All posts tagged 'travel'

Curious Margate

by The Fly Away American (in Kent), with Jessica Galbraith Thursday, June 20 2013

This week I got to know the lovely city of Margate, a delightful seaside town with nostalgic charm and a promising future. I have been wanting to visit the Turner Contemporary Museum for some time now, and decided to combine it with a look around Margate's biggest attractions. I really love this town. The beach is wonderful, the history is even better, and there seems to be some kind of re-emergence in the air which is energizing as a visitor. My tour of Margate began at the Turner Contemporary but took me to the other 'curious' places in Margate as well including the Margate Shell Grotto, Margate Old Town, and the Walpole Bay Hotel. 

Turner Contemporary, Margate

The Turner Contemporary is currently exhibiting Curiousity: Art and Pleasures of Knowing. It is a quirky exhibit that explores the world of human curiousity through historical artefacts, art, and some really random displays. There are several Leonardo da Vinci sketches, (although they looked like doodles), a penguin that was collected by Ernest Shakleton on his Antarctic expedition, a very strange series on mysterious deaths that show corpses in miniature doll rooms, and much more weird and strange curiousities.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Turner Contemporary, and the Curiousity exhibit was one of the best I have seen in a long time. Don't miss the stuffed walrus, it is incredible! The Curiousity: Art and the Pleasure of Knowing exhibit is running until September 15, 2013. The museum is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-6pm. Admission is free.





In the theme of the Curiousity exhibit at Turner Contemporary, several local businesses have joined in on the 'Curious Margate' tour. As you walk along the streets, any place that offers something strange or unusual is displaying a 'Curious Margate' window sticker to let visitors know there is something cool to check out. The main places that are recomended are Margate's historical Old Town, the High Street, Shell Grotto, and the Walpole Bay Hotel in nearby Cliftonville.








If you ask me, the Shell Grotto is a curioustiy of England, not just Margate or Kent. I had been to Margate's mysterious Shell Grotto before, and it never disappoints. There are over 3.6 million sea shells adorning the grotto walls, and nobody knows how or why they got there. A walk through the caverns to see these beautiful mosaics is just incredible. The Shell grotto wasn't discovered until 1835, and the efforts to date the shells or determine their origin have been inconclusive. If you visit one place in Margate, this should be it. The Margate Shell Grotto is one of Kent's coolest hidden gems. Admission for the Shell Grotto is a very reasonable £3, opening hours are from 10am- 5pm everday through summer.





 

My last stop was at the Walpole Bay Hotel, an Edwardian era hotel with a really neat  living history museum. The Walpole Bay Hotel is approximately a 20 minute walk from Turner Contemporary, along the coast. There are 4 floors at the Wadpole, and the hallways on each are overflowing with antiques from a bygone era. My first impression of the museum was that it was highly disorganized, items strewn here and there, stacked on top of each other in tiny rooms. This quickly grew on me though and became part of its charm. Expect to see anything and everything at the Wadpole Bay, closets stacked with dozens of old typewriters, nurse uniforms from World War I, old urinals, ancient sweepers, and even an assortment of gloves that cover 200 years of fashion pinned to the hallway wall. The highlight is the working elevator from 1927, which you can ride to the 3rd floor and see the mechanical workings at the very top. There are no tour guides here and the receptionist will kindly let you wander to your hearts content. The Walpole Bay Hotel Living Museum is open everyday, year round, from 10am-5pm.



If you are on a budget or just looking for a great day out in Kent, go explore the 'curious' of Margate. Most of the attractions are free, and an afternoon on the sandy beach is well worth the trip alone. This weekend the Margate Jazz Festival will be on, for the 8th consecutive year. See you next week for the next installment of my travels around Kent!

 

Summer Events in Folkestone

by The Fly Away American (in Kent), with Jessica Galbraith Thursday, June 13 2013

Did anyone catch the Red Arrows in Folkestone this past weekend? The weather was beautiful, the crowds were large, and the show was magnificent. Well, for the first five minutes. Admittedly I am not much of a plane, car, motorcycle type girl. I really enjoyed the Red Arrows, I did, but my attention span can sometimes fail me. Regardless, I had a fabulous day out with friends. Barbecuing at The Leas Coastal Park is just about my favorite thing in the world. It was windy, but then again- when isn't it? It was really a shame that the city wasn't able to profit from the thousands of people who came out, I seriously considered running down to ASDA and setting up a hot dog stand on the promenade. I would have made a killing


This weekend (Tomorrow through Sunday) Folkestone will be hosting the Folkestone Multicultural Festival, three days of dancing, food, and music representing regions from all over the world. I usually go for the food. Last year, I had the best Nepalese food on the planet- no joke. I have dreams about it sometimes. Not a bad option if you are looking for something to do this weekend. I am always happy to see local events going on, and do my best to show up and support the organizations that put these things together. Here is the schedule for the event: Folkestone Multi-Cultural Festival


Next weekend the inaugural Folkestone Fish Festival will take place. The Whitstable Oyster Festival is my favorite event in Kent all summer, so I am hoping this one in Folkestone really gains some momentum. Many of the local businesses (Rocksalt, yum.) will be down at Folkestone Harbor with stands of food, drinks and random stuff.  I will be attending the South East Airshow next Saturday, but will be down at the Fish Festival on Sunday for the Blessings of the Fishes. I am intrigued to witness the process of blessing a fish. 


I will be all over Kent this summer, but thought I would start off letting you all know what is going on around my neighborhood! 


 

 

 

The Fly Away American (in Kent)

by The Fly Away American (in Kent), with Jessica Galbraith Thursday, June 13 2013

Hello KentOnline readers!

 

Welcome to my inaugural post here on KentOnline. This blog will follow my travels around Kent, as well as the UK. I am visiting new attractions, taking part in fun acitivities, and attending events around Kent every week. Check in every Thursday for my 'Travel Thursday' column. I will give you tips, share my sucessess and failures, and write about living in Kent as an American expat. 


The short and sweet: My name is Jessica, I am originally from a small town in Texas. (Population >300) I studied Asian Studies at University where I met my other half who was studying abroad from Holland. After a few years of dating, I moved with our daughter to a suburb of Amsterdam. Two years ago we relocated to Folkestone, which we absolutely love!


I look forward to sharing my travel experiences with all of you. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @flyawayamerican and Facebook  as well as my main blog The Fly Away American.


Don't forget to share your suggestions on the best places to see in Kent!

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Budget | Facebook | Family Life | Football | History | Nostalgia | Tourism | travel | kent

County Hall and the chauffeur saga

by Paul on Politics, by political editor Paul Francis Friday, March 9 2012

AS MPs discovered to their cost when the expenses scandal unravelled, perceptions are rather important when it comes to the public making judgements about the way in which elected politicians act and behave.

Auditor accepts that admin errors were to blame for councillors expenses mistakes>>>

KCC will no doubt hope that the outcome of a prolonged investigation into complaints about how some councillors have used private taxis and the authority's own chauffeur-driven cars will draw a line under what has, frankly, been a messy saga.

The district auditor says he accepts KCC's explanation that administrative errors were to blame for mistakes made when a small number of councillors submitted claims for travel in their own car when they had actually been travelling in a taxi or chauffeur-driven car.

His eight-page report records that the princely sum of £430.80 has been repaid for these administrative errors by among others, the deputy leader Alex King and the former KCC chairman Bill Hayton.

On the issue of whether Cllr King was within the council's own rules when he used taxis and council cars for a string of meetings to London's St Stephen's Club and the Atrium restaurant, the auditor writes: "I have no evidence to suggest that this explanation is untrue".

So, in the strict sense, the only reason KCC has had a mild rap on the knuckles is because of administrative errors.

But the sensitivity around the issue is reflected by the fact that KCC and the leader Paul Carter "have accepted the use of chauffeur-driven cars for private purposes is inappropriate and have stopped this practice."

And we have already reported how the deputy leader was advised to stop using them to travel to and from his home as there was a question mark over the rules.

Had there not been an investigation triggered by a member of the public, it is highly likely that the council would have continued to allow the practice.

Whether you consider it necessary for county councillors to have access to chauffeur-driven cars or not, KCC has not exactly covered itself in glory over the matter. There may be an argument to be made that providing senior councillors with access to chauffeur-driven cars on some occasions is sensible, especially if the costs of paying members expenses would leave the taxpayer with a higher bill.

But KCC appears to have lost sight of how these things can appear, especially at a time when taxpayers are struggling with bills and pay freezes and indeed many of its own staff face redundancy.

It needs to ensure not just that councillors know the rules, but that the public can be reassured that whatever arrangements are in place, they are not susceptible to abuse or exploitation.

 

Tags: , , ,
Categories:

Got a bee in your bonnet?

Bloggy BeeIf you have a voice, and would like it to be heard, why not consider writing a blog for our site?

Click here to send us a message and let us know!

Welcome to our blogs!

Our Blogs

Tag cloud

Topics of Conversation