micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

UK Tourist Leisure Attractions - About Our Site

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

All about our tourist website...

Our Website's History

Starting in late 2001 as a means of showcasing our travel images to family and friends spread throughout the world, our site has evolved into what it is today.

Gosh, thinking back, originally our site was constructed using no less than two frame sets!  The image galleries had clickable scrolling thumbnails along the bottom which could be clicked to display a larger version, together with comments, above.

It soon dawned on us that our site was being used by others planning their own UK leisure activities - so we opened up our own travel research and added the UK tourist resources page.

In 2003 we decided to create the image pages with multiple pics on each page and comments underneath.  And the following year with increasing broadband usage  we edited our videos into longer clips and commenced our leisure product reviews; starting with our PMR taklie-walkie, then our handheld Sat Nav receiver in 2005, a camcorder in 2006, digital camera in 2008, more two way radios in 2010, and smartphone and Android apps in 2013.

With our increasing knowledge we ramped up the search engine optimisation (SEO) during 2005 and also started to bring the site coding in line with current web standards of the time and, finally(!), ditched the framed site architecture in 2007, re-structuring the site's sprawling directory structure at the same time.

Just prior to the 2008 UK tourist season we launched our tourist news blog and started a move to a more commercial footing by opening up a UK tourism industry advertising facility.

An SEO revisit and another DMOZ submission in 2009 (accepted this time) resulted in a dramatic doubling of site visitors a short while later.

In early 2010 we finally got around to ditching the heavy grey background pattern/yellow text (likened to the sun trying to peak through on a dull day - gulp!) for a soft blue; creating an image of a clear blue sky and warm sunny days - much more appropriate for a tourism website!  And we added a new feature page all about our Geocaching pastime and a social share button on all pages.

Following a number of enquiries we realised we now had a large archive of tourism images so launched a further commercial venture in early 2011 - royalty-free image purchases.  And over the winter 2011/12 we revisited every one of our (then) 83 image gallery pages (phew!), rewriting some content and carrying out other improvements we identified.  And we did the same again winter 2013/14 but with an increased 91 pages!

The following winter 2014/15 saw us upgrade the site's Google Analytics to Universal Analytics and update the Add This social share facility.  We looked into bringing the site into line with responsive design and made some improvements to page speed and added an xml sitemap.

Over winter 2015/16 we ditched the commercial aspects (ads & RF image sales) and made further technical improvements.  As now a non-commercial site we decided not to pursue further the huge amount of work necessary to make the site more mobile-device friendly (yes, that responsive design), leaving the site as a well-established resource for UK tourism, leisure and study.

Despite the site's now seriously dated design and less favourable search engine positions than previously, we still manage to attract many thousands of visitors each month.  Developed in the early millennium and with our 20th birthday now passed in 2021, we've decided to not add any new content.  But we will still maintain the site and add / update existing image galleries as we revisit previously visited areas.

Mike picMike

Our Images & Video

Coastal images

We carefully select, enhance and optimise all our tourist and leisure images to place in our galleries, with some of Dales, Fells and Downs imagesthe larger galleries spanning a number of pages.  Below each image we provide a few comments, sometimes amusing and usually useful for our fellow UK tourists.

Images in many of our older (pre 2002) galleries were derived from video footage, so the quality is not as good as proper photographic or digital images.  The source of later, post 2001 galleries is from our 35mm and digital stills cameras.  All galleries post 2004 are digitally derived.  Countryside imagesAnd from 2009 we increased the size and went for a wider aspect ratio of our gallery images to better suit today's larger, wider screen resolutions.

We hope you enjoy our UK leisure and tourist images!

Now our video.  Well, back in the dark days of dial-up and prehistoric internet speeds we could only provide short clips that wouldn't take an age to download.  The later, post 2004, clips contain longer running edited clips better suited to broadband.

To play our videos a browser plug-in is required, such as Windows Media Player, QuickTime or Real Player.  In the unlikely event you don't already have one you should be prompted to download and install when attempting to play the video.  Alternatively, we recommend the excellent VLC media player.

video camera

We've not added any more video content since 2006 pending a re-think in view of the abundance of online tourism video now available on the web.  If we resuscitate this we'll probably go the YouTube path.  For now though we're concentrating on our images.

Belinda picBelinda


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