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Unexplained Phenomena

Unexplained Phenomena

  • Posted: Sep 14, 2015
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Britain is not short of mysteries but some are just a little stranger than most. The home of Flicker Spirits and haunted castles the United Kingdom has many unexplained phenomena. Most people will experience something paranormal at least once or twice in their lifetime and the UK has plenty of surprises in store.

TOADS IN THE COAL

unexplained-phenomena-frog

According to official and reputable sources there have been over 90 recorded unexplained cases of amphibians being found alive but fully encased in coal pockets or stone geodes. Of these cases, 40 involved frogs or toads.

The most well respected case is documented in the Reader’s Digest book – “Mysteries of the Unexplained”. There is a pattern to the various discoveries. In most cases the frog is discovered in a chamber full of mucous and is usually very pale or white in colour. After a few minutes exposed to air it comes-to-life and is usually quite active for a short while before turning grey and apparently developing respiratory difficulties. In most cases the animal dies within 24 to 72 hours but there are some references that when these creatures were quickly allowed into fresh pond water they seem to have survived indefinitely.

Logically, these accounts of entombed amphibians seem impossible but it is worth noting that certain frogs do seem to have some ability to enter a state of suspended animation. Also, the most credible accounts of these incidents suggest that the “rocks” may have formed within the past thousands of years rather than millions. Finally, frogs and toads do burrow into soft “muds” that can appear to fossilise quite quickly and, in the correct environment, appear to turn to stone particularly if they are exposed to high levels of mineralised water such as the Petrifying Well of Knaresborough, England.

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The Top Ten Geoglyphs – UK & The World

The Top Ten Geoglyphs – UK & The World

  • Posted: Sep 13, 2015
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Geoglyphs (land pictures) are usually large artworks that have been etched into the landscape and are best viewed from above.. Britain is one of the few countries in the world that has excellent examples of the ancient art form. These are the top ten geoglyph sites - three of which are in the United Kingdom. All of these geoglyphs can be seen using Google Earth.

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The Camping and Caravanning Club

The Camping and Caravanning Club

  • Posted: Sep 13, 2015
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The Camping and Caravanning Club is the world’s oldest and largest Club for all forms of camping.

Founded in 1901, we’re a not-for-profit organisation that today represents more than 500,000 camping and caravanning enthusiasts. Television presenter and outdoor enthusiast, Julia Bradbury, is our Club President.

camping-and-caravanning-julia-bradbury

Julia Bradbury

  We understand the importance of being able to switch off, relax, and enjoy precious moments with people who matter the most. That’s why the Club operates a UK network of more than 100 good-quality, affordable Club Sites, 16 Camping in the Forest sites, and more than 1600 minimum-facility certificated sites. This amounts to a total of more than four million pitch nights available each year.

Whether you fancy a beach-side break or a country retreat, there’s a Club Site for you. Owned and managed by the Club, we can guarantee you’ll find exceptional standards of cleanliness and some of the friendliest places to camp in the UK.

Our Camping in the Forest sites are set in beautiful Forestry Commission woodland, and offer a ‘back-to-nature’ experience.

Alternatively, our Certificated Sites are tucked away in secluded locations, ranging from back-to-basics hideaways in a national park, to full-facility family fun on working farms.

What’s more, if you’re new to camping, or fancy a spot of glamping, we offer a choice of glamping units, including our Ready Camp network of pre-erected tents on 17 UK Club Sites.

They’re perfect for touring without the hassle of hitching up a caravan or pitching a tent. All you need bring are towels and bedding.

“The Club wants more people to enjoy the outdoors and feel the same enthusiasm we feel for it,” says the Club’s Director General, Robert Louden MBE. “Sharing the adventure is hugely important to us.”

By the passion, knowledge and expertise we can impart, The Camping and Caravanning Club can play a major role in making everyone’s camping experience an adventure.

Best Ten British Bands

Best Ten British Bands

  • Posted: Sep 12, 2015
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Here’s the list of the Top Ten British Bands of all time. That’s right – “Bands” – so no solo artists. Please note that in order to qualify as a band the members had to actively play musical instruments. This has ruled out almost all female pop groups such as the Spice girls, All Saints and Bananarama.

You can be absolutely certain that people are going to disagree with these rankings … and if we’d used different criteria then the order would definitely be different. This list was compiled using factors such as originality and social / cultural impact which means that some bands you might expect to see just didn’t make the cut. Also … a big factor is not just the number of #1’s a band achieved but the overall staying power and current interest based on the monthly number of searches carried out though the internet search engines – and you can’t get more democratic than that.

All figures used were based on the best available in the public domain but if you know of a more accurate figure and an official source have we’ll be happy to adjust the scores and re-rank the band. Hope you enjoy.

10. THE KINKS 1964-1996

The Kinks

49%

Recognised as one of the most important British groups in the evolution of the UK music scene, The Kinks continue to attract interest and listeners nearly four decades after they were formed.Originally from Muswell Hill in London, The Kinks achieved tremendous success in Britain and later in America. Active between 1964 and 1996 the band was made up of Ray and Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory. During their career the band notched up three Number One hits in the British Charts: 'You Really Got Me' (1964), 'Tired of Waiting for You' (1965) and 'Sunny Afternoon' (1966). During their career they released a remarkable 24 studio albums and were recognised as an important part of the British invasion that made UK music so popular in the USA

   Current Interest: 49,500 /m   4.00
   Originality: Very Good 8.00
   Longevity:  32 Years 8.00
   Social Impact: High 8.00
   Record Sales: 21,000,000 0.84
   No. 1 British Hits: Three 3.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   31.84

9. OASIS 1991-2009*

OASIS 1991-2009

55%

Oasis were formed in 1991 and rapidly rose to fame with the media often commenting on the similarities between the group and The Beatles. Long term public interest in the group has remained good but not exceptional. Throughout the band's life span it was dominated by the charismatic Gallagher brothers - Liam and Noel - from Manchester. Their sound, not wholly original but nevertheless appealing, drew its inspiration from earlier Rock bands such as The Who, Stone Roses, Bee Gees, Slade and T-Rex. Largely an Alternative Rock group, the band were labeled part of the Britpop movement even though they never wanted this association. They achieved eight Number One Hits in the UK charts which included: 'Some Might Say' (1995), 'Don't Look Back in Anger' (1996), 'D'You Know What I Mean?' (1997), 'All Around the World' (1998), 'Go Let It Out' (2000), 'The Hindu Times' (2002), 'Lyla' (2005) and 'The Importance of Being Idle' (2005). In 2010 the Guinness World Records book listed Oasis as the “Longest Top 10 UK Chart Run by a Group” in the history of music. A remarkable band that for a time dominated the British music scene.

   Current Interest: 60,000 /m   4.00
   Originality: Moderate 6.00
   Longevity:  18 Years 6.00
   Social Impact: Significant 7.00
   Record Sales: 50,000,000 2.00
   No. 1 British Hits: Eight 8.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   33.00

8. GENESIS 1967-1998 | 2006-2013

Genesis - Best British Bands

55.05%

Genesis were formed in 1967 and went on to become one of the best-selling British bands of all time. The key members of the group have included: Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. Other members included: Anthony Phillips, Chris Stewart, John Silver, John Mayhew, Mick Barnard, Steve Hackett and Ray Wilson. Early Genesis music was considered quite experimental but as time progressed the band developed a very recognisable sound based on a combination of Progressive and Symphonic Rock. Officially, the band never achieved a No. 1 hit in the UK but did develop a very large base of loyal fans. Some of the best Genesis music emerged during the first Phil Collins era and included tracks such as: 'Eleventh Earl of Mar' (1971), 'Abacab' (1981) and 'Tonight, Tonight, Tonight' (1986). The longevity of the band is remarkable and as recently as 2007 they performed live in front of 500,000 fans at the Circo Massimo in Rome, Italy.

   Current Interest: 70,000/m   4.00
   Originality: Very Good 8.00
   Longevity:  28 Years 8.00
   Social Impact: Significant 7.00
   Record Sales: 150,000,000 6.03
   No. 1 British Hits: None 0.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   33.03

7. LED ZEPPELIN 1969-1980

Led Zeppelin

55.73%

Formed in London during 1968, Led Zeppelin are considered to be one of the pioneers of the Heavy Metal music genre. At the heart of the group were the music composing skills of guitarist Jimmy Page and the song writing ability of keyboardist John Paul Jones. Other members of the band included: singer, Robert Plant (pictured) and drummer John Bonham. The group never officially achieved a Number One UK hit single but had very significant commercial success with their album releases. Some of the group's most important tracks include: 'Baby I am gonna leave you' (1969), 'Since I have been loving you' (1970), 'Stairway To Heaven' (1971), 'When the Levee Breaks' (1971) and 'Kashmir' (1975). Led Zeppelin are generally accepted as the most influential Heavy Metal band of the 1970's.

   Current Interest: 683,500 /m   9.00
   Originality: Good 7.00
   Longevity:  12 Years 5.00
   Social Impact: Significant 7.00
   Record Sales: 1359000,000 5.44
   No. 1 British Hits: None 0.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   33.44

6. BLACK SABBATH 1967-1998 | 2006-2013

Black Sabbath

56.34%

Black Sabbath are recognised as leaders of the Heavy Metal music movement and set many of the benchmarks by which the music genre would come to be judged over the next five decades. The band was originally made up of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Lommi, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. As with both Led Zeppelin and Genesis the Band never achieved a Number One Hit in the UK charts. However, the overall support for their music was both widespread and enduring. Key tracks included: 'Black Sabbath' (1970),' Laguna Sunrise' (1972), 'Heaven & Hell' (1980) and 'The Shining' (1987). The band had a reputation for addressing occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and social issues such as political corruption and drug abuse. Their reputation for eccentricity and for being the 'Bad Boys' of British Heavy Metal remains unchallenged.

   Current Interest: 90,500 /m   7.00
   Originality: Good 7.00
   Longevity:  38 Years 9.00
   Social Impact: High 8.00
   Record Sales: 70,000,000 2.80
   No. 1 British Hits: None 0.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   33.80

5. THE WHO 1964-1982 | 1988-1989 | 1996-2013

The Who

60%

Created in 1964 by singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend and bassist John Entwistle, The Who soon recruited drummer Keith Moon and quickly became famous in Britain with a succession of top ten hit singles. Although the band never actually achieved a number one hit in the UK many of their songs have significantly outlasted many that did. Some of The Who's most memorable songs include: 'My Generation' (1965), 'I Can See For Miles' (1967), 'Pinball Wizard' (1969), 'Baba O'Riley' (1971), 'Won't Get Fooled Again' (1971) and 'Behind Blue Eyes' (1971). At least two of the Who's songs have been used as theme tracks for the hit American TV crime drama CSI. The Who can also claim to have been involved with the production and sound tracks of four films. Two of which were classed as The Who Rock Operas. These included: Tommy (1975), Quadrophenia (1979), The Kids Are Alright (1979) and McVicar (1980). The Who, The Stones and the Beatles are sometimes referred to as the Trinity of British Rock Music.

   Current Interest: 201,000 /m   6.00
   Originality: Very Good   8.00
   Longevity:  39 Years 9.00
   Social Impact: Excellent 9.00
   Record Sales: 100,000,000 4.00
   No. 1 British Hits: None 0.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   36.00

4. QUEEN 1996-2013

Queen

62.70%

One of the top three greatest bands to ever come out of London, Queen has had a phenomenal impact on the worldwide music scene. Their hit 'Bohemian Rhapsody' was recently voted the greatest British rock song of all time. The band was originally made up of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. Although the band is still officially active many of its fans felt that it was not complete without its front man, Freddy Mercury, who died of bronchopneumonia in 1991. The band achieved six Number One Hits in the UK charts which included: 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (1975), 'We Will Rock You' (1977), 'Under Pressure' (1981), 'Innuendo' (1991), 'These Are the Days of Our Lives' (1991) and the Extend Play single 'Five Live' (1993). Their unmistakable sound made Queen stand out from other musical offerings and is sometimes referred to as Operatic Rock - not to be confused with rock operas. During the 1980's Queen had become one of the world's largest stadium bands and were the authors of two of music's greatest rock anthems - 'We Will Rock You' (1977) and 'We Are The Champions' (1977).

   Current Interest: 140,500 /m   5.00
   Originality: Excellent 9.00
   Longevity:  21 Years 6.00
   Social Impact: High 8.00
   Record Sales: 90,400,000 3.62
   No. 1 British Hits: Six 6.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   37.60

3. PINK FLOYD 1965-1995

Pink Floyd

66.10%

Renowned for their progressive and pioneering approach to Psychedelic Rock music, Pink Floyd have made a psychological connection with each new generation of music enthusiasts for nearly five decades. Currently number three in the list of Top Tten British bands they have had a huge impact both on the music industry and society as a whole. They have recently enjoyed a huge surge of interest from the hipster community and the social commentary woven throughout their music seems as relevant today as when it was written. They score extremely well for originality in both conceptual ideas and the sound of their music. Pink Floyd originated from London's underground music scene and was made up of Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. David Gilmour joined in 1967 and effectively replaced Syd Barrett in who left in 1968. Over the lifes pan of the band they achieved only one UK Number One Hit - 'Another Brick in the Wall' (1979). However this was offset by a widespread popularity for all their music that has seen record sales steadily climb into the hundreds of millions.

   Current Interest: 823,500 /m   4.00
   Originality: Excellent 4.00
   Longevity:  30 Years 8.00
   Social Impact: Excellent 8.00
   Record Sales: 111,500,000 0.84
   No. 1 British Hits: One 1.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   41.46

2. THE ROLLING STONES 1962-2013

The Rolling Stones

74.44%

The Rolling Stones are the longest surviving British band and have been recording music for over 51 years. The band was originally made up of Brian Jones (guitar & harmonica), Mick Jagger (lead vocals), Keith Richards (guitar & backing vocals) Ian Stewart (piano), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). Although their music is said to have originally drawn its inspiration from pure Rhythm and Blues it quickly evolved into a more popular Hard Rock genre with Blues overtones. Considered by almost all reviewers as the second most important band in the history of British music, the Rolling Stones have come to represent the persistence and longevity of truly original and grass-roots inspired songs. Over the course of their career the band has had eight Number One Hits in the UK Charts. These are: 'It's All Over Now' (1964), 'Little Red Rooster' (1964), 'The Last Time' / 'Play With Fire' (1965), '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' / 'The Spider and the Fly' (1965), 'Get Off of My Cloud' / 'I'm Free' (1965), "Paint It, Black" / 'Stupid Girl' (1966), 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' (1968) and 'Honky Tonk Woman' / 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' (1969). In 2008 they were ranked 4th on the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list by Rolling Stone Magazine.

   Current Interest: 165,500 /m   5.00
   Originality: Excellent  9.00
   Longevity:  52 Years 10.00
   Social Impact: Excellent 9.00
   Record Sales: 92,000,000 3.66
   No. 1 British Hits: Eight 8.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   44.66

1. THE BEATLES 1960-1970

The Beatles

100%

By far the undisputed champions of British music, The Beatles remain legends even three decades after the band broke up. Formed in Liverpool in 1960 they became, and remain, the most influential band of the Rock era and are credited with introducing more pop-music innovations than any other group in the world.

The final Beatles line-up as of 1962 consisted of John Lennon (guitar, keyboards), Paul McCartney (guitar, keyboards, drums), George Harrison (Lead Guitar, sitar, ukulele), and Ringo Starr - Richard Starkey (drums). Unusual for the time, all the band members contributed to the both vocals and the process of song writing.

The Beatles remain the best-selling band in both the UK and the USA. During the course of their relatively short career they achieved an incredible 17 Number One Hits in the UK charts. These included: 'From Me to You' (1963, 'She Loves You' (1963), 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' (1963), 'Can't Buy Me Love' (1964), 'A Hard Day's Night' (1964), 'I Feel Fine' (1964), 'Ticket to Ride' (1965), 'Help!' (1965), 'We Can Work It Out' / 'Day Tripper' (1965), 'Paperback Writer' (1966), 'Eleanor Rigby' / 'Yellow Submarine' (1966), 'All You Need is Love' (1967), 'Hello, Goodbye' (1967), 'Lady Madonna' (1968), 'Hey Jude' (1968), 'Get Back' (1969) and 'The Ballad of John and Yoko' (1969).

A short test conducted in 2012 revealed that most British people between the ages of 40 and 60 (even those that weren't Beatles fans) could actually recall and repeat the tunes of at least 80% of all the Beatles Number One Hits including being able to remember at least part of the lyrics.

The originality of The Beatles has been described as extraordinary and never again repeated on the same scale. The exact source of their unique musical style is said to have originated from a combination of skiffle and 1950s rock and roll. The truth is that the evolution of their 'sound' into pop ballads and Psychedelic Rock remains something of a mystery. They are credited with unintentionally introducing the word 'Beatlemania' to the English language and were pivotal in making UK music popular in the USA.

   Current Interest: 636,500 /m   9.00
   Originality: Excellent 10.00
   Longevity:  10 Years 4.00
   Social Impact: Outstanding 10.00
   Record Sales: 250,000,000 10.00
   No. 1 British Hits: Seventeen 17.00
   TOTAL SCORE:   60.00
Image Credits: The Kinks: Unknown | Oasis – Shutterstock Images (C) | Genesis – Andrew Bossi – Creative Commons | Led Zeppelin – Shutterstock Images (C) | Black Sabbath – Martin Johannessen | The Who – Voice of America (C) | Queen – Shutterstock Images (C) | Pink Floyd – Shutterstock Images (C) | Rolling Stones – Shutterstock Images (C) | The Beatles – Shutterstock Images (C)
Top ten UFO Sightings UK

Top ten UFO Sightings UK

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2015
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Over the past decades, Britain has had its fair share of strange UFO sightings from flying saucers that landed behind a Welsh school to mysterious black triangles that hovered over RAF air bases. Some of these encounters have caused a media frenzy while others have simply been given amusing nicknames and relegated to the more bizarre pages of the tabloid newspapers. Here’s Britain Explorer’s top ten ‘Incidents’ from 1954 to 2013.

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Strange Artefacts of the British Museum

Strange Artefacts of the British Museum

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2015
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The British Museum is one of the most visited destinations in Britain and houses treasures from all over the World. Some are well known while others are hidden away but still have a fascinating story to tell. Here’s the first five objects that we think are amongst the strangest in the British Museum.
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Ten Unusual Pubs

Ten Unusual Pubs

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2015
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You just can’t get something more British than the traditional pub. Although many have closed in recent years there are still more than 54,000 scatted across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Many of them date back hundreds of years and have fascinating histories full of human eccentricity. Here are the Top ten most curious.
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Zoos in the United Kingdom

Zoos in the United Kingdom

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2015
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Britain has a wide range of zoos stretching from Scotland to Cornwall.  Here is Britain Explorer’s list of the UK’s 25 zoos with an interactive map to help you locate them. This is a list of zoos only and does not include safari parks or bird sanctuaries.
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Ready Camp UK

Ready Camp UK

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2015
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Ben Fogle Announces ‘Ready Camp’ Concept at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2015

‘Popularity of glamping grows as Camping and Caravanning Club reveals historic links with popular camping trend.’

By Kathleen Robertson

English adventurer, author and broadcaster – Ben Fogle – has announced the latest offering from the Camping and Caravanning Club of Great Britain. ‘Ready Camp’ is the latest, and one of the most exciting additions to the Glamping market in the UK. He revealed that Glamorous Camping is now one of the country’s most popular holiday options.
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