Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Kilmarnock Car Hire

Kilmarnock, the 14th largest populated place in Scotland and the second largest town in Ayrshire is famous for three things - its rugby and football club, it was where Alexander Fleming (the man who discovered penicillin) studied, and until recently it was the home of Johnnie Walker whisky.

Johnnie Walker Whisky by eugeni_dodonov on Flickr

Kilmarnock had been home to Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky since the 19th century, but in 2009, its owner announced the closure of its bottling plant in the town ending its 189 years of history. Originally known as Walker's Kilmarnock Whisky, the Johnnie Walker brand was started by John ‘Johnnie’ Walker who sold his own distilled whisky from his grocer’s shop. After his death, his sons and grandsons continued the tradition. Prior to 1860 it was illegal to sell blended whisky, but in 1865, John’s son Alexander produced their first blend ‘Walker’s Old Highland’, and in 1870, he also introduced the brand’s unmistakable square bottle. The square bottle was a great innovation as it was less likely to break and more bottles could fit into the same space; the fact that its label was applied at an angle of 24 degrees also made it pretty unique.

Kilmarnock is a watery place, the River Irvine runs through its eastern part, and the ‘Kilmarnock Water’ also passes through it. The town also has a ford, a stretch of river which crosses the road, and the video below proves that whilst in your Kilmarnock Car Hire you should always read the road signs.

Kings’ Lynn Car Hire

Kings' Lynn is a popular base with visitors touring the Norfolk coast. It’s an area which includes quintessential old villages, the city of Norwich, fishing villages and the popular seaside town of Great Yarmouth. One stop visitors to the town should make is to the Customs House which overlooks the port. As the name suggests, this was a prominent place in years gone by, and today is home to the tourist information centre where you can pick up details of places to visit relating to two of the area’s famous mariners, Admiral Nelson and Captain Vancouver.

John Hoppner Wikimedia Commons   

A few miles inland of the north Norfolk coast, in the hamlet of Burnham Thorpe, visitors will find the birthplace of Lord Horatio Nelson. Fatally wounded at during the Battle of Trafalgar, Lord Nelson wanted to be buried in his local churchyard, but instead, he ended up in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. However, his local church does have a cross and lectern made from the timbers of his ship, the HMS Victory. Lord Nelson was certainly famous, but the biggest hero of Kings Lynn was Captain Vancouver. Captain Vancouver was the man who sailed his ship ‘The Discovery’ to beat a fleet of American ships to the northwest coast of America. When he stepped ashore he declared the area should be called “British Columbia”, the city of Vancouver was also named after the man himself.

There’s another place you must visit in your Kings Lyn Carhire, and that’s the Norfolk Arena. The arena is home to Premier League Speedway, the King’s Lynn Stars, Quad Racing, Monster Trucks, Bangers, F1 and F2 Stock Car Racing. It’s brilliant fun, but please, leave your car in the car park!

Kidderminster Car Hire

Located approximately seventeen miles south-west of the UK’s second city, Birmingham, Kidderminster is an interesting place to explore. The town itself was where the modern carpet industry was founded in 1785, and it’s where bespoke carpets for hotels and venues such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris are made. It's also popular with those looking for carpets for momentous occasions, this is where the red carpet used for the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Katherine Middleton was manufactured, and they’re very proud of it. From a totally different perspective, the town is also where solid-fuel rocket motors for the Seawolf missile, Rapier missile and Starstreak missile systems are manufactured.

Kidderminster Station Emporium, By Andy 4 nothin on Flickr

Kidderminster is an easy town to get around, but if you have a Kidderminster Car Hire you can easily travel just outside to visit attractions such as the West Midlands Safari Park and the heritage railway line, the Severn Valley Railway. The Severn Valley Railway is a 16-mile line running along the Severn Valley from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth, following the River Severn for much of its route. Steam trains are the most regular and popular trains on the route, although when the risk of fire is high, diesel locomotives replace them. The line is the sixth longest standard gauge railway in the UK, and one of the most popular heritage railways in the country. The track runs from Kidderminster, through picturesque villages such as Arley, Highly and Hampton Loade to the northern most station at Bridgnorth. Here, you can stop for a picnic or simply turn round and travel back again. Christmas time is especially fun for the children as the Santa Specials have a very ‘special’ driver!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Inverness Car Hire

Capital of the Highlands of Scotland and the location of two famous battles, Inverness is the northern most city in the UK.

Every year the city hosts its annual Highland Games, an event which celebrates Celtic culture, and includes a sport called Tossing the Caber. Tossing the Caber involves taking a large wooden pole at one end and throwing it as far as possible; in the past this game served a practical purpose - it was a way of creating a bridge to cross the narrow chasms in the mountains. The kilted muscle men who throw the cabers are called a "tossers”, but don’t even think about teasing them, they’ll be much bigger than you and these cabers, made from Larch trees, are usually around 19 feet 6 inches (5.94 m) tall, and weigh 175 pounds (79 kg).

 Tossing the Caber - Dornoch Highland Gathering 2007, photo by foxypar4 on Flickr

If you have an Inverness Car Hire, travel just outside the city to catch a glimpse of Nessy. Nessy is the famous Lock Ness Monster who is said to inhabit the deep waters of the loch at the south side of the Moray Firth. Giant Nessy can live here because Loch Ness never freezes and it contains more water than all the other lakes in England, Scotland and Wales put together. One hundred feet down, the temperature always remains at 44 degrees Fahrenheit (6.6 degrees Celsius), and on a very cold day the loch actually steams; or maybe that’s Nessy’s breath. Travel just a little further on from the loch, along winding Scottish roads, and you will reach the Nevis Mountain Range where you can take a cable car up Aonach Mor, the mountain next to Ben Nevis, to check out the views.

Ipswich Car Hire

One of England’s oldest towns, Ipswich, or Gippeswick as it was once called, is located on the River Orwell in the east of the country.

The River Orwell by Martin Pettitt on Flickr

Its location has always made it a significant trading post. It started with the Romans who built a strong fort to form part of the coast defences of Britain, and continued with the Anglo-Saxons who moved in to exploit the North Sea trade between Britain and Scandinavia. Many years later it was the lovely Frisian potters of the Netherlands who inhabited the area; they arrived, settled in and set up the first large-scale pottery. You can still see some of the things which these settlers left behind them when you explore the area in your Ipswich Car Hire, or you may just like to enjoy the town which was once home to writers, artists and other famous people. Lord Nelson was High Steward of Ipswich, the painter Thomas Gainsborough lived and worked here, and in 1835, Charles Dickens stayed at The Tavern whilst writing scenes for his book ‘The Pickwick Papers’. Dickens made The Tavern famous and his hotel is still standing, unfortunately, it’s not a tavern full of famous writers anymore, but home to a major coffee retailer and an outdoor shop.

Today the town is famous for its football club, Ipswich Town, which was where two of the most successful England managers of their time, Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson once worked. The club is also a record breaker, being undefeated at home in all of its European competitions, drawing in 6 matches and winning the other 25.

Isle of Man Car Hire

Approximately 32.5 miles (50km’s) from north to south and 13.5 miles (20 km’s) from east to west, it won’t take you long to drive the island in your Isle of Man Car Hire. The island is a small one, but there are plenty of things to see and experience which make it rather unique.

Isle of Man TT 2008 by Jonathan Camp on Flickr

 The island is famous for a few things; firstly there are the Manx cats, noted for having a genetic mutation which causes them to have short tails. Then, there are the Manx fairies that live under Fairy Bridge (its true). The ‘little folk’ or ‘themselves’, expect you to wish them good morning or good afternoon when passing over their bridge, and if you leave them a coin, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll experience good luck. Last but by all means least are the rather weird and wonderful national dishes; chips, cheese and gravy, and Kippers (Smoked herring) with sweetcorn mash which is traditionally served with chilled port. However, what the island is really famous for is its TT races.

The TT races or Tourist Trophy races are motorbike races which follow a course around the island. First started in 1907, the event takes place over a two week period in late May and early June each year, and is considered to be one of the greatest motorcycle sporting events in the world. During the race fortnight the whole island takes on a carnival atmosphere with picnicking crowds flanking the course, but be warned, it’s also difficult to move around the island because many of the roads are closed, you'll see why in the video below.

Jersey Car Hire

Just off the coast of France, the island of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands. Jersey is unique and has a different relationship with the British monarchy than the other Crown Dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man. It’s not part of the United Kingdom, but the United Kingdom is responsible for its defence. It’s not a member of the European Union, but it has a special relationship with the EU for the purposes of free trade, so, all in all its…different.

St Aubin Jersey - photo by MarilynJane on Flickr

The identity of the island is a combination of British and French. When you travel around in your Jersey Car Hire, you will come across unspoiled countryside, lovely beaches, and scenic harbours. You will also come across charming towns with elegant shops, and in some of these shops there are a few things to buy which, just like Jersey, are quite unique.

The first unique thing to buy is a pullover. Depending on your age, you may never have heard of the term pullover or jersey used in relation to a jumper, but in the past that’s what a woolly jumper was called - a jersey pullover. Knitting was associated with the island for over 400 years, and in the 16th century many knitted articles such as stocks, waistcoats and pullovers were exported to England and France; you can still buy a traditional fisherman’s jersey today. The second unique item to buy in the town of St Aubin is a cabbage walking stick. The walking sticks, which have been made by Jersey wood turners since 1827, are made from massive cabbages which grow up to 10 feet (3 m) tall.