On September 18, Scottish voters took to the polls to vote in favour of or against Scottish independence. The result was perhaps closer than some had expected, however just over 55% of Scots voted No. So what happens now?


If the result had been the opposite, Scottish independence would not have been instant. A negotiation for independence would have been submitted but it would likely have taken a few years before anything official would have been confirmed. Add to that, the general election taking place in 2015 and the Yes result would not have been clear cut.

The No result means that it’s highly inevitable that Scotland will have more powers. Prime Minister, David Cameron admitted that the Welsh government is also expected to have more say in how the United Kingdom is run. Let’s not forget that just under 45% of Scots voted Yes for Scottish independence and you’re reminded that a large number of people living in Scotland want a say in how the UK is governed.

The three party leaders in the United Kingdom have already signed a resolution for future action. Scotland is expected to have more power over tax, spending and welfare decisions with a draft bill expected at the end of January 2015 and detailed proposals discussed by the end of October 2014.

The next powers to be delegated in 2015 include the extension of borrowing powers of up to £500 million and a new reserve to manage tax receipts. A new rate of income tax for the Scottish in April 2006, means the Scottish parliament will set its own rate. Furthermore, there will be a £2.2 billion capital borrowing power from the Scottish parliament.

There has already been concern over the Barnett formula, which determines how much public money is divided between Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Some politicians would prefer that public money is divided instead on public need as Scotland currently receives around 20% more money per capita than England.

Scotland currently remains as part of the United Kingdom with its own parliament. Departing Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has recently claimed that Scotland could still declare itself independent in future without a referendum. The Scottish National Party still holds the majority of seats in Scottish Parliament since 2007, so it’s unlikely that the debate of Scotland becoming independent from the United Kingdom will be going away anytime soon.

For businesses, the No vote has meant stability resuming. Bank shares in particular have increased since the referendum result was announced and it’s assumed The Bank of England will raise interest rates next year. Though the UK’s economy seems to be stronger in the short term, the dispute over Scotland’s future is likely to be playing on a lot of people’s minds. Unemployment is still a main concern in the United Kingdom, especially for young people. Whatever happens, the future of Scotland and the UK in the long term is still undecided and a possible change in British government with next year’s general election means a solution may not be as resolved as it seems.




The Asia Pacific region has attracted international attention in recent years owing to primarily territorial disputes. Countries involved in island disputes are China, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The conflict between China and Japan is one that’s been hogging the headlines in recent months. Their dispute not only involves territorial issues but as well as wartime history particularly the Nanking massacre dispute. China has been blaming the Imperial Japanese Army for the mass killings that took place in 1837 which Japan strongly denies.

Asia Pacific

Despite the existing tension among these nations, however, there’s one positive side that not too many people are aware of. These countries actually maintain bilateral relations such as on economic cooperation. Continue reading »


Britain is home to some of the greatest bands throughout recent history and in the present day. Not only do countless music legends (and legions of fans) come from the UK, but bands from around the world travel there to put on great shows.

If you’re looking for the concert of your life, you could hardly do better than one of the many music festivals the UK has to offer. Check out the five best music festivals in the UK, below. Continue reading »

Eli on Pirate Ship

London has many sites and attractions but usually the most prominent tourist destinations are not really specifically children’s attractions. If you’re traveling with children you’ll want to squeeze in sites that your children will like.

Here are three places in London that you can visit, which your children will have fun exploring: Continue reading »

Being an international city, London has some of the world’s most advanced transportation system. It is the center of road, rail and air networks in the United Kingdom. Despite the advancements, however, it has also retained its traditional vehicles such as the double deck buses that travel around the city.

london trasport museum

A visit to the London Transport Museum is the best way to learn about the city’s transport heritage. Situated in the Covent Garden Piazza, its permanent location, the museum showcases old vehicles preserved since the 1920’s. From a small collection of two Victorian horse buses and a motorbus, the collection has grown to include all modes of transport such as bicycles, taxis, trams and river vessels to art (posters, films and photographs) and design works.

The museum’s main objective is to relate to visitors the evolution of the city’s transportation system from the past to the present and even up to the future. Different exhibitions are in place with themes such as public transport at war, London’s massive expansion in the 20th century and world city comparisons.

A library is also available providing valuable research materials plus a museum depot which stores more than 370,000 items not displayed at the Covent Garden building. The depot, however, is open to the public only during special events.

For this year 2013, heritage vehicle runs and other exciting events are lined up to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground entitled Tube 150. It was in January 1863 when the world’s first underground train made its first journey beneath London’s streets from Paddington to Farringdon. In its first six months alone, the train accommodated some 26,000 passengers.


Worth noting here is the fact that the London Transport Museum goes beyond merely displaying artifacts and transportation collections. Inside are shops where souvenir items such as posters, gifts, clothes, toys and vintage house ware can be purchased as well as a café and bar at the Upper Deck that offers snacks and drinks.

This popular tourist attraction is open daily starting at 10 a.m. except on Fridays which opens at 11 a.m. Individual tickets can be purchased but large groups can avail of lower fees. Guided tours are offered as well.

If visiting London is not possible, learning about this historical museum and the city’s different modes of transport can be done through its website ltmuseum.co.uk. The site provides comprehensive information covering everything you’d like to know from the history and collections to upcoming events and activities. A blog is also available where visitors can get updates on the museum’s activities, people and other valuable details.

Photo via londontown

About the guest author:

Regine is a travel writer who hopes to visit the London Transport Museum someday. She frequently visits Expedia for some great deals.

English: A common sports air horn used for spo...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you love sport and are you travelling to England on your next holiday? There are plenty for a sporting events on throughout the year that a sports enthusiast tourist can and should take advantage of. All you need to do is plan your trip in such a way that you will catch the action during your time in England. Here are some of the sporting events that you will definitely want to witness:


Perhaps the most known sporting competition around the world, the EPL is help every year with matches played throughout the year in different parts of England.  Get ready to meet real football enthusiasts, fans who eat, live and sleep football the level of passion at English football matches really cannot be described by words, you have to witness it for yourself. Continue reading »

Caravan as a form of transportation cum housing has been known to exist as early as the 1850’s in England.  Although many modern designs exist at present, caravans are fairly common in the English scene.  From its earliest use by Gypsies as their homes, caravans have been serving modern vacationing needs  of families through fully equipped mobile homes that can be outfitted to be as comfortable as immovable homes.


Image: gypsywaggons

Vardos are also often called gypsy wagons in reference to living accommodations used by British Romani people (Gypsies) that were traditionally drawn by horses.  Its much earlier use in France is specifically attributed to traveling circus troupes.  They were characterized by much adornment inside and out that each vardo is said to be a picture of aesthetic beauty and functionality.

Historical records show that early vardos were carpeted on the inside for at least half of the interior space, serving as sleeping quarters.  The remaining space housed the kitchen.  It became an iconic Romani symbol that would eventually produce an industry in building traveling wagons.  There are at least six known styles of the vardo including the Burton, Open Lot, Bow Top, Ledge, Reading, and Brush Wagon.  The names were derived from either the name of owner, the builder, or its style.

Static Caravans

Image: caravansautotrader

The modern version of caravans are now more commonly known as mobile homes.  They are either pulled as a trailer by a motorized vehicle or come as a vehicle in itself.  The present day caravans are characterized by as much convenience that can possibly be achieved in a home away from home.

The sale of static caravans experienced a sharp increase in the UK in 2009 when overseas vacationing became quite expensive.  Families opted to stay within the country when taking their vacations and settled for holiday parks with their caravans in tow.  This also addressed the increasing cost of hotel accommodation.


Withe the renewed consciousness in cost-effective living, static caravans became the preferred second home since it does not only ensure a place to stay but also a way to bring the passengers to their desired destination.  Staycation, which is the combined word produced by  “stay” and “vacation”, became the in-thing and enlivened the domestic tourist industry.  Though it can mean staying at home for vacation, staying within the home country to take a vacation using the  caravan proved to be a better option since staying at home traps the vacationers to domestic concerns because work is not so far away.

About the Guest Blogger:

Leandro of Caravan Insurance Experts highly recommends shopping for the best insurance package for your static caravans to avail of maximum protection.


River cruise holidays are an amazing holiday tradition that allow visitors to tour England in style. With a variety of riverboat hotels available, there’s a reason why these are among the most popular holiday options. Some options in English Holiday Cruises include self-drive narrow boat holidays, hire barge holidays, and cruiser boat holidays. However, river tours will usually be the best due to the fact that they include a full array of services and beautiful accommodations. Enjoy the wonderful views of the English countryside, soak in the unique culture and history of these areas, and take a river cruise for your next holiday! Continue reading »

London Pass

Traveling is always fun, but we must admit that it can be quite costly. For this reason, many cities in Europe have developed packages for tourists to make sightseeing more affordable and convenient.

“The London Pass is the ultimate sightseeing package that has been tailor-made for visitors to the city. It allows holders to make the most out of their trip, saving them both time and money.”

When you purchase a London Pass, you get free entrance to “over 55 popular attractions, tours, sights and museums”.  You can skip lines at selected attractions and avail of special offers too. Once you purchase a pass, you will receive a 160+ page travel guidebook about the city. Read on the attractions and helpful tips.

The Thames River cruise, Tower of London, London Zoo, Westminister Abbey, The London Bridge Experience, Windsor Castle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge Exhibition, Hampton Court Palace and Churchill War Rooms are all within reach. There is no need to worry about entrance fees or going over budget because they have all been paid for in advance.

As an added bonus for 2012, “each London Pass comes with a specially made 2012 commemorative pin badge”. You can also get a London Pass insurance option with a money back guarantee. It also comes with an optional Travelcard which can cover all of your transportation needs.

Make sure you have a wonderful holiday with the London Pass, where you can save on money, time and stress. Visit http://www.londonpass.com for more information.


Image from  ^▓▒▓ ® Ba7raiNi ® ▓▒▓^

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