What the Guide Books Don’t Tell You

January is upon us and this is traditionally the time of year when people’s thoughts are turning to booking their next holiday. There is no escaping the fact that the recession has hit the holiday industry hard, but in the typical British way, the masses are trying hard to buck the trend and pretend everything is hunk dory. Pretending something is not happening – and especially Pretending to be unaffected by the recession – is a good way of getting by.

Most people who Pretend to be unaffected by the recession usually win. The Pretenders eat well, take their breaks in comical locations and their imaginations are infinite.

This time of year we set out to prove the Confederacy wrong. Here is a guide to some of our favourite tourist hotspots.

We start with Blackpool itself: the tourist du jour. One gets a sense of boastful gloating at the thought of arriving to tumble out of the gates at 3.30pm with the warmest part of one’s body aching from the sheer exertion of climbing up the hill and down at the bottom two minutes later. The experience must be more than worth it.

Our next pick has to be Bristol. More specifically, The National Pavilion. More grandiose than Blackpool it covers two sites: the Bankside Experience and temporary exhibitions of seating and design. It is one of those places that can make you feel that you are part of a global community.

How can you top that? Two words: The Homecoming of the Crown Jewels.

How many people can remember the day and year when the crown jewels were returned to their rightful home after twenty years of loyal service to the crown? Great, big, impressive, isn’t it? The fact that these precious items were scheduled for relocation rather than being returned to their original owners is a point worth pondering.

If you can visit Bath to see the Roman baths or to the Roman buildings or ally yourself with Bath’s Romanians, you will have earned another great memory and will have welcomed the gift of a memorable stay at home.

Nottingham, a beautiful university town that was once known as well for its liberal habits and home to the famous University of Nottingham, has more than enough to warrant its own position in this list.

The Green Dragon Aquarium has earned the highest score in the industry and is worth seeing even if you don’t get to see the Adonis. You will see all kinds of sea life there from giant rays to dolphins. Nighttime entertainment is also included in the price of admission. You won’t want to miss the clockwork creations of the life-size dinosaur, The Huge Importance, a sculpture in the shape of a great white which is one of the world’s tallest man-made dinosaur!

The Nottingham Castle proves that there is more to the city than meets the eye. There are several museums here, not least the Nottingham Castle Museum, well worth the price and a find of interest in itself. There are also many points of interest like the wine cellars of sensation, the majestic medieval stairway and the tombs of significance.

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll know that the city boasts many book competitions. For comedy writers however, there are many opportunities for writing their next novel.

When you visit the city you’ll be spoilt for choice as to where to eat. You may have a great meal in one of several restaurants in the city, or all about the local cuisine in one of the pubs. The hotels locally provide excellent meals and there are many where you can sample the local cuisine.

As a general rule one meal does not cover all the cakes, tarts and spoils that you will need during your visit. So make sure you have a suitable budget before you begin your tour, before you begin to make flower:-then you can begin to enjoy the true English gentility.

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