Bowes, in Upper Teesdale, has a surprisingly rich history for a quiet English village. One of Bowes' claims to fame is that it provided author Charles Dickens with inspiration for aspects of his novel Nicholas Nickleby.
Bleached coral crunches under the soles of my sliders as I step along the beach on Huraa Island. Tiny pieces tinkle like glass breaking as I move towards the shoreline. The finger-long chunks of coral look like a cross between pitted, sun-dried bones and white-painted tree branches.
A red-topped flyer caught my eye in the Visit Scotland tourist information centre (3 Princes Street) in the Scottish capital. ‘VISIT SCOTLAND’S BEST ATTRACTION’ urged the flyer in white capital letters on a red background. A stylised picture of the royal yacht looking much like a liner on an advertising poster from the 1920s.
The former pit village of Philadelphia in North East England was also named after an American city. The name was chosen after British forces captured the city in Pennsylvania during the American War of Independence.
Alnwick Castle is the modern-day family home of the Dukes of Northumberland. Sculpted stone figures depicting medieval soldiers top the crenallated tower above the castle’s bailey. Many visitors recognise the castle from the films Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It has been used by filmmakers as sets in numerous movies, as well as Brancaster Castle in special editions of the popular Downton Abbey television series.
Spray is kicking up from the surface of Lake Brienz in Switzerland. I'm combining sightseeing with an adrenalin burst during a trip jet boat tour with Jetboat Interlaken.
Georges Island National Historic Site is in Halifax Harbour. Once part of the city’s defences, the island reopened to public in 2020. You can take self-guided tours of the island. Guided tours of tunnels that are part of Fort Charlotte are available on weekends.
The new moon of 8 February 2016 heralds the Chinese New Year. Firecrackers will flash and pop. Drums and gongs will sound. Dragons and lions will dance. The Year of the Monkey will begin.
Hwange provides habitat to more than 100 different mammals, in excess of 400 bird species, nearly 200 types of grasses and 230 trees. Surely even a poor day by local standards it will impress a visiting Brit to whom seeing anything other than a cat or dog is out of the ordinary?
Submerging myself in the Blue Lagoon was like stepping into a vast bathtub. A sign informed me that the water temperature where I entered was 38°C. I could feel the temperature rise and fall as I moved slowly around the pool.