Top Five Places to See During a Short Stay in Toronto

Each year Toronto in Canada receives a reported 9.8 million overnight visitors from over 200 different countries. This means that it is an ideal place for a fantastic overnight vacation and it is full of wonderful places to see and visit during a short stay.

There are many places to visit and see but for a short visit, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite and top 5:

1. Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is home to over 5,000 animals and treats its guests to daily tours and talks with animal’s keepers and year-round events. Visitors can look at over 460 species of animals while touring this expansive zoo and see award-winning exhibits of rare animals such as the Gorilla Rainforest, the Great Barrier Reef and the 10-acre Tundra Trek which is home to arctic animals. For short stays in Toronto, parents and children can enjoy live animal shows and view endangered African penguins from below in the zoo’s new underwater viewing area.

2. CN Tower

Listed as one of the American Society of Civil Engineers “Wonders of the Modern World,” the CN Tower is an ideal place to visit while enjoying a short stay in Toronto. Guests can experience a wonderful dining experience with world-class entertainment while looking out at a complete view of the city of Toronto. Visitors can look out on a glass floored balcony 342 m above the ground and participate in watching a 3D film or motion theater ride.

Photo of Toronto Skyline by SanGatiche on Flickr

3. Centre Island

Only ten minutes outside of busy Toronto, Centre Island is a car free community that offers its guests a place of fun and relaxation in the form of an amusement park and beaches. Visitors to this small lakeside island can experience several delicious restaurants, a thrilling amusement park and a world free of hustling and bustling cars, making this the perfect get-a-way for an overnight vacation.

4. Royal Ontario Museum

A short stay in Toronto is not complete without a visit to Canada’s largest museum, featuring natural history and worldly artifacts. Commonly referred to as ROM, the Royal Ontario Museum has exhibits and galleries featuring dinosaurs, ancient Egypt and live animal shows as well as exhibits about Canada’s first inhabitants and earthly minerals and gems. Travelers can experience Canada in a one-of-a-kind way that will complete any short stay in the “Queen’s City.”

Photo of Royal Ontario Museum by lt_paris on Flickr

5. Hockey Hall of Fame

If you’re a hockey fan, one site you need to visit while in Toronto is the Hockey Hall of Fame. The hall of fame is full of interactive exhibits that educate adults and children on hockey, the National Hockey League and the rules of the game. Guests can be sports broadcasters in a unique experience of calling famous hockey games in the exhibit of Broadcast Pods and visit mock trophy and lockers rooms while reliving famous hockey moments in history. The Hockey Hall of Fame is the best place to finish off a fun stay in Toronto.

Author Bio: Dan Patterson works for CityPASS. Check out the list of attractions in the Toronto CityPASS and you’ll see how using CityPASS will help you save on admission to some of the top attractions in Toronto.

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Discovering the Beautiful City of Chester

We recently spent a long weekend in the historic city of Chester in Cheshire. The cobbled streets and unique Tudor buildings immediately make you feel as though you’re in one of England’s most historic and picturesque cities, reminding us very much of York. We walked on the famous city walls, strolled through the Cathedral grounds, shopped in the Chester Rows and relaxed in one of the quaint pubs, taking in the sights and sounds of this beautiful place.

The following day we visited the zoo! Chester Zoo has long been named as the UK’s number one zoo and as animal lovers, we just had to go! We spent 6 hours here and can honestly say it is the best zoo we’ve ever been to!

Below are some snaps of the weekend …

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Events Not to be Missed this August Bank Holiday

It’s that time of year again where we’re all looking forward to a long weekend as the August bank holiday arrives! Many of you will be jetting off to sunnier climates whilst the rest of us are stuck in the UK preparing for another washout. OK, so the weather’s not looking good, but why stay indoors? There are some fantastic events taking place all over the UK, and  you don’t want to waste your extra day off by sitting in front of the televison now do you?

If you didn’t manage to get tickets to Leeds, Reading or Creamfields, don’t worry, there’s plenty of other exciting events to choose from! Here are some events that you really shouldn’t miss this bank holiday:

Notting Hill Carnival

Europe’s largest festival is back! Taking place this Sunday and Monday, the Notting Hill Carnival brings the streets of West London alive with twenty miles of colourful costumers, Caribbean food stalls, Calypson music and steel bands! You’d be mad to miss this!

Edinburgh Festival

The world’s largest arts festival comes to an end this weekend, all the more reason to hurry and see it! Scotland’s capital city is once again host to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where thousands of performers take to a number of different stages all over Edinburgh to present some amazing shows covering everything from theatre and comedy to dance, music and exhibitions.

Durham Streets Festival

On Saturday and Sunday, the streets of this historic city will be filled with international musicians and street performers in the Durham Streets of Festival. The Futureheads will also be performing at Durham Cathedral on the Saturday, playing songs from their new a cappella album, Rant.

Liverpool International Beatles Festival

Celebrate every era of the fab four during International Beatles Week from the 22nd to 28th August. The programme includes the 20th Mathew Street Festival as well as gigs, exhibitions, memorabilia stalls and sightseeing tours.

West Dean Chilli Fiesta

Held at West Dean Gardens in West Sussex, this Chilli Fiesta is the largest event of its kind in the country. Running from Saturday to Bank Holiday Monday, the event gives devoted chilli fans (like us!) the chance to immerse themselves in the heat, flavour, history and variety of the chilli, with over 250 varieties to try! There’s also plenty of entertainment including salsa dancing and cocktails!

Manchester Pride Parade

The Manchester Pride Parade takes place this Saturday to coincide with Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend. Amongst the great music, comedy, clubs and bars, the carnival will invade the streets of Manchester with over 100 colourful floats and glamourous participants!

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A Trip to High Street, The Lake District

In July, we spent a long weekend in the beautiful Lake District. Having only ever read about this stunning part of England, I knew what to expect and boy did it live up to expectations! The scenery really is breathtaking and although the mountains and lakes create a dramatic presence, there’s something quite calm and tranquil about this place.

As well as spending time visiting the charming towns and villages of Keswick and Grasmere, we did plenty of walking! After all, this destination is famous worldwide for being a walker’s paradise, it would have been rude not to!

One hike in particular that was most memorable was walking High Street,  a mountain standing at 2,718 ft. It is named after the Roman built road that ran over the summit and is the only high street I know that doesn’t consist of any shops, at all!

The 8 mile walk took around 5 – 6 hours and although it was exhausting climbing up, reaching its summit and witnessing the spectacular views was totally worth it!

Here are some of the photos we took along the way;

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5 Incredible Places Worth Visiting in England

London has a lot to offer the first time traveller to England, especially in 2012, but there are hundreds of little towns and cities tucked comfortably in and all through England; so beautiful, you might not ever want to leave.

Of course it can depend on the time of year you choose to visit.  The countryside is diverse and dependent on weather, such as the South East England being full of cherry blossoms and daffodils in March. So do a little research for the time of year you choose to visit.

Here are five incredible places we thought were worth mentioning:

1. Bath

It’s funny that every time you ask anyone who has spent extensive time, or even just a few weeks in England, where they think the most beautiful place to visit in England is. Inevitably they come around to mentioning Bath.  It is known as one of the most beautiful historic cities in the world. Maybe it’s the 2,000-year-old pavements surrounding the Roman baths that are fed by natural hot springs, or the West Country or Stonehenge?  The 18th Century architecture, Roman remains and green landscapes couldn’t hurt either. The point is that this place offers everything from history and excitement to pure relaxation and romance.  And according to experts and visitors over the years, it is well worth the trip.

Roman Baths in Bath, England. Sourced by writer.

2. Stratford-upon-Avon

If the 16th century buildings in Stratford-upon-Avon isn’t enough to draw you to this amazing place, perhaps the fact that William Shakespeare was born here just might.  The cottage where he was born can be toured and you can also pay your respects to this literary genius at the Holy Trinity Church, where he and his beloved wife Anne Hathaway were buried (no not the actress). This lovely place offers a market town with over 800 years of history, and a variety of farmers markets, quaint shops, pretty accommodation and restaurants. Be sure to take in a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

3. Isles of Scilly

This is a treasure trove of five islands and many other rocky islets just off Lands End, the South-westerly point of the British Isles.  The climate is mild, the beaches are golden and soft and it is literally a haven of peace and tranquillity loved by most everyone who visits. Marriages can be performed at the historic St. Mary’s and include luxury horse-drawn carriages.  Or why not take a boat trip to one of the uninhabited islands? For the more energetic, rent a bike to tour this beautiful place.

Higher Town bay beach, St. Martins Isles of Scilly. Sourced by writer.

4. Salisbury

Home to the famous Stonehenge, Salisbury has a history dating over 5,000 years. In this amazing and versatile city, nestled in southern England’s heartland, there’s something for everyone. Some other great places to visit are the Salisbury Cathedral, a number of amazing stately homes and beautiful gardens, and numerous farm parks and award winning museums. Some places in Salisbury date back to the 13th century and some of these places are now restaurants and pubs.  There is a lot of shopping on offer including street markets and shopping malls and the walking and biking opportunities in the area are superb.

5. York

Since York is one of the world’s oldest cities and was in existence during medieval times, there’s plenty of history and beautiful architecture to see here. You might catch a Viking ghost in a historic castle tour or perhaps you’d prefer to visit the biggest Gothic medieval cathedral north of the Alps. There are several museums, the Jarvis Viking Centre, which is full of history, as well as jewellery, and sea fossils.  William the Conqueror built Clifford’s Tower in 1069 and if you climb to the top you’ll get some fantastic panoramic views so be sure to take a trip here!

York Minster

Author Bio: Kristy Alexander is an avid traveller, writer for HotelClub and history buff. She enjoys the thrills of a new adventure and the culture she is able to enrich her children with. Be sure to check out hotels in York with HotelClub for some great options on you next trip.

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