For anyone looking for a Christmas party in London with a difference we fully recommend booking a cruise with Thames Leisure. You won’t be disappointed!

To find out more information about their Christmas cruises on the Thames go to

It may seem a little crazy these days but the River Thames used to freeze over a lot! In fact, between 1400 and 1814 the Thames froze over on 24 occasions. Though you might thank that this had something to do with some kind of ice age during previous centuries, it was actually mainly to do with the flow of the river. The Thames was broader and shallower in the Middle Ages, with no embankment, and this meant there was a slower flow, perfect for icing over. As the infrastructure of the river changed, with new piers and bridges, the flow began to increase and now it’s almost impossible for the river to completely freeze over.

What’s remarkable about the fact that the Thames used to freeze over is that on these instances the people would actually hold fairs on the river, full of drinking, revelry and all kinds of events. One time even an elephant was walked across the ice. There’s a really interesting article about the River Thames’ Frost Fairs at Thames Leisure.

So, to answer the above question the last time the Thames actually completely froze over was in 1814. There have been partial freezes since, such as The Big Freeze of 1963 but it’s unlikely we’ll ever see a Frost Fair on the river again.

Have you ever wondered why people refer to the Thames as the “River Thames” and not the “Thames River”? Unfortunately, if you’re after an answer there is no definitive one. It happens to be one of those instances where over the years the way we use language has changed, though some of the words we use have not.

Generally speaking, since days of yore in Great Britain, it’s been common practice for the word ‘river’ to be placed before the river’s name, so in the UK you have the River Avon, River Severn, River Thames, River Wye, and so on and on. It is thought that this is a relic dating back to the Norman invasions and the influence the French had, as there practice would always be to put the word ‘river’ first. This is common amongst all romance languages, so would certainly explain why we do that in the UK.

It shows a big difference to how they refer to rivers in North America where the word ‘river’ normally comes after, e.g. Hudson River, Mississippi River, Missouri River, Yukon River, and so on.

If you’d like to find out more about the River Thames take a look at this interesting post we came across: The History of the River Thames.

Here’s a great guide from our friends at Morgan Kelly Solicitors, giving out some top tips for ensuring your property purchase/sale goes through without a hitch.

Though not quite as popular a question as “How Far Is Sussex from London?” it is fair to say that we have had quite a few students asking us how far it is to get from Sussex to Birmingham, especially from people thinking about studying at University of Sussex and University of Brighton.

The answer is approximately 150 miles from Birmingham to Sussex. By car you can expect to take around 2 hours 30 minutes to make the journey (as long as the journey isn’t too bad), while train will take closer to 3 hours.


Trains run almost every twenty minutes from Birmingham to Brighton, and vice versa, with the earliest trains running from around 6am and the last leaving at just after 9pm.

Inheritance Tax – often referred to simply as IHT – is a tax that is unexpected by many families, and as a result, is consistently a big talking point in the media.According to the HMRC, Inheritance Tax is:

“… usually paid on an estate when somebody dies. It’s also sometimes payable on trusts or gifts made during someone’s lifetime. Most estates don’t have to pay Inheritance Tax because they’re valued at less than the threshold (£325,000 in 2013-14). The tax is payable at 40 per cent on the amount over this threshold or 36 per cent if the estate qualifies for a reduced rate as a result of a charitable donation.”

It’s therefore extremely important to understand the basic concepts behind Inheritance Tax so as to protect your assets. Failure to do so can result in your heirs paying heavy duties on their inheritance that could otherwise have been avoidable.

I would personally recommend Square One Financial as a great company for getting up-to-date information on current thresholds and legislation as well as offering personalised tax-planning advice on legitimate ways to reduce your liability.

I hope this article helps in some way people from not having to pay debts/taxes that they never knew they were liable for.

Hey, I came across this rather good video for inheritance tax from Square One Financial, giving a good explanation of what inheritance tax is, how much it may cost you and how you can reduce it. There’s never a bad time to look into inheritance tax, wills and what you will leave behind when you’re gone (sorry for the depressing note!) so give it a view – it could be interesting.