a London 2012 sports event or ceremony, use the Transport for London website

From (image is just an example of a hotel bedroom – it isn’t the picture of one of the several Holiday Inns)


  • You can find out more about accommodation during the London 2012 Games and search for accommodation near to venues on the Visit London website
  • VisitBritain has over 37,000 places from across the UK listed in its accommodation directory. – VisitBritain website
  • Holiday Inn is the official hotel provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • For information on accessible accommodation across the UK, go to the dedicated pages for disabled and elderly people on the VisitBritain website


  • If you’re not a UK resident, contact your local National Olympic Committee or Authorised Ticket Reseller about ticket and accommodation packages.


For the prohibited items list, please download the following document in .pdf form:


To download the London Sample 2012 Menu, please download the following .pdf document:


Discover London | The Mall Mall is a road in London running from Buckingham Palace at its western end to Admiralty Arch and on to Trafalgar Square at its eastern end. Before its termination at Whitehall it is met by Spring Gardens, which was where the Metropolitan Board of Works and, for a number of years, the London County Council were based. It is closed to traffic on Sundays and public holidays, and on ceremonial occasions.

The surface of The Mall is coloured red to give the effect of a giant red carpet leading up to Buckingham Palace. This colour was obtained using synthetic iron oxide pigment from Deanshanger Oxide Works (Deanox), which was created using the Deanox Process devised by chemist Ernest Lovell. It was David Eccles’ decision, as minister of works, to make The Mall red.

The Queen Victoria Memorial is immediately before the gates of the Palace, whilst Admiralty Arch at the far end leads into Trafalgar Square. The distance from the railings at the Palace to Admiralty Arch is approximately 1 km (0.62 mi). St. James’s Park is on the south side of The Mall, opposite Green Park and St James’s Palace, on the north side. Running off The Mall at its eastern end is Horse Guards Parade, where the Trooping the Colour ceremony is held.

The Mall was created as a ceremonial route in the early 20th century, matching the creation of similar ceremonial routes in other cities such as Berlin, Mexico City, Oslo, Paris, Saint Petersburg, Vienna and Washington, D.C. These routes were intended to be used for major national ceremonies. As part of the development (designed by Aston Webb) a new façade was constructed for Buckingham Palace, and the Victoria Memorial was erected.

On VE Day—8 May 1945—the Palace was the centre of British celebrations, with the King, Queen and Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen, and Princess Margaret appearing on the balcony, with the Palace’s blacked-out windows behind them, to the cheers from a vast crowd on The Mall.

During state visits, the monarch and the visiting head of state are escorted in a state carriage up The Mall and the street is decorated with Union Flags and the flags of the visiting head of state’s country. During the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, over one million people packed The Mall to watch the public displays and the appearance of the Royal Family on the palace balcony. These scenes were repeated in 2011 for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, and again in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, in which over 70,000 people watched the concert.

The London Marathon finishes on The Mall.

Discover London | The London Eye

Aerial view of the London EyeThe London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames, in London, England. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft).

It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe, and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160 m (520 ft) Star of Nanchang in 2006, and then the 165 m (541 ft) Singapore Flyer in 2008. It is still described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel” (as the wheel is supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the Nanchang and Singapore wheels).

The London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, was officially called the British Airways London Eye and then the Merlin Entertainments London Eye. Since 20 January 2011, its official name is the EDF Energy London Eye following a three-year sponsorship deal.

The London Eye is located in the London Borough of Lambeth at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.