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Happy birthday Your Majesty! Celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday in Britain

Britain’s longest-serving monarch met Britain’s longest-serving postman today as she shared the start of her 90th birthday celebrations with Royal Mail’s 500th anniversary.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the main sorting office in Windsor, after making the short journey from Windsor Castle, to begin the first official engagement of her birthday week.

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The Queen arrives at the Royal Mail in Windsor CREDIT: GEOFF PUGH FOR THE TELEGRAPH

The Queen, whose birthday is on Thursday, was greeted by a cheering crowd of hundreds of invited guests who had gathered in the car park to wish her an early Happy Birthday.

One of the biggest events will be The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration, in the private grounds of Windsor Castle (12 – 15 May); the town of Windsor is reached in 30 minutes by train from London. Queen Elizabeth II’s 90 years will be celebrated in 90 minutes of music, dance, song and equestrianism, involving more than 1,500 participants and 900 horses.

 

Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe will celebrate the Queen’s reign through three exhibitions of more than 150 of her outfits. The exhibitions will be staged at Her Majesty’s official residences, with each collection carefully selected for its particular association with the place. ThePalace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh will highlight the use of tartan in royal dress (21 April – October). London’s Buckingham Palace will cover fashions from the 1920s to the 2010s with outfits representing the Queen’s childhood, wedding, coronation, royal tours and state visits (August – September), while Windsor Castle will contrast the Queen’s magnificent evening gowns with the fancy dress costumes she wore for wartime family pantomimes (September 2016 – January 2017). www.royalcollection.org.uk

The Queen’s official birthday weekend in June will be another highlight. As usual, the Queen will attend a service of Thanksgiving at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral (10 June), and the traditional Trooping the Colour ceremony will be on 11 June. To get your hands on tickets (£30) for Trooping the Colour, apply in writing in February. Alternatively, there are two rehearsal events – The Major General’s Review (free; 28 May) and The Colonel’s Review (£10; 4 June) – or you can join the flag-waving crowds lining the procession’s route from Buckingham Palace along The Mall and Horseguards.www.householddivision.org.uk/trooping-the-colour

The climax of the office birthday weekend will be a host of classic British street parties across the country on 12 June. The biggest one, and the first of its kind, The Patron’s Lunch, will be on The Mall in London. Most of the 10,000 tickets for this have already been allocated, but the remaining tickets will be made available by public ballot in March (£150; www.thepatronslunch.com). Otherwise, pack a picnic and head to one of thelive sites in Green Park and St James’s Park and watch proceedings from big screens. Expect a festival atmosphere!

In Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Britannia will throw two parties fit for a queen. On 21 April and 12 June there will be complimentary birthday cake, Britannia fizz and music from the Musical Mariners on board the yacht, which was, according to the Queen, “the one place I could truly relax”. www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk

The Queen has attended RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London more than 50 times since 1949 so it’s no surprise that the show is planning something special to mark this occasion (24 -28 May). A photo exhibition will portray the Queen’s many visits to Chelsea, and a floral archway built to commemorate the Queen’s birthday will be one of the first things the Queen sees when she arrives at the show. www.rhs.org.uk

There will be plenty of celebrations in the equestrian world too. As well as jumping, dressage and endurance events, the Royal Windsor Horse Show (11 – 15 May 2016) will be a chance for visitors without tickets for the 90th Celebration to see some of the acts; it will be in the same venue as The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration (from £16; www.rwhs.co.uk). Windsor Racecourse will hold HRH Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday Racenight on 16 May, with music after the racing (from £9). www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk

Articl source: Visit Britain and Daily Telegraph

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http://www.Welcome2Britain.com

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10 Amazing Day Trips You Can Take From London

It’s important (and easy) to travel around England when studying abroad in London.

LONDON DAY TRIP

Studying abroad in London is great: there are an infinite number of possibilities in such a massive city. It can be amazing but it can also be overwhelming, and sometimes you just need to get out of the city for a day. It is also important to remember to explore the other parts of the United Kingdom while you’re abroad in order to truly understand your host country’s culture. Due to my slightly unfortunate class schedule, I can’t take weekend trips, so I have been spending my weekends taking day trips around England, both to see some items on my bucket list and also to discover all the charm that England has to offer.

If you buy a 16-25 Railcard for £30 when you arrive to London, you save 1/3 on all rail journeys throughout the UK for one year. You’ll most likely make up your money within a couple of train trips. I’ve saved so much money because of my railcard and it has definitely encouraged me to take as many day trips around England as possible! Here are ten great day trips you can take around England while you’re abroad, both common tourist destinations and off the beaten path towns. England has something to offer for everyone, and everything is just a train ride away! (the ticket prices listed below are including the 16-25 Railcard discount).

St. Albans Cathedral

St. Albans is a great little town just north of London with some fabulous pubs and a beautiful cathedral. If you’re studying abroad in the fall, you can visit St. Albans near Christmas and go to their fantastic Christmas Market, which is located right next to St. Albans Cathedral (free admission). Grab a bite in the pub called The Boot. It’s incredibly charming and old and has great food. All in all, St. Albans is perfect for wandering and relaxing, especially if you need a little break from the hustle and bustle of London! Return tickets from London Blackfriars and Kings Cross are £7.90 and train rides are about 40 minutes. (Trains that terminate at Bedford call at St. Albans and are much faster than the trains that terminate at St. Albans itself!)

Winchester

Love Jane Austen and green spaces? Head to Winchester to see one of the best preserved medieval Great Halls, Jane Austen’s final place of rest in Winchester Cathedral, and a lovely city with a lot of green space. You can also see some otters at one of the longest running mills in England. It’s the perfect destination on a sunny day-St. Giles Hill, which lies at the south end of the city, offers breathtaking views of the city (and good exercise). If you head to Winchester on a Saturday, wander around the town market. Return tickets are about £22 from London Waterloo and trains are about an hour and a half.

Oxford

Oxford is the oldest school in the English speaking world and definitely one of the prettiest campuses there is. You feel like you step back in time upon arriving at the city. You can visit individual colleges as well as the ones that were used in the filming of Harry Potter. However, opening times listed online are sometimes not accurate and the college visiting hours are short. The best thing to do is make a list of the colleges you want to visit, and just walk to each of them while in Oxford. Also, make sure to bring your student ID in order to get student prices (usually around £1) for visiting the colleges. If you want to visit the famous Duke Humfrey’s Reading Room at Bodleian Library (where they filmed the library scenes in Harry Potter), you need to book a tour ahead of time or at the ticket booth, which will cost about £7. Off-peak return tickets are about £16 from London Paddington.

Cambridge

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Kings College Chapel

Fancy seeing what is continually ranked the best school in the world? Cambridge is the place to go. The buildings are extravagant and the famous Kings College Chapel is a must-see. Be sure to check the opening days and times of the colleges you want to visit and bring your student ID for the student entry fees into the colleges that charge admission. Off peak return tickets are £10.90 from London Kings Cross on the weekends. Unlike most cities, the train station is about a mile from the campus, so be prepared for a short walk before you actually start seeing the colleges!

Cardiff

Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and full of culture. There is so much to do and see so check out my 12 hour guide on exactly how much Caridff has to offer. You can even extend your trip to a weekend excursion if you find you want to do everything on the list! It is about a two hour train ride from London Paddington and return tickets range from £28 to £48 depending on how far in advance you book!

Canterbury

Canterbury is a medieval town that is home to the famous Canterbury Cathedral from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. It has 1,400 years of history and is the site of Archbishop Thomas Beckett’s murder, England’s most famous murder. Tickets are £9.50 for students and well worth it. Other attractions worth visiting are St. Augustine’s Abbey, founded in 597 by St. Augustine, marking the rebirth of Christianity in Southern England, the ruins of the Norman Castle, and the Dane John Gardens, which date back to 1551. Return tickets to Canterbury West are £19.80 from St. Pancras International.

Bath

Bath is home to the famous Roman Baths and the city looks like it has been untouched since the 1800s. After you see the baths (be prepared for crowds of schoolchildren), grab lunch at one of the several pubs around town (my favorite was the West Gate Public House) and then spend time at the Jane Austen Centre (Bath was the setting of two of her novels), Bath Abbey (right by the Roman Baths), and the Royal Crescent. Jacob’s Coffee House is a great place to grab a cup of tea, or if you feel the need to splurge, Bath has a wide selection of tea houses for afternoon tea! Train tickets to Bath can get quite expensive if you don’t book them far enough in advance, so be sure to plan ahead to get the cheapest tickets!

Brighton

In need of a beach day? Head to Brighton! Wander around Brighton Pier, relax on the beach, and check out the flea market. Go to the Royal Pavilion, built as a pleasure palace for King George IV between 1787 and 1823. It’s a great example of exotic oriental architecture and perfect if you want to add a little history to your day trip! Return tickets from St. Pancras International or London Blackfriars are about £6.95

Salisbury/Stonehenge

If you want to see Stonehenge, Salisbury is the best place from which to do it. The Stonehenge Tour company will pick you up right at the train station and drive you direct to Stonehenge and back, including admission to Stonehenge itself, for £26 (Entrance to Stonehenge is £13 if you can find your own way there and tickets must be booked in advance). The bus also takes you to Old Sarum, the site of the earliest settlement in Salisbury. When you get back to Salisbury, head to Salisbury Cathedral, which has tallest spire in England and one of the tallest spires in the world. Hitler even ordered the Luftwaffe not to bomb Salisbury because they used the cathedral spire as a marker when flying over England. The cathedral, absolutely gorgeous in itself, also houses the best preserved copy of one of the original four copies of the Magna Carta. Train tickets to Salisbury from London Waterloo are £25 and about an hour and 20 minutes long.

Windsor Castle

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Fancy a visit to the Queen’s residence? Windsor Castle has been the home of kings and queens for over 1000 years, making it the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. Windsor is a great destination if you’re feeling particularly #royal and want to see some of the great treasures from British history and wander through the rooms the Royal Family sometimes lives in! The Semi-State apartments are open between late September and late March, so plan your visit around that time to make the most of your Windsor Castle experience. After touring the castle, walk around the town of Windsor and grab some lunch at one of the pubs across from the castle itself. Return tickets to Windsor & Eton Central Station from London Paddington range from £6.85 to £10.40 depending on when you leave. Bonus: your castle ticket (£17.50) can be used as a yearlong ticket. Just check the website before you go to make sure that the castle and famous chapel are open! And opt for the complementary audioguide.

By Alex Mathews, Davidson College

Article source: By Alex Mathew: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/college-tourist/10-amazing-day-trips-you-can-take-from-london_b_6894136.htm

We operate small group day tours from London
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Visit Salisbury Cathedral and see the Magna Carta. 2015 is the 800th Anniversary

The four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta from 1215 will come together for the first time in history next February as part of a one-off event to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the historic document.

We are operating small group tours including a visit to Salisbury Cathedral which has the best surviving copy of the Magna Carta.  View our Salisbury and Magna Carta tours here.  Our Windsor Castle tours will take you through Runnymede

eng_magna_carta_signingThe Magna Carta – literally, Great Charter – was issued by King John in 1215, as his barons revolted and civil war loomed. It saw the monarch avert crisis by acknowledging that the king was not above the law, and with the granting of a range of rights to English citizens. “To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice,” runs one of its most famous clauses.

Written on single sheets of parchment, running to around 4,000 words of medieval Latin, two of the surviving 1215 Magna Carta documents are kept at the British Library – one of which was severely damaged in an 18th-century fire, and which has been painstakingly restored using multispectral imaging. One is currently at Lincoln Cathedral, and one at Salisbury Cathedral. On 3 February 2015, they will be brought together at the British Library.

‘Still relevant’

Although almost all of the clauses have been repealed in modern times, the document established a number of important principles that remain in place and have been copied around the world.

Julian Harrison, curator of early modern manuscripts at the British Library, said: “It established for the first time that nobody – not even the king – was above the law and it contains certain principles relating to individual liberties which still remain relevant today. Nobody can be imprisoned or detained indefinitely without being put on trial.”

The document inspired the US Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Magna Carta Tours

We are operating small group tours including a visit to Salisbury Cathedral which has the best surviving copy of the Magna Carta.  View our Salisbury and Magna Carta tours here.  Our Windsor Castle tours will take you through Runnymede

The Small Group U.K Tour Experts
http://www.welcome2britain.com

Experience the majesty of England’s most famed and beautiful castle’s

English Castles 2 Day Tour – New exclusive tour for 2013

 Travel into history on this 2 day private chauffeur driven English Castles Tour and experience the majesty England’s most famed and beautiful castles. English Castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries. Noble Lords built castles to control the area immediately surrounding them, Castles were both offensive and defensive structures; they provided a base from which raids could be launched as well as protection from enemies. Although their military origins are often emphasised in castle studies, Castles also served as centres of administration and symbols of power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, and rural castles were often situated near features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills and fertile land.

Itinerary for 2 Day Tour of English Castles DAY 1 – 9am start (0930 weekends)Hever Castle Tour

  • Windsor Castle. Windsor is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen. Its rich history spans almost 1000 years.
  • Wardour Castle Now a ruin, Wardour Castle was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment.
  • Highclere Castle The Golden Globe winning Downton Abbey was brought to life at Highclere Castle. It sits on 1,000 acres of parkland and it has been the country seat of the Earls of Carnarvon since 1679.
  • Amberley Castle The luxury castle where you will spend the night. Hidden away for 900 years near the picturesque village of Amberley in the chalk South Downs, Amberley Castle is a magnificent historical treasure that offers a truly unique experience. Through the Portcullis and 60 ft curtain walls you will find beautiful landscaped gardens, fine examples of medieval architecture and an unrivalled atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

DAY 2 – 9am start (0930 weekends)                

  • Arundel Castle The seat of The Dukes of Norfolk and set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds and gardens, Arundel Castle has been open to visitors seasonally for nearly 200 years. It is one of the great treasure houses of England, each having its own unique place in history and is home to priceless works of art.
  • Leeds Castle Set in 500 acres of beautiful parkland, a visit to Leeds Castle in the garden of England is full of discovery. Visitors are transported through the castleʼs history; an eclectic mix of period architecture, with sumptuous interiors and family treasures.
  • Hever Castle The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, it later passed into the ownership of Henryʼs fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
  • Dover Castle Spectacularly situated above the White Cliffs on the Kent coastline this magnificent castle boasts

     Chauffeur Driven Tour Chauffeur driven tours are a luxurious but affordable solution to sightseeing in style. We take you away from the crowded streets and buses on an intimate tour in a private vehicle, guided by your professional chauffeur, who gives you personal attention and courtesy throughout the experience, including hotel pick up/drop off and numerous photo opportunities, and of course a chance to savour each location at a more leisurely and intimate pace. Make no mistake, there is no better way to travel!

Overnight Tour Details: http://www.welcome2britain.com/english-castles-sightseeing-overnight-tour.htm

Travel Editor
The Small Group Tour Experts