The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Travel & Lifestyle Blogger

UK’s Top 5 most accessibility friendly museums for hearing-impaired visitors

With 1 in 6 of the UK’s adult population affected with hearing loss, it only makes sense that our cultural attractions should be made accessible for all visitors and in this case, equipped with facilities to accommodate hearing-impaired visitors. 

The hearing specialists at ReSound carried out a report on 40 the most visited attractions in the UK, and analysed how many of them had accommodating features available for the hearing-impaired. Sign language guides and tours for hearing-impaired visitors were one of the accommodating features analysed in the report, as well as sensory rooms and quiet times.

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MamaBabyBliss’ Launch National Appeal for Ukrainian Families

UK mother and baby support network, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ has launched a national fundraising campaign in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal run by The British Red Cross Society.

In light of displaced families, bombed maternity wards and tragic loss of life due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ Founder Justina Perry has encouraged mums and babies, mums-to-be and franchisees across her UK network of pregnancy, mother and baby classes to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian parents.

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The Wandering Mother | Top 10 Instagrammable Places in UK

Insta-capital: London is home to the UK’s most Instagrammed tourist attractions

The research development team from SlotsUp analysed hashtag data to determine which of the UK’s most popular tourist attractions are the most Insta-worthy. The study analysed popular hashtags on Instagram of the top 80 most visited tourist attractions in the UK and revealed the Tate Modern in London to be the most ‘Instagrammable’ location, with over 1 million posts.

The Natural History Museum located in London landed in third place, with 674,294 posts, followed closely by the Tower of London with 602,666 posts.

Top 10 most Instagrammable tourist attractions in the UK

  1. Tate Modern – London – 1,094,047 posts 
  2. Stonehenge – Wiltshire – 786,316 posts 
  3. NHM (South Kensington) – London – 674,294 posts 
  4. Tower of London – London – 602,666 posts 
  5. Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh – 586,892 posts 
  6. British Museum – London – 586,287 posts 
  7. Kensington Palace – London – 402,921 posts 
  8. Royal Albert Hall – London – 333,873 posts 
  9. Chester Zoo – Chester – 326,866 posts
  10. Giants Causeway – Northern Ireland – 302,942 posts

Methodology: Taking a seed list of the most visited tourist attractions in the UK, we’ve gathered hashtag data from Instagram to determine the most-posted attractions in and around the UK.

1. Tate Modern, London

Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London. In 2016, the Tate Modern expanded by 60% to incorporate more gallery space, and visitors numbers increased by almost 25%, making it one of the UK’s most visited tourist attractions. The modern and contemporary art gallery has now been revealed as the UK’s most Instagrammed tourist attraction, with a staggering 1,094,047 posts.

The Tate Modern features a collection of artistic impressions, including painting, paper, sculpture, films, performances installations and is home to many famous pieces by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Dali and Warhol. 

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Tate Modern gallery / Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

2. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

One of the most famous prehistoric monuments in Britain, Stonehenge is among the most Instagrammed tourist attractions in the UK, with 786,316 posts on the platform. The World Heritage site was erected in the late Neolithic period around 2500 BC, and the mystery of how and why the stones came to be placed in their unique positions remains a mystery to historians to this day.

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Stonehenge / Photo by Sung Shin on Unsplash

3. Natural History Museum, London

Established over 130 years ago, London’s Natural History Museum is one of the UK’s most Instagrammable tourist attractions, with 674,294 hashtags. The museum was founded in the 1850s by biologist Richard Owen, and now features hundreds of exciting and interactive exhibits for visitors to enjoy. 

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature is currently being featured at the Natural History Museum, where families can discover where the real world and the Wizarding World intertwine and explore the myths, legends and magical creatures. 

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NHM South Kensington / Photo by Claudio Testa on Unsplash

4. Tower of London, London

Steeped in mystery, violence and death, the Tower of London dates back almost 1,000 years and attracts more than 6 million visitors each year. The tower is most notable for the Crown Jewel collection, which showcases an incredible 23,578 glittering gemstones, alongside the infamous Tower Ravens. 

Visitors can take a guided tour from the famous Beefeaters, see the Ceremony of the keys – which takes place daily – and learn all about the Tower’s history and unusual ex-inhabitants. 

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Tower of London / Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

5. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle is a world-famous tourist attraction located in Scotland, and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. Perched on an extinct volcano at the top of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the castle plays a significant role in the city’s skyline. 

With over 500,000 posts on Instagram, Edinburgh Castle is now one of the most Instagrammed attractions in the UK. Tourists often catch a snapshot of the twinkling views of the capital at night, the red and pink skies as the sun sets below and the stunning dusky views throughout the day.

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Edinburgh Castle / Photo by Ben Guerin on Unsplash

6. British Museum, London

Founded in 1753, with more than 13 million artefacts that span over two million years of human history, the British Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. More than 5 million visitors head to the museum each year to see the most notable ancient artefacts – the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens, and the famous Rosetta Stone. 

In addition to the extensive artefact collection, the museum has special exhibitions, displays and events available for visitors to enjoy. You can book a private tour to gain more insight into the history of each exhibition, or join a workshop or lecture. 

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British Museum / Photo by Nicolas Lysandrou on Unsplash

7. Kensington Palace, London

Kensington Palace in London is a working Royal residence and was the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. It has since hosted a wealth of royals, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana, with their children, Prince William and Prince Harry. Currently, the palace is the official London residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess live in the 20-room Apartment, formerly the residence of Princess Margaret. 

There are multiple areas of Kensington Palace that are open to the public. Visitors can take a stroll through the King’s State Apartments, the Queen’s State Apartments and the Gardens. Guests can also visit the exhibitions, shop and cafe. 

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Princess Diana Memorial Gardens at Kensington Palace / Photo by Amy-Leigh Barnard on Unsplash

8. Royal Albert Hall, London

One of London’s most notable and iconic attractions, the Royal Albert Hall has hosted some of the world’s most famous musicians, sports stars and politicians since it opened in 1871. The Royal Albert Hall design was based on a Roman amphitheatre, with stacked balconies that bring visitors close to the action. With a capacity of around 6,000, the number of visitors that have entered the venue over the years runs to many millions. 

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Royal Albert Hall / Photo by Raphaël Tomi-Tricot on Unsplash

Chester Zoo, Chester

The beloved Chester Zoo has been entertaining and teaching the North West for almost 100 years. In recent years it has seen over 2 million visitors flock to the zoo annually, not surprising considering the 130 acres of land is bursting with tens of thousands of animals and even more plants. The zoo is now officially one of the most Instagrammed attractions in the UK, with 333,873 posts on the social platform. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Family Lifestyle & Travel
Tiger at Chester Zoo / Photo by Clovis Wood Photography on Unsplash

10. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

The Giant’s Causeway comprises around 40,000 thousand interlocking basalt columns, descending into the Atlantic Ocean. The hexagonal-shaped columns are the aftermath of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption and date back almost 60 million years. To truly immerse yourself into the Giants Causeway experience, head into the visitors centre where you can discover the story of this UNESCO World Heritage site. 

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Giant’s Causeway / Photo by Kevin McMahon on Unsplash
The Wandering Mother | Top 10 Instagrammable Places in UK

The data and findings in this post were made by the research team at SlotsUp. All photos have been credited to their original sources respectively.

Earth Day: How to do your bit to take care of the planet

Ways you can do your bit to help the planet…

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The 3 R’s – Jack Johnson even wrote a song for this years ago to help kids become more aware and get involved. Whenever possible: reduce your consumption of single-use plastics, reuse anything that can be used again ie. canvas shopping bags – even those plastic supermarket bags can be reused. If you’ve reduced and reused as much as you can, recycle it by throwing it in a recycling bin instead of the general waste bin.

Many plastics, cans and packagings can now be recycled but always check the label. An alternative to recycling is upcycling! This works when you can take an old item and give it a new life in the same form or as something different. For example, with an old dining chair give it a new lick of paint and make a nice padded seat with new fabric. Upcycling can be a lot of fun and will save you money on buying something new!

Photo via Pexels

Cutting your carbon footprint

Every little really does help. By cutting your carbon footprint whenever possible you can help keep the air cleaner, especially in busy locations where children’s schools are located. Little Man’s primary school is based on a side road off one of London’s most busiest routes and the air pollution levels are concerning. Children dying from air pollution caused by car traffic emission is nothing new and should be a sign that something must be done in order to keep children safe.

Living in London this is easier to do than in rural areas. We can pretty much walk, ride or take public transport to pretty much anywhere we’d want to go. If the distance is short, swap the car for a good walk. Or hire a bike and get riding. The new cycle route is underway and will link up central London’s main roads to major cities like Greenwich, Woolwich, Lewisham.

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Credit: Matthew Tkocz via Unsplasha

Conscious living

Become more aware of the things you’re buying. Look at the packaging – is it recyclable or refillable? What about the product itself – has it been made in a sustainable way? Are the ingredients natural or synthetic? Have the materials been sourced and farmed responsibly and/or sustainably? These are all questions you should think of when buying something.

Household brands are also getting more involved in the cleaner, greener approach. KINN Living cleaning products use natural and organic essential oils to power their products instead of chemical nasties. They work pretty good too, I can vouch for that personally! Beauty brands are becoming more aware of the synthetic fillers and bulkers they add in their formulations and have now reduced or completely cut it out. You can find green beauty, hair and skincare brands online. Love Lula is great for finding organic and natural brands and Look Fantastic has a decent collection too.

Look Fantastic have also gone one step further and launched their new eco-beauty recycling scheme where you can send all of your used plastic beauty, skin and hair packaging back to them so they can recycle it for free. All you have to do is make sure the packaging (plastic only!) is clean with no residue left inside and sign up for a free returns bag for you to place your empties into. Look Fantastic will recycle the packaging on your behalf. Best thing of all? It doesn’t have to be just products you’ve purchased from them, it’s ALL of your beauty plastics!

Retail and fashion brands are onto creating sustainable clothing too. Mountain Warehouse have launched a new organic cotton collection which features super soft cotton clothing that’s both sourced and farmed sustainably. They also have a recycled collection where previous plastics and recycled materials have been given a new lease of life in clothing. H&M’s Conscious collection has been around for many years and has always been a great choice for me. Their products also feature organic cotton and now include a portion of recycled materials into their clothing. The best thing is that unlike some brands, there’s not a massive difference in price to buy from the conscious range – how it should be! We shouldn’t have to pay more to wear recycled clothing.

The Greenwich Mummy | A Family Lifestyle Blog
via Unsplash

Turn off that… tap / light / heating

We all do it. We leave the tap on when we’re brushing our teeth or washing the dishes. We leave the lights on when we leave the house for a couple hours or throughout the night. Or we leave the heating on full blast during the colder days and forget to turn it off in the summer. It happens. But we know it happens so let’s try and do something about it.

Swapping baths for showers can save you a load of water and even just switching the tap off when you’re brushing your teeth can make a difference to your water consumption which also saves you on your water and energy bills. Switching to energy-saving bulbs is also a no-brainer and if you remind yourself to turn off the lights as you leave the house, that can save you a little more. For heating, use your thermostat settings and instead of having the heating on constant, set times of when you’re more likely to need it on. On thermostats you can even set the temperature so they heating needn’t be on full blast.

For more info on Earth Day: https://www.earthday.org

The Wandering Mother Blog | News: Waterproof and Wellies Project

BRISTOL PRIMARY SCHOOL IS FIRST TO RECEIVE WATERPROOF AND WELLIES KITS TO AID OUTDOOR LEARNING

The Waterproof and Wellies Project, part of The Outdoor Guide Foundation, is raising £5m to provide State Primary Schools with outdoor clothing & wellie boots to enable children to learn about and enjoy the outdoors.

Four Acres Academy, Withywood, is the first school to benefit from the Waterproof & Wellies Project, launched by TV presenter Gemma Hunt from CBeebies.

TV presenter, Gemma Hunt from CBeebies plays with the children at Four Acres Academy
Children at Four Acres Academy are the first to receive their wet weather gear from the Waterproof & Wellies project, Bristol

Government figures show there are over 20,000 primary schools in the UK in which a number of families do not have easy access to the right gear to enjoy the outdoors.

The project, part of The Outdoor Guide Foundation, aims to raise £5m to provide 10 sets of high-quality outdoors kit, consisting of a waterproof jacket, trousers and welly boots to every state primary school across the country over the next six years.

Children in Bristol are getting wet and muddy thanks to the Waterproof & Wellies project which is part of The Outdoor Guide Foundation

TV presenter Gemma Hunt from CBeebies, mother of a four-year-old daughter and outdoor enthusiast, says, “I am thrilled to be supporting this and encouraging more children to get outside. The kits provide the basic gear that will allow children to have wonderful outdoor experiences when at school, whatever the weather!”

Headteacher of Four Acres Academy, Matthew Cave said: “When we have taken learning outdoors we have seen amazing results – the children are engaged in the tasks, cooperate brilliantly and really enjoy this part of their curriculum. We’re delighted to be working with The Waterproof and Wellies Project, ensuring that all our children can experience the benefits of playing and learning in the great outdoors.”

Jumping in muddy puddles is always fun!

“Lack of access to weatherproof clothing is a real barrier for children engaging in outdoor learning. The Waterproof and Wellies Project aims to democratise access to the great outdoors by donating 10 kits to every state primary school in Britain, meaning all kids can join their classmates for fun, fresh air and adventures in nature.”

Gina Bradbury Fox, co-founder of The Outdoor Guide (TOG)

Keep Britain Tidy, a partner of The Outdoor Guide, donated litter pickers and reusable TOG litter bags to Four Acres Academy, encouraging children to care for the world around them and keep their local area clean and ready for play as part of their Great British Spring Clean campaign which aims to encourage everyone to pick up litter.

Gemma Hunt with the children from Four Acres Academy enjoying their new waterproofs and wellies!