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I Never Knew That About…Liverpool!
I Never Knew That About…Liverpool!
Welcome back to another instalment of our bi-weekly “I Never Knew That About…” blog, where we look into the little known facts about our holiday destinations around the UK. This week, we will be looking at Liverpool, the home of the “Fab Four” and a city full of maritime history. We’re sure to dig up some fascinating facts about this city!

Brief Liverpudlian History

The city of Liverpool was created in 1207, when King John founded the area of “Liuerpul” and granted a royal charter, which was written in Latin. King John saw Liverpool as an ideal place for his ships to invade Ireland and Wales from. Over the years, Liverpool became the “Second City of Empire” and eclipsed even London for commerce at times.

The Liverpool Cathedral’s Bells

Inside the Anglican Church

The Liverpool Cathedral is home to the heaviest bells in the world! There are thirteen bells that weight in at a total of 17 tonnes, plus Great George—a bell heavier than Big Ben and has to be rung with a hammer. The world record for the heaviest 8-Bell peal, ringing over 5000 changes without stopping was achieved by Liverpool ringers in 2008 to commemorate Liverpool being named as Capital of Culture.

Why are Liverpudlian’s scousers?

Why are Liverpudlians called scousers?

People  from Liverpool are often referred to as “Scousers”, which derives from the dish that Liverpool is famous for – scouse! This is a stew made from beef, carrots, cabbage and potatoes and was traditionally eaten by sailors and poor people during the 1800s.

Lights, camera, action!

Liverpool is known to have a thriving film industry with over 120 films being made there back in 2012. Liverpool has doubled for Paris, Venice, Moscow and Dublin.

The Two Birds on the Royal Liver Building

The Birds on top of the Liver Building

The Royal Liver building is a grade I listed building, which is located in Liverpool’s UNESCO designated Maritime Mercantile City. It is home to two fabled Liver Birds that are on top of the building and are thought to stand watch over the city and the sea. There are many legends that surround the birds, such as if they fly away, or if they face each other, the city would cease to exist.

Liverpool’s Chinatown

The Gateway to Chinatown

Did you know that the first Chinatown built in Europe is the one situated in Liverpool? The arch that is located at the gateway of Chinatown is also the biggest, multiple-span arch outside of China!

Liverpool: A Music City

The Famous Fab Four From Liverpool!

Liverpool is one of the most famous music cities in the world. Obviously, there is the Beatles, who made local places such as Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane classic music landmarks.  Apart from the Beatles, Liverpool is the city  that has produced the most number one hits in the UK!

Top Musicians from Liverpool (/Merseyside)!

Cilla Black

One of the UK's top-selling female singers of the '60s!

One of Liverpool’s most famous singers, Cilla Black was managed by Brian Epstein until his timely death. She began her career in 1963 and had number ones with Anyone who had a Heart (which was later found to be the biggest selling hit by a female in the 60s) and You’re My World. After her music career, she became a successful presenter with Surprise, Surprise and Blind Date.

The Coral

The Coral originated from Wirral, which is outside of Liverpool, and was known for their indie-rock music of the early 2000’s, most notable for the hit “Dreaming of You”.

Echo and the Bunnymen

Echo and the Bunnymen are an English rock band from the late 70’s and had a string on critically acclaimed albums, although didn’t find mainstream success until the mid to late 80’s with albums such as Porcupine and their landmark release, Ocean Rain, which spawned hit singles, Killing the Moon, Silver and Seven Seas.

Gerry and the Pacemakers

Liverpool Legends!

The Liverpudlian beat group was also managed by Brian Epstein and are known for being the first act to reach number one with their first three singles—the record was not equalled for 20 years until fellow Liverpool band Frankie Goes To Hollywood. They’re also most noted for “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which because the anthem for Liverpool F.C.

There are loads more! Leave a message in the comments section if you can think of any.

If you’re interested in a holiday to Liverpool, click this link for more details on our amazing deals. 

5 Alternative Things to do in London
5 Alternative Things to do in London

You can never truly be done with London, even if you’ve done the entire star attractions at least once, there will always be a new experiences around the corner! From exhibitions to markets, here are 5 alternative things to do in London this summer:

The Alice Look

We’ve had 150 years of Alice and Wonderland with countless colourful editions still being published and the story having influence on pop culture (see pop stars such as Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne who have channelled Alice in their music videos). The timeless tale is easily one of the best and most memorable children’s story…ever. That’s why “The Alice Look” will be celebrating all things Wonderland with their exhibitions at the V&A museum of childhood situated in Bethnal Green.

Borough Market

Learn about food history at one of the oldest and most renowned markets in London, Borough Market! The market has said to be open since the 11th Century and throughout the years it has moved around London. Today, the market has grown to over 100 different stalls. It not only sells the best British produce, but it also offers top-quality international food, however the main reason why you should go is for the delicious free samples…

The Alternative London Tour

Get to know the real London with its home-grown art and history with the Alternative London walking tour around the East End. On the tour, you are guaranteed to see a range of beautiful and colourful street art, along with cultural and historical events that surrounds the place. What’s so great about this tour is that it’s on a Pay-What-You-Like basis, so that means regardless of your budget, you can experience two hours of a real and vibrant side of London.

Camden Beach

You might be thinking, a beach in London? What is the world coming to?! Or you might not be thing that…but Camden Beach is back for another year! The event opens July 26th and is fantastic if you’re looking to chill out in the big city. There will be pop-up bars and restaurants (with fish and chips, of course!), beach huts, ping pong and live music! As their tagline goes, “I got 99 problems but a beach ain’t one!”

Carsten Holler’s “Decision” exhibition

Even if you’re not an “artsy” person, Carsten Höller’s “Decision” exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in Southbank is an enjoyable and participatory experience. The key thing to this exhibition is that you have to use your hands a lot, whether you’re finding your way through a black corridor or gripping onto a flying machine (yes, a flying machine). As the title states, the exhibition is all about decisions as you find your way through the gallery. (On until Monday 7th September).

At Travelstyle, we sell a London Freedom Weekend from £75.95. This allows you to be dropped off in the West End and given the chance to do whatever you like around the big city! Click here if you’re interested in our London Freedom Weekends. 

I Never Knew That About…Brighton!
I Never Knew That About…Brighton!

Welcome back to our bi-weekly blog on the mysteries and the little-known facts about our holiday destinations. This week, we’ll be looking at the city by the sea that is known as one of the happiest places in Britain–yes, we’re talking about Brighton!

Brighton Dome

The Grade I listed building known as The Brighton Dome has witnessed many famous moments in music. Over the years, the venue has seen an array of music icons such as Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, Bette Midler and many more! In 1974, Brighton held the Eurovision song contest, which became the year that ABBA’s career was launched, as they won the competition with “Waterloo”. The Brighton Dome was also the venue where Pink Floyd played for the first time the famous album, “Dark Side of the Moon” as the band regularly played at the seaside resort.

Tidbits about Brighton’s Beaches and Pier…

- Did you know that over the five miles of Brighton’s beaches there are 370 billion pebbles? Personally, we would like to find out the person who has counted each one!
- Brighton is also known as the place that opened Britain’s first naturist beach back in 1979!
- Brighton Pier has over 60,000 light bulbs—a fact probably coming from the person who counted all the pebbles…
- More than 3 million people visit the pier every year.
- The Pier has featured in films and TV, such as Carry On at Your Convenience, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Leisure Hive and Doctor Who.

Brighton’s Sealife Centre

The Brighton Sealife Centre may be an award-winning aquarium, but it is also known to be the world’s oldest operational aquarium and boasts the country’s largest underwater tunnel! Out of all the seaside aquariums in Britain, who knew this one was the oldest?

Beware of the Dark!

Brighton is known as the second most haunted city, straight after York, with many paranormal tales of mysterious figures in the city, such as the Blue nun who roams Brighton’s medieval lanes. According to folklore, the nun was bricked up behind a wall due to her illicit affair with a local fisherman.

Great for Green Spaces!

Brighton is also a perfect place if you’re a gardening enthusiast or enjoy an afternoon walk, as the seaside city has nearly a 100 parks and gardens for you to explore!

May the Force Be With You!

According to the 2001 census, Brighton seems to have the most people who class themselves as a Jedi—the Star Wars inspired religion.

Brighton’s Famous Residents!

Sir Winston Churchill is one of the best known residents of Brighton. The former Prime Minster spent his childhood in Hove, where he attended school.

Elizabeth Allen, the movie star, lived in Brighton from 1977 to the year she died in 1990. She was known for classic films like A Tale of Two Cities (1935), David Copperfield (1935) and Camille (1936).

Former Radio One DJ and Strictly Come Dancing presenter Zoe Ball currently lives in Brighton with her husband and internationally renowned DJ, Fatboy Slim.

 Looking for a coach trip to Brighton? Click this link. 

UPDATE 16:09 19/06/15: After this blog went live, there was a discussion in the office about the origin of the word “tidbit.” For the record…

Tidbit vs. titbit. In American and Canadian English, tidbit is the preferred spelling of the noun referring to (1) a choice morsel or (2) a pleasing bit of something. Titbit is preferred everywhere else. Neither spelling is right or wrong.

Who knew? (Well, we didn’t…one person (ahem) thought it was local slang.)

 

8000 Likes Giveaway!
8000 Likes Giveaway!

Today is the day we announce our new Facebook competition for our fan page users, and this time around we’re taking things continental…

For those who guessed it, we’re offering a break to Paris for two! That’s right – we’re giving away a break to the city of love, where you can see some of the most iconic sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the River Seine. Plus, you can experience some galleries and museum that are not only the best in France, but in the world! Of course, I’m sure you will find time to shop in one of the world’s fashion capitals, too…

All you need to do is like one of our 8000k competition posts on Facebook and we will enter your name into the draw . It’s that simple! When we reach 8000 likes, we will randomly draw a winner from our page. Easy-peasy!

Make sure you read our Terms and Conditions before entering our competition…

 

T&C’s: No cash alternative. Entries from employees/agents of Travelstyle along with their relatives not accepted. Competition will close when 8000 likes is reached on the Travelstyle’s Facebook page with the winners being drawn at random shortly after. The winner will be notified via the Travelstyle Tours Facebook page. We reserve the right to publish the winner’s name on our website/Facebook/Twitter page. Entrants must be 18 years and over. Prize is a Paris Experience for two people by coach to the value of £395.90. The winner must be able to join the coach at a published Travelstyle pick up point. Any supplements/Travel Insurance is not included in the prize and you must have Travel Insurance, whether you arrange it through Travelstyle Tours or by your own means. Please acknowledge that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook.

Top 8 Things to do in Torquay!
Top 8 Things to do in Torquay!

Take a tour down to Torquay! A seaside town on the English Riviera and is often known as one of the jewels of the South West. Not only does it provide a stunning seafront, but it also has many activities and attractions for you and the whole family to enjoy. Here is our top 8 things to do in Torquay when you’re next there…

 

Boat Trips

While in the English Riviera, it would be cheeky not to go on one of Torquay’s many boat trips. The Torquay Wildlife Seeing cruise is a favourite amongst tourists, as you can see seals, osprey, egrets, shags, cormorants, guillemots, gannets and if you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a porpoise or dolphin! These boat trips are £5 per person and £3.50 for children. If you’re looking to relax, step on one of their sunlight cruise, where you can have a drink, listen to music and watch the sunset. Heaven!

Agatha Christie Literary Trail

Whether you’re a fan or interested in local history, the Agatha Christie trail is a great way to discover Torquay. You will walk around the town and explore the places that inspired Miss Marple and Poirot. Some of the places you will visit is Ashfield, Christie’s childhood home, and the Imperial Hotel, which gave inspiration to novels Peril at End House and The Body in the Library. In Christie’s story In Sleeping Murder, the Imperial Hotel is featured as itself.

Discover Torquay History at Torre Abbey

Torre Abbey is one of the most important medieval buildings in Torbay. Since it was built in 1196, the Abbey has witness and survived some epic moments of history. The Abbey had been maintained by Abbots up until the dissolution of the monasteries; afterwards the Cary family bought the monastery and lived there for over 250 years and eventually the local council bought the abbey. Over the time, the Abbey has turned into an attraction, which offers a tour around the abbey and also has an art gallery.

Kents Cavern

Kents Cavern is a fantastic attraction to visit with the family, as it has something for everyone, as you explore the caves and learn their history. Your kids can also enjoy their many child-friendly activities, like cave painting, the fun dig and the wall of hands! Kents Cavern organises many walks, such as the Geopark walk, where you start from Kents Cavern and go along the Bishop’s Walk to Hopes Nose and Meadfoot. Plus, Kent Cavern also organises a spooktacular ghost tour, where you can walk through the dimly lit caves as characters appear from the dark (not recommended for children under 8…yes, it’s that scary!).

Dinosaur world

Remember to visit Dinosuar World while you’re in the area! It’s located near the Torquay seafront and offers a range of scaled-down dinosaur models for everyone to enjoy. There is fossil hunting, exciting information on the dinosaurs, a family quiz and you can even sit on a dino!

Living Coast

Living Coast is a bird and sealife sanctuary that have a wide range of wildlife for you to discover, such as penguins, seals, puffins and jellyfish.

Princess Gardens

Along the seafront is the Princess Gardens, which is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll when the weather is right, as you get stunning coastal views. The Princess Gardens are named after Princess Louise, who was then the royal princess and daughter of Queen Victoria. She laid down the foundation stone for the “pleasure ground” in 1890.

 Cockington Country Park

Only a 15m bus ride from Torquay centre, Cockington Country Park provides beautiful green space for scenic walks and peace and quiet. For our outdoor enthusiasts, there are many walkings trails through the woods and surrounding parkland for you to discover. Check out their “what’s on” page, as the place has plenty of events for the public from arts and crafts to treasure hunts. Plus, Cockington Country Park also has a cafe, which sells an array of cakes and fresh hot meals.

Share your memories of Torquay in the comments!

Interested in going to Torquay? Click here! 

 

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