Monthly Archives: November 2014

London Tourist Attractions

There is much that can be said about the appeal of London, a city that has formed the backdrop for some of history’s greatest tales. The fabled city that nestles the Thames River has an aesthetic appeal that will resonate with lovers of architecture as well as nature. Its distinctive skyline has adorned everything from postcards to calendars and its cultural diversity is comparable to and often surpasses many large metropolitan areas around the world. London tourist attractions have for decades captured the imaginations of visitors, who pump billions into the city’s coffers each year.

Traveling Around London

There are many ways to move around and make the most of London tourist attractions. Many visitors choose to walk around as much as possible to take in all the sights. There are outlets where bicycles can be rented for short trips or all day tours. There are also numerous taxis waiting to take you to all the famous spots.

If you prefer to travel by rail you can choose between standard rail services or the London Tube, an underground railway. These will provide access to just about every area in London. Naturally there are guided tours available to you as well. The double-decker bus is one of the images most associated with London and a few other parts of Europe. They are used in the public transportation system, but tour companies use them as well. Moving around London is easy, which is essential to the enjoyment of all that the city has to offer.

Popular London Tourist Attractions

It’s difficult to say which attractions are the best, as each offers something unique. There are also a few that have won the hearts of visitors but are not as well known worldwide.

The Tower of London

This attraction is managed by the Historic Royal Palaces and tours are offered by the Yeoman Warders. The structure is 900 years old and its rich history offers up tales of royal intrigue. You can make things easy for yourself by ordering your tour tickets online. Groups are welcome, and there are special activities for children.

The British Museum

This museum has a collection that surpasses many of those offered by similar entities around the world.  It is open every day and admission is free. It provides an in-depth look into various cultures and explores significant events in human history. Its doors were first opened to the public in 1759.

The London Eye

This Ferris wheel has the distinction of being one of the tallest observation structures in the world. It offers amazing views of the city, including its most popular attractions. It is also called the Millennium Wheel and it boasts over 3 million visitors each year. Tickets can be booked online and the operating company’s website offers helpful information on renting private capsules.

The National Gallery

Founded in 1824, this world renowned gallery is located in Trafalgar Square. The vast collection is owned by the public and entry is usually free. A fee is charged for some exhibitions, so it is best to call ahead for information.

Kew Gardens

This park while widely known as Kew Gardens official name is the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. It is known worldwide for its beauty as much as for the variety of plants to be found there. Nestled on the bank of the River Thames, Kew Gardens possibly has the largest collection of exotic plants to be found anywhere in the world. Just the mere fact that it is over 250 years old makes it a not to be missed sight on any tour of London.

Within the Gardens themselves are sights that any visitor should try to see. These include the Alpine House and the Chokushi-Mon.  These structures serve different purposes with the Alpine built all help to protect the plants it houses. The Chokushi-Mon was built in 1910 for the Japan-British Exhibit.

These are just a few of the wondrous London attractions that visitors travel each year to see. There are many more attractions that visitors to London should try to see. It is for this reason why it is necessary to plan the trip. If planned, it may be possible to fit in many of the city’s extraordinary sights.

London Travel Tips

Many Americans travel to London, England to see the place that their ancestors called home; however, it is much more than just a descendent arena. London has the potential to give anyone the perfect vacation.  Although there many not be many problems in the language barrier, other elements of life and travel in London need to be addressed before arriving.

Where did the time go?  While the flight may seem short, London is five hours behind New York.  This fact means that 7 p.m. in New York is midnight in London.  Los Angeles and London have an eight hour difference.  4 p.m. in Los Angeles is midnight in London.

How much money should I bring?  The first thing you must consider is the exchange rate from United States dollars (USD) to the United Kingdom pound (GBP).  As of July 1, 2008, £1 GBP equals $1.99 USD.  Next, the itinerary of your trip should be consulted. If you plan to visit many museums, fine restaurants, theatre shows, and events, you should plan to spend more money; however, you can cut many costs by purchasing a bus, train, tram, or taxi card.  This card can save you a great deal of money if you use it.   You can also use credit cards where the signs are posted.   If you chose to use credit cards while in London, England, you should check out for the safest way to pay with your credit cards.

What is the climate?  While London was at one time quite foggy, it is now quite pleasant anytime of the year. The temperature is rarely ever very cold or hot.  London does have frequent rain spells; so, when you are on vacation in London, be sure to carry a raincoat with you at all times.

How do I get around London?  In London, you have many options of transportation if you choose not to walk. I suggest walking as much as you can in London. It is a beautiful city. You can miss a great deal by using other methods of transportation.  You can travel by taxi, train, boat, car ferries, or the Channel Tunnel (if you are traveling to and from France).  The undersea tunnel travels from England to France and carries both people and vehicles.   If you choose to take a taxi, it is wise to only use registered taxis or black cabs.  Other taxis can be extremely unsafe.  Another option is to rent a car.  When this choice is preferred, you must follow many rules.  Most of the transportation rules in London are the same as the ones in the United States; however, in London, people drive on the left side of the road. Speed limits include 30 miles per hour in slow, residential, and school areas, 70 miles per hour on motorways and controlled access areas, and 60 miles per hour anywhere else. When a driver flashes his or her headlights at you, this can mean that he or she is either giving way to you or indicating that you are clear to pull out. When this occurs, it is polite to give a little wave to say, “Thank you,” as it is here in the United States.

Is there anything I can do for free?  Actually, London does have a great deal of free events and functions that you can take advantage.  Walking around Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the Tower Bridge, many museums, the National Portrait Gallery, and many concerts held at St. Martin are free to anyone.   Before you arrive, you can become a member of the English Heritage and the National Trust organizations, which permit travelers to England to experience many exhibits, events, and tourist attractions at a discount or even for free.

What are the traditional English foods?  England has a few traditional foods that you will see, depending on the season you travel. A fish and chips meal includes deep fried cod or haddock with fries.  Yorkshire pudding is a heavy pudding served with roast beef.  When sausage is put in Yorkshire pudding, it is called toad in the hole.  Lancashire hotpot is a vegetable and meaty stew. When in London, you will be asked, “Do you want the full English breakfast?”  This will typically include the following: fried bacon, fried eggs, fried sausage, fried bread, fried black pudding, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, baked beans, toast and butter, milk, and coffee.

What do I do in case of an emergency?  If any emergency should arise, you can dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ to get an ambulance, the fire department, the police, or the Coast Guard.  ‘999’ can be dialed without a charge and is locally used in London; however, ‘112’ is used throughout the country.

Traveling in London is very similar to travel in the United States.  Even showing respect through saying “please” and “thank you” is appreciated. As long as you can remember the small differences, traveling in London should be a breeze; however, planning your trip to the fullest extent is the best way to know where you will be and the surrounding areas.  Having emergency cash and contact information at home, your accommodations, and on you at all times may give you an added sense of safety.

Facts about London England

London, England is the capital city of the United Kingdom.  It is the biggest city in Europe and the most diverse city in the world.

With 7.5 million inhabitants, London is home to 12% of the British population.  If it were a country, London would be the 8th largest country in Europe

Facts about London England Today

London covers an area of 609 square miles; some places in London are as far as 30 miles from the city centre.  London has 32 sub-regions, known as boroughs.

There are more languages spoken amongst the people of London than in any other city in the world.  In London’s most diverse borough, Brent, there is an 85% chance that any two residents drawn at random would be from different ethic groups.

Facts about London England: History

London was established by the Romans shortly after they invaded Britain in AD 43.  The Roman’s called the city Londinium.  Some of the wall that the Romans built around London is still standing, and can be seen near the Tower of London.

It wasn’t until the 12th century AD that London became the capital of England, superseding Winchester.  The new capital was formed through an amalgamation of the ancient cities of London and Westminster.  To this day Britain is governed from Westminster, in the Houses of Parliament there.

In 1666 the Great fire of London started in a bakery in Pudding Lane and wiped out most of the city.  It also annihilated the plague that had haunted city life for more than 300 years.  Rebuilding the city took over 10 years.

Facts about London England: Transport

London’s subway train network, known as ‘The London Underground’ or ‘The Tube’ was the first in the world.  It opened in 1863, and has since expanded to 253 miles of track, making it the world’s longest system.  976 million people use the London Underground every year.

The shortest journey between underground stations is Leicester Square to Covent Garden at just 0.16 miles – it is actually quicker to walk.  Incidentally, this is the most popular underground journey for London’s tourists.

Traffic in central London moves at an average of 10 miles per hour, the same speed as the horse-drawn carriages of 100 years ago.

Heathrow Airport in London is the busiest in the world, with 185,000 passengers passing through every day.

Facts about London England: Famous Residents

London has been the beloved home for numerous famous people.  Past famous residents include William Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Isaac Newton, Charles Dickens, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Charlie Chaplin, Jimi Hendrix, as well as most of England’s Royalty of the past 800 years.

Did you know?

  • It takes exactly 61 seconds for Tower Bridge to open, which happens about 1,000 times every year.
  • In total the 409 escalators on the underground do the equivalent of two round the world trips every week.
  • Any unusual animals given to Queen Elizabeth II during her reign have been passed on to London Zoo.  This includes jaguars and sloths from Brazil, and two beavers from Canada.
  • London Bridge has been a river crossing on the River Thames since Roman times.
  • Monument is exactly 202 feet high because it is exactly 202 feet from the baker’s house on Pudding Lane where the Great Fire of London started in 1666.
  • In the 19th century the River Thames started to smell so bad that it became known as ‘The Great Stink’.  Plans were soon drawn up for a sewage system in London.  Today, the Thames is so clean that some people say it is safe to drink – although I wouldn’t recommend trying it!
  • Marble Arch was originally built as the entrance to Buckingham Palace, but it was never used.  Inside the arch is a tiny office, which was once a police station.
  • The majority of the London Underground network is actually above ground.

London Music Scene

The transformation of the London music scene is as intriguing as the venues in which the up-and-coming artists perform live.

The United Kingdom’s most influential artists have emerged from London’s music scene, including Coldplay and James Blunt most recently, and The Rolling Stones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols in the past, to name a few.

Expect to see many more London-based rock bands make it big with the noticeable increase in talent and live performances in that area.

The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the rise of dance and pop in the London music scene, with a drastic reduction of quality live performances, but the millennium has seen the change back to rock with more successful concerts at many pubs in the cultural areas of London.

According to the Performing Rights Society in England, revenue from live performances at these small pubs and lounges in London has exceeded $15 million in the last five years, a more than 20 percent increase.

The hub of the London music scene has shifted east of London’s city center to the industrial neighborhood of Shoreditch. Trendy restaurants and art galleries are opening in Shoreditch, but the main attraction is the pubs and lounges that are rocking nightly.

Celebrities such as Madonna have visited Shoreditch. She celebrated her 48th birthday at Lounge Lover in Shoreditch, an old meatpacking factory converted to a bar.

Last year, the Shoreditch Town Hall, a 150-year-old building was renovated into a performing arts venue. Elton John and David Gilmour were honored in the MOJO Honors List Awards there.

Shoreditch’s cultural value is enhanced by the area’s cheap rents and large loft apartments. The workforce is primarily young, which has greatly contributed to the rise of pubs and lounges with live performances in that area.

Some of the most notable venues are Catch (which was converted to a pub from an old boxing gym), 93 Feet East, Old Blue Last and Rhythm Factory. Music executives frequent these pubs in search of the next greatest rock band or performer. They also line up talent for the pub owners.

In the heart of London, some of the more renowned and vintage live-music venues include Halfmoon Putney, Carling Academy Brixton and The 100 Club.

Halfmoon Putney is one of London’s longest running live-music venues. Artists who have performed at Halfmoon Putney include Elvis Costello, U2, K.D. Lang and Kate Bush. U2 played at Halfmoon Putney four times during their first visit to England, which included their first sold-out gig.

The Halfmoon Putney is also frequented by The Rolling Stones, which use the venue as a place to rehearse or try out individual projects.

The Carling Academy Brixton, another South London venue aside from the Halfmoon Putney, has been hired out to major rock performers such as Eric Clapton, Dire Straits and The Police for rehearsals. The venue attracts over a half-million visitors every year hosting over 110 concerts a year that includes acts such as Madonna, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Killers.

One of the oldest live-music venues in London is The 100 Club, which has operated since the 1940s. The music hall includes performers ranging from jazz to punk rock. The venue changes the types of music it showcases weekly. In one week, you can attend a live show by an Indie band then the next you can take in a reggae performance. Comedy shows are also scheduled.

Some of the more popular artists who have performed at The 100 Club include The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, The Kinks, The Who, Metallica, The Clash, Muddy Waters, Matchbox 20 and Eric Clapton.

Many of the clubs you can enter for free, but some of the bigger or rising names you may have to get tickets for… uk concert tickets can be found easily online or most places sell tickets to their events at their own venue.

The London music scene has transformed back to the days of the 1980s when punk rockers performed live at pubs. A variety of music fills these venues now, with plenty of unknown talent ready to make it big.

If you are a planning a trip to London and you consider yourself a true rock music connoisseur, a visit to these small pubs and lounges is a must. Who knows? You might witness history in the making while visiting these historic places. You can always say, “I saw that group play when no one knew about them.

That is becoming more of a reality these days with the increase of live performances in the London music scene.

England Has More to Offer

England has more to offer than London, and visiting those locations will make you wonder what the fuss is all about only touring Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

Expanding your vacationing horizons in England is a rewarding experience, rich with history and breathtaking scenery. Here is a rundown of the top five spots to visit in England without a thought of London:


This is a must-see location for Beatles music lovers. You can visit the places where George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were raised, and where Ringo Starr worked as a steward. Spots made famous by Beatles songs – Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields – are popular attractions.

The Beatles Story, a multi-media museum, offers plenty of information about the legendary pop group’s history. Recreations of some of the Beatles’ roots in Liverpool include the Kasbah Coffee Shop (owned by the mother of Pete Best, the group’s first drummer), and the Cavern Club (where the Beatles played more than 200 concerts before they became famous).

Perhaps the most interesting location is McCartney’s childhood home, where he and Lennon wrote their early songs in a back room because the acoustics were better.

An hour-long roundtrip ferry ride on the Mersey River is captivating. Millions of immigrants departed from there for America and Australia, symbolized by a statue facing the Mercey.

Isles of Scilly

These islands are to England what the Hawaiian Islands are to the United States. Off the Cornish coast, the Isles of Scilly, a cluster of small islands, is warmed by the Gulf Stream. The climate is very tropical with winters rarely seeing frost.

Six inhabited islands and more than 100 other small rocky islands comprise the Isles of Scilly. Some are only a few square miles. The largest island – St. Mary’s – is more than 30 square miles. St. Mary’s, Tresco and St. Agnes are the major tourist attractions.

So many beaches, beautiful and serene, exist that you may find yourself alone on a beach for the entire day. How relaxing is that thought? You will be alone only among humans as thousands of seabirds flock to the islands from the Atlantic.

The Isles of Scilly is also a hot spot for fishing, especially for lobster, crayfish and crabs. The islands also feature burial chambers, standing stones, deserted cottages, lighthouses and windmills.


Located 55 miles north of London and 80 miles northeast of Oxford exists the college town of Cambridge. Oxford and Cambridge are notorious for being England’s ancient seats of learning.

You can walk the narrow lanes in which Darwin, Newton and Cromwell walked in Cambridge. The university touts esteemed alumni such as Isaac Newton, Virginia Woolf and John Milton.

With its college atmosphere, Cambridge is very festive. The city is also known for its May balls, which are held in June at a Cambridge college at the end of the academic year. The balls are held in the college gardens, lasting from 9 p.m. until well after dawn.

At Christmas time, the carol singing on Christmas Eve in King’s College Chapel is also a must-visit for England tourists.


Located 56 miles southeast of London, Canterbury is rich with history from the medieval times. Once completely walled, Canterbury has many traces of its old fortifications. The city was inhabited centuries before the birth of Christ.

The most famous historical incident in Canterbury was the murder of Thomas a Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, by four knights of King Henry II in 1170. The city is also known for Bloody Mary’s order to burn nearly 40 victims at the stake.

Canterbury’s city center also suffered immense damage from Nazi bombers in World War II. Because of this, the city no longer has its medieval pre-War look, but it still has a lot to offer. The city has plenty of pubs, and its High Street is filled with shoppers.


Brighton, Sussex, is England’s most well-known city with a beach. The famous pebbly beach consists of many cafes, art galleries, second-hand bookstores, restaurants and a mini-rail. If you cross the seafront road between the two piers you will enter the historic Lanes which were once the heart of this fishing town.

The town is also a popular attraction for day-trippers from London with its railway, which was built in 1841.

The city is also recognized for its nightlife, namely its more than 400 pubs and nightclubs that feature live pop music.

Another notable beach city in England, is Bournemouth… this city is known for its beach like atmosphere, and is also a university town, the home of Bournemouth University. In a recent survey First Direct Bank, Bournemouth was found to be the happiest place in Britain, with 82% of those questioned saying they were happy with their life in Bournemouth. So this is also a notable beach city that England has to offer. If you plan on visiting, you may want to also check out one of the Bournemouth Hotels rich with excitement and class.

When researching cities outside of London to visit, it is clear that England offers plenty of culture, good times, serenity and history. Who would have thought that England – so stodgy in its perception – has beautiful beaches on the Isles of Scilly and Brighton.

The country has an image of conservatism with its royalty and parliament government, but a strong liberal element exists with its music and pubs. In other words, England is worth much more than a simple vacation to London.

Making a Travel Plan

Traveling smart can mean the difference between an experience to remember and an ordeal you will try to forget.

Whether you are traveling on vacation to London or Luxembourg or even Lafayette, Pa., you will not get the most out of your venture unless you think ahead. Leave the traveling on the spur of the moment to the college kids, whose idea of a good trip is to fill a backpack and throw caution to the wind.

Trips to foreign lands require plenty of foresight and planning, especially in this day and age of heightened security and the role the Internet plays in improving travel deals.

If the world traveler follows these surefire travel plans, he or she will likely enjoy an experience of a lifetime, free of frustration, high costs and unexpected difficulties.

Plan ahead. Sounds simple enough but the planning requires plenty of effort and calculating. The smart traveler knows that most discounted vacation packages for travel occur during Thanksgiving and Christmas and are offered as early as August. If you enjoy skiing trips, book a vacation during August through October, when many resorts have deals for the upcoming winter season.

Travel during the off-season.  Europe’s best travel deals are offered between Thanksgiving and Easter. In other words, try to avoid the routine summer vacation plans. A better idea might be to spend the holiday season in Europe as an unforgettable Christmas gift. Trips to Hawaii are also cheaper between September and December, well after the summer rush. On the flip side, hot locales such as Las Vegas, Cabo San Lucas and the Caribbean offer summer deals to attract visitors who might otherwise look at more seasonable destinations.

Don’t wait to get your passport. In order to avoid the need for a quick retrieval of your passport after you apply, get your passport well in advance. Applications routinely take up to six weeks for delivery. A two-week turnaround will cost another $65 or so.

Buy a vacation package. If you think vacation packages are simply a ploy to make you pay more money, you might have to think again. Travelers can save up to 30 percent if they book an airline ticket, hotel room and rental car on one deal rather than purchasing them separately.

Plan your activities wisely. Travelers should wait until they reach their destination to book some of their adventures. Local tour operators often offer better rates than what you might find in a magazine. A good example of waiting until the time is right is buying show tickets the day of the event rather than in advance. Travelers can save as much as 50 percent on their tickets by buying tickets at a booth the day of the show.

Great spots free of charge. Want to save money yet have an enriching experience? In London, for example, a traveler can visit the National Gallery, British Museum, the Tate Modern and the Museum of Natural History for free. Surf the Internet for ideas such as this by viewing an online edition of a newspaper in the city of your destination. Newspapers generally list activities happening currently in that city.

Internet impact. The most informed traveler will get his or her information from the Internet because the Web has plenty of sites that offer advice or reviews from other travelers. This substitutes the “word of mouth” communication you would get from an acquaintance about how good or bad of a trip that was taken. Now, the information is at the tip of your fingers.

The best travel research sites. Four of the most informative sites are,, and All of these sites offer information about hotels, as well as restaurant reviews, itinerary ideas and maps. Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet offer forums for travelers to share their experience, allowing vacationers to have better insight to what they might discover.

Book the travel right on the Internet. Too many Web sites exist that allow a traveler to book a dream vacation but most of them legitimately offer the best deals. Sites such as,, and also serve as vacation guides for activities or tours in the vicinity of your destination. A site where you can book cheap event tickets for events such as sports games, concerts, and more is – They may be worth a visit if you would prefer the convenience of booking your tickets online.

Make the most secure decisions. According to the U.S. State Department, the best plans to make when traveling aboard include filling out the emergency information page of your passport, reading the Consular Information Sheets that detail any warnings involving the countries you will visit and familiarizing yourself with local laws and customs of the countries you are visiting. While in that country, you are subject to its laws, not those of your homeland. Leave a copy of your itinerary with your family or friends so that you can be contacted in case of an emergency. This falls in line with being fully prepared before you step on that plane, days before you make your departure.

Don’t be tricked or become a crime target. Do not leave luggage or belongings unattended in a public place. Do not accept anything from strangers. Furthermore, do not carry excessive amounts of cash, wear extravagant clothing and flash expensive jewelry.

Next time you either return from vacation or encounter a co-worker who just completed a trip elsewhere pay close attention to the experiences described. Chances are those experiences that are memorable are the ones that were planned correctly well in advance.

The vacationer knew what to expect and the experience met his or her expectations because of the information gathering process. Those who do not totally enjoy their traveling experience most likely were not fully educated about the shortcomings they might encounter.

Traveling, more than anything, should not include unpleasant surprises. The best way to avoid that is to be as well prepared as possible. These tips should get you to where you want to be before you actually reach your destination.

European Vacation

Although Caribbean tours and Asian trips are fast becoming the places of choice for vacationers, European sites continue to be the most desired destinations.

The United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany remained among the top 10 overseas destinations for U.S. residents in 2005, the most recent full year data was made available by the U.S. Commerce Department.

While this web site mostly focuses on London England, there are many notable destinations in Europe that should be considered In your plans to take a trip to Europe.

All of the regions of Europe – Scandinavia, Western Europe, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean – offer notable destinations other than the standard trip to see Buckingham Palace in London.

Here is a list of some of the most enticing locales in Europe:

Paris, France: The Eiffel Tower is the obvious tourist destination in Paris, but if you are looking for a romantic getaway, no better place exists in Europe. You can hold hands as you walk along the Seine River, stroll the Park of Luxembourg, and climb the stairs at the Sacre-Coeur.

Venice, Italy: Leave the hustle and bustle behind. The only way to get around the city is by foot or water. A site to behold is La Serenissima, “the most serene one.” The area is full of palaces and art, shopping and food. You can also relax in Piazza San Marco and visit the basilicas.

Barcelona, Spain: The city offers many breathtaking spots, including the summit of the Sagrada Familia, the view on the Destination and the atmosphere around the Park Guell.

Berlin, Germany: Popular destinations include the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, the remnants of the Berlin Wall and the Wall Victims Memorial.

Copenhagen, Zealand: If bringing the kids along, perhaps the best location in Europe is the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. It is an old-fashioned amusement park dating back to the 1800’s. The best time to visit is around Christmas because of the many lights. The park comes alive, especially when Santa arrives. The park includes rides for the kids but also beautiful botanical gardens for the parents.

Lisbon, Portugal: The Castelo Sao Jorge is one of the most awesome sites in all of Europe. The medieval castle, which has been well maintained, is full of history and offers scenic views of the city and river.

Athens, Greece: Talk about history – very few cities in the world offer more historic value than Athens. Acropolis offers a breathtaking museum with centuries-old statues. Visiting the remnants of ancient buildings is memorable as is the view of the Mediterranean from the hillsides.

Brugge, Belgium: The Groeninge Museum in Brugge is rich with ancient art work and is one of the most popular European destinations for history buffs. You will be in awe of the skill of the 15th and 16th century artists, as well as the architects who designed and built the medieval buildings.

Budapest, Hungary: The Szechenyi Baths and Pool in Budapest resembles a palace and it contains a huge thermal pool were visitors often play chess in hot water up to their chests. The complex is very large and offers breathtaking views of the city.

Dublin, Ireland: The rolling green hills of Dublin are beautiful. The scenery is in stark contrast to the surroundings of the Kilmainham Gaol Historic Museum in Dublin. The bleak 19th century jail was notorious for its harsh treatment of prisoners. The nearby Irish National War Memorial Park and Royal Hospital are also destinations worth visiting.

When booking a trip to any of these destinations in Europe, please be sure to plan ahead of time. You can often take advantage of internet web site to help you plan your trip, from gathering information to booking your hotel. While this particular site focuses on Amsterdam hotels, it is also a good place to start when looking for a hotel in Europe.

This is only a taste of what Europe has to offer. If one were to visit all these locales in their lifetime, it would be a life fulfilled. These sites offer romance, fun and frolic and historical importance. It’s like thumbing through a travel guide and an encyclopedia – very enriching experiences indeed.

London’s Got It

Are you looking for a city filled with history, tradition, and all those posh accents from the BBC? London’s got it! Are you looking for a vibrant city, filled with cutting edge music, art and fun? London got it! Are you looking for more theatre productions than you can find on Broadway? London’s go that too. How about food from almost any country or region you can think of? London, a truly cosmopolitan city, has got cuisine to suit any taste.

London’s Got a Past
London is the largest city in the European Union, with over 7 million people. It is a city of beautiful Georgian row houses, gracious green parks, and buildings going back to the time of William the Conqueror. If you want to steep yourself in tradition and history, there’s no finer place than London. Visit the Tower of London, see where Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned, and where some of Henry VIII’s wives lost their heads. The Crown Jewel display at the Tower is breathtaking. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, which occurs daily, or stop outside of Kensington Palace, where Princess Dianne lived. Westminster Abbey houses the tombs of many Kings and Queens, poets, and explorers. It also hosts many musical concerts.

London’s Got Drama
If you’re a theatre lover, London’s West End has a wide range of shows. From musicals to drama, revivals of Noel Coward to the latest in avant-garde theatre, London has it. You can book your tickets ahead, or head to the half-price ticket booth in Leicester Square to get a deal the day of the show. In the summer, you can cross the Thames and visit a reproduction of the Globe Theatre. The plays there are staged as they would have been in Shakespeare’s time. There’s just daylight lighting the stage, and a small troupe of performers, but with powerful voices and great acting, they make the plays come alive. If you’re feeling adventurous (or impoverished), you can become a “groundling”, who rather than having a seat, stands in the open pit just below the stage. They’re the cheapest “seats”, but lots of fun for those with strong legs .

London’s Got Thrills
One of the newest and most popular attractions in London is the London Eye. A high-tech update to the Ferris wheel, the Eye is over 400 feet tall, and you can see up to 25 miles away from the top. Visitors walk into clear plastic capsule that can hold up to 25 people. These capsules move slowly around the big circle, with one revolution taking about 30 minutes, giving you an amazing view of London. From the Eye you can see the River Thames, which runs through the city. Many bridges cross the Thames, including the Tower Bridge and the delicate white line of the Millennium Foot Bridge, which runs from St. Paul’ Cathedral to the Tate Museum of Modern Art.  In the other direction, you may be able to spot Windsor Castle.

London’s Got Food
When you need to break for some food, you have plenty of choices. Popping into a pub for a pint of beer and a “ploughman’s lunch” (cheese, bread, pickles, and salad) has kept many tourists going. Pubs in London are no longer the dusty traditional places many used to be. Most pubs serve very good meals, as well as a hand drawn pint. If you are a fan of Indian food, London has many great Indian restaurants, usually run by Indian families. London has immigrants from many cultures, so try one of the many ethnic restaurants. If you just need a sandwich, the fast food chain Pret a Manger offers fresh quality sandwiches and drinks. If you looking for a more elegant dining experience, check with your hotel. The restaurant scene in London is constantly changing, and it’s worth getting local advice.

What ever you might be looking for in your next trip to Europe, remember – London’s got it!

HTML Form Tutorial

A HTML form can allow people to enter data through a web page. This data can then be processed by their computer, or sent to the web-server and processed there. HTML forms can be used in many different ways. The most common use of a HTML form is to send a search query to a search engine, as with, for example, Google. This HTML form tutorial will give you all the information you need to start making your own HTML forms.

HTML form tutorial – basic elements

Each HTML form element corresponds to a pair of HTML tags. All of these are enclosed in the form tags <form></form>. The <form> tag attributes are used to configure the behavior of the form (how the form data will be processed).

The most common HTML form element is the <input> element. By setting the ‘type’ attribute, you can make the input element appear in a variety of different ways. A list follows:

type=”text”, a text field allowing a single line of text;

type=”checkbox”, a single checkbox;

type=”radio”, a single radio button;

type=”file”, a file selection control which can be used to upload a file;

type=”reset”, this creates a special button that when pressed will clear the values in the form;

type=”submit”, a submit button, the action of this button is determined in the ‘action’ attribute of the enclosing <form> tag.

type=”readonly”, a text field containing text that cannot be edited, often appears dimmed/grayed;

type=”hidden”, a text field that is not visible to the user, its data will be processed just the same as any other HTML form element;

type=”button”, a general purpose button, scripting code can be attached to it so that the desired action is performed;

type=”password”, a text field which will not show the characters typed into it, usually they will appear as asterisks so to hide the entered text from view.

Other form elements are created using a specific tag rather than the <input> tag, these are:

<button>, a general purpose button, similar to <input type=”button”> but it allows for greater variation including the use of images;

<selection list>, use this to create a drop-down list;

<textarea>, this form element creates a large box for entering multi-line text.

HTML Form Tutorial – labels

Labels are automatic for some HTML form elements, for instance buttons, but other HTML form elements like text fields and checkboxes do not have automatic labels. For these HTML form elements there is the <label> tag. Correct use of the label tag means that each label is associated with exactly one form element.

To apply a label to a form element, wrap the form element tag(s) with <label> tags. For example: <label><input type=”checkbox”>Label text</label>.

Another method for a applying a label to a form element is to use the ‘for’ attribute on the label tag. For example <label for=”my_checkbox”>Label text</label>. You then use a corresponding ‘id’ attribute on your form element: <input type=”checkbox” id=”my_checkbox”>.

HTML Form Tutorial – access keys

Access keys allow a user to give focus to a variety of HTML elements. This occurs when the user presses the designated key on their keyboard. The operation can differ depending on the user’s computer operating system; on a windows machine, the user will need to old the ‘alt’ key, on a Mac system the user will need to hold the ‘cmd’ key.

When using labels, the access key is generally attributed to the label of the form element. For instance, <label accesskey=”s”><input type=”text”>Search:</label>. In this example, when the user presses “alt-s” on a windows machine, the focus go to search field, meaning a cursor would appear in the search field. Access keys can be set on the following elements: <a>, <area>, <input>, <label>, <legend> and <textarea>.

HTML Form Tutorial Scripting

Forms may be combined with a variety of scripting languages in order to create dynamic web sites.

With client-side scripting, the script, typically JavaScript, will run on the users web browser. The Document Object Model allows for JavaScript scripts to access the data that the user has entered. This can be useful for pre-validation, where form data is tested before being sent to the web-server. Note that a hacker can modify any pre-validation code so client side validation cannot be relied upon for security purposes.

With server-side scripting, the data is processed on the webserver. A common scripting language used is PHP, but there are many others. Server-side scripting can ensure the security of the data processing, and ensure that the data is processed the same way for every user. The ‘method’ attribute on the <form> element determines how the data is sent to the sever. With method=”get” the data is appended to the URL, the script on the server must then anticipate this and process the data accordingly. With method=”post”, the data is sent directly to the webserver. Method=”post” allows for no limit on the amount of data being sent, and also for the data to be encrypted. Techniques for accessing method=”post” data will vary depending on the server-side scripting language being used.

HTML DIV Tutorial

The definition of the HTML <div> tag is that it divides the HTML document into sections. The following tutorial will explain why the <div> tag is important and how it should be used. Proper usage of the <div> tag is fundamental to good HTML coding; the <div> tag is one of most powerful tools available to a Web developer.

The key to understanding the <div> tag is that it does not carry any semantic meaning. To give you a contrasting example, the <p> tag is used to specify paragraphs of text. As another example there is the <strong> tag, which is used to provide emphasis. Although both of those tags can be used to modify the layout of a HTML document, part of their purpose is to give meaning to different elements on the page. The <div> tag, and its cousin, the <span> tag, do not, on their own, give any meaning to their content. The usefulness of this quality will become apparent as you read on through this tutorial.


One of the most popular uses of <div> is to use it in combination with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS is a means of specifying the layout and style of different elements on the web-page. CSS can be used to specify just about any aspect of layout you could think of. Font size, font color, background color, borders, margins and text alignment are some of the things you can change with CSS.

The HTML <div> tag allows you to specify the areas of your document you wish to control with CSS. You may have four paragraphs that you want to center on the screen. What you might do is put them all within a pair of <div> tags and use CSS to make the content of those tags centered.

As the name suggests, use your <div> tags to divide your page up into different layout sections. Once you have done this, use CSS to specify the layout for those sections. Thus by combining the HTML <div> tag with CSS, you can build an unlimited variety of page layouts.


Another purpose of the <div> tag is to implement Web semantics. When people talk about Web semantics, or the semantic Web, they are talking about labelling the different elements of a web page so that a machine would be able to interpret the meaning behind them.

As mentioned in the beginning of this tutorial, the <p> tag can be used to signify a paragraph. So a machine reading a HTML page would know that the text inside the <p> tags represents a paragraph. What if you wanted to mark a more specific piece of information, like say a phone number? Unfortunately there is no <phone> tag, but this is where <div>, which has no prescribed semantic meaning, comes into play.

To explain, any <div> tag may carry an id or class attribute. Thus you might write, <div class=”phone”> or <div id=”mary_phone”>. In this way, very specific semantic information can be embedded into your HTML document.


Another extremely important use for HTML <div> tags is to implement client-side scripting. Client-side scripting can be used to create animated buttons, scrolling text, drop down boxes, and many other engaging functionalities for your web-page. Typically when we talk about client-side scripting, we are talking about JavaScript.

Now, say you would like something interesting to happen when the user moves the mouse over a certain graphic on the page. You would like some piece of text to change depending on the graphic that the mouse has moved over. This is possible in JavaScript, but the JavaScript must be able to ‘target’ the piece of text somehow.

What can be done is the area where the text is to be changed can be contained within a <div> tag. The <div> tag is given an id, say, for example, <div id=”text_target”>. Now the JavaScript is will be able to take control of the text in that area of the page, by looking for a <div> tag with an id of “text_target”.

So you see, proper <div> tag usage is essential for any JavaScript programmer.


Now, one last piece of information before I conclude this tutorial — when to use a <span> tag and when to use a <div> tag.

What you should know is that <div> tags are block level elements that are used to divide up whole sections of HTML. The <span> tag, however, are in-line level elements, they only span across small amounts of content, typically words or phrases. For instance, a <span> tag might be used to make a word red in color, or to give it an underline. The crucial thing to remember is that a <span> tag can only contain other in-line elements, while a <div> tag can contain both in-line and block elements. Because of this, a <span> tag cannot contain images, tables or forms. However <span> is still used for the three purposes described above: to style with CSS, to give semantic meaning to web-page content, and to target web-page content with JavaScript. Practice all three of these purposes with both <div> and <span> and one day you will become a HTML master.