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It’s been a busy year for Queen Elizabeth II. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, hosted the Olympics, and “jumped out of a plane.” You’ll forgive her if she hasn’t been able to fit you into her schedule for a spot of tea or a plate of bangers and mash. She’s a busy woman with places to go and hats to wear. It might be a bit more realistic to just enjoy the company of suitable facsimile of Her Royal Majesty that you can display in your home, office, or automobile dashboard. We’re always looking for more international flair here at SkyMall Tuesday headquarters, so why not find a place for a woman with a taste for opulent jewelry and sensible shoes? Thankfully, SkyMall has just the thing to celebrate the monarch who never says no to a pearl necklace. Rather than trying to meet the Queen, bring her to you with the Diamond Jubilee Queen & Corgi.
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
Author’s Note: In light of the recent financial crisis in Europe, it seems like the appropriate time to air some grievances regarding traditional practices in the region and how they affect tourism. By no means am I an economist, but I do have a checking account and a fair amount of common cents sense.
Hola. Bonjour. Γεια σας. While I hope that this note finds you well, I know that things have been a little rough on your side of the pond lately. With unemployment in Spain close to 25 percent, at least I know nearly six million people will have time to read this letter. Sorry, that was harsh. I’m not writing this to antagonize you or make light of your economic collapse. On the contrary, I’m here to help. Europe has long relied on tourism to fill its coffers, and summer is prime time for Americans to flock to your ruins, relics, and monuments (your stuff sure is old).
You need Americans to visit you. We need a strong Europe to bolster the global economy. So, how can we get things straightened out over there and encourage Americans to head your way? Here, in no particular order, are a few simple suggestions that you can have for free (which, I imagine, is a pretty good price for you these days). Read more
This year Wales becomes the only country in the world where you can walk along the entire coastline, a hike that stretches from Chepstow in the south to a spot near Queensferry in the north. Though officially completed in May, the Wales Coast Path will see improvements throughout the summer and fall to ensure that the route is safe and practical for the thousands of outdoor enthusiasts expected to visit Wales to experience this impressive 870-mile trek.
I had the pleasure of hiking a portion of the Wales Coast Path during a recent sojourn in southern Wales. My group and I parked in a lot near an old stone church just north of the Gower Peninsula for a two-hour, 2.5 mile ramble along Three Cliffs Bay which took us through dune-dappled beaches, salt marshes, wildflower fields, limestone cliffs, and ruins of ancient castles (click here for details). Read more
Just 65 miles east of London, in Sandwich, Kent, the famous lunch snack, the sandwich, was born. The Sandwich Celebration in mid-May coincides with British Sandwich Week and commemorates the 250th anniversary of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, “inventing” the sandwich. A food fair, street music, children’s events, and concerts will take place during this two-day festival honoring the genesis of the sandwich.
The story goes like this: in 1762, the Earl of Sandwich asked for meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game. So, his servants brought him what is today known as the sandwich, and the rest is (delicious) history.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 60-year reign, Buckingham Palace is gearing up for The Diamond Jubilee celebration, which kicks off on Saturday, June 2 and continues through Tuesday, June 5, 2012. During this official 4-day weekend, London will be abuzz with festivities.
There will be a Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, June 3 (a 1,000-strong flotilla on the Thames with the Queen’s royal barge as the centerpiece) as well as a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral with a formal carriage procession by the Queen from Westminster Hall to Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, June 5 (you can find details on Jubilee events here). London’s finest hotels are rolling out the red carpet and offering special packages to revelers. The following are a few of the best:
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
Horseplay isn’t a term typically associated with the Dorchester group of hotels, whose dignified representatives include Le Meurice in Paris and Milan’s Hotel Principe di Savoia. Yet the newest retreat to enter the fold, Coworth Park, is equal parts elegant and refreshingly irreverent.
Located in Ascot – just 20 minutes by car from Heathrow Airport – the former country house has been transformed into a 70-room hotel with a note of equestrian whimsy in nearly every nook and cranny. British interior designer Martin Hulbert was tasked with the project – and what an undertaking it was. “When I pulled up the carpeting, the floor fell through, and the staircase was barely hanging – on an angle,” he says, recounting the early days of the renovation. “I actually thought it was fantastic because I could put the place back together again the way I liked it.”
Long before various members of the British monarchy began building grand estates across Wales, it was inhabited by Celts, whose ruins populate the country, including Castell Dinas Bran. It’s the perfect hilltop ramble for anyone who wants to see the sights without breaking much of a sweat. You’ll weave past sheep-packed hills and Llangollen’s legendary canal – to this day, horses still pull barges up and down the waterway – to a former Iron Age fort later embellished with a 12th-century castle. The reward at the pinnacle: Miles of classic Welsh views.
The ocean-scapes in this part of the U.K. aren’t too shabby, either. Anglesey, where the newlyweds live, is situated on the Isle of Anglesey. The more than 200-square-mile island is the largest in the Irish Sea, and it was once referred to as the “Mother of Wales” during the Middle Ages, thanks to its fertile fields. There’s a bit of magic to this not-so-small parcel of land, where the Welsh version of St. Valentine spent her days.
Now that all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Royal Wedding has passed, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge can finally settle into a quieter life – well, sort of – dividing their time between two British pads. The first being the prime London digs known as Kensington Palace, and the second a residence in Wales, where the Prince pilots search-and-rescue copters for the Royal Air Force.
When most people think of vacationing in the U.K., Wales isn’t the first word that typically comes to mind. But the country, located just two hours by train or car from London, is a surprisingly diverse destination for all sorts of visitors – adventurers and royal watchers alike. And even if you don’t catch a glimpse of the Duchess, you can still get your fill of all things King and Queen: Wales houses 641 castles, outpacing all other European countries in the royal residence department.
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