Lessons in the "PlacesToVisit" Category

A visit to Edinburgh

Today, let’s talk about a visit to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. It’s a popular place to visit and many tourists do indeed visit the city and surrounding area in droves. Many Europeans fly in to Edinburgh Airport on budget airlines, together with people from all over the world.

Edinburgh Castle overlooks the city. Visitors who wish to visit the castle can see the former royal residence and its military barracks. It is also the birthplace of many Scottish Kings and Queens.

Category: Scotland / Edinburgh / Places to visit

I love London!

I love London! - That’s what the T-shirt says in the souvenir shop in Oxford Street. It’s what the tourists like to buy when they visit London.

People from all around the world love to visit London. It’s a great city. Many like to go on a red double decker bus or ride in a black London taxi. Others use the London Underground.

Category: Tourism / London / Places to Visit

What is couchsurfing?

Today, let’s talk about couchsurfing. What’s that I hear you ask? In a nutshell it’s when you kip on a strangers couch when travelling. Risky? I think so. Yet many young people around the world think it is not. The webpage www.couchsurfing.org finds you a registered couch for the night!

Today’s theme actually began on a train I took recently from Budapest in Hungary. I was travelling with a friend to Bratislava in Slovakia. On it we met several travellers; including a South Korean student who was travelling around Europe for two months alone! She was taking the night train to Prague in the Czech Republic.

Category: Travel / City to City / Couchsurfing

Auschwitz – A lesson in history

Today, let’s talk about Auschwitz. It’s a lesson in history we should never forget. Why discuss it now? Simple – I was recently invited to go to Poland for a long weekend to Cracow. One of the trips we made was to Auschwitz. I can tell you – it makes you think twice on many things once you have visited the place.

Whilst it is not in my top 10 places to visit I believe it is a place you should visit once in your life. Indeed, many tourists do – during mid June to mid September mostly. It is as creepy and shocking today as you can imagine. When you walk around the site you can only imagine how ghastly it was and what it might have been like to live there. I will add – for those non-believers who say the Jews weren’t murdered by the Nazis – I say this – visit this place and you will rapidly think again.

Category: History / WWII / Auschwitz

Events in London – April to June

Today’s English lesson focuses on more happening events in London.

Spring - The London Marathon is normally held in the spring. It is one of the biggest running events in the world. It is one of the top five marathons. Started in 1981, it raises money for many good charitable causes.

April – Enjoy some good old English heritage on the 23rd April when it is St George’s Day in England. London hosts the day with a host of festivities including street parades, theatrical events and many children’s activities. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson puts on a family-friendly St George’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square.

St George is the patron saint of England. His name is commonly associated with St George and the Dragon. Legend tells of St George saving the princess by slaying the dragon. A story every school child knows in England. It is on this day you will see the English flag flying right across the country.

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

Events in London – January to March

Today’s English lesson focuses on more happening events in London.

January - The New Year’s Day Parade in London is the first big event of the New Year. It runs through many of the West End’s famous streets. The parade, which started in 1987, features more than 10,000 performers from 20 London Boroughs and countries from across the globe taking part. Each year it gets bigger and bigger! The money raised goes to thousands of local charities.

Also happening in January is the London International Boat Show. In 2012, it returns to the ExCel Arena. The annual event offers visitors a multitude of things to do with boats! An alternative thing to do in London in January is to go to the annual Twelfth Night Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. The event marks the end of Christmas and the start of the New Year. Visitors can see a folk play enacted.

London is also a good place to be to see Chinese New Year celebrated. Next year sees it taking place on 23rd January. Chinatown in Soho will be the place to be! Watch out for the fireworks, firecrackers and crispy Chinese Duck!

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

Events in London – October to December

Today’s English lesson focuses on more happening events in London.

October – Witness Halloween in London! Get spooked on October 31st. Watch out for many witches at parties in clubs across the capital. Get haunted at the Tower of London or get spooked at the London Dungeons.

October also sees the Pearly Kings & Queens Harvest Festival take place in London. The event at St Paul’s church near Covent Garden is traditionally on the second Sunday of October...

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

Hadrian’s Wall

Today I thought we could look at Hadrian’s Wall. But what is Hadrian’s Wall and where is it? For that matter who was Hadrian? Well, Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive fortification on the edge of Roman Britain; on the edge of the Roman Empire. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian (ruled AD 117-138) it was the most heavily fortified border in the Roman Empire.

The wall was built to separate the Romans from the barbarians. Initial construction took six years. Expansions were later made. At every 1/3 Roman mile there was a tower, and at every mile a fortlet containing a gate through the wall. Possibly there was a tower and one or two barrack blocks. Forts were built every seven miles.

In addition to its role as a fortification it is thought the gates of the wall served as customs posts to allow trade and levy taxation. The actual wall lies in northern England. A significant amount of it can still be seen today. It runs from coast to coast.

Category: Places to Visit / Hadrian’s Wall / History

Events in London – July to September

Today’s English lesson focuses on some events happening in London.

July – In the first week of July London sees the final week of Wimbledon. The famous annual lawn tennis championship is the world’s premier tennis tournament. First started in 1877 the event plays host to all the top international tennis players at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

Next July London will host the Pride Parade. The event on the 7th July promotes gay, lesbian and transsexual issues.

Category: London / Tourism / London Events

A visit to London

London is probably the world’s most visited city, such is its popularity. It draws in visitors from all over the globe. It is a huge city. So what should one see in London?

Tourists should try a ride on a double decker bus; go on a journey on the London Underground and a trip in a London cab. Traditional sites to see include London Bridge and Tower Bridge. These are the two most famous bridges that cross the river Thames.

HMS Belfast is located in between and is well worth a visit. The nearby Tower of London offers visitors the chance to see the crown jewels, the ravens and the Yeomanry of the Guard. The West End is for shopping. The area includes Oxford Street, Tottenham Court Road, Regent Street and Piccadilly. Here you can see the legendary Eros statue.

If you go to Buckingham Palace in the summer you can go around it. Maybe take afternoon tea with the Queen. Maybe not! You could visit 10 Downing Street and see British Prime Minister David Cameron’s residence.

Category: UK / Tourism / London