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Spring has finally sprung and with beautiful weather comes the welcome excuse to get outside, just in time for Mother’s Day! Before you get mom any ordinary plant, check out our top ten list of the most beautiful gardens around the world for some inspiration. Take mom along for the day or make a future getaway out of these. Happy Mother’s Day! Read more
Stonehenge, England’s famous mystical monument, is currently seeking a new general manager. The role was recently created by English Heritage, an organization that oversees over 420 historical assets of the British Crown – including Stonehenge. English Heritage’s Historical Properties Director Tim Reeve said the opportunity comes at an “exciting time to get involved in Stonehenge’s future.” Read more
The Philadelphia Zoo’s resident orangutans were recently awarded some newfound freedom to roam. Using a set of enclosed trails, called the Great Ape Trail, the orangutans can travel around the zoo property at will, suspended above visitor walkways. Lemurs and small monkeys at the zoo have been doing this for a year on their Treetop Trail. The Philadelphia Zoo is not alone in letting some of their tenants roam the grounds. Other zoos around the world have made similar concessions to their primate inhabitants. In fact, some let their animals roam freely among their human guests.
We were impressed by Dorchester’s latest property, Coworth Park, when it first opened, but a new offering only adds to the allure of this English countryside haven. Already the only hotel in the U.K. with its own polo grounds, Coworth Park now allows guests to join in on the action with instruction from a world-class polo coach and former player. Guests ages 10 and up – no prior experience or horseback riding skills necessary – can sign up for hour-long private lessons for £160 ($250) or group sessions for £150 ($235).
Of course, if you’re really serious about learning the game you’ll sign up for the Discover Polo all-day experience. This crash course starts out with the basic rules and techniques, followed by an intro session on a wooden horse before finally saddling up with sticks and balls. Guests will participate in a chukka (polo match) before breaking for lunch, then watch a real game and meet the players in the afternoon. As this is England, the day ends with afternoon tea. The day package costs £695 ($1,090) per person. www.coworthpark.com/Guards-Polo-Academy
See our England destination guide for general trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
Passengers of a transatlantic cruise from the United Kingdom to New York are suing the cruise operator for injuries that they sustained during a storm that created rough conditions on their ship. In 2006, the Athena left England for a 24-day journey to New York, New England, and Atlantic Canada. En route to North America, the ship encountered severe storms that tossed passengers violently, with one man dying after falling down a flight of stairs. Seventeen other passengers sustained injuries caused by the rough seas and are now seeking damages from the ship’s owners and operators, Classic International Cruises S.A and Arcalia Shipping Company Limited. It all leads to the logical question: Is anyone liable for these injuries? Read more
China is notorious for pirating movies, watches, and handbags. Recently, however, a Chinese village took imitation to the next level by copying an Austrian town in its entirety, right down to its street signs. Incredibly, “pirated” places in China are not all that new. From Austria to Australia, here are some examples of China replicating famous landmarks from around the world.
Original: Hallstatt Village, Austria
Chinese Copy: Huizhou
Hallstatt is a former salt mining town turned UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its pristine alpine landscape, epitomized by the surrounding Dachstein Mountains. The town’s long history is also a huge draw for visitors who flock here to experience the world’s oldest salt mine, or view the 1,200 flower- painted human skulls at gothic St. Michael’s Chapel. No one, however, is more enamored with Hallstatt is than the residents of the Chinese town of Huizhou. A city in the southern Guangdong province, Huizhou’s latest urban plans involved cloning the Austrian village right down to its smallest detail, from Hallstatt’s pastel colors, to copies of its angel sculptures. Read more
My globetrotting ambitions should have been clear to my parents when at age 13 I chose as my bat mitzvah theme “Around the World with Liz.” The place cards looked like miniature passports, and each table represented a different country. Now that I’m twice as old as I was when I was called to read from the Torah for the first time, I decided to look back on that fateful day and count off how many of those “tables” I’ve actually visited:
With the Summer Olympics upon us, the already swarming city of London will be flooded with visitors. It behooves those planning to attend to take a word of advice from those in-the-know. On my recent trip to London, I sat down with Sophie Campbell, journalist, Daily Telegraph travel columnist, and Blue Badge Tourist Guide for London to learn how to navigate London amidst the frenzy.
Do you have any tips for out-of-the-ordinary and unique things to do while visiting London for the 2012 Olympics?
Take the District Line on the Underground to Bromley-by-Bow station and, instead of walking up to the Olympic Park, walk south down the Limehouse Cut to Limehouse Marina, where you can see multi-million pound yachts moored and watch boats leaving the marina via the huge lock. Then go and have lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s pub, The Narrow, which has a huge terrace overlooking the lock entrance.
Also, on August 2 make for the Whitechapel Gallery – celebrating its 101st year in the East End this year – for the Time Out First Thursdays night, when East End contemporary art galleries open their doors late and there are talks, walking tours, discussions, and plenty of eating and drinking options on offer.
Finally, anyone going up to the canoe and kayak events further up the Lee Valley at the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre should go to Waltham Abbey just down the road. Get the train from Liverpool Street Station out to Waltham Cross. It’s one of the least visited and most fascinating churches in England: parts of it date back to Anglo-Saxon times, King Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon monarch, is supposed to be buried here and the abbey itself is just stunning. Read more
When it comes to summertime fun, not every town is satisfied with state fairs and carnivals. These intrepid communities celebrate quirky bits of history and time-honored traditions that make simple petting zoos seem boring. While some of these festivals might look bizarre at first glance, they serve the same purpose as the more run-of-the-mill gatherings: Get a bunch of people together to have fun. Read more
The British monarchy’s first Diamond Jubilee marked Queen Victoria’s 60-year reign in 1897. The second, celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s astonishing six decades on the throne, takes place throughout 2012, with key events centered around June 2-5. Hotels throughout London are getting into the spirit with special promotional packages and discounts, but one of my favorites is at the St. Ermin’s Hotel, an unfussy yet thoroughly dignified (i.e. still delightfully British) 4-star property just five minutes from Buckingham Palace – on foot even, not via swift royal carriage.
Inaugurated last October by actress Kristin Scott Thomas (the MGallery collection’s brand ambassador), the 331-room hotel has a jubilant history of its own. Built upon the site of a 15th-century chapel, the building that now forms the basis of the hotel was built eight years before Victoria’s big bash, in 1889 (needless to say, the architecture is distinctly, um, Victorian). Sir Winston Churchill held secret meetings at the hotel during WWII, and it’s rumored that a tunnel still exists between the hotel’s grand staircase and Parliament. The MGallery renovation retains all of this historic ambiance while introducing contemporary décor and amenities (like the lovely Caxton Grill, where I enjoyed the definitive English breakfast during a recent stay).
View package details and see what the hotel looks like today. Read more
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