Tag Archives: England

Rare Medieval text printed by William Caxton found in Reading University archives

Pages printed more than 500 years ago by William Caxton rediscovered in an archive have been hailed as a “thrilling” find.

One of two pages of a 15th century printed text by English printer William Caxton which have been unearthed at the university 


The Best Architecture Photos Of The Year

Overall Runner-Up: Dalian Congress Centre, China by Coop Himmelblau Architects


Reindeer Pavilion, Norway, by Snohetta


Continue reading The Best Architecture Photos Of The Year

UK’s ‘most desirable’ postcodes revealed

The most desirable postcodes in England, Scotland and Wales have been revealed by Royal Mail.

The firm evaluated the employment opportunities, quality of health and education, crime rates and housing affordability of areas across Britain.

The garrison town of Tidworth, in Wiltshire – postcode SP9 – was crowned the best place to live in England.

Picturesque: The view over Salisbury Plain from Tidworth Hill

G44, on Glasgow’s south side, topped the Scottish table, while LL78, Brynteg on the Isle of Anglesey, won for Wales.

The study, carried out to mark the 40th anniversary of the postcode, was conducted in conjunction with the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

It took the following factors into account, using data from government agencies, the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry

  • Employment opportunities
  • Health
  • Education and training opportunities
  • Levels of crime
  • Homelessness
  • Household overcrowding
  • Ease of access to local services
  • Quality of the physical environment
  • Housing affordability

Polo in Tidworth
Tidworth is famous for its polo clubs

In England, Tidworth, on the edge of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, came first. The town is widely known for its military barracks, as well as for its polo club, which is frequented by the royal family.

5 most desirable postcodes in England

1. Tidworth, Wiltshire (SP9)
2. Yateley, Hampshire (GU46)
3. St Bees, Cumbria (CA27)
4. Middlewich, Cheshire (CW10)
5. Earley, Berkshire (RG6)line break Despite being near a nuclear power station, Largs in Scotland is a popular resort

Despite being near a nuclear power station, Largs in Scotland is a popular resort

The south side of Glasgow was named the most desirable place to live in Scotland. An affluent residential neighbourhood, G44 is home to golf courses and parks.

5 most desirable postcodes in Scotland

1. South Glasgow (G44)
2. Erskine, Renfrewshire (PA8)
3. Largs, Ayrshire (KA30)
4. Menstrie, Clackmannanshire (FK11)
5. Port Askaig, Isle of Islay (PA46)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent their first years of marriage on Anglesey

Brynteg, on the Isle of Anglesey off the coast of north-west Wales, topped the charts in that country. The village, home to fewer than 2,000 people, offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, and is a popular holiday destination.

5 most desirable postcodes in Wales

1. Brynteg, Isle of Anglesey (LL78)
2. Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan (CF61)
3. Llanidloes, Powys (SY18)
4. Caldicot, Monmouthshire (NP26)
5. North West Swansea, West Glamorgan (SA4)line break

There are around 1.8 million postcodes across the UK, covering a total of over 29 million addresses.

The combination of letters and numbers was chosen because it was considered easier to remember that a string of either numbers or letters on their own.

Formquadrat develops fines a foldable floating island boat (PHOTOS)

formquadrat develops fines a foldable floating island boat

requiring little space in marinas or docks, ‘fines’ by austrian-based studio formquadrat is a foldable, multi-hull concept for 4-6 people. the flexible boat, complete with folded hull option offers optimal traveling dimensions that when unfolded has more space and freedom to move around on deck than most boats. based on the notion of creating a mobile, individual well being oasis, the floating device gives on the option of leaving overcrowded beaches behind, while still having enough space and comfort. the three section hull is arranged according to use, when it is closed, the three elements are interlocked into each other, creating a compact size of 2.6m wide and 7m long. in this closed state the desired destination can be reached quickly and efficiently.

when the location has been reached, the tucked away boot is raised by a tense rope, pressing the side hull elements to a width of 7 meters apart. large lounging areas in the front can also be pulled out, creating chairs and a table – with a fully integrated grill for cooking inserted into the middle. swivel components provide additional stability and help to make an open and spacious area with a lower level at the back – the system is constructed so it aligns to the waves, yet remains stable.

Tax haven buyers set off property alarm in England and Wales

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: A man hangs a property for sale sign in a shop front in Sydenham on October 8, 2013 in London, England. The Government launched their 'Help to Buy' scheme today, which is hoped will enable first time buyers who can afford only small deposits to buy a home with only a 5% deposit. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

At least £122bn of property in England and Wales is held through companies in offshore tax havens where ownership is difficult to trace, a Financial Times analysis of Land Registry data has found.

The figure – more than the total value of all housing stock in Westminster and the City of London – reveals for the first time the detail of the scale of offshore property ownership in the UK. It raises concern that London property in particular has become a haven for dirty money from around the world.

“Property is a key risk area for the UK,” says Robert Barrington, executive director of Transparency International UK. “From Abacha to Marcos and the Gaddafis, corrupt leaders have used shell companies and trusts to hide their identities and safeguard stolen fortunes, often in property.”

Nearly two out of three of the 91,248 foreign-company owned properties in England and Wales are held via the British Virgin Islands and Channel Island structures. Just under two-thirds of the offshore-owned property by value is in Greater London, with 27 per cent in the City of Westminster. The Land Registry data do not allow a breakdown between residential and commercial property.

When Prime Minister David Cameron last year announced that details of who owned UK-based companies would be made publicly accessible, the government highlighted the need for transparency to tackle tax evasion, money laundering and other crimes.

Yet Land Registry records show only the owner or entity holding a property, not the ultimate owner of the company through which the asset is held.

Transparency International has called for the introduction of a list of beneficial ownership of property to mirror the UK government’s push to reveal the owners behind British companies.

Anti-money laundering regulations require estate agents and lawyers to carry out due diligence on those involved in property transactions, which includes making checks on beneficial ownership. But doing so can be difficult.

“When you have a company hidden offshore, it is I think almost impossible for your average estate agent to find out what on earth is going on,” says Peter Bolton King, global residential director at Rics. “You have to make a professional judgment whether you are satisfied with the information that you are provided with.”

During the 2011 Libyan revolution, it emerged that the late Libyan dictator Muammer Gaddafi’s son Saadi owned a £10m London mansion through an offshore vehicle. Many of London’s “trophy houses”, including Witanhurst, a 65-room mansion overlooking Hampstead Heath, are owned by offshore companies whose ultimate owners are hidden. Witanhurst is registered to Safran Holdings, an offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

You have to make a professional judgment whether you are satisfied with the information that you are provided with– Peter Bolton King, global residential director at Rics

Besides offering privacy to individuals and companies, BVI and the Channel Islands are attractive because of their tax regimes, and because of their strong ties with London’s banking and business community and their robust judicial systems. The 128 jurisdictions of choice for property investors include more unusual ones such as Iran and Niue, the tiny South Pacific island nation.

A Land Registry official said there were no plans to introduce a register of beneficial ownership of property and that it would be “misleading to suggest that registering land or property in a company name amounts to allowing individuals to conceal information on the register for illicit purpose”.

The total value of offshore ownership of property is likely to be considerably higher than £122bn. Limitations on how the Land Registry holds the data mean the true picture is difficult to ascertain. More than a third of the data provided by the Land Registry do not contain a purchase price. The Land Registry does not capture price information when properties change hands through the purchase of an offshore corporate vehicle for example.

Little Rooms: Tiny Houses Offer A Unique Hotel Experiencea

Many a visitor to the big city has had the same experience: tiny, sterile hotel rooms that make your bedroom at home look like a mansion.

If you had the choice to stay in cozy accommodations, why not pick somewhere that offers a one-of-a-kind experience? Enter the tiny house hotel.

Tiny houses have become the rage in home building in recent years. These compact abodes are economical, have all the necessary accoutrements and offer their owners a way to reduce their carbon footprint.

Now, that phenomenon has continued into lodging. Instead of staying in cramped hotel rooms with little to no character, try these tiny houses that have all the comforts of home.

Warwickshire house

Warwickshire Tiny Wood Houses, Warwickshire, England

Situated in central England on a working farm, these two dog-friendly homes–constructed of Douglas Fir and steel–are compact but maximize their use of space. One home has two floors, with a living room boasting a wood-burning fireplace.

A veranda provides a perfect place to BBQ in the summer. The second home has a hot tub on the ground floor and sleeping accommodations on the top floor. Both have central heat for those cold fall nights and are less than two miles from the nearest town, should you need to hit the local pub.

Bayside Bungalow

The Bayside Bungalow, Olympia, Washington

On the banks of the Puget Sound lies The Bayside Bungalow, a 160-square-foot home handcrafted by local, Brittany Yunker. Situated on a hill amidst fruit trees and Douglas Firs, the Bayside Bungalow boasts modern amenities, just on a smaller scale.

A small fridge, cooktop and french press coffee maker makes one think of home. As you nestle in the cozy sleeping loft and gaze at the night sky through the skylight, you’ll keep warm via the gas fireplace. Two fire pits near the property are perfect for roasting marshmallows on a cold night.

Caravan Portland

Caravan Tiny House Hotel, Portland, Oregon

The only tiny house hotel in the world can be found in Portland, Oregon, natch. Located in the artsy Alberta District in NE Portland, Caravan doesn’t just offer one house but six, ranging in size from 100 to 200 square feet. The bespoke abodes cater to adventurous travelers who are looking for a unique experience without the fuss of a normal hotel.

Each wooden home boasts stained glass and recycled artwork, electric heat, full kitchens and flush toilets. One home has a sloping wagon roof while another looks like a train caboose while another has an expansive shed roof. Guests of the complex share a BBQ, fire pit and hammock. This being Portland, you’re never far from the action. Take a walk three blocks and you’re in the heart of one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

A Man’s Emotional First Flight at the Age of 57

WATCH: A Man’s Emotional First Flight at the Age of 57
A tear-jerker of a first flight. (Photo: Michelle Carville/Facebook)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take your first flight — ever — at the age of 57? On a plane ride from Dublin to Liverpool, England, Michelle Carville taped her father Patsy’s reaction to his maiden journey. In the charming three-minute video, he laughs, he cries, he grabs the seat in front of him, he even utters a few NSFW phrases.

Patsy, a resident of the tiny Northern Ireland town of Newry was on his way to attend his other daughter’s graduation in Liverpool. A few highlights include the moment around the 50-second mark, when he looks out the window and starts dabbing his eyes, then later at 1:13, when he is so overwhelmed by the experience that his daughter asks if he is alright.

In an era when flying can be so stressful, this is a great reminder of the wonder of flight.