Dismaland-Banks-Weston super Mare-Unitedd Kingdom-England-Bemusemnt Park-8Dismaland: Bemusement Park. Photo by Yui Mok/PA from The Guardian

Almost two years after Banksy left his mark on the streets and walls of New York City with his 31 Day Residency, he’s taken on another large-scale project in his home country. On the site of an abandoned resort on the coast of England at Weston-super-Mare, Banksy has created Dismaland: Bemusement Park, with the appropriately depressing tagline: The UK’s Most Disappointing New Visitor Attraction.” It opened today to locals only, and thereafter tickets can be purchased online up to 10 days in advance (if the website isn’t down), with some limited tickets available each day at the door.


Great Britain is home to some of the most spectacular settings in the popular imagination—from the moors of Wuthering Heights, to the sprawling estates of Downton Abbey, to the misty highland lake where the Loch Ness Monster is reputed to make its home. Whether you’re interested in history, literature, or BBC period pieces, Great Britain offers more than enough attractions to plan the trip of your dreams.

Expedia and VisitBritain—the national tourist board for England, Scotland and Wales—have launched “Find Your Storybook,” a new marketing campaign that “draws upon the parallel between reality and the fairytales of castles, knights and queens.” Visitors to the Find Your Storybook tool on Expedia can create a custom vacation to Great Britain based on their specific interests, whether they be arts and culture, the outdoors, food, sport or shopping.

Not wanting to be outdone, we at Untapped have rounded up some amazing castles that are worth adding to your storybook trip to Great Britain.

1. Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed


Actually located in Newbury (west of London), the home is still occupied by the Carnarvon family but is open for tours and events. If the architectural style rings a bell, that’s because it was designed by the same architect as the British Houses of Parliament.


Leaf, on Liverpool’s Bold Street is a great cafe/venue in the city.  Having been around since 2007, it’s well established and loved by many!

Formerly a tea room in the 1920s, it’s gone full circle, from being a cinema in the late 20th century and a Microzine clothes shop, back to where it is today as a tea shop!  Not limiting themselves to just tea, in which they excel, they also host vintage markets, music and club nights.

Leaf boasts a great open space with high ceilings and comfy chairs as well as tables and benches.  A large space upstairs for events and functions, and a great overall atmosphere.  The staff on duty were great, taking our orders at the counter and then bringing them over to the table when ready.  A rather extensive choice of food is also available – including options for various food preferences or allergies.  They only stock loose leaf tea, and have a wide variety of flavours for you to choose from.

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.

Mary Rose ship sinking Portsmouth England Untapped Cities

Source: The Mary Rose Museum

The always excellent Atlas Obscura recently broke the news that the remains of a 16th century shipwreck are now on view at the newly opened Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, England. Allison Meier reports that the Mary Rose, which was one of Henry VIII’s flagships, sank in 1545 near Portsmouth Harbor after an illustrious career as a battleship. Apparently, the cries of the dying crew members were so loud they could be heard on shore. No one knows if the ship sank by accident (as the English claim) or due to French military prowess (as the French claim). The Mary Rose remained at the bottom of the sea for over 400 years. It was discovered in 1971 and brought to the shore in 1982.  (more…)

The Arnolfini, Bristol.

Bristol is an amazing city in itself, but once every two years the Arnolfini is home to BABE – the Bristol Artist Book Event – over two days in April.  It’s in a gorgeous location, right on the waterfront, surrounded by Bristol’s iconic cranes and colourful buildings.  A short walk from the town center, with nearby shops, restaurants, bars and cafes it’s a great place to plan a trip to.

The Arnolfini itself is a gallery/space for contemporary art and always has interesting exhibitions on as well as talks and workshops. It was founded in 1961 and moved to its current location in 1975. At the time, the building was a near-derelict warehouse on Bristol’s floating harbor, which sparked an urban renewal project that brought life back to the harbor. The rooms are lovely and spacious with high ceilings and wide corridors.  They also have an excellent book shop, for a browse and perhaps a cheeky purchase after your look around.  You can then relax in their cafe, which serves drinks and food until late.

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.

Following on from my Urban Renewal post, this illustration is fully dedicated to The British Museum.  It’s such an amazing building, and looking back through photos I have from various trips to the Museum, I can safely say, it appears to change colour depending on the weather!  I’ve illustrated it here as quite a sandy brick but in some lights it’s a pale grey.

The collections that you’ll find inside are mostly quite educational and classic. Not only are you welcomed by this amazing building, surrounded by massive pillars with plenty of space to walk around and enjoy it from all angles, but once you walk through the doors and the initial foyer, the whole building opens up.  In the middle is a courtyard area with a central building within this space.  The ceiling that joins this middle building to the outer is glass and has a great, almost spiraling effect in it.  I’ve had the pleasure of only going when it’s sunny, which really brightens up the space but I can imagine that if it’s stormy outside it can get quite dramatic in there!

In this amazing courtyard space you’ll find a canteen-style cafe, perfect for people watching and taking in the building with a cup of tea or coffee.

Get in touch with the author @charlsvallance and check out her blog.  Check back every other Wednesday for the next installation of (Art)chitecture by Charlotte Vallance.