I hear you are thinking of taking a short break to one of Eastern Europes finest capital cities. Flights are booked and I'm sure you found the best deal by searching with Skyscanner. The question which hopefully brought you to this page (and this always insightful blog) is most likely "Where to stay in Kyiv?" Kyiv the capital and most populous city of Ukraine is located in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper River. Its population is thought to be around 3million people although some estimate it to be much higher - if this is the case it's the seventh most populous city in Europe. Making it a reasonably large city to navigate for any prospective tourist like yourself. If you are looking for inspiration on the city or on things to do while there be sure to check out my YouTube Channel (The Wondering Englishman) and also this Blog Post (Kyiv or as some still wrongly say Kiev - is booming!) However, do stick around and take in this post, as we will now look at the options on places to stay while visiting Kyiv. Regular readers of my Blog & viewers of my Channel will have observed I know Kyiv very well. I would be lying if I said you must stay in this part of Kyiv as it's the best part of Kyiv to stay in, and the only part of Kyiv worth seeing. Kyiv is a wonderfully big city - however, where you stay will really depend on your needs. For the benefit of this article, I'm going to assume you are visiting Kyiv for a long weekend or maybe a little longer and you're visiting this unique city for leisurely reasons as opposed to business reasons. Administratively, the city is divided into districts (raions), which have their own units of central and local government with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. Kyiv has a total of 10 Districts. The districts I would advise new visitors to the city to stay in, to guarantee the most use of the city is Pecherskyi District (Печерський район), Podilskyi District (Подільський район) and Shevchenkivskyi District (Шевченківський район; after Taras Shevchenko). Basically everything around the centre and on the West side of the RIver. Although please do not think I'm saying you shouldn't stay in the other districts as all are worthy of your time - it's just when time is limited these 3 districts are where you should focus on finding the right accommodation for you. Over the years I've stayed in a selection of amazing places while in Kyiv - ranging from the best five-star hotels to serviced apartments, penthouses, and humble hostels for when I've simply arrived during Independence day and realized everything is fully booked! When visiting Ukraine I use 3 different websites to book the majority of my accommodation - they all offer something different hence the reason I use all three portals. Those portals for booking accommodation are where I book a lot of my accommodation through. They are Airbnb, Booking . com. and Dobovo. If you aren't a user of any of these website's I can't recommend them enough. All have been super useful to me on my travels around Ukraine. I believe there will be 3 types of tourist travelling to Kyiv - Those with an infinite budget where the price is not relevant to them, The Price-conscious traveller who wants the best value for money and the traveller on a shoestring. Here are my recommendations for all 3 of you. And if it counts for anything I have personally stayed in everything I recommend and I am not sponsored by any of these places. Luxury Traveller - Price doesn't matter 11 Mirrors Design Hotel This is the number one rated hotel on Tripadvisor - however, this is not the reason I'm recommending this phenomenally beautiful hotel. I've had the good fortune to stay here again and again and have always been impressed by the comfort, location, and service. This is a boutique hotel so it must be noted that this hotel only has 50 rooms so during peak season this hotel does tend to be sold out and deals are generally few and far between as the demand always remains high. The comfort and design are where this hotel trumps competitors but due to its small size, it is lacking in other comforts you would expect for the price bracket. This hotel would be perfect if only it had a swimming pool and a larger bar area rather than the small bar it has tucked away past reception. Hilton Kyiv Located on the other side of the road to Kyiv's Botanical Gardens almost at the top of a reasonably steep hill one will find the very popular Hilton Kyiv. As you would expect from Paris Hilton's Grandfather's empire this is a large hotel with many rooms. As this is a 5-star hotel you will be left very satisfied with the breakfast - perfect way to energise ready for those long walks around this megacity. And yet the real reason I really love this hotel is its fantastic Swimming Pool. I would stay at this hotel sometimes just to use the spa facilities and its awesome pool. The pool makes up for it's less than central location. Intercontinental Kyiv Boasting one of the most central locations in Kyiv (at least from a Tourists perspective) this 5-star hotel drips in luxury and finesse. I love the massive ornate reception of this hotel. (a close second to this hotel for its reception would be the Premier Palace.) However, its the size, comfort and modern rooms that make me choose this place over other rivals not mentioned today. A good 5-star hotel should always have a decent bar and the Intercontinental Kyiv has exactly this. The hotel bar is the perfect place to begin an evening before venturing out into the wider city. I recommend sampling one or all of their many fine cocktails. Many an enjoyable late-night has been had drinking whisky in the rooftop bar. The bar is worthy of your time even if you never get to stay in this superb hotel. Mid Range - Price matters but so does where you stay Once again all these recommendations will be places I've stayed and with full disclosure, I'm not sponsored by any of these recommendations so its entirely my own independent advice. MaNNa Boutique Hotel Now I was debating if I should put this hotel under the Luxury section but I decided against that. Not because this place isn't super comfortable or extremely luxurious - it's just if you get lucky, at certain times of the year, this place can sometimes be very affordable. The Location for me is extremely special - located on the southernmost edge of Podil it oozes hip and what the trendy kids define as cool. Small details make this place special and worthy of your time especially if you are looking to impress that lucky person travelling with you. Only time will tell if this place gravitates out of the Mid Range prices and into the super-luxury section. Any economist will tell you that demand tends to push up prices and sadly I think prices for this place will only go higher in years to come. Airbnb Despite recent Lockdown problems where Airbnb left the majority of hosts high and dry when Covid-19 swept over the world, I still have a fondness for this company. There are hundreds of worthy Airbnb apartments to stay in while in Kyiv. Some of course are better than others. However, I wanted to list my two favourites that can be found on Airbnb in Kyiv that I've had the pleasure of staying in. The first is located 1-2 minutes from Maidan Square and has good old fashioned sleek comfort. Whereas the second is located Slightly to the south of the centre next to the best Vietnamese restaurant in Kyiv - NAM. If you are curious, do check them out below but remember there are hundreds of Airbnbs to choose from in Kyiv and many are worthy of your time and money. Travel on a Shoestring - but still, live well It won't last forever, but for the moment Kyiv is a very affordable destination. Personally, I always prefer to have my own place, however, when backpacking and trying to make your budget stretch, hostels and shared accommodation should always be considered. These places are also great ways to meet like-minded people and sometimes locals if you opt for the shared accommodation. There are Hostels in Kyiv for less than $5 but if you spend a little more you will find something far nicer. I really rate Dobovo for finding affordable apartments. Booking.com for last-minute deals and of course Airbnb. If you leave booking to the last minute, as long as Kyiv isn't super busy, you can find some real bargains. The reason for this - Airbnb algorithm reduces the prices the closer you get to your travel date. Capsule Living An export that seems to have come from Japan are the capsules. Capsules it would seem have transformed the old fashioned hostel. Partly inspired by the old sleeper trains and partly inspired by Sci-Fi space movies. Guests to these hotels/hostels now have their own Capsule/Pod. The more luxurious ones have some space between themselves and other guests. Whereas the cheap and cheerful ones are usually stacked on top of each other, like a bunk bed, but this time a capsule upon capsule. Pod Living really has come to Kyiv, as BC (Before Covid) there seemed to be a new one in the city popping up almost every month. Only time will tell if this is the way all hostels and budget hotels will go or if it's just a fad. In the meantime, you might as well embrace it for a mere $5-$10 a night depending on which one you use. AV-2 Capsule Hotel With a super central location and at the time of writing this article in 2021, AV-2 Capsule Hotel is the cheapest Capsule accommodation in Kyiv on average. Clean and worthy of your time if you are wanting to save the pennies and live like a Japanese Businessman or a Space Cadet in wonderful Kyiv. Single capsules and Double Capsules are on offer. So, this would work if you were a couple and your other half was open to zany new things. Montel Maidan These Capsules I believe have been imported from China. How do I know that? Well, for some reason, Google keeps presenting me with adverts on buying one of these new capsules. The mega-giant Google must know, I think they are an excellent idea and should be in every airport in the world. Sadly airports would rather you sleep on cold tiled floors or unwelcoming benches where every chair has its own armrest thus making laying down nigh on impossible. However, more importantly, Montel Maidan made the investment in these slick space ages capsules. Located right in the heart of Kyiv by Maidan Square. This place seems to be double the price of AV-2 due to the high tech nature of the sleeping quarters and yet by European standards it still remains good value. A-Hostel Less Futuristic but almost exactly the same and with an excellent vibe, the A-Hostel is just around the corner from the Gullivar Shopping centre. Everything you would expect from a hostel, but due to the pod-like sleeping quarters which are either Single or Doubles, you are guaranteed privacy, when you are craving some needed rest after taking in the sights and sounds of beautiful Kyiv. Worthy of your time if you are young and need to meet other travellers - this and the Good Dreams Hostel (however not officially on this list - as it's a little run down in recent years) are probably your best bets if you are looking to remain social with other travellers while on the road. The beautiful thing about Kyiv is there is an array of districts to explore and places to stay, all offering value to the different types of tourists who will eventually visit the city. I'll keep updating my YouTube Channel and this Blog on Ukraine content - so, do stay tuned. From how to travel around Ukraine to what there is to do. In my latest two videos on Ukraine (Playlist of over 20 videos), I see how safe the Kyiv Metro is while the nation undergoes the globalists Covid-19 Crisis and in the second video, I walk the entire Main Street in Kyiv - Khreschatyk Street. I am not sponsored by the Ukrainian Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always, videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman #Ukraine #Kyiv #Travel
This was once the capital of England - you really should visit!
Located South-west of London but once far more important than London. This small cathedral city is dripping in thousands of years worth of history. Some would even argue because the British Isles has had humans occupying it for hundreds of thousands of years this remarkable little place in ye old England has probably seen more action over time than even the greatest archaeologists could ever fathom. To ponder and wonder about it all would take a thousand lifetimes. And yet on a brisk overcast day in peak winter, I decided to explore this remarkable city in 1 hour! That city is - WINCHESTER. From what we know for certain; Man had settlements where Winchester is today for at least 2,000+ years. Although the Winchester that exists today really started when the Romans landed in Kent in AD 43 and with little resistance from the nearby tribes to Winchester began building the first real roads that make up today's Winchester. In the early days, Winchester was known as Venta Belgarum or market place of the Belgae. This Roman new town developed over the centuries of occupation to become the region’s capital, with streets laid out in a grid pattern to accommodate the splendid houses, shops, temples and public baths. Sadly as the Roman Empire became more indulgent and short-sighted to the new arrivals who made up its empire it eventually collapsed at the end of the 5th Century AD. With this, the Romans abandoned the ancient city of Venta Belgarum. For the rest of the fifth century and early sixth century, England entered what is now referred to as the Dark Ages. It was during these Dark Ages that the Anglo-Saxons became established in southern and eastern England. It was the Saxons that referred to a Roman settlement as a ‘caester’, and so in west Saxon Wessex, Venta Belgarum became Venta Caester, before being changed to Wintancaester and eventually corrupted to Winchester. The fact is a small post on a blog can't really do Winchester any justice when it comes to digesting the history of this historic place. For those of you of a curious nature - I attempted to absorb as much of this fine city as possible in my latest YouTube video. However, when you visit Winchester for yourself, I would urge you to make a weekend out of it. Support the local Airbnb's, Bed & Breakfasts & hotels for we all know that thanks to global lockdowns these people are going to need your assistance in the months to come. When absorbing the city of Winchester, immerse yourself in its history, read up on England's Great King Alfred. For he truly was a remarkable chap and without him, England may be a very different place to what it is today. Although. Alfred was born at Wantage in Berkshire, he remains Winchester’s most famous son. Alfred ‘The Great’. Alfred (Aelfred) became ruler of the West Saxons after he and his brother defeated the Danish Vikings at the Battle of Ashdown. In 871 at the tender age of 21, Alfred was crowned King of Wessex and established Winchester as his capital. To protect his kingdom against the Danes, Alfred organised the defences of Wessex. He built a navy of new fast ships to defend against attack from the sea. He organised the local militia into ‘rapid reaction forces’ to deal with raiders from the land, and started a building programme of fortified settlements across England from which these forces could gather to defend. Saxon Winchester was therefore rebuilt with its streets laid out in a grid pattern, people were encouraged to settle there, and soon the town was flourishing again. As befits a capital, a great building programme soon followed, both New Minster and Nunnaminster were founded. Together, they quickly became the most important centres of art and learning in England. In 1066 following the Battle of Hastings, King Harold’s widow, who was staying at Winchester, surrendered the town to the invading Normans. Shortly after this William the Conqueror ordered the rebuilding of the Saxon royal palace and the construction of a new castle to the west of the town. The Normans were also responsible for demolishing the Old Minster Cathedral and starting the construction of the new present cathedral on the same site in 1079. And if you only needed one reason to visit Winchester make it a visit for Winchester's epic Cathedral. I talk more about the history of the Cathedral in my video - so do take the time to have a look. Throughout the early Middle Ages, Winchester’s importance as a significant cultural centre was reaffirmed time and again, as witnessed by the number of royal births, deaths and marriages that took place in the town. Winchester’s fortunes, however, began to decline during the 12th and 13th centuries as power and prestige gradually shifted to the new capital in London, including the relocation of the royal mint. And while decline did take place in the following years - without these years of decline it wouldn't be the incredibly pretty city it is today. Winchester has so far avoided the destruction the importation of the world has brought to many towns up and down the UK. If you are considering making a weekend out of it or simply think it wise to stay at least one night in the city of Winchester, or one of the many villages that dot the nearby countryside. There are a number of options to choose from to suit all budgets. Over the years, I've had the fortune to stay in an array of hotels, apartments and various forms of accommodation while travelling. For the majority of travellers, I recommend Booking.com - yes there are hotel comparison websites such as Trivago and Kayak. However, from my years of travel experience, I've discovered both of these comparison websites do not have all the hotels, hostels and apartments listed. The reasons behind this could be some premises simply do not pay the comparison sights a fee or the reason could be something else. If you know of the reason do leave a comment below. However, I have discovered no matter what the location Booking.com will 9/10ths of the time have the most competitive deal and generally the most choice. However, if you are super keen to get the best deal- use Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, Lastminute.com and Hotels.com in separate browser windows. An alternative which I do recommend for your accommodation is Airbnb. The authorities still allow Airbnb in the UK (it hasn't been banned just yet). I've booked a number of apartments via Airbnb. If you have not used them before (you have probably been living under a rock). But if you use this referral link you will get many Dollars, Pounds or Euros off your first booking and I'll get a very small referral kickback. I'm an Airbnb host as well as a frequent Airbnb traveller. I love Airbnb because not only does it make travelling more affordable but it also allows you to stay off the beaten track. Staying with a local or in your own cottage is far more unique than staying in a generic hotel you could find anywhere in the world. Use the map below to search for the perfect Airbnb stay within walking distance of Winchester Cathedral. I am not sponsored by the British Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. As always videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Gdansk a perfect weekend getaway destination for everyone!
When you think of a weekend getaway in Europe I can guarantee a few destinations will always spring to mind. Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris & Rome to name but some - however, with the growing number of smaller airports serviced by the numerous budget airlines, the choices, in reality, are endless. One such destination that is now well served by those airlines who are hated by Extinction Rebellion Protestors is the Northern Polish city of Gdansk. As a frequent traveller, I've been all over Europe so when I found myself in Gdansk for my birthday I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and experienced. Due to 2020 being the year of crazy restrictions and curfews depending on what country you are from. I felt it was needed in order to celebrate another rotation of the sun, I would go to a place with fewer restrictions than my native London town. I would be damned if the bar was going to tell me "last orders" by 9:30 pm! (a rule that was in place when I made the trip to Gdansk). And like all these destinations that I visit, I jumped on Skyscanner and searched for "London to Anywhere", and up popped little old Gdansk! A destination myself or any of my compadres had never conveniently been to. So for a price cheaper than it is to get to the English seaside on the train - I booked my self a no-frills ticket to Gdansk, which is located on the brisk Baltic coast. Gdańsk is the capital and largest city of the Pomeranian Voivodeship and one of the most prominent cities within the cultural and geographical region of Kashubia. It is Poland's principal seaport and has the fourth largest population in Poland with just under half a million fine Polish people. It's a city that I think would appeal to all walks of life. From the solo traveller to the couple needing a romantic weekend to the family looking for a break with their noisy rabble. It has over 1,000 years worth of history to pour over and some very enjoyable sights to take in - all which can be done feasibly in a weekend.
Some things you might find yourself doing while in Gdansk: Explore the Museum of the Second World War, Stroll around the Westerplatte Visit the Amber museum Gawp at the Neptune fountain Marvel at the Zuraw (the Crane) Take in some uplifting Techno Be mesmerised by Gdansk City Hall Climb to the Top of St Mary's Basilica Stroll with wonder along the Dlugie Pobrzeze (Long Riverside) And many, many more things that you need to discover yourself should you venture over to Gdansk. Do check out my video A weekend in Gdansk - I really hope it will persuade you to visit this unique European city. The video is timestamped so if you need to skip to the relevant place in the video - be my guest! I am not sponsored by the Polish Government or any travel company - I simply make this recommendation in the same way Keith tells you Goodfellas is a movie worthy of your time! My videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for the moment for Free-Speech. As per usual, regular readers of this blog will know that I've done the groundwork, just in case you are curious about the city. When I stayed there I stayed in a lovely Airbnb that cost less than £20 a night - Although of course being an Airbnb, the price will change depending on the demand and the season. However, if you are curious - click the link. There are of course alternatives to Airbnb. I always like to recommend Booking.com if needing an apartment or hotel. They have a far bigger selection than any of the other booking sites (at least from my experience). If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Do you remember the scene in Taken where the girls are forced to inject?
One of Liam Neeson's defining roles was from the low budget ($25million) film that grossed over $226million + at the Global Box Office. To this day TAKEN continues to make the filmmakers money from it's continued play on services such as Amazon & Netflix. Many scenes from that movie and the trilogy remains implanted in my memory and I'm also sure your memory. From the most famous scene where our hero Brian Mills says... And yet the scene that haunts me right now. Is the scene where the scumbag men from all walks of life, queue up outside tents on a Parisian Construction site, waiting their turn to spend their Grimey Euros. Some aware and some simply not caring for the plight of the girls waiting to service them. While others, I'm sure were simply oblivious to the fact that the girls were forced to inject drugs without their consent. And in Brian Mills daughters case and many other girls like her. She was kidnapped from a place she considered safe - TAKEN - tied up and forced with needles to inject a cocktail of drugs so she would be easier to manage. Treatment, I'm sure 99.9999% of society would deem unacceptable. And yet in 2020, I'm almost certain those same people who would deem this unacceptable would look the other way if their government did the same to their neighbour. In 2013, a YouGov study found that 55% of adults believed Vaccines should be mandatory for something as simple as the MMR injection. Sadly, the British public in 2020, are very similar when it comes to a completely untested vaccine - The Covid-19 Vaccine. A recent study carried out by YouGov found that 49% of British Adults believed the Vaccine should be Mandatory! And a further 17% were so braindead when asked this question they simply said: "I don't know"! This study gave the power and authority to the British government and most likely all western governments sat up and paid attention. It authorised without much of a struggle, the ability to push forward with authoritarian powers that would make our Leaders no better than the fictional people trafficking Albanians, in the film TAKEN! The British Government's health secretary Matt Hancock has already admitted that mandatory vaccines can not be ruled out. This utter cretin of a Health secretary seems inspired by the fictional Albanian drug gangs that Liam Neeson so beautifully took out over the course of his 2008 box-office smash. This bastard who is jointly responsible for the destruction of the British Economy in 2020 will most likely claim that vaccines won't be mandatory, but at the same time, he will be putting pressure on big business to make your life very difficult if you refuse to get the vaccine. Already we have seen companies like Qantas Airways come out and say it will not allow passengers to board their planes unless they are vaccinated. Within days of CEO Alan Joyce announcing this tyrannical policy, a Hero was shown to smash a pie into his face while giving a speech. Over the coming days and weeks, I'm sure many Globalist CEO's will stand up and say they are also will be doing the same. Pies will also be waiting for them, should they take this path. The Iraqi born Minister for Stratford-on-Avon Nadhim Zahawi was recently given responsibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment at DHSC. Who it must be added, also co-founded the international Internet-based market research firm YouGov of which he was Chief Executive until February 2010. Nadhim Zahawi is thought to be the second-highest-paid MP sitting in British parliament - due to his numerous corporate connections. Isn't it amazing how the same market research company, that he founded, has been testing the waters for months, when it comes to finding out how submissive the UK population is, in regards to Mandatory Vaccines! Beyond corrupt and beyond sinister if you were to ask my take on this matter. YouGov were likely commissioned by the British Government to measure how easily the British Public would submit to tyranny. And in doing so Nadim Zahawi (a YouGov Shareholder) indirectly benefited by getting the YouGov fees and fast-tracking the Deployment of the numerous Covid-19 vaccines the British Government have purchased in recent months. The UK's Covid vaccine minister (Nadim Zahawi) suggested only this week that bars, cinemas and football stadiums could BAN Brits who haven't had jab as he admits No10 is looking at 'immunity passports'. Remember my blog posts way back in March of this year. I told you that this would happen and for that revelation, I was called a Conspiracy Theorist. No Government minister or Government department should dictate what poison should go in one's body. Any Global Government, Multinational Corporation or member of the public that demands Mandatory vaccines on those that do not want them through either force or via making the dissenters lives impossible. They are no better than the fictional scumbag Albanians in the movie TAKEN 1, 2 and 3. And it is for this very reason that I took myself onto the streets of London to march for my Freedoms and for those who will come after me. Resist this tyranny at all costs. Wake up - the time you have left as a free man or woman is quickly running out! The Great Reset won't be kind to the majority. If you appreciate this content and would like to support me further please do Subscribe to My YouTube Channel (it costs nothing). However, if you would like to donate you can do this via Ko-Fi, Pledsto or SubscribeStar. #Plandemic #Covid19 #London #Protest
Your leaders destroyed the economy - not the virus....
As most of the west undergoes "Lockdown 2" people begin to fret about whether they will get Christmas or not. What I don't seem to understand is why these people are even surprised by what's happening. This has all been planned out since 2019 - the northern hemisphere was always going to be locked down over the winter of 2020/2021. Winter deaths that happen every year like clockwork were always going to be the excuse used by our leaders. The virus didn't destroy the economy - your leaders did! I've spoken in length on my blog and in various YouTube videos about my changing belief as the facts become more and more clear that I think this is far more sinister than the majority even seem to be awake to. My original thoughts on this matter date back to Christmas 2019 & January 2020 on Facebook - posts that have now been deleted by the Facebook gods. As Facebook censors seem to know more about this virus than dissenting Scientists. In early March I wrote the blog post "Was the Covid-19 virus released upon the world by a Shadow Organisation?" and at the same time released the YouTube Video "Should we worry about Covid-19". I pondered the changes that began to take place. The West weeks later locked down, although the UK left its borders wide open and I believe on purpose. They sent the elderly and vulnerable population home from the hospitals where they had been receiving care from. This deliberate act was responsible for countless numbers of early deaths which is why we saw a spike in deaths in April 2020. Of course, all these deaths were blamed on Covid-19 rather than the real reason which was deliberate negligence by our leaders and healthcare provider managers. Not only did our leaders neglect the most vulnerable of society by denying from them the needed care that in a normal year would have been given to them. Our leaders left the country exposed and open, by importing the virus due to selfishly welcoming visitors from Covid-19 hotspots. I personally travelled in and out of the UK multiple times and not once was I tested or even stopped to have my temperature measured and yet when I arrived in Spain in March 2020 they measured my temperature as a precaution. Throughout 2020 the EU leaders allowed the mass importation of illegal migrants to travel freely into Europe - crossing multiple borders, enabling the spread of people who were intent to ignore legal routes but also spread lethal and non-lethal viruses to the population they would inevitably come in contact with. You would almost think it was intentional by most global leaders to allow the spread of a virus so that once it spread they could impose authoritarian measures onto the population. Authoritarian measures that could be increased as the spread of a so-called virus spreads. However, by April 2020 I had changed my mind on the severity of the virus and why it was released - I speculated in my Blog post / Video "I may have been wrong about Covid-19" that it may have been weaponised deliberately to bring down populations but the virus had proven ineffective to their depopulation needs. However, as the plan had been put in motion. Global Governments had committed to their masters and thus acted to impose more strangulating laws on the populace and prepared themselves to bring in "The Great Reset". By July 2020 it was clear that world Governments were committed to ruining small businesses and that populations were pushovers when it came to submitting to their Governments. People were very accepting of every incremental rule brought in by their leaders. In the UK, Restaurants and Pubs were finally given permission to open up once again having been closed since March. However, it came with authoritarian guidelines. I wrote about these measures in my Blog post "The Chi-Coms have ruined British Pubs". New measures of "Tracking & Tracing" and the insistence of compulsory wearing a nappy on ones face were reminding the population that Lockdown 2 would come and for them and that they must not get too comfortable. The population were being prepped for what was to come as well as tested to see how subservient the population were to ever-increasing authoritarian big brother measures. Despite over 70% of the population supporting further Lockdown measures some brave souls decided to fight back. Protests erupted around the globe. As I've spent the majority of my time in London in 2020, I'll keep focusing on what's been happening here. I personally witnessed multiple protests on the streets of London where people spoke up against the Lockdowns and what they thought were disproportionate measures against a virus that seemed no more lethal than a bad flu year. To back this up - It was revealed that the majority of Covid-19 Deaths were overinflated and that 98% of all deaths had underlying health conditions. Translation - Imagine a country, has 100,000 Deaths recorded because of Covid-19, I think you can safely say the figure is 2% of this figure (2,000 Deaths because of Covid-19). Of course, 2,000 deaths is 2,000 too many but is it any reason to shut down the world and deny patients with other conditions treatment because there's a Covid-Emergency? Yet in 2020 when BLM protestors were able to rampage and cause millions of £s worth of damage all over the UK. The British Police stood back and allowed it all to happen often being chased down the road by protestors - as shown in my videos (ANTIFA & Black Lives Matter Desecrate British Monuments in London & Thugs clash at Black Lives Matter Protest in London - The Met Police finally protect statues!) and yet when protestors who showed no signs of damaging buildings wanted to gather and voice their concerns over Lockdowns, Mandatory Vaccines and sinister motives. Police all over the world went extremely authoritarian on all those speaking out. I covered the protests in one of my videos - titled The Anti-Plandemic Protest - Those who are smeared by the MSM for having a different view to them. It was by August 2020 that I had concluded this had been one big Psy-Op with my post "Your leaders destroyed the Economy on purpose...." By October 2020 I found myself fleeing the country to get away from the authoritarian measures the British public had submitted to. I had a birthday to celebrate and I would be damned if a Government was going to tell me that I had to stop my drinking by 10 pm. I headed to Poland for a long weekend and just as I was leaving the country I was informed by the newswires that anyone travelling back from Poland after Friday would have to quarantine upon their return for 2 weeks. Thankfully I work from home, much more these days, so that wasn't going to be a problem. However, it was also going to prove to be a completely pointless exercise. What right does any Government have to make you a prisoner in your own home? I pondered the measures while I waited for my plane at Gatwick Airport. Upon returning from Poland and completing my so-called Quarantine the British public got closer and closer to Lockdown 2. By mid-October I wrote about how the world governments were "Easing us into Authoritarian Lockdown" and as predicted (as it was all previously planned way back in 2019) we entered Lockdown 2 (at least in the UK) on November 5th 2020. Our supreme leaders informed us it would only last 4 weeks and yet with the Furlough Scheme that only props up middle-income earners and completely ignores those who work for themselves we could see it was being extended to the end of March 2021. If the Lockdown was only going to last 4 weeks then what would be the need for Furlough to last until March 2021. Elementary my Dear Watson - Your supreme leaders lied to you once again! Winter 2020/2021 will be cold and dark for many in the northern hemisphere of our blue planet, your leaders will tease you with promises that all will be well soon. At first, they will claim the vaccine isn't mandatory but as I've repeated over and over again since the start of 2020 they will make your life impossible if you refuse to get the vaccine. Vaccine companies are falsely claiming the Vaccine has a 95% success rate. You have a 99.99% chance of survival from this virus - so why would you take your chances with a Vaccine that has a worse success rate than the human body has at fighting this so-called virus? Especially, when we know statistically from other vaccines the side effects can affect between 1 and 10 in every 100 people being immunised, depending on the vaccine. We also won't know the fall out (side effects) from the vaccine for at least 10 years. On what planet would you be persuaded to take this vaccine other than at gunpoint? Only time will tell if the future turns more authoritarian and bleak but the signs do not look good. Those who lurk in the shadows controlling our leaders seem very confident right now that they have their ship on course - will they hit an iceberg - I can only hope so..... If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy supporting my work by buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Columbia Road Flower Market - Still here despite everything....
Columbia Road began its life as a pathway along which sheep were driven to the slaughterhouses at Smithfield. Like much of the land in East London it was finally built on to serve the needs of a growing London population which resulted from the magnetism of Empire during the Victorian era. And yet to visitors and locals Columbia Road, Flower Market is far more important than just a road that sheep once walked upon. This Victorian Street survived the blitz and many of the braindead of architects of the 1970s who colluded with most corrupt London councils with the aid of local developers to bulldoze this street in the name of progress. Thankfully it was the strength of the people who kept this road alive and it is the strength of their character that makes Columbia Road Market the high energy place it is most days especially when it's market day on Sunday. Columbia Road is located between Shoreditch & Bethnal Green in the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Some would consider this is where the EastEnd of London begins and where at least back in the day you would find many a cockney. It’s had several names over the centuries, but Columbia Road was named in honour of the heiress and philanthropist Angela Burdett Coutts, who had not only built Columbia Market (now demolished) but had instituted a Bishopric in British Columbia. The run of Victorian shops we see today were built during the 1860s to service the population of the nearby 'Jesus Hospital Estate'. Apart from providing all the necessities of life, many of the shops were given over to upholstery as an adjunct to the thriving wood trade in the area. Woodturning and milling factories peppered the area until the late twentieth century. The buildings which house the Fleapit Café and Milagros, being two of the largest. The Flower market began as a Saturday trading market, but as the Jewish population grew a Sunday market was established. The Saturday market lapsed, but the Flower market evolved. Initially, this serviced the local population many of whose houses have small gardens. Plants were brought by handcart from nearby market gardens in Hackney and Islington and market pitches were claimed on the day on the blow of a whistle. The whole area went into a decline in the 1970s. Indeed demolition was mooted, but the locals fought back and the area and market were saved. Since the 1980’s the market has grown into one of international repute. Today a wide range of unusual shops complement it, turning the whole area into one of the most interesting shopping experiences to be had anywhere. The market is in operation every Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm. Although if you get there between 2 pm and 4 pm there is usually trade still going on. Traders arrive from 4 am to set up their stalls. A wide range of plants, bedding plants, shrubs, bulbs and freshly cut flowers is available at competitive prices. Many of the traders are the second or third generation of their family to sell at the market. The market also has shops selling bread and cheeses, antiques, garden accessories, unusual international edibles, soap, candlesticks and Buddhist artefacts. The market is popular not only with plant and flower buyers but also with photographers and television companies, who frequently film there and also me! Hence the reason In my latest video finds me visiting my local market. If you aren't local to London then I would highly recommend to either get the train into London booking via Trainline. Trying to find a place to park in London with each year becomes more and more of a chore - hence if you can jump onto a train for the weekend or just the day it is highly recommended. Of course, while you are taking in the sights of Columbia Road Flower Market you could also spend the day trying some of the local food that is found in the area on a Sunday. A great way of experiencing this if you are new to the area is to take in a Food Tour. One such tour that I recommend highly is this one: Shoreditch Food Tour Your local foodie host will meet you in the heart of Shoreditch where you will be guided through the East End's history, culture and immigration story through the medium of food. You will experience centuries-old classics alongside the most modern cutting edge dining establishments that tell the story of our fascinating community as you wander through bustling Spitalfields Market and vibrant Brick Lane. The walk lasts around 2.5 hours, with up to 6 food stops and you certainly won't leave hungry as we fill your belly and your senses with modern Indian, Burmese, Singaporean, British, Australian to Classic Jewish and African delicacies. This is not your average fish 'n chips, curry, pie and mash food tour of London, as we handpick the best independent places, doing it differently and showcase some of London's best upcoming chefs. The routes and restaurants change regularly but their quality remains their priority. Fully Vegetarian and Vegan options available! Of course, if you aren't even from the UK and need to fly into London to experience the food and the markets I would suggest flying into one of London's six airports. You are of course more than likely to be able to pick up a good deal if planned ahead. Kayak, Google Flights and Skyscanner should be the go-to websites for searching for the best flight deals. In my personal experience, my favourite place to go for European flight deals is Skyscanner. For some reason, Skyscanner works best when searching for European Flights over any of its rivals. To find the best place to stay in London I recommend using either Booking.com or Airbnb for your travel needs. I've included both a Booking.com & Airbnb booking portal on this page to allow you to search for bargains and compare prices. Happy Flower Hunting in the EastEnd of London! If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Hunter S. Thompson once said, “Sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind but falling in love and not getting arrested.” Maybe I took this too literally when I was a young man. However, as I’ve matured I’ve cut back on the fast driving and I now at least try to wake up early - but Whisky or Whiskey, if it’s not Scottish, is now enjoyed even more. To those who have been living on another planet or have been sleeping under a rock - Whisky is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Various grains (which may be malted) are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak. And as a person who has Scottish & Irish ancestors, I can safely say the best Whisky in the world is Scottish! However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to try the many superb varieties that are produced around the world. I think anyone who loves Whisky will be able to tell you the Japanese have mastered the art and can hold their own against the finest Scotch. Even India is in on the act! As seen in my video I shot last year before the world went Plandemic nuts where I discovered Indian Whiskey can actually taste pretty good! Paul John Brilliance Indian Single Malt Whisky 70 cl If you ever get the opportunity I would highly recommend touring the various whisky distilleries around the Scottish highlands and lowlands. This is something I spent over a week doing many years ago and I keep pining after doing it once again. However, we can’t always get what we want, we can try most of these whisky’s closer to home and in the comfort of our own home which in fact is much cheaper than going to a bar. Another way to discover whisky before making a special purchase is to go Whiskey tasting. I’m lucky that I live in London so there is no shortage of whisky tasting nights at the various pubs, bars and restaurants scattered around London. My personal favourite can be found at Boisdale's which you can find in the City, Canary Wharf & Hampstead to name but a few of the locations this fine Scottish establishment can be found. If you would like to crawl some of London's finest pubs while tasting Whisky along the way I would highly recommend trying a whisky tour with a Scotsman. In each pub, you will enjoy a dram and have a blether (chat!) a Scottish tradition dating back centuries. Some Scottish people believe it’s not whisky until it’s shared. I agree! Find out if you prefer Lowlands, Speyside or maybe you're a fan of the big peaty Islay's? By the end of the night, you will have the knowledge to walk into any whisky bar in the world and order scotch! Toast this Englishman with a Whisky if you do experience the Whisky adventure with a Scotsman. My uncle is a huge fan of whisky and has a fountain of knowledge on the drink of the gods. I’ve included some of his recommendation in this post - all can be found either on Amazon or the Whisky Exchange and of course your local Whiskey / Whisky Bar! And with the next holiday just around the corner why not make Whisky a gift. A decent bottle of whisky will be genuinely appreciated by both your favourite men and women in your friends or family deserving of that special gift from you. Many companies like the Whiskey Exchange will ever personalise the Label should you wish to make the bottle that little bit more special. Dr Nicks Holiday Whisky Reccomendations: Asian Coastal Delight - 93.117 - Glen Scotia - Cambletown - 13 years Caught the Darkness - 76.144 - Speyside - 13 years Tokaji and Tugboats - 53.298 - Caol Ila - Islay - 11 years My uncle has a whole library of videos for you to check out - so do try his Whisky Playlist if you are curious about the world of whisky. A lot of people who watch my Youtube Channel "The Wondering Englishman" seem to hail from the "Land of Down Under". And thankfully for them, they not only produce good wine but they also produce good tasty whisky (well at least according to Dr. Nick) - I'm yet to try it - but I hope to try it when I find myself in Tasmania or at least mainland Australia again. Hellyers Road 12 year old Single Malt - Available from the Whisky Exchange I'm pleased to see Dr Nick reviewed one of my favourite Whiskys "Glenmorangie Signet". Ever since I was given a bottle of this for being a best man at a wedding I've had a fondness for this distillery. Glenmorangie is one of Scotland's most popular whisky's and worthy of anyone's time. If you're not convinced have a look at Dr Nick's video on this fantastic whisky. Glenmorangie Signet Happy Drinking - let me know in the comments below what your favourite whisky is and maybe myself or Dr Nick will try and make a video on just that whisky! If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me an Irish Coffee please do click the link below to support me via Ko-Fi.com.
Speakers corner - the home to Free Speech in the United Kingdom - or is it really? I'm a big fan of the craziness that goes on down in the north-eastern side of Hyde Park. I've been frequenting the corner sporadically since 1999. The Trees may have grown slightly bigger and bike lanes now pass through the corner but not much has changed about its physical appearance at least since I first discovered it way back in 1999. However, the patch of land has taken a dark turn in recent years - once a place where ideas from all walks of life could be discussed openly - it no longer seems that way as the corner has been taken over by new arrivals who seem intent on pushing their warped ideology onto the world with force and violence rather than the open exchange of ideas. The last time I made a video from Speakers corner in London hyde park it was indirectly responsible for costing me dearly. See my cancelled video to understand what happened there. However, I live by the belief that free speech and the freedom to share ideas should be every human beings right. No matter what country you live in. It has long been assumed that since the 19th century Speakers corner was a place one could speak freely and about anything. However, despite being frequented by Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell and George Galloway over the years this sadly for Brits & visitors is not the home of free speech. Unlike our American cousins, the Brits do not have the 1st Amendment. Speakers here may talk on any subject, as long as the police consider their speeches lawful, although this right is not restricted to Speakers' Corner only. And like I say, contrary to popular belief, there is no immunity from the law, nor are any subjects proscribed, but in practice, the police intervene only when they receive a complaint. On some occasions in the past, they have intervened on grounds of profanity. And sadly in the 2020s Police now have a belief in the fakery that is hate speech. However, that doesn’t stop regulars and visitors frequenting Speakers corner every week of the year. Sunday is consistently the most popular day to visit. The main reason a lot of people were in Speakers' corner, the day I decided to stroll down there, is that they wanted to show their support for a speaker called "Hutan". The previous week she had been violently attacked for voicing her opinion. The man has since been arrested but this part of Londonhould never feel intimidating for any one - man or women. However, this should not put visitors from visiting this iconic over policied and controversial corner of London. Due to the Lockdown measures that the United Kingdom is now under, it may now be illegal for speakers to gather in Speakers Corner. However, if you would like to check out the place where ideas can be exchanged sometimes with joy and sometimes with aggression I highly recommend popping down on a Sunday afternoon. Usually, between 1 pm and 4 pm, it will be at its busiest. And as per usual if you aren't from London I do recommend travelling into London via Train because parking in London is an absolute nightmare - to do this efficiently I recommend Trainline.com and if you want to make a weekend of it try using either Booking.com or Airbnb for you travel needs. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Dog owners will know dogs have memories. Pavlov taught us that dogs can be taught to salivate to the sound of a bell - this is called conditioning. Dogs like humans recall what they don't like - when a dog knows it's about to go to the Vet it will try its best to avoid the situation and it will try it's best to protest. One can only pity a dog that gets the snip losing what made him have a purpose. And yet humans do it without flinching as they treat man's best friend no better than a slave at this moment in the dog's life. Your dog didn't want the snip no matter how much you try to justify its acceptable. And yet it would seem our rulers have as much respect for the population as we do for mans best friend. We are dogs to the rulers of the world. We serve a purpose and we bring much enjoyment through our ability to create art, culture and entertainment. Yet none of that actually matters when our leaders feel the world must continue on it's planned path they have mapped out decades in advance. As I've spoken before that I believe this was all planned way back in 2019 I still stand by this. The disproportionate measures to a virus that is only lethal to 0.01% of the population are telling. Of course, they will screech - what about Long-COVID!?! Well, what about the long term impacts of mass unemployment and a broken economy on Suicide rates? As spoken about in my previous blog posts I do believe 2020 and what will come in 2021 has all been planned from those who pull the strings. Countries have been incentivised to destroy small & medium-sized businesses and encouraged to move the masses in the direction of a Communist Universal Income where everyone becomes dependent on the state and then later the impending New World Government. The NWO is readying itself for the world to be the fake saviours who will magically appear to clean up the chaos. And nations will have no choice but to obey as every nation will be crumbling under the debt issued by the Central Bankers. This will be the Great Reset - great for the Elite not great for 99% who simply want freedom and the life they once knew. This is "Tinfoil hat and crazy!" scream those indoctrinated to believe the IMF, WHO and our Shadow Governments mean us well. Thankfully, the evidence of the forced lockdowns came from one of Europes poorest but most beautiful countries. Belarus back in March 2020 was offered money by the IMF to encourage the country to implement the same lockdown measures like those the World were witnessing in Italy. In a Belarusian Article "At a recent meeting with the Cabinet of Ministers, the head of Belarus said that the International Monetary Fund offered ‘quick financing’ for almost a billion dollars, in exchange for the president’s will to do everything ‘like in Italy’." The thing is Alexander Lukashenka refused as he didn't want to destroy the economy of Belarus or enslave his nation to the privately-owned IMF. As soon as countries take on IMF loans they are suddenly slaves to dictators like Christian Lagarde. Illustrated time and time again around the world - for the "Left", I direct you to the Guardian. President Alexander Lukashenka flatly refused the loan from the IMF - rumours suggest this was going to be the 1st payment of many over the proceeding months. However, this President put his country and his people ahead of the interests of the corrupt Globalists. And yet because of this, he has been paying the price dearly ever since. The Globalists are now teaching him a lesson for his dissent from the path they had mapped out. President Alexander Lukashenka was clearly failing to comply with their disproportionate Lockdown rules and the path to the vaccine. The path that would bring in universal tracking and monitoring of all humans on the planet, combined with a universal income so as to control any dissent. And for his dissidence, President Alexander Lukashenka has had the world's media on his case since the June 2020 election. The corrupt Fake News Media have been using their sphere of influence to topple Lukashenko from power. Soros Fund Management & his investment arms have been funnelling money into NGOs inside Belarus drumming up the impressionable student population to oust him from power. Pushing the narrative that he isn't a legitimate leader worthy of his power. And yet he is one of the few leaders in Europe who has not sold his country out to the Globalist criminals intent on bringing in the Great Reset. If the IMF is prepared to pay Belarus for every month that it is under lockdown and obeys the New World Order rules then it has clearly done this with every single country in the world. Rishi Sunak the Chancellor to the United Kingdom took it upon himself to enslave future generations to central bank debt. The dishonesty that the money we borrow doesn't come with conditions is the usual dishonesty populations have come to expect from a corrupt western democracy. The Virus didn't destroy the economy your leaders destroyed the economy! It is my belief that until we are all tagged with digital vaccine passports the globalists will not loosen these lockdowns. The Winter of 2020/2021 will be a very dark winter for many. Businesses will collapse and unemployment will skyrocket globally. They want the population of the planet to be begging for the vaccine. People will give up their liberties in their belief that it brings back the life they once knew and little will they realise until it's too late that life won't return if we allow this Plandemic to keep its course. Stay healthy but we must end the cult of the lockdowns and topple these corrupt Globalists from power as they do not work for the nations of this planet - only themselves. #Covid19 #Plandemic #London If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
Cycling has with each year become more and more popular around the world. However, you may not be aware that if you took a DeLorean back in time over 200+ years you simply would not find a man or woman on this contraption. They simply did not exist before 1817 and what existed in 1817 was certainly not worthy of your morning commute. More on that later! I'm an avid cyclist - granted I’m no Bradley Wiggins (British born cyclist who has more Gold than Mr-T on a Friday night) but I did take Norman Tebbit at face value when he said "Get on your bike!" - so I did. Whether I'm riding a bicycle for leisure, exercise or commuting there's always been a bike near to me. However, it was not until recently did I get to try a legendary bicycle out thanks to Airbnb advertising it as an Experience. The Penny Farthing London Experience popped up on my screen and I thought to myself "I must try this!" It was certainly on my bucket list. However, before we delve into the Penny Farthing or High Wheel to the Yanks where did it come from? A Brief History on the Bicycle that would lead eventually to the Penny-Farthing. The "Dandy horse", also called Draisienne or Laufmaschine, was the first human means of transport to use only two wheels in tandem and was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais. It is regarded as the first bicycle, but it did not have pedals; Drais introduced it to the public in Mannheim in 1817 and in Paris in 1818. Its rider sat astride a wooden frame supported by two in-line wheels and pushed the vehicle along with his or her feet while steering the front wheel. It was effectively an adults balance bike made of wood. The first mechanically-propelled, two-wheeled vehicle may have been built by Kirkpatrick MacMillan, a Scottish blacksmith, in 1839, although the claim is often disputed. However, as I’m part Scottish I’m going to believe the Scot beat the world to the invention. And in typical feisty Glaswegian fashion, he is also associated with the first recorded instance of a cycling traffic offence, when a Glasgow newspaper in 1842 reported an accident in which an anonymous "gentleman from Dumfries-shire... bestride a velocipede... of ingenious design" knocked over a little girl in Glasgow and was fined five shillings. In the early 1860s, Frenchmen Pierre Michaux and Pierre Lallement took bicycle design in a new direction by adding a mechanical crank drive with pedals on an enlarged front wheel (the velocipede). The French vélocipède, made of iron and wood, developed into the "Penny-Farthing" (historically known as an "ordinary bicycle", a retronym, since there was then no other kind). It featured a tubular steel frame on which were mounted wire-spoked wheels with solid rubber tires. The pedals were still attached directly to the front wheel, which became larger and larger as makers realised that the larger the wheel, the faster and farther you could travel with one rotation of the pedals. Solid rubber tyres and the long spokes of the large front wheel provided a much smoother ride than its predecessor, the Boneshaker. This type of velocipede was the first to be called a bicycle (“two-wheel”) and its shape led to the nickname Penny Farthing in the UK. They enjoyed great popularity in the 1880s, at least by those that could afford them. Although the trend was short-lived, the Penny Farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport. Now as a keen cyclist who has a sense of wonder if one can do things. I made an enquiry via the Airbnb experiences website to see if I could ride with the Penny-Farthing Club. Thankfully, they ride regularly so they were able to accommodate my desire to learn all about Penny-Farthings and test my balance. If you have a spare £100 in your pocket you might be tempted to enjoy a London Tour on a Penny Farthing! I can honestly say it's well worth the time and money and should be tried by anyone who has a sense of wonder about the world. The Penny Farthing Club, founded in 2013 by Neil Laughton who was intrigued by these Victorian-era bicycles. The PFC has developed into a community of enthusiastic riders, racers and polo players! The Club has two dozen modern replica bicycles of various sizes and offers rider training, events throughout the year - including private hire, corporate team building and film/photo commissions. Those on the experience will be introduced to the Penny Farthing and its history before being helped up to the lofty height of the bicycle. You will then head out onto the streets where you will learn to safely mount, ride and dismount. A few hours spent with the Penny Farthing Team one Sunday morning was enough for me to feel I had mastered the art of riding these splendid contraptions. Once you feel competent and able to hop on and off these tall relics, the Penny Farthing Club will take you on a tour through Westminster and central London. Once riders are confident on the Victorian invention they will be leisurely guided around the Westminster area, past many iconic locations such as the Palace of Westminster, Parliament Square, Churchill War Rooms, the gardens of 10 Downing Street and Buckingham Palace. It helps to be fearless and confident with your balance this is not for the overweight and those who aren't very fit. As the Bikes have only one fixed gear it does require you to exert more energy than a usual bike. However, the view and attention that you get from being up so high make up for these extra calories burnt. I’ve never had so many people wave and smile in my direction while on the road in London. Everyone either stood and took pictures, waved or cheered. Of course, this being The Wondering Englishman Blog - I've of course included a video to go with this post - do check out the video on the day I spent with The Penny Farthing Club. Tours and lessons can be booked in London, Bath & Brighton. As always videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech. If you do decide to ride tall through London, Bath or Brighton on the Penny Farthing Bike Tour please let me know in the comments below! I can’t recommend it enough, it should be done by everyone! Happy riding! One last thing - if you aren't from London and you are planning on visiting London for the weekend or even longer. I highly recommend booking yourself an Airbnb to go with your Airbnb Penny-Farthing Experience. Pick one that suits your needs and in your location - there is an array of choice in London and something for everyone's budget. If you have not used them before (you have probably been living under a rock). But if you use this referral link you will get many Dollars, Euros or Pounds off your first booking and I'll get a very small referral kickback. This link will give you $50-$60 off your first booking. If you are a new customer. I am not sponsored by the British Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman
When the suns out and one has time on their hands a perfect day out from the stresses of London is to head to the British Coast. On a recent, such a day, I took it upon myself to venture to East Sussex and take in the coast between Bexhill-on-Sea & Hastings. Both can be reached on a direct train from London in under an hour and if you book your ticket in advance via Trainline.com a considerable saving can be found in getting you there and back. I decided to take the train to Bexhill-on-Sea and then walk East along the coast to Hastings. Google was calculating without stops that it would take me a couple of minutes over 2 hours. This walk would be considerably tamer compared to the walk I had done between Eastbourne & Seaford taking in the mesmerising seven sisters coastal walk. Bexhill or Bexhill-on-Sea is a seaside town and an ancient town, Bexhill is home to a number of archaeological sites, a Manor House in the Old Town, an abundance of Edwardian and Victorian architecture. Bob Marley's first-ever UK gig was at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill in July 1972. The De La Warr Pavilion is now home to an array of art exhibits and the occasional gig at least in pre-COVID days. During the Norman Conquest of 1066, it appears that Bexhill was largely destroyed. The Domesday survey of 1086 records that the manor was worth £20 before the conquest, was 'waste' in 1066 and was worth £18 10s in 1086. The town was almost laid to waste again in the second world war. The Second World War caused the evacuation of the schools and substantial bomb-damage to the town. Many schools returned to Bexhill after the war but there was a steady decline in the number of independent schools in the town. The break-up of the British Empire and in particular the Independence of India in 1947 hastened the process. Most of the schools were boarding and catered largely for the children of the armed forces overseas and of the colonial administration. Although the number of schools decreased, many of the parents and former pupils had fond memories of the town and later retired to Bexhill. As a tourist in the 21st century, you could enjoy the various pubs dotted around the sleepy town full of retirees enjoying their peaceful lives. Sample the seafood which I decided to do in the form of oysters while contemplating if I deserved an ice cream just yet. Walking away from Bexhill I walked up a hill known locally as Gally Hill. I couldn’t help but notice the parked cars that had retirees relaxing by the side of the road. The peacefulness of the elderly population was to a Londoner very noticeable. It still had an English feel to it, something which is sadly gone from large swathes of London and most cities that have felt the impact of the mass importation of people from around the world. Stroll down the other side of Gally Hill and past the look out posts that once kept watch for small french men hoping to invade you get to Stoney beaches - very typically found on the south coast of England. If you are lucky you will witness the tide being out. If this is the case, you will be able to walk out to sea - for a good hundred metres or so before you get to any depth of water at your shins. In the old days before the world was overpopulated and the seas were able to replenish themselves from what we took from them it wouldn’t be strange to see an array of sea life looking back at you. Now the South coast of England due to dredging and overfishing by all European nations is lacking in any sea life. Catching crabs and observing life in the rock pools that dot this area of coastline I think may now be a thing of the past. The day I was there, I saw no signs of life other than a few small sand worms hiding away in the muddy sand. Like the Native American who sheds a tear when he sees the damage to the land he once new this is how I look upon our oceans in 2020. Critics will sneer and say I best scurry along and join the Extinction Rebellion folk with their protests. And yet these folk may be annoying and cause disruption but they are sadly right - the world around us is dying. Especially the Oceans and we as a species are simply watching it wilt right in front of us. As I walk away from the beach like an Anemic Native American pondering when the humans will wake up to their destruction I approach the town of Bulverhythe, also known as West St Leonards and Bo Peep. Bulverhythe is translated as "Burghers' landing place". It used to be under a small headland called Gallows Head, which was washed away by flooding. In 1749 a Dutch Ship was washed up to shore called The “Amsterdam” that set sail to Java but ended up running aground on the sandy strip in 1749. The remains can still be seen today at very low tide. I failed to really notice them despite the tide being out! Walking further East along the coast you will notice an array of beach huts of various different sizes. Some on the beach and some slightly inland. Each beach hut jostling for the land it now possesses. Beach huts came into existence in early Edwardian days and since then have been a fixture on the British Coast ever since coming in and out of fashion every 10 years or so. With the current COVID Plandemic, the staycation for Brits has made them more popular than ever before. In trying to find out more about these bizarre sheds on the beach I discovered huts can be rented by the day and also week. Rental can range from £20-£100 a day depending on the hut and the week obviously a lot more. I’m not affiliated in any way to this company but if you are curious about renting a hut for a day you can visit the website beach-huts.com Leaving the Beach Huts behind and still heading East you will encounter the town of St. Leonards on Sea. The original part of the settlement was laid out in the early 19th century as a new town: a place of elegant houses designed for the well-off; it also included a central public garden, a hotel, an archery, assembly rooms and a church. Today's St Leonards has extended well beyond that original design, although the original town still exists within it. And today's residents are with the greatest respect anything but well off. Of course, some of the big houses remain and I’m certain there are many who sip their lattes while nodding along to the wretch of a newspaper the guardian but a huge chunk of the people who now live in St Leonards are on the poverty line. Crack & Booze have replaced Victorian pursuits of grafting and leisure. Bottle Alley may have gotten its name from the wall made of bottles but the floors all year long I’m told are strewn with bottles of booze. Asylum seekers, drug addicts & the homeless are shipped down from London to stay in the numerous HMO’s that scatter the landscape. The old and retired who used to think this place was quaint and idyllic now avoid going out at night because of the Anti-Social behaviour by the dregs of society who are native & foreign-born. I have to admit the contrast here to Bexhill & later the manicured Hastings was telling. And as Queen Victoria’s statue looked on as life going by if the lady could see what was here today I think she might shed a tear in the winter months. The glorious sunshine can make anything presentable I do wonder though what winters must be like here. Leaving St Leonards behind you connect with Hastings - In reality, due to the growth of the two towns, you wouldn’t know where one ended and the other began until you saw the sign. Both merge into one. However, it does become noticeable as you leave the Pier and the amusement rides behind Hastings becomes very picturesque and beautiful especially in the oldest parts of the town. Money is very clearly here and neighbours keep up with the Jones by keeping their gardens as neat as can be making their miniature castles as presentable as possible. Hastings gives its name to the Battle of Hastings, which took place 8 mi (13 km) to the north-west at Senlac Hill in 1066. It later became one of the medieval Cinque Ports. In the 19th century, it established itself as a popular seaside resort, as the railway allowed tourists and visitors to reach the town. Today, Tourism has dwindled but Hastings remains a fishing port with the UK's largest beach-based fishing fleet. It has an estimated population just shy of 95,000. The start of the Norman Conquest was the Battle of Hastings, fought on 14 October 1066, although the battle itself took place 8 mi (13 km) to the north at Senlac Hill, and William had landed on the coast between Hastings and Eastbourne at Pevensey. It is thought that the Norman encampment was on the town's outskirts, where there was open ground; a new town was already being built in the valley to the east. That "New Burgh" was founded in 1069 and is mentioned in the Domesday Book as such. William defeated and killed Harold Godwinson, the last Saxon King of England, and destroyed his army, thus opening England to the Norman conquest. William caused a castle to be built at Hastings probably using the earthworks of the existing Saxon castle. Hastings was shown as a borough by the time of the Domesday Book (1086); it had also given its name to the Rape of Hastings, one of the six administrative divisions of Sussex. As a borough, Hastings had a corporation consisting of a "bailiff, jurats, and commonalty". By a Charter of Elizabeth I in 1589, the bailiff was replaced by a mayor. Muslim scholar Muhammad al-Idrisi, writing in 1153, described Hastings as "a town of large extent and many inhabitants, flourishing and handsome, having markets, workpeople and rich merchants". And as I ended my leisurely walk in Hastings having climbed the hill to the top of the castle and then in a local pub I pondered that hastings was still flourishing and it’s inhabitants were all on fine form despite being so close to its poorest neighbour who will one day have a lift and sort its act out. If you are considering making a weekend out of it or simply think it wise to stay at least one night in the town of Hastings, Bexhill or one of the many villages that dot the East Sussex. There are a number of options to choose from to suit all budgets. Over the years, I've had the fortune to stay in an array of hotels, apartments and various forms of accommodation while travelling. For the majority of travellers, I recommend Booking.com - yes there are hotel comparison websites such as Trivago and Kayak. However, from my years of travel experience, I've discovered both of these comparison websites do not have all the hotels, hostels and apartments listed. The reasons behind this could be some premises simply do not pay the comparison sights a fee or the reason could be something else. If you know of the reason do leave a comment below. However, I have discovered no matter what the location Booking.com will 9/10ths of the time have the most competitive deal and generally the most choice. However, if you are super keen to get the best deal- use Booking.com, Kayak, Trivago, Lastminute.com and Hotels.com in separate browser windows. An alternative which I do recommend for your accommodation is Airbnb. The authorities still allow Airbnb in the UK (it hasn't been banned just yet). I've booked a number of apartments via Airbnb. If you have not used them before (you have probably been living under a rock). But if you use this referral link you will get many Dollars, Pounds or Euros off your first booking and I'll get a very small referral kickback. I'm an Airbnb host as well as a frequent Airbnb traveller. I love Airbnb because not only does it make travelling more affordable but it also allows you to stay off the beaten track. Staying with a local or in your own cottage is far more unique than staying in a generic hotel you could find anywhere in the world. Use the map below to search for the perfect Airbnb stay within walking distance of Bexhill-on-Sea, St Leonards & Hastings. Let me know if you do walk the same route or you do actually make it inside the castle! I am not sponsored by the British Government or any Travel Group, I simply have written this post as I enjoy travelling. Please do check out this blog for more independent travel ideas and my YouTube Channel. If any of this information has been useful to you and you fancy buying me a Coffee please do click the link below to buy me a Coffee via Ko-Fi.com. Thank you - Alex van Terheyden AKA The Wondering Englishman Of course what blog post would be complete without including the video to the adventure. As always videos can always be found on YouTube & LBRY. I use both as sadly YouTube is now censoring content whereas LBRY is for Free-Speech.
On typical cloudy day south-west of London, I looked up at the clouds and hoped for sunshine. Thankfully my wishes were granted intermittently as the day went along - radiant sunshine would make for the perfect day. My journey began in the little town of Weybridge, a quaint but humble town by the River Wey in the Elmbridge district of Surrey. It is bounded to the north by the River Thames at the mouth of the Wey, from which it gets its name. It is an outlying suburban town within the Greater London Urban Area, situated 16 miles (25 km) southwest of central London. Those window shopping for a new home in Weybridge will find property prices are well above the national average - so much so that six of the ten most expensive streets in South East England are to be found in Weybridge. In H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds (1897), Weybridge was the location of a battle in which a Martian fighting machine was destroyed. The title of chapter 12 of the book is: "What I saw of the destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton". The battle also featured in the track "The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine" from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978), and in a graphic novel by Ian Edginton and D'Israeli (2006), adapted from Wells' book. It was also the location that a ship carrying refugees from Southern England, sailed out of the Harbour protected by several vessels including the ship "Thunderchild". It was this ship that was involved in the battle and also managed to destroy one of the Martian Fighting Machines (only to be destroyed itself) One last mention before we move away from Weybridge - John Lennon and Ringo Starr lived in Weybridge for short periods of time over their lifetimes. However, this post is about Boating on the Thames and the delights that can be found while bobbing up and down the world's shortest most famous river. By European standards, the river Thames is seemingly insignificant. At only 215 miles (346km) from source to mouth, it is not only dwarfed by the major waterways of the continent, but it is not even the longest river in the United Kingdom. The Severn River is the longest river in the United Kingdom, covering a distance of 220 miles. Nevertheless, its location has ensured that it has held unparalleled importance to the country, as it flows through key places of national influence, such as the university city of Oxford to the west, past the royal castle at Windsor then on to the capital of London and then a tidal section to the east. It is not without reason that it has been dubbed ‘the shortest famous river in the world’, ‘an open-air museum of English culture’ and even ‘liquid history’. The River Thames History The water of the river Thames has been utilised by settlers since Palaeolithic times and there is an on-going discussion about how the complex processes of silting, geomorphological change, and human intervention impacted its use. Although widespread canal-building (mainly in coastal areas) occurred in Britain during Roman times, it was the building of mills from 950 AD onwards that is thought to have accidentally encouraged trade further inland, as they required the construction of dams and weirs with flash locks. These were built on the steeper section of the waterway below Oxford and helped to break up the river into a succession of deep slow-flowing pools, which made travelling on the river by boat easier (and in both directions). By the eleventh century, the Thames was an important transport artery, as is shown by the network of landing places (hythes) and salt ways that punctuated it, as well artificial channels that were built for trade on or by it, most notably a section by Abingdon dug in the 1050s to by-pass a section of the river that was difficult to navigate. Boats would have been used for both local and long-distance transportation and it is thought that the medieval heyday of the latter, which would have been much cheaper than travelling by road, was between 1100 and 1300. Certain carrying goods, like grain, wool, cloth and minerals, were transported to London – presumably with passengers occasionally conveyed too – whilst some items, such as pottery and herrings, would have been taken back on the more difficult and laborious upstream journey. The Thames was a contested resource though, as mill-owners, boat operators and fisherman all wanted to use the water for different purposes (and according to different seasonal rhythms), whilst local populations also needed to be able to cross the waterway on fords, ferries or bridges. Indeed, from 1100 onwards, the building of new bridges and causeways also altered the physical appearance of the Thames. Furthermore, these human activities could be affected by natural processes like drought and flooding. The latter could have a damaging effect on property, but it could also protect the river from development, thereby helping to maintain the river’s appearance. A symbiotic relationship developed between the different groups using the river that was ‘normally contentious’ and ‘occasionally creative’. Travelling by boat on the river was a slow process, as craft not only had to be towed by horses that had to evade any obstacles on land but passing through the locks could be dangerous. Boats had to wait for the miller to come to draw his paddles (for a fee), which produced a rapid release (‘flash’) of water, which enabled the boat to pass through, either by ‘shooting’ through with the flow or being hauled up against the stream (once the water levels were close to one another). The release of water could be so great that sometimes a boat operator travelling upstream had to wait until the levels of water had built up again and they would sometimes face charges from the riparian landowners. Although the weirs are believed to have initially helped the passage of boats, they could also potentially cause difficulties, because (1) they could obstruct the river, (2) they could adversely affect the level of the water and (3) they could be both slow and costly to pass through. Indeed, we know that the former was a persistent problem, as there were recurring legal attempts to try to keep the waterway clear of obstructions from the twelfth century onwards, such as the Magna Carta’s injunction to clear fish weirs from the waterway. Although control of the river was sold by the Crown to the City of London in 1197, there was no effective management of the river above Staines, where the new jurisdiction extended to. Furthermore, the number of weirs on the river above Henley grew to such a number that it became increasingly time-consuming and less cost-effective to travel on it. This led to a ‘spiral of decay’ that eventually led to the section between Oxford and Burcot becoming unnavigable for larger craft by the end of the sixteenth century. Boating on the Thames On this reasonably sunny day, I found myself on a very nice speed boat - although you can't exactly speed on the River Thames. Due to River laws, you can only go 5mph on the Thames so the roofless boat should really be defined as a leisure boat. The history of the River Thames is best experienced while on the River itself. For those of you not lucky enough to have a mate with a boat this shouldn't stop you. There are an array of boat companies up and down the River willing to rent you a boat for a few hours to a few weeks depending on your preference. To make a holiday of it you could even sleep on the boat or stay in one of the nearby hotels or B&Bs in the local area. My journey was from Weybridge to Hampton Court and then back, of course, you could boat any part of the Thames and depend upon Time restraints you could do all 215 Miles if you were so inclined! Let me know if you do that! Chugging along at 5mph and passing a through a variety of locks it took around 2 hours to get to Hampton Court - I think we could have got there faster but we stopped in various places to admire the scenery along the way. Hampton Court Palace is a Grade I listed royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, 12 miles (19.3 kilometres) south-west and upstream of central London on the River Thames. Construction of the palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the cardinal gave the palace to the king to check his disgrace. The palace went on to become one of Henry's most favoured residences; soon after acquiring the property, he arranged for it to be enlarged so that it might more easily accommodate his sizeable retinue of courtiers. Along with St James' Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many the king owned. The palace is currently in the possession of Queen Elizabeth II and the Crown. Today, the palace is open to the public and a major tourist attraction, easily reached by train from Waterloo station in central London and served by Hampton Court railway station. Of course, you could always stay in an Airbnb or a hotel right by the Palace and bask in the shadow of Royalty. Apart from the Palace itself and its gardens, other points of interest for visitors include the celebrated maze, the historic royal tennis court and the huge grapevine, the largest in the world as of 2005. The palace's Home Park is the site of the annual Hampton Court Palace Festival and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. My river journey from Weybridge to Hampton Court & then back again was of course documented. Do check it out and remember to click subscribe it helps the YouTube Gods decide if a channel is worthy of their platform. An experience similar to this experience would be via the Airbnb Experiences which you will know I'm a big fan of. I have included the best experiences below and will update this article when I discover new experiences worthy of your time. My Recommendations for boating on the Thames: Boating on the Thames at Hampton Court Speedboat through the heart of London If you appreciated this information It takes a lot of Coffee to make these videos. If you would like to buy me a Coffee I use the wonderful people at Ko-fi. Many thanks - The Wondering Englishman - Alex van Terheyden