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Darwin Awards Contenders Foiled By Observant Cafe Customer

Darwin Awards Contenders Foiled By Observant Cafe Customer May 13th, 2013 at 2:00PM: Four men who could have become strong candidates for this year's Darwin Awards have been saved by a Good Samaritan who was enjoying some coffee nearby. The BBC reports that a customer at a cafe in Oxwich Bay, Wales, spotted four men in a dinghy clutching onto a buoy and desperately trying to get the attention of those on shore. It's unclear if the men were consciously trying to win the...

Wrestle A Shark, Become A Hero And Get Fired

Wrestle A Shark, Become A Hero And Get Fired Mar 14th, 2013 at 4:00PM: Back in January we showed this amazing video of a man wrestling a shark on a beach in Queensland, Australia. Paul Marshallsea, 62, became an Internet sensation when he pulled the 2-meter-long dusky shark away from swimmers. Unfortunately for him, fame came at a price. Marshallsea has been fired from his job as a project coordinator at the Pant and Dowlais Boys and Girls Club in Wales. In a...

Remnants Of World War II In The UK Countryside

Remnants Of World War II In The UK Countryside Sep 27th, 2012 at 2:00PM: During World War II, the British were sure they were about to be invaded. The English Channel seemed like nothing more than a narrow creek against the might of Nazi Germany. As the British army fought in North Africa and Southeast Asia, the Home Guard and teams of civilians prepared for the worst. One elderly English woman told me that when she was a teenager she helped lay electric wire...

Snowdonia Light On Snow, Heavy On Attractions

Snowdonia Light On Snow, Heavy On Attractions Aug 27th, 2012 at 12:00PM: Snowdonia National Park hosts the largest mountains in Wales and England. The attractions of Snowdonia, set against a backdrop of outstanding natural beauty, feature medieval castles, historic houses and elegant parks and gardens. Visitors enjoy galleries and museums, learn about myths and legends and can go deep underground to discover the area's mining past. Located in northern Wales, a small...

Visit The Newport Medieval Ship In Wales

Visit The Newport Medieval Ship In Wales May 30th, 2012 at 10:00AM: When the city of Newport, Wales, was building its Riverfront Arts Centre back in 2002, there was an amazing discovery. A large medieval trading vessel was discovered in very good condition. The ship measured about 85 feet in length and was 26 feet wide at its widest point. The timbers of the clinker-built ship survived the centuries thanks to the oxygen-poor conditions in the River Usk where...

British Tourism Q&A: Travel Writer Donald Strachan

British Tourism Q&A: Travel Writer Donald Strachan May 11th, 2012 at 9:00AM: British tourism is a big topic in 2012. With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee next month, the Olympics in July and August, and the Paralympics in August and September, the United Kingdom is under some serious scrutiny, in particular as a national brand and a tourist destination. Here I ask Donald Strachan, travel journalist, guidebook writer and all around Twitter delight, some questions about the...

Nudists Cause Controversy On Welsh Beach

Nudists Cause Controversy On Welsh Beach Apr 17th, 2012 at 3:00PM: Cefn Sidan beach in Pembrey, Wales, is the latest flashpoint in an ongoing controversy over nudists in the UK. The local government says it has received numerous complaints about bathers baring all at the eight-mile-long beach. The spot is a favorite for families and attracts more than a million visitors a year, most of who wear bathing suits. There have been complaints about nudists...

British Brewery Campaigning To Save Traditional Pubs

British Brewery Campaigning To Save Traditional Pubs Apr 10th, 2012 at 12:00PM: I've talked before here on Gadling about how British pubs are in danger. In 2011, an average of 14 per week shut down, and the trend is continuing. This is due to a number of factors, including the economic downturn, competition from cheap supermarket alcohol and ever-increasing taxes. Now Wychwood Brewery has started an online petition to "Stop the Beer Duty Escalator." Taxes on beer go up...

Britain's Heritage Cities are ready for visitors

Britain's Heritage Cities are ready for visitors Feb 11th, 2012 at 8:00AM: Thanks to the London Olympics, which will open on July 27, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, 2012 is expected to be a boom year for tourism in Great Britain. In the hopes of capitalizing on this trend, six historic cities have teamed up to get noticed by travelers intent on venturing beyond the English capital. Bath, Carlisle, Chester, Oxford, Stratford-Upon-Avon, and York, Britain's...

Weird monument in Wales has interesting history

Weird monument in Wales has interesting history Dec 6th, 2011 at 1:00PM: If you're staying in Aberystwyth, Wales, you can see it from pretty much everywhere--a tall tower on a bluff to the south of town. At first it's hard to see what it is, so my wife, five-year-old son and I decided to walk there and have a look. It was an easy two or three kilometers from town through a wooded trail up a fairly steep slope. What greeted us once we made it through the trees was...

Medieval painted churches in England and Wales

Medieval painted churches in England and Wales Oct 6th, 2011 at 11:00AM: England and Wales are full of beautiful medieval churches. From the famous like Christ Church cathedral to the lesser-known like Dorchester Abbey, they offer breathtaking architecture and decoration, and since many are free, they make good budget travel destinations. Some even preserve fragile paintings from the Middle Ages, like this one photographed by Roger Rosewell, author of Medieval...

Woman killed by cows serves as warning to walkers

Woman killed by cows serves as warning to walkers Sep 2nd, 2011 at 11:30AM: A woman has been trampled and killed by cows yesterday on the outskirts of Cardiff, Wales, the South Wales Echo reports. Marilyn Duffy, 61, was walking her dog through a farmer's field. It's believed the cows were frightened by the dog and attacked. Cows are calving at this time of year and can become easily frightened by dogs or even lone people. Farmers say it's best to give cows a wide berth...

Tomb of Stonehenge builder found?

Tomb of Stonehenge builder found? Sep 1st, 2011 at 5:00PM: A prehistoric tomb discovered in Wales may be the grave of one of the builders of Stonehenge. Archaeologists found the tomb at the Carn Menyn site in Wales, generally thought to be the quarry for the so-called "bluestones" used for the inner circle of Stonehenge in 2300 BC. The tomb is a passage grave, a cigar-shaped enclosure of stone that was once covered in earth. The tomb is in ruins...

Oldest cave art in UK discovered and vandalized

Oldest cave art in UK discovered and vandalized Aug 31st, 2011 at 11:30AM: A design of a reindeer hidden in the back of a Welsh cave may be the oldest cave art in the UK, archaeologists say. Sadly, it's been vandalized. Unlike the more familiar cave paintings of France and Spain, the reindeer is scratched into the rock instead of being painted, like this horse from the Scottish cave of East Weymss courtesy Europe a la Carte. No photo of the reindeer has been released...

United Kingdom: 3G service survey crowdsourced

United Kingdom: 3G service survey crowdsourced Aug 24th, 2011 at 1:30PM: This morning, the BBC released a survey regarding the reach of 3G service across the United Kingdom. The BBC obtained its data the newfangled way, via crowdsourcing. In July, almost 45,000 people downloaded an Android app that allowed their mobile phones to be tracked for the survey. And the outcome of the survey? The BBC found that about three-quarters of the time people in the UK appear to be...

Flags without countries

Flags without countries Jul 29th, 2011 at 1:00PM: Do you recognize this flag? Neither did I. It's the flag of Lapland. Lapland isn't a country, but a region in northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia where the Sámi (Lapps) live. Only Norway recognizes this flag, and it's flown throughout the country on February 6 to celebrate Sámi National Day. I discovered this flag in Aberystwyth, Wales, of all places, while walking...

Riding the rails in Wales: a steam train into the Welsh hills

Riding the rails in Wales: a steam train into the Welsh hills Jul 28th, 2011 at 2:00PM: If you like old trains, you're going to love Wales. The region has several narrow-gauge steam locomotives. The website Great Little Trains of Wales tells you about ten of them traveling various routes around the country. Most are clustered in the north and west, which most travelers say has the best scenery. Having never been on a steam train and knowing it would be a guaranteed hit with our...

Exploring the Welsh coast: Aberaeron and New Quay

Exploring the Welsh coast: Aberaeron and New Quay Jul 27th, 2011 at 2:00PM: Yesterday I mentioned that Aberystwyth is a good base from which to explore western Wales. On our second day in Wales my wife, son, and I hopped on a local bus and went south down the Welsh coast to the ports of Aberaeron and New Quay. Aberaeron is about 40 minutes from Aberystwyth and New Quay is only about 20 minutes further south from Aberaeron. While we didn't have long in Aberaeron, we...

Aberystwyth: Exploring a seaside resort in Wales

Aberystwyth: Exploring a seaside resort in Wales Jul 26th, 2011 at 2:00PM: When deciding where to go for a beach vacation, Aberystwyth in Wales probably isn't the first place you think of. It wasn't ours either. My wife and I picked it on the advice of an English friend who had never been there and about an hour's research on the Internet. We like to travel by the seat of our pants because it usually leads to a great experience. Usually. Since this will not be an...

UK strike slows down ports and airports

UK strike slows down ports and airports Jun 30th, 2011 at 8:30AM: UK airports and ports are experiencing delays as many customs and immigration officials are on a one-day strike. The UK Border Agency is one of several UK public sector unions on strike over plans to change pensions, a move they say will have employees working longer, paying more into the system, and getting less out of it when they retire. Some Border Agency workers started early, at 6pm...

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