Visiting Stonehenge With Kids

Visiting Stonehenge With Kids

You might believe that Stonehenge is a place unsuited to children, and better for adults-only visits. However, this is not at all the case. Indeed, there is plenty for kids to see and do both at Stonehenge itself and in the immediate area. We’ll summarise some of the best possibilities here.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge isn’t just a circle of large stones (which, as you will learn, many children find just as mesmerising as adults anyway) – it also now houses a vast new visitor centre containing an exhibition space with over 300 archaeological finds from the area and a 360 degree audio visual tour through the ‘story of the stones’. The centre also contains a child-friendly shop and café (The Stonehenge Kitchen), as well as baby-changing facilities. The landscape around Stonehenge also provides children with what is essentially an enormous outdoor playground – great for burning of excess energy!

Other Child-friendly Attractions in the Area

There are also plenty of other things to do to occupy the kids in the vicinity of Stonehenge. There is, for instance, Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, which contains plenty of fascinating interactive displays, and which also runs regular workshops to entertain younger visitors.

Also in Salisbury is the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, which features a number of historic jets and fighter planes, including Jaguar, Harrier, and Hawk Jets. You can actually clamber into the cockpits of many of the planes, some of which even have working motors. In a similar vein, the Museum of Army Flying in Stocksbridge houses galleries devoted to all sorts of army and air force related paraphernalia, as well as a reconstructed 1940s house. The facility also contains interactive flight simulators and a cinema showing film captured during wartime, as well as a gift shop, licensed café, and children’s play area.

For some energetic fun, head down to Larkhill Space Station, an enormous, multi-levelled and vibrantly coloured indoor adventure playground in the Wacky Warehouse mould. With loopy slides, padded climbing frames, and gigantic ball pools, the facility will keep kids entertained for a couple of hours at least. There is also a separate play space dedicated to those of toddler-age.

Alternatively, visit Farmer Giles’ Farmstead to view and earn about farm animals and life on a traditional West Country farm. The site is entirely oriented towards little ones and contains an adventure playground, souvenir shop, and café. A little further afield at Ringwood is a ‘Go Ape’ facility equipped with a Go Ape Treetop Junior section. For adventurous little ones who love climbing, the site will provide an unforgettable experience.

As can be seen, there are myriad options for those with children in the Stonehenge area. Many of the attractions listed here will also provide an interesting day out for adults as well. Considering all of these factors, it would be fair to conclude that Stonehenge and its surrounds are an excellent destination for a complete all-round family holiday. Just bear in mind that due to the popularity of the area, many attractions, especially Stonehenge itself, can be busy during peak times, so plan accordingly.

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The author is a trained tour guide with www.sightseeingtourslondon.co.uk who offer guided tours from London to Stonehenge and back in a day, they are extremely child friendly and offer childrens packs to help children understand the wonders of this great attraction.

Top Cultural Spots In The British Isles

Top Cultural Spots In The British Isles

Britain is renowned for its love of culture, and with so many cities to choose from it can be hard to select the ideal places to visit on a cultural tour. Here are just a few examples of places that are a must-see on any tour of the British Isles.

London is home to a plethora of different museums and galleries, many of them with free admission, and all packed with art, history and curiosities. For art lovers, the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square is a great place to start a cultural tour. Founded in 1824, it’s home to around 2,300 paintings that date back as far as the mid-13th century. Tate Britain – originally an overflow of the British art that couldn’t be housed in the National Gallery is the main of the four Tate galleries, which are considered among the most important in British art. Tate Britain covers British art from 1500 onwards and the Tate Modern houses important modern and contemporary art from around the world, by artists such as Cézanne, Picasso, Dalí, Warhol and Bourgeois.

Technically, York was once the capital of England; in 866 when the Vikings conquered northern England they declared it the capital of their new kingdom. These days, it’s a beautiful city to admire and enjoy, with many opportunities to soak up the best in British history, art and culture. The magnificent York Minster demands a visit, and for art lovers there’s the York Art Gallery which houses works of art dating back over 600 years, and the more modern York Barbican for events and entertainment. Museum aficionados will love the Castle Museum with its recreated Victorian street and impressive social history collections.

Heading north, Scotland’s Edinburgh Castle is a world famous icon which was recently voted top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards. The castle, like all good castles, has a complicated history, with St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest part, dating back to the 12th century. The Great Hall was built for James IV around 1512; the Half Moon Battery by the Regent Morton came to be in the 16th century. Home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, and the National War Museum of Scotland, there’s a lot to discover in this grand castle.

From the eastern coast of Scotland to the west, Glasgow was named City of Architecture and Design in 1999 and has strived to live up to that reputation ever since. Glasgow Cathedral is just one example of the architecture the city is famous for – consecrated in 1197, it has never been without a roof and it has been a place of worship for more than 800 years. The cathedral is also home to one of the most impressive post-war collections of stained glass windows in Britain. Glasgow’s architecture is an exhibition in itself; impressive Victorian structures abound in the city centre, many of which were designed by legendary architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Ireland is a country steeped in culture, literature and art, as well as Guinness. First stop on any cultural tour of the country would have to be the beautiful Trinity College, opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament. Not only is it attractive, but the 400-year old college is up there with the best in the world and is ranked 61st in the world’s top 100 universities. The college was founded in 1592 and modelled on the collegiate universities of Oxford and of Cambridge, and you can see the similarities in design.

Also in Dublin is the legendary St. Patrick’s Cathedral, next to the well where Saint Patrick is said to have baptised converts on his visit to Dublin, plus Dublin’s number one visitor attraction the Guinness Storehouse. The seven storey building, which relates the history of Ireland’s most famous export, is also famous for housing the world’s largest pint glass, which actually holds 14.3 million pints, and rises up through the centre of the museum.

Wales may be the smallest country in the British Isles, but it still packs a cultural punch. The country’s biggest visitor attraction is the Wales Millennium Centre which opened in 2004 and is already making a reputation for itself within the worlds of arts and culture. The centre hosts music, opera, dance, comedy shows and musicals and has eight arts organisations in residence including the national orchestra.

There are many more highlights to discover on a tour of the British Isles, so start planning your trip for this summer!

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Written by Kat Kraetzer, a travel blogger and nurse living in Cambridge, UK.

New Year, New You?

New Year, New You?

This is the time of year where you might think about starting a new diet or eating more healthily thanks to the excesses of the holidays and the ‘blues’ that tend to follow. In fact if you are anything like friends and colleagues of mine, most people have already started and failed a couple of diets since January 1st. One of the things that is perceived as a little easier to follow that a fad diet, is to take supplements to help you in a particular area. One that seems popular this year, is Raspberry Ketone.

What is Raspberry Ketone Used For?

Raspberry Ketone is a natural phenolic compound which is responsible for the smell or scent of raspberry. In other words, when you smell a ripe red raspberry, Raspberry Ketone is responsible for what you are actually smelling. Despite its name, Raspberry Ketone is actually found in other fruits too, including cranberries and blackberries.

Raspberry Ketone is marketed as a natural weight-loss supplement, rather than one used to target a specific area of the body. It is used in weight loss management and considered to be helpful in breaking down fat more efficiently in your body. This is because it is thought to regulate and increase the quantity of adiponectin in the body, which is the protein that regulates metabolism. The more adiponectin in the body, the lower body fat is thought to be. This is therefore seen as somewhat of a miracle supplement as, should it be effective, it does not involve doing anything different in your diet or your exercise regimen.

The Cost of Raspberry Ketone

Raspberry ketone in its natural form can cost as much as $20,000 per kilo. This is because only a 1-4mg can be extracted from an entire kilo of ripe red raspberries. As Raspberry ketone can be synthesised far more cheaply, this is the normal way supplements have been created. Supplements tend to contain either 100mgs or 500mgs of Raspberry Ketone per capsule and depending on the dosage they are often one per day. Initially the supplements were very expensive, but as some time has passed since they became more popular, they are now well-priced. However, do not be fooled by poor quality imports that are very cheap. You should choose high quality certified supplements made by a reputable manufacturer.

Blind Me With Science

Scientific exploration is limited. In fact, there have only been very small studies on mice and no human studies undertaken at all to this point. However, with the latest investigations into Raspberry Ketone seeing a potential reduction in the chances of contracting liver cancer and a positive reduction of cell damage, these seem likely to increase and hopefully produce many positive results. There are no known side effects, although with Raspberry Ketone being a stimulant, some people have reported having symptoms such as heart palpitations and sleeplessness. Without scientific study and the passing of time, we will not know any negative effects, but it has been passed as a safe food product in both the US and UK among other countries.

A Bit of Bad Press

The Raspberry Ketone Diet Plan was under fire in the UK back in July after fake celebrity endorsements from Adele, Victoria Beckham and even the Duchess of Cambridge were used through Facebook advertising. It is thought that thousands of women purchased the plan which was not a one-off payment as they imagined, but in fact a monthly subscription service. It is unlikely that this did much to damage the reputation of Raspberry Ketone, but bad press is never positive.

So, Raspberry Ketones may well be worth a try, but we may need to wait until science catches up to verify this!

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Dale is a long-time student of health, wellness and nutrition. He’s currently working with Well Beings Health and Nutrition Centre in Langley, Canada.

5 Techniques To Kick Painful Habits

5 Techniques To Kick Painful Habits

Many people suffer with painful conditions. Depending on their severity, these conditions can have a detrimental effect on a sufferer’s quality of life – affecting the way they work, or how they choose to spend their spare time.

Certain techniques and over-the-counter products can combat mild pain; while a doctor may prescribe a pain relief treatment such as co-codamol or tramadol to treat some cases of severe chronic pain.

But there are a number of non-medicinal techniques those suffering from chronic pain can employ to limit their symptoms – one of these is cutting out bad habits which may be conducive to feelings of pain. Here are five common offenders which might be making your pain worse:

Smoking

As well as making people more susceptible to respiratory illnesses and numerous other harmful conditions, studies have suggested that smoking can make chronic pain worse. Smoking can also cause sleep problems, and increase the likelihood of stress – two factors which can create tension and aggravate chronic pain.

Alcohol

It’s a popular assumption that alcohol soothes pain symptoms and works effectively as a numbing agent. However, consuming too much can make chronic pain worse. It can also interfere with the function of some medications, as well as causing sleep problems and headaches. So, if you’re suffering with chronic pain, limit your alcohol intake, or, if possible, cut it out altogether.

Stress

High stress levels increase tension – and this can aggravate a number of chronic conditions, especially those responsible for back pain. Take a look at your schedule, and your regular working routine. If you can, work with your line manager to make your working environment less stressful. You might even consider taking a yoga or tai chi class in your spare time to help you reduce your stress levels.

Unhealthy Foods

Carrying around extra weight can put pressure on your back and joints, and potentially worsen chronic pain. Sufferers who are overweight or obese may consider talking to their doctor about a diet plan, to reduce their weight, and relieve chronic pain symptoms.

Late Nights

Sleep deprivation can also exacerbate chronic pain. As pain worsens, it can increase insomnia symptoms – and then the vicious cycle begins. Chronic pain sufferers should always try to get the recommended eight hours every night. Take measures to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep: block out any noise or light sources which might be keeping you awake; avoid consuming any stimulants such as coffee late at night; and ensure your mattress and bed are comfortable and not further damaging your posture. If your body is well-rested, it will be better able to overcome chronic pain.

Health

Not looking after your health will also have drastic effects on stopping you from leaving bad habits. Sleeping on time, going for a run, spending time in the gym and generally keeping fit will help you immensly in getting rid of your bad habits.

If you’re suffering with chronic pain, always seek medical advice from your doctor.

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This article is written by Adam who has been prescribed Relpax medication from his doctor. He buys his medication monthly from Express Doctor.

3 Incredible Beach Holidays In Africa

3 Incredible Beach Holidays In Africa

3 Incredible Beach Holidays in Africa

Madagascar and the Seychelles might be well known, but the beaches surrounding the continent of Africa itself are dramatic and diverse. With a coastline offering everything from ancient ports, to forest fringed white sands and transparent waters, a beach holiday on the shores of Africa should not be overlooked. Here’s a guide to three of the best.

Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira, Morocco

Roughly two hours from Marrakesh, the ancient port of Essaouira on the West coast of Africa was first made popular during the sixties, when Mick Jagger and Maria Callas spent time there. Since then, Essaouira has upped its game, offering luxury hotels alongside atmospheric traditional Riad’s. The 10 kilometres of sandy beaches, water-sports, fine restaurants, a Sofitel Hotel and a Gary Player golf course mean Essaouira has joined the 21st century, but neither has it lost any of its bohemian charm. A traditional walled medina, fish shacks on the beach, the scent of spices in the air, and the maze of ancient winding streets tick all the boxes for a charming and authentic holiday experience. Known for a laid back vibe with friendly locals, even the souk is known for the lack of aggressive sales techniques commonly seen in Marrakesh.

World Bicycle Relief

With six assembly facilities, World Bicycle Relief is empowering people across Africa. So far, we’ve provided bikes in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Where will you take us next? <a href"http://www.uk.worldbicyclerelief.org/our-story">World Bicycle Relief</a>

With six assembly facilities, World Bicycle Relief is empowering people across Africa. So far, we’ve provided bikes in Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Where will you take us next?

JOURNEY: 3 – 4 hours flying from London. There are no direct flights to Essaouira from the UK, so fly from Manchester, Gatwick or Heathrow to Marrakech then transfer by Bus or Train.

Tanzania and Zanzibar

Tanzania and Zanzibar

Tanzania and Zanzibar

Located on the East of Africa, here you’ll find some of the most secluded beaches in the world. The true beach lover will be able to indulge in some true me time, stretched out on the sands, or swimming in the azure Indian Ocean, beneath endless blue skies and year-round temperatures of around 30 degrees. The islands of Tanzania and Zanzibar include Unguja, Pemba, and Mafia Island, renowned as one of the best diving destinations on the East African coast. Apart from endless white sands and snorkelling and diving opportunities, Unguja boasts historic palaces and forts, while Pemba is an uninhabited island paradise popular with honeymooners, rich in spice plantations and coconut tree studded unspoilt beaches. A visit to any of these islands will have you reconsidering the rat race and dreaming of your very own hut on the beach, in true Robinson Crusoe style.

Journey: 10 – 15 hours from the UK. BA fly direct to Dar-es-Salaam, or via Amsterdam with KLM or Kenya Airways.

Tofo, Mozambique

Tofo, Mozambique

Tofo, Mozambique

Mozambique has put its troubled history to rest, and Tofo has earned a great reputation as a tourist destination largely for its beautiful sandy beaches. That said, it also boasts great nightlife, a laid back atmosphere, and good restaurants – only 20km from the historic port city and airport of Inhambane. Holiday in Tofo, and you can enjoy horse riding, deep sea fishing, and surfing, or scuba dive with the Manta Rays, whale sharks and dolphins in the balmy waters of the Indian Ocean.

Journey: No direct flights between the UK and Mozambique. Southern Mozambique is accessed from South Africa.

Bill Turner is an athlete, entrepreneur and freelance writer who specialises in guest blogging. He enjoys spending time with his dogs and family when he’s not traveling for business.

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