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Archive for September 22nd, 2010

Harry Potter magic at Lacock Village

Lacock named as European hotspot by TripAdvisor website

A Wiltshire village has been named as Europe’s top up-and-coming destination by a tourism website.

TripAdvisor UK says interest in Lacock, near Chippenham, has increased more than any other European hotspot over the past 12 months.

A spokesperson for the website, which offers holiday and hotel reviews, said:

“The use of the village as a film set over the last few years may partly explain its significant soar in popularity.”

 

I’d put it down to the fact that the UK is better value than it used to be.
Margaret Barley, Veitchly House B&B

Films and TV dramas including Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, Emma, Cranford and Harry Potter have all been shot in Lacock.

“There has been a huge increase in the interest in Lacock,” added Alan Williams from Visit Wiltshire.

“It’s probably linked to the films that have been shot there, as well as the Abbey and the village.

“Certainly we’ve seen a lot more people coming to Wiltshire over the last year or so and we did really well out of the ‘Staycation’.

Margaret Barley, who runs Veitchly House B&B near Lacock, said it could be more than just the films that are sparking interest in their village.

She said: “I think I’m right in saying that Lacock is in the Lonely Planet Guide to Europe, and I suspect it’s because of the proximity to Bath, and there’s the issue of the exchange rate.

“I’d put it down to the fact that the UK is better value than it used to be.

Harry Potter Films
The National Trust property featured in the first two Potter movies and since they were released Lacock Abbey has been on the must-see lists of tourists from all over the world.

BBC Wiltshire joined the visitors to take a look around as they attempted to match the reality with the fictional locations.

Take a look through the BBC’s gallery of images and see what you recognise from Hogwarts!

First though, things you need to know about Lacock Abbey:

 

The fiction:

The Abbey’s cloisters and side rooms were transformed into the classrooms at Hogwarts School while the location was also used for Harry’s discovery of the Mirror of Erised.

The reality:

Stone carvingThe Abbey was founded in 1232 and comprises: cloisters, sacristy, chapter house and monastic rooms, courtyard, brewery and bakehouse.

Abbey converted into a country house c.1540

Grounds feature a Victorian woodland garden with an 18th-century summer house, rose garden, botanic garden and ha-ha.

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–77), inventor of the negative/positive photographic process once a resident at Lacock Abbey.

Nearby Lacock village used to film Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders and Emma.

We have been offering guided tours of Lacock Abbey / Village and the Cotswolds for 20 years.  Our private sightseeing tours can depart from London, Bath or Salisbury
Cotswolds Tour Guide
HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in History

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Not since 1996, when England hosted the European Championships, has the country held a major sporting event. In 2012 that is set to change as London becomes the venue for the Olympic Games.

Having hosted the Summer Olympics twice previously – in 1908 and 1948 – the English capital certainly has history with the event, but even still there are surprises abound with improvements needed to stadiums, transport and accommodation.

With around seven million permanent residents, it’s hard to imagine how the city’s infrastructure will cope with the extra influx of athletes and sports fans that will be descending on the city from the end of July – traditionally a busy tourist season in any year.

The International Olympic Committee has been thinking about this since 2005 – when the games were awarded to London – so big changes are expected in the city. The world famous underground has seen changes, with an expansion made to the East London Line and upgrades have been made to the North London Line and the Docklands Light Railway as well.

On top of this a brand new rail service has been created – named in Olympic fashion as the Javelin – which features bullet trains that will speedily take passengers across the city.

There are expected to be around eight million tickets for the Olympics available, with half of them priced under £20 to ensure bustling crowds at all events. This means all visitors – from those in top range hotels to those in budget hotels in London – will be able to snap up tickets for at least part of the extravaganza.

Sensibly, accommodation for the Olympians will be spread across the city to ensure all competitors are housed close to where they need to be to compete, rather than in an all encompassing Olympic Village as per tradition, but a tradition that has become outdated as the games have grown and the events no longer all take place in one place.

The events will be taking place in a mixture of old venues that the city is known for – such as Wembley, Lord’s and the O2 Arena – as well as specially constructed arenas. As well as new sporting venues, the city will see other new buildings going up. The Shard, for example, is due to be finished in May 2012 and standing at 1017 feet it is sure to be a major sight on the London skyline.

Paul Buchanan writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Hotels in London Must Shape Up for 2012 Olympics

Not since 1996, when England hosted the European Championships, has the country held a major sporting event. In 2012 that is set to change as London becomes the venue for the Olympic Games.

Having hosted the Summer Olympics twice previously – in 1908 and 1948 – the English capital certainly has history with the event, but even still there are surprises abound with improvements needed to stadiums, transport and accommodation.

With around seven million permanent residents, it’s hard to imagine how the city’s infrastructure will cope with the extra influx of athletes and sports fans that will be descending on the city from the end of July – traditionally a busy tourist season in any year.

The International Olympic Committee has been thinking about this since 2005 – when the games were awarded to London – so big changes are expected in the city. The world famous underground has seen changes, with an expansion made to the East London Line and upgrades have been made to the North London Line and the Docklands Light Railway as well.

On top of this a brand new rail service has been created – named in Olympic fashion as the Javelin – which features bullet trains that will speedily take passengers across the city.

There are expected to be around eight million tickets for the Olympics available, with half of them priced under £20 to ensure bustling crowds at all events. This means all visitors – from those in top range hotels to those in budget hotels in London – will be able to snap up tickets for at least part of the extravaganza.

Sensibly, accommodation for the Olympians will be spread across the city to ensure all competitors are housed close to where they need to be to compete, rather than in an all encompassing Olympic Village as per tradition, but a tradition that has become outdated as the games have grown and the events no longer all take place in one place.

The events will be taking place in a mixture of old venues that the city is known for – such as Wembley, Lord’s and the O2 Arena – as well as specially constructed arenas. As well as new sporting venues, the city will see other new buildings going up. The Shard, for example, is due to be finished in May 2012 and standing at 1017 feet it is sure to be a major sight on the London skyline.

London is the most expensive place to stay in Europe, according to a recent survey, and that news has emerged at the same time as tourism minister Margaret Hodge has warned that hotels in the capital must shape up in order to be ready for the 2012 Olympics.

 The average cost of staying in a London hotel has leapt by a staggering 12% since April, and now averages £119 per night across the capital. Although not as expensive as New York or the world’s most expensive place for a one-night stay, Moscow, the rates are remarkably high considering that two-thirds of all London hotels are unrated. The figures show that even relatively meagre two-star accommodation in London averages £88 per night and guests have to typically stump up £109 to stay in three-star rated hotels.

 Tourism minister Hodge is worried that the combination of highly priced accommodation and the large percentage of non-rated hotels will damage the reputation of the city, and is keen for the hotel industry to get itself in order. She said: “If the tourist industry is to reap the potential £2.1 billion from the 2012 Olympic Games, then 85% of London’s hotels must be accredited before then.”

 Hodge is concerned that many people attending the 2012 Olympics will be coming to London for the first time and therefore wants their experience of the city to be a positive one. She added:

 “Hosting the 2012 Olympics is a huge opportunity for London and the UK tourism industry. In five years London will welcome millions of first-time visitors and we will want them to come back time and again – hopefully bringing their family and friends. It’s all about creating a lasting and positive legacy for the capital.”

But, the government doesn’t expect the capital’s hotels to do it all by themselves. A recently unveiled multi-agency strategy entitled: “Winning – A Tourism Strategy for 2012 and Beyond” has been drawn up by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport aided by Visit Britain, Visit London, and an assortment of Regional Development Agencies, aiming to give positive advice and limited financial assistance to the hotel industry throughout London and the UK.

Now that the gauntlet has been thrown down for hotels in London to make significant improvements, it is important that they respond positively if they are to fulfil the government’s aim of making the 2012 Olympic Games the start of a lasting legacy
If you are planning a trip to the UK in 2012 you may save some time and money visiting these web sites:
http://www.Welcome2London.org.uk
http://www.BestValueTours.co.uk
http://www.HisTOURies.co.uk
http://www.LondonTown.com

British Tourist Guide
HisTOURies UK – The Best Tours in British History

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