Berlin Arch or The Brandenburg Gate

The Berlin Arch ??

The Brandenburg Gate or The Berlin arch as it also known, was once the gate of a former wall. This marked the entrance to the city. It is the only surviving part of that original 18th century structure that once enclosed the city. Dedicated as a symbol of peace after many years of war during the reign of Frederick the Great.

             The victoria cross and wreath added after the fall of the communist east.

The Berlin Arch

 

Ironically during the cold war, between August 1961 and December 1989, yet another wall divided the city. The well-known Berlin wall. The Gate then lay marooned just behind the Berlin wall in communist led east Germany. It was clearly visible over the wall but unreachable from the west side of the city in a sort of no-man’s land.

 

The Berlin Arch

A place where during the east and west occupation of Berlin the gate became a symbol of a country divided. The Brandendburg gate (Berlin arch) restored after the war and is now a major landmark in Berlin. It has become an important part of Berlin’s history and identified as a reunited Germany.

The Berlin Arch

It was within earshot of the gate that, in 1987, Ronald Reagan gave a famous speech. During this speech he shouted: ‘Open this gate, Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’

The Berlin Arch

Originally built with the gate having 12 columns, the central ones were originally used as an entrance for royals. Whilst the outer ones were for aristocracy and further out the ordinary people. Above the Berlin Arch is the Quadriga, the four-horse chariot being driven by a winged angel of peace. During the french occupation of 1806; Napoleon took the Quadriga back to Paris and it wasn’t until his defeat at Waterloo that it returned. At that time they added the wreath and cross as a mark of triumph and victory. The quadriga was then known as Victoria after the Roman goddess of victory.

The Berlin Arch

To watch the video please click here

The Berlin arch is truly a great place to visit if you are in Berlin and if you get the chance go by day and night as the lights at night are spectacular, just a shame my battery ran out !!

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Fantastic Campsite in Dartmoor ?? Langstone Manor park

looking for a fantastic campsite in Dartmoor ??. Then look no further !!. The Langstone Manor park is a great camping and caravan site in the heart of Dartmoor national park. There is plenty to do in the area especially for the outdoor types such as cycling, wild hiking. There is also a lovely town nearby with swimming baths and sightseeing etc… for us softies.

                   Cycling around langstone manor park !!!

langstone Manor Park

 

The facilities include a family bathroom, shower blocks and toilets. They are all very well-kept, clean, modern and are also eco-friendly; using the natural rainwater for toilet flushing. Therefore don’t be surprised if the water appears a little dirty. Also on site is a dish-washing area with a paid hot beverage machine serving tea, coffee and hot chocolate. The Langstone Manor Park is both organised and managed and suits all types of roaming traveller. From rustic bring your own tent to a fully equipped glamping pod, caravans and motor homes. This fantastic campsite in Dartmoor and has it all !!.

langstone Manor Park

The manor house has a onsite restaurant and bar which is dog friendly. In fact doggies are well catered for, they even have their very own doggy shower outside the toilet block with drinking bowl ah bless !!.

Langstone Manor Park

It rained a lot when we went so everything got really wet. luckily when we entered the Manor house we found that there were a lot of families and couples playing cards and board games. It kind of reminded me of when I was a child and the days before Xbox and mobile phones ( yes I am that old tee hee !!!). The games room, in addition to all the great board games etc, has air hockey, table football, pool table and even a retro video machine . (more my cup of tea ha !)

pac man

The Manor house has a lovely atmosphere, it is away from the madding crowds and is nice and  quiet. It has a lovely outdoor area that is both peaceful and relaxing. In the evening and on a clear night you can see the stunning starry skies; mainly due to the sites location being away from lots of unnatural light. The food is also very good in the Manor park pub/restaurant . For those that just can’t do without youtube etc there is wi-fi connection free of charge in the Manor lounge area of the house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tavistock !!

The langstone Manor Park is ideally located for cycling or walking around the Dartmoor moors and it’s an easy ride into the town of Tavistock. We thoroughly enjoyed the bike ride to the town and on our way we saw some great views of the river. Tavistock was the birthplace of sir Francis Drake and there is a lovely statue in the square to commemorate this.

SAM_6428

 

As it was raining for most of our stay; and we had played almost all the games in the game’s box at the Manor to include, Jenga, monopoly, pick up straws, and a variety of card games also Trivial pursuit of which we were rubbish !!.

We decided to go to the Tavistock town swimming pool. This pool is great for families to have a bit of fun and has a water slide and also a small wave pool. It has a hot tub just by the side of the pool.

It is not for those looking to do some swimming lengths at there are no lanes and the pool  is just not big enough for that.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We Loved the Dartmoor Langstone Manor Park and would recommend it to anyone

Even has a David Bellamy award for conservation,

 

 

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Eden Project Cornwall, What an amazing Oasis a Gem from a crater !!!

The Eden Project experience !!!!!  and Zipwire OMG !.

We went to the Eden Project in Cornwall Devon in the summertime and luckily on the day we went the weather was really nice. We had gained a fairly good insight into the project because prior to going we read the book. The book was especially entertaining and set us in the mind of wonder. The book explains and talks about the people involved in the project. Primarily it talks about how they were similarly like-minded and brought together for a common goal. It describes the quirky characters and the vast array of individuals that seemed to fit this crazy idea to take it from conception to completion.

The Site !!

Tim Smit the co-founder of the Eden Project researched different areas and ultimately chose this site; it was originally an expansive disused China clay pit . He immediately realized that this would be the best place to showcase the world’s most important plants. Although having a blank canvas must have been very challenging but also very artistically rewarding.

 

Eden project

                                                       Eden Project biomes

Continue reading

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

2 Great Historical Places to Visit in Jedburgh

Jedburgh on the Scottish borders is a fantastic place to visit.

On our recent visit to Jedburgh we found 2 Great Historical places to visit in Jedburgh; Mary queen of Scots house and Jedburgh Abbey. We decided first to visit the magnificent Abbey. On approaching the abbey you can see it soar up into the skyline and has unparalleled richness in atmosphere and also photogenic possibilities.

Since we had our English heritage pass we were able to get free entry due to the fact we had renewed it for an extra year. If we had gone within the first year of membership we would have paid 50% of the price.

Jedburgh is a handy 10 miles north of the English border and only an hour from the Scottish Capital Edinburgh. The largest town in-between Newcastle upon Tyne and Edinburgh on the A68.

Jedburgh

 

The 12th century Augustinian Abbey is well worth the visit, great Gothic architecture Set on the Jed water with a dominating presence.

The Abbey was first founded as a priory by Kind David 1 in 1138 and latter became an Abbey in 1154. This was a testament to his ability to show the English and Scottish alike that he was capable of creating buildings with such Grandeur. This was most definitely a statement as it is so close to the border of his Scottish realm. Therefore showing his power over the borders area ( which was a debatable land).

The Augustinian cannons would have come from France and practised contemplative solitude but would have come out of their cloisters to minister to the peoples. Living a humble existence in relative discomfort with meagre food and harsh clothing as was the order.

Jedburgh
Jedburgh
Jedburgh
Jedburgh
Jedburgh

The Jedburgh Abbey is one of three abbeys on the Scottish border. The others being Melrose and Dryburgh. We have visited all 3 and found that the Jedburgh Abbey the most impressive, even if it doesn’t have the claim to fame that Melrose does, of having Robert the Bruce’s heart buried in its grounds.

The downside to the location of the Jedburgh Abbey was that of being on the border to England. During the middle ages there were many conflicts and also raids during the 14th and 16th centuries. This cumulative effect and that of the Protestant Reformation of 1560 led to Jedburgh’s demise as a monastic institution.

Jedburgh

The Abbey now in ruins has many layers due to its age and changing decorative styles. Looking down the nave to the west end is lovely, with the great west rose window frame still intact. In the main it is Romanesque style architecture with delicate Gothic work such as the nave.

To see our video click here

The Second great Historic place in Jedburgh that we visited was Mary queen of Scots Residence before her death. This house and Museum are fascinating if you are interested in history. It has the original death mask said to have been taken of her decapitated body at Fotheringay Castle.

Jedburgh

The museum is well thought out and the information is concise, to the point and so very easy to understand. The information available depicts Mary as a charming, brave and spirited woman.

The Prisoner Queen was to spend a month in Jedburgh in 1566 and stayed at this house, of a loyal powerful friend. It even has a copy of the original warrant for her death hanging on the wall and is signed by Queen Elizabeth the 1st. The warrant was signed after a presumed plot to kill Queen Elizabeth 1.

Jedburgh

Whilst walking in the garden and admiring its beautiful peaceful surrounding, you can almost feel Mary’s spirit glide around you. A Place where Mary presumably would have walked on those Autumn nights. It would have been a turning point that led to the beginning of her troubles that lead to her death in February 1587. Below shows family tree of Elizabeth and her cousin Mary queen of Scots.

Jedburgh

The heartfelt letter to her brother-in-law is also present in copy form and shows the depth of Mary’s conviction to Catholicism and at her imminent death, she is finally fully aware of why she has to be put to death. ( I am not sure I would be able to be so composed and benevolent facing death !!)

Jedburgh

These are only 2 of the Great historical places to visit in Jedburgh but there is also the Jail and the Jedburgh Castle which we will probably visit on another trip. Happy travels !!

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Fab hotel in Peebles – The Peebles Hydro hotel

Peebles Hydro Hotel

Peebles Hydro Hotel

  The Peebles Hydro Hotel

We have stayed at the Peebles Hydro hotel 3 times now ( so it must be good) most hotels only get booked for 1 night just to get a look in !!!. We have stayed at the Peebles Hydro Hotel at different times of the year. The first being July the 21st and 22nd to be exact ( so English Summer). The Peebles Hydro Hotel is perfectly located to enjoy the breathtaking views over the mountain ranges . Great views can be enjoyed from some bedrooms and also the dining room. It is also a very handy 10 minute walk to the lovely historic and picturesque market town of Peebles. The Peebles hydro hotel has a fantastic swimming pool !!!.

Peebles Hydro Hotel

We have had a variety of rooms the first was at the front of the building and overlooked the mountain ranges. Our second visit was in the middle of summer on the 13th and 14th of August. We had a room overlooking the mountain views again but this time it had a disabled bathroom and no bath. It was a little disappointing as we love to have a bath, but the views again where awesome. Our 3rd visit was on the 8th and 9th of October and it was a family room that overlooked parts of the back of the building , not great views but did have a bathtub, Fab !!.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Peebles Hydro hotel pool and spa are to die for !! the pool is a large pool fantastic for swimming lengths. The spa pool is raised up and next to the pool within  a short walk and overlooks the main pool. It is ideally located and is great for relaxing those tired muscles, whether it is after a busy business day or after all that great walking and sightseeing of the area.

 

 

The Breakfast was good with a fully cooked buffet style and has the usual bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, mushrooms and an added vegetarian sausage which has just a lovely taste. The dining room has been refurbished but I am still not sure I like the new seating arrangements. It reminded me of a hogwarts school, in the way the tables are set out in rows!! but the views of the mountain ranges is still wonderful.

Peebles Hydro Hotel

Peebles Hydro hotel dining room overlooking the Fab mountain views with hogwarts table placement ha ha

We love peebles as a town, it is a vibrant and bustling town with great history. Only a short distance from the Scottish border, so lots to see and do around the area. Depending on what you like there is angling for salmon, hiking, or just taking in the scenery, its a great place for all outdoor minded folk.

Peebles church and monument

Peebles church and monument

There are many restaurants and hotels in Peebles town center which have some of the best food in Scotland ( for such a small compacted town).We went to The prince of India twice as it was such a great Indian restaurant serving Indian and Bangladeshi food.  The Merkat View restaurant (with a great cross choice of dishes, classed as a modern British restaurant). The county inn with all its pub classics and the Tontine hotel with its local and fresh menu. If you would like to read about our dining experience in Peebles click the link here.

Peebles Hydro hotel

Breathtaking views from the Peebles Hydro hotel

Whilst on our way back from the Peebles Hydro Hotel we visited Jedburgh historic town and visited the Abbey which was fabulous and also Mary queen of Scots residence.

Other places in the Scottish border areas are Melrose and the Abbey and also Dryburgh Abbey and home to the first William Wallace statue. All great places to visit for outdoor pursuits and very historical.

The Scottish border area is a must see when visiting the north Of England into Scotland. To book the Peebles Hydro Hotel click the link below

Peebles hotel Hydro

we are looking forward to many more Scotland trips have fun !!

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

2 Great Historic Things To do in North Yorkshire !!!

Whilst on our way to Scarborough we decided visit some Historic sites and found 2 great historic things to do in North Yorkshire near Helmsley. The Rievaulx Abbey and The Helmsley Castle ,both looked after by English Heritage or its new name Historic England. The distance between the 2 is only about a 5 minute drive, so easy to see both in the same day or if you want you can go by foot via Cleveland way national trail which takes about an 1 to 1/2 hours to walk.

The first thing you notice about the Rievaulx Abbey is its location, nestled in the lovely valley and meadows of Ryedale and towering high into the sky.You can see why the Medieval Monks decided to build it where it is, they weren’t silly !!

2 Great Historic things to do in North Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey

The surrounding areas are breathtaking, tranquil and serene, perfect for prayer and meditation. There were of course also next to water for drinking, washing and also for fishing. It should be pointed out that this was a living breathing industry in order to sustain themselves, they also sold mined iron and ore and they traded wool from their flocks of sheep and sold it throughout Europe.

2 great historic things to do in north Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey

The Abbey was originally built by the Clarivaux monks established by St Bernard of Clairvaux and was the first northern Cistercian monastery. The intent was a missionary to reform christianity in western europe in 1132. At its peak there where 140 monks here and when you visit the chapel you can only imagine how wonderful the sound that would have resonated when they were all in song !. There were also 500 lay brothers who carried out clerical and administration works.

2 Great historic things to do in North Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey

The original plan for the Abbey was that the monks where to go out and to establish daughter Abbeys in the rest of the kingdom. A steady flow of monks came to Rievaulx Abbey purely due to the reputation of the 3rd Abbot Aelred he was known for his preaching and authorship. His tomb can be seen in the chapel near the new Alter stone which was erected in 2015, the original altar stone is placed on top of the new one. Staying at the Abbey in 1322 was king Edward II, the English were surprised by the Scots army at shaws moor and the battle of Byland was fought. Following the English defeat the Scots plundered the Abbey.

2 great historic things to do in north Yorkshire

Cloister Abbey

The Abbey started to decline due to an epidemic that affected the abbeys sheep flocks and also because of the black death in 1346-1353.

2 great historic things to do in North Yorkshire

Rievaulx Abbey Chapel

The Abbey fell into heavy debt and by the time Henry the VIII dissolved it due to reformation in 1538 there were only 22 monks and 100 Lay brothers left. It is well worth a visit !!. If you are ordering food from the cafe, be prepared to wait as it takes a long time during the high season but the food is good.

2 great historic things to do in north Yorkshire

Rievaulx Cafe

The address is Rievaulx, NR Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5LB

Helmsley Castle

The 2nd place we visited in Helmsley was the castle raised mostly by the crusader Robert de Roos and his descendants. Helmsley castle was passed down to him by his father in law Walter Espec who built the first timber structures of Helmsley.

Helmsley Castle still Guarded today

Helmsley Castle still Guarded today

The castle itself when first built was not such a great fortification in that the major defense where the surrounding earth works and timber buildings. Robert de Roos had a pair of strong barbican entrances built and also the keep like east tower in a D shape that still faces the town today.

2 great historic things to do in North Yorkshire

Helmsley castle East Tower

Although eventually strongly defended, it wasn’t until the Civil war that Helmsley castle saw some action, it was successfully besieged after a 3 month battle in 1644 by the parliamentarians and was made indefensible by demolishing parts of the curtain walls and blowing up the East Tower. The remains of the destroyed east tower can still be seen today laying in the ditch next to the tower. This was a warning to the towns folk and also a constant reminder of their vulnerability as the blown up part of the east tower is visible from the town.

2 great historic things to do in north Yorkshire

Looking out to the countryside from the west tower

Following the civil war It became the residence of the Duke of Buckingham and his wife, the daughter of Thomas Fairfax, the Parliamentary commander. Later it was the residence of the manners family who built a comfortable residence in the 16th century in the central area of the castle. Below is a picture of the fireplace.

2 great historic things to do in north Yorkshire

Robert De roos was one of the barons that witnessed the signing of the famous Magna carta by King John some 800 years ago on the 15th of June 1215 and is known today as the (800 years of liberty magna carta). This was celebrated again on the 15th of June 2015 at Helmsley Castle.

The address is castlegate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, YO62 5AB

Both of these places are well worth a visit and 2 great historic things to do in North Yorkshire if you are in the area.

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus

Crown Spa Hotel scarborough Review and Rave

If you are traveling by car then you will need a car parking space and as the area is always busy you need to be prepared, you can either book a car parking space via the hotel or you can make your way to the hotel and get a street parking permit from reception, this costs nothing and parking near the hotel was fairly easy as it has to be in a designated zone.

The Hotel takes prime position on the Scarborough esplanade and is a great looking building. On entering there is a lovely bar area to your right which has a very modern contemporary feel and a lovely fireplace and the reception is on the left. The staff at reception are very professional but also friendly and helpful.

Crown Spa Hotel Review

Crown spa hotel

It is best to point out at this time that the hotel rooms are numbered but can be a bit hard to find as the floor plan meanders up and down stairs and it can get a bit confusing (my advice ask as reception how to get to your room, sounds odd but trust me Ask !!) we met other guests in the same situation wandering around looking for their room.

The hotel room itself could not be faulted, with perfect sea views from both the windows we stood and admired the view before getting unpacked. The room was large and the bathroom was superb, someone definitely has an eye for detail.  It had a large king size bed, which was very comfortable as where the pillows. There was an iron and ironing board, hair dryer and tea and coffee-making facilities with real coffee and coffee pot ( This is a perfect addition, love real coffee rather than instant)

Crown spa hotel King size Bed

The taps for the bath where on the wall, so no taps to dig in your back when the two of you are having a relaxing soak. The rain forest shower head was also suspended from the ceiling over the bath so you can shower together !! gotta love that !

Crown spa hotel Scarborough review

Crown Spa Hotel Scarborough Bathroom

The bathroom accessories are a lovely touch and non of that cheap stuff.

Crown spa hotel review Bathroom Accessories

The Spa and pool area are just fabulous and they have everything to get you fit or to distress you and allow calm to prevail. There is a gym for the fitness folk and also lots of daily fitness classes that should get any wanna be fit person, well get fit (there are no excuses here). For the sloth lot like me there is a spa, turkish bath, sauna, steam room and then the swimming pool and a jacuzzi, this is next to the pool and up some stairs sort of hidden away on its own, just wonderful. Couldn’t put a picture of the jacuzzi as it came out so badly the light was very dim, Shame!! a workman/woman always blames their tools (don’t they? )

Crown Spa Hotel review Pool

Crown Spa hotel Scarborough pool

Crown spa hotel Review

Crown spa hotel Scarborough, spa, sauna and turkish bath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The hotel also offers a variety of spa treatments that covers all types of treatments and sounded like a full menu and had everyone covered, from babies to adults alike.

We would most definitely go back to this hotel and we Rave about it to all our friends. Just great kudos to the Crown spa Hotel Scarborough. check it out here !!

Facebook Comments
Facebooktwittergoogle_plus