The famous places of World Heritage Cities in Britain: Canterbury Cathedral of the Anglican community, Oxford modern university center, Stratford-upon-Avon literary and cultural center, Durham Castle and museums, Stonehenge monument, Loch Ness area.
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Probably you have heard of Britain's Heritage Cities - the breathtakingly beautiful Bath, Canterbury (famous for the magnificent Cathedral is the Mother church of the Anglican community), Chester (the most complete walled city in Britain, rich in Roman history), Durham (famous for Durham's stunning Cathedral and Norman castle is a World Heritage Site), Oxford (the timeless City of Dreaming Spires is a modern university center), Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare's home town is steeped in both literary and cultural heritage), Lincoln (a city with so much to offer, if you're looking for a vivacious exciting, historic and contemporary city) and York (the North's spiritual capital for 2000 years, has been voted European City). Britain's Heritage Cities offer the greatest wealth of heritage that you could wish for in a trip to Britain.
Bath is a city in Somerset in the south west of England. It is situated 99 miles (159 km) west of London and 13 miles (21 km) south-east of Bristol. The population of the city is about 80,000. It was granted city status by Royal Charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590, and was made a county borough in 1889 which gave it administrative independence from its county, Somerset. The city became part of Avon when that county was created in 1974.
The city was founded, among surrounding hills, in the valley of the River Avon around naturally-occurring hot springs where the Romans built baths and a temple, giving it the name Aquae Sulis. Edgar was crowned king of England at Bath Abbey in 973. Much later, it became popular as a spa resort during the Georgian era, which led to a major expansion that left a heritage of exemplary Georgian architecture crafted from Bath Stone.
The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987, and has a variety of theatres, museums, and other cultural and sporting venues, which have helped to make it a major center for tourism, with over one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city each year. The city has two universities and several schools and colleges. There is a large service sector and growing information and communication technologies and creative industries, providing employment for the population of Bath and the surrounding area.
The Roman Baths complex is a site of historical interest in the English city of Bath. The complex is a very well-preserved Roman site of public bathing. The Roman Baths themselves are below the modern street level and has four main features, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century.
The Baths are a major tourist attraction and, together with the Pump Room, receive more than one million visitors a year. It was featured on the 2005 TV programme Seven Natural Wonders as one of the wonders of the West Country. Visitors can see the Baths and Museum but cannot enter the water. An audio guide is available in several languages.
In 2008 a grant of Ј90,000 was made to Bath & North East Somerset Council to contribute towards the cost of re-developing displays and improving access to the Roman Baths, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport/Wolfson Fund, which was established to promote improvements in Museums and Galleries in England.
Bath's principal industry is tourism, with more than one million staying visitors and 3.8 million day visitors to the city on an annual basis. The visits mainly fall into the categories of heritage tourism and cultural tourism. All significant stages of the history of England are represented within the city, from the Roman Baths (including their significant Celtic presence), to Bath Abbey and the Royal Crescent, to Thermae Bath Spa in the 2000s. The size of the tourist industry is reflected in the almost 300 places of accommodation - including over 80 hotels, and over 180 bed and breakfasts - many of which are located in Georgian buildings. Two of the hotels have 'five-star' ratings. There are also two campsites located on the western edge of the city. The city also contains about 100 restaurants, and a similar number of public houses and bars. Several companies offer open-top bus tours around the city, as well as tours on foot and on the river. Since 2006, with the opening of Thermae Bath Spa, the city has attempted to recapture its historical position as the only town in the United Kingdom offering visitors the opportunity to bathe in naturally-heated spring waters.
"The Circus" consists of three long, curved terraces designed by the elder John Wood to form a circular space or theatre intended for civic functions and games. The games give a clue to the design, the inspiration behind which was the Colosseum in Rome. Like the Colosseum, the three faзades have a different order of architecture on each floor: Doric on the ground level, then Ionic on the piano nobile and finishing with Corinthian on the upper floor, the style of the building thus becoming progressively more ornate as it rises. Wood never lived to see his unique example of town planning completed, as he died five days after personally laying the foundation stone on 18 May 1754.
Bath Abbey was a Norman church built on earlier foundations, although the present building dates from the early 16th century and shows a late Perpendicular style with flying buttresses and crocketed pinnacles decorating a crenellated and pierced parapet. The choir and transepts have a fan vault by Robert and William Vertue. The nave was given a matching vault in the 19th century. The building is lit by 52 windows.
The best known of Bath's terraces is the Royal Crescent, built between 1767 and 1774 and designed by the younger John Wood. But all is not what it seems; while Wood designed the great curved faзade of what appears to be about 30 houses with Ionic columns on a rusticated ground floor, that was the extent of his input. Each purchaser bought a certain length of the faзade, and then employed their own architect to build a house to their own specifications behind it; hence what appears to be two houses is sometimes one. This system of town planning is betrayed at the rear of the crescent: while the front is completely uniform and symmetrical, the rear is a mixture of differing roof heights, juxtapositions and fenestration. This "Queen Anne fronts and Mary-Anne backs" architecture occurs repeatedly in Bath.
Stratford-upon-Avon is a market town and civil parish in south Warwickshire, England. It lies on the River Avon, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham and 8 miles (13 km) south west of the county town, Warwick. In 2001, the town's population was 23,676.
The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of the playwright and poet William Shakespeare, receiving about three million visitors a year from all over the world.
The town is located on the River Avon ("avon" being a Celtic synonym of "river"), on the banks of which stands the Royal Shakespeare Theatre (RST) designed by the English architect Elisabeth Scott and completed in 1932, which is the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Until recently the RSC also ran two smaller theatres, the Swan, which is modelled on an Elizabethan theatre (closed in August 2007 as part of plans for refurbishment) and The Other Place theatre, a Black box theatre which closed in 2005 to make room for the temporary RSC Courtyard Theatre, which opened in July 2006. This theatre is now the home of the RSC while the RST is being refurbished; its interior is similar to the planned interior of the refurbished RST. The site of The Other Place has now become the foyer, bars, cloakroom, dressing rooms, and rehearsal space of the Courtyard Theatre. The Other Place will be reinstated after the RST and Swan refurbishment is complete in 2010 and the Courtyard Theatre is dismantled, although many in the town would retain the Courtyard so that it can used by local theatre companies.
Other tourist attractions within the town include five houses relating to Shakespeare's life, which are owned and cared for by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. These include Hall's Croft (the one-time home of Shakespeare's daughter, Susannah, and her husband Dr. John Hall) and Nash's House,which stands alongside the site of another property, New Place, owned by Shakespeare himself, wherein died. Near to the town are Anne Hathaway's Cottage at Shottery, the home of Shakespeare's wife's family prior to her marriage, and Mary Arden's House, the family home of his mother. Elsewhere in the district are farms and buildings at Snitterfield, that belonged to the family of Shakespeare's father.
Chester is a truly exceptional destination. The spectacular backdrop of heritage, fine countryside and award winning gardens is combined with modernity and dynamism. Chester is home to a variety of famous attractions, first class restaurants and bars, cosmopolitan pavement cafйs, internationally renowned stores, and the charismatic two tier shopping galleries "The Rows" with their unique boutiques. Great reasons why you should visit Chester.
1. Chester is the only city in Britain that retains the full circuit of its ancient defensive walls. Walking the complete circuit gives wondrous views down into the city and gives a fantastic insight into Chester's long history.
2. Chester boasts the largest stone-built Roman Amphitheatre in Britain, scene of Britain's largest archaeological excavation in 2005. Finds uncovered at these digs are on display in the Grosvenor Museum.
3. Chester Zoo is the UK's number one wildlife attraction, based on annual visitor numbers and is the largest garden zoo in England.
4. Chester is the only place to have maintained the tradition of regular midday proclamations (Tuesday - Saturday, May to August, at noon) at the High Cross where proclamations have been made since the Middle Ages. Chester's Town Criers, David and Julie Mitchell are the worlds first husband and wife Town Crier partnership.
5. Indulge yourself at the Chester Grosvenor, the only 5 red star hotel in Northern England, owned by the Duke of Westminster.
Enjoy the wonderful spa facilities on offer or enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the library.
6. Chester is one of the few cities in England that still perform the Mystery Plays, a series of dramatic stories based on the bible which were performed through the streets in medieval times. The next cycle will take place at Chester Cathedral from June 28th - July 19th 2008.
7. Chester Cathedral has the most complete medieval monastic complex still standing in the UK. There has been a place of worship on this site since the early 10th century and has the finest medieval quire stalls in Britain which date back to 1380.
8. The Roodee, Chester's Racecourse is the oldest in Britain, with horse racing dating back to 1539. It is also one of the smallest courses in the country but has record numbers of people attending race meetings which still take place throughout the year. heritage city britain cultural
9. The Rows are two tiered medieval shopping galleries unique to Chester. Learn more by joining our brand new guided walking tour Chester Rows: The Inside Story. This takes place every Wednesday and Friday from May - October and gives you a fascinating insight into the history surrounding these wonderful black and white buildings.
10. The River Dee lies at the heart of Chester and is a perfect spot for walking. There are boat trips to enjoy whether taking a river cruise on one of the Showboats or hiring a rowing boat.
Musical entertainment is provided at weekends throughout the summer months in the Victorian Bandstand.
Durham's dramatic skyline of mighty castle and awesome cathedral sited high on a peninsula above the River Wear is one of the most stunning panoramas in Europe. So exceptional are the 900 year old castle and cathedral that they were among the very first World Heritage Sites designated in Britain. The famous places are:
1. Durham Castle and Cathedral. Dating from 1072, Durham Castle is one of England's largest surviving Norman castles and grandest Romanesque palaces. Seat of the Prince Bishops until 1832 and now part of a World Heritage Site. Housing University College, it is a conference, banqueting and holiday center in vacations.
Founded in 1903, Durham boasts a magnificent Norman Cathedral, a shrine of St.Cuthbert and one of the great architectural experiences in Europe. Together with the adjacent castle, it is a World Heritage Site.
2. Beamish Museum. Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2005, Beamish is one of the region's leading tourist attractions. It vividly recreates life in the North of England in the early 1800s and early 1900s. Costumed staff welcome visitor's to the Town, the Mine and Colliery Village, Home Farm, Pockerley Manor and the 1825 Railway-Pockerley Waggon-way. New in 2006-Masonic Temple in 1913 Town and replica of "Puffing Billy", the world's oldest surviving steam locomotive. An average visit takes 4-5 hours in summer and 2 hours in winter.
3. The Bowes Museum. One of the country's most fascinating museum experiences, created over 100 years ago by local businessman John Bowes and his French wife Josephine. The incredible building contains the greatest collection of European fine and decorative arts in the North. Program of major exhibitions throughout the year.
4. Durham University Botanic Garden. 18 acre garden in mature woodland with exotic trees from America and the Himalayas. Prince Bishops Garden, tropical house, cactus house, butterflies and insects, plant sales. Visitor center with cafe.
5. Raby Castle. One of England's most impressive medieval castles, built by the Nevills and home to Lord Barnard's family since 1626. It features fine furniture, impressive artworks and elaborate architecture. Also deer park, walled gardens, coach and carriage collection, woodland adventure playground, picnic area, tearooms and gift shop. Pride of Northumbria Visitor attraction of the Year.
6. Crook Hall Gardens. 4 acre gardens and restored Medieval Hall. Includes secret walled garden, Shakespeare garden, Cathedral garden and silver and white garden, moat pool and meadow with maze.
7. Durham University Oriental Museum. Only museum of its kind in the country devoted entirely to Oriental art and archaeology. Collections range from prehistoric Egypt and China to the work of living artists. Temporary exhibition program. Cafe and shop.
8. DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery. The museum at this family friendly attraction features The Durham Light Infantry (with emphasis on WWI and WW2) and looks at Durham Home Front life during WW2. Durham art gallery presents an exciting exhibition/events programme. Cafe, shop, parking, attractive grounds.
9. Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum. Winner of the North East England Tourism Awards 2005 - Most Welcoming experience and 'The Guardian' Family Friendly Museum Award 2004. Killhope explores the life of North Pennine lead mining families. With Park Level Mine underground experience, Northern England's largest working water wheel and 'hands on' activities. Visitor center with shop, cafe and world's largest spar box exhibition, woodland walk, under 7's play area, workshops and activities.
The North's spiritual capital for 2000 years, York is central to Britain's colorful history.
Voted in June as Europe's Favorite City and in November `The UK's Best City', York is a compact walled riverside city offering an amazing array of world famous attractions and galleries, independent boutiques, lively events and a lively cafй bar and restaurant culture.
Visit the stunning York Minster, enjoy Stonegate and Shambles shopping and live the York history at the JORVIK Viking Center, National Railway Museum and York Castle Museum.
Accommodation in York is abundant, you can stay at stunning hotels in York or browse through our vast selection of B&B's and guest houses.
Oxford is like no other city in the world. A first glance shows that it is unique, with mellow beauty and architectural elegance crowned by the glory of the 'dreaming spires'.
The history of Oxford started in 700A D, when a Saxon princess and nun called Friedeswide established the monastery on the present site of Christ Church. Finding herself courted by a lecherous king, she fled to the woods at Binsey where she hid. Her pursuer was struck blind by a lightning bolt but Friedeswide's prayers healed him and he left her alone. A small community grew outside the gates of monastery, beside the oxen ford over the Thames after which the city was named.
Oxford is famous for its colleges. The most important sight are: Carfax (busy croassroad) with Carfax tower, Redcliffe Square with Divinity school and its quardrangle,High street with covered market, Turl street with Exeter College and Lincoln college, Magdalen Bridge and Botanic Garden, Merton street, Christ Church, Beaumont Street with Ashmolean Museum, Broad Street with Museum of the History of science and some others.
The catalyst for Canterbury's appeal is, of course, its magnificent cathedral, which soars to the heavens and dominates the city's skyline. The cathedral, along with the tranquil ruins of St Augustine's Abbey just outside the city walls and the ancient St Martin's Church form one of Britain's handful of World Heritage Sites.
Pilgrims have flocked to Canterbury Cathedral for centuries, ever since the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. Chaucer's famous pilgrims ended their journey here and their tales and the sights and smells of medieval England are recreated in the Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction.
The city is best explored on foot, and visitors who take the time to walk the maze of intriguing side streets will find a rich variety of specialist shops, welcoming cafйs and pubs in which to relax. Alternatively take a stroll along the banks of the River Stour as it passes through the city.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 3.2 kilometers west of Amesbury and 13 kilometers north of Salisbury. One of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. Archaeologists had believed that the iconic stone monument was erected around 2500 BC, as described in the chronology below. However, one recent theory has suggested that the first stones were not erected until 2400-2200 BC, whilst another suggests that bluestones may have been erected at the site as early as 3000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC. The site and its surroundings were added to the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1986 in a co-listing with Avebury henge monument, and it is also a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument. Stonehenge itself is owned by the Crown and managed by English Heritage while the surrounding land is owned by the National Trust. The stones we see today represent Stonehenge in ruin. Many of the original stones have fallen or been removed by previous generations for home construction or road repair. There has been serious damage to some of the smaller bluestones resulting from close visitor contact (prohibited since 1978.)
Who Built Stonehenge? The question of who built Stonehenge is largely unanswered, even today. The monument's construction has been attributed to many ancient peoples throughout the years, but the most captivating and enduring attribution has been to the Druids. This erroneous connection was first made around 3 centuries ago by the antiquary, John Aubrey. Julius Caesar and other Roman writers told of a Celtic priesthood who flourished around the time of their first conquest (55 BC). By this time, though, the stones had been standing for 2,000 years, and were, perhaps, already in a ruined condition. Besides, the Druids worshipped in forest temples and had no need for stone structures.
The best guess seems to be that the Stonehenge site was begun by the people of the late Neolithic period (around 3000 BC) and carried forward by people from a new economy which was arising at this time. These "new" people, called Beaker Folk because of their use of pottery drinking vessels, began to use metal implements and to live in a more communal fashion than their ancestors. Some think that they may have been immigrants from the continent, but that contention is not supported by archaeological evidence. It is likely that they were indigenous people doing the same old things in new ways.
Modern theories speculate that the stones were dragged by roller and sledge from the inland mountains to the headwaters of Milford Haven. There they were loaded onto rafts, barges or boats and sailed along the south coast of Wales, then up the Rivers Avon and Frome to a point near present-day Frome in Somerset. From this point, so the theory goes, the stones were hauled overland, again, to a place near Warminster in Wiltshire, approximately 6 miles away. From there, it's back into the pool for a slow float down the River Wylye to Salisbury, then up the Salisbury Avon to West Amesbury, leaving only a short 2 mile drag from West Amesbury to the Stonehenge site.
Situated in a vast plain, surrounded by hundreds of round barrows, or burial mounds, the Stonehenge site is truly impressive, and all the more so, the closer you approach. It is a place where much human effort was expended for a purpose we can only guess at. Some people see it as a place steeped in magic and mystery, some as a place where their imaginations of the past can be fired and others hold it to be a sacred place. But whatever viewpoint is brought to it and whatever its original purpose was, it should be treated as the ancients treated it, as a place of honor.
Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands extending for approximately 37 km southwest of Inverness. Its surface is 15.8 meters above sea level. Loch Ness is best known for the alleged sightings of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, also known as "Nessie".
Loch Ness is the second largest Scottish loch by surface area at 56.4 kmІ after Loch Lomond, but due to its great depth is the largest by volume. Its deepest point is 230 m, deeper than the height of London's BT Tower at 189 m and deeper than any other loch with the exception of Loch Morar. It contains more fresh water than all lakes in England and Wales combined, and is the largest body of water on the Great Glen Fault, which runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. The term "monster" was reportedly coined on 2 May 1933 by Alex Campbell, the water bailiff for Loch Ness and a part-time journalist, in a report in the Inverness Courier. On 4 August 1933, the Courier published as a full news item the claim of a London man named George Spicer that, a few weeks earlier, while motoring around the Loch, he and his wife had seen "the nearest approach to a dragon or pre-historic animal that I have ever seen in my life", trundling across the road toward the Loch carrying "an animal" in its mouth. The following month, another letter came from a veterinary student reporting a similar encounter while on a night drive. These stories soon reached the national (and later the international) press, which talked of a 'monster fish', 'sea serpent' or 'dragon', eventually settling on 'Loch Ness Monster'. On 6 December 1933 the first photograph (taken by Hugh Gray) was published, and the creature received official recognition from the Secretary of State for Scotland, ordering the police to prevent any attacks on it.
Searches for the monster:
- Sir Edward Mountain Expedition 1934;
- Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau (1962-1972);
- The LNPIB sonar study (1967-1968);
- Andrew Carroll's sonar study (1969);
- The Big Expedition of 1970;
- Robert Rines's studies (1972, 1975 and 2001);
- Global Underwater Search Team (GUST).
Many explanations have been postulated over the years to explain the claims for the existence of a Loch Ness Monster. These may be categorized: (1) unknown species of large animals; (2) mystic or paranormal; (3) misidentification of known animals; (4) inanimate objects or effects; (5) hoaxes. Note that believers in (1) or (2) accept that some or even most sightings may be due to (3), (4), and (5). In particular note that most sightings are of a large shape in the water - very few have more details.
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