Category Archives: Weather and Travel

One year on from Storm Desmond

Major Incident Declared As Storm Desmond Wreaks Havoc In Cumbria

More than 700 families have yet to be re-homed following the devastating affects of Storm Desmond in Cumbria this time last year. Cumbria County Council say that the storm will cost the local economy up to £5oo million in damages.

The three-month period between November 2015 and January 2016 was the wettest on record with 341.4mm of rain fall in just 24 hours in parts of Carlisle.

Thousands of homes and businesses were ruined in wake of the storm which bought tercentennial downpours, landslides and river bank eruptions. Many people living in the affected areas have not been able to repair the damages and are either still living in temporary accommodation or living in flooded houses and are unable to claim on their home insurance.

The Cumbria Community Foundation, which was set up in light of Storm Desmond has received over 5000 appeals for help and it has awarded more that £7 million pounds to victims of the flooding in compensation.

Although the financial cost of the storm is huge its nothing compared to the humane cost of the disaster. A study into the affects of the storm has been published a year after the floods hit.

The study’s lead Author, Terry Marsh from the Center of Ecology and Hydrology concluded that: “At a national scale the winter floods of 2015-1016 were the most extreme on record. The November to January period was the wettest three-month sequence in the UK rainfall series – which began in 1910.”

 

London Weather Forecast for Friday 2nd December – Sunday 4th December

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The weather this evening will be cloudy for much of the night and light showers will move across the country from east to west. Skies will clear later on in the night, bringing a risk of frost and patchy fog. The temperatures will drop to 4 degrees Celsius this evening.

Saturday and Sunday will be mostly dry for many areas and with relatively more sunshine. There will be stronger winds, however, and the areas of the south west and north west will experience patchy rain.

The week will begin on a chilly note for many areas, with the patchy fog from the weekend gradually clearing. There will be sunny spells, but from Tuesday onwards will be much cloudier with rain.

7 Cheap Locations To Visit This Christmas

Looking for somewhere to go to this Christmas but you don’t have much in your bank account? It’s that time of the year where everyone wants to escape from the city for a couple of days either alone or with their loved ones. Whether it’s a brief countryside trip you desire, or even travel abroad, there are always cheap solutions for those who are on a tight budget.

Here are some ideas that might get you going:

  1. If spending a relaxing Christmas with your significant other but without going too far away from London sounds ideal to you, then escaping to Bournemouth is just for you. Just minutes away from the beach, The Royal Bath Hotel offers a one-night stay for two with breakfast for the price of £49. Bournemouth is ideal for those that admire Victorian architecture and beautiful seaside views. Tourists can enjoy plenty of attractions, including beaches, the Lower Gardens and also the renowned Bournemouth Oceanarium.
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The beach at Bournemouth

2. Located at the border between England and Wales, the Wye Valley is a beautiful location for those who would like to experience the woodlands, landscapes and architecture that the area has to offer. The NDAC Wooden Wigwams are an excellent opportunity for those who would like to reconnect with nature and enjoy a trip including various outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and horseback riding. A standard wigwam stay for up to five people (in case you wanted to enjoy a trip with your friends) costs £45 for one night and £75 for two nights. If you don’t want to leave your pets behind, you could pay an extra £5 fee per animal.

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Chepstow Castle at Wye Valley

3. In case you wanted to enjoy a stay at a 17th century English manor house close to London, then staying at the Mercure Letchworth Hall Hotel at Hertfordshire should be one of your options. The hotel offers a stay for two with breakfast, a three-course dinner (on the first night only) and a leisure club access. The price is £99 for one night and £159 for two, which makes it a bit pricier than the previous options – but a fairly good deal! Travelers can enjoy the Gothic architecture of St Alban’s Cathedral or even immerse themselves into Roman history with the Verulamium Museum and the Roman Theatre.

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The Roman Theatre at Hertfordshire

4. Another great holiday spot would be Dublin, where the traveler can appreciate the River Liffey, the old stone bridges, and various avenues and parks. The Best Western Sheldon Park Hotel is an ideal location where the visitor can explore the Irish capital, as it is in close proximity to the Dublin Zoo and downtown Dublin. The price of a two or three night stay ranges from £99 to £179 (depending on the number of nights and dates chosen), including the flights to and from London and spa access.

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Downtown Dublin

5. If a cruise is what you fancy then look no further! Escape the city with a two-night return cruise sailing from Newcastle to Amsterdam in a two to four berth cabin, brought to you by DFDS Seaways. The price is £69 for a two-berth cabin and £116 for a fourth-berth cabin. So, not only do you get to enjoy a cruise, but you also have the chance to go abroad. In Amsterdam, one can enjoy the vibrant nightlife and festivals, along with beautiful Renaissance architecture and cultural events. The capital city of the Netherlands is a convenient place to explore and relax for a few days.

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Snowy Amsterdam

6. From famed historic sites to the vibrant nightlife, Rome is an excellent place to go to this Christmas for a few days if you wish to leave the country. Visitors can enjoy the city’s main attractions such as the Pantheon, the Vatican Museums and the iconic Trevi Fountain and also relish the traditional Italian Christmas ‘Panettone’. The tourists can explore many shops and markets in the Eternal City and enjoy a stroll at night in the iconic streets. The price of the trip is £79, but can increase depending on the number of nights and dates chosen. The price Hotel Saint Paul offers includes two nights in a double room with breakfast and return flights.

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St Peter’s Square in Rome

7. Last but certainly not least, the capital of Hungary is one of the most beautiful places one can visit this Christmas outside the UK. With £69 for a two-night stay including return flights, you can discover the gems of Budapest, while staying at the Hotel Mediterran which is close to the inner city and constitutes a good starting point for exploring the city. There are many things to do in the city, ranging from a stroll along the River Danube to visiting plenty of landmarks like the historic Lajos Kossuth Square and the majestic Parliament Building to name a few.

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Snowy Budapest

Hopefully you might have been inspired from these ideas. Honestly, if one plans their trips out carefully with their budget in mind, most destinations can be adapted to suit everyone’s purse. You just need to do your research and look for the best deals out there! Happy travelling and enjoy your holidays!

Moving to mars – Humans are now closer than ever to colonising the red planet

The prospect of humans moving to Mars has always been an interesting topic for debates. Scientists have been researching the Red Planet for many years and now they have come up with the possibility that humans may inhabit Mars by the 2030s. This poses a very interesting question: how will humans be able to survive on the Red Planet?

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Image of Mars taken from The Daily Mail

Industrial work, gas emissions and litter are among the main threats to our home planet. As a result, climate change is one of the biggest threats to us all which makes the prospects of moving to another planet slightly more real.

Humans have always speculated on how life would be like on Mars, ranging from where we would live to how we will find food and water. In collaboration with Stephen Petranek, the author of “How We’ll Live on Mars”, the astronomers from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich have created the first ever model of a Martian home.

The display gives an insight into where and how we might live on the Red Planet in the next few decades. The igloo-shaped construction would be made of recycled spaceship parts and Martian soil. Inside the home, all the essentials for living on Mars will be included. There would be a space where people could grow their own food, a ‘living room’ area, a bed and even an exercise machine. It is also said that all the houses on Mars would be connected by an underground system.

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Our future home taken from National Geographic

However, the real question is: are humans even close to colonising Mars as the Royal Observatory claims? The astronomer Marios Karouzos states that we are closer than ever, since ‘’science is progressing and our technological abilities are becoming better each year”.

“This doesn’t mean that we are close enough. At this stage, going to Mars requires the same skillset as an astronaut,” he adds.

Going to Mars requires people to be able to respond to any kind of emergency that may arise at any moment. For example, engineering, physics and medicine are among the skills that are essential for humans to survive on Mars. Karouzos also points out that people travelling to Mars “need to be healthy with fully functional bodies”.

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Arriving to Mars taken from National Geographic

In order to survive, humans would have to grow their own food, melt ice for water and produce their own fuel. The physicist and senior lecturer at Imperial College London, Dr David Clements, also says that new developing technologies would create a radiation shielding using magnetic fields as a form of storm shelter. He adds: “It won’t just be a quick ‘stay a couple of days and fly straight back’ job as it was with Apollo”. “There’s a lot of work to be done on Mars itself.”

The plan would also involve a further exploration of the planet. Dr Clements believes there might be geology and maybe even biology by the time we finally colonise Mars. Nevertheless, it is important that humans take precautions and educate themselves on possible hazards we could face before jumping into the unknown.

The astrobiologist and professor of planetary science at Birkbeck University, Ian Crawford believes that people should make sure whether life exists on Mars or not, before sending people there. “I think we should certainly learn more about the composition of the Martian dust”, he says. “That red dust is very oxidised and could be quite toxic. We don’t know, because we’ve never studied it.”

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Rocks on Mars

Crawford stresses that it is crucial to send robotic missions to Mars first, in order to collect samples of rocks and soils and bring them to the Earth and study them. In this way, he says, we can determine the chemistry of the dust and decide whether it is a hazard or not.

While sending people to the Moon was a Cold War competition, moving to Mars should be a political opportunity for international collaboration. Relocating to another planet is something that involves a global effort.

But for now travelling to Mars is still a long way ahead of us. Therefore, we must make sure that our planet stays liveable for as long as possible, working hard to preserve all the natural resources it offers. In the meantime, it is wise to explore all the options that our universe has set aside for us.

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Mars robot

Places in Angel Where You Can Hide From The Rain

1.Angel Central – there is nothing wrong with a little shopping on a rainy day.

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2. Starbucks – there are two Starbucks locations in Angel – one near Wetherspoon Angel, one a few metres from the Angel Central entrance. In addition to the cosy warm atmosphere, you can always feel even warmer with their Christmas themed drinks.

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3. McDonalds – who doesn’t love a double cheeseburger on a rainy day?

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4. Inside the station – Angel Station is a fairly nice place to chill for a few minutes. It is not that crowded most of the time and there is always a poster with a thought of the day, which is bound to make you smile.

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5. The Breakfast Club – what better than a coffee and some pancakes while waiting for the rain to stop? In this cosy little place, the old-school atmosphere will make everyone with a soft spot for last century’s cults feel at home.

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A Travel Destination for Every Season

Spring – Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona has long been a popular tourist destination – with its beautiful beach and magnificent sights. Visit the beautiful Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, or go for a swim in the late spring.

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Barcelona, Guell Park

Summer – Anywhere in Greece

What would be better in the summer than beaches and crystal clear water everywhere? Greece is the perfect summer holiday destination, with its abundance of nice hotels, never-ending beaches and great amount of cultural sights around every corner.

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Greece, Palaiokastro Beach

Autumn – Lisbon, Portugal 

If you want to keep the summer warmth around longer you should visit Portugal. In the capital, there is a great diversity of architecture – going along the river Tejo, you will witness the diversity in Portuguese culture – from the city centre, which stands out with its historical sights, to the Eastern part with its modern architecture.

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Lisbon, Bairro de Alfama

 

Winter – Switzerland

The Swiss Alps are a unique sight, especially when they are covered in snow. Switzerland is perfect for ski lovers, as well as for people who like cosying up in front of fireplaces with their favorite people. The cute little villages scattered around the area are going to make you long to come back.

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Switzerland, Le Chaux-De-Fond

 

 

London Weather Today

The weather in London today is slightly warmer than in the last few days.

However, it is still cloudy and it is going to be like that during the weekend as well, with only few patches of sunlight at some places.

Temperatures around the country vary from 6 C in England and Wales to 8 C in Northern Ireland. However, in the South West it will get – 1 C today.

Here’s the lowdown with Sara Laitinen.