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  • Midsummer mystery on a walk in Herefordshire’s Twin Valleys

    Posted 2021-06-21 05:30:43 by: bossgate

    A new long-distance trail links ley lines, neolithic stones aligned for today’s summer solstice, churches and delectable views to the Black MountainWhat makes a great long distance walk? The UK has more than 1,600 with more popping up every year. Some are geographically obvious: ridge lines and riverside rambles that jump off the map. But what about the rest? Which will succeed and become hiking stalwarts like the Pennine Way or Coast-to-Coast? Herefordshire’s latest candidate is the 45-mile Twin Valley Ley Line Trail.On 30 June 1921, 100 years ago, antiquarian Alfred Watkins, a born and bred Herefordian, took a walk through the Herefordhsire hills and decided he could detect straight lines connecting ancient sites and spiritual landmarks across the countryside. He dubbed them ley lines – routes crisscrossing the landscape that our ancestors might have followed. The archaeological community was not entirely persuaded, but half a century later the counterculture movement picked up the idea. Before long, ley lines were being interpreted as anything from neolithic trade routes to UFO navigational aids. Continue ...

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  • 10 of Britain’s best lidos

    Posted 2021-06-20 12:00:23 by: bossgate

    From Devon to Derbyshire, these glorious outdoor swimming pools make for an invigorating dipAnother clear winner in the British seaside lido beauty parade. Built in 1935 in a semi-circular shape heading out to sea, Tinside Lido has striped blue tiling and retains the original changing rooms. It also has a backdrop of Plymouth Hoe. It’s open all summer, with a wide sun terrace, fountains and a pleasing sense of frivolity along with lifeguards and essential post-swim oriented cafe.• Adults £5, juniors £4, everyoneactive.com Continue ...

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  • Changing UK coast: Morecambe – it’s never been a ‘Kiss Me Quick’ place

    Posted 2021-06-20 10:00:21 by: bossgate

    With natural wonders like Morecambe Bay and the Trough of Bowland close by, it’s no surprise a seafront Eden Project North is in the pipelineAn energy-sapping heat haze drains the life out of Morecambe Bay. Even the joyful statue of Eric Morecambe caught in his famous skipping pose looks too washed out to bring anyone sunshine. There’s nothing for it but to hasten my pace along the prom and create my own breeze as I head north.Morecambe has a chequered history of dubious town planning, including a Mr Blobby-theme park that flopped before it opened. Twenty years ago, before the refurbishment of the Midland Hotel added a much-needed dash of art deco glamour, it inspired the first Crap Towns book. Continue ...

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  • You don’t come on holiday to Blackpool for a good night’s sleep

    Posted 2021-06-20 06:00:16 by: bossgate

    The resort still offers fun and naughtiness, but now has an arty B&B and some classy food if, for some reason, you don’t want cod and chipsA trip to Ibiza to watch the sunset at Cafe del Mar may be off the cards for most this summer, but there’s always Blackpool.Sitting with a gin and tonic in the Bloom Bar at the end of the North Pier reaffirmed my long-held belief that there is nowhere better to watch the sun dip below the horizon than the Lancastrian coast. Even the seagulls, chip-nicking menaces by day, take on a poetic quality as silhouettes in the pinky-purple evening light, with Black Combe, the Lake District’s most western fell, just visible to the north. Continue ...

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  • Folkestone’s seafront has been transformed by art in the past decade

    Posted 2021-06-19 12:00:54 by: bossgate

    Four Folkestone triennials have drawn thousands of visitors to the once-deprived town, bringing a creative energy and new food and music venuesForget donkeys – in Folkestone’s early 20th century heyday, holidaymakers rode llamas along the beach. The town had the royal seal of approval: the Grand hotel was a favourite bolthole of the Prince of Wales and his mistress Alice Keppel. It also had the glamour of an international rail port, with boat trains for Boulogne arriving at the harbour. Where the rich led, the rest followed, as did funfairs, boating lakes, amusement arcades and all the trappings of the British seaside.A century later, Folkestone was a different place. Mass tourism had moved to Spain and farther afield; the arrival of the Channel tunnel had closed the port. There were high rates of unemployment and teen pregnancy, and little to keep young people in the town, never mind attract visitors. Continue ...

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  • Great Yarmouth: mixing Victorian seaside charm with a renewable outlook

    Posted 2021-06-19 10:00:51 by: bossgate

    The Norfolk resort, like a ‘half-baked Naples’ for our local writer, has been refreshed and now has its own London Eye-style ferris wheelIf Brexit gave Britain’s seaside towns a momentary pulse, then Covid might have got them back on the dancefloor. These long-dormant resorts have seemingly risen up, like tacky krakens, ready to swallow the entire UK tourist population this summer.Enter: Great Yarmouth, the once- illustrious fishing port, turned postwar holiday camp heaven, turned post-Brexit hi-de-hell-hole. Full disclosure – this is not the first time I’ve been to GY, as the cool kids call it. I grew up down the road in the now semi-gentrified Gorleston-on-Sea, a town made famous by its patron saint, Danny Boyle. His bootleg 2019 Beatles film Yesterday put our premier beach on the big screen. Continue ...

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  • A holiday in Tenby still makes me giddy with boyhood excitement | Kevin Rushby

    Posted 2021-06-19 06:00:47 by: bossgate

    It seemed perfect to me 50 years ago and now it’s even better, with delicious deli picnics and fine craft beers to wash the sand awayWe stopped by the roadside and Dad pumped up his Primus stove to make tea as usual, with tea leaves of course. Teabags were still a novelty in those days. Then, into the layby drove a van hand-painted with flowers. It was 1969 and we were on our way to Tenby; the same summer hippies were heading to see Bob Dylan and the Who at the Isle of Wight festival.Our car was definitely blue, but was it the Morris Minor or a Ford Cortina? I can’t be sure. Either way, I was a small boy giddy with excitement about going on a summer holiday to the beach. Tenby, I was promised, had a sandy beach, a castle on an island and plenty of caves. Continue ...

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  • ‘Prices are ridiculous’: UK holiday costs more than Europe as demand grows

    Posted 2021-06-19 06:00:46 by: bossgate

    Summer travel saga means people are booking up UK cottages and campsites as owners cash inCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen Donna Brunton started looking for a backup UK holiday, fearing her family’s £2,500 all-in trip to a four-star beach hotel in Malta would not go ahead, she almost fell off her chair when she saw the prices.“A holiday park in north Cornwall was quoting £3,699 for the four of us to stay seven nights, self-catering in what looks like an upmarket caravan. The only sites available were all thousands of pounds. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing – the prices were just ridiculous,” said Donna, a nurse from Consett, County Durham. Continue ...

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  • 10 of Britain’s best indie bookshops

    Posted 2021-06-18 10:00:23 by: bossgate

    We mark Independent Bookshop Week with an expert’s pick of 10 stores embedded in local life, from Edinburgh to BrixtonBringing a little Parisian vibe to London, Word on the Water can be found on the Regent’s Canal towpath in an old canal boat, just off York Way in the rejuvenated and buzzy district of King’s Cross. I discovered it relatively recently, but it’s a great bookshop with new and second-hand titles carefully chosen by owner Jonathan. Bookshop dog Star usually keeps a sleepy eye on the passersby from her spot by the door. Visit on a sunny afternoon (it opens from 12 to 7pm each day) and combine your trip with a picnic on the embankment above or a visit to one of the alfresco restaurants and bars in the square nearby.• Regent’s Canal Towpath, Kings Cross Continue ...

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  • From Factory Records to Oasis: a musical tour of Manchester

    Posted 2021-06-18 06:00:03 by: bossgate

    A new exhibition on the seminal Manchester label is the start of a musical homage taking in the roots of Joy Division, the Smiths et alI wonder if the founders of Factory Records always knew their work would be exhibited in a museum one day, so decided to curate it all from the off.From its inception, Factory used a cataloguing system that gave a FAC number not only to every record released, but to its artwork, films, related miscellany and even the odd living being, including the office cat, Feline Groovy (FAC 191). Continue ...

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