>  Posts tagged "UK"

On a gorgeous Friday just before a long weekend and school holiday, we took advantage of the relative peace and quiet to see some sights around Poole Harbour. Our first stop was at the the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a charitable organisation which provides most of the offshore rescue services for Britain and Ireland. Poole is the headquarters of the RNLI, and also hosts the training facilities, around which we took a tour. We got to see all the various classes of lifeboat, the wave pool that can simulate a full blown storm for practicing how to deal with a

The Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth are best thought of as a kind of British naval history theme park. There are half a dozen ships of different vintages and states of repair, ranging from the half-hulk of Henry VIII's Mary Rose, all the way up to a submarine that was running missions in the Cold War. It's huge. We spent two days exploring the dockyard's multiple museums, and could easily have spent a third. The highlight was probably the Mary Rose exhibit, which was opened in 2016, 33 years after the ship was retrieved from the bottom of the sea. The

The Old Harry Rocks are an outcropping of white cliffs in Studland Bay in Dorset. We walked from Knole Beach all the way out to the rocks and then across to Swanage. The cliffs are spectacular — no guardrails here! Just a sheer drop down to the ocean and rocks below. Old Harry Rocks Looking down over the sheer cliff face Thankfully, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution trains Britain's lifeboat crews off the coast Swanage and Poole, so if worst came to worst they were there in their speedboats to fish us out. Looking across to Swanage

There are some 2,000 miles of navigable canals in England and Wales, mostly dating from the early 19th century, when they were an essential way to move people and goods around the country. Nowadays, the network of canals, locks, tunnels, and bridges is mainly used by pleasure boaters and holiday-makers. All around England, you can find marinas that will rent you a narrowboat for a week. With what seems like very cursory instruction on how to operate the locks and your boat, they send you off in a 17-ton, 6-foot 10-inch wide hunk of steel. Mazel tov! We set off from

The Morgan Motor Company is a venerable factory in Worcestershire that has been making cars on the same premises since 1914. They have three models of cars, all built by hand at their workshops in the Malvern Hills. While we were in the area, we booked a 'Morgan Experience' tour so we could see how their craftsmen build 15 cars a week, each one unique and built-to-order. The tour is genuinely excellent; you get an up-close look at cars being built in busy workshops. The boys were fascinated to see the work-in-progress, and even as non-petrol-heads, it was really interesting

We were only staying in Ironbridge and Much Wenlock for a few days, waiting to take our canal boat from Worcester. Nevertheless, between the industrial revolution heritage of Ironbridge (the first ever iron-only bridge), Much Wenlock's medieval ruined priory and guildhall, and the rolling Shropshire hills, we had a pretty productive few days in this charming part of the world. As a birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Ironbridge was always on our to-do list. The fact that it was another World Heritage Site ticked off the list was just icing on the cake. Unfortunately, the main Museum of the Gorge is