Our favourite floats from Norwich Lord Mayor’s Procession 2014

Earlier this month we were lucky enough to be in Norwich when the Lord Mayor’s Procession took place – and even better, it passed right down the road where we were staying.

Norwich is one of only 25 UK cities to appoint a Lord Mayor, and its annual Lord Mayor’s Procession is the oldest outside of London. In modern times it forms the centrepiece of the Lord Mayor’s Celebration, a long weekend of events happening across the city.
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The Chapel of Trinity College Oxford, by Martin Kemp – book review

Chapel of Trinity College OxfordTrinity College’s Grade I-listed chapel is the first classical chapel in Oxford and is particularly renowned for its harmonious interior decoration.

This slim but handsome volume, The Chapel of Trinity College Oxford, is illustrated with specially commissioned colour photography and written by one of the college’s own Fellows – art historian Martin Kemp.

Rather wonderfully, it opens with an imaginary visit to the chapel in 1694, the year of its completion. At the end of this visit, Kemp then points out “the main ways in which our present experience differs” – which is an excellent way to understand the chapel as a unified whole.
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Help save Bristol’s historic Ebenezer Chapel from destruction by signing petition

Ebenezer Chapel BristolA Victorian chapel in the Old Market area of Bristol is under imminent threat of demolition – and you can help save it by signing an online petition.

Ebenezer Chapel, the first Primitive Methodist chapel to be built in Bristol, has stood on Midland Road for more than 160 years. Despite its rare Romanesque revival windows, it is due to be demolished to make way for flats.

The Victorian Society is urging Bristol Council to work to save the chapel, and an online petition has been set up to gather public support. As the building has been declared unsafe, one option would be to retain and reuse the chapel’s distinctive front wall or facade in any future development.
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Putting Smell York to the test: can our volunteers identify the aromas in this olfactory guidebook?

Smell York guidebookRecently I wrote about Smell York, an ‘olfactory guidebook’ to the cathedral city of York. At the time, however, I was unable to experience the scents of the city for myself because all the copies from the initial pilot run had been snapped up.

Fortunately I didn’t have long to wait before the guide was reprinted. There was still a problem though – I had read all about the guidebook and knew precisely what aromas to expect within its pages. How, then, could I review it fairly and impartially?
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Cathedral City Guide is four years old – and we’re celebrating our birthday with a new look

candlesRemarkably, it is almost exactly four years ago that Sarah and I set up Cathedral City Guide. To celebrate this occasion, and because it was probably overdue, we’ve given the website a bit of an overhaul.

I am sure you will notice the new maroon-and-grey colour scheme, but there have also been some more subtle changes to both the typography and the layout which should make everything more pleasurable to read.
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Thousands attend vigil at Lichfield Cathedral to pay tribute to Stephen Sutton

Yellow flowersLike many others, we have been moved by the story of Stephen Sutton, the brave teenager who raised millions of pounds for the Teenage Cancer Trust while he himself battled terminal bowel cancer.

Thousands of people attended a vigil at Lichfield Cathedral on Thursday and Friday to pay their respects to Stephen, lighting a candle in his memory and leaving bunches of yellow flowers on the west lawn outside the cathedral.
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Norwich gets significantly happier – so why not celebrate with a free window sticker?

Elm Hill, Norwich

Elm Hill, Norwich, by Tournorfolk

The cathedral city of Norwich is now the sixth happiest place to live in the UK, according to the latest Rightmove ‘Happy at Home’ index. That’s a climb of nine places, up from 15th in 2013.

This year nearly 50,000 people were surveyed for the index, which asks residents to rate their local area on 12 distinct factors relating to their property, home and community.

Norwich scored particularly highly for ‘contentment’, with residents overwhelmingly agreeing with the following statement: “I don’t think I would be happier moving to a different property.”
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Ripon-based artisan snack producer ‘nibnibs’ seeks investors. We’re in on this tasty opportunity!

NibnibsThe UK’s cathedral cities are home to many exciting artisan food and drink producers. Whether it’s a pie from Bristol’s Pieminister or a pint from York’s Rudgate brewery, we are always happy to enjoy, and recommend, the best produce that our cathedral cities have to offer.

So when we were given the opportunity to sample a selection of nibbles from Ripon-based bakery nibnibs we didn’t have to be asked twice. The Yorkshire company has already received acclaim for its products, winning two Great Taste Awards in 2013. Now it is looking for investment of £150,000 to scale up production and increase brand awareness.
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Oxford and Bristol among top 10 UK destinations for overseas visitors

Balloons over Bristol

On the rise: Bristol is growing in popularity. Photo: Andrew Gordon

A report showing that London is now the most popular city in the world for foreign tourists has had a lot of news coverage recently.

However hidden in that same report, Travel Trends 2013 from the Office for National Statistics, are some less well covered but equally interesting insights – at least from my perspective.

For example, the cathedral cities of Oxford and Bristol are both among the top 10 most popular destinations for overseas residents. Oxford comes seventh, with 456,000 visits from foreign visitors staying at least one night in 2013; Bristol comes eighth, with 428,000 such visits.
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Travelling to Oxford? The Oxford Tube makes a convenient alternative to the train

Oxford TubeLiving in London as I do, I’m lucky enough to be able to visit Oxford fairly regularly – and every time I travel there, I do so by train. Until my most recent trip, that is, when I tried out the Oxford Tube service for the first time.

Despite the name, the Oxford Tube is a double-decker coach service rather than an extension of the London Underground. However the name is fitting as it offers many of the benefits of a metro system: frequent services, fixed pricing, long operating hours.
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