Today, Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest-reigning monarch when she passed the record set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. The Queen has reigned now for more than 63 years seven months.
The Queen, who is 89, spent today on official duties in Scotland. It is a normal working day for her with no special celebration. Originally though it was to have been a ‘no-fuss day’ spent at Balmoral, but after caving in to demands that she should be seen on such a momentous day, she agreed to undertake an engagement.
Today, we are going to talk about epic road trips. Probably the most famous one to travel along is Route 66 in America. Now there is a new route for you to consider – in Scotland.
North Coast 500 or NC500 is a brilliant new route to journey along. It takes you right around the northern coast of Scotland. It has already been named one of the top coastal routes in the world.
Today let’s talk about this year’s Commonwealth Games that are taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. The 11 day event is on between the 23rd July and 3rd August.
Celtic Park will host the 20th Commonwealth Games Opening ceremony that will be attended by over 4,500 athletes and their coaches. Legendary singer Rod Stewart will perform to the 40,000 crowd together with Britain’s Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle. The stadium is home to the famous Celtic Football Club.
Category: Sport / Commonwealth Games 2014 / Glasgow
Today, let’s talk about the top places to visit in the UK. London probably tops the list. The capital city offers visitors Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street and the London Eye. London is huge! It offers tourists fabulous pubs, theatres and sports venues.
Outside of London, where to go and what to see? Probably the second most visited city is Edinburgh in Scotland. It is popular around New Year’s Eve and during the summer when it hosts the Edinburgh Festival.
Category: Tourism / United Kingdom / Places to Visit
Today, let’s talk about the top 10 places to visit in Great Britain. London probably tops the list. The capital city offers visitors Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, The London Eye and the Houses of Parliament. West End attractions include Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square.
Many tourists can experience going on a red London bus or riding in a black London taxi. Some try a journey on the London Underground. London is huge! It offers visitors some fabulous pubs, theatres and sports venues.
Category: Great Britain / Places to Visit / Top 10
Is Scotland going to leave the United Kingdom? Will it break away and become an independent country? That’s the question.
The Union has lasted more than 300 years - yet Scottish Nationalist party leader Alex Salmond would like to break away from it and form an independent Scotland. If so, will Great Britain suddenly become a little less great? The United Kingdom, which currently includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, would then be not so ‘United’.
The Union Jack would suddenly be without its blue colours. Northern Ireland and Wales have indicated they would prefer Scotland to remain in the UK. Ironically in a recent poll whilst 52% of Scottish people voted to leave the UK 59% of English people wanted them to leave! The English want an independent England!
Category: United Kingdom / Scotland / UK Breakup
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
Today we will look at some traditional dishes from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and England. Scotland has some interesting dishes. The most famous is haggis, the ingredients of which include sheep’s lungs, heart and liver that are minced with spices, oatmeal and onion, and are traditionally boiled in a sheep’s stomach.
There is Scottish steak pie made with Scottish beef. Scotch pie or mince pie is a double crusted pie made with Scottish minced mutton. Scotch eggs are popular. These are eggs covered with pork sausage meat and breadcrumbs. Scotch broth is a soup made with barley, mutton and chopped fresh vegetables.
Scots love to eat venison, also grouse when in season. For breakfast they eat porridge made with real Scotch oats. They also eat a hearty Scottish breakfast, which is either bacon, egg, tomato, potatoes and blood sausage or Scottish kippers.
In Northern Ireland there is Irish stew. The Ulster variety is made with steak pieces instead of lamb. A favourite pub grub choice for many in Northern Ireland is steak and Guinness pie. Locally made sausages are also a favourite.
Category: United Kingdom / Traditional Food / Food Dishes
Today let’s look at some great British desserts. Traditional favourites are apple pie, apple (and blackberry) crumble and rhubarb crumble. All are served with custard or fresh cream. A similarly popular pie is lemon meringue pie. This tasty pastry tart is filled with thick lemon sauce and is topped with meringue.
Sponge puddings are very popular in Britain. Traditionally steamed, these days most are microwaveable. They include; treacle sponge pudding with custard, chocolate sponge with chocolate sauce and sticky toffee pudding. Spotted dick pudding is another favourite dessert. However, this is made with suet, currants and raisins. It’s served with either custard, a sprinkling of sugar or golden syrup.
A popular summer dish is summer pudding that’s made with sliced white bread and summer fruits. Another dessert to try is bread and butter pudding. It’s made with stale buttered bread, milk, eggs and raisins. Other old favourites include; a jam rolly-poly, baked custard, custard tarts, cheesecake, yogurt and fruit fool e.g. gooseberry or raspberry fool.
Category: Great Britain / Food / Desserts
Food is always a good talking point in any conversation. So today, let’s talk about some Great British food dishes. Britain has some fabulous mouth watering choices. So what are they?
Well, let’s start with one of the most popular – freshly bought fish and chips from the fish and chip shop. In England, cod is the favourite fish in the south; haddock in the north. The chips are sprinkled with salt and vinegar. Northerners like mushy peas with theirs.
Another British dish is Steak and Kidney Pudding or Pie. The former is made with suet, the latter with pastry. Both are filled with succulent cut-up pieces of British beef and ox kidney. They are delicious with potatoes and English vegetables and some Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce.
A similar traditional pub meal is pie and mash. These days pie is made with beef. More than 50 years ago however, Londoners from the East End made this pie with jellied eels, as eels were then cheaper than beef.