Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Celebrity restaurants around the UK

If you're bored of cooking pasta or beans on toast for the fourth time this week and feel in the mood to treat yourself why not visit one of the UK's restaurants run by celebrity chefs? You might even be lucky enough to see them in the kitchen that evening. Why not take a trip around the UK and visit some of these famous restaurants?

The Fat Duck - London

The Fat Duck is owned by Heston Blumenthal. It has 3 Michelin stars and was named the best restaurant in the world. His scientific approach to food means that you'll find quite a few peculiar pairings on the menu such as lamb with cucumber and mustard ice cream. The 17-course taster menu will set you back £195 per person and if you fancy a bottle of wine to wash it down the cost varies from a modest £32 to a whopping £8,500!

Restaurant Gordon Ramsey - London

This restaurant, which opened in 1998, is also the proud owner of 3 Michelin stars (since 2001) and offers modern French-inspired food by its top chef, Clare Smyth. You can expect mouth-watering delights such as Isle of Gigha halibut with Atlantic King crab or poached Scottish lobster tail with lardo di colonnata. Three courses come to £95 or alternatively you can order the Prestige Menu for £135. If you want to find out how to recreate the masterpieces you can also take a master class to learn how.

Fifteen – London and Cornwall

The 'baby' of Jamie Oliver opened its doors in 2002. The idea was to give young people, who'd maybe not had the best start in life, a chance to become talented chefs. All the profit goes to the charity, The Better Food Foundation. The produce is all British and on offer you'll find dishes such as grilled cuttlefish with courgette & herb vinaigrette, and braised lamb, sea beet & new season garlic. Prices range from £4 to £35.

Rhodes Twenty Four – London

Gary Rhodes' restaurant is on the 24th floor of London's tallest building, Tower 42. In 2005 the British cuisine restaurant won a Michelin star. An example of one of their tasty main courses is roasted monkfish in black olive emulsion or there's also the roasted cod fillet with lobster & sauternes curry. Go all out and try the Rhodes Twenty Four signature pudding plate for dessert.

The Sea Food Restaurant – Cornwall

Rick Stein has many restaurants, but this is his flagship one, which was established in 1975. The seafood is caught on their doorstep by local fishermen so you can rest assured that it'll be as fresh as possible. Sample their Indonesian seafood curry with monkfish, cuttlefish and prawns or the 30-day aged Cornish rib-eye steak. The mains range from £18 to £48.50.

But if you do happen to be hungry right now and don't want to want to travel to one of these celebrity restaurants just yet why not order pizza online or any other food that takes your fancy?

This has been a guest post by Rachel who also writes for hungryhouse, one of the UK's leading online fast food delivery platforms so if you're peckish right now give them a try!

Monday, 6 May 2013

Keeping up with The Royals

It’s official, the studio where Harry Potter and friends spent 10 years of their life making the iconic movies is now open for tours! In fact Will, Kate and Harry (no not Potter, try Prince Harry) officially opened the tour at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire at the end of April.

Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the last decade, we’re assuming you’re familiar with Harry, Hermione and Ron and their amazing adventures at Hogwarts. If not this is the perfect opportunity to take the tour, especially if you’re staying in a fabulous cottage nearby.

What is there to see?
Well fans can get a look at the props, costumes and animatronics featured in the movies. Such as Harry’s Nimbus 2000 in the Wand Room, Hagrid’s motorcycle and his oversized costume. You’ll also learn how the animatronics, life-sized models and green screen effects brought the film’s creatures to life.

Walk in Harry Potter’s shoes
Not literally, but the behind the scenes tour will provide a real eye opener into the secrets of the movies and certain aspects that were never revealed by the camera. You’ll be able to explore the iconic venues of Hogwart’s Great Hall, Professor Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s Hut, the Gryffindor common room, Professor Umbridge’s office at the Ministry of Magic, Potions classroom and the boys’ dormitory. We hope there won’t be any smelly socks lying around.

But that’s not all
You can even wander the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley. Unfortunately you won’t be able to enter the shops, but you will be able to see the fronts of Ollivanders wand shop, Eeylops Owl Emporium, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Gringotts Wizarding Bank and Flourish and Blotts.

Even more magic
You can even get a good look at the model of Hogwarts Castle that was built for the very first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It has been modified several times in line with the seven movies that followed. The model was digitally scanned for the CGI scenes and plays a starring role. On the tour you can see its 2,500 fibre optic lights on a day-to-night cycle.

When can we go?
You can visit pretty much any day of the year except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The tours run throughout the day, with the first starting between 9am and 10am and the last tour between 4pm and 6pm.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

With summer trying to make an appearance there’s no time like the present to start planning your holiday or well earned weekend away. What could be more idyllic than staying in a fantastic cottage in a good old Blighty?

If you catch yourself fondly remembering your carefree childhood holidays, why not revisit a favourite family destination in the UK? We’re sure your own kids would love to see where you got up to holiday mischief! And in turn you can remind them that back in your day it wasn’t plane journeys and all inclusive holidays to the sun, thank you very much!

Beach holidays British style
The UK may not be able to boast tropical temperatures, but it does have lots of stunning coastline and beach resorts. Yes beach resorts. You know, the places where building sandcastles, riding donkeys and crunching on sandy sandwiches is the done thing.

Blackpool in Lancashire
This wonderfully cheesy seaside resort has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime before you come to the conclusion it’s not for you. But perhaps you’re a Blackpool advocate and return year after year? Anyway Blackpool really is the epitome of a good old fashioned seaside holiday destination.

What does this Lancashire hotspot have to offer? Well besides bright lights, Blackpool Pier, fun rides and amusement arcades, there are donkey rides, the beach, novelty sticks of rock and fish and chip suppers to enjoy. What more could you possibly want?

Cromer in Norfolk
Down Norfolk way, in Cromer to be exact, you’ll still be treated to a glimpse of the saucy postcard and kiss-me-quick-hats of yesteryear. It’s as if the Carry On team is still in residence, not that you’ll see Babs Windsor doing an unconvincing fitness routine with a less than reliable bikini top, at least we hope not. But there’s still a real sense of the retro seaside era here.

What’s on offer in Cromer? There’s plenty of sand, sea and a delightful pier. Oh and not forgetting a lively performance that really will take you back in time at the Pavilion Theatre. The Seaside Special will either have you in stitches or cringing at the risqué jokes and innuendo loaded dialogue. Ooh you are awful, but I like it!

Weymouth in West Dorset
And finally Weymouth still delivers on good old seaside fun with donkey rides and the iconic Punch and Judy show. Did you know Punch celebrated his 350th birthday last year? No wonder he’s so grumpy. Still your kids will be speechless when they find out he passed for entertainment back in your day and without the help of CGI no less.

Monday, 22 April 2013

"There's nothing like an English summer, is there?"

Have you fallen in love with the Downton Abbey series? Do you fancy a snoop inside the Crawley family residence? Well you’re in luck.

Downton Abbey is very real, apart from the fact that it is actually known as Highclere Castle. You’ll find this magnificent pile in Berkshire along with the town of Bampton, Downton’s doppelganger. You know the place with the church where the servants scuttle around looking shifty.

The castle opens its doors in the summer so you can really get a taste of the interior and celebrate all things Downton Abbey. See The State Rooms including The Library Room where Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) had many a manly tantrum. And The Drawing Room where Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) gave us her fabulously cutting remarks. Not forgetting the other all too familiar rooms: The Saloon, The State Dining Room, The Music Room and The Smoking Room. You’ll also get a peek at the bedrooms and ‘downstairs’ where the grumbling servants Thomas and O’Brien worked their magic.

The grounds of Highclere Castle consist of 1,000 acres of parkland and include the Monks' Garden, The White Border Garden, The Secret Garden and the Wood of Goodwill.

Here’s a little tip: should you visit in full Downton Abbey costume – just a thought - you might secure a role as an extra on series four. You never know, director Lord Fellowes might just be wandering about.

Other stately home film locations

Of course Highclere Castle isn’t the only palatial pile to have been used in a TV drama or movie. You’ll find plenty of others to explore whilst you’re holidaying in the UK. Head to Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire where the BBC’s 2006 version of Jane Eyre was filmed. Marble Hill House in London where Nanny McPhee created her mischief and Dover Castle in Kent where To Kill a King starring Dougray Scott was filmed in 2003.

Monday, 15 April 2013

What’s cooking?

We all love a good Celebrity Chef don’t we?  It’s fortunate really as they never seem to be off our TV screens.  There is always someone cooking up mouth-watering dishes and filling us with the confidence to recreate them at home.  The only trouble is without a little more coaching our attempts at Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals turn into 40 minute disasters.  And there is no way that we can pull-off a Nigella Lawson soiree or mirror her composure whilst our guests look on in horror.

That’s where Celebrity Chef cookery courses and restaurants come in.  Fortunately these gastronomic geniuses are more than happy to welcome us into their schools and eateries.  So if you fancy combining a holiday in the UK and learning some new cookery skills, read on.

Rick Stein is ever-present in the Cornish fishing port of Padstow with not only a cooking school, but restaurants and shops also bearing his name.  This is of course excellent news if you love cooking or just eating fantastic fresh seafood.

For those of you who yearn to know the secrets behind Rick Stein’s cooking success, enrolling in his Seafood School could be the answer.  Courses range from half day, one day, two day and four day courses.  They focus on seafood and shellfish as well as cooking dishes from his Far Eastern Odyssey, Mediterranean Escapes and French Odyssey cookery books to name but a few.  There are also cookery courses for children.

The courses feature a mix of demonstrations by chefs and the chance for you to get stuck in and have a go too.  And the best bit: there are tasters, wine and coffee on offer throughout the day.

If you’re up to speed with your chefs you’ll know Le Manoir is the brainchild of legendary French chef Raymond Blanc.  It is situated in the picture-perfect village of Great Milton in Oxfordshire.  Not only will you find a cookery school here, but also his fantastic two-Michelin starred restaurant.

Again you can choose from a one, two or four day course whilst holidaying in this lovely part of Britain.  The course may not be led by the main man himself – well he is extremely busy – but head tutor Mark Peregrine will guide you with his 30+ years of experience.

Self-catering holidays never looked or tasted so good!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Family-friendly festivals

Don’t wait for the weather to catch up to enjoy the UK’s spring and summer festivals. The beauty of these events is that you can just spend the day and retreat to your fabulous holiday accommodation when you’re done.

What makes a good festival? Sampling tasty food treats, supping locally brewed beer, foot-tapping to fab music and a fantastic location as the backdrop. That should do it.

Here are just a few of the great festivals happening this year in good old Blighty for you to enjoy on your hols.

Ludlow Spring Festival – 11-12th May
The beautiful medieval castle in Ludlow, Shropshire, plays host to the Spring Festival which showcases over 150 real ales from at least 50 brewers. But that’s not all, you’ll also find lots of vintage cars, live music and food stalls to browse. Follow the Pâté Trail on Saturday and the Pudding Trail on Sunday for more delights in the town itself.

Truro and Penwith College Fal River Festival – 24th May-2nd June
This ten-day festival is packed with events and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Centred around the water, events include the Castle to Castle swim across the Fal Estuary if you want to brave the water, gig racing and wildlife walks. The festival also embraces the local history and culture of the area with art, drama and musical performances. These include jazz bands, Celtic music and a male voice choir. Probably best not to join in with the latter. And where there’s a festival there’s also great food; the festival doesn’t disappoint with cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs.

West Dean Chilli Fiesta – 9-11th August
The eye-watering and mouth-watering Chilli Fiesta takes place in West Dean near Chichester in Sussex. It’s a great three-day celebration of this fiery little spice. Also a chilli heat endurance test for those who are brave enough to sample the foods on offer. Cookery demos, live music, beer on tap and everything chilli you could possibly want to buy complete the line-up.

Isle of Wight Garlic Festival - 17-18th August
Smelling is believing at this wonderfully pungent festival held just outside of Newchurch on the Isle of Wight. What awaits the uninitiated? Basically a lot of garlic flavoured treats as well as live music and plenty of beer. Don’t worry it’s not full of garlic-breathing drunks playing air-guitar; on the contrary, it’s full of foodies and extreme garlic lovers. So it’s appropriate for families with lots of entertainment laid on for the little ones in the form of a huge fun fair, archery and children’s entertainers. You’ll also find cooking demonstrations in large garlic marquees and hundreds of stalls featuring delicious local produce and arts and crafts.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Walking The Wales Coastal Path

For this week’s blog post we thought we’d provide you with a few ways to recover after the Easter weekend. Doubtless, many of our readers have spent this weekend indulging in one or two Easter eggs and perhaps a hearty dinner; with this in mind we thought we’d list some of our favourite walks dotted along the Wales Coastal Path.

The Wales Coastal Path is itself one big long walk, running along the entire coastline of the country, but we didn't want to suggest that as an individual walk. The path was the world’s first coastal path to cover an entire country, stretching 870 miles from Chepstow to Queensferry.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

Recently named the third-best coastal path not in the UK, but in the world! The Pembrokeshire Coastal path was the only British entry on the list of top 10 walks and with good reason. The pathway stands out for it’s ease of access for those of any age and ability. The path attracts millions of walkers each year and in the springtime it is complemented by the sights and sounds of spring.

The Ystwyth Trail

Connecting the seaside university town of Aberystwyth with Tregaron in the Northern Teifi Valley. The pathways allow walkers the freedom to combine various walks at the numerous connections to other paths that feature along the path. The trail involves a few steady gradients which may be a little challenging for some but the views form the top are definitely worth the effort.

The Gower
The stunning Gower has been a favourite among those outdoors appreciators for years and when you look at it’s credentials it is no wonder. The path stretches from the city of Swansea to the stunning coastline of the Gower Peninsula whose beaches have won many awards. The area boasts an astonishing 10 nature reserves, 24 Wildlife Trust reserves, 32 Sites of Special Scientific Interest and five Special Areas of Conservation. You are certainly spoilt for choice at the Gower.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Guest Post: Crabbing in the UK!

Crabbing is a fun activity that people of any age can enjoy!
If you don't know what crabbing is, it's a popular summer pastime in the UK. All you need is a crab line (which looks like a kite spool or you can make your own with a stick) and some bait which could be fish or bacon or any sort of meat...the smellier, the better! You cast your line over the side of the sea wall and see if any crabs are hungry. A bucket of water nearby is handy to put the crabs in so you can see how successful you've been before you throw them back.

  • Once you've found a good spot let down your line so it's touching the sea bottom. Pull it tight and wrap it around your finger so you will feel if a crab pulls on it.
  • Leave it for a good few minutes before pulling it up – crabs need a bit of coaxing. Being patient will pay off.
  • When you feel a bite, pull it up slowly enough so that the crab doesn't fall off from the speed, but not too slowly that the crab has eaten all the bait and decided to drop back into the sea.
  • Don't keep them in the bucket for too long as they don't like being so close to each other and will probably end up fighting at some point. Also keep them out of sunlight as they aren't accustomed to it.
  • The best time to go crab fishing is the end of summer (Aug-Sep) as the crabs are bigger then.

You haven't lived until you've tried crab fishing! Grab a line and a bucket and visit one of these best places in the UK to go crab fishing:

Beaumaris Pier, Anglesey, North Wales
Beaumaris is a historic sea town with lots to see, making it perfect for a family day out. The pier attracts as many as 1,000 people a day and is great for catching crabs and there's even a little shop at the end of the pier when you can buy your line, weight and bait.

West Mersea, Essex
West Mersea has been a favourite amongst 'crabbers' for quite some time. The best place to catch them is off the floating pontoon. One side of the pontoon can be better than the other, depending on the tides so find out which one if you want to be more successful. Many boats drive up to the pier to moor so be aware of this while you're crabbing.

Mudeford Quay, Dorset
Head to The Fish Stall to buy cheap leftover fish to use as bait. The good spots get taken up quickly so don't arrive too late! There's a café and pub nearby if you're in need of a break. You can also take the ferry from the Quay to Mudeford Sandbank or go for a nice stroll.

Dartmouth, Devon
Along the embankment is a great crabbing spot and you get an awesome view of the River Dart. When you're done with crabbing why not take a ride in The Picnic Boat where you'll see the sights and be offered a nice platter of tasty foods. Don't forget to book in advance though!

Blakeley Quay, Norfolk
The historic quay provides a great crabbing opportunity and the area around it is actually National Trust land so be prepared to see lots of birds and seals there because of the nature reserve.

Suzanne is an avid blogger who writes for many blogs including hungryhouse, the UK's favourite online platform featuring takeaways across the country including restaurants in London, Nottingham and Manchester.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Places to Spend This Easter Weekend

This weekend is the weekend many people all over the UK have been looking forward to ever since the Christmas holidays came to a close some 3 months ago. With 2 bank holidays on the calendar this Friday and next Monday this weekend is a great weekend for a nice long Easter weekend break. We have some brilliant holiday properties available all over the UK this weekend and so we thought we’d recommend what we believe would be the best places to spend this Easter weekend. The odds are that it will be a White Easter, so wrap up warm!

Mid Wales
At the heart of Easter is the idea of rebirth and new life. What better place to witness the burst of life that spring brings than in rural mid-Wales. The area provides some fantastic landscapes for a lovely back-to-basics day out including the Llyn Peninsula and the Snowdonia National Park where you will be sure to see Daffodils flowering and lambs frolicking.

The Lake District
Aside from boasting some of the UK’s most breathtaking scenery, surely to be covered in a glistening white sheen this weekend, the district is home to The World Of Beatrix Potter. The landscape itself inspired many of the books and this Easter weekend the attraction is allowing visitors to join Peter Rabbit in a forage for 50 limited edition ceramic eggs; which will be hidden around the lakes and waterways of Windermere.

The National Trust
For this one we thought we’d leave you with a little choice. Once again this year, for the sixth year running Cadbury has teamed up with the National Trust to create Easter Egg Trails in over 250 national trust locations across the country. We have properties located near many of the UK’s National Trust locations. Find an Easter egg trail here and find a place to stay here, perfect!

We hope the severe weather subsides by the time this weekend rolls around but if it doesn't, remember to check for weather and traffic updates before you head off!

Monday, 18 March 2013

English Tourism Week!

This week we are dedicating our blog post to celebrating English Tourism Week! English Tourism Week runs from the 16th March to the 24th of March and so we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate the week as it runs by. The week was created to raise the profile of tourism within the UK, increase awareness amongst consumers and provide a framework from which destinations and operators can their campaigns.

England is a fantastic place to take your holiday. The country is filled with world famous landmarks and attractions but it is also famed for its landscapes and culture.

Tourism in England is a major part of the economic structure of the country with many of the villages, towns and cities in the country offering something for the would be tourist keen on visiting.

In total there are 17 designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in England which include world famous landmarks such as Stonehenge and the Tower of London. Blessed with natural beauty England boasts 15 national parks which provide some of the best scenery the whole of the UK has to offer. The English love a trip to the seaside and with good reason, there are 69 Blue Flag awarded blue flag beaches dotted around the scenic coastline of England.

We were tempted to write a list of some of the best places to spend a holiday in England but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to choose what to include, we were spoilt for choice! Let us know where you think the best places to holiday in England are in the comments below. Don’t forget to check out our site if you’re planning on holidaying in England!

Monday, 11 March 2013

The UK's Beaches

It’s no secret that we here in the UK enjoy a trip to the seaside. As an island nation we spoilt for choice when it comes to where we’ll be taking our bucket and spade to when we have the desire to feel the sand between our toes. Our beaches are not just rolled out at summer, they're there all year long and can be enjoyed just as much in the winter months as in the summer; surfers will probably tell you the winter is better!

When it comes to beaches we are blessed with both quantity and quality here in the UK. A Blue Flag is awarded to a beach or marina that meets strict high standards. England has 69 blue flag beaches, Wales has 40, Northern Ireland has 11 and Scotland has 5!

But the beaches of the UK are receiving accolades beyond their blue flag rewards. Recently beaches in both England and Wales were recognised by international bodies for their quality.

Recently Porthminster Beach in St Ives, Cornwall has been voted as not only one of the top three beaches in the UK but as one of the top ten in Europe. The poll which was conducted by holiday website TripAdvisor chose the family friendly half mile stretch of golden sand to the delight of the people of the area.  The area is an incredible place to take a holiday in the UK, whatever your age or interest. We have a wide range of properties available in Cornwall, take a look! http://www.travellingsuitcase.co.uk/map.php

Monday, 25 February 2013

The Staycation

Choosing where to go on your holidays can be quite a tricky choice, you have the whole world to choose from after all. But have you ever considered holidaying at home? The Staycation, a blending of the words stay and vacation to go along with the spork and the liger has become somewhat of a UK phenomena.

There are many advantages to choosing to take a staycation. For one staycations cost far less than holidays that involve great amounts of travelling as you will only be travelling within the UK! Less travel invariably means less stress: less packing, no currency exchange. On top of this you’ll also have the added knowledge that you are placing money back into the UK economy!

In a survey carried out by the English Tourist Board (VisitEngland) provided an insight into what was fueling the sudden rise in the numbers of people choosing to stay in England. Listed below are some of the findings from the survey which was carried out in late 2012:

  • 1 in 10 people cut their holiday spending by choosing England rather by abroad
  • Most people choosing to holiday in England are motivated by discovering new places
  • 6 in 10 feel more proud to be British as a result of the 2012 events
  • 14% changed holiday plans as a result of the 2012 events
  • Leaving a lasting legacy 2 in 10 people felt more likely to take holidays in England in the future.

The UK has an incredible array of attractions, both manmade and natural and with all this available on our doorsteps choosing to take a holiday in the UK is an opportunity not to be missed. Here at Travelling Suitcase we have a great selection of properties located all over our isle, everyone of which is near to a major attraction! Check out our range of properties here:

Monday, 18 February 2013

Benefits of Renting Out Your Holiday Home

For this weeks blog post we thought we’d provide a little more information to those with holiday homes. The staycation has become a very popular travel choice for Britons over the past years. WIth the feel-good British sentimentality of the jubilee and Olympics still alive in the public consciousness millions of us Brits are choosing to stay at home in Britain for our holidays. For holiday home owners this is an opportunity too good to miss, the demand for UK holiday homes is enormous! Away from the demand there are also many other benefits to renting out your holiday home, some of which are listed below:

  • The most obvious incentive is the financial benefit. You aren’t going to be living in your holiday home 365 days a year so you might as well turn that empty property into money!

  • Use the money gathered from renting out your holiday home to take trips elsewhere! As nice as your holiday home may be you may occasionally wish to travel to horizons new.

  • Although you may be concerned about letting others stay in your property, there are benefits granted by insurers. They are often of the opinion that it is better to have someone in the property than leaving it unoccupied for large portions of the year.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Valentine's Day UK

It’s Valentine’s Day on Thursday and there’s still time to book that romantic getaway for two in the UK. Why travel abroad when you can experience a great getaway in the UK this coming weekend. For this blog post we thought we’d forget Paris and Vienna and share with our readers some of the UK’s most romantic getaways.

  • Mid-Wales allows couples to get away from “it all” and back to nature. With miles of pristine coastline and the magnificent Snowdonia National Park nearby couples will get a chance to spend some quality time together, alone. The Welsh word for love is ‘cariad’ by the way.

  • The South-West of England has so much to offer couples. A visit to Exmoor National Park, recently designated an International Dark Sky Reserve (the first in Europe and the second in the World to receive the designation) will provide couples with some of the clearest skies in the UK.

  • If you fancy travelling a little further North into Scotland then St. Andrews makes for a great getaway. Ruined castles for princes and princesses clinging to the cliff top adorn the picturesque little town. As an added royal link St. Andrews is also where Prince William and Kate Middleton first met and fell in love.

We have a great variety of properties available up and down the UK, including in the areas mentioned above. So if you are still looking for somewhere to spend the coming Valentine’s weekend with the one you love then please have a look at our range of properties here : http://www.travellingsuitcase.co.uk/findaproperty.php

Monday, 4 February 2013

Richard III and Other Royals

This morning it was announced that in an unassuming car park in Leicester the skeleton of Richard III, one time King of England was found. Experts from the University of Leicester, who have been working on the find for some time confirmed today that the skeleton is ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that of Richard III. Where the remains of Richard III will be laid to rest is yet to be decided but for our blog we share the Telegraph’s list to some of the UK’s royal resting places.

Westminster Abbey
The, must visit, for those looking to visit the resting places of royals. Found in the centre London the Abbey, the centuries old Abbey houses the remains of many of the UK’s most famous royals. It is the resting place of Edward the Confessor, Henry V and Elizabeth to name a few. The Abbey also contains the remains of unroyal but by no means unimportant historic figures such as Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.

Glastonbury Abbey
The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey still stand in Somerset. Founded in the 7th Century the Abbey is now a grade 1 listed building and the resting place of Edmund I, Edgar and Edmund Ironside; all of which have laid there for nearly a millennia! There are also claims that the legendary King Arthur came to rest at the Abbey and although unproven the mystery surrounding the legend is still a great draw.  

St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
Open to visitors as part of a wider visit to Windsor Castle St George’s Chapel is home to dozens of the Royal Family. Henry VI, Henry VIII and George VI are all to be found at the chapel and you can visit the magnificent  Windsor Castle after you have visit the Chapel as bonus.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Historic Bath

The city of Bath is steeped in history. In 1987 the city itself was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for it’s historical significance, with it’s origins dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain some 2000 years ago. Since it’s creation, the city has witnessed a great many changes and has been home to many influential people. Today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, created by one of Bath’s most famous daughters: Jane Austen. So for this blog we thought we’d highlight some of the historical attractions found in the City of Bath.

The Roman Baths
Home to Britain’s only hot spring which is surrounded by the magnificent Roman built temple and bathing complex the baths are one of the UK’s major attractions. Follow in the footsteps of the Romans and relax and unwind with one of the baths spa packages.

Jane Austen House
Recently redeveloped thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund the home of the world renowned author is open to the public. A fantastic experience for fans and non-fans alike the house is where Jane Austen spent the last years of her life, creating some of her most notable works.

Bath Abbey
The last of the great medieval churches of England and over 500 years old Bath Abbey is an incredible sight to behold. The site itself has been home to many churches which have come and gone for over 1000 years. Open for tours on every day apart from Sunday and boasting unrivaled views of the city from atop the 212 step tower the Abbey is a must for those in the city.

Mentioned in last week’s blog and under an hour away from the centre of Bath is  Avebury, recently voted the second best World Heritage Site in the World. Home to Europe’s largest stone circle dating back nearly 4000 years don’t miss out on opportunity to step back into Britain’s mysterious past.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Second Best UNESCO World Heritage Site in the World

There are 962 UNESCO World Heritage Sites dotted around our planet. These 926 sites contain some of the world’s most recognisable and awe-inspiring locations, deemed to have universal value, forming part of our collective cultural and natural heritage as a race. Amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites you will find iconic landmarks such as the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal of India and Peru’s Machu Picchu.

The United Kingdom is home to 28 Heritage sites and amongst them is Avebury which was recently voted the second best heritage site, not in the country, but the world! A team of experts from Which? Travel magazine placed Avebury in Wiltshire second only to Mexico's Monte Alban.

Dating back roughly 4000 years the largest stone circles in Europe, which attract more than a quarter of a million visitors each year, were judged on 25 criteria including preservation of the site and visitor experience. Wiltshire Council's Stuart Wheeler said: "We have always known we have a wonderful piece of history on our doorstep and now we have official confirmation.  Being placed second only to Mexico in providing visitors with the best heritage site experience in the world is a wonderful accolade."

As previously mentioned, the UK has 28 Heritage sites dotted up and down the kingdom. These incredible attractions are often found right on our doorstep and make for a great destination if you’re looking for a hassle free weekend break! We have a great variety of properties available across the UK, many near UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Please visit our website for full accommodation listings: http://www.travellingsuitcase.co.uk/

Monday, 14 January 2013

How the British Travel

Everyone loves a holiday! But the preparation can be a pretty stressful time. There’s so much to organise and remember. You write checklists for the essentials that your holiday simply cannot function without: passports, socket adapter, books, teabags - wait.

Yes you read that right. We Brits love a cup of tea, we rank among the top tea drinkers in the world, especially as we supposedly will not travel around without our tea! Research has found that almost a third of British holidaymakers always pack tea bags to accompany them on their travels. The survey questioned 2000 people on their travel habits and resulted in a few more surprising results.

Packing came under scrutiny from the research, providing an insight into the national approach to holidays. It would appear we are a nation of strict suitcases packers as well!
Joanna Wild, from The Co-operative Travel “It’s not just what we pack, it’s how we pack too. Brits seem to have strict rules for folding or rolling, layering and ordering items inside their case”. Are you a stickler for tetris like packing when it comes to holidays, is there always a box of tea packed? Let us know in the comments section below!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Visit England Holiday at Home Campaign!

Last week the National Tourist Board, VisitEngland, announced the launch of their new marketing campaign set to run throughout January and March. The campaign will be aimed at inspiring British holidaymakers to ditch their passports, Euros etc. and stay in England.

Aimed particularly at families staying in self-catered accommodation the campaign will aim to capitalise on the wave of patriotism sweeping the country in the wake of a very British 2012. VisitEngland research shows that 60% of British people feel more proud to be British as a result of 2012.

Tim Holt, VisitEngland’s Head of Marketing said: “The self-catering sector is incredibly important to domestic tourism – 5.6 million overnight domestic holidays were taken in a rented property last year generating £1.8 billion in tourism spend.  

Here at Travelling Suitcase we specialise in self-catering holiday accommodation. You can save up to 40% by choosing a self-catering holiday and with so much to do and see in Britain, 2013 is shaping up to be a great year to holiday at home!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Years In the UK!

Happy New Year Readers! We are now in 2013 and with a new year year comes more potential for travelling! We hope that you had a good time ringing in the new year wherever and however you were celebrating the arrival of 2013. For this blog, we thought we’d look back at two of the best New Years celebrations that took place across the UK. Keep them in mind for next year or let us know if you were there!
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
This year Edinburgh saw some 75,000 people celebrate the arrival of 2013 with a fireworks display from the castle ramparts. Weather conditions were reported as ‘perfect’ for the sold-out celebrations which began with a torchlight procession watched by an estimated 35,000 people Sunday night and ended  on the 2nd of January.

London’s Firework Display
It was estimated that about 250,000 people were in the city to watch the show which ended with a spectacular fireworks display. Lasting 11 minutes and featuring 12,500 fireworks the display lit up the riverside landmarks of the capital and was viewed by millions around the world, as well as by those attending!

Let us know how you spent your New Years eve and don’t forget to check back here again next week! Happy New Year once again!