Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

So here we are.

A few weeks ago, I told you that I would be travelling to the English countryside, and part of that has begun!

Just to recap, I’ll be visiting Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

However, not all of our travels would be the countryside itself, some of it would be of English quirkiness, and one of those places is Blackpool!

BLACKPOOL

Blackpool – A seaside resort on the coast of North West England!

Blackpool is a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast of North West England.

Blackpool faces the Irish Sea between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, and is 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Preston, 27 miles (43 km) north of Liverpool, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Bolton, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester, and has a population of about 142,065 people!

Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was a coastal hamlet in Lancashire’s Hundred of Amounderness, and remained so until the mid-18th century when it became fashionable to travel to the coast in the summer, for a bit of seaside air and the attraction of a sandy beach!

Beauty Queens in 1950’s Blackpool

Blackpool rose to prominence when a railway was built in the 1840’s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. By 1881, Blackpool was a booming resort complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, theatres, fish-and-chip shops, and was otherwise known as “the archetypal British seaside resort.”

Shifts in tastes, combined with opportunities for your ordinary Brit to travel abroad, affected Blackpool’s status as a leading resort in the late 20th century, and it fell to tacky, shabby decay.

In fact, I haven’t been there myself since I was twelve (12) years old, and found £5.00 in the sand!

We spent all our money on Blackpool Rock!
@Kate Hopkins

I was enormously pleased I can tell you, so my brothers and I spent it all on Blackpool Rock!

However, lots of money has been ploughed into it, and quite frankly, Northerners haven’t been deterred by it’s less than reputable past. In fact, at one time, it was billed as England’s answer to Las Vegas!

In 1954, Blackpool enjoyed a tourist boom and attracted up to 17 million visitors a year!

Blackpool’s major attractions and landmarks these days include Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, Sandcastle Water Park, the Winter Gardens, its sandy beaches, and the UK’s only surviving first-generation tramway!

We went out there to see what all the fuss was about!

Book your hotel here!

Blackpool got it’s name from a peat bog running over water!

Blackpool got it’s name from a historic drainage channel (possibly Spen Dyke) that ran over a peat bog, discharging discoloured water into the Irish Sea, which formed a black pool.

On the other side of the sea, Dublin in Ireland,otherwise known as Dubh Linn, is derived from the Irish word for “black pool.” Some people also say that the origin could come from the local dialect for “stream” which was pul or poole, hence “Black poole!”

Britain has a lot of endearing names for locals who originate from a certain part of the country. So for example, I’m from Manchester, so I’m a Manc or a Mancunian. People from Liverpool are called Scousers. People from Newcastle upon Tyne, are called Geordies, and people from the East End of London are called Cockneys.

Blackpool is no different.  The locals are either called Blackpudlians or Seasiders!

I was a little nervous as Blackpool has a reputation of being slightly shabby, tacky, and a little rough on the edges!

I was a little nervous as Blackpool has a reputation of being slightly shabby, tacky, and a little rough on the edges, but luckily, we had nothing to worry about.

And I’ll be telling you more about that next week.

Phew!

Book your hotel here!

Let me tell you a secret.

Meanwhile, let me tell you something about a hidden secret.

Now if you’re British, it won’t be a secret at all, but if you’re a tourist, it might surprise you.

Are you ready?

Blackpool has an amusement park.

Blackpool has an amusement park!

It’s called Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Otherwise known as Pleasure Beach Resort.

Or simply.

Pleasure Beach.

And it’s an amusement park for all the family.

Shh!

Here’s some history.

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BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
©The Family Adventure Project

Firstly, The Tall Young Gentleman was surprised to discover that Blackpool Pleasure Beach isn’t exactly a beach!

Well, it is, and it isn’t!

I mean, Blackpool is definitely a sea-side resort, and many parts hang off the side of the pier certainly, but as far as Blackpool Pleasure Beach Resort is concerned, you can only see the beach aspect of it, right across the other side of the road!

And perhaps, once upon a time, all of Pleasure Beach was actually on the beach. Who knows?

Try not to compare Blackpool Pleasure Beach to Disneyland or Las Vegas. You’d be disappointed!

Secondly, you’re not to be comparing Blackpool Pleasure Beach to Disneyland or Las Vegas.

You’d be disappointed!

Book your hotel here!

BLACKPOOL – THE MOST VISITED AMUSEMENT PARK IN THE UK!

Infusion – Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Suffice to say, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is an amusement park situated along the Fylde coast in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

The park was founded in 1896, and has been owned and operated by the Thompson family, since its inception.

It is the number one most visited park in the United Kingdom, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the whole country, and one of the top twenty most visited amusement parks in the world, with millions of visitors every year!

In 2014, it was voted as the best theme park in the United Kingdom and the ninth best park in Europe, by the Travelers’ Choice Awards!

Blackpool Pleasure Beach park is host to many records, including the largest number of roller coasters of any park in the United Kingdom – ten (10) – of which five (5), are wooden!

The Big Dipper
©The Family Adventure Project

Namely:

  • The Big Dipper
  • Blue Flyer
  • Grand National
  • Nickelodeon Streak
  • Wild Mouse
When it opened, The Big One was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!
When it opened, The Big One was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!

Many of the roller coasters in the park are record-breaking attractions.

When it opened in 1994, The Big One was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!

It was also the steepest, with an incline angle of 65° and one of the longest, measuring 5,497 feet (1,675 m)!

At the moment, this ride holds the record as the tallest roller coaster in the United Kingdom, standing at 213 ft (65 m), with a first drop of 205 ft (62 m)!

Oh my giddy god!

The Big Wheel at the Central Pier – Blackpool – Oh my giddy god!

Pleasure Beach is one of only two parks left in the world to operate a traditional wooden Wild Mouse roller coaster, the other being Luna Park Sydney in Australia.

The ride was built entirely in-house, post-World War II, but is currently under maintenance.

The Grand National is one of only three Möbius Loop coasters in existence, where a singular track loops around itself, offering a facsimile out-and-back layout and creating a racing effect on two parallel tracks.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is also the first amusement park in Europe, to introduce a fully inverting 360° steel coaster – Revolution – and is the last remaining park in the world to still operate a Steeplechase roller coaster!

Not only that but, Sir Hiram Maxims Captive Flying Machine, otherwise known as simply – Flying Machines – is the oldest amusement park ride in Europe, having opened in August 1904!

Wow!

Outside Valhalla in Blackpool – the biggest and most expensive indoor dark ride in the world!

Recent records include Valhalla, which at a cost of £15 million was until 2016, the biggest and most expensive indoor dark ride, in the world!

Valhalla won “Best Water Ride” at the 2016 Golden Ticket awards.

Outside the world’s only Wallace & Gromit ride – the Thrill-O-Matic, in Blackpool!

Blackpool Pleasure Beach also operates a Nickelodeon Land and the world’s only Wallace & Gromit ride – the Thrill-O-Matic!

The latest record is taken by the Red Arrows SkyForce, a Gerstlauer Sky Fly thrill ride which is the first ride of its kind in the United Kingdom.

A new roller coaster  – Icon – is expected to open in Spring 2018.

Whilst my husband – The Music Producer – and our teenage son – The Tall Young Gentleman – proceeded to invoke the many exciting thrills and spills of HUGE roller coasters, I contended myself with searching for more relaxing attractions because:

VICTORIA HATES ROLLER COASTERS!

I’d rather go to the pub, than go on a roller coaster!

Ay Up!

Why’s that then?

Well, once upon a time, my brother and I went on the turbo coaster – the speed demon – of Brighton Palace Pier, in East Sussex.

Brighton Pier in East Sussex!

In Brighton you understand.

I know!

And.

It.

Was.

The.

Worst.

Ride.

Of.

My.

Life!

The hellish Turbo Coaster in Brighton!

This roller coaster is huge, and I was very much looking forward to enjoying the ride.

Now, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I actually wear glasses, ‘cos I have the most appalling eye-sight, and since I’ve been wearing glasses since I was about 9 years old, you forget that you have them…

Until.

You’re on the top tip of a roller coaster!

Yep!

We had just wheezed to the tip of the turbo coaster when I suddenly remembered that I needed to take off my glasses!

I’m sorry but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

But.

I was far too late.

And my glasses flew off into the sunset!

Well in this case, the early evening sundown.

As it was about 20:00 in July!

I was so distressed that I couldn’t enjoy any part of the ride.

Because.

I couldn’t see!

And not only was each twist and turn a surprise.

It was a horrific shock!

A free shot of vodka isn’t a bad thing!

And once we came off the Turbo Coaster, I just burst into tears!

The staff came over wondering what all the commotion was about, and tried to console me.

But I couldn’t be consoled.

Because.

Without my glasses, I really couldn’t see!

And I was in Brighton. At night!

Neither of us had been to Brighton before so I didn’t know my way back to the train station!

And neither of us had been to Brighton before so I didn’t know my way back to the train station, in order to get to London!

I think my blubbering and weeping affected the staff so much, that they really wanted to help me, and asked if I could remember exactly where I was sitting, when the incident occurred.

Well, I knew exactly where I was, when.

The staff had a good search, and would you believe it, they found my glasses!

They found my glasses. Phew!

Utterly unbroken!

Thank goodness, it didn’t happen when this accident happened.

Phew!

I opted for the Ghost Train at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, ‘cos I was scared!

Is it any wonder that anytime I was in the vicinity of a roller coaster, I began to get extremely anxious, and develop symptoms of a panic attack!

In that wise, I opted for the more gentler rides such as:

I’m not entirely sure which roller-coasters my husband and son went on, but I’m definite that they went on:

The Tall Young Gentleman & The Music Producer, looking very sorry for themselves at Valhalla – Blackpool
  • The Big Dipper – A good ride
  • Nickelodeon Streak – Exciting, but a very short ride
  • Valhalla – They loved it, but you get extremely wet. Including your trousers and shoes!
  • Grand National – They found it to be the most exciting ride with great dips and leaps, as well as getting to race other visitors! You really need the bar to be secure as well as your seatbelt, as you practically get lifted into the air. However, they loved this ride the most!

They were very surprised that three (3) of the above attractions were made entirely out of wood!

It’s perfectly safe though, and they had a great time.

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MY VERDICT:

Great fun for the family at Blackpool Pleasure Beach!

Great fun for the family, and snack prices were as low and as reasonable as we have ever seen at an amusement park. Ever!

TOP TIPS!

Ask me about Blackpool!

We booked online, but even the queues to collect pre-paid tickets were quite long. We hadn’t opted for a Speedy Pass as we reckoned that it wouldn’t be that crowded.

It was during the British Half-Term School Holiday break, so wrong!

Some rides attracted up to a 40 minute wait, and I ended up queueing at an attraction twice, and giving up because the lines were still too long, or took ages to get people in!

  • If you want to use a locker, wait until you’re actually inside the amusement park, as it’s cheaper – £3.50 for small lockers – all day!
  • If you know what you’re doing and what you want to ride on, wait until the evening, as tickets were being sold for £20.00 – two hours before the end of day!
  • Book Online at least 24 hours before you want to enter the park. We paid £24.00 per person for an Unlimited Ride Wristband Peak online, instead of £32.50 at the gate! The staff also told you us that as long as we booked by midnight the night before, we were still covered to buy an online ticket, as we were still undecided as to the type of ticket we wanted!

So that is what we did!

Book your hotel here!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO BLACKPOOL – BRITAIN’S VERSION OF LAS VEGAS – OMG!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions, and the rather wonderful fish and chips that we scoffed, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

October & November is going to be delightful!

Book your Blackpool hotel here, or here!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

Watch this space!

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Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

Have you ever been to Blackpool or Blackpool Pleasure Beach? Do you absolutely love roller-coasters or do you panic, like I do? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Exciting news! I’m travelling to the English countryside. Isn’t that spiffing!

Red letter box in the village of Stanton – the Peak District – Derbyshire

So Autumn / Fall is going to be just so exciting!

As you know, I’ve been hinting about where I’m going, and now I can reveal the details.

But first.

Top 100 Best Expat Blogs on the planet!

A couple of weeks ago, I was featured as one of the top 30 most inspiring expat bloggers in 2017!

And then not long after, I was featured as one of the top 100 Best Expat Blogs on the planet!

p.s. I’m number 43!

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

There’s simply no stopping me!

Isn’t that quite inspiring?

I’ve never been featured by other bloggers before, so it’s a real honour in my book.

Go have a look, and check out the other expat bloggers too.

Thanks so much!

Back to the British stuff!

How to be British!

As you know, I’m The British Berliner, and the British part is the fact that my original home country, is England.

You know the one.

Ye Olde England!

That’s right!

That famous and historical city – Manchester!

My original home town is Manchester.

Not industrial steel Manchester, but the leafy suburbs of Cheadle!

In fact, not far from my parent’s home is Abney Hall Park – the inspiration for country house life, and indeed, many of the scenes – of Agatha Christie!

Makers Market in Cheadle Village

What I’m trying to say is that even though I sound as if I come from the manicured landscapes of Surrey, I’m actually from the North of England!

And what was once the suburbs of Greater Manchester in Lancashire, is also part of the suburbs of Cheshire!

Follow the path and route in Cheshire

If you would like to know a little bit about England just follow the links below:

And of course, if you want to read about Scotland and other British things, just follow the link here!

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I had plans to go to Russia…!

Let’s make a re-cap on where I’ve been to, in 2017 so far:

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

HOLLAND:

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Myself with ski leaders in Rokytnice nad Jizerou – Czech Republic

I went skiing in January, but I didn’t actually write about it. Oops!

 

Here’s what I wrote previously…

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

AUSTRIA:

CROATIA:

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

SWEDEN:

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

SLOVENIA:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

UK:

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

GERMANY:

28 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Berlin, I’ll never let you go!
© Enrico Verworner
Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

Book your hotel here!

Now that’s out of the way, let’s move forward.

OMG!

EXCITING NEWS! I’M TRAVELLING TO THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE. ISN’T THAT SPIFFING!

All you need is, some strawberries, a picnic hamper & a bottle of Pimms!
©British Tourist Authority

I’ll be visiting Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

CHESHIRE:

Tegg’s Nose in Cheshire
©Visit Chester & Cheshire / NWDA

I grew up in Cheadle, a suburban village in what was then known as Greater Manchester, and when my brother and I went to university, my family moved to Cheshire.

Cheshire is an Anglo-Saxon settlement first thought to have been created by King Edward (Edward the Elder) in AD920. The county is in the country (the country-side) and is mostly rural, with small towns and villages supporting the local agriculture and industry, and so we have horses not too far away!

I’ve written about it before, but it’s such a lovely place that I’m going to show you around a bit more!

Book your hotel here!

STAFFORDSHIRE:

Walking on The Roaches – Staffordshire

Staffordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England.

It adjoins Cheshire to the north-west, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the south-east, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west!

The historic boundaries of Staffordshire cover much of what is now the metropolitan county of the West Midlands, parts of Derbyshire, and in the area now known as the Black Country.

Black Country Industrial Scene
©Edwin Butler Bayliss (1874–1950) – Wolverhampton Arts and Heritage

The Black Country is a region of the West Midlands in England, and commonly refers to all or part of the four Metropolitan Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. It’s so-called, because during the Industrial Revolution, this part of the country became one of the most industrialised parts of Britain with coal mines, coking, iron foundries, glass factories, brickworks and steel mills producing a high level of air pollution, thus turning the air black!

Staffordshire has many small towns, and we’ll be going to the  Northern part of it.

Book your hotel here!

MANCHESTER:

Imperial War Museum North – Manchester

Manchester really needs no introduction, but if you insist…

Manchester began as a Roman fort called Mamucium or Mancunium, in about AD 79 and was historically a part of Lancashire, and until the 20th century, became a part of Cheshire.

The lovely Just So Festival is an annual weekend camping festival that’s actually in Cheshire, but billed as Manchester!

Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the South, the Pennines to the North and East, and an arc of little towns surrounding it!

In fact, where I grew up, is technically no longer known as Manchester, but Cheshire!

Throughout the Middle Ages, Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, bringing extreme wealth to Manchester, and making it the first industrialised city in the world!

Now even though I’m a Mancunian, I haven’t lived in Manchester since I went to university!

I haven’t been back to Manchester for quite some time!

And that’s quite some time ago!

So we’re going to do some day-trips.

I’m planning to visit some cultural galleries and museums, check out the night life, drink cocktails on Canal Street – Manchester’s Gay Village – and chill out by the canals.

Yippee!

Book your hotel here!

BLACKPOOL:

Blackpool – A seaside resort on the coast of North West England!

Blackpool is a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast of North West England.

Blackpool faces the Irish Sea between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, and is 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Preston, 27 miles (43 km) north of Liverpool, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Bolton, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester, and has a population of about 142,065 people!

Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was a coastal hamlet in Lancashire’s Hundred of Amounderness, and remained so until the mid-18th century when it became fashionable to travel to the coast in the summer, for a bit of seaside air and the attraction of a sandy beach!

Beauty Queens in 1950’s Blackpool

Blackpool rose to prominence when a railway was built in the 1840’s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. By 1881, Blackpool was a booming resort complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, theatres, fish-and-chip shops, and was otherwise known as “the archetypal British seaside resort.”

Shifts in tastes, combined with opportunities for your ordinary Brit to travel abroad, affected Blackpool’s status as a leading resort in the late 20th century, and it fell to tacky, shabby decay.

In fact, I haven’t been there myself since I was twelve (12) years old, and found £5.00 in the sand!

We spent all our money on Blackpool Rock!
@Kate Hopkins

I was enormously pleased I can tell you, so my brothers and I spent it all on Blackpool Rock!

However, lots of money has been ploughed into it, and quite frankly, Northerners haven’t been deterred by it’s less than reputable past. In fact, at one time, it was billed as England’s answer to Las Vegas!

In 1954, Blackpool enjoyed a tourist boom and attracted up to 17 million visitors a year!

Blackpool’s major attractions and landmarks these days include Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, Sandcastle Water Park, the Winter Gardens, its sandy beaches, and the UK’s only surviving first-generation tramway!

We’ll be out there to see what all the fuss is about!

Book your hotel here!

DERBYSHIRE:

Winnats Pass, Hope Valley – Derbyshire

Derbyshire, otherwise known as Derbys or Derbs, is a county in the East Midlands of England.

The county contains part of the National Forest, and borders on Greater Manchester to the northwest, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the northeast, Nottinghamshire to the east, Leicestershire to the southeast, Staffordshire to the west and southwest and Cheshire to the west!

Fischer’s Baslow Hall – Derbyshire
©Baslow & Bubnell Parish Council

Kinder Scout, at 636 metres (2,087 ft), is the highest point in the county, whilst Trent Meadows, where the River Trent leaves Derbyshire, is its lowest point at 27 metres (89 ft). The River Derwent is the county’s longest river at 66 miles (106 km), and runs roughly north to south through the county, and Church Flatts Farm at Coton in the Elms (near Swadlincote), is the furthest point from the sea, in the whole of Great Britain!

A huge portion of the Peak District National Park lies within Derbyshire and the Pennines, and we’re going to be staying in a cottage, in the village of Baslow!

Exciting stuff!

Book your hotel here!

YORKSHIRE:

Yorkshire is the largest county in the UK!

Yorkshire, otherwise known as Yorks or the County of York, is a county in Northern England, and the largest in the UK!

Within the borders of the historic county of Yorkshire are areas which are widely considered to be among the greenest in England, due to the vast stretches of unspoilt countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors.

The emblem of Yorkshire is the White Rose, of the royal English House of York.

The War of the Roses – The White Queen!

If you are versed in English history, you’d know well the Wars of the Roses between the two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster – a red rose – and the House of York – a white rose. If you enjoy watching British cultural dramas, you might recognise the name in the wonderful BBC TV series – The White Queen!

I have happy childhood memories of camping in the Yorkshire Dales, but this time we’re going to be visiting the lovely historical city of York!

Book your hotel here!

WHY THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE?

Chelmorton in the Peak District National Park
©Simon Harrod

Even though it might not always look like it, we are actually outdoorsy type of people!

Ha! Ha! I’m not going to be climbing live volcanoes anytime soon, but we do enjoy horse-riding, sailing, hill-climbing, trekking, and rambling through the countryside.

One of the reasons that I chose Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire is not only because of nostalgic visions of my childhood, but also, because parts of it belong to the National Forest, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the North York Moors National Park, as well as the Peak District National Park!

Even though it might not always look like it, we are actually outdoorsy type of people!

Yep!

We’re going to be getting ourselves dirty, wrapping ourselves warm, and breathing in fresh clean wholesome air!

Book your hotel here!

ANYTHING ELSE?

It’s embarrassing! I have never been to York!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

You won’t believe it, but I have never been to York!

I know!

It’s as bad as when I didn’t go to Switzerland, even though Switzerland is literally next door!

Which way to the City of York?

To rectify that, I’m going to be working in partnership with Visit York in order to experience all that is best for an Original City Adventure in York, and the surrounding area!

We’re going to be using the York Pass, going on a hop-on-hop off bus, visiting historical attractions like The Richard III & Henry VII Experience, York Minster, York Castle Museum, and possibly, squeezing in the North Yorkshire Moors Railway!

Dick Turpin, the infamous 18th century highwayman!
©The York Dungeon

Since we’ll have a teenager in tow – we’re also going to be spending some time at the York Dungeon, the JORVIK Viking Centre, York’s Chocolate Story, and an interactive horror history experience organised by the York Theatre Royal! 

We’re going to have a wonderful time!

Book your hotel here!

EXCITING NEWS! I’M TRAVELLING TO THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE. ISN’T THAT SPIFFING!

Exciting news! I’m travelling to the English countryside. Isn’t that spiffing!

This article isn’t sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Visit York, absolutely all opinions, and the delicious Yorkshire puddings that I’m certain to have, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

October & November is going to be smashing.

Exciting news! I’m travelling to the English countryside. Isn’t that spiffing!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Exciting news! I’m travelling to the English countryside. Isn’t that spiffing!

Have you ever been to the English countryside? Have you ever been to Northern England? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, and Nils Jürgens
©Getty Images

I’m back!

Have you been blown away by the picture above?

I know I have!

Yep!

The British Berliner met Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

I mean,

Omigosh!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Let me just say.

Being a British expat living in Berlin, is a most wonderful thing!

Me being thoughtful during a Live TV broadcast in Germany, and looking as if I’m about to sing!
©Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Being British means that you get to go on German TV and talk about The Queen. You get to be in a documentary focused on British people and get a whole chunk of it, about yourself i.e. Me! You get invited to the British Embassy for drinks, a bit of a natter, and to celebrate Ascot, as well as to the Christmas service of the Deutscher Bundestag – otherwise known as the National Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany! You get invited to the oldest university in Berlin so that you can discuss the political and economic issues on Brexit and the EU. You get featured on Germany’s biggest newspaper, and then flown to London by the BBC!

And then the icing on the cake in my opinion, is when you get a letter in the post, summoning you to an “invitation only” event organised for Their Royal Highnesses William, The Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge!

Kate Middleton and Prince William – the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, greeting fans in Berlin
©DPA

To say I was excited, is to say the very least.

We were all literally jumping up and down!

Of course.

I mean strolling briskly, blushing and flapping slightly. No jumping around, collapsing and screaming.

We are British after all.

I’m British!

And we aim to keep a coolness about us on the outside while in a sense of panic and dismal anxiety on the inside!

What is it to be British?

A few years ago, I wrote a piece about How to Be British. And you were all extremely interested.

Most of the world seem to be fascinated by all things British and Germany is no exception, and who isn’t curious and fascinated by the Brits who actually live in Germany.

Of which I am one!

Berlin – very British – rbb

Need I remind you that I am The British Berliner?

Need I tell you that being British and also living in the city of Berlin makes a rather interesting combination?

And it all makes perfect sense.

Regardless of Brexit, being British is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Britain is the epitome of a nation of history, tradition and fairness.

Being British is to have centuries behind what makes Britain today.

Being British is to welcome and linger on what is old such as cream teas, strawberries in the summer, and cricket as well as what is new, such as an Indian curry, the Notting Hill Carnival and BritPop!

At the Jane Austen Festival

Being British is to understand the issue of what is fair, true and right and what it is to be “a true gentleman,” to keep your word and be “a real lady.”

Being British is surely not about winning the race and becoming first, but about taking part, and shaking the hand of your opponent in “good combat.”

On the cricket field at one of my best friend’s wedding on the Isle of Wight.
In the UK! ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Being British is about getting the first round in of a pint of beer, drinking champagne on a sunny day in the park and drinking Pimms on a cricket pitch during a wedding, on the Isle of Wight.

Yes, being British means being the people from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the surrounding islands of the United Kingdom, fifteen (15) other realms from the Commonwealth which include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, fourteen (14) British Overseas Territories including Gibraltar, Bermuda and the Falkland Islands, seven (7) Australian external territories, two (2) New Zealand dependent territories, two (2) New Zealand associated states, and previously Hong Kong that was ceremoniously but reluctantly handed back to China in 1997!

William & Kate in love
©AFP/Getty Images

Being British is accepting that the Royal Family are part and parcel of what makes the United Kingdom unique, and that William and Kate are going to take the monarchy into the next generation of young Brits and Britain today!

Being British means being me!

HOW I MET THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND – PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE!

 

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince William & Prince George
©PA/WireDPA.

I know you want to know all about this but first, just who are William & Kate?

WHO IS PRINCE WILLIAM?

Prince William – the Duke of Cambridge
©Clärchens Ballhaus

Prince William, otherwise known as the Duke of Cambridge, is the second in line to the throne and the elder son of The Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales.

His Royal Highness is married to Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, with whom he has two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

The Duke of Cambridge used to work as an Air Ambulance Pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, in addition to undertaking a number of charitable activities and projects and carrying out public duties in support of The Queen.

WHO IS KATE MIDDLETON?

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge
©Art Fund Museum

Kate Middleton, otherwise known as the Duchess of Cambridge, married Prince William at Westminster Abbey in April 2011.

Her Royal Highness has two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The family’s official residence is Kensington Palace, but Their Royal Highnesses also spend part of the year living on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

As well as undertaking royal duties in support of The Queen, both in the UK and overseas, The Duchess devotes her time to supporting a number of charities and organisations.

Isn’t it funny that even though the Royal Couple have been married for six (6) years, we all still continue to call her Kate Middleton!!

WHY WERE THEY ON A ROYAL VISIT TO GERMANY?

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge – arrive in Berlin with their children – Prince George & Princess Charlotte
©Robin Nunn

Well, it wasn’t only an official visit but one in which the children – Prince George and Princess Charlotte – came along too. And of course, the history of Britain and Germany is pretty long.

Being part German n’ all!

Queen Elizabeth has reigned longer than my namesake – Queen Victoria!

I mean, the Royal Family today stems from the Prussian Bavarian Saxony root of Queen Victoria from the House of Hannover (after whom I am named as another Young Victoria…) and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (in Bavaria, Germany)!

And as Prince William himself said at the exclusive Garden Party to celebrate the Queen’s birthday, hosted at the British Ambassadorial Residence in Berlin, Our visit will reflect, and I hope reinforce, the strong and wide-ranging ties between Britain and Germany. These include political, cultural, historical, commercial, sporting, academic and scientific links. 

Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge at the British Ambassadorial Residence Garden Party in Berlin
©Getty Images

The United Kingdom and Germany proudly share the same values as open and democratic societies, and the same determination to champion those values and to defend them – not least through our very close defence and security partnerships. Today, we share a fundamental interest in the peace and prosperity of the continent of Europe to which we both belong. 

This relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany really matters.  It is the product of many years of working closely together.  It will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union.  I am confident we shall remain the firmest of friends.”

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in their younger days – GB / UK.

And since we all love the Queen, there was a message from her to us, in Germany too.

Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all of you gathered for this special Garden Party, on the occasion of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official visit to Germany.

We have fond memories of our five State Visits to Germany, from our first in 1965 to our most recent in 2015. Over the course of those fifty years, British-German relations have thrived, allowing us to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the 21st century together.

I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will experience the beauty of this country and the warmth of its people when they visit Berlin, Hamburg and Heidelberg.

I hope you all have a most enjoyable evening.

 – Elizabeth R”

You simply can’t get better than that!

THE INVITATION! THE INVITATION!!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Well as you can see above, Prince William and Kate Middleton came to Germany.

Not only that, but yours truly aka – The British Berliner – was one of the distinguished invited guests!

I know!

The invitation was sent to me by the British Ambassador in Berlin, and the Director of the British Council Germany.

Shakespeare Lives and there’s the living proof.
Oh yeah. The skull! ©Frank Böster – The Music Producer – Behind The Couch Studio

I was very honoured.

I received the invitation months ago, but we weren’t allowed to talk about it, so the only person I told, was my brother – The Writer! 

Having said that, you won’t believe how many journalists called my house, and sent me messages asking me about what was going on, where the location was, and even if they could come along as my guest!

I haven’t lost my marbles you know!

Yeah right!

I haven’t lost my marbles you know!

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

Prince William & Kate Middleton – The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge, at Clärchens Ballhaus – Berlin!

Anyhoo.

On the day, I left bright and early as we were given strict instructions that entry would be for only thirty (30) minutes, and after that, no entry for you!

And official invitations plus passports, would be necessary.

That happened quite a few times and security was enormously heavy!

Oh yeah, our venue was in the beautiful 1895 Clärchens Ballhaus. 

Clärchens Ballhaus – One of the last ballrooms in Berlin. Very shabby chic!

The Ballhaus is one of the last originally preserved ballrooms in Berlin, a wonderful authentic piece of history, tradition, and charm. Very shabby chic!

A perfect example of what the Royal Couple, and incidentally, Berlin is all about! 

Once inside, I was offered some champagne and I made my way to the terrace where “everybody” was.

And for the first time ever, I looked around and I couldn’t see a single person that I knew. This event was serious stuff.

Until I did!

Phew!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him!
©Thomas Wlaschiha

And while quaffing more champagne and chatting to people, I noticed a tall man walk quietly in.

Not that man, but Tom Wlaschiha!

If you’re a Game of Thrones nut like I am, you’ll know him as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their their appearance at will…!

I must be one of the world’s biggest nerds, as I was one of the very few people who actually recognised him.

And.

He’s very charming.

Tell me the secrets. Pleeeeease!
©Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha

I tried to get him to tell me some secrets about the plot of Season 7 on Game of Thrones, but he was very professional and wouldn’t reveal anything, so we spoke about the joys and advantages of living in Berlin instead!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

And then we were summoned into the Ballroom.

Could this be it?

Nope!

British DJ Goldierocks – #Royal Visit Germany #Freundship

First, a gathering of cultural celebration.

After all, this visit was about international friendship and so the Director of the British Council Germany – Rachel Launay – came out and spoke a few words of how the evening would be, and to introduce the various factions that made the evening occur, as well as a few guidelines on etiquette regarding the Royal Couple.

And then.

It happened.

And then it happened. Prince William and Kate Middleton just entered the room at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

I saw this tall fellow stride in.

And a few paces behind him was a slim pretty girl.

Yep!

Prince William and Kate Middleton had just entered the room.

Scream!

Silently of course!

Omigosh!

Prince William, & Kate Middleton being walked through by their Aide – Nils Jürgens & Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner on the edge of the photo!
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk
Kate Middleton, Prince William & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

They were huddled to the nearest table which was right next to me!

You can just about see the red cover of my mobile phone peeking out!

Yes!

Next to me!

OMG!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner with the Royal Aide – Nils Jürgens, Kate Middleton, Prince William, & Rachel Launay – Director British Council Germany
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

I was standing right next to their Royal Highnesses, and the only thing standing between Prince William and Kate and myself, was their Aide – Nils Jürgens!

That’s the taller man standing to the right of Kate Middleton. And very good looking he was too. Ahem!

The evening was all a bit of a blur. I’m not easily flustered, but I spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!

I’ll let the photographs speak for themselves but do forgive me, as I wasn’t joking about the blurriness of a shaking hand!

Prince William at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – Duchess of Cambridge & Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Game of Thrones star – Thomas Wlaschiha with Sam Riley at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge & Prince William at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Prince William having a drink & Kate Middleton at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton – the Duchess of Cambridge at Clärchens Ballhaus
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Kate Middleton & Prince William right in front of me at Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

At one point, both William and Kate were standing right in front of me, and I couldn’t pluck up the courage to say a single thing as I didn’t want to seem forward. I just stood there with mouth agape!

For once in my life, I was utterly speechless!

They must have thought I was slighty deranged grinning like a Cheshire Cat and clapping profusely!

They were wonderful.

Kate Middleton & Prince William looking like any other couple having a great time at a party!
©bernd schönberger

And very, very genuine.

A really lovely couple admired and loved, with good reason.

They really were quite delightful indeed.

And their security team were marvellous.

Every single guest that was present, got close-ups and selfies, of the Royal Couple!
© bernd schönberger
Kudos to the security team who were great, didn’t manhandle or scream at anyone, & were wonderfully calm, professional & extremely polite!
©bernd schönberger

Every single guest that was present got close-ups and selfies, and kudos to the security team who were great, who didn’t manhandle or scream at anyone, as you might get at the White House… but were wonderfully calm, professional (just trying to do my job ma’am), and extremely polite.

Prince William and Kate Middleton – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “worked” the room, shook hands with people, went to meet the UK DJ – Goldierocks – and then they were off!

Meanwhile, I had stopped being flustered and looking like a complete idiot, and began to work the room myself, chatting and meeting new people!

Delicious cocktails after Prince William & Kate Middleton left Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
Let’s have cocktails together after Prince William & Kate Middleton left Clärchens Ballhaus!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

We all drank a few cocktails, and patted ourselves on the back on a very successful evening!

Then I took the tram around the corner, and in twenty-four (24) minutes I was home!

What a charming evening!

Wow!

My garden. Notice the bunting in the background!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner

Thanks for inviting me!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

HOW I MET THE FUTURE KING OF ENGLAND – PRINCE WILLIAM, KATE & THE MANY-FACED GOD!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my absolute royal own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

Will you?

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!
© British Council – Lydia Ciesluk

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!

Have you ever met Prince William or Kate Middleton? Were you amazed by my news? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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