Archive for April, 2008


Raining all day so been uploading photos onto site.  Might just be the content I’m uploading today but astonishing just how violent our history has been.  Today I’ve seen scores of castles, battlefields, warships, half-standing monasteries. 

Went on a trip to Sussex and Kent before putting this site live and the same thought occured then when driving around taking photos/footage.  Granted, it’s the south east coast and the continent’s over a small stretch of water but the number of fortifications from Roman times to WWII surprised me.  Dover castle, Martello towers along Romney Marsh, Rye Castle, Bodiam Castle, Battle Abbey, so it goes on.

Have to admit it makes for interesting travels but all these signs of past violence puts a different slant on a site that’s supposed to be celebratory.

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UK weather

It’s blimmin freezing down here in the south west at the mo.  I like the marked seasons in the UK, the change in colours, smells, landscape, light but there comes a point when you want it to heat up a bit.  Warm April rain would do. 

Which reminds me that we should have the weather on picturetheuk because it’s important.

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Old Media vs New Media

Spoke to some friends over the weekend who work for large publishing companies.  It’s intriguing to compare the process of writing and publishing books to developing websites.  Old Media seems to edit, edit, proof before it delivers the final fully formed article to the world.  New Media throws a beta version out there and then iterates and grows the product in response to usage. 

The New Media approach reminded me of an attraction we added to picturetheuk called the Lloyds building.  Traditionally, buildings have their ‘guts’ (lifts, pipes, staircases etc) hidden away inside a polished exterior.  The Lloyds building reversed this with the ‘guts’ being on the ouside.  The New Media approach strikes me as being more honest.


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Loaded on bluebells

Late April in the UK and bluebells are out.  Was introduced to these flowers in my late teens at a RSPB reserve in Dorset called Garston Wood.  Every year since I’ve looked forward to late April and the intoxicating smell and site of bluebells carpeting woods.  Took the kids to Great Woods in Wiltshire today and came away feeling, loaded.

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Domestic and Overseas Visitors to UK

Reading the Kelkoo research (last post) made me return to stats that underpin picturetheuk’s business model.  Whilst we only started developing this site Feb 28th 2008 as part of a change in direction for Zencudo Ltd, we’ve been researching the space for a wee while now.

There are about 30 million visits from overseas visitors and each visit lasts about 8 days.  A whopping £16 billion is spent which an average of about £500 per visit.

In terms of domestic visitors, the stats become extraordinary.  In 2002, nearly 170 million trips were made in the UK with expenditure of £27 billion.  There must be well over 200 million trips now if one builds in modest growth.

Stats are from National Statistics Office btw.

In terms of country stats, in 2002 England attracted 135 million trips @ £21 billion expenditure, Scotland 18.5 million @ £3.7 billion, Wales 12 million @ £1.54 billion and Northern Ireland 2.8 million @ £0.5 billion. 

In terms of regional stats, in 2002 the South West of England attracted 21 million trips @ £3.9 billion expenditure, the Heart of England (West Midlands on our site) 25 million @ £3.2 billion, London 16 million @ £2.8 billion, the North West 14.5 million @ £2.3 billion and then it filters down to Cumbria at 4.3 million @ £0.7 billion.

 In the notes I made for this, there’s a ‘WOW’ so clearly I was a bit surprised when I bumped into them 🙂

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UK holidays on the up :)

Interesting research from Kelkoo last month.  In a nutshell, there seems to have been a massive uplift in domestic tourism and in travel shopping.  Excerpts below and link to research …

‘ … statistics from Kelkoo show that the number of people searching for holidays in the UK is up by 39%, whilst searches for long haul holidays are down 12%. Kelkoo has seen a 21% rise in people searching for cottages and holiday homes in areas like the Lake District, Cornwall and Dorset . Walking holidays and short breaks in the UK have also seen an increase of 18%.

To coincide with Brits staying closer to home, Kelkoo has seen a rise in people searching for outdoorsy products such as hiking boots, tents, and camping stoves.  Some of our favourite outward-bound brands are benefiting from this trend, with Northface enjoying a year-on-year increase in searches of 22%, Timberland 28% and Berghaus 14% respectively. It seems the bad weather isn’t a turn-off for us hardy Brits, with people preparing for rain by searching for Barbour waterproof jackets, which are up 12% year-on-year.

As well seeing a marked increase in people searching for outward-bound clothing, Brits are arming themselves with all the required accessories to ensure a successful trip, with roof racks seeing an increase of 15% year on year. Some people are even opting to forgo the cottage and get back to nature in a tent, which have benefited from a 10% increase … ‘


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Thrilled to write we’re now live.  The site’s very much in beta and we’re steadily adding content from the ten thousand of so photos and videos we have at the moment.  Whilst we’re expecting things to be quiet until we bulk up on content and develop the site further, it’s great to know the site’s ‘alive’ now at www.picturetheuk.com

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So what is ‘picturetheuk’?

We call it a UK tourism search engine.  A tourism search engine that lets you see or picture the United Kingdom before you book your trip and go.  It’s summed up by the little tag line below the logo: See.Book.Go. 

In time, we hope you’ll be able to sit in front of your computer or TV and explore the UK through tens of thousands of photos and videos.  If you prefer words, there’ll be plenty of those too and we have a professional artist who’ll be providing pictures and artwork for the site.

We’re pretty sure we’re going to put the site live soon and grow it over the course of 2008.  It’s amazing to be able to do something like this with a chunk of your life and we hope that passion will inspire you to join in!  We’ll post again when ‘picturetheuk’ goes live.


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