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Invisible (Manchester) Launches Self Guided Content

Written on January 27, 2021

With lockdown in place throughout the country, none of our award-winning walking tours are currently available. But we know that many people still want to explore their own city and include walks into their daily routines!

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What is the best way to spend 2 hours in Edinburgh?

Written on January 18, 2021

What is the best way to spend 2 hours in Edinburgh?

If you only have a few hours in Scotland’s capital city, then you certainly want to make the most of it! We’re a bit biased, but we have to say that the best way to spend 2 hours in Edinburgh is with a walking tour. Of course, your timeframe may not match up with a walking tour or you may prefer to strike out on your own. So we want to offer a few tips to make the most of your brief time in enchanting Edinburgh, whether you join us at Invisible Cities or not.

What to See in 2 Hours in Edinburgh

If you only have two hours, then you certainly don’t want to waste any time wandering around lost or not knowing where to go! There are different areas of Edinburgh that may interest you based on your preferences.

Learn the History of Edinburgh

To get the quick overview of this historic capital city, you have a few options. First, join our tour of The Royal Mile - From Huts to High Rise. The Royal Mile is a must-see in Edinburgh’s Old Town. It highlights so many significant moments and landmarks in just a short stretch connecting Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace. Along the way, you can see iconic architecture, learn the stories of former residents, and admire the many layers of the city as it has changed over the centuries.

Admire the Art in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is known as The Festival City for its celebrations and festivals throughout the year. From the world’s largest arts festival (the Festival Fringe in August) to the International Film Festival, the International Storytelling Festival, the Jazz Festival and more...Edinburgh certainly appreciates the arts!

Enjoy Edinburgh’s Views and Parks

Edinburgh is a city of hills and many layers, so you don’t have to go far for fantastic views. With just a few hours in Edinburgh, you’ll want to maximise your time and enjoy seeing the city’s beautiful architecture from above. There are a number of ways you can do this.

2. Hike up Arthur’s Seat

So, as you can see, there’s loads you can do in only 2 hours in Edinburgh! Of course, you can’t do everything we mentioned, but if you choose wisely then you’ll really maximise your short visit. And we’re certain you’ll want to come back for more! We would love to welcome you on one of our Edinburgh walking tours, so do reach out and we’ll see if we can accommodate your schedule.

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Cook Your Way Around the World With the Invisible Cities Team!

Written on January 06, 2021

Is one of your new year's resolutions to cook more homemade meals? Then we have exactly what you need!

Last October 16th, to celebrate #WorldFoodDay, the whole team at Invisible Cities came together for a cook along like no other. With the support of Food For Life, we were able to deliver groceries to all our guides and trainees for them to cook their favourite recipe from around the world!

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Invisible (Glasgow) is Calling out all Budding Detectives!

Written on November 23, 2020

With the new restrictions and goverment guidelines in Glasgow and the West of Scotland, we know it can be hard to find activities that can entertain everyone while you stay safe at home! But at Invisible (Glasgow) we have now created a fun Detective game based on one of the city's most iconic symbols!

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Invisible Cities Launches Manx Supporting Mancs Campaign

Written on November 11, 2020

Introducing Manx Supporting Mancs... an exciting new Invisible Cities campaign where people in the Isle of Man (Manx) are supporting our team in Manchester (Mancs)!

The Project:

The idea is simple: people in the Isle of Man can purchase a signed copy of Danny's 'Off the Cobbles' poetry book and all of the proceeds go towards Invisible (Manchester). Working in collaboration with Roisin Quinn in the Isle of Man, our Invisible (Manchester) team is excited to create new connections and use monies raised through this campaign for a project in the city. They will decide what is needed most to support those affected by homelessness.

Our Progress so Far:

We can't begin to thank everyone over in the Isle of Man for the success of this project so far. The overwhelming response has been more than we could have imagined - Danny feels like a local celebrity with the number of books he's signing! Finally, we want to say a huge thanks to TQC Ltd who have already contributed significantly to the project.

Stay In The Loop:

2020 has been a year like no other. This campaign shows that in times of uncertainty we can pull together, connect with others and support those in need. If you'd like to be kept updated with news on our Manx Supporting Mancs project, scan the barcode below.

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York: A Beginner’s Guide

Written on November 05, 2020

York: A Beginner’s Guide

An atmospheric and historical city with its roots stretching right back to Roman times, York is an enchanting destination which boasts an array of attractions to excite, no matter what your interests. In fact, it is said York has more attractions per square mile than any other British city. So, join us today for our beginner’s guide to this magical city. And while you’re with us, be sure to check out our Walking Tours in York. Invisible Cities is a social enterprise dedicated to providing tour guide training and jobs for people who have been affected by homelessness. All of our tours are led by guides who possess a wealth of stories and a love for their city.

York is Enchantingly Beautiful

Roman fortifications, medieval market places, Georgian splendour: York is a city that fires the imagination. Much of central York is pedestrianised, making the city very walkable and absent of the inner city smog associated with other large cities. And with a population of just over 150,000, York is large enough to be vibrant without visitors ever feeling overwhelmed by crowds and congestion. Of course, all visitors should reserve time to visit the city’s medieval cathedral, York Minster. As one of the world’s largest Gothic buildings, this 800-year-old masterpiece is an awesome spectacle that will leave you wondering just how medieval builders could construct something of this scale. Elsewhere, visitors can tour the city by walking its surviving Roman and medieval walls, stroll along the waterside of the River Ouse, or exploring the grandeur of York’s Georgian architecture. Visitors with an interest in architectural history will enjoy our Health And Wealth of York walking tour.

York is a Foodie Haven

York is an excellent destination for food lovers, particularly those with a sweet tooth. While much of the success of Britain’s industrial revolution lay in textiles, York is famous for its long history of chocolate production. In the 19th century, chocolate guaranteed York its economic security and many of the city’s residents worked in chocolate factories. Iconic confectioners Rowntree and Terry’s both have their origins in the city and their stories are told in York’s Chocolate Story, a popular museum of chocolate located within the city centre. Aside from chocolate, the city has a burgeoning coffee shop culture with local independents like Bean & Gone, Everett’s, and Brew & Brownie serving top quality coffee and food. And what trip to York would be complete without visiting York institution, Betty’s? This iconic teahouse is a famously one of the best places in the city for taking afternoon tea.

York is a History Lover’s Paradise

Alongside the aforementioned Roman ruins and medieval architecture, history lovers can delve further into the past at one of the city’s fantastic museums. With the first train leaving York in 1839, the city played a starring role in the history of rail travel and it’s fitting that today the city is home to the world’s largest railway museum. For travellers fond of rail history, our guide Gemma takes our York Railway Tour dedicated to the subject, which can be extended to include the museum. The city is also proud of its Viking past which is expertly brought to life at the Jorvik Viking Centre (Jorvik being the old Norse name for the city). Described as an experience rather than a museum, the exhibits found in the Viking centre involve Viking relics, models developed with facial recognition technology, and even aromas designed to give you an insight into how life would have smelled in a Viking settlement! Finally, the York Castle Museum offers guests an excellent insight to various chapters in the city’s more recent past –– the Victorian sweet shop is especially enjoyable.

York is a Great Base for Further Adventures

Some things never change. York was prized by both the Romans and Vikings for its location and today it remains a well-connected city that presents travellers with a range of choices for day trips. York is a gateway to some of the most beautiful scenery in England. Take a tour from the city centre and explore the stunning Yorkshire Dales National Park. With rolling hills and quintessentially English villages and hamlets along the way, this is a wonderfully idyllic part of the world. Take a ride on a restored steam train out to the famous coastal town of Whitby. Or, if you haven’t had your fill of historic sites in York, take a trip out to the haunting ruins of Bolton Abbey, a 12th century monastery that fell victim to the closure of the monasteries under Henry VIII.

Here ends our beginner’s guide to magnificent York. We hope this guide has inspired you to make the trip to this beautiful Yorkshire city. If you have any comments or suggestions for us, please do not hesitate to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.

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What Are the Top Tourist Attractions in Glasgow?

Written on November 03, 2020

What Are the Top Tourist Attractions in Glasgow?

Glasgow is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities the UK has to offer. With its gorgeous architecture, thriving art scene and its extraordinary history, there is something for everyone in this oft-hidden gem. Like its sister city, Edinburgh, Glasgow is large but also surprisingly intimate, and it’s easy to get around in on foot. For this reason, one of the best ways to see the city is to go on one of Invisible Cities’ Glasgow Walking Tours. And if you’re curious about what sort of attraction you might see as you stroll through this fine city, then here is a list of some of Glasgow’s top tourist attractions!

Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis and Provand’s Lordship

Three separate establishments but all within a stone’s throw of each other, Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis and Provand’s Lordship are all must-see stops.

Glasgow University and Hunterian Museum

Another sumptuous gothic build, the University of Glasgow cuts a glorious figure in the West End of Glasgow. It’s worth visiting just for the stunning cloisters, but if you walk through you’ll find another treasure: the Hunterian Museum.

Kelvingrove Museum

A stone’s throw away from the University, is the wonderful Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Established in 1901, this impressive edifice was built in the Spanish Baroque style and in the evenings its windows glow with a distinctive red hue, giving the building a mysterious allure. Inside, the 22 galleries have a wide range of exhibits, from Ancient Egyptian artefacts, to Renaissance art, to a stunning array of taxidermy. There is something intriguing in every corner of the building, making it a must-see attraction for all curious visitors in Glasgow.

Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace

Another beautiful spot to visit in Glasgow’s West End is the Botanic Gardens and Kibble Palace, which can lift the spirits on even the most dreich (dreary) of days. The gardens provide a veritable wonderland of plants to explore and the warmth of the greenhouses are very attractive on a cold Glasgow day! Kibble Palace is a stunning domed glasshouse in which you can wander around trees and or sit on benches to just absorb the humidity and greenery of the place.

Mackintosh Trail

One of Glasgow’s most iconic residents was Charles Rennie Mackintosh – architect, designer and artist. His work, and that of his wife, Margaret MacDonald, inspired what is known as the Glasgow Style as well as influencing movements such as Art Nouveau, Symbolism and Secessionism. Some of his work, and that of the other members of the Glasgow Four (Margaret MacDonald, her sister Frances MacDonald, and Herbert MacNair) can be seen at Kelvingrove Museum, but it is worth following the Mackintosh Trail to truly enjoy his genius. Visit the Lighthouse (Glasgow’s Centre for Design and Architecture, and Mackintosh’s first commission), Mackintosh House, House for an Art Lover, and Hill House to enjoy some of his work, and if his aesthetic appeals to you, then you can’t go wrong with a lovely spot of tea at the Willow Tearooms.

So there you have it! Some of the top tourist attractions in Glasgow. This is a city that is both welcoming and surprisingly small, so the best way to explore it is by walking around it; you’ll find there are far more interesting spots to unearth than we had time to write about in this blog. If our Glasgow tour appeals to you and you’re interested in seeing more of Scotland, we also offer a range of wonderful Edinburgh Walking Tours. And if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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The 5 Most Scenic Places in Edinburgh

Written on October 27, 2020

The 5 Most Scenic Places in Edinburgh

As one of Europe’s most picturesque capital cities, there is no shortage of scenic spots in Edinburgh. Fortunately, at Invisible Cities, we have the local knowledge to help you get the most out of your city break. Join us today as we explore the 5 most scenic places in Edinburgh. Before you begin, why not take a look at our range of walking tours in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle

Looming over the city from Castle Rock, this 12th-century castle acted as a royal residence for around four and a half centuries; its most famous former residents were Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary, Queen of Scots. A strategic fortress in both a real and symbolic sense, control of the castle historically meant control of the city itself and so this building’s story, perhaps more than any other, is bound to that of the city below. Today, you can get fantastic views over the cityscape and explore the castle’s history with on-site guides. One of the castle’s darker functions over the years has been its use as a military prison, with sometimes hundreds of foreign prisoners being held in its vaults. For those with an interest in some of the more macabre chapters in the city’s past, you may enjoy our local guide Sonny’s Crime and Punishment tour of Edinburgh.

Calton Hill

Part of the city’s UNESCO world heritage site, Calton Hill provides one of the best cityscapes across the city. Lying to the east of Princes Street, the hill is a short walk from the centre. The climb to the top is short but steep. At the top of the hill, relax on the grass with a picnic lunch if the weather’s good and explore the many historic monuments situated here. Notable structures at the top of the hill include the City Observatory, the Nelson Monument, and the infamous National Monument — a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars in the style of Athens’ Parthenon that was left half-finished when the council ran out of money in 1829.

Deane Village

The ‘Water of Leith Village’, as it was once known, is a strange time-capsule of a place. Visitors who stumble upon Deane Village by chance would be forgiven for thinking they have stepped through a portal to a distant time. The site of a mill some 800 years ago, this area has been perfectly preserved and offers a peaceful escape from the often busy city centre. It’s one of the most picture-perfect sections of the city, so bring a camera with you for holiday snaps. Walking by the softly flowing water, you are likely to have the place to yourself, apart from the occasional jogger or dog walker. There are no shops or restaurants in the immediate vicinity, but it’s a fairly short walk from the National Gallery of Modern Art which should also make it onto your must-see list. For visitors hoping to explore the city’s arts and culture scene, you will enjoy tours with our guide Angie who explores the hidden and overlooked creative places the city has to offer.

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is a dormant volcano (don’t worry, it hasn’t been active for millions of years) located just outside Edinburgh’s city centre. It offers matchless views over the city and the surrounding countryside. The hill is part of the larger Holyrood Park which includes glens, hills, lochs, and cliffs. Allow a good couple of hours to make the climb and your way back down, adding more time if you wish to explore Holyrood park more widely. A taste of wild Scotland on the doorstep of the capital.

The Royal Mile

Some locals may grumble at any mention of the Royal Mile as it’s, undoubtedly, the street most geared towards tourists in the whole city and it can get very busy — especially during the Edinburgh Festival. However, like most popular tourist spots, it’s included in the guidebooks for a reason. The street is lined on both sides with historic buildings and gives an excellent feel for how the city would have been in bygone eras. At the top, you have the castle and at the bottom, the Scottish parliament, Holyrood House. Enjoy watching the rush of people from all over the globe pass you by, and when it gets too much for you, get lost on the winding lanes that lead off the main drag. Our local guide Angus gives an excellent tour exploring this area: The Royal Mile Tour – From Huts to High Rise.

So ends our whistle-stop tour of the best scenic spots around Edinburgh. If you have any questions for us, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us here.

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