New Brighton: A forgotten place

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If your ever in Liverpool maybe consider giving this place a visit. Its only approximately 22mins by car, 33mins by train or 1 hr 15mins if you enjoy a long walk.

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New Brighton

New Brighton is a seaside town located on the edge of the Wirral peninsula on Liverpool’s Bay where the River Mersey is joined with the Irish sea. New Brighton was born in 1826 and has been a busy seaside resort for centuries, attracting a million visitors a year.

A bit about the history

New Brighton come about after a Liverpool merchant by the name of James Atherton purchased 170 acres of Land and wanted to build a seaside resort similar and inspired by Brightons resort, which obviously was where it got its name.

During the later half of the 19th century the area become a popular destination and many of the huge houses in the area were converted into hotels. In the 1860s a pier was added and in the 1890s the promenade was opened. In 1900 there used to be a tower which was the tallest in the country at that time however, it was pulled down in 1921 when it couldn’t be maintained throughout world war I.

A forgotten place

New Brighton used to be the the third largest seaside resort in the UK. It now sits at 66th, like a lot of the old sea side resorts it started to decline when people started to go abroad for holidays. This explains why many people along with myself have never heard of it.

It’s being regenerated

As a result of its decline in visitor numbers over the years many of the old attractions in the area have now gone. Thankfully Dan Davies a local businessman who owns the company Rockpoint Leisure has been regenerating the area since 2018 and has got many more up and coming plans to bring the once beloved destination back to life like its more glorious days.

The things I come across here

Dispite it being one of the less popular destinations there is enough here to see and do. Here is a list of things I found of interest:

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse was first constructed in 1683 and goes by the name Perch Rock Lighthouse. It stands at the staggering height of 94ft tall and is an impressive structure to see, especially if you love lighthouses like myself.

Fort Perch Rock

Fort Perch Rock is a coastal defence battery built to protect the port of Liverpool. It was built in between 1825 and 1829 and was built in the location of an are known as Black Rock. It is now open as a museum and opens at weekends between the hours of 11am to 5pm ( With additional hours throughout the school holidays).

The Black Pearl

The black pearl was a piece of artwork made in 2013 with wood by an artist named Frank Lund, Major Mace and a group of pirates. However, earlier this year in March 2021 waves and strong winds battered the ship and this is all that’s left in the picture above. However, hopefully after an inspiring note to Frank from Johnny Depp telling him to retrieve it, the ship named after the ship in The Pirates Of the Caribbean hopefully might return someday.

Even though this is all that is left I still thought it was lovely to see and is well worth the walk up the promenade.

Marine Point Retail And Leisure Park

Marine point has something for people of all ages such as the light cinema, plenty of bars/restaurants, cafes, bowling etc.

There is also Bubbles world of play, which has the largest innovative play frames in the country.

Also there are various hotels for people wanting to stay near by, such as the Travelodge Hotel that offers incredible views over Liverpool bay.

The colourful Benches

There are around 420 colourful benches dotted around the seafront which adds such a lovely touch. However, whats more touching the story behind the project.

Carl Leckey who used to holiday here as a child wanted to bring back the seafront benches he remembered as a child, after discovering they were all gone. Carl set up a project with some local schools and school children to create the environmentally friendly benches. The children helped to identity the safe materials and design the benches, then presented the project to the local council in which it was accepted.

Now they are memorial benches to loved ones that have been purchased by families. Some of the benches are donated to commemorate organisations such as the NHS workers, hospitals and assistance dogs.

Other things to do here:

I’m sure there are plenty more things to do here, but here are just a few.

The Mermaid Trail

Do the mermaid trail and find the five identical sculptures at:

Victoria Parade, kings parade, marine promenade, seabank road and Atherton street on Victoria road.

The Victorian Quarter

Have a walk arond the Victorian Quarter where you will find more bars, restaurants and cafes along with quirky independent shops. If your into art, you will also find some amazing street art in this creative area.

Have fun at the funfair

New palace and Adventureland features a number of rides such as the teacups, walzers, circus train etc. The rides are are mostly suited to children aged from toddlers to around 13. There is also a soft play area, an arcade and activity centre.

Adventure land is open at weekends and during the school holidays between the hours of 11am to 6pm. Entry is free, but rides are all individually priced.

Watch a show at Floral Pavilion

This is the Wirrals largest theatre, it is located right on the promenade. It hosts a number of shows, pantomimes and has a dog friendly cafe.

Vale Park

If you wanted some quiet time, you could enjoy this lovely Victorian park with views over the River Mersey.

To visit New Brighton and find out more information visit here

Free Parking

There is plenty of free parking in this area near perch rock, near the seafront and around the area.

Thank you โค

I hope you have enjoyed my post today, stay tuned for more.

Thank you for reading

Stay blessed x

New Brighton: I never knew about this place/ People watching and a strange but wonderful feeling

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A Session of people watching

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One day I was travelling to Liverpool on a train. In front of me was a guy who looked maybe to be in his sixties and two young girls maybe around sixteen or so. One of the girls was a little more reserved, I observed her to be maybe the other girls friend or partner. I say this as they kept kissing on the lips and hugging. The other girl seemed closer with the gentlemen, maybe he was her relative or friend.

The reason so much attention was paid to them is for my love of people watching, but also because I found them to be endearing. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t watch and listen to them the entire time like a complete weirdo, but every now and then.

I found it so sweet they were going on a day out, just them and him. They had a bag full of food and some beach towels and was talking about what their going to do when they arrive in Liverpool. It was also sweet that the girl who seemed more familiar with the guy would pull his nose and make humorous jokes about him and he would make jokes back with her. Although hers were slightly more brutal, but he was able to take them. They chatted for the entire journey and were just really cute.

I also found it adorable that the two girls would openly show their affection for each other as they should be able to if they wish. Whilst I know there have been incredible strides for LGBTQ like many other communities/groups/individuals but, as we know there are still those discriminations against people of LGBTQ as well as other groups. (By the way can I just express how much I dislike categories! And despise having to tick boxes.) Do any of you readers feel the same? Anyway I just like the way the newer generation are even more free, have more confidence to be who they want to be and this just made me smile.

She helped me discover New Brighton

There was a point when the girl started to talk about a place called New Brighton. I’d never heard of it and assumed it was most probably in Brighton. The girl spoke about it in a positive light to the man, and it seemed both she and him had fond memories of this place.

In my mind I said ‘This is a place I should research through lack of knowledge’ When I got home I did exactly that and discovered it was nowhere near Brighton. It looked like quite a nice place, so I booked a train ticket for the following week. I so glad I did!

The most amazing feeling I have ever felt

Have you ever been to a place that made you feel overwhelmed, you actually cried? This place made me do this! I have no idea what happened! I just felt a huge sense of gratitude for being there. It was just an amazing feel good moment, one I have never experienced ever before and one that I crave to have again.

I’m not sure if it had something to do with me being there alone. There was around five people near this side of the beach when I arrived, but they seemed to disappear after a few minutes. As I walked to the end of the sand where the sea met the sky there was not a person in sight. I felt like I was alone on a different planet, like it was the end of the earth. This was when that feeling came over me that I’m not sure I will ever be able to explain. I’d never had a beach to myself. I remember being a bit scared, but not where I would run because there was also a deep excited and happy feeling. So deep I burst in to tears ha. Such an amazing moment!

I will share more about New Brighton in my next post

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay blessed ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

Holmfirth: The Picture-Postcard Little Yorkshire Town

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I honestly can not remember for the life of me how I come across this beautiful little town. I remember wanting to visit and looking at pictures of this place for quite some time, but being a little hesitant about visiting. Sometimes I tend to get a little anxious when traveling somewhere new, well, all the time but, especially when I have to take multiple methods of transport to get to a single place. Anyway, I decided I would take the trip spontaneously the night before. I’m so glad I’m did! And luckily my mum accompanied me on this one, this was a nice change as I’m usually solo traveling.

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Holmfirth sits in the Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, in the Holme Valley.

A bit about the history

In the 1770s the first spinning cotton machine known as the spinning jenny was brought onto Holmfirth. By the 1850s textile mills began to pop up, the population started to rise and the town had become a trading centre for the textile industry.

The town is best known for being the filming location of a popular British TV Programme series The Last Of The Summer Wine.

The town is made up of independent shops, cobbled streets, mill cottages, beautiful valleys, sloping woodlands that join on to the Peak District and the River Ribble running through the town.

Last of the summer wine filming locations we visited

Nora Batty’s Cottage

On our arrival the first thing we wanted to do was visit the Nora Batty Cottage one of the filming locations. Nora Batty was one of the characters in the show who became popular due to her wrinkled stockings, hair rollers and her funny personality. The cottage is now a self catering accommodation that can be rented.

The Wrinkled Stocking Tearoom is not connected to the show, but is a place we wanted to experience and its right next door to the cottage. It is a cute little place that offers a range of local foods and has great reviews on TripAdvisor. Although, unfortunately for us, we did not get to go inside as it was closed due to Covid so I just had to make do with a photo instead ๐Ÿ˜.

Sid’s Cafe

Sid’s Cafe another filming location of the TV show. We didn’t get to go inside here either as this again was closed too due to the pandemic.

As we were around this area, we spotted a little tour bus that was offering tours around more of the shows filming locations. We decided to hop on board and join the tour. So glad we did because we would have never have got to see half as much by ourselves.

The Last Of The Summer Wine Tour

The tour is a 45 minute journey around all the filming locations which also incorporates the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Pennines and residential areas. There is also a full commentary on the history of Holmfirth. The tour is ยฃ9 per person and picks up and starts outside Sid’s Cafe every hour although, they only run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The tour is run by Colin, a man who owned the famous Sids cafe for twenty years and featured in many of the episodes of the show.

Here are just a few pictures from the tour, but there is plenty more to see on this tour.

After our tour we had another little walk around. Below are a few more snaps of this beautiful town.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my short post about Holmfirth today.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay blessed ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

Natalie x

York England: Sisters take York

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After our two and a half hour tour we were given some free time for lunch and to explore some more.

Sister antics

Whilst everyone gathered around the tour guides to be pointed in the direction of landmarks and sites, we asked to be pointed in the direction of the bars. We were in agreement that it was important we got our priorities right to seek wine๐Ÿคท๐Ÿฟโ€โ™€๏ธ.

We had been so excited to take this trip together over the last week and having just got out of lockdown, we were admittedly a little animated on this day. We had laughed and giggled at the back of the coach all the way here, turning answers to questions in the tour quiz into our own private little jokes. It wasn’t any different on the tour either. I don’t think either of us had heard much of what the tour guides said in the whole two hours.

Spoilt for choice

I’ve never been anywhere where in my life with so many choices of stunning looking pubs, bars and restaurants. We were well and truly spoilt for choice. In the end we settled with The Old White Swan Pie House because it fit everything we were looking for. A nice old traditional English pub, vegetarian frendly menu and of course nice wine.

We both ordered the Lentil cottage pie and a bottle of their white house wine. Everything was perfect and very well priced

Not only was the food delicious but, the pub is an historic place and is said to be one of York’s oldest pubs. The pub is a collection of ancient buildings with parts dating right back to the 16th century with interesting features. I would highly recommend this place.

We went for a stroll around some of the back streets and less busy areas

we walked by these pretty residential streets

And York Minster Conference and Banqueting Centre

York Minster Conference and Banqueting Centre is the origins of St. Williams College dating back to the 15th century.

Ouse Sightseeing River Cruise

We took a cruise tour down the river. The tour lasted around 45mins and cost ยฃ11.95 per adult. We had a great captain/guide who had the worst jokes ever, but he was very knowledgeable and had some interesting information about York.

Quirky Place

We managed to sneak in some more drinks at this quirky pub before heading back to our coach.

Conclusion

I hope my York posts have been helpful to anyone who has plans to visit here. York has by far been my favourite UK city to visit up to date. My only regret is not having a longer visit as one day is certainly not long enough to visit this incredible city. However, I do plan to visit again in the near future.

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

York England: Oh, What a Shambles!

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My favourite part of our day trip tour of York was walking through the shambles.

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The shambles is known as the most popular medieval street in England. It was everything I had imagined and more! With its stuck out buildings and narrow cobbled streets, this truly felt like we were on the set of a Harry Potter film or inside the pages of a story book. In fact, It was the inspiration for the film version of Diagon Alley.

A bit about the history

There is only one surviving butchers here now but, the shambles was the street of the butchers. Cattle, pigs and sheep would be brought here from the markets to be slaughtered. The carcass of the animals would be dragged into the street and put on the benches to be cut, then the meats would be displayed on the hooks and shelves to sell, a number of the shops still have the meat hooks and shelves. Can you imagine how bloody and gutsy this area must have looked? I don’t really think I would like to! However, this is where the name come from as people would say ‘Oh what a shambles’ It has had a number of names in the past but by 1426 it was known as The Great Flesh Shambles, but was shortened over time.

Meat was sold here in this way until around 1939 when the outbreak of war led to it being stopped.

Many of the buildings here date back to 1350-1475

York Minster: The largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe

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One of our tour stops was York Minster, after all you can’t visit York without seeing its most popular landmark.

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The history in brief

York Cathedral is the cathedral’s commonly known name, but it is officially the Cathedral and Metropolitcal Church of St Peter. The first original Church on this site was a temporary wooden church built by King Edwin of Northumbria. The church was built after King Edwin, who was in control of York, married Princess Ethelburga of Kent who persuaded him to convert to Christianity as part of the marriage deal. The church was built for the purpose of King Edwin’s baptism in 627.

After his baptism, Edwin ordered for the church to be rebuilt in stone structure, although he never actually got to see it complete because he was killed in battle in 633. The church was supposedly completed in 640 under King Oswald some time after Saint Paulinus helped King Edwin’s widow and her children back to Kent. The church was then dedicated to St Peter.

In 732 the first Archbishop of York was recognised by the pope.

In 741 the church was burnt to the ground and Ecgbert the first Archbishop of York re-built and designed the new lofty structure.

The stone saxon church was ransacked by William the conqueror’s forces in 1069, he then ordered his appointed archbishop to rebuild a Norman Cathedral on the site. It took Archbishop Thomas 20 years to complete the Cathedral. This cathedral was badly damaged in a fire in 1137, this time Archbishop Thomas’s successor Archbishop Roger Pont L’Eveque started to remodel the seating area and chamber in 1154. All the work was completed by 1175 with an addition of two western towers.

The Gothic style church of today took 250 years to build, and was built between 1220 and 1472.

Interesting facts about York Minster

The Cathedral has its own policing The police force was established after a religious fanatic set the church on fire on the 2nd of February 1829, and has had a police force ever since.

Some of its roof was designed by children A children’s programme called Blue Peter hosted a competition to design a roof in 1984 during restoration of the cathedral. The winning designs were art inspired by Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the raising of Mary Rose and a whale and diver.

The first black Archbishop of the Church Of England led services here Dr. John Sentamu became the first black Archbishop in the church of England in 2005. He became the Archbishop of York and led the services here up until June 2020.

It costs ยฃ15,000 a day to keep it open We already mentioned the police force but, imagine the cost of heating, lightning and all the other staff.

Its apparently haunted. With York having the reputation of one of Europe’s most haunted cities, it’s probably hardly surprising to hear this. One of the many story’s that pops up is, a man is often seen sitting in the pews.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about York Minster if your thinking of visiting click here for more information and tickets.

Thanks for stopping by

Natalie x

York England: York’s Chocolate History

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Chocolate first arrived in Britain in the 17th century in the form of a drink. London was the first place to have a chocolate house in 1657. It was the place where men went to drink chocolate, gamble and chat amongst each other .

The first ever solid chocolate bar produced in Britain was by J.S. Fry & Son’s from the city of Bristol in 1847, followed by Cadbury’s in 1849 then Rowntree’s in 1935.

York’s Chocolate Story

On one of our tour stops we stopped outside York’s Chocolate Story a museum and popular visitor attraction. We didn’t go inside, but had a briefing on the story about the Rowntree’s brand from our tour guide. However, I would most definitely love to pay a visit next time to do the interactive tour and chocolate tasting๐Ÿ˜‹.

Rowntree’s was founded in 1862 in York by Henry Isaac Rowntree. After financial difficulties, he was joined by his brother Joseph Rowntree who turned the company around and the brand become Rowntree & Co.

The Rowntree brand went on to develop some of the UK’s first solid chocolate and most favourable chocolate bars such as Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties, rolo and Quality Street etc.

Rowntree’s was purchased by the global company Nestle in 1988, who have since re-branded many of the products under their own brand name.

I suddenly have a sweet tooth and feel the need to go and raid the kitchen cupboard, so until next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Natalie x

York England Part 3: York’s Open Air Museum

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The third stop on our tour was York Museum Garden’s. I refer to it as the open air museum because essentially that’s what it is, a collection of buildings and treasures out of doors. In addition to this, it is surround by beautiful botanical gardens and wildlife.

The History

The museum garden was founded by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society which had been created in 1822 by royal assent. It was then when they started to prepare the beautiful botanical gardens to house their collections.

The buildings in the garden’s that make up this collection are:

St Mary’s Abbey

St Mary’s Abbey is the most popular, it was built in 1088 by the Benedictine order in York.

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of the other buildings because I accidentally deleted them and had no back up to retrieve them ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Abbey walls and gateway walls

The walls around the Abbey were built in the 1260s

The Hospitium

This would have been like what we know as today, as a guest house to the monastery.

Ruins of St Leonards Hospital

This was the largest medeival hospital in England

York Observatory

This was built in 1832 and 1833 and is the oldest in Yorkshire. People have been coming here to gaze at the night skies for thousands of years. The observatory is still used for this purpose today. It is ran by volunteers who run it in the evening. Here you can learn about the history and astronomy in York as well as, gaze at the skies through the cooke telescope.

Roman Fortress

The Romans built this fortress to house over 5000 men, it was built in the 3rd and 4th century.

Wildlife

There are over 40 species of birds that live in the garden’s.

Birds Of Prey Shows

From February to October, the shows are ran 7 days a week from 11 to 4pm. The show includes a variety of different birds and you can hold them for ยฃ4 ๐Ÿ˜

They were kept on chains!!!

Not sure how long these birds are kept here on chains, but we certainly were not happy to see it regardless.Keeping them on chains so they don’t fly away is just simply cruel in my opinion ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜“

This isn’t something I would support however, it is a travel blog, therefore I always mention anything I discover along the way.

Having said this, this is a wonderful place to visit and it’s free!!! So don’t miss it if you do pay a visit to York.

Opening Times

7 days a week 10.30am to 6pm

York England Part 2: The Longest Medeival Town Walls In England

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Our next stop on our walking tour was York’s City walls.

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York city centre is surrounded by the longest medieval town walls in England at just over two miles long. A complete walk around the entire length of the walls would approximately take around two hours and is completely free.

The walls are mainly dated from the 12th and 13th century and were built to keep the city from being invaded by the Scots. Although, by the 18th century the walls were no longer needed for defence.

By 1800 the walls were in poor condition for that time, which led to corporation applying for an act of parliament to pull them down. At the time, York had a strong influential opposition that objected to this and by the 19th century corporation backed down and the walls were ordered to stay.

in the 19th century work was carried out for restoration of the walls for public access, although it was too late for some parts, but thankfully substantial portions remain.

Check Points

I would highly recommend walking the full length of the walls as they lead you to many sights.

There are check points for guidance around the walls which will lead to:

Barker Tower

Micklegate Bar

Baile Hill

Clifford Tower

Fishergate Tower

Fishergate Bar

Walmgate Bar

The Red Tower

Layerthorpe Bridge

Monk Bar

Bootham Bar

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay safe

Natalie x

York, England Part 1: Off with their heads!

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York is a historical medieval city in the North of England located between London and Edinburgh. It is often described as one of the UK’s most treasured and loved cities. In fact, some would even regard this as England’s number one city. The city is often voted number one in surveys as the most beautiful cities in the UK.

Not only is it beautiful, it has incredible history dating right back to 8000 and 7000 BC, and this can clearly be seen right throughout the city.

First stop: Micklegate Bar

The first stop we made was to one of the gateway’s to the city. There are four main gateways, Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Micklegate Bar and Walmgate Bar. The gateway we entered through was Micklegate Bar, the most important of the four. For centuries monarchs had stopped here to ask for permission from York’s Lord Mayor to enter into the city.

Dating back to the 12th century Micklegate Bar has seen a gruesome and bloody history. Decapitated heads of traitors and rebels were once displayed on spikes at the top as a warning for anyone entering the city. Some of the victims heads included Sir Henry Purcey and Richard, Duke of York. Richard The Duke Of York was one of the most, if not powerful man in the UK until he literally lost his head.

Ghost Stories

There has been many ghostly encounters reported, mainly from Sarah Brocklebank. Sarah was the young daughter of a man who had been an 18th century gate keeper. Apparently she had lost her father’s keys to Micklegate which resulted in him loosing his job. There have since been several reports of people seeing her inside Micklegate Bar and around the surrounding area.

People have also reported seeing glowing eyes at the top of the Bar ๐Ÿคค

Until next time.

Natalie x

Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚