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World Heritage Sites – City Spotlight

UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites shows 28 sites in the UK and three of those sites are whole cities.

If you haven’t been to all three of these UK cities, then perhaps it is time to plan a weekend or week long break to explore them. Naturally, Treasure Trails have Trails around all three and in the case of two of them have more than one route to follow!

City of Bath
Reason it is a WHS: founded by the Romans as a thermal spa, Bath became an important centre of the wool industry in the Middle Ages. In the 18th century, under George III, it developed into an elegant town with neoclassical Palladian buildings, which blend harmoniously with the Roman baths.

World Heritage Sites - City Spotlight - Bath

About the Bath Trails: there are three of them, one for each theme. If you decide to do all three you may not have time for much else! As you follow the route of the Bath Murder Mystery, you will pass the Abbey, Roman Baths, The Circus, Royal Crescent, Victoria Park, The Jane Austen Centre and numerous other sights. Make sure you have your camera ready. The Bath Spy Mission and the Bath Treasure Hunt are both lovely circular Trails which start and finish at the Tourist Information Centre near the Abbey and both have a range of eating places to tempt you along the way.

Parking in Bath is extremely limited so it is advisable to use one of the very regular park and rides from the outskirts of the city.

Another thing to do in Bath: Well of course it has to be the Roman Baths themselves. A trip around the baths can take as long or as short as you want it to and can easily be combined with a Treasure Trail. Do the Trail in the morning to get your bearings, have a really nice lunch at one of the many options and then take a tour of the baths in the afternoon – sound good? Count me in!

Old and New Towns of Edinburgh
Reason it is a WHS: Edinburgh has been the Scottish capital since the 15th century. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the neoclassical New Town, whose development from the 18th century onwards had a far-reaching influence on European urban planning. The harmonious juxtaposition of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character.

World Heritage Sites - City Spotlight - Edinburgh

About the Edinburgh Trails: There are four Trails around the city. One of them explores some contrasting areas of the Edinburgh New Town. Laid out in an organised grid pattern, you will have the opportunity to stroll through this fantastic architecture of the residential area as well as enjoy the smaller streets lined with bars and restaurants. Another of the four explores the Old Town, so you can compare and contrast and see the best of both worlds.

Constable John Gray was buried in Greyfriars kirkyard in 1858. His faithful Skye Terrier, Bobby, guarded his master’s grave for 14 years, leaving for his noon meal each day. The Edinburgh Greyfriars Trail will reveal the mystery to Bobby’s loyalty!

Or give the Edinburgh Royal Mile a try. The route of this Trail is through the western part of the Royal Mile, from the Old Kirk to Edinburgh castle. Every passageway and close along the way is steeped in history.

Another thing to do in Edinburgh: It is unlikely you will want to do all four Trails in a weekend, so perhaps it would be fun to do one of them in the morning and then spend the afternoon on the Royal Yacht Britannia and find out how the other half holiday! The Royal Deck Tea Room has stunning views, great afternoon tea and warm welcome! Cheers!

Liverpool – Maritime Mercantile City
Reason it is a WHS: Six areas in the historic centre and docklands of the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool bear witness to the development of one of the world’s major trading centres in the 18th and 19th centuries. Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire and became the major port for the mass movement of people, e.g. slaves and emigrants from northern Europe to America. Liverpool was a pioneer in the development of modern dock technology, transport systems and port management. The listed sites feature a great number of significant commercial, civic and public buildings, including St George’s Plateau.

World Heritage Sites - City Spotlight - Liverpool

About the Liverpool Trail: For a different sort of Trail, the Liverpool St George’s Hall is a pictures only Trail. It is set entirely around the stunning St George’s Hall and St John’s Gardens right in the heart of Liverpool’s vibrant and exciting city centre. This compact area is full of history and architectural detail and provides a fascinating insight into the city.

Another thing to do in Liverpool: You know the drill now, do the Trail in the morning and then spend the afternoon doing something else! For a fabulous free and fun experience, head to the north of Liverpool to Crosby Beach to enjoy Anthony Gormley’s Another Place. This amazing display of 100 iron figures looking out to sea is just so different to the normal sights seeing ideas. Make sure though that you time your visit during low tide otherwise you’ll miss out!

Look out for more posts on World Heritage sites, but in the meantime, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these three places – what did you like best about them or would recommend people did when they visited? Find the photo of Bath on our Facebook page and add your comments to join the conversation.

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20th November 2013

Posted In: Did you know


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Six Great British Pirates

Despite their current bad press, the pirates of old continue to fascinate and we wanted to come up with six great British pirates all born in places where we now have a Trail or two! We are not claiming these are the greatest pirates ever, but each of them has a great claim to fame!

1. The most famous pirate of them all was probably Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard. Blackbeard was born in Bristol and started his career as a crew member for the pirate Benjamin Hornigold. He understood power dressing! Before battle, he would dress all in black, strap several pistols to his chest and put on a large black captain’s hat. Then, he would put slow burning fuses in his hair and beard. The fuses constantly sputtered and gave off smoke, which wreathed him in a perpetual greasy fog. He looked like a devil who had stepped right out of hell and onto a pirate ship and most of his victims simply surrendered their cargo rather than fight him.

2. Calico Jack Rackham was also born in Bristol and is best known for two reasons – having the two most famous and ferocious female pirates in his crew, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.  And, his flag, a black one with a skull over crossed cutlasses has been adopted as the most recognisable contemporary pirate flag.

3. Captain Edward Low was born in Westminster. Although he was active for only three years, Low remains notorious as one of the most vicious pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy, with a reputation for violently torturing his victims before killing them. He sounds a really nasty piece of work, perhaps having being born in Westminster he was true to his roots!

4. Next on our list is the most successful of the pirates operating in the Golden Age of Piracy, Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. He was born in 1682 in Little Newcastle which is between Fishguard and Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire.  His success was measured by the number of ships he had (four) and the number of pirates he controlled (hundreds) and captured and looted more ships that many of the others put together.

5. Also born in Wales was Sir Henry Morgan, knighted by the queen for his services to the crown, despite being known as a famous Caribbean pirate and privateer! He is the most prominent in popular culture and appears on the labels of bottles of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and has two novels written about him; John Steinbeck’s A Cup of Gold and Josephine Tey’s the Privateer.

6. Thomas Tew, born in Northampton pioneered the route which became known as the Pirate Round. His sea chest is the only known sea chest with its origins leading back to a pirate!  It can be seen in the pirate themed museum in the Florida Keys, which perhaps makes him the most careless for losing it!

Who do you think is a Great British Pirate? Best idea (as chosen by Aaron, our General Manager) will receive a free Trail. Submit your ideas on our facebook page or through twitter – we need to hear from you by the end of the month to be in with a chance.


6th November 2013

Posted In: Did you know

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