Thursday, February 10, 2011

More Places to Visit in UK

1. Edinburgh


Panorama of Edinburgh, seen from the Scott Monument

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland and the seventh-most populous in the United Kingdom.

Edinburgh New Town viewed from Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea. Edinburgh owing to its spectacular, rugged setting and vast collection of Medieval and Georgian architecture, including numerous stone tenements. It was considered by Sir John Betjeman as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Part of the Historic Centre of Edinburgh Old Town

Edinburgh Castle is a castle fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle here since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603.

Edinburgh Castle in Autumn

Edinburght is full of galleries and museums and hosts the biggest collection of arts festivals in the UK throughout July and August.


The Edinburgh Festival Theatre

Museum of Scotland

The National Gallery of Scotland

The city is well-known for the annual Edinburgh Festival, a collection of official and independent festivals held annually over about four weeks from early August. The number of visitors attracted to Edinburgh for the Festival is roughly equal to the settled population of the city. The most famous of these events are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.  Edinburgh attracts 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London. Edinburgh is also home to one of the largest New Year's celebrations in the world, the famous Hogmanay.

Pipers emerging from Edinburgh Castle during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Lightshow at Edinburgh Castle during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo 

A Viking longship being burnt during Edinburgh's annual Hogmanay celebrations 

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Edinburgh New Year Fireworks 2006

2. Portmeirion

Portmeirion map

Portmeirion is a fanciful Italianate village situated on the North Wales Coast. Portmeirion was designed and constructed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, and the village includes a hotel, holiday cottages, a teashop and restaurant.

Castell Deudraeth

Panoramic view of the central piazza

Overview of the central plaza

The village is located in the community of Penrhyndeudraeth, on the estuary of the River Dwyryd, 2 miles (3.2 km) south east of Porthmadog, and 1 mile (1.6 km) from the railway station at Minffordd, which is served by both the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway and Arriva Trains Wales (Cambrian Line).

Panoramic view from the sands of the estuary

Battery Square and souvenir shops

Now it is perhaps known as the location for 60's cult TV series The Prisoner and the home of Portmeirion Pottery.

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3. Tresco Abbey Gardens

 Tresco Abbey Gardens

Tresco Abbey Gardens are located on the island of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom. The Sub-Tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens are regarded by botanists as one of the most interesting and varied botanical experiments in the world.

The arch from the wall of the mediƦval monastery

A Benedictine abbey was founded here in 964 AD, although the majority of what remains today comes from the Priory of St Nicholas founded by monks from Tavistock Abbey in 1114. The gardens were established by the nineteenth-century proprietor of the island, Augustus Smith.

Tresco Abbey Gardens 

Because of the mild winter climate, the long hours of summer sunshine, and the high walls and hedges around the garden protecting it from the Atlantic winds, the garden is home to exotic plants from all over the world: the Mediterranean, South America, South Africa and Australasia.

Plants at Tresco Abbey Gardens

Many of the plants would not stand a chance on the Cornish mainland, less than 30 miles away. Yet even in Winter more than 300 plants will be in flower. The garden is home to species from 80 countries, ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa.

The Valhalla Collection

The Valhalla collection is within Tresco Abbey Garden containing some 30 figureheads, as well as name-boards and other decorative carvings from the days of sail. The collection was built up by Augustus Smith. At Valhalla most of the figureheads date from the middle and end of the 19th century and come from merchant sailing vessels or early steamships that were wrecked on the Isles of Scilly.


4. York Minster 

 Transept and crossing tower of York Minster from the south east

The Minster's western front

 
The view of York Minster from Deangate in winter

 Illuminating York, Minster

Almost every British city has a stunning cathedral (bar 18), but York Minster is one of the most impressive.

West window of York Minster

Interior of York Minster

It is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and is situated in York in Northern England. The present building was begun in about 1230 and completed in 1472.

The chapter house

The choir screen.

  
Statue of Constantine outside York Minster in York

The minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic choir and east end and Early English north and south transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window, (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 16 metres (52 ft) high. The south transept contains a famous rose window.

 
Festival of Angels ice sculpture

 
Illuminating York 2008 at night in the Museum gardens

  Shopping in Coppergate at Christmas


5. The Eden Project

Eden Project

Panoramic view of the geodesic biome domes at the Eden Project

The Eden Project is one of the most exciting modern projects in the UK. The Eden Project is also a visitor attraction in Cornwall in the United Kingdom, including the world's largest greenhouse.  The project is located in a reclaimed Kaolinite pit, located 2 kilometres (1.25 mi) from the town of St Blazey and 5 kilometres (3 mi) from the larger town of St Austell, Cornwall. 

The Biomes and Link building showing Field of Light installation by Bruce Munro

Inside the tropical Biome

The hexangle structure looking from the inside

The complex is dominated by two gigantic enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house plant species from around the world. Each enclosure emulates a natural biome. The domes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, inflated, plastic cells supported by steel frames. The first dome emulates a tropical environment, and the second a Mediterranean environment.


The Core

Inside the tropical Biome

The project was conceived by Tim Smit and designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw and engineering firm Anthony Hunt and Associates (now part of Sinclair Knight Merz). Davis Langdon carried out the project management, Sir Robert McAlpine and Alfred McAlpine did the construction and MERO designed and built the biomes. Land Use Consultants led the masterplan and landscape design. The project took 2½ years to construct and opened to the public on 17 March 2001.

Driftwood sculpture of a horse by Heather Jansch, from the main entrance

"The Bee"

Eve, by Sue and Pete Hill, shaped from the soil.

Situated in an abandoned clay pit, it is a testament to creative and scientific ingenuity.




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