A medieval town
Sunday, 15 January 2012 by MB in Labels: ,

Long ago many towns had walls around them. As you walked round a town you came every hundred yards or so to towers that stood out from the walls and rose high above them, so that no enemy could come up to the wall. On each side of the gates the towers were higher and stronger than usual. From a long way off it was possible to see the church towers rising high above the red-tiled roofs of the houses.

On busy days the roads leading to the gates of the town were crowded. Farmers came to sell cheese, butter, eggs and other things to the citizens. The toll collector stood at the gates. The farmers had to pay duty on everything they brought in for sale.
Let's look at the streets and shops. The shops were places where people made things as well as sold them. They had no glass windows. Across the front of each shop there ran the counter with different things exposed for sale on it. The shopkeepers stood behind them. All of them shouted without stopping: "What can I do for you?"

Some of the houses of the town were built of stone and wood, just like old houses in some of the present-day villages. Sometimes the ground floor wall was made of stone and had small windows. The door was broad, made of tough wood. The first storey overhung the ground floor, and had rather big windows, and the roof was covered with tiles.

The people wore strange clothes. The streets were very dirty because they were never swept up. But everybody seemed jollier than the Englishmen who walk the streets nowadays. Perhaps they made a living more easily than we do. Perhaps they troubled themselves less about the things we think important. They had more time to do things they liked than we have, because they did not spend all day at business. No wonder old England is called "Merry England".

British tourist towns and cities
Thursday, 5 May 2011 by MB in Labels: , , ,

Many of Britain's historic towns and cities are important tourist centres. They are very important in attracting large numbers of foreign visitors to Britain. London is Britain's most important tourist centre. Day visitors and British and foreign holiday-makers are attracted to London by its historic buildings, ceremonial events, museums, art galleries, theatres, shops and special tourist attractions.

York is one of Britain's most important tourist cities. It has a long history and many buildings survived from the Middle Ages when it was one of Britain's largest cities. Its major attractions to visitors are: Minster Library, Treasurer's House, St William's College, Art Gallery, St Mary's Abbey, Yorkshire Museum, Wax Museum, the Shambles (medieval street) and many others. It has major museums besides many historic buildings.

Bradford is a city which has made great efforts to develop tourism. It promotes itself as a centre for touring the surrounding area. For many visitors, Bradford has much to offer. You can discover its history and industrial heritage, spend time in the city's museums and galleries which include the National Museum of Photography, Film and TV — Britain's newest national museum. You can also hunt for textile bargains in the millshops.

Beyond the city centre, Bradford encompasses open moors and valleys. The villages have their own attractions: Haworth, the Worth Valley steam railway; Saltaire, the Victorian "model" village.

Historic towns which attract many visitors face difficult decisions when planning for the future. Their residents expect services and amenities to be developed just as in other towns. This needs to be done while still conserving the historic buildings and their features which attract the visitors. Old town centres with narrow streets are unsuitable for the smooth flow of traffic. The pressure of visitors may lead to other problems such as litter, inadequate car parking, accommodation shortages and the development of some tourist attractions and shops which do not fit in with the character of old towns.