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31 May 2017

In the UK? Make sure you go to Leeds

Ever heard of the Lonely Planet travel guides? They are very popular, and cover destinations all around the world, and also more general advice.

They have just created a list of the 10 best places to visit in Europe in 2017 – and in fifth place is a UK city you may not have heard of, Leeds. Leeds is a major city in Yorkshire in the North of England, and is already a popular destination for overseas travellers. It was the 14th most visited town or city last year

The Lonely Planet list, which looks for places which are "new, exciting or undiscovered" has several reasons to like Leeds. It says the city has a great cultural scene, a good nightlife and a good reputation for food.

James Smart of Lonely Planet says: "With major events this year including the reopening of Leeds Art Gallery and the 50th anniversary of Leeds Carnival, there's never been a better time to join the party."

Other places to visit in and around Leeds include the Royal Armouries Museum, which is the national collection of armour, swords and old weapons. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is nearby.

The top destination in Lonely Planet's Top 10 is Zagreb in Croatia.

Meet the birds who guard the UK

If you have been to the Tower of London, a castle in the middle of the city, you will have seen the six black birds who live there. The birds are called ravens and they have a special keeper who looks after them.

There is a reason that the ravens are so important. There is an old story that if they are at the Tower they protect the nation. Bad things will happen to the Tower, the royal family and the country if they fly away.

So feathers on their wings are cut so that they cannot fly far. Ravens have been kept at the Tower for at least 130 years, and possibly much longer.

But now there is a revolution at the Tower. The ravens' keeper has experimented with new ways of looking after them. This means that one tame raven is allowed to fly out of the Tower, and others can get as far as the roof. This means they are healthier.

Emojis help men and women understand each other better

One of the UK's experts in language and communication says emojis are helping men and women to understand each other better :)

Professor Vyvyan Evans says men are more likely to read something and think it means exactly what it says. Using emoji faces with messages makes their meaning much clearer, he says.

He also says that British people find emojis very useful because they do not talk so openly as some other nations :(

The new Stonehenge mystery

Stonehenge is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the UK. Historians are finding out more about the huge stone circle and the people who built it in 2,500 BC but the latest discovery is very surprising.

A project to learn more about the DNA of people in Europe has found that the Stone Age Britons who started to build Stonehenge mostly disappeared before it was finished. They were replaced by a group of Bronze Age people, called The Beaker Folk, who came from the Netherlands.

The Beaker Folk made ornaments out of silver and gold and also made bell-shaped pots which have been round all round Europe. But it is only in the UK where the Beaker Folk seem to have replaced the people who lived there.

"It looks like an invasion," said one scientist.


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