Tower of London

Interesting facts about some of Britain’s most amazing castles

The United Kingdom is home to some of the most magnificent strongholds in the world. Glorious structures that have survived the centuries and grown into symbols of Britain’s rich historical and cultural heritage. Some of these castles have become internationally renowned landmarks that attract travellers from all over the globe. Nevertheless, what do people really know about them? The truth is, very little, which is why we decided to present to you some of the United Kingdom’s most fascinating strongholds and several interesting facts about them.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh CastleSituated at the top of Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle is one of Britain’s most beautiful strongholds. The fortress dates back to the 12th century and is still being used by the local authorities. The castle is known to be “the most besieged stronghold in the United Kingdom”, as during its 1100-year-old history it has been assaulted 26 times. The fortress is also home to Mons Meg – a gigantic cannon, which could fire a cannonball with the diameter of a modern-day missile for a couple of miles. The castle was the site of the infamous “Black Dinner” in 1440, when the teenage earl of Douglas and his younger brother were taken from the banquet and murdered. Today, the stronghold houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and hosts the annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The fortress that was sold

Warwick Castle

Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle is a medieval stronghold that lies in the eponymous county town of Warwick in the central parts of England. The fortress is reputed to be one of the best preserved in Britain, while its grounds are splendid gardens that could leave even the biggest sceptics, speechless. The castle’s dungeon is the structure’s grimmest area as it is a damp and cold place where prisoners were brought to the forgotten hence its name oubliette (French word for forgotten). The last lord of the stronghold was Charles Greville, 7th Earl of Warwick, who preferred to be an actor and has a short-live acting career, which earned him the nickname “The Duke of Hollywood”. Charles’ son sold the fortress to Madame Tussauds during the late 1970s, a decision that created an immense rift between father and son.

Tower of London

The Tower of London is arguably Britain’s most famous stronghold. Just like Warwick Castle, William the Conqueror constructed it in 1078. It is one of the numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are spread throughout Britain. The fortress has played in integral role in the United Kingdom’s history, as it has been the site of several important events such as the disappearance of the princes during the reign of Richard III or the death of Anne Boleyn. Throughout the years, the castle has served many purposed such as:

  • Palace
  • Royal Mint
  • Garrison
  • Prison
  • Zoo

Tower of LondonToday the stronghold houses the British Crown Jewels and is one of the United Kingdom’s most visited tourist attractions. The fortress lies in the Borough of Tower Hamlets, which is one of London’s most desirable areas. The borough is home to several other prominent landmarks and is the location of some of the capital’s finest residential districts. The local neighbourhoods welcome new residents by the numbers as local properties are more or less affordable in comparison with other neighbourhoods in central London. Newcomers relocate to the borough by using professional and fully certified moving services. They prefer delegating the job to seasoned, skilled and hard-working contractors, as they will not have to do any of the heavy lifting, time-consuming packing and driving through narrow streets during rush hour. In fact, people that use movers with affordable man with a van removals rates, have the peace of mind that all their belongings are being prepared, loaded, unloaded and transported by experienced specialists that have the needed human resources and technical capacity to handle even the most laborious, time sensitive and complex relocations. The area is also renowned among business owners, who also favour using comprehensive man and van services for the execution of their office relocations. Movers that operate in the area are generally busy, which is why people book them in advance. However, some removal companies have the ability to accept last minute jobs and more importantly have the assets to carry out late night operations, which is highly appreciated by businesspersons, as their commercial removals can get done without the interruption of their ongoing affairs.

A proud Scottish stronghold

Stirling Castle

Perched on a volcanic crag, Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important Scottish strongholds. It was at this fortress that infant Mary, Queen of Scots was kept safe from King Henry VIII. The castle is also the site where King Edward I tested the mammoth trebuchet known as War Wolf and where King James IV allowed his alchemist to try flying by jumping from the structure’s walls. The stronghold dates back to the 12th century while most of its current edifices were constructed between the late 15th century and the 17th century. Stirling Castle has been under siege eight times, including during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Nowadays, the fortress is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and is one of Scotland’s most impressive manmade structures.

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff castleSituated in Wales, Cardiff Castle is one of Britain’s most intriguing fortresses. The stronghold sits at the end of St. Mary’s Street in close proximity to Millennium Stadium, the home ground of the Welsh football and rugby national teams. The oldest sections of the castle’s outer walls date back to Roman times. Most of the structure was built during the 11th century and historian believe that it was commissioned either by William the Conqueror or Robert Fitzhamon. The fortress was the subject of a major renovation project during the Victorian era, which is why it has a more modern appearance than other British strongholds. Cardiff Castle played an important role during World War II as its walls provided shelter to over 2.000 people during the German air raids of the local dockyards. The stronghold is presently open to the public and is used as a museum.

Lancaster Castle

Lancaster Castle is a medieval fortress that lies in the north eastern parts of England. It is not clear when exactly the stronghold was built but most experts believe it to date back to the 11th century. The structure was converted into a prison during the late 12th century and today is used as a Crown Court. It was at Lancaster Castle that the Pendle Witch trials took place in 1612. The fortress is still owned by the British Royal Family.

Honourable mentions

Name Location Construction Present usage
Arundel Castle Arundel, England 1067 Seat of the Dukes of Norfolk
Leeds Castle Kent, England 1119 Tourist attraction
Carrickfergus Castle Carrickfergus, N. Ireland 1177 Tourist attraction
Caernarfon Castle Caernarfon, Wales 1283 Tourist attraction
Dover Castle Dover, England 12th century Tourist attraction


Kew Gardens

Lesser known tourist attractions in London

Did you know that London is the most popular tourist destination in the world and has been such for the past several years? You probably did. According to the statistics available, no less than fifty (yes, we said fifty) million people from all corners of the world map come to London every year to do some sightseeing. And oh, boy, does the capital have a thing or two to offer. Localities such as Big Ben, The British Museum, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and Westminster Abbey have become so iconic that they are the first things to pop in mind when people hear the name London.

London might be a good place to live in, and the stats from local professional removals firms (like Woolwich man with a van removals businesses) confirm that more and more people are moving to live here in recent years. But even more come every year for just a short stay. There is a lot to learn from this trend.

The most popular tourist attractions in London in terms of number of visitors

Attraction Number of visitors
The British Museum 6.8 million
National Gallery 5.9 million
Natural History Museum 5.2 million
Southbank Centre 5.1 million
Tate Modern 4.7 million
Victoria and Albert Museum 3.4 million
Science Museum 3.3 million
Somerset House 3.2 million
Tower of London 2.7 million
National Portrait Gallery 2.1 million

The big government-run museums and galleries are of course magnificent. Every single place on the list above is a must-see for every first-timer in London, but if you get tired of the crowds and waiting in lines, you might want to explore some of the lesser known tourist attractions that the capital has to offer too. You can rest assured that there are little gems hidden across the streets of London in every direction, so get prepared for a truly wonderful journey.

Sir John Soane’s Museum

Sir John Soane’s MuseumDedicated to the memory of one of the most impressive Londoners of the late 18th and early 19th century, Sir John Soane’s Museum occupies the aforementioned’s home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2. Sir John was a neo-classical architect – actually, the best reputed practitioner of his profession at the time. He was however also a keen art and antiques collector. The museum holds on display not only some of his best works and drawings, but also an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and even a whole Egyptian mummy that the owner of the house bought in order to satisfy its passion. Sir John Soane’s Museum is not your typical academic institution, which is exactly why the place can be so appealing. The items on display here do not follow any particular order. They are scattered across the rooms of the house in a seemingly chaotic fashion that leave you with the impression that you are in the home of a mad scientist or, at the very least, in some old warehouse. But there is a particular charm in all of this, and we encourage you to check it out.

Kew Gardens, Kew

A minor celebrity when it comes to major tourist attractions in London, Kew Gardens do not take the credit they deserve. Otherwise they would have been among the top ten most visited landmarks of the capital. Officially called The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. They get a little less than a million visitors per annum. The trust that manages the Botanic Gardens is also taking care of the Royal Seed Bank and a number of other properties, but the focus has always fallen on Kew. Kew GardensThe gardens were created in 1840 and contain exotic plants and trees from all over the world. At the current moment the living collection here consists of 30 000 different kinds of plants. Kew Gardens boast an impressive library of well over 750 000 volumes on natural history and botany. Both the collection and the library are the largest of their kind in the United Kingdom. The plant houses here are topical as follows:

  • Alpine House
  • Nash Conservatory (used for weddings too)
  • Orangery (also the restaurant of Kew Gardens)
  • Palm House
  • Princess of Wales Conservatory (collection of orchids, water lilies and cacti among other)
  • Rhizotron (a tree-top walkabout)
  • Temperate House (“plants and trees from all the temperate regions of the world”)
  • Waterlily House

Additionally, Kew Gardens contain a Chinese Style Pagoda and a garden, a Japanese Gateway, minka house and garden, and the Queen Charlotte’s Cottage and Kew Palacethe smallest of the British Royal Palaces.

Little Venice, City of Westminster

In case you are in the mood for a leisurely walk along some scenic road, then you should definitely drop by the district of Maida Vale, and more precisely – its section that goes by the name of Little Venice. Called this way because of its location on the Grand Union Canal, Little Venice is an affluent and really beautiful district. Most of the buildings here are in the Regent Style, which contributes greatly for the sense of history one gets here. If you are lucky enough, you might even spot some of the celebrity residents of Little Venice, such as singer Robbie Williams, businessman Richard Branson, Noel Gallagher from Oasis and many more.

London deep-level shelters

Those were built in the years when World War II was raging and the population of London needed safe places to hide during the worst days of the Blitz. Most of the deep level shelters were built under the Tube stations in the city. One can make a great day of adventure exploring the shelters, some of which are open to the public. The Goodge Street shelter and the Camden Town shelter are particularly popular. The former has appeared on Doctor Who and a number of films, while the latter is also pretty popular with filmmakers. It was used to represent a large underground facility supposed to be somewhere near Down Street tube station in the 2004 British-German horror Creep which was originally shown at the Frankfurt Fantasy Filmfest in Germany on 10 August 2004.

London and Its Passion for Sports

For many years now, London has ranked among the world‘s greatest sports cities. The English capital offers an abundance of modern sports facilities and it has hosted some of the biggest sports events, including Olympic games and various world championships. Many famous professional athletes have even relocated to London, attracted by the good training conditions and the many opportunities it offers. Among them are widely-known names like tennis player Andy Murray, pro golfer Nick Faldo and footballer Peter Crouch. Therefore, if you are a young and promising sportsman, you may consider moving to the UK capital. Still, do make sure you find an affordable house removal team in London, because the cost of living in the Big Smoke is quite high. Expensive or not, the capital certainly has plenty to offer not only to talented athletes, but also for sports fans in the United Kingdom and all over the world. Continue reading London and Its Passion for Sports

How to prep your belongings for a move with a small budget

The fact that you are moving on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you cannot properly pack and prepare your belongings for the move. Here are six tips that will allow you to correctly prep your possessions of your upcoming relocation.

  1. Use boxes that you have in your household

People tend to keep all kinds of boxes with the idea that they will need them some day and that day came when you decided to relocation to another house or flat. Also don’t hesitate to use old shoe boxes to pack smaller items such as trinkets, refrigerator magnets, cables, writing accessories and so on.

Continue reading How to prep your belongings for a move with a small budget

Vans with the highest payload capacity

There are numerous types of moving vans on the market but they don’t have the same payload capacity. Here are some of the Lorries with the highest cargo ratings.

Iveco Daily

Iveco DailyThe Iveco Daily is a light commercial vehicles that has been in production since the late 1970s. The current version of the Lorrie is its sixth generation and it has been in production since 2014. The vehicle can with found with nine different types of engines (six Euro 5 engines and three Euro 6 engines). Since 2010, Iveco has also been producing an electric variation of the Daily. The vehicle can carry over four tonnes which explains why it is one of the favorite van of most man and van companies such as Shark’s Removals.

Continue reading Vans with the highest payload capacity