Is a street with a rude name your way up the housing ladder?

270rudestreetThere are loads of places in the UK whose names sound like a gag and someone must have had a giggle while creating them. Suggestive street names like Crotch Crescent, Minge Lane or Bell End are a guaranteed snigger. However, a study found that a rude street name could knock thousands off the price of the houses on these streets compared to ones that are just next to them. Living in Crotch Crescent Road could reduce your property price by £84,000!

The study by statistics expert Dr Geoff Ellis explores the top 10 rudest street names and the impact on house prices these names have. Could this be your way up the housing ladder?

Top 10 Rudest Street Names

  1. Minge Lane, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, detached house – £253,389 and detached house in Longfield – £325,000
  2. Slag Lane, Lowton, Lancashire, semi-detached house – £112,620 and semi detached house in Fieldfare Close – £141,297
  3. Fanny Hands Lane, Ludford, Lincolnshire detached house, £157,200 and detached house in Magna Mile, £236,987.
  4. Bell End, Rowley Regis, West Midlands, semi-detached house, £126,409 and semi-detached house in Uplands Avenue, £187,027.
  5. Crotch Crescent, Marston, Oxfordshire, terraced house, £238,250 and terraced house in Ouseley Close, £280,500.
  6. The Knob, Kings Sutton, Northamptonshire, semi-detached house, £245,000 and semi-detached house in Glebe Rise, £249,000.
  7. Cock Lane, Farringdon, London, terraced house, £142,757 and terraced house in Wreford Court, £162,500.
  8. Cockshoot Close, Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, semi-detached house, £286,536 and semi-detached house in Longore, £304,794.
  9. Cumming Street, Islington, London, flat, £292,768 and flat in Britannia Street, £358,419.
  10. Cock A-Dobby, Sandhurst, Berkshire, detached house, £456,481 and detached house in Longdown Road, £615,000.

Street names like Cock-a-Dobby and The Knob could create a bit of a chuckle but research from website found that living on a road with a rude name could be a fifth cheaper than the more sophisticatedly named places around which is no laughing matter.

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The top film locations in the UK

trainThe UK is one big, gorgeous movie set in itself – walking around towns like Oxford, Cambridge or Bath makes you feel like you are part of a movie. For this reason many film makers have chosen places around Britain to film some great classics. Discovering the filming location of some of your favourite movies makes is quite exciting, so here we look at where you can find some of them.

  1. Harry Potter movies

The Warner Studios near Watford offers a great day out for young and old fans alike and there you can see Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express, Privet Drive, etc. However, the film locations of the eight movies about the teen wizard are scattered all over Britain. Get a train from London’s King’s Cross station and you can find Platform 9 ¾ from where the Hogwarts Express departs to take the young wizards to the magical school. The Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands is where Ron’s flying Ford Anglia lands and London’s Leadenhall Market is the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. You can see parts of Hogwarts in Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and Durham Cathedral. Magical!

Tip for fans of the books:  J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, went to university in Exeter and parts of the city are said to have inspired her for places in the books – Gandy Street in the town centre looks a lot like Diagon Alley and the Old Firehouse pub is said to be the Leaky Cauldron. The author hasn’t confirmed this but if you’re in the area, it’s worth checking them out.

  1. James Bond movies

mi6-buildingThe James Bond film locations can be found all over the world – some of the latest movies have been filmed in Brazil, Turkey, Czech Republic, Italy, etc. There are some locations in the UK though that you wouldn’t want to miss if you are a fan. The original MI6 headquarters appears in ‘Golden Eye’ and ‘The World is Not Enough’, while the Old War Office Building in Whitehall is featured as MI6 HQ in ‘Octopussy’, ‘License to Kill’ and ‘A View to Kill’. The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest has one of the biggest collections of Bond vehicles in the world – you can even find the Lotus submarine from ‘The Spy Who Loves Me’.

  1. The Da Vinci Code

You can follow the footsteps of Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tatou) trying to resolve the mystery of the Da Vinci Code around many locations in London and around the UK. You can find the Temple Church and Westminster Abbey in London and then check out Lincoln Cathedral which is used as the abbey’s interior. The painting Madonna of the Rocks is in the National Gallery on Trafalgar square which is free to visit and the Horse Guards Parade near St. James’s Palace in London is where the mysterious ‘Teacher’ lures Remy and poisons him.

  1. Notting Hill

bluedoorThe Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts classic romantic comedy turned the West London neighbourhood into a major tourist hotspot. The Portobello Road market is now one of the top 10 tourist attractions in London and the blue door must be one of the most famous British film locations. You can find it at 280 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11. The film features loads of places in the area so just wander about and you can come across the Coronet cinema, the tattoo parlour at 201 Portobello Road, etc.

  1. Pride and Prejudice

pp0406The star-studded 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel featuring Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland and Judy Dench among others made great use of locations across Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Kent. The home of Mr. Darcy is Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and in the beautiful Peak District you can find Stamford, the Georgian town in Lincolnshire which became Meryton Village.

  1. Four Weddings and a Funeral

This 1992 romantic comedy that turned Hugh Grant into the king of the rom-com genre seems to wander all around Britain from Scotland to Somerset but it was actually filmed entirely in London and the Home Counties in the South East.  Some of the major London locations are the Royal Naval College in Greenwich and the National Film Theatre on the South bank.

  1. Poldark

poldarkThe recent super successful BBC period drama takes place in 18th century Cornwall. Much of the action is outdoors and the breathtaking scenery of Cornwall adds loads to the series. The filming locations are scattered all over Cornwall – the Levant Mine plays the role of Tressiders Rolling Mill and Owles and Crowns near Botallack is Ross Poldark’s Wheal Leisure, and Bodmin Moor and Padstow area stood for most of the outdoors/cliff scenes. You can find the BBC breakdown of the filming locations across Cornwall here

  1. The Queen

The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, tells the story of the days after the death of Princess Diana and made a star of the Scottish houses. The top royal locations featured in the film are Culzean Castle, Castle Frazer in Aberdeenshire and Balmoral, as well as Glenfeshie Estate and some of London’s royal and political sights.

  1. Love Actually

192706Love Actually is the ultimate London rom-com package featuring emblematic places like Downing Street 10, Somerset House, Heathrow Airport,St. Christopher’s Place, etc. On Gabriel’s Wharf, in front of the Riviera restaurant, is the bench where Daniel (Liam Neeson) discovers that his son is – actually – in love. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) lives a bit further east in the Oxo Tower Wharf complex where he embarrassedly leaves Juliet (Keira Knightley) with the wedding video. The dodgy end of Wandsworth where the PM looks for his Natalie is actually in Herne Hill, 102 Poplar Road, and Peter and Juliet live on 27 St Luke’s Mews, Notting Hill.

  1. Downton Abbey

highclereThe real castle that plays the role of Downton Abbey in the period drama is Highclere Castle in Berkshire (South East England) which is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The castle opens at different period throughout the year and next it will be open from Sunday 12th July to Thursday 10th September.


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How to win at the wine list

winelistA friend of mine always says that the house wine is better than the second cheapest as the restaurant buys in bulk and usually gets better quality. However, many people in Britain always drink the same wine or just pick the second cheapest bottle on the menu, a survey has concluded. Here are our tips about how to be a winner at the wine list challenge without necessarily being a wine connoisseur.

How to avoid the cheap plonk

It is usually safe to assume that wines coming from certain countries or regions would be good value at a lower price. These are usually wines coming from Chile and Argentina when it comes to red, full-flavoured wines while southern France is a great source of house or entry-level wines – look out for Languedoc or Cotes du Rhone. Southern Italy – Puglia or Sicily – is another good bet when it comes to decent wine at the lower end. Alternatively, countries like Bulgaria, Romania or Hungary offer good value wines at the cheaper end. In general, a good restaurant will not serve you bad wine so don’t be afraid to try the cheaper options.

 When it’s worth splurging

Fine quality wine often comes with a substantial price. There are some exceptions though. 100 years ago German wines used to cost more than the top Bordeaux wines but then their reputation plunged massively until recently they started to focus on quality again. This means that now you can find some great quality wines (Riesling especially) for a fraction of the price of quality French wines.

What not to gamble on

The big names such as the French Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne, the Spanish Rioja, the Italian Montepulciano and Chianti, as well as some southern Australian produce can actually be a massive hit and miss. If you don’t know the producer, then you are going for a bigger gamble than when picking a less known region like Languedoc.

Whenever you are in a puzzle as to what wine to pick, ask for a recommendation from the restaurant staff stating your budget. Before going for the second cheapest wine. Again.

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How to make the most of your holiday money?

270beachThe summer is near and the pound is still very strong so if you are headed abroad any time soon, your money is in a very good position. Here are some tips and tricks on how to get organised and make your cash go as far as possible.

Plan well

Overlooking details about luggage allowance when flying could cost you £100+ for a few extra kilos at the airport.  A wrong letter on a flight reservation could also cost you a packet to change afterwards. A missed flight could cost you £100s to rebook. Research by FAIRFX states that typical holidaymakers spend £100s more than they need to because of not getting organised. So take extra care when making the reservations for your holiday and plan well ahead your packing, how you’re going to get to the airport, if you’re going to rent a car or use airport parking, etc. and this could save you a lot of money and trouble.

Travel insurance

Buying your insurance through your travel agent is a big no no – you could end up paying loads more. Use a comparison website and only buy the insurance that you need. With this kind of insurance the cheaper is usually better but make sure you take into account the excess you would have to pay if you make a claim, as well as the cover you are getting for lost luggage, cancellation of the flight or missing your flight.

Don’t pay for EHIC/ESTA

ehicEuropean Health Insurance Cards or EHICs can be used within the European Union and Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein to get health care at the same rate as the locals (if it’s free for them, you would get it for free too). They are not a substitute of travel insurance as they don’t offer any additional cover. EHICs can be ordered online from the NHS at this link and are completely free. If you happen to come across a site which offers you to process your application more quickly (sometimes a top result on Google), don’t do it – you will be wasting your money. It’s the same with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for the USA – beware websites that offer to process your application for you, they could even delay your application in the end!

Travel money

currencyThe cheapest way to spend abroad is by getting a specialist credit card which doesn’t charge you a foreign currency exchange fee when spending on it. Normal debit or credit cards would charge you around 2-3% each time you pay with them abroad, and an extra £1-2 when withdrawing cash. Another cheap way to spend abroad is prepaid credit cards which are great also for managing the amount of money you spend.

If you need to exchange cash, pre-order it in advance and you would be getting the top rates. Never leave it for the airport as this will be costing you loads! If you want to get the cash at the airport, at least pre-order it so you get the better rates.

Compare credit cards for using abroad here

Do it like the locals

Do your homework before you go away and research for any tips from people who have been to that destination before – Trip Advisor is great for that. You could find information about cheaper ways to get around in your destinations, cheaper places to eat, free places to visit, etc. Another great place to get information is at your hotel’s reception. Don’t be afraid to ask the receptionist/ concierge for information – they usually know the destination quite well and have some insider locals tips.

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The sun creams that don’t give you the protection they promise

Consumer organisation Which? has announced that two of UK’s most popular brands of sun screen do not provide the protection that is stated on the label, which may put users at risk of sunburn. Laboratory tests showed that the Boots Soltan and Hawaiian Tropic sun creams offer only two thirds of the protection they promise.


Sun protection factor (SPF) measures the amount of protection against the harmful ultraviolet B (UVB) sunrays which are the main cause of sunburn, as well as ultraviolet A (UVA) rays which are less dangerous. Using SPF 30 means that you could stay in the sun 30 times longer than when using nothing.

Which? tested 13 different creams to see whether they really offer the SPF on the label. The two products by Boots and Hawaiian Tropic passed the UVA tests but failed the UVB test. Both companies have since claimed that their products have passed independent tests successfully and provide even more protection than stated. However, Which? advises consumers not to buy the products as when using them they might be exposed to harmful sunrays for longer than safe.

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Pets that have more money than you?

Looking at celebrity rich-lists makes you feel that life is unfair? Then prepare to cringe. These pets not only bring home the bacon, they are awfully wealthy!

Grumpy Cat – A lot

The owner of Grumpy cat Tabatha Bundesen denied reports that the famous cat whose grimace is due to cat dwarfism made a fortune of $100m (£67m) but with a licensed merchandise line and advertising deals, this grump could easily be the wealthiest pet.

Gunther – $145m or £90m

The German Shepherd Gunther inherited his fortune from his father who was left the money after the death of his owner, the German countess Karlotta Liebenstein. He famously purchased Madonna’s Miami villa for £5m as well as a £1,000 white truffle.

Kalu – £40m

article-1339989-0C89E789000005DC-366_468x660Patricia O’Neill, daughter of the Countess of Kenmore and wife of former Australian swimming champion Frank O’Neill left £40m to her chimpanzee Kalu after her death. She fell in love with the chimpanzee after rescuing her from a tree outside the home of Argentinian Consul-General in Zaire.

Tommasino – £10m

19306_S_Italian-cat-inheritsMaria Assunta, an Italian real-estate owner died aged 94 in 2011 and left her entire fortune to Tommasino – a stray cat she rescued and took care of. Italian law does not allow animals to inherit money so the fortune is now administered by Maria Assunta’s nurse, Stefania who takes care of Tommasino.

Choupette – £2m

karl_795Choupette is fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s pet and is claimed to have made €3m last year from advertisements for a Japanese cosmetics firm and a German car maker. The designer said that his cat is too sophisticated for cat food advertisements.

Trouble – £1m

maltese-puppyOriginally Trouble, Leona Helmsley’s Maltese terrier, inherited £6m from her wealthy owner cutting off two of her grandchildren from her will. However, they have made an appeal since and the dog will now have to live ‘modestly’ with its £1m.

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Lost luggage or delayed flight? Finally someone will be able to help…

suitcaseAnyone who has suffered flight delays or lost luggage knows that complaint handling and getting compensation could take a lot of time and efforts. At last, a new independent ombudsman-style complaints service will be set up to assist travellers who have suffered flight delays or lost luggage.

Currently complaints are being handled by the regulator – the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) who have struggled to deal with the massive number of cases they receive and to force airlines to follow its decisions or make payments. The new regulatory body will be set up by major airlines and will be impartial and low cost, but not free as European rules allow airlines to charge up to £25 per case. However, the CAA have said they will ensure that if a passenger wins the case, the fee will be waived.

The new service will not be compulsory for airlines to join and airlines will be able to group together to form their own schemes, so we could end up with several complaints services – the airlines will have to display on their websites if and when they are members of any scheme. However, these schemes are still going to make getting compensation easier as the airlines will not be able to ignore their decisions as they could until now with the CAA’s decisions. If the airlines do ignore the ombudsman-style body’s decisions, they will be excluded from it. The service will be launched at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016.

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