5 underrated cities to visit in the UK

When you finally visit the UK, the first city you’re going to want to visit is London. Of course, this is the natural place that everyone wants to go, after all it’s the capital of the UK. It has monuments, theatres, historical treasures, markets, restaurants and crowds and crowds and crowds of tourists. If you’re looking to avoid getting over-heated and being forced to wait for ages to get into one venue, you might want to reconsider your travel plans. Try out some of these less crowded areas of the UK. They are so worth it!

Newcastle upon Tyne

This isn’t the biggest city in the UK, but it’s perfect for people who are ready to explore the North. Not only is it only 1 hour away from Edinburgh, but this small city is cram-packed full of culture. During the day, you can visit an insane amount of historical monuments, including Greys Monument, the bridges (including the Tyne & Millennium Bridge), Newcastle castle keep, the Baltic, the SAGE, Hadrian’s Wall and the famous Angel of the North. Not only that, but when the night falls, the party life in the Geordie city awakens! You can explore the clubs either with your friends, romantic partners or with one of the beautiful Newcastle escorts, it doesn’t make a difference.

No matter who you go with, you will find the nightlife full of hype, fun and excitement. Some of the best bars include Jalou, As you like it, The Botanist and Jam Jar. So, allow yourself to unwind with a cocktail and prepare yourself for the night of your life. There will always be a nearby chippy to end your night on a good note.

Newcastle is the perfect place to go to if you are looking for a place to relax without too many people spoiling your day. There is a bit of a party culture, but don’t worry, this only comes out at night. If you have a free day in Newcastle, why not head down to the River Tyne to enjoy a cocktail al-fresco. You will feel all of your worries melt away before you know it!

Leeds

After you have visited Newcastle, you may be longing to explore a bit of a bigger city that’s not too far down south. If you crave a metropolitan city that has a mixture of gorgeous green spaces, free festivals and cultural hideaways, Leeds is the perfect place for you.

Did you know that Leeds has some of the most gorgeous green spaces and nature reserves? From The Holies to Rodley Nature Reserve, St Aidans, Yeadon Tarn to Kirkstall Abbey, there are so many places that you can spend the day exploring that you will just have to pack a dozen picnics in preparations. These green areas are great places to simple sit back, relax and watch the world go by.

However, if you are fancying something that is a bit more cultural, there’s no harm in exploring the city. With its hundreds of stores (the best ones being in the Corn Exchange) and Grand theatre, which is the perfect place to catch a quick opera production, and fantastic museum options, you will be entertained for hours on end.

Longing for something that is a little different that can entertain your friends and family? Why not check out “Tick Tock Unlock”? This is one of Leeds most popular escape rooms. You will have 60 minutes to get out of a room by solving a number of riddles, puzzles and challenges. It is an hour of fun and is the perfect bonding experience for both you and your friends. However, you can also do it on your own if you feel brave enough.

York

Ah, York, one of the major historical cities of the UK. Where can we even begin? York Minister is the natural option for an culture explorer but what about Clifford’s tower, the National Railway museum or walk along the River Ouse? Better yet, why not take a trip through the Shambles to look at York’s quirky shops and restaurants? This is a city that is full of life and excitement. They even have an ancient fortified wall that you can go explore!

York is practically the very model of an English town, so it’s not surprising that it’s a great tourist spot during the summer time. You can take trips up the river and feel wonderfully overwhelmed by the medieval feeling that practically pervades through the city.

Manchester

Manchester is one of those cities that is bursting with colour and pride. No matter where you go, you will find people relaxing and chilling out on the city city streets. Just look at Piccadilly gardens! With its weekend market, beautiful greenaries and relaxation spots, you will find yourself in a world of bliss. However, if you fancy something that’s a little more cultural than restaurants, bars and parks, why not check out the John Rylands Library, Manchester Art  Gallery, Museum of Science and Industry or Trafford’s football park?

To be frank, one of the main appeal of Manchester is how many sociable areas there actually are. Whether you choose to go to Deansgate, China Town, Spinningfields or Manchester Central, you will find a wide variety of markets, restaurants and al-fresco bars. The true treasure of Manchester’s night life though is Canal Street, also known as Manchester’s Gay Village. It is basically known as party central and is fantastic if you are planning to paint the town red!

Lake District

Now, the Lake District is more an area of the UK than an actual city. But it is honestly worth visiting the countryside then it will be the perfect place for you to take a moment to breath and appreciate your surroundings. With over 3,100 of countryside at your fingertips, you can walk, run, cycle or even get on the water of the lakes of the area. Book a cabin and join in a guided walk. This can be on the rambles or to the higher mountain peaks. You can even hire a bike if you fancy taking some of the cycle routes or a boat if you want to get on the lakes.

Once you are done with your daily adventures then get ready to snuggle up with your loved ones around a camp fire. There are even glamping areas which contain BBQs and jacuzzis for you to try out! If you are feeling stressed then this is truly the best place to go to get away from the world.

Have fun on your journey!

The UK is truly a wonderful place to explore. Don’t just stick to London. Instead, spread yourself out and see what the Brits have to offer. With our marvellous castles, multi-cultural cities and immersive culture, you certainly won’t get bored.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

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Top Flooring Options for Your Home

The idea to renovate and upgrade your home is one that many homeowners have taken to heart today. They want a new kitchen or bathroom, or to make their family room larger, or even add an additional bedroom. These are all great upgrades that can add to the beauty and comfort-ability of your home.

One of the best home upgrades to make is to add new high quality flooring to some or all of the rooms in your home.

Flooring has become a top renovation statement and is sometimes overlooked as a way to upgrade the look in rooms, hallways and other areas of your home. That is until the homeowner actually does the upgrade and then the reaction is that they regret waiting so long. There are many options for new flooring. Here are some of the most popular options for you to consider.

Hardwood

In terms of the most beautiful and elegant type of flooring hardwood has virtually every other type of flooring beat. Hardwood flooring covers a variety of hard woods that range in color, style and have unique patterns. The wood planks come in a range of widths and are always finished with coatings that make the wood look beautiful and last for years. They can bring out the look of furniture, drapes and wall coverings improving the stylishness of each.

In terms of upkeep, hardwood floors are easy to maintain with only a dry mop needed for cleaning. Dust and food will not stick to the floors. You will however every year or so depending on traffic have to get the floors polished. And must be careful however because the floors can scratch easily and deep scratches will require a professional to remove. Also you cannot let the floors get excessively wet or the wood will warp. If you are a bit careful, and do not put them in high traffic areas, your hardwood floors will last for decades and give you great service.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood is manufactured by binding or fixing the strands, particles, fibres, or veneers or boards of wood, together with adhesives, or other methods. Engineered wood flooring is made from the same hardwoods and softwoods used to manufacture lumber. They contain a thin layer of hardwood on top and a plywood base beneath. Since engineered wood has a thinner layer of hardwood on top, it is not as durable as hardwood flooring. It can also chip of break more easily.

However engineered flooring does offer some advantages over hard wood. First, it can be purchased for less than expensive hardwood flooring. Also, is an excellent choice for areas where solid hardwood cannot be installed, like in basements, over concrete floors or over radiant heating systems. Engineered wood like Kahrs engineered wood flooring can be purchased in the most elegant styles and many that cannot be found in traditional wood flooring. It also is has advantages over carpet because it does not hold dirt or dust that can trigger allergies.

Carpet

Carpet has been a go to floor covering for forever because of its many positive attributes. It can be purchased in all price ranges. It is very durable and suitable for high traffic areas. Carpet comes in a huge range of styles and looks to match any room or furniture. And it feels great on bare feet.

Carpet can be challenging because it can be difficult to clean especially if spills get into the padding. If it collects too many spills, carpet can begin to smell. It also collects dust and even with frequent vacuuming it can be difficult to fully clean. There are however some great carpet cleaning services that can deep clean carpet and make it seem like new. In the end carpet remains so popular because of its versatility and look.

Although each flooring choice has great benefits, it may come down to the look and feel of the flooring you want in your home. Experiment with samples of each and you will discover the perfect choice.

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Wealthy locals support the economy of prime central London

The economy of prime central London is run by its wealthy residents
Photo by CC user Arriva436 on Wikimedia Commons

It is a widespread misunderstanding that the residents of prime central London do not contribute anything of value to the local economy. However, premier estate agents, Wetherell, have released a new report which shows that residents do in fact represent a significant support division in the prime central London economy and local neighbourhoods support the leisure, employment, and shopping sectors considerably.

There are currently 2,000 millionaires calling Mayfair home, of which 20 are billionaires, and 200 earn a nine-figure salary. Supporting data in the report provided by Westminster City Council, Dataloft, and EGI reveals that these wealthy residents contribute a generous £2.5 billion to the UK and local economy each year. Findings illustrate that the most supported areas in the local economy by people of the prime neighbourhood are luxury shopping, consultants, and employment. The annual spending review exposes spending of £2,700,000 on Interior Design and Artwork, £644,000 on Clothing, and £325,000 on Staff, at super prime households worth over £15 million, in Mayfair.

NUMBER ONE ADDRESS IN PRIME CENTRAL LONDON

Mayfair has always graced prime central London’s premium addresses and global destination wishlists with its presence. Despite this consistency, the exclusive neighbourhood has appealed to a changing profile of people over the years, with residents of the area getting younger each year. 43 percent of households in Mayfair are currently home to prosperous young couples and singles, with a high level of education. The property market in the district offers a rising number of flats designed specifically for this residential profile, making Mayfair younger by the day.

In addition to younger residents, Mayfair also attracts a broad range of people from around the world, with over 42 nationalities calling the neighbourhood home and over 60 percent of current residents having been born overseas. This ever-changing mix of people attracted to Mayfair is likely to continue changing as time goes on due to the shift in global economy and fortunes cropping up in other locations. Currently, 540 billionaires reside in the US, while 251 are in China and 120 in Germany, according to the Forbes Rich List. There are fewer Russian-speaking billionaires of late, and the Middle East has seen a fall as oil prices decline.

THE EXPANDING PROPERTY MARKET

Mayfair is set to undergo a major transformation this year, with further developments spanning the next five years. W1K has historically been the most expensive address in Mayfair, but with a long list of luxury developments in the pipeline, prices will begin to spread, and sales prices will increase, expanding the most expensive postcode across W1S and W1J.

The current property account in Mayfair consists of 4,348 homes, of which wealthy tenants privately rent 2,173 with an average weekly rental amount of £1,387, homeowners maintain 1,305, and the final 870 are social houses. Of the 1,305 owned properties, five percent are estimated to be worth under £1 million, while 45 are worth over £10 million. The remaining 50 percent are valued between £2 million and £10 million.

If the current property values were not enough evidence of Mayfair’s affluence and exclusivity, the average cost of a flat or house entering the current market is over £1 million and £4.8 million respectively. Despite the Global Financial Crisis, the prime central London property market remained stable, with current house prices higher than before the crisis began in 2007. Mayfair property prices have been growing at a slightly lower rate than the 45 percent last year, at 42 percent, but higher than the latest decade average of 30 percent.

The most recent decade has seen house prices in Mayfair grow by 188 percent, which is a substantial difference to the growth in wider prime central London. The Mayfair property market even outperformed the equity markets, making it the perfect place for investment.

Moving forward, the luxurious district will continue to allure affluent residents, with the ability to provide new properties offering everything that the modern dweller desires. With the demand for luxury living growing and Mayfair in a position to provide advanced technology and exclusive design in its properties, these new homes can reach new price levels, with the most premium developments driving a 100 percent price tag over the current average house price in Mayfair. With that in tow, Mayfair will continue to grow and remain healthy with the local economy supported by its residents.

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3 London experiences for the culturally minded

England has been a favorite tourist destination for years, especially with those inclined towards discovering its historical riches, from treasures of the monarchy to some of the best European and world art that has found its home here. It would be worthwhile to visit London if you’re planning a trip to Europe anytime soon.

So if museums and art galleries are your thing, London is most definitely a city that will fulfill your hunger for these things and some. Here are 3 things that you can and should do if you want to get the best out of your stay in London:

Theatres:

 

As London experiences go, seeing a play at the Globe is among the most sought after

Photo: David Stanley

Theatre culture is big in England. Hang on, Theatre culture is VERY, very big in England, and it is probably more present in London than anywhere else. Perhaps the quintessential representation of this would in fact be the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Shakespeare’s life and works are presented here in different formats from modern renditions of his plays to symposiums and talks for all ages to discover and enjoy. You can also delve back to the Elizabethan period and try out a bit of what life was like in the most famous Bard’s times.

 

Art Galleries:

Ever since the Renaissance period, England has garnered some fame in possessing some of the best artwork from all around. London’s art galleries are some of the better curated ones in Europe and display a vast range of historical masterpieces as well as contemporary works. The National Gallery is one of the most popular displaying works from between 13th to 19th century, covering some of the most important artists from various major movements including Renaissance and Victorian. You can also visit Royal Academy of Arts, which houses the only marble sculpture made by Michelangelo in all of England, the ‘Taddei Tondo’ or The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John as it is better known.

 

stoneart

If you have a more contemporary taste and want to check out some more modern work, make sure to visit the Saatchi Gallery, which albeit a much smaller one, it always has some of the best up and coming artists the circuit has to offer.

 

Photo: Michael Summers

Royal Sites:

When you think of England, you can help but imagine kings and queens in their glamorous gowns and fancy palaces. London is the place where you can walk into your imagination by witnessing some great royal sites that will leave you wonderstruck. Kensington Palace is one of the historical places which are open for tourists and you can enjoy the cultural and historical vibe there. Hampton Court Palace, Household Cavalry Museum and many other royal sites are open for tourists and you can enjoy such sites while you are visiting London.

No matter the London experiences that you have, a long list of memories will be attributed to each of these places and you will feel the beauty and cultural abundance in each of the sites that you visit.

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