As overseas travel uncertainty continues, more of us are continuing to enjoy summer staycations across good old blighty.
Our aim is to create and revitalise spaces and neighbourhoods so communities can flourish and thrive, and this includes our increasingly important tourism industry. Check out some of the below options for UK staycations as we draw inspiration from some of our own projects…
On the edge of Snowdonia National Park and close to the Isle of Anglesey, Caernarfon provides beautiful coastline and rolling countryside, making it a great choice for a staycation this summer. Caernarfon castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Wales’ most famous castle that even 700 years after being built, commands your full attention.
We’ve been involved in the ongoing transformation of Caernarfon, thanks to being appointed as Civil and Structural Engineers on the ‘Caernarfon Island Regeneration’ project, the restoration of Caernarfon’s historic waterfront buildings.
Engineering works involved the refurbishment of the existing traditional buildings on Slate Quay, known as the Island site, and the construction of new steel frame buildings, threaded in and amongst the surviving traditional structures. Retaining the town’s historic integrity meant significant engineering considerations, including understanding the large amount of interfaces between the different structures and ensuring that when beginning construction in close proximity to the existing structures, the new engineering solutions would not impact the original buildings.
Creating an artisan quarter, on the refurbished Island site, it provides the perfect location for visitors to access its quaint local shops, stunning views and a fascinating history that can even keep the kids entertained (Take the ‘Castle Quest’ to find hidden beasts linked with Caernarfon and visit Eagle Tower’s ‘Game of Crowns room’).
As development continues across the town, visit this summer to experience the beauty for yourself at this much-loved Welsh beauty spot.
Reimagining Wordsworth, Lake District National Park
There’s a reason why over 15 million visitors flock to The Lake District every year. With its postcard perfect mountains, hilltops and lakes (naturally!), the UK’s most popular national park was also named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
With oh-so pretty market towns, traditional inns and streets to easily get lost pottering down, the region is also known for Wordsworth Grasmere, the home of iconic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy Wordsworth. Now re-open to the public after an extensive regeneration project, we were proud to be acting as Civil and Structural engineers on the Reimagining Wordsworth design, which was completed last year to celebrate the 250th anniversary of William’s birth.
The £6.2 million project saw improvements made across the Wordsworth Estate, including the gardens, museum and café, that now house even more to offer for families and guests of all ages. The development of outdoor areas has also ensured that Wordsworth’s beloved nature continues to be celebrated, including a sensory garden and Woodland.
With the main structural work taking place at the existing museum, to gain much needed gallery space, a new semi-external staircase and viewing station was cut into the hillside, to allow visitors to enjoy the beautiful views across Grasmere. The challenge of preserving the rich heritage of the site without any drawings available (due to the historic nature of the buildings), meant all of us involved with the regeneration work faced a real challenge to adapt construction details as more information was revealed during the work itself.
With that heatwave we keep being promised around the corner, the Lake District and a visit to the Wordsworth Estate is one to add to this summer’s bucket list.
Photography by Gareth Gardner
Freight Island, Manchester City Centre
Manchester’s newest hotspot, Escape to Freight Island opened this summer, and the lively open-air entertainment space is proving popular for both locals and tourists, visiting for a summer city break.
The beauty of Freight Island is it offers something for everyone; a diverse collective of local food vendors, bars, live music and DJs, immersive art, children and dog friendly dining options, and of course, plenty of under-cover, heated areas (a trip to Manchester without the rain appearing is unlikely!).
The space is part of Depot Mayfield’s £1.4bn ongoing regeneration plans and is open all year-round, but the summer is when the space can really be enjoyed at its best as the large al fresco dining area comes into its own.
Our team were proud to play our part in bringing the Escape to Freight Island project to life, supporting with design options for the architect with regards to framing out those iconic shipping containers the site is famous for, along with the designs for the terraces and platforms created using timber joist floors framed out with steel. With the extensive knowledge our team have of the Mayfield Depot building we were able to find efficient structural solutions with only ‘light-touch’ impacts on the existing building, re-using the integral strength of the shipping containers.
Already an iconic venue within the city, Freight Island really is the summer escape we need after over a year of restrictions.