Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Hadley’s Fish and Chips (Whitby, England)

Hadley's Fish n' Chips
Hadley's Fish n' Chips, Whitby, England

Hadley’s Fish and Chips
* 11 Bridge Street Whitby, North Yorkshire YO22 4BG, United Kingdom
01947 604 153 *

In the heart of the Yorkshire coast, in the little historic fishing village of Whitby, I couldn’t think of a better place where I’d crave fish n’ chips than this location. There were many places to choose from for such a scrumptuous meal … and i settled for Hadley’s Fish and Chips. I’m glad I did, as I was quite pleased. Fast service, quick turnaround, friendly staff, clean restaurant, and a delicious meal. Even came with a cup of tea and a slice of toast? Nonetheless, I was happy. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

Hadley's Fish and Chips[/caption]>


Edinburgh, Scotland

Named after the Celtic British place name of “Eidyn”, “Edinburgh” is one of the major centres of the Enlightenment in history, The New “Athens of the North” serves Scotland as its second largest city and Capital. It is located in the south-east of Scotland along the east coast of the Central Belt. Both of its New and Old town districts are considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1995) due to its unique Medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town character with over 4,500 buildings listed. With a population of over 495,000 inhabitants it is also the governmental seat of the Scottish Parliament for all of Scotland. Most popular for its annual Edinburgh Festival, it is also home to numerous official and independent festivals that run through the month of August. The best known of these is the Fringe Festival, the largest performing arts festival in the world, as well as the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo Festival, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Growing in popularity are also the annual Hogmanay street party and the Beltane Fire Festival – all of which attract well over a million attendees a year and is the second most visited sightseeing hotspot in the United Kingdom. [ ~ Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=4325 ]

The first known inhabitants to the area date from early stone settlements from the Bronze age that can be found along the Craiglockhart Hill, Pentland Hills, and Holyroad. Culture and populations increased during the Iron Age, which expressed La Tene Celtic and Hallstatt cultures from central Europe. When the Romans arrived in the area, it was around 100 C.E. and the first peoples they encountered were the Votadini who were a Celtic Brythonic Tribe. By 600 C.E. the Votadini had a infamous hillfort called “Din Eidyn” where Arthur’s seat is currently located. It has since vanished. As time crawled on, the area was inhabited by the Bernicia, then the Northumbria, the English, and southeastern Scots. The stronghold was captured by King Oswald of Northumbria by 638 C.E. until 950 C.E. Indulf, Constantine the II’s son took over at that point. The town evolved from this changeover, and with King Malcolm II in 1018 C.E. the fort became the early foundations of the city it is now rather than a fort. In 1124 C.E. King David I granted the area to the Church of the Holy Rood of Edinburgh and was referred to as “Edenesburch”. By the 12th century, Edinburgh spread out from atop the castle rock and volcanic craig building down below. Then came the 16th century Scottish reformation and wars of the Covenant for 100 years. 1603 King James VI of Scotland succeeded the English throne uniting the kingdoms into the “Union of the Crowns” making Scotland a sovereign kingdom of England. This led to lots of disputes between Presbyterians and Episcopolians leading to the Bishop’s Wars in 1639, and then saw Oliver Cromwell’s damages during the Third English Civil War. The city became walled to protect it from English invasions after James IV was defeated at the Battle of the Flodden. By 1707 the Acts of Union between England and Scotland came into being, merging the countries as the Kingdom of Great Britain combining the parliaments at the same time. This led to riots as well as the infamous 1745 Jacobite rising that captured Edinburgh just before they marched into England. Defeat was seen with the Battle of the Culloden near Inverness with reprisals directed at the Catholic Highlanders. Scotland recovered and was industrialized by the 19th century. 1998 C.E. the Scotland Act was established to create a devolved Scottish parliament and Scottish Executive based in Edinburgh to govern Scotland on its own.

Within the Central Lowlands of Scotland, Edinburgh is surrounded by hills created by volcanic activity and glaciation. This leads to much mythology and geological features such as Castle Rock, Calton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Braid Hills, Blackford Hill, Arthur’s Seat, Nor Loch, and the Salisbury Crags. As the capital to Scotland, it is divided into various areas encompassing parks, a local main street, a high street, and residential areas. The boglands from the Nor Loch were converted in 1816 to the central city parks creating the historic city center between Princes street and New Town. Old Town preserves the ancient city center, the medieval plan, and reformation era buildings including the underground. New Town was the solution in the 18th century from overcrowding.

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The Dracula Experience, Whitby, England

Dracula Experience
Dracula Experience

The Dracula Experience
* 9 Marine Parade North Yorkshire, Whitby YO21 1EA, United Kingdom * 01947 601 923 *

How could one come to Whitby? the home of Bram Stoker, without thinking about peeking one’s curious head into the “Dracula Experience”. Well, bother not. It’s a chain horror shop that can be found throughout the UK. Very cheesy, kitch, and boring. Of course i did his when no live actors were running around, so I got in for only a few pounds. Still, i can’t imagine the live actors justifying the price they are asking. It was a quick walkthrough. They do attempt the tale of Dracula in this creepy town with its famous Gothic abbey with animated scenes, electronic special effects, and live actors. Not impressed. 1 star out of 5.

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Bristol Temple Mead

Bristol Temple Mead
Bristol, England

One of England’s largest and oldest railway stations owned/operated by Network Rail/First Great Western. Classic gothic architecture, Grade 1 listed, designed by the Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a hallmark of Bristol in its own essence. It is the gateway for rail, ferry, and bus service into and out of Bristol, England. Bristol is also served by a newer station called Bristol Parkway that is on the northern edge of the city. Temple Mead was opened in August of 1840 as the western terminus for Great Western Railway from London. It is named after the Old English word “Maeds” for “meadow” describing the water meadows along the River Avon part of the parish called Temple Church that was built by the Knights Templar in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 14th century, and destroyed by World War 2 bombings requiring yet another rebuilt. The station once housed the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum until its relocation to London. Over 7 million pass through its gates each year. Stream-lined, centrally located, and an easy access point when entering Bristol – First Great Western has easy to use ticket kiosks and booths. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Bristol, England

Bristol, England:
Bristol is a unitary authority area and ceremonial county city in Southwest England, located approximately 105 miles west of London and 24 miles east of Cardiff. In 2008, its population was estimated at 421,300 inhabitants in the city proper and an estimate 1,006,600 residents in its surrounding larger Urban zone. It is England’s 6th most populated city. It received its Royal Charter in 1155 and granted County status in 1373. Bristol borders the counties of Somerset and Gloucestershire being located near the historic cities of Bath to the southeast and Gloucester to the north. It is built around the River Avon, has a short coastline on the Severn Estuary flowing into the Bristol Channel.
Bristol is also known to be one of the largest centres of culture, employment, and education in the region with prosperity linked to the sea since its early days. Bristol’s economy recently has depended on the creative media, electronics and aerospace industries, and the city centre docks have been regenerated as a centre of heritage and culture.

The earliest evidence of humans in the area are believed to be 60,000 years old, discovered at Shirehampton and St Annes from the Palaeolithic era. In Leigh Woods and Clifton Down have Iron Age hill forts near the city. The Roman settlement of Abona (now Sea Mills) is in the area that connected it to Bath and present-day Inns Court. Isolated Roman villas, forts, and settlements can be found throughout the area. The town of Brycgstow (“the place at the bridge”) since 11th century under Norman rule was one of the strongest castles in southern England. By 12th century, Bristol became one of England’s most important ports handling much of England’s trade with Ireland. 1247 saw a new stone bridge built into the city, which in 1790 was replaced by the current Bristol Bridge. Bristol was extended to include neighboring suburbs, in 1373 making Bristol its own county. By this time Bristol became a center for shipbuilding and manufacture, and became the starting point for many expeditions and adventures including John Cabot’s 1497 voyage of exploration to North America. By the 14th century, Bristol became one of England’s three largest medieval towns next to London, York, and Norwich. In 1348-49 during the Black Death, Bristol only had a population of about 10-12,000 people left. The area was hit hard. The 15th century saw a boom in the fishing industry especially as Bristol Fishermen began fishing the Grand Bankes of Newfoundland and settling Newfoundland permanently in larger numbers up through the 17th century with colonies at Bristol’s Hope and Cuper’s Cove. 1542 the Diocese of Bristol was founded with Robert Fitzharding’s 1140 Abbey of St. Augustine becoming the Bristol Cathedral elevating it to the equivalent of city status. 1640’s English Civil War saw occupation by the Royalist military in Bristol. 17th century during the rise of England’s American colonies and rapid 18th century expansion of England’s part of the Atlantic trade in African slavery, Bristol along with Liverpool became a center for the Triangular trade where the first stage of the trade manufactured good were taken to West Africa and exchanged for Africans who were then in the second or middle passage transported across the Atlantic under brutal conditions leading into the third leg that brought plantation goods such as sugar, tobacco, rum, rice, and cotton back to England. 1700-1807 in the height of the slave trade, more than 2,000 slaving ships were fitted out at Bristol carrying a half a million people from Africa to the Americas for slavery. Bristol still hosts the Seven Stars public house where abolitionist Thomas Clarkson collected information on the slave trade. 1760 the maritime commerce was disrupted with attention relocated to the ongoing wars with France through 1793 and the abolition of the slave trade in 1807 causing collapse with keeping up with newer manufacture centers in North England and the West Midlands. The construction of the new “Floating Harbour” became hindered by the high tidal Avon Gorge affecting more disruption with growth from 1804-1809 causing excessive harbour dues. 19th century saw a population boom beginning in 1801 at this time bringing numbers upwards of 66,000 inhabitants. This was affected greatly by the design of the Great Western Railway between Bristol and London Paddington, two pioneering Bristol-built ocean going steamships – the SS Great Western and the SS Great Britain, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Bristol from the 15th-19th became a city of maritime safety. 19th century Samuel Plimsoll aka “The Sailor’s Friend” campaigned to make the seas safer, as he became aware and shocked at the overloaded cargoes had fought for a compulsory load line on ships. 1793 and 1831 saw numerous riots fighting against renewal of acts levying tolls on the Bristol Bridge and the latter after the rejection of the second Reform Bill.

World War II took its toll on Bristol during the Bristol Blitz which devastated the original central shopping area near the bridge and castle as well as the St. Nicholas Church. 1960’s rebuilding of Bristol involved large, cheap tower blocks, brutalist architecture, and massive road expansion. The 1980s saw another trend closing main roads and restoring the Georgian Queen Square and Portland Square, regeneration of the Broadmead shopping area, and demolition of the city center’s tallest post-war blocks. The Docks were moved to Avonmouth Docks and Royal Portbury Dock 7 miles downstream so that redevelopment of the old central dock area (The Floating Harbour) could be achieved. 1996’s First International Festival of Sea was held in and around the docks affirming the dockside area into a leisure and tourist center point of the city.

Bristol is well known for a tradition of local political activism and is home to many important political figures such as Edmund Burke, the women’s rights campaigner Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867–1954); Tony Benn (1950-1983), and others. 1963 saw a boycott of the city’s buses after the Bristol Omnibus Company refused to employ black drivers and conductors which influenced the creation of the UK’s Race Relations Act in 1965. The city was the scene of the first of the 1980s riots against racism, police harassment and mounting dissatisfaction with the social and economic circumstances of the area. 2005 made Bristol a Fairtrade City center. Bristol has always been an unusual city with country status because of its setup and expansion.

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The United Kingdom

England/United Kingdom
England is the premiere part of the United Kingdom. England combined with Wales, Ireland and Scotland make up the United Kingdom. Scotland is to the North of England, Wales to the West, the Irish Sea to the Northwest, the Celtic Sea to the Southwest, North Sea to the East, with English Channel separating it from continental Europe. Most of England comprises the central and southern part of the island of Great Britain in the North Atlantic which includes over 100 smaller islands such as Scilly, Man, and Wight. England has been settled by humans of various cultures for over 35,000 years. England gets its name from the Germanic tribe – the Angles, who settled here 5th-6th century. England became unified in AD 927 and became a significant cultural and world leader since the Age of Discovery in the 15th century. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English system of Law became common base and usage for many countries around the world. Its parliamentary system of government has been adopted by many other nations. The Industrial revolution that began in 18th century England transformed English society into the world’s first industrialized nation. They also laid the foundations of experimental science. Southern and Central England primarily consists of low hills and plains, but up north and the southwest there are uplands including mountainous lake districts, the Pennines, and the Yorkshire Dales in the North; and Dartmoor and Cotswolds in the southwest. England’s capital is London, which is the largest metropolitan area in the Kingdom which developed as a industrial region during the 19th century. Beyond the major cities lie rural villages, meadowlands, farms, and pastures. The Kingdom of England which added on Wales in 1284 beginning as a sovereign state until May 1, 1707; when the Treaty and Acts of Union united the political powers of the Kingdom of Scotland with England to form the new Kingdom of Great Britain. By 1800 Great Britain was united with Ireland through another act of Union becoming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 1922 saw the Irish Free State established as a separate dominion even though the Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act in 1927 reincorporated into the Kingdom six Irish counties to create the current United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland
Irish as Baile Atha Cliath, Ath Cliath, or Dublin is the capital of Ireland and is Eire’s largest city. The name “Dubh Linn” means “Black Pool” or “Baile Atha Cliath” meaning “town of the hurdled ford” as it is the fording point of the Liffey in the vicinity of the Heuston Station named after the early Christian monastery that was believed to have settled here. The Dubh Linn and Poddle was covered during the early 1700s and was a lake used by Scandinavians to moor their ships and connected to the Liffey by the Poddle. But as the city expanded these were forgotten about. The Dubh Linn was situated where the Castle Garden is now located opposite the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin Castle. It is located near the midpoint of Ireland’s East Coast at the mouth of the River Liffey. It was originally a viking settlement that evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin becoming the island’s primary city following the Norman invasion. Today it is 23rd rank on the Global Financial Centres Index and is one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital cities. Dublin is also a historical and contemporary cultural center as well as a modern center for the arts, administrative function, economy, and industry.

According to the Greek astronomer and cartographer Ptolemy, the earliest habitation in the area was in Dublin around AD 140 as a settlement called Eblana Civitas. Dubh Linn dates as early as the first century BCE becoming home to a monastery. The town was later established in 841 by the Norse. The Norse ruled the city from 841-999 until it was sacked by Brian Boru, the King of Cashel. Even with a Norse King after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, Norse influence waned under a growing Celtic supremacy until the conquest of Ireland launched from Britain in 1169-1172. 1348 saw the Black Death that ravaged the city in the 14th century. 17th century saw great evolution and expansion in the city, and the population grew from 10,000 in 1600 to over 50,000 in 1700. For a short time “Georgian” Dublin was the second city of the British Empire after London and the fifth largest European City hosting much of the notable architecture at the time. 1759 the Guinness brewery was founded at St. James Gate adding a substantial economic impact for the city. It became the largest employer in the city even though Catholics werre confined to the lower echelons of employment until the 60’s. After Irish Independence the Guinness Headquarters were moved to London in the 1930’s to avoid Irish taxation and a rival brewery to Dublin was opened in London at Park Royal to supply the UK. Union Act of 1800 caused a period of decline for Dublin even though it held as the center of administration and a transport hub for most of Ireland. Dublin was quiet during the Industrial Revolution as it had no native source for coal, not a center of ship manufacture. This gave a push for Belfast that prospered by having mixture of international trade, factory-based cloth production, and shipbuilding. 1916 saw key elements of the Easter Rising that destroyed a good portion of the city center. City was also devastated by the Anglo-Irish War and the Irish Civil War. The city was rebuilt by the Irish Free State Government. Through the Emergency (World War II) until the 1960’s – Dublin remained a capital out of time – the city center remained at an arachitectural standstill and nicknamed the “last 19th Century City of Europe”. It became well known for historical film production and soon became home to modern architecture.

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Eire / Ireland

Éire or Ireland, the third largest island in Europe, and the 20th largest island in the world – consists of two parts – The sovereign state of “Ireland” or “Republic of Ireland” that comprises of 5/6th of the land mass, and “Northern Ireland” that is a constituent part the the UK (United Kingdom) for the remaining 1/5th. Ireland is an island that has the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Irish Sea to the East that separates it physically from the United Kingdom. Ireland consists of over 84,421 km or 32,595 square miles. Residing to the northwest of continental Europe, Eire is surrounded by hundreds of isles, islets, and islands. Ireland possesses over 2,300 miles (3,700 km) of coast line and has a mean elevation of 3,415 feet (1,041 meters) with its highest point at Carrauntoohil. The Largest city in “Ireland” is Dublin, while the largest in Northern Ireland is Belfast. Ireland has over 6,197,100 inhabitants as of 2008 consisting of primarily Irish, Ulster Scots, and Irish Travellers. They were over 8 million in population prior to the Great Famine which destroyed a good portion of the population in the mid-19th century. Ireland is very vegetation-lush and consists of relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain primarily used as farmland with numerous navigable rivers extending inland. Its lush green gives Ireland the nickname of the “Emerald Isle”. Ireland’s Eco-zone doesn’t have extremes in temperature. Its an insular mild climate with a lot of rainfall. It is quite temperate annually. Up until the 1600’s – Ireland was covered with thick woodlands, but today is one of the most deforested areas in Europe. Ireland is home to over 26 mammals (such as the red deer, the Irish hare, the pine marten) native to the Island, with others very common like the red fox, badger, and hedgehog. There are no snakes on Ireland (except philosophically)

This land mass was covered in ice until the last ice age about 9,000 years ago – when sea levels were lower and all of the United Kingdom’s current landmass was part of continental Europe rather than the independent islands they are today. Mesolithic stone age inhabitants show evidence around 8,000 BC after which Neolithic Age agriculture appeared from 4,500-4,000 BC with sheep, goat, cattle, and cereals in occurrence. Ceide Fields has evidence under a blanket of peat of an extensive field system that is one of the oldest found in the world. By 3,500-3,000 BC – evidence of land division was found by means of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls and farming evidence of wheat and barley as the main crops. Ireland then saw a Bronze Age in 2,500 BC that changed daily life and technology in the region substantially bringing forth textiles, alcohol production, the wheel, domination over oxen, metalworking, weapons, tools, fine gold jewellery and crafts including brooches and torcs. Ireland became a substantial part of maritime trade in the Atlantic Bronze Age with Britain, Europe, France, Spain, and Portugal – as part of Celtic culture and blending in with the Celtic languages. The Celts brought in the Iron Age into Ireland who colonized the islands by a series of invasions between the 8th and 1st centuries BCE (Before Common Era). The Celtic invasion was followed by the Gaels, who were the last wave of Celts, that divided the islands into 5+ different kingdoms after conquer that today is seen more as a diffusion of culture rather than a military colonization.

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6/10/10: Chronicles: WPP: Day 6 – Dublin, Ireland and Bristol, England

The boarding of the air dragon set for the magical Isles of Eire went well – no disruptions with the dragon’s innards and we landed safely. Inflight entertainment consisted of watching “The Crazies” and while I had the option to watch other films – I knew I needed to sleep as I would be dead from jetlag tomorrow otherwise. The Continental flight and service royally sucked though. That beast needs to be de-commissioned. The stewardesses were rude, snappy, and could tell they were having some issues going on. The male steward was very nice, though. The plane was crunched and i got a very back engine seat – cramped for 7 hours. My legs were sore and stiff by the end of the flight. Unfortunately I have Continental for the return flight home. :: sigh :: They did feed us (no charge) a meal and didn’t charge extra for drinks. Plus I didn’t get charged for my 1 piece of checked luggage so thats pro-bono. I managed to get in 4 hours of sleep (i think). Landing in Dublin felt like landing home. While this is my very first trip to Ireland AND Dublin – it just seemed so strangely familiar – no other time have I flown into another country and essentially felt like I knew where I was going or found things so easily. Customs was a quick “How long are you in the country?” with me replying “One and half weeks in England and one 1/2 in Ireland” … :: stamp :: and on my way. No checking of luggage, in fact from drop-off in Colorado Springs to pickup in Dublin – completely out of customs process. That was nice. The Irish don’t harrass you like America does when coming in and out when you’re not a citizen or are non-EU. The way it should be – unlike paranoid America where we interrogate (even Europeans), implement retina or fingerprint scans, and go through their luggage. One of the invasive and lack of privacy/independence issues that make me not want to live in America. Where did we go wrong? How did we go from the most free country to the most paranoid and invasive? :: sigh ::

Figured out a way to strap the day pack onto the frame pack – but then realized I remembered the car park had a ‘left luggage’ drop for only 6.5 Euro a day. Not bad. Freeing me to run into Dublin to meet up with Faerie Moe for Tea. All you can ride bus for 6 Euro (Dublin Bus) from the Airport to City Center, dropped off on O’Connell. I turned down Abbey street and lo’ and behold not even two blocks the first thing to catch my eye was the National Leprechaun Museum. Couldn’t fit in a tour as children busloads were already on it and timing would screw with meetup with Faerie Moe so I grabbed chai n’ free wifi at Insomnia Coffee by the corner of Abbey and Jervis. Everyone was so friendly. Moe was running a bit late so decided to jump into the Leprechaun tour and got through the introduction when she had pulled into the City Center – so slipped out and the owner of the Museum gave me a free adult ticket so I could come back to finish it. Sweet.

Overwhelmed by Moe’s radiance … and it felt like it was just yesterday since we saw each other last. She gave me a quick tour of some of the artsy corners of City Center, introduced me to a couple of her artist friends, and we went to her secret bar – that I cannot review since I cannot reveal the location. There we toasted to two tall Guinness (thank you Moe!) and caught up. Very quite lovely and much better than tea. Time flew and it was quickly already time for me to be at the airport for my flight to England.

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Stonehenge, England



Near Amesbury and Salisbury, England
One of the most famous prehistoric monuments of England next to Avebury. The megalithic monument is located on the southern part of Salisbury Plain (about 8 miles – 13 kilometres – north of Salisbury). Scholars believe that the site was used as a ritual site or temple from 2800 – 1100 BCE (Neolithic Age through the Bronze Age). The monument was constructed with sarsen stones that are believed to have come from the Marlborough Downs (about 20 miles – 32 kilometres – to the north), and estimated to have been built in about 2000 BCE. The most accepted theory stated that there was needed more than 1,000 men to transport the stones. Many of the stones from the original temple are no longer there: they may have been broken up in the time of the Romans or in the Middle Ages. Continue reading Stonehenge, England