The cold wind persists. At least yesterday there was some warm sunshine to be enjoyed, as long as you could find a sheltered spot. This morning in the cloud cover, I had to don my double jacket, wooly hat and gloves for a walk on the town walls in Berwick upon Tweed. In the front left of the photo, you can see a wrought iron boot scraper, very useful in the days before proper pavements.
I thought it was about time that we had a hashtag for tweets about travel in Great Britain, aka the United Kingdom (UK), so I’ve created the #gbtravel hashtag. If you’re tweeting about travelling in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland, could you please add the #gbtravel hashtag.
The hashtag should make it easier for anyone interested in travelling in Great Britian to find additional relevant articles, photos and videos to help plan their trip.
We’ve lots of tips for things to do in the UK on Europe a la Carte.
#gbtravel on Twitter
My #gbtravel Pinterest Board
I’ve also got a #gbtravel board on Pinterest.
I read that IHG hotels, which include Holiday Inn and Crown Plaza, will soon start to offer free WiFi to members of their Priority Club. I thought this was a good move, as the £15 a day charge to get online at the Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury was one of the negative issues about my recent stay at the hotel. Elite members will be first to be able to access the free WiFi in July this year. During 2014, free WiFi will be rolled out to all Priority Club members. I decided to register online for the Priority Club so I could get free WiFi on any future stays at IHG hotels.
A couple of weeks after registering for Club (basic) Priority Club membership, I received a mailshot informing me that if I successfully applied for a Priority Club Rewards Visa credti card, I’d be automatically upgraded to Gold Elite Priority Club membership.
The other incentive to take out the credit card was 10,000 Priority Club bonus points, as long you used the card to make a purchase within 90 days from opening the account. That’s supposed to be enough to get a free night’s stay; let’s hope availability is not restricted to out of the way destinations in low season.
As it was such a windy morning, we decided that the most sheltered walk would be to the RNLI station. That walk takes us down Tweedmouth Main Street, past another painting on the Lowry Trail.
Old Buildings (Tweedmouth Main Street) on the Lowry Trail
London has some fantastic art galleries. While the National Gallery and the Tates (Britain and Modern) generally take the plaudits, as well as the Saatchi Collection and White Cube for the modern art fancier, there are plenty of less well-known art galleries in London.
UCL Art Museum different take on what a gallery is all about; it’s an archive of art education, as well as art. Since the Slade was the first art school to admit women, it has a good collection of work by women artists, such as Gwen John, Paula Rego, and Dora Carrington, and also has the neoclassical artist Flaxman’s copy of plaster casts, spectacularly displayed under the dome of the library.
Portrait of Frederick the Wise at UCL Art Museum by Jisc
The Estorick Collection specialises in modern Italian art – Futurists, Surrealists, even the occasional figurative artist. It’s housed in a Georgian mansion, though the white-walled, bare gallery inside feels quite contemporary.
The Wallace Collection is another not-quite-secret gallery, with an offbeat selection of works including fine French art (Watteau in particular) as well as arms and armour and porcelain, all displayed in a fine mansion that retains much of its original furnishings and atmosphere.
Large drawing room at the Wallace Collection by megoizzy
The cafe on Spital Prom has now opened for the season. The giant 99 ice cream cone sculpture is back in position to tempt passerbys. I reckon that if you bought an ice cream to eat while walkng along the Prom this morning, it would’ve had an additional free topping; the strong south westerly wind was blowing sand up from the beach.
There was plenty of activity on the beach on this morning’s walk along Spittal Prom. The recent strong easterly winds had blown such a huge wall of sand against the base of the Prom, that a major operation was underway to shift this sand. A digger was loading this excess sand onto two tractors, to be dumped further down the beach at the shoreline.
In yet another case of taking years to visit someplace that we’ve passed on many occasions, we finally stopped at Greeenknowe Tower, just outside the village of Gordon in the Scottish Borders. We’re usually on our way home from Melrose when we drive past the Greenknowe Tower and it’s either getting dark or we just want to get home. However, we were doing our usual circuit in the opposite direction, so no excuses not to visit the Tower.
Greenknowe Tower from the road
There are small laybys for parking on both sides of the road and a gravel path up to the Tower. The 16th century four storey tower house is in the care of Historic Scotland, but unattended and free to enter. I was (happily) surprised that you could enter and climb to the top of the the Tower, the spiral steps were a bit slippy with bird droppings and it was dark. Maybe the Health and Safety Inspector hasn’t gotten around to visiting yet.
The gravel path up to Greenknowe Tower