Tag Archives: museums

10 random things to do in Manchester this spring

This English Rose has put together a fab top ten of things to do in Manchester.Half of these I didn’t know existed! From donkey sanctuarys to duck races, escapology to picnic hamper afternoon teas. Have fun reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

English Rose from Manchester's Blog

1. Say hello to the donkeys

I think donkeys are possibly the loveliest things ever and Iโ€™ve been a supporter of The Donkey Sanctuary for about a year now as they do such a great job with donkey welfare worldwide. I was so excited when I realised that they have a centre right here in Manchester โ€“ itโ€™s a Donkey Assisted Therapy Centre and is open to the public 7 days a week. I went last Easter and enjoyed meeting and stroking the lovely donkeys there.

Donkey Sanctuary

2. Take part in the duck race

Manchesterโ€™s duck race down the river Irwell takes place on Good Friday in Spinningfields. Itโ€™s free to attend and enjoy the festivities and entertainment, and just ยฃ1 to enter a duck into the race, with proceeds going to local childrenโ€™s charity, Brainwave.

3. Break out of a locked room in 60 minutes

Iโ€™ve now broken out ofโ€ฆ

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Lets go London!

A friend and I are planning a few days away in London in May. I am super excited!  Its been five years since I have visited the nation’s capital, so its been far too long. Accomodation shouldn’t be a problem as my friend has a wonderful brother who has agreed to put us up.Yay!  In celebration of our future trip, I thought I would list a few places in the city I’d like to visit. Be assured, my present stab at ‘Healthy Eating’ has not dampened my enthusiasm for ‘Afternoon Tea’s’. A couple are mentioned in this post. :))

Natural History Museum on Cromwell rd is one of several Free museums in London. It houses a multitude of exhibits from the natural world including the iconic ‘Dippy’ in the grand entrance hall. Learn more here.


I love the look of this colourful alleyway in ‘Covent Garden’. Neal’s yard houses health food cafes and shops including Neal’s yard Dairy( an artisan cheese shop) and Neal’s Yard Remedies. Such vibrant colours.


No trip to the city is complete without a ride on the London Eye. The giant ferris wheel on the south Bank of the Thames has amazing views ( it is Europe’s largest ) and takes 30 minutes to spin you round the city’s famous landmarks. Book tickets here.


Fancy an Afternoon tea and sightseeing in one ? The Afternoon Tea Bus Tour run by BB Bakery takes you round the sights of central London on a vintage routemaster bus, whilst you enjoy a delicious selection of tasty sandwiches and cakes. What a fabulous idea!


The Shard wasn’t even built on my last visit to London. It would be pretty amazing to drink in the views ( and a glass of champagne ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) from the viewing deck , 800 ft above ground. See for yourself here.


Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, George Elliot and Christina Rossetti are just a few of the famous names who are at peace in London’s Highgate Cemetery. I for one, would love to take a tour of the west side of Highgate, known for its many gothic tombstones and elaborate mausoleums. This fascinating cemetery has English Heritage Status and has grown into a nature reserve too. Read about it here.


I’ve been to ‘Harrods’ when in London but never that other iconic department store Liberty of London on Regent street. The tudor style facade houses an elegant shopping emporium with swish elevators and glass atriums.And the famed Liberty Print fabrics of course.


We would love to indulge in afternoon tea in such decadent surroundings as the Savoy. Its terribly expensive but what a treat…with a pianist playing as you enjoy dainty sandwiches and fancy cakes. The Thames Foyer Afternoon Tea is one of many that can be sampled in the city.


One thing we have booked already is a trip to the theatre. Outdoors! Regent Park in central London holds outdoor performances through the summer. We shall be seeing Peter Pan. We may need our brollys!


And another must for us crazy cat ladies is a dining experience with a difference. Lady Dinahs Cat Emporium in Bethnal Green is a cat cafe , where you can cuddle up to a kitty , whilst eating a famous ‘Brick lane Bagel’. The cats are all rescues and the emporium is their home and you are their guests.I’ve been to ‘Le Cafe de Chats ‘ in Paris and enjoyed it, so would love to visit Lady Dinahs as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

What would you like to see and do in London?

As I write this post my thoughts are with the people of Paris, a beautiful city , I hope to visit again soon.

A day out in Lancaster.

If you have been reading my recent posts, you will know that we had a few days away camping on the coast at Bolton le sands.Oneday we decided to get the bus into nearby Lancaster. If you have ever been to this Lancashire town, you will know it is great for shopping and nights out. It is also worth exploring for its fascinating history ~ so I am including our visit for my #take12trips entry for September.

The first thing we did when we arrived was actually head out of the centre to Williamson Park. This beautiful parkland is home to an edwardian butterfly house and the imposing Ashton Memorial, which dominates Lancasters skyline.

Beautiful hydrangea.
Beautiful hydrangea.
The Ashton Memorial.
The Ashton Memorial.

This magnificent white stone folly was built by a wealthy baron for his late wife in the early 1900’s. It commands spectacular views of Morecambe bay….which I totally forgot to photograph. Sorry folks! Think I was in to much of a hurry to visit the tropical Butterfly House. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Ashton memorial reminded me of the Sacre Coeur or even the Taj Mahal.
The Ashton memorial reminded me of the Sacre Coeur or even the Taj Mahal.

I must admit I did love the butterfly house. Could have spent hours in there chasing the butterflies round for photographs. Several species such as Swallowtail and Owl butterflies fluttered in between the palm trees , delighting the visitors, even landing on us ~ well Wil anyway.
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As well as the Butterfly house there is also a mini beast house, aviary with free flying birds, animal garden and cafe and gift shop , all situated near the memorial. I wish we had explored the grounds a little more as the park has woodland walks,trails, monuments and ponds.
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For lunch we headed back into the city and enjoyed some good traditional pub grub in the Penny Bank Pub on Penny street, washed down with real ales and cider. Then we had a look in the Assembly Rooms for vintage treasures.

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In the heart of the city stands the deceptively Harry Potter like castle with its dark history that includes the Pendle Witch Trials and time spent as a prison. We didn’t do the tour which I regret now, as it is the only way to see inside this grade 1 listed building.

Lancaster Castle.
Lancaster Castle.

Instead we decided to visit the nearby Judge’s Lodgings which houses The Museum of Childhood. I think I like to release my inner child…and drag Wil along with me. ๐Ÿ™‚ This grand house is worth a look anyway with its many rooms decked out as they would have been many years ago. The top floor is devoted to the childhood museum.

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It was fun looking out for things that reminded us of our own childhoods. I loved the womble! All in all we had a perfect day of sightseeing, shopping and drinking in the odd pub. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cats and Curiosities in the Marais. ^^

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When we decided to go to Paris I must admit I found myself hoping that we would stumble upon the Cat Cafe there.ย Le Cafe des Chats is an unassuming building on Rue Michel le Comte in the Marais district. It is a cafe and home to several furry felines.:) They are all rescue cats who have been chosen for their sociable and laid back natures. In the end I decided to take no chances ( the cafe recommends that you make a reservation) and I booked us a table online. We found ourselves in the 3rd arrondissement a little earlier than planned …..but spotted an interesting museum nearby to have a nosy around first.

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The Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature ( Museum of Hunting & Nature)ย at 62 Rue des Archives is well worth a visit if your in the area. Its packed full of interesting exhibits. Antiques, art,taxidermy and cabinets of curios. I am certainly not a fan of hunting….but the collection here is certainly eye catching and thought provoking. Relics of times past, the museum examines our relationships with animals and nature. There is much to see over three floors and on our visit there was also an unusual Danish Art exhibition mingled with the museums resident bears and wild boar2014-07-26 13.57.24.

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Soon it was time to head for our table at Le Cafe des Chats and I pushed a rather reluctant Wil in the direction of said cafe. He is much more of a dog person ( though I have seen him playing with/tormenting our cat Slinky on occasion) but he agreed to go…..as the next day I would be devoting my time to watching ‘ The Tour de France’ with him. ๐Ÿ™‚

We entered the cafe and showed the girl at the desk our reservation. She told us to wash our hands with the hand disinfectant provided and went through the rules which are : a) no feeding the cats , b) no disturbing any sleeping cats & c) no flash photography. We then could choose where to sit. There are two levels ~ so we headed down the stairs as there was no room on the ground floor. Downstairs is cozy and cavernous with sofas dotted around and a piano. There was no natural light so my photos turned out quite dark.

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The cats all seemed very content ~ some were asleep , curled up on cushions or in bookshelves. Some were being fussed over by the delighted clientele. One mischievous moggy took over a customers armchair ~ so she perched on the arm with her coffee, so not to disturb. Cats take precedence here. ๐Ÿ™‚

The idea for ‘Cat Cafes’ started in the far East apparently. People in large cities who cannot keep pets due to their busy work lives , can find solace and relaxation in the company of these placid and affectionate kittys, dropping in after work for a coffee and purr therapy.

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We both decided on the trio of petite desserts on our visit and a coffee or chocolate. The selection consisted of strawberries with cream, a macaroon and a chocolate cake. They were rather good! Because our reservation was quite late in the afternoon , only cakes and sweet things were available , so bear that in mind when booking.

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I think if I ever return to Paris ( I hope I do ๐Ÿ™‚ ), I would love to visit the cafe again ~ perhaps booking an earlier time and finding a table on the more light and airy ground floor. It was lovely to see some of the residents snoozing in the window. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Do not despair though, a cat cafe has opened in London too, so if you cannot get to Paris Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium may be an option for other crazy cat ladies like me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for dropping by.X

Art Nouveau and more in Glasgow.

Was recently looking through my vast collection of photos ~ yes I am that girl who refuses to give up the pleasure of sticking physical photos in actual albums ( as well as backing them up on the pc ๐Ÿ™‚ ), when I came accross some snapshots of a trip to Glasgow we took a couple of years ago. Have you ever visited? I was definatly an Edinburgh enthusiast ( and still am ) when it comes to Scotlands cities so it came as a surprise that I enjoyed Glasgow as much as I did. Brimming with beautiful architecture ( Charles Rennie Mackintosh studied, taught and designed here),museums, galleries, shopping and restaurants its a culture vultures heaven. I wish we had time to see more but we did manage to take in The Peoples Palace, The Kelvingrove Museum, The Lighthouse Gallery and The Glasgow School of Art.
The hop on and off buses are a great way of seeing Scotlands largest city.
Enjoy the pics. ๐Ÿ™‚

The People's Palace.
The People’s Palace.
The Winter Gardens at The People's Palace.
The Winter Gardens at The People’s Palace.
Scotties :)
Scotties ๐Ÿ™‚
.Art Deco building
.Art Deco building
Dramatic welcome in the Kelvingrove.
Dramatic welcome in the Kelvingrove.
Art in the Kelvingrove.
Art in the Kelvingrove.
Look Up !
Look Up !
Sign for The Willow TeaRoom.
Sign for The Willow TeaRoom.
The Glasgow School Of Art.
The Glasgow School Of Art.
School Of Art Sign.
School Of Art Sign.
Mackintosh Chair.
Mackintosh Chair.
Spiral staircase in The Lighthouse Gallery.
Spiral staircase in The Lighthouse Gallery.

Speeking of trips I have decided to take part in a bit of a challenge ! I was reading a great blog entry on Is That You Darling where Janey who writes the blog shared her day out at the seaside ( most beautiful pictures of beach huts, rainbows and big skies โค ) as part of the #take12trips challenge. Take 12 Trips was thought up by Clare at Need Another Holiday. The idea is simple. Visit somewhere new once a month and blog about it ! It could be a break away , a day trip or an afternoon in a place on your doorstep you’ve never taken the time to discover. The good news is you can start whenever you like so If you fancy a go yourself link up to other bloggers on twitter at #take12trips. I’m going to begin the challenge later this month !