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When You Visit the UK, Look in On Wales

If you’re heading to the UK on your vacation, remember to include Wales in your itinerary. This little hideaway country within the British Isles has a wealth of treasures to offer.  It’s a straight, 3-hour drive down the motorway from London or 2 hours on the train. With a Flybe promotional code you can fly there in under 30 minutes. You’ll find the purple mountains and  green valleys  refreshingly calm and quiet after the noise and rush of London.

Tucked away beyond England’s western boundary, Wales has its own culture and character, and even its own language – though the dominant language is English. Its mild climate and stunning scenery will revive you, and you’ll find more than enough to do, with its diverse activities and attractions.

You can have whatever sort of holiday you want in Wales. With the help of a Travelocity coupon You can opt for a luxury hotel and a round of golf, or a farm-yard campsite and a roam through the woods, as you tour the mountains, lakes and coastlines. There’s something for everyone in Wales.  Here’s a little handful of its highlights to savour.

Castles

Visit a Welsh castle – there are plenty to choose from, in various stages of ghostly ruin. Climb the narrow spiral stairs to the ramparts, or follow a dark passage to the dungeons. The kids will be enthralled! If you like the ancient castles, you’ll like the quaint old churches, too, and the antiquated villages, each with its traditional country pub. Make sure to try the local Welsh ale!

Steam trains

Take a scenic ride on one of Wales’s historic steam trains. The chug-chug of the engine and the plume of smoke past your open window will enchant the whole family. It’s fun to watch the coal being shoveled onto the fire and the ancient water pumps in action. But when the guard waves his flag and the engine whistles, it’s time to climb aboard.

Sports and Activities

Wales offers caves to explore, a coastline to walk, and a sensational cable car ride between mountain peaks. Around the coast, there are waves to surf, cliffs to climb and beaches to lounge on. Inland, you can meander down the sleepy canals on a barge, or find a pony club and go riding. On a damp day, you can head for a skating rink, rope-climbing center or swimming pool, and there’s sure to be a rugby match on somewhere.

Glitz and glamour

Cardiff is renowned for its new waterfront, with its glitzy lights and buzz of life and culture. Take a boat trip round the bay, or experience the hands-on science museum on the waterfront. Then, for nightlife, take your pick from the theaters, concert halls, restaurants and clubs, and look out for Cardiff Castle in its floodlit glory.

You may spot some traditional Welsh costumes on your travels, especially on festival days. You’ll come across some weird food, too. Fancy some seaweed for breakfast? But there’s plenty of normal food, too, and no shortage of eating places, wherever you find yourself. But if the dazzle of London is calling, just hop back there after tea.

expedia voucher code jack ripper

What an Expedia Voucher Code and Jack the Ripper Have in Common

It’s become one of the most popular tourist activities in London, on many ‘top 10’ lists of things to do in this historic city, along with the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. You can even find custom sales, like Expedia’s Jack the Ripper sale last Halloween that offered you an Expedia voucher code if you booked a trip to London on Halloween night.

On most evenings in London, rain or shine (and this being England, it’s most likely rain) you can find groups of people eagerly waiting to travel back in time for a couple of hours to the sinister and foggy streets of Victorian London.

Walking is a wonderful way to explore London, and walking tours have always been a relatively inexpensive way to experience another side of the city. For about $15, you can spend a couple of hours in the company of an expert guide walking in the footsteps of such well-known London residents as Dickens or Shakespeare. Walks taking in some of London’s best pubs or exploring its haunted sites are also popular.

In recent years though, the Jack the Ripper walk has become one of the most popular. Interest in this notorious killer who terrorized the streets of east London at the end of the 19th century, often described as being the world’s first serial killer, has never been stronger. A recent documentary on American television claiming that the notorious American serial killer HH Holmes and Jack the Ripper were the same has only added to the interest and the controversy.

Several different companies offer Ripper walks and most leave from Tower Hill, on the edge of the Whitechapel district where the murders took place. Walks take in all the murder sites, although not necessarily in chronological order. If you go on one of the Ripper walks, you may be lucky enough to have acknowledged Ripper expert Donald Rumbelow as your guide. All the guides are knowledgeable, however, and do an excellent job of making the experience intriguing and conveying the atmosphere of Victorian London. At one point on the walk, the residents of a nearby apartment building routinely get their evening entertainment by shouting and whistling at Ripper tour groups, although this impromptu street theater shouldn’t detract from the overall experience.

One of the drawbacks of the walk is that there is, of course, nothing really to see, other than the sites where the murders took place. Some of the guides’ descriptions of the killings and the state of the mutilated corpses tend to be quite graphic, although most participants don’t seem to mind. Furthermore, with most of the area extensively altered or redeveloped, you’ll usually find yourself standing in front of modern office buildings trying to imagine the scene as it might have looked over 100 years ago.

There are several places on the walk where things have not changed much in over a century. Especially as it starts to get dark, you can feel the atmosphere. You can still see a few of the original shops and street name signs if you know where to look, and your guide will probably show you the wall where the Ripper supposedly chalked a cryptic message to the police.Jack the Ripper walks traditionally end at the Ten Bells pub, on the edge of the Whitechapel district. Not so long ago, this bar was renamed the Jack the Ripper, until accusations of lack of taste forced it to revert to its original name. Regardless, tourists usually crowd the tavern to slake their thirst, perhaps at the very table where the Ripper lured his unsuspecting victims to their deaths. From the pub, it is a short walk to one of the several underground stations to return to your hotel, or to the many Asian restaurants and sweet shops in Brick Lane.

If you’re looking for something slightly different, you should not miss this experience. Make sure you have a sturdy pair of walking shoes, keep an open mind as to the Ripper’s identity, and be prepared to be transported back in time.