United Kingdom(England/Northern Ireland/Scotland/Wales)

United Kingdom(England/Northern Ireland/Scotland/Wales)

Postcards from England

Category: Article | Rated by: 7 Users

Greetings from Windsor  :)   

My name is Karim, I am 43yo and I live in Windsor, Berkshire.

I am French and I have worked in hospitality for the past 22 years and my job took me in places as different as New-Zealand, Australia and Canada.

I love travelling and discovering new exciting places and learn about their History, traditions and People.

A little anecdote is that I was lucky enough to live in Summer for a few years as I worked in south of France from March to October and in Russell, Bay of Islands, New-Zealand from October to March. Since then, I must admit that "old winter" came back to me...

My interests include travelling at home and abroad, creating miniatures on a 1/12th scale - mostly with the Victorian times in mind - reading, movies, walking and renovating my home in France.

This year, I have embarked on a journey of discovery of this country that has been my second home away from France and England keeps enchanting my senses with its variety, the beauty of its scenery and the wealth of its history and traditions.

I, who used to think for so many years and excitement and emotion were about "long haul" journeys, have finally discovered that beauty often lay on your very door step for you to enjoy.

I will be delighted to take you along with me on my "escapades" around the UK with a short presentation of the place spiced up here and there with a few little anecdotes and pictures.

Thank you for welcoming to this forum !

Karim :)

globe Back To United Kingdom(England/Northern Ireland/Scotland/Wales)

27 Replies:

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emma-lou

Wales Wales
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Hi! Welcome to the forum! I agree with what you say, that you can often find the most beautiful places right on your doorstep. I love the lush "green-ness" of England. I've been to Windsor and it's a lovely place, with lots of nice weeping willow trees and the Great Park. I'm looking forward to hearing about your escapades around the country, one which I myself have not explored enough.. :)

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victorian67

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Thank you for this very warm welcome travel forum

I guess I will start this thread with my very first escapade of 2010 which took me to the City of Bath.

Please do not hesitate to send me comments and suggestions as I will be delighted to help you with any additional information about the places I have visited.

Have a lovely week-end !

Karim Smiley   


Post Merged: October 23, 2010, 05:22:24 PM


City of Bath ( 06/04/10 )

The first of my 2010 escapades around England took me to a place I so long awaited to discover being a fan of Jane Austen's novels and fine 18th century architecture, and I must say that Bath and its many charms truly enchanted me.

My first glimpse of the town was a stunning view over the river and one of the most charming bridges I have ever seen.

Then a stroll through the town took me from the Roman Bath to the beautifully preserved historic part of the town where almost every building is an enchantment in itself.

After a spot of lunch at Sally Lun's, I embarked on the City Sightseeing Bus which took me around the town to the Royal Circus, the Royal Crescent and beyond up the hills which offer a stunning view over the city.

The Royal Crescent was of a scale I truly had not imagined and with the surrounding lawn areas filled with daffodils, a unforgettable sight in itself.

The nearby Victoria Parc was beautiful with its great entrance guarded by two giant lions statues and the lake so peaceful in the late afternoon.

I love Nature and my visit to Bath coincided with one of the first lovely Springtime days of the season has truly enchanted my senses.

Britain truly is a one of the best places in the world to enjoy Springtime in all its glory !

I do hope to have the pleasure of visiting Bath again for its Christmas markets...

Here are a few pictures of my escapade to Bath...

By the Pulteney Bridge

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By the River Avon

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Lunch at Sally Lun ( how could I resist honouring a French refugee from 300 years ago !

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Funny Picture ( yes I know, childish to say the least travel forum )

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The Royal Crescent and Daffodils ( a sight of beauty in itself ! )

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Posing in a field of daffodils as a celebration of Springtime !

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Karim Smiley





Post Merged: October 23, 2010, 05:49:48 PM


City of York ( 15/04/10 )

Unlike Bath, I did not have much expectations from York and I must admit that my knowledge of the town was quite limited to the House of York so I visited for the first time on a beautiful Spring day with a totally opened mind and was I in for a pleasant surprize indeed !

I left my car in the carpark outside the city walls and just could not resist climbing up the steep and narrow staircase leading to the walls and walk around the town as the first visitors would have done and seeing these perfectly preserved walls filled with thousands of daffodils in bloom on each side were a truly unforgettable sight !

I then ventured into the town through a very pleasant street with a great variety of shops leading to the Bridge upon the River Rouse and the other side viewed from the bridge was pleasant indeed.

But the surprise - I should say the amazement - really came when I entered the Medieval District which is very large in size and wonderfully preserved with a unique architecture and a variety of shops second to none.

At its very heart, one finds the truly magnificent Minster which Nortern Europe's largest Gothic Cathedral and standing at its feet truly gives a scale of insignificant can a human being be compared to the sheer size of some monuments.

The nearby parks were in bloom and very pleasant places to sit down and enjoy.

And last but not least, the cherry on my cake undoubtebly was the National Railway Museum which features some of the rarest locomotives of the world including a replica of Stevenson's Rocket, The Mallard and the Flying Scotsman to name but a few. Being a passionate modeller ever since I was 7yo when I started building my first railway model network on a HO scale, I simply cannot express my joy at seeing those "giants of steam" standing in front of me.

I maybe French but I love finding quaint little places for my afternoon tea and the place I found was just one of the cutest I have seen so far as it was in one of the towers at the entrance of the bridge over the River and a cappuccino and a Victoria Lemon sponge were the perfect ending to a perfect day.

Yes ! I truly was enchanted with my visit to York and its many charms !

Here are a few personal pictures of my day in York...

York's City Walls with thousands of daffodils on their side

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The City Walls with a Cherry Tree in Bloom

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A view of the town accross the bridge on the River Ouse

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The "Shambles" is the oldest street of the Medieval District

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The Majestic Minster or Northern Europe's oldest Gothic Cathedral

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A view of the Minster from the Medieval Disctrict

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A detail of an ornate street clock

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A view of a square with the most interesting architecture

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In one of York's enchanting park a black and white cottage in bloom !

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Ruins of an Ancient Abbaye with thousands of daffodils

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The following pictures will depict my visit to the National Railway Museum which is free, if you please travel forum!

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And for those who are amateur of a 5' o clock tea in quaint places, why not having tea in this adorable Tea Room ?

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Karim Smiley  










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Sara84

United States United States
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Hey Karim,
Thanks a lot for sharing with us your incredible adventures  lol

I really liked the idea of your journey of discovery.
I've been to England a few times, but never had the time to discover it properly, my only escapade was around London and Brighton.
Brighton has an amazing board-walk, it is really long, and you can even rent a bike. The harbor of Brighton is really nice too, and you can spot a lot
of seagulls there.
I would really like to go to the Lake District, my friends told me it is an unforgeable place to discover.
I wonder if this place is gonna be taken into consideration on one of your next "escapades" ...

Your pictures are really nice and transmit a unique relaxation, you look really happy in them and you seem to enjoy the scenery a whole lot.
I will be following your post and be waiting for new exciting pictures to come, especially of places where you can drink a coffee in front of a nice view of trees, lakes, daffodils, or any other sort of nature view ....

It would be nice if you could share with us, where you stay every night and for how long your journey is.
Keep having fun and always have your next destination in mind!

By the way what does your French signature at the bottom of your post mean?

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La Fiaba

Italy Italy
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Hi Karim, I just read your posts and saw your pics, they're lovely. I'm from England but I havn't been home in nearly a year and your pics make me miss it even more! I especially love York, although I did spy that looks more like a cappuccino than a cup of tea!! :D

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victorian67

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Thank you Sara travel forum

I am sorry I did not reply sooner but I have worked for nearly 20 days in a row and got very few time to myself.

Just like you, I adore Brighton for its unique charm and old world atmosphere.

I only spent one day in the Lake District last year in Windermere, but I was really able to appreciate the unique beauty of this region and I have promised to myself to revisit it on a long week-end next year...

When it comes to exploring a new town, I love walking for miles to try and capture the spirit of the area but I always manage a break in a picturesque pub, restaurant or tearoom, if possible with a view.

Britain is unique for its quaint little places just awaiting to be discovered....

I thank you very much for your comments which have made my day and I will keep posting the pictures and comments of my escapades around the UK.

Have a great week-end !

Karimtravel forum




Post Merged: November 19, 2010, 06:23:46 PM





Thank you La Fabia travel forum

You are absolutely right as it was a cappuccino and a Lemon Victoria Sponge cake travel forum

Karimtravel forum





Post Merged: November 20, 2010, 12:35:29 PM






Welcome to London Town ( 16/04/10 )


Living in Windsor, I have been to London hundreds of times but guess what, just like a Villager, I have my boundaries and only go to certain places over and over again and often neglecting others.

On this very windy and rather chilly day of mid-April, I was meeting my Friend Christine whom I had not seen in a while and we decided to spend the day gallivanting around London. Unlike myself who like a certain level of comfort when I travel, Christine is a true Explorer with a keen interest in countries which are yet to be discovered and her trips around the world took her from Siberia to Ethiopia, Yemen to Afghanistan. Needless to say that she loves walking and so do I so we made a quite energetic pair in London that day.


We met at the Opera House and walked to Covent Gardens which are a place I love to visit and revisit and which are celebrating their 200 anniversary this year ! This a vibrant place where there is always something happening and that day was no exception.

We then walk all the way to Westminster where we intended to take our first boat ride in years ! Isn't this a shame going to London at least 3 times a week and never have taken a boat ride


As we were approaching the Thames, the wind got very intense and rather chilly so we opted for a spot of lunch before embarking on a mini cruise that would be by all means "refreshing" to say the least !

We found an old pub near Whitehall where we enjoyed a heartwarming hot meal with a pint of Guinness for me and Cider for Christine.

Revived by this collation, we embarked on the sight seeing boat and courageously went onto the top deck. The cruise took us from Westminster Pier to Tower Bridge passing by the Tower of London and with a good view of the London Eye, the Tate Gallery, and so on.

I was especially attracted to the Tower Bridge which truly is a sight when approached by the river.

We then walked by Westminster and Big Ben until we reached the delightful St James Park which took us to Buckingham Palace Road and Green Park, Jermyn St and then Picadilly St which was our destination for afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason.


Fortnum & Mason has been my favorite place for afternoon tea for years for its unique old world charm, charming etiquette and delightful cakes and ice creams.

Needless to say that after braving all day winds which would not have been out of place in Mary Poppins and walking miles upon miles, sitting down in front of pot of Orange Pekoe was pure heaven

Here are a few pictures of our day in windy London, a great moment to remember for me and Christine !


The always vibrant Covent Garden


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Westminster Cathedral


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The One & Only Big Ben !


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A very welcome spot of lunch in Whitehall


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Approaching Tower Bridge in one of the coldest wind I have experienced so far...brrrrrr


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The Iconic Tower Bridge


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So very "British" !

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Pure indulgence or a "few grams of finesse in a world of brutes" ... afternoon tea at Fortnum & Mason. My face says it all !


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Karimtravel forum




Post Merged: Today at 03:06:19 AM




Birmingham Botanical Gardens (22/04/10 )



I discovered these gems of Botanical Gardens two years ago after attending a fair at the Birmingham NEC and was I in for a pleasant surprize


They areof course much smaller in scale and variety than places such as Kew Gardens, though 15 acres in size,but they are definitely well worth a visit especially at Springtime.


They are located in Edgbaston, a few miles away from Birmingham in a very leafy residential area.


They were created by leading Gardener J. C. Loudon and opened to the public in 1832.


At the time of my visit, the Botanical Gardens were holding a very interesting exhibition on the life and work of Charles Darwin.


Here are a few pictures of my visit to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in bloom, to say the least smiley3



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Karimsmiley3




Post Merged: Today at 04:08:18 AM



Stratford upon Avon ( 27/05/10 )



I fell in love with this quintessential English town long before I first visited it and each new visit is a delight in itself smiley3


Shakespeare's birth town is attractive in all seasons and I love walking though the historic streets with their beautiful buildings and delightful shops, cafes and restaurants.


Over the years, Startford upon Avon has really succeeded in its gracious transformation and I love the visual presentation now available at the Shakespeare's Bitrthplace which really takes you back in times with a very effective introductory "3D" presentation.


After years of building works, the canal area is finally complete and I just loved the way the Garden Designerslaid English mixed borders rather than simpleflower beds in the areas surrounding the magnificent bronze statue of William Shakespeare by the canal and its boats as the effect is simply stunning and yet so refreshing.


I love Nature and outdoorssoI could not resist re-visiting Anna Hattaway's Cottage in bloom and Mary Arden's Tudor Farm and spent a delightful afternoon there as the weather was just perfect.


I highly recommend the Tudor Festival which takes place in May at Mary Arden's Farm for its joyous mix of country scenes and period costumes !


Stratford upon Avon truly is a delight of a town, whatever the season smiley3


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Karimsmiley3




Post Merged: Today at 01:56:23 PM




Post Merged: Today at 10:06:01 PM

A very good morning to you smiley3


It's good to be back !


I have posted a few new trips of my escapades in 2010 which I hope you will enjoy


Karimsmiley3


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emil

Russian Federation Russian Federation
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Hi Karim,

Just wanted to drop you a line and say the your pictures are Amazing!! really inspiring to go to London...

I liked especially the picture of the white horse on the field, such a nice shot, reflects the calm and

relaxation of your trip.

 

Keep on posting so we can enjoy this trip too through your pictures... anisun


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victorian67

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Thank you very much Emil for your encouraging comments smiley3

Karim


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Princy

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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I was inspired by your pictures of Stratford.

 

Looks like such a nice town :)

 

Where are you going next after England? Are you gonna explore any other countries?

 

Keep on sharing your experiences with us


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Zaky

Russian Federation Russian Federation
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I love your photos, they are really cute!

Keep on posting man... looking forward to seeing more photos....


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desertsafaridubai

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very good pictures it is really nice


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ankydas

India India
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These are very nics pics. Seems you enjoyed a lot.


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renald

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Fantastic pictures. Really inspired by this. Let me share some more experiences by words.


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victorian67

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Thank you so much for your encouraging comments  bigtup!

 

Karim


Post Merged: January 07, 2012, 04:26:17 PM

Seasons Greetings bigtup!

[IMG]http://img15.hostingpics.net/pics/3725522012.jpg[/IMG]

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year 2012 filled with new horizons and wonderful discoveries !

Between a Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, the UK will take centre stage in 2012 and I invite you to follow my wanderings on the back roads of a sometimes poetic, often picturesque country which simply never ceases to amaze me.

Karim


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SacVoyage

Armenia Armenia
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Oh, you really great traveler, and I like the way you discribe your journeys. Photos are amazing and why not it is enviable, I would like t be in your place )))

Enjoy your life, how you did it till today!


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rajaesco

India India
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I was inspired by your pictures of Stratford.


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mariajames

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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I've been wondering if there's anything that would be common in pubs, like a sweet sparkling cider, that might do the trick.


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hathuylieu

Philippines Philippines
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I I can share my joy with you, if I am in UK I would really want to meet you and invite you to coffee.:)


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blueblack2010

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Great photos!!! :)


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jackwillm

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Post cards are such a thing that tell the story of that country through pictures.


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dub1

Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Republic of
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Enjoyed your article - good idea calling it Postcards from England (I'd like to do one for Ireland)

bigtup


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victorian67

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Llandudno

As the UK was embracing its first days of warm weather in early June, I decided to visit a place which I knew was famous for its Victorian festival early May each year, but which was nothing but a name on a map as far as I was concerned, and was I in for a pleasant surprise indeed smiley3

 

Llandudno is a beautiful Victorian seaside resort located in the Conwy County of Wales, and offers amongst its many charms a breathtaking Promenade overlooking the sea and the beaches located between the Great Orme and the Little Orme.

 

Elegant buildings so representative of the Victorian and Edwardian area are everywhere to enjoy, and the crown jewel certainly is the majestic Grand Hotel overlooking the pier.

 

The beaches were boasting with life and activity and so was the crowded pier with all kinds of animations and shops and while relaxing at the end of the pier with a pint of cider in my hand to cool down the heat of this glorious day, looking at the endless sea was a moment of pure bliss.

 

Llandudno truly is a treasure of its own !

 

Here are a few pictures of my day in Llandudno smiley3...travel forum

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Thank you for following this escapade to Llandudno and stay tuned for my next postcard soon wink...

Karimsmiley3

 


Post Merged: March 21, 2013, 09:26:12 AM

Welcome to Warwick Castle !

Britain's Ultimate Castle ! Quite a statement indeed !

I first visited Warwick Castle on a cold January afternoon and although I could appreciate the sheer size and medieval magnificence of the Castle, I saw virtually nothing of its grounds still under the spell of winter.

So when I revisited the place this year in late June, it was with a totally opened mind and I decided to walk to the Castle fron the town that bears its name.

Warwick is a pretty town filled with manicured gardens and picturesque black and white buildings which offers a nice selection of restaurants and tearooms.

I accessed the Castle from the Gate located just a stone thrown away from the High St through delightful back gardens in bloom and discovered the delightful Thomas Oken Tearoom, an old black & white building which serves a delicious blend of teas and homemade cakes in a tea set which would not be out of place in a novel of Lewis Caroll. A must when visiting Warwick smiley3

From the moment I was greeted by the flying standards of the Bear Tower Gate, entered the Central Courtyard where knights were fighting in armour, climbed to the top of the ramparts to have almost an aerial view of the Castle and its grounds, met the Victorians of the Royal Week-End recreation throughout the magnificent appartments, discovered the Art of Falconary with live eagles, entered the delightful Orangerie Gardens with their flying peacocks - I did not know until now that they could fly at all - not to forget the enormous Trebuchet Machine in action by the river, the water mill with its ingenious Victorian machinery and finally spent an hour in the exquisite Victorian Rose Garden discussing the cultivation of old roses, I can say with confidence that my visit to Warwick Castle was a pure enchantment.

I have tried to capture the different atmospheres and "colors" of my day in the following pictures smiley3...

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More to come soon wink...

Karim


Post Merged: March 24, 2013, 04:05:22 AM

Warwick Castle

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Thank you for following this escapade to the amazing Warwick Castle and stay tuned for my next postcard soon smiley3...

Karim


Post Merged: March 24, 2013, 04:33:33 AM

Welcome to the Severn Valley Steam Railway !

Those of you who remember my trip to York and the National Raiway Museum have realized my passion for trains and steam trains especially. I was born in 1967, the year the French National Railway retired its last working steam locomotive lead train and my Mum took me to see it leaving Paris Gare du Nord for the last time ever. I was far too young to remember but I was soon so passionate with everything related to trains that I started building a miniature railway set from the age of 7 to 13 years old, building through the years, bridges, landscapes, tunnels, villages and multi tracks on a HO scale. It is funny that I actually never saw a real steam locomotive until riding the Puffing Billy in the eucalyptus forests near Melbourne back in 1997, so entering the National Railway Museum in York and see these powerful giants of steam was like going to heaven on a first class ticket !

The Severn Valley Railway gave me the opportunity of going back to the golden age of steam trains on a voyage that runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, through manicured stations filled with flowers, refreshing woods with ferns, peaceful valleys with sheeps, the river Severn and of course, the Victoria bridge !

Bridgnorth is lovely town accessible through a pedestrian bridge and then a steep up hill climb to its charming Tudor buildings and its street market filled with fresh vegetables, fruits and other locally grown products.
I had lunch in the beer garden at the Swan pub and then back to the 19th century !

A perfect day out smiley3 !

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Thank you for coming along abord the wonderful Severn Valley Steam Railway and stay tuned for my next postcard soon smiley3...

Karim


Post Merged: March 28, 2013, 10:05:28 AM

Welcome to Bournemouth !

 

As the United Kingdom is slowly recovering from one of its coldest and earliest winter offensive in almost a century, the single thought of walking in the surf on a warm summer day is enough to have us all dreaming about soft summer breezes.

I had not yet visited Bournemouth that I already loved it and I must say that I succumbed to the many charms of this famous Victorian Sea Resort which spreads over 7 miles of golden sandy beaches.

I arrived on the perfect summer day and found the beaches surrounding the Pier already very busy with cheerful sun bathers and swimmers and the sheer size of the 7 miles beach one can do exactly as one pleases with regards to finding the perfect spot !

The Bournemouth Pier is a very busy place with colorful arcades and outlets offering souvenirs, snacks and drinks.

If you wish to have a spot of lunch with a view, I warmly recommend the excellent Harbour Lights located at the top of the Waterfront Building which commends breathtaking views over the Pier and the surrounding beaches.

A visit to Bournemouth is not complete without discovering the famed beach huts which comes in an infinity of styles and colors ranging from rustic to luxurious and can be hired per day, week, month or even an entire season.

The Pleasure Gardens which link the beach to the town of Bournemouth offer a refreshing alternative to a hot summer day as one can sit under the shade of the centenary trees which spread over two miles of lush vegetation and water features.

The town of Bournemouth offers to the Shopper elegant arcades which shop caters for every taste.

I have loved every minute of my time in Bournemouth smiley3

 

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Thank you for following this escapade to sunny Bournemouth and stay tuned for my next postcard soonwink...

 

Karim


Post Merged: March 28, 2013, 10:55:23 AM

Welcome to Chester !

Should you ask anybody in France what Chester is about, they will undoubtedly reply "The Cat, of course !" as us French call Lewis Carrol's famous character "The Cheshire Cat" wink !

Long before I first visited Chester, I had visions of black and white buildings as I once applied for a position at the Grosvenor Hotel before heading instead to Corsica ! Foolish youth !

After visiting this gem of a city, I can safely say that it really is one of Britain's best kept secrets which has so much to offer to the Visitor with its incredible variety of treasures.

I first was greeted with the smile of the Pride of Chester Guide, then started my day by walking around the incredibly well preserved medieval walls which surround the city and offers great views of Chester as well as of the beautiful River Dee and were the perfect introduction to my day in Chester.

I then ventured in the town through the Eastgate Clock which is the second most photographed clock in England after Big ben and offers a truly magnificent view on Eastgate St and its beautiful medieval black & white buildings including the national treasure "The Chester Rows" which have delighted Shoppers for over 700 years and counting.

Wandering through the streets of Chester is a pure delight for anyone intersting in history, architecture or simply beauty as it is everywhere for you to enjoy from the majestic Tudor buildings to the exquisite wood carvings and statues of their facade.

The City even offers a fascinating Roman Heritage in the shape of Britain's largest Roman Amphitheatre dated back to the times when Chester was a busy port importing all kinds of luxury goods from wine to fine pottery.

After exploring the town, I really enjoyed a refreshing walk by the River Dee which is of a great natural beauty and I finally came back for a spot of late lunch at the Brasserie Gerard while listening to classic French songs playing in the background !

The saying "it has it all" could not be more appropriate than to the amazingly beautiful City of Chester which is guaranteed to make a lasting impression when you will decide to visit it smiley3

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Thank you for following this escapade through the magnificent City of Chester and stay tuned for my next postcard soonwink...

Karimsmiley3


Post Merged: March 29, 2013, 03:59:06 AM

 

Welcome to the Hartlepool 2010 Tall Ships Race !

The most anticipated event of my own calendar during 2010! 

 Ever since I first heard of the 2010 Tall Ships Race in Hartlepool, I booked the week-end off months in advance. 

I have always loved Tall Ships for as long as I can remember and the last time I saw some of these sailing giants gathered in a port was in St Malo back in the mid eighties. 

Judging by the incredible popularity of this event, I was not the only one and the figures simply speak for themselves. Three million visitors over three days for the largest free event of 2010 in the UK and it was it worth of all my expectations! 

The Organizers of the 2010 Hartlepool Tall Ships Race had prepared everything to perfection including a perfectly readable and very attractive website which highlighted the events scheduled over the three days celebrating the Golden Age of Sailing Ships. 

The race started at Anwerp in Belgium, then called at Aalborg in Denmark, Kristiansand in Norway and arrived in Hartlepool on 7th August 2010 covering a total of 998 miles. 

As soon as I arrived in the specially designated parking area next to the marina, I was greeted by a forest of tall masts all dressed in the flying colours of a multitude of little flags and the first sight of these Sea Giants anchored together was simply breathtaking ! 

From the wonderful details of sculpted figureheads to the towering masts to the elegant lines of the ships, everything invited the visitor to step back into the time of the Golden Age of Sailing Ships and I did step aboard a few of these magnificent vessels with their immaculate wooden decks and shiny brass. 

The celebration would not have been completed without a selection of food from around the world and one could enjoy Caribbean delights while another tucked into French Crepes and the many other delicacies available in the dozens of appetizing stands. 

But my time In Hartlepool was far from over as I still had to discover the Maritime Experience Museum and what an experience this has been! 

The Maritime Experience is a unique concept which evolved around a recreated 18th century port complete with shops reminiscent of the era down to the smallest detail.

The crown jewel of the Museum is the magnificent HMS Trincomalee a frigate of the Napoleonic era and the oldest British warship still afloat. 

The Hartlepool Maritime Experience has to be the most amazing and unforgettable of all attractions I have seen so far in the UK and I only hope that my pictures will do it justice. 

Boarding the HMS Trincomalee is an experience like no other, and wandering through the delightful shops filled with artifacts of the era and even the typical sounds of an 18th century port is magical! 

The cherry on the cake came in the shape of members of the Hartlepool Victorian Society which re-enacted scenes of the 18th century in “Meet the Georgians” a truly delightful experience. 

Hartlepool has exceeded all expectations I had about my visit and will remain one of the finest experience I have enjoyed in my travels so far !

So welcome aboard the some of the finest ships afloat smiley3...

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More to come soon wink...

 

 


Post Merged: March 29, 2013, 04:38:20 AM

And of course, the cherry on the cake of my escapade to Hartlepool was a visit to the amazing Hartlepool Maritime Experience Museum and its magnificent permanent feature, the one and only, HMS Trincomalee bigtup...

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Thank you for following this escapade to the magnificent 2010 Tall Ships Race and I strongly encourage you to visit the equally amazing Hartlepool Maritime Museum Experience and its crown glory, the HMS Trincomalee smiley3

Karim


Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 09:46:27 AM

Welcome to the Blists Hill Victorian Town & Museum !

I invite you to step back in the Victorian Times on a journey through one of the most beautiful, unique and accurate recreation of a Victorian Town at Blists Hill in the County of Shropshire !  

 

This amazing recreation takes place over 55 acres at the very location where the Industry or more precisely the Industrial Revolution took place 200 years ago.  

 

Today, the remains of the iconic "Blast Furnaces" are now derelict cathedrals of brick from a different time standing in silence amongst a Nature that has claimed back its rights but still speak volumes of the misery, unimaginable hard work and sometimes tragedy that accompanied the everyday life of the workers who braved the defeaning sound, the heat and the many dangers of the well named "Blast Furnaces".  

 

The Blists Hill Victorian Town is an open air museum which presents a unique insight in the everyday life of the Victorians through a wonderful collection of traditional shops ranging from the Chemist to the Draper and the Grocer to the Photographer faithfully recreated down to their smallest detail and selling Victorian goods. 

 

Blist Hills Victorian Town is about life in the Black Country located between the towns of Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall , which saw the birth of the Industrial Revolution and became synonymous with coal mining and metal working.  

 

The first sensation to hit the Visitor while visiting this one of a kind museum is the smell of coal in the air, a smell that stays with you throughout the day as a reminder of the Industrial Revolution legacy.  

 

Blist Hills depicts a Victorian town miles away from the stereotyped image of frivolity sometimes associated with that era and one can easily imagine what life was about in the nearby Blast Furnaces.  

 

Being a strong railway enthusiast, I was delighted to watch a replica of one of the world’s first locomotives in action, created by the Father of Steam, Richard Trevithick.  

 

Walking through the paths of the 55 acres which covers this open air museum will take you from the colorful shops of Canal St to traditional workshops such as the Plasterer, the Candle Maker, the Glove Maker in which real Artisans are demonstrating the techniques and expertise of their trade.

 

One can marvel at a collection of carriages, shivers while passing in front of the undertaker workshop, and watch the Baker take out freshly baked loaves of bread out of the oven and enjoy traditional Victorian street scenes. 

 

There is lovely pub which serves old fashioned meals and beers while a couple of entertainers are taking over the old piano to sing Victorian tunes to the greatest delight of the audience.  

 

I walked in silence as I passed the Blast Furnaces in respect of the men who dedicated their lives to the Industrial Revolution and made my way towards a wonderful example of a “trow” or flat bottom boat used for the transportation of coal and other raw materials on the river Severn .    

 

Nature has regained its rights on the site and it is quite an experience to admire the lush tranquility of a Victorian cottage yet so close to the once fierce blast furnaces. In the afternoon, I followed the meticulous preparation of the opened carriage drawn by the magnificent horse “Casey”. 

 

There is so much to do, see and learn at the Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum that I was able one day to step back in the times of these Victorians who pioneered a new era for man kind and shaped the world as we know it today thanks to their incredible ingenuity,courage and spirit.

 

Blist Hills Victorian Town

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The Draper Shop

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Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 09:54:56 AM


Richard Trevithick, the "Father of Steam" and the world's first ever Locomotive

This clanking wheezing contraption was the first railway locomotive in the world. It was designed by Richard Trevithick and built by the Coalbrookdale ironworks in 1802. It wasn’t a great success, but this, and Trevithick’s other engines, showed what could be done and inspired the engineers who made steam powered railways a practical proposition.

For the first time in history fast, cheap transport was available – to transport finished goods, raw materials and people from one place to another and to carry perishable foodstuffs from the countryside to the towns and cities of Victorian Britain. - and all this was thanks to Richard Trevithick and his experiments at Coalbrookdale

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Blists Hill Victorian Shops

 

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The Victorian Sweet Shop

 

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A Victorian wagon advertizing the Sufragette’s moto “Vote for Women” !

 

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Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 10:02:31 AM

The Victorian Plasterer Shop

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Victorian Carts

 

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The Victorian Grocery Store

 

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Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 10:10:27 AM

The Victorian Chemist Shop

 

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The Victorian Printer Shop

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Victorian Street Scenes

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The Victorian Pub & Restaurant ( delicious traditional lunch with a Victorian beer and the merry tunes of a Pianist & Singer singing away popular Victorian songs ! A great moment ! )

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Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 10:31:00 AM

The Victorian Baker Shop ( The loaf of bread was truly delicious ! )

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The Victorian Carpenter Shop

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The Candle Maker Workshop

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The Glove Maker Workshop

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The Locksmith Workshop

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The Iron Monger Workshop

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Victorian Classroom

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Victorian Cottage

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Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 10:53:57 AM

Blists Hill Blast Furnaces

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Blist Hills "David & Sampson" Blowing Engine
A blowing engine is a large stationary steam engine directly coupled to air pumping cylinders. They deliver a very large quantity of air at a pressure lower than an air compressor, but greater than a centrifugal fan.
Blowing engines were used to provide the air blast for furnaces and blast furnaces

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Blists Hill Mission Church

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Post Merged: April 03, 2013, 11:15:28 AM

Spry, the last remaining "trows" of the River Severn
The forests lining its banks have provided timber not only for the building of the Severn trows, the flat-bottomed, two-masted, open-sided boats, weighing upwards of 100 tons, but frigates, barges and wherries, as well as the narrowboats worked and lived on by whole families who endured hard and cramped lives aboard as they tried to make ends meet shifting merchandise up and down the rivers and canals. The trows, built mainly in Ironbridge and operated from Bewdley , were built for transporting coal, china clay, timber, charcoal, salt and many other basic raw materials as well as finished goods such as ironstone, pottery, bricks and machinery the length of the Severn and further. Vast amounts of cargo were sent abroad and much of this was loaded onto seagoing vessels at Bristol . Although capable of travelling under sail, the Severn trows were mostly hauled by gangs of men. The trowmen had to be tough, and were said to be hard-drinking, hence the number of riverside pubs. Handling the trows could be dangerous

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Casey, the magnificent horse and the preparation of the Victorian open carriage

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Thank you for stepping back in the Victorian times with me in the amazing Blists Hill Victorian Town and stay tuned for a new postcard soon wink

Karimsmiley3


Post Merged: April 04, 2013, 03:55:57 AM


My next poscard will be on the beautiful North Yorkshire smiley3

Stay tuned bigtup

Karim


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colby1980

England England
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This is really great Mate bigtup

Some pictures are awesome. Keep posting more !


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victorian67

United Kingdom United Kingdom
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Thank you very much !

 

Karimsmiley3


Post Merged: April 07, 2013, 04:30:53 AM

Welcome to the Cotswolds smiley3 !

Springtime always brings up in me the desire to go out and about in an ever changing nature, plan new trips around the country and remembering these magical places I visited in the past few years...

If 2012 was a hectic year in many ways, 2013 allows to finally pause for a moment and reflect on my travels of the past few years, bringing back the happy memories of a country that I have not only learned to appreciate over the years but also love, as I am utterly in love with the history, traditions and many charms of England.

What better feeling than waking up at sunset for a trip, gazing through the window as you drink your coffee hoping for a nice day and discovering a clear blue sky, then stepping outside in the crisp early morning, filling your lungs with fresh air, and smile at the thought a great day ahead !

In my own experience, many places I have visited so far have not only met but largely exceeded my expectations and one of them was Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh.

I had already been a few times to the Cotswolds which I love, and I one would be very fussy not to, and fell under the spell of the village of Broadway, described by many as the "show village" of England, and indeed is a very picturesque and beautiful place.

As the early autumn was starting to dress the English countryside in subtle little touches of yellow, orange and red, I was heading not to Broadway, but to a place famous for its market held every Tuesdays for the past 700 years - its market chart was granted in 1227 - and was also an important coaching station for centuries.

Many of the buildings lining the High St are dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, all built in the golden limestone which the area is famed for with the Redesdale Market Hall standing proudly in its middle.

Moreton in Marsh becomes a very place on Tuesdays but what an experience !

For those who enjoy reading, a visit to the tiny but well stocked local bookshop is a must and is regularly visited by the author of Agatha Raisin's murder mysteries, MC Beaton who lives nearby and sometimes dedicate her books there. Light but thoroughly enjoyable reading, I started with its Agatha's first adventure in "The Quiche of Death" !

After a morning exploring the village and shopping around the multitude of colorful stalls sitting down for a pint of Guinness at the charming White Heart Royal Hotel for lunch was pure heaven as I left the outside hustle and bustle on its door step to enjoy the cosy charm of this historic former coaching house which already welcomed amongst its Guests King Charles I back in 1644...

A very pleasant experience with a friendly welcome and their Tuesday Market Special Menu is a steal for less than £10.00 for a main course including a drink and using locally sourced fresh products.

And what better perspective than heading to Bourton on the Water for the afternoon and finally seeing this picture perfect Cotswolds village also dubbed as the Venice of the Cotswolds with its multitude of little pedestrian bridges over the Windrush river !

Bourton on the Water is one of these places for which only words are not doing justice and simply has to be seen to be believed.

In this mild September afternoon, its picturesque Streets were not busy and the place was, well, as delightful as it can be.

It is also interesting to venture a little further in the village to discover the beautiful St Lawrence Church.

After such a wonderful day and before heading back home, I indulged in a cappuccino and yummy slice of carrot cake at the Croft Cafe which offers a lovely and secluded patio to enjoy the sunshine of that late afternoon in Bourton on the Water.

Here are a few pictures of my day in the Cotswolds smiley3...

 

Moreton in Marsh

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More to come soon wink...

 

Karim

 

 

 


Post Merged: April 07, 2013, 04:52:04 AM

Bourton on the Water

 

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More to come soon wink...

 

Karim


Post Merged: April 07, 2013, 05:05:11 AM

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Thank you for following this escapade in the Cotswolds and stay tuned for my next postcard soon bigtup ...

Karim


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colby1980

England England
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The Cotswolds are a really great place to visit !

 

Keep on posting Mate !


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victorian67

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Welcome to the Westonbirt National Arboretum !

Autumn has always been one of my favorite season with that special feel and atmosphere it brings with it, a mix of crisp mornings and still gorgeous afternoons and that incredible burst of warm colors declined  from trees to hedges.

 

I used to live in Canada so I was familiar with autumn at its most glorious but I had not been to the Westonbirt National Arboretum, yet.

 

The Westonbirt National Arboretum is located in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

 

It belonged for centuries to the Holfords Family which ancestors date back to William the Conqueror and Robert Stayner Holford was the original Creator of the Westonbirt Arboretum which was handed over to the Forestry Commission in 1956 which still exploit it today and looks after its 16000 trees including 2500 different species.

 

I chose a crisp and sunny late October Sunday to visit the Westonbirt National Arboretum and its unique collection of trees amongst those rare Maple trees.

 

The Westonbirt Arboretum features the Silk Wood which origines are dating back to the 12th century and the Old Arboretum both covering 600 acres of land and offering more than 17 miles of paths for a refreshing and invigorating walk through the woods filled with magnificent specimen of rare trees all dressed in the flamboyant colours of autumn. 

 

For lunch the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, quite laid back with two large barbecue stands offering made to order scrumptious hotdogs and beef burgers and needless to say that after walking miles in Nature, the smell of the barbecue was heaven to me wink !

 

Visiting the Westonbirt National Arboretum in autumn or any other season is a must for all nature lovers as there is so much to see and learn smiley3 !

 

Karim

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Post Merged: April 20, 2013, 05:01:56 AM

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Post Merged: April 20, 2013, 05:07:43 AM

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Post Merged: April 20, 2013, 05:13:33 AM

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Thank you for following this escapade to the enchanting Westonbirt National Arboretum and stay tuned for my next postcard soon wink ...

 

Karim

 


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Norfolk-Tours

England England
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Hi

 

When you get to Norfolk, let me know as I can take you to some places far away from the usual tourist routes!

I prefer to go to places which are not usually visited by tourists as you get to see the REAL country if you go with the locals. 




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victorian67

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Welcome to the Birmingham German Christmas Market !

 

 

 

As England was welcoming Winter with freezing temperatures and the first snow falls, I decided to revisit a place I always enjoy visiting at that time of the year : The Birmingham German Christmas Market which is the largest of its kind outside Germany, in association with the town of Frankfurt.

Located in the pedestrian area of Birmingham better known as New St and more than a long mile, the German Christmas Market brings a touch of magic in this busy town and is full of the colors, scents and excitement of Christmas.

 

The Birmingham German Christmas Market runs each year from mid-November to Christmas.

Whether you are looking for handmade Christmas ornaments which you will find in all shapes and forms from glass to wood, my favorite being the wooden painted soldiers from the Nut Cracker Tale, to traditional linen and even fur, something will definitely catch your eyes.

And for those who enjoy food, the Birmingham Christmas Market is a paradise which caters for all tastes from the fresh fruits on a skewter dipped into chocolate, to pancakes, apfel strudel and other German pastries, not to forget the amazing hotdogs filled with a variety of german sausages.

Wherever you are in the Market, freshly cooked food will appeal to your senses and why not indulging in a hot glass of Gluhwein ( Mulled Wine ) "spiced up with Rum" or a pint of refreshing German beer ?

Millions of visitors are expected to visit each year this now traditional Birmingham landmark and the market can get very busy on Saturdays and Sundays but definitely worth a visit for those like me who enjoy the Christmas spirit and its magic or those who are just looking for some inspiration for gifts.

 

 

 

( Birmingham’s Frankfurt Christmas Market has won best market attraction in the 2013 National Association of British Market Authorities awards).

 

 

 

Karimsmiley3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Merged: November 05, 2013, 02:19:08 PM

 

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Thank you for following this visit to the beautiful Birmingham German Christmas Market and see you soon for another Postcard from England bigtup

 

Karimsmiley3


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