For history and film buffs: Tour the “Robin Hood” sites in England

As you may or may not know, VisitBritain, the UK’s tourism office, has been encouraging and fostering “film tourism” since 1996, when they began releasing movie maps for films like Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes. Now, all you Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett fans can join in the fun; they’ve released touring information for the quintessentially British legend Robin Hood.

As it turns out, the film covers a rather good collection of off-the-beaten-path British destinations. Tourists today can visit Nottingham Castle as well as the adjacent mansion which was once the seat of the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sherwood Forest and the Major Oak, where Robin and his merry men were known to hold camp and the Church of St. Mary, where Robin and Maid Marion were married. Additional nearby attractions include the underground Nottingham labyrinth of caves, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (allegedly the oldest pub in England) and the Galleries of Justice Museum, where you can see England’s history of shocking crimes — and punishments.

As far as touring actual filming locations, visit VisitBritain’s Robin Hood site to discover unexpected destinations like Freshwater West in Wales, which served as the setting for the French invasion in the film, the lush gardens of Virginia Water in Surrey, and — though it was recreated with special effects for the film — the real Tower of London.

If this is right up your alley, keep an eye on VisitBritain Film Tourism for new and upcoming adventures inspired by cinema.

FAA whistle blowers blow and spill about Southwest Airlines violations

Yesterday CNN broke a story that two FAA inspectors have decided to come forward and start talking. And have they talked. According to Bobby Boutris and Douglas Peters, the issues with Southwest Airlines not complying with FAA safety inspections is an old problem that the FAA has known about, but has ignored. Boutris and Peters, uncomfortable with the FAA protocol not being followed, decided to spill because they feel they owe taxpayers a job well done.

They said that FAA looked the other way when Southwest flew 70 airplanes–or more, 30 months past the time they should have had their rudders inspected. The rudder is one of those important parts. It’s connected to the steering mechanism. Another not inspected part FAA knew about according to these two? The fuselage, or the skin. This inspection finds cracks. There were 47 planes that weren’t inspected when they should have been. During inspection 6 of them had cracks that could have been dangerous. That’s a comfort. Glad they found those. CNN has not been able to snag an interview with FAA higher ups, thus far.

Today there’s a hearing on Capitol Hill with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to help find out WHAT THE (fill in an expletive)?! CNN is staying up on this one. Boutris and Peters want whistle blower protection. I wonder who will play them in the movie version? Remember Russell Crowe in “The Insider,” the movie about the tobacco industry?

See previous Gadling posts about Southwest’s inspection story here, here, and here.