Welcome back to part two of my experiences of when I visited Dublin , so lets continue! -
On the second day we went on a walking tour of Dublin, seeing a variety of sights and learning incredible history about Dublin from a brilliant tour guide who you could tell loved giving us the facts and guides around the city. The reason he was so good was he was actually a prospective actor who at the moment performed at a variety of theatre shows.
It seemed Dublin was one of the most talented places I have even been. During the tour the one place I would single out to visit is Dublin castle (just off Dame Street where all the restaurants are). Where you can go into the court yard and learn some history on some nasty goings on here. You can also see where Queen Elizabeth II stayed on her recent visit, if you know your political history you would know this was a huge occasion for Irish and British politics!
Most importantly make sure you go to the back of the castle, to the gardens which are absolutely gorgeous and also contain a unique museum in the Chester Beatty library of ancient artefacts, there are handwritten books in here that are over a 1000 years old! Going on a tour is vitally important ,you learn facts you would never find out otherwise, for example that O’Connels bridge is one of the widest bridges in Europe! You will cross the bridge a few times while in Dublin without realising the significance of it without the tour guide!
Towards the afternoon we decided to go a bit quirky and visit the Leprechaun Museum, which of course Dublin and Ireland are also famous for (its not all Guinness!). Here we had a brilliant guide around the museum who would tell stories of where the leprechaun myth originally stemmed from as well as the stories told about them! During the tour he also got us involved with certain questions and acting ! Which was fun , some facts are unbelievable , for example did you know traditional leprechauns actually don’t wear green , I won’t tell you what colour they actually wear but it will come as a surprise!
After a tiring second day we sampled a few bars and a had a few more Guinness’s , when in Rome I guess!
When the third day came around we decided to visit the Guinness factory! As if we had not had enough already! Here you learn the history of not only the famous stout but the life of the founder Sir Arthur Guinness and how a perfect Guinness is made. I happened to be lucky enough to be going around with two friends who work behind a bar and because of this we found out one of the reasons for the difference in taste from the British pubs pouring Guinness from the Irish! It seems the Irish use a slightly higher pressure tap when pouring the perfect Guinness pint, this and the fact the Guinness factory is just round the corner from all the pubs and bars is probably the secret!
I also got to pour my own pint and I think I did half alright , see below what you think !
Quick tip – Make sure you go to the top floor of the factory, to the 360 bar and get an incredible 360 view of the whole of Dublin,I even cheekily took my Guinness up there I had just poured!
Next was Kilmainham Gaol Prison , which had haunting stories of the past and to be honest made me feel a bit guilty about been British with some of the things we did to certain Irish prisoners , it really is a must visit not just for your education but in remembrance of the number of Irish which suffered there at the hands of the British!
A number of Ireland’s political protesters were constrained tortured and executed here ! We had a brilliant tour guide around the prison and fantastically honoured the deceased, make sure you look back in remembrance at the front entrance of the prison where a variety of prisoners were hung from because of their beliefs!
On our final day of Dublin we stopped at one of the many burger shacks which are dotted around Dublin. But these were no ordinary burgers , there were hundreds you could order or make your own and the burgers were absolutely huge made with proper Irish beef! There are many restaurants out there but look along Dame Street near the Temple Bar for some decent ones!
We also had a quick visit to Trinity College Campus which has grand architecture at the university courtyard and impressive statues dotted around the campus! The main courtyard here is breathtakingly beautiful and is near the centre of Dublin , so just take tens minutes out your day and spend a while just taking in the sights here! We also had a stop at Phoenix Park which is a beautifully kept park in the middle of Dublin and also home to Dublin Zoo , which we did not have time to visit , you can also usually get a tour guide to take your round the park and get more information on a variety of statues and sculptures dotted around within!
Overall I could sum Dublin up in three words , educating , atmospheric and friendly! You could be a few guys going for the Guinness or just a family and still have an enjoying time, even in most the bars that have live music playing.
Now some of the drink prices in Dublin are not cheap that’s why I personally feel it’s important to book a low cost trip with Travelstyle , that then means there can me more time spent enjoying the sights , getting to know the locals and drinking more Guinness!!!
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Dublin is a fantastic, culturally rich city , with an incredible atmosphere and nightlife for those of all ages , and extremely friendly as well.
The one thing I honestly worried about was how the locals would find the pesky English coming over to Ireland to sample in their delights (mainly Guinness for me!). Surprisingly they are probably the most friendly locals of all time, helping with directions and guidance.
The first day there , we found it fairly easy to get around; everything is signposted and not one person didn’t know where to go or turned us away when asking for directions , it’s one of the only places I have been where the locals would actually want to get talking to you after you have received the information.
It wasn’t just information like ‘where the nearest burger bar was’ , it was ‘ go to either this diner or this restaurant they have this deal on’ etc. The information given from the locals was so valuable and they seemed to enjoy giving it. First impressions of the city was how authentic it has been kept , yes there were modern buildings but at the same time , the old stone and brick architecture stood proudly.
One thing I noticed was the amount of street artists and budding musicians, there were talented artists busking for most the day, and would then tell the crowd where they are playing at night ! The exciting atmosphere was already getting to us!
After a quick explore and freshen up we went out to see what we could find out in the local pubs and bars !
We went to the main place famous for its live music and atmosphere which was The Old Store House , due to it being near where we were staying , although if you don’t want to go out on your own there are a variety of pub crawls for live music about, but I just like to explore on my own!
This is the place to come when it comes to good live authentic Irish music , it plays a variety of classic Irish songs and also gets you to join in and sing along , I also tried some Irish dancing , it didn’t go very well! The interior is classic wooden decor with old vintage items, such as classic news articles or funny short stories!
We spent a long time here and met a variety of different people who we got chatting to ,as well as the actual bar staff who were happy to give us any more information we needed. Funnily enough we actually bumped into some Brazilian guys who were also travelling and had a drink and chat with them for about an hour; it’s not just the Irish you will meet out and about !
They happened to tell us to go the Temple Bar pub just down the road for some music we would know and could sing along to. So off we trotted down the Temple Bar cobbled street , which was buzzing now , live buskers singing and playing guitar ,with people of all ages walking down the street soaking in the atmosphere! I myself was feeling a bit jolly by this point.
We finally got into temple bar, where it had more of a modern look for a change , that’s the great thing about Dublin all the bars are different. Here we had a fantastic artist who would take any request the audience wanted and would put his own twist on it etc. It was a miracle he knew most of the lyrics to the songs being requested, of course being a Queen fan I requested some of that and he duly obliged!
One of the most fantastic live performances we have ever seen, have you ever heard ‘Don’t stop me now’ mixed with ‘Hakuna Matata’ from the Lion King! We got chatting to the musician after and he even walked us back to our accommodation where we stayed as we were a bit lost getting back (or had a few too many!).
We bid farewell to our friend who was originally from Nottingham and after he told us where he was playing the next night we went to bed ready for what the next day had in store.
The next part will go into more of the sightseeing I did , and should be out next Tuesday! Stay tuned!
Remember Travelstyle offers cheap breaks to Dublin! HERE
We all love a trip to the theatre , but here is a brief summary of a few shows you have to see this year !!
Look out for the ‘DID YOU KNOW’ section to give you some fun facts that you probably did not know about each and every show!
Cameron Mackintosh production is back, one of the most famous theatre shows of all-time returns for this year! The original love story of a war orphaned girl who falls in love with an American GI during the Vietnamese war! Many tabloids have praised the show, especially the performances of many of its cast!
DID YOU KNOW?
– The show has been running for 25 years in the West End , and in its time has played in over 300 countries and in 30 different languages!
The poor boys to rich men story of Frankie Valli and the four seasons as they try and become bigger than just some small time Newark kids! Featuring hits such as ‘can’t take my eyes off you’,’begging’ and ‘oh what a night’. The actual Jersey Boys that the show is based on are the only band to have a track in the billboards top 100 charts fors the 50s,60,70s,80s and 90s , and this is the story of how they become so successful!
DID YOU KNOW?
– its won a total of 55 awards worldwide and most recently for best new musical!
We all know the story from the hit film! But you would have never seen a reinvention for the big stage like this! In case your don’t know it’s the story of a young lion club on his journey to become king , although his journey is a turbulent one! You will struggle to stay in your seat with some of the songs in this one , such as the iconic ‘hakuna matata’!
With Disney’s big budget behind it and of course Elton John’s academy award winning soundtrack, you’re in for an incredible experience!
DID YOU KNOW?
– Lion King has been seen by over 70 million people worldwide!
Based on the incredible novel by the world renowned author Michael Morpurgo – Warhorse, set in the first World War is a touching tale of a young recruit and his horse! Uniquely, a South African puppet company is used to make the horse come alive on screen!
DID YOU KNOW?
– Aircraft cables are used during the show to puppeteer the horse !
The iconic Roald Dahl novel and legendary 70′s film comes to the stage ! It’s an incredible adaptation directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes. Alex Jennings stars as Willy Wonka who has starred in a variety of crime shows such as Foyle’s War, Inspector Morse and Poirot!
It was always a bright and colourful film , and that’s shown with the best costume design award that the show recently won as well as ‘the music that blew my mind’ award. You can bet this is a show for the senses !
DID YOU KNOW?
The book was originally inspired by Dahl’s experience of the competitiveness of Cadbury and Rowntree’s , who allegedly would send spies to each other’s factories a few decades ago.
The classic story we all know and love of one man’s struggle through the French injustice during the revolution in the 18th century. Features a cast from all over the world and has just recently finished its 25th anniversary celebrations , any show that has been running that long must be unmissable!
DID YOU KNOW?
– The show was that successful it eventually got turned into a musical film starring those such as Russell Crowe , Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway!
As you can see there are a variety of big blockbuster hits now at certain theatres , travestyles offers – travel , overnight stay and tickets in one cheap price.CLICK HERE!
Plus if you can’t decide on what show is for you then choose the mystery show for an even bigger price reduction! You will be allocated a mystery show ticket on your arrival!
We all know most of the main sights to visit when going to London ; Madame Tussauds, Buckingham Palace,The Art Museum ,Downing Street etc..
But what about those places that go amiss, and those secret gems a lot of people don’t know about, after all London is a huge place! So here are 10 hidden gems you should try and get a look at next time you take a trip down to London Town!
10. Neasden Temple
One of the largest traditional temples from outside India, Neasden Temple is one of the most beautiful temples in the UK , just north of the circular.
Located on the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic site , The Tumbling Bay adventure park has something for the kids to enjoy with brand new rock pools , sandpits , tree houses and wobbly bridges , there’s something here to keep the kids amused for most the day! Plus entry is free!
A really unappreciated museum based in the Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln’s Inn, not only showing the history of different surgical equipment, it also has quirky exhibits such as Winston Churchill’s dentures!
You buy a ticket but the ticket office won’t tell you what film you are going to see , trust me from what I have read online you are in for a treat! Its located… well its your job to find it!
What more do I need to say, get your fill of bizarre, a cemetery in Hyde park full of graves of past pets!
A part of Westminster Abbey, which isn’t really publicised or spoke about but is uniquely beautiful. Built in the 12th century it contains a beautiful vaulted ceiling and is full of medieval paintings!
A lesser known cafe in Trafalgar square , what can be better than sipping a coffee while people watching one of the busiest places in the world! Just turn right as you face the National Gallery and its located at the bottom of the central staircase , it has lifts and wheelchair access available also!
The royal artillery museum, which is the world’s oldest of its type! Situated in a quiet corner off the Thames , most of the arsenal on show was originally built there!
Located in the Savoy Hotel
This free museum has cards on display from some of its most famous guests, as well as a lot of extremely expensive vintage drinks on display! It also has a small cat named Kasper which is a statue used at the table if there are only 13 guests sitting! Plus its right next to a fantastic American bar!
Finally something everyone should do in London, but everyone seems to miss it , You’re in the biggest city , with the most incredible views in the World! Get up one of many high buildings and check out the views , many are free to get to the top. Just get searching!
Did you know you can actually visit the inside of Big Ben , your must write to your MP to be put on a waiting list to then be able to have a tour inside !
Plus to end on a quirky note did you know there is a cockney cash machine in London. You choose if you wish to have cockney English when you want to get money out , next the usual check balance and withdraw money are changed to things such as Balance on the Charlie sheen (balance on screen) and Sausage and mash (cash with no receipt). The cockney cash machines are spread across East London, good hunting!
Travelstyle’s offers freedom weekends to London , so you can find these hidden gems or some of your own ! – Here
One of the most watched soaps of all time has had a colourful history in the past , but why not relive some of these moments that are now forgotten on how shocking those cobbled streets can be! Here is a brief overview of the top ten most shocking moments in Coronation Street history!
1. Jack and the dating agency
There’s a few Duckworth moments in here so brace yourself , this one is seen in a more brighter light. One of the funniest moments in corrie history , Jack Duckworth was posing as Vince St Clair , a singer at a dating agency. Vera was not happy at all …..
2. Fire at the rovers
The first of many catastrophes at the rovers, the rovers caught fire and Bet Lynch was caught in it , when a heroic Kevin Webster come into save the day! The actress herself stated her panic was real , as the fire was so realistic , a bit of Julie Goodyear doing her own stunts!
The iconic Hilda finally bowed out of the soap in 1987. A year after the rovers fire ,20 million viewers tuned in to see Hilda sing ‘Wish me luck as you wave goodbye’ !
4.Terry sells his son
The moment most of the viewers had waited for , as Terry sold his son to Jack and Vera Duckworth , Jack lashed out and did something all of the British Viewers had wanted to do in a long time and hit his reckless son Terry!
5.The Weatherfield one
Who can forget the Weatherfield one , which spilled out into real life protest for a fictional storyline. Deidre was falsely imprisoned and the UK population were not happy about it, with many in real life protesting for Deidre’s innocence!
6.Roy and Hayley Cropper
Corrie yet again made history , with the first on screen transgender couple! A great contemporary love story , which was made even sadder with Hayley’s recent passing , fantastic acting from David Neilson really made the emotion in this episode!
The most iconic serial killer on the street , he almost got poor old Emily Bishop too! Who can forget the famous car chase scene as the Platt family were dunked into the nearby river , whilst listening to ‘always’ on the radio!I remember feeling as if I was watching a hollywood action film rather than a British soap ! Hillman racked up a total of 9 victims !
8. Todd’s coming out
Another iconic moment in corrie ,was the coming out of Todd , who at the time was with Sarah Platt and had a daughter with her. We were all waiting for the moment he admitted it to Sarah , Gail was fuming!
It’s now the norm for soaps to have a teen pregnancy ,but this really brought it to the forefront of soaps , when Sarah Platt fell pregnant at the age of just 13 years old , again Corrie provided help for those who were going through the same thing as well as education for a variety of viewers!
10.The coach crash
Corrie was about to hit its 10 year anniversary already in 1969 and already had a huge fan following! The infamous coach crash in 1969 showed how attached to on-screen fictional characters we can get, when several were inured. The iconic moment of this was that the coach crashed in black and white and the people who were injured after the crash woke up in colour , an iconic moment for television as a whole!
Travelstyle , offers trips to the Coronation Street tour – Here!