Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Discovering Edinburgh’s Best Festivals in 2015

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Edinburgh labels itself as the “world leading festival city”, and with 12 major festivals showcasing over 25,000 performers in front of audiences of 4.2m it is hard to argue with the Scottish capital’s claim.

Here are three of the best festivals in Edinburgh that will induce copious amounts of side splitting laughter, unstoppable toe-tapping and intriguing intellectual insight.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe (Aug 7-31)

It is impossible not to get swept up in the creative wonderland that is the Edinburgh Fringe. Spanning most of August, Edinburgh buzzes with life as the world’s largest arts festival takes over the historic city. Thousands of acts perform in hundreds of venues with audiences spoilt for choice with acts covering a wide variety of genres. From eccentric comedy, to classic theatre and everything in-between- the fringe is like nothing else. It is a hotbed for up and coming talents as well established industry names. You’ll never know what to expect from each original show.

If you are planning to go to the Festival Fringe, you’d better not wait until August and compare possible solutions and costs for your stay soon, for example on venere.com. For artists who are thinking about participating: the registration form will be available early in the year. And for the visitors: the program will be published on 8 April. No matter what are your intentions, both artists and visitors will be able to find more informations on the official site edfringe.com.

Edinburgh International Book Festival (Aug 15-31)

Described as the “largest celebration of the written word in the world”, Edinburgh’s International Book Festival features over 750 events including debates, workshops and book signings with some of the world’s most acclaimed literary minds. Housed in the elegant Charlotte Square Gardens, visitors can engage their favourite writers in conversation and debate. Last year saw the likes of George RR Martin (author of Game of Thrones), Martin Ames and Haruki Murakami attend events at the festival. For more informations regarding the Book Festival, take a look at edbookfest.co.uk.

Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (Jul 17-26)

The sweet sound of jazz reverberates around Edinburgh for 10 soulful days in July. First set up in 1978 the festival has gone from strength to strength and now produces 140 gigs at 13 venues with some of the world’s finest jazz and blues musicians turning Edinburgh into a New Orleans of the north. Whether enjoying the music in cabaret-style lounges or grand clubs or even in the city’s gardens- the Edinburgh Jazz Festival will endear you to both this charming city and the music. Jazz & Blues fans can learn more about the festival on edinburghjazzfestival.com.

It’s not just in the summer when Edinburgh bursts with festival fun. Between April 4-19 visitors can sample a plethora of innovative and rousing science events at the International Science Festival. Also, for 10 days from October 23 visitors can enjoy the acclaimed Storytelling Festival. And not forgetting Edinburgh’s famed Hogmanay which brings in the New Year in style.

So what are you waiting for? Edinburgh is waiting.

Key Stops On Britain’s Literary Trail

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The United Kingdom has given the world much over time: rock bands with a deft taste in lyrics and rhythm, the meditative pleasure of enjoying a spot of tea with a delightfully sweet treat as a counterbalance to the drink’s bitterness, the practice of driving on the left that thumbs its nose as the French and the Americans in one fell swoop.

One area though, where Britain has left its mark from generation to generation without fail, is in the department of creative writing. Ever since the Age of Enlightenment liberated the civilized world from the curtain of ignorance that was the Dark Ages, British authors and playwrights have been cranking out prose, plays, and novels that have inspired countless lovers of the written word throughout the world.

As much as you have enjoyed reading the literary genius of these savants, don’t you think it is time you took the next step and walked the ground upon which they tread in days gone by, desperately searching for the muse they needed to finish writing their tale? If you have the desire to do so, then book your plane ticket for the United Kingdom, as we have prepared an itinerary that will take you through the neighborhoods and backyards of three prominent British authors.

William Shakespeare: Stratford Upon Avon

Located in the English countryside a couple hundred kilometres northwest of London, the birthplace of William Shakespeare is practically a mandatory stop for all fans of literature. With the quaint surroundings of this provincial town dripping with inspiration for the aspiration for the budding wordsmith, William was born, raised, and met the love of his life here, before rising to fame as one of the greatest playwright’s in the history of the English language (he is even credited with the creation of many words, having coined them in his manuscripts).

Charles Dickens: London

As Britain was serving as the epicentre of the unfolding Industrial Revolution, the rapidly increasing economic inequality that resulted from it served as the backdrop for many of Charles Dicken’s works, which included the seminal tales of A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist. Visiting the townhouse in the borough of Camden in the heart of London is a great way to get inside the head of this author, as this is the place where his wife’s sister tragically died in his arms as he wrote the latter work referenced above.

Remembering this, imagining the soot-filled air of 19th century London, along with the radical rich-poor divide that defined this point in history is the ideal way to not just learn about Dickens’ living arrangements, but to feel them as well.

J.K. Rowling: Edinburgh

Moving to the present day, the mantle of fine British authors of the past has been picked up these days by J.K. Rowling, author of the novellas making up the Harry Potter series. Living and writing against the backdrop of Edinburgh, where reminders of its medieval past were everywhere, this perpetually poor artist went for it and produced a fantastical series about a bunch of teenage witches and wizards in training, set against the backdrop of the modern world.

She lit the imaginations of the present young generation on fire, and she has been richly rewarded for it. Those looking to see the sights that inspired locations in the books and subsequent movies have many tour agencies willing to show them around places such as Gloustershire Cathedral, the London Zoo, and even the Elephant House in Edinburgh, where Ms. Rowling wrote the first lines of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Sights to See in London, England

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After negotiating a career break with your employer, you are set to go on six month odyssey through the most stylish, hip, storied, and elegant continent on this planet – Europe.  This land mass has thousands of years of history just waiting to be explored, decadent food to be savoured, and modern avant garde attractions to be appreciated. Read the rest of this entry

Things To Do In Bristol, UK

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Bristol is located in South West England. The population of Bristol is estimated at between 400 thousand and half a million people. Bristol is the sixth biggest city in England, and the eighth biggest city in the entire United Kingdom. Close to Bristol is the River Avon, and the water from this river goes into Bristol Channel. Read the rest of this entry