Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

MY TIME AT BOURNEMOUTH 7S FESTIVAL

Saturday

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, I spent the Saturday and Sunday at Bournemouth 7s Festival. I had my ticket booked so long ago and was due to go in May 2020, so I felt like writing about my experience there.


Group of people at festival

If you have been following me for a while, you may remember that in lockdown last year, I tried recreating Bournemouth 7s Festival in my back garden.

Related: Throwing a festival lockdown party

Luckily I was able to stay at a friend's house so I didn't have to do any camping. I'm so glad, it was such a tiring weekend so I needed the proper sleep in a bed.


Day 1 


For day 1 my friends and I went out for breakfast so we could line our stomachs and started drinking pre-lunch time. No judgment here it was a big weekend! We had some more pre-drinks at the house before heading to the festival at around 2pm.


The queue for day 1 was pretty long as we had to show covid passes or test results, tickets, ID, and our bags all in different places.


When we arrived we tried out all of the different music tents and got the drinks in. The sponsored drink this year was White Claw, which I really think helped me out. Because it's a hard seltzer which is quite watery, it was so easy to drink all day and was quite hydrating. They were also not too strong so I didn't overdo it too early. Incidentally, water was £3 and these cans were £4!


The headlining act on day 1 was Ella Eyre. She was good but the main tent was so full and we were so far back that we couldn't really see that well and it was getting a bit crowded, so we ended up just going to an RnB tent which was so good.


Day 2


Again, we had a couple of drinks before leaving for 7s, some of us were more hungover than others (I am smug because it's usually me but I felt amazing - thank you White Claws). We left for 7s earlier and there was no queue as we all had wristbands by that point so got in a lot quicker.


We did actually watch about 5 minutes of rugby on Sunday, I know it's mainly for sports but I much prefer just dancing and listening to music to watching the sports (sorry!)


After that we did a bit of the Bingo Lingo which was good, my feet were killing from the day before and there was still so much walking be done so I was just grateful for sitting down really.


As for the rest of the day, it was pretty much the same as the day before, just going between tents and dancing listening to the different music.


We didn't end up seeing the headlining act, but I can't remember who it was anyway and the other tents had such good music anyway that it didn't really matter.


It feels quite weird now because that was the last event in Bournemouth that I'll probably go to for a while because I've finished uni there now. But I'm looking forward to more events in the future.


Have you been to any festivals this year?

5 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS YOU NEED FOR A TRIP AWAY

As a lot of people are travelling more now, whether that be around the UK or abroad, it's important to know what to pack. Many of us will be out of the swing of it due to various coronavirus restrictions on travel, especially abroad.


For this reason, I am going to share with you a few of my travel essentials. I usually try to pack as light as possible because I hate having to carry heavy bags when I go anywhere, so this will probably be bare essentials and I may miss some stuff out that is important to you. These are just my tips.


woman walking through airport with luggage
Image by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.


5 essentials you need for travelling


1. A separate purse or wallet


Now, this one is mainly for if you are travelling abroad and have different currency. I always like to take a separate purse for my holiday money or any holiday cards so I don't get it mixed up with my UK cash. You don't need to do this, I just find it easier and it gives me an excuse to have another purse. Also, if you have any tickets for anything you can keep them in the holiday purse too.

2. Miniatures


Having small toiletries for travel is so much easier as it takes up so much less space and you may only be allowed under 100ml liquids if you are travelling with hand luggage anyway.

3. Hand sanitiser


I mean this one really doesn't need an explanation but it's just essential to have on you at all times to make sure those hands are clean.

4. Portable charger


If you're like me, then you will need a fully charged phone to take pictures and videos of every waking moment of the holiday. It's also important to have a charged phone in case you need to call anyone or use google maps to find something.

5. Pain killers


Any time I travel, I seem to be cursed with getting a headache. Whether it's from getting up early, or maybe drinking a little too much while I'm away, I always seem to get one. So I would definitely recommend taking pain killers with you. I learnt this the hard way when I went to Mallorca a few years ago. I needed painkillers and they cost me around 5 euros on the resort when in the UK they are literally 40p.

So there we have it. Everyone is different and will have different essentials, and it depends on where you are travelling to as well. Obviously, if you are travelling abroad you will need a passport and boarding passes. If you are going on a long haul flight you will need different essentials - I may write a separate blog post on this.
What is one thing you can't travel without?

A DAY OUT IN WEYMOUTH

Last month, my boyfriend Joe and I had a lovely day out in Weymouth. Usually I would write posts when I spend a few days away somewhere but I has such a good time that I thought I'd share it with you. Living in Bournemouth, it was close enough for us to go there for a day trip but our tenancy for our student house ends very soon sadly.


If you are not from the UK, Weymouth is a lovely seaside town in Dorset, England where lots of people go and stay for a holiday and now I know why.


Sea Life Weymouth


Purple jellyfish at sea life weymouth

penguins at sea life weymouth

First of all, we started our day at Sea Life Weymouth. I am like a child when it comes to seeing animals, I just love it so this was really good. It was a lot more expensive than the aquarium in Bournemouth that I'm used to, but it was a lot bigger and better.

Related: Greyhound at Corfe Castle Review

We had so much fun seeing all the animals and it was the first time I'd ever seen a seal in the flesh. I had fun taking pictures of them all and I created a Weymouth and Sea Life Instagram reel too, which you can see below.



Visiting Weymouth


After visiting Sea Life, we took a walk along the beach and into Weymouth. As we went on a weekday that was a bit cloudy, it wasn't too busy but there were still quite a lot of people about. 


Living in Bournemouth for uni, we go to the beach a lot but it was nice to go to a different one. I am a lover of the beach! 

Related: Placed you need to visit in Dorset

After walking round the beach for a while, we walked to the harbour and then went through all the little side streets that had some really cute shops.


Weymouth harbour

pastel houses in weymouth

side street in weymouth with bunting


Sadly, we didn't stop anywhere for food except an ice cream so I would love to go back and do that. I love going to seaside towns and eating local seafood.


A bit of a short blog post this time as we only spent one day in Weymouth but it was a lovely day nonetheless.


Where have you been lately that you really enjoyed?

GREYHOUND AT CORFE CASTLE REVIEW

AD: PR Visit - This experience was gifted in exchange for a review but all opinions are my own.

This week I had the pleasure of visiting the Greyhound at Corfe in Dorset with my friend and partner in crime, Maddie. The Greyhound is a stunning old English pub right next to Corfe Castle, which of course meant there were stunning views in their pub garden area. We had originally booked to sit inside but the garden just looked so nice that we requested to sit out there with the sun shining too. There were also some really cute dogs so that was a plus!


Crab Tien at Greyhound Corfe Dorset


Upon arrival we were greeted by the most lovely staff that just couldn't do enough for us, they were very attentive and chatty - I wish I caught their names now but we were served by a lot of people so I safely assume that they are all as friendly as each other.


Maddie and I both ordered the same thing which was nice, nobody got food envy. For a starter, we had the Dorset Crab Tien (when in Rome). It was really nicely presented and tasted amazing too!


After that, we had the beef and chorizo burger for a main accompanied with halloumi fries on the side. It was a mega burger, you definitely won't be leaving hungry if you order it. The halloumi fries were 10/10 although, I did wish there was a few more of them. 


Beef and chorizo burger greyhound corfe dorset

Related: Places you need to visit in Dorset

We only had soft drinks but were very envious looking around at some of the cocktails, maybe next time.


If you are in Dorset or want to go then I'd definitely recommend visiting Corfe and the Greyhound. It's such a picturesque, historical village and did you know it's home to the smallest town hall in England? The Greyhound is such a lovely way to top off a great day out in Corfe.


Garden seating area greyhound corfe dorset


I would definitely visit the Greyhound again, it's pub garden area is one of my favourites ever and the food and staff are both great.


Where have you been for food lately that you really enjoyed?

Related: A day at Sculpture by the Lakes in Dorset

7 THINGS TO DO IN CAMBRIDGE

This is a guest post by Love Em.

There are so many gorgeous places to sightsee and visit around the UK. I am lucky enough to live near Cambridge, a historic city filled with fun things to do. Whether you're looking for tours, buildings or thrills, Cambridge has something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Here are some bucket list things you need to do if you visit Cambridge!


buildings in cambridge
Image by Steven Iodice on Pixabay.

Explore Heffers


I recently visited Heffers on a trip to Cambridge, and I was thrilled to have found this gem. Heffers is a bookstore filled with books, stationery and even music. If you want to purchase a ukulele, you can! I have never fallen in love with a bookstore the way I did with Heffers. While it may seem ordinary for some, I loved how cool and quiet it was compared to the busy street. I loved that you can find a range of board games too. The books are reasonably priced, so you can get the books you want without breaking the bank. My favourite section was the stationery as there were lots of affordable cards that I've stocked up.. My partner and I spent a good hour here, and I would highly recommend you do too. It's a lovely place to get out of the heat and get lost in a book. 


Skate Around On The Ice Rink


Cambridge has recently built an ice rink! Ice skating may not seem like anything special, but it's a fun way to spend a rainy day. It's different to the cultural activities you may find around the city. It allows you to get active while having fun, and it's away from the busy streets. The ice rink is indoors, and it's affordable too. I love ice skating, and the rink has allowed me to have fun with friends doing something different. If you want an even more magical experience, you should visit Cambridge at Christmas. Cambridge holds a small fair on Parkers Piece around Christmas time. There are rides, stalls and more to enjoy. More importantly, there is an outdoor ice rink that comes to town! Every year I visit with my partner to skate around and have fun. Make sure you bring gloves as this rink is especially cold! 


Swim At The Jesus Green Lido


Every year, the Jesus Green lido has a long queue of swimmers waiting to get into the pool. You can see a long line of people running along the river, which is when you know the summer has begun! The lido is a lovely place to relax and take it slow. Before the lockdown, the lido offered a sauna and sunbathing terrace for guests. There is a picnic area and cafe, making it the perfect place to spend a warm summer's day. It's a well-kept pool, and I have found it cleaner than other lidos I have visited. It is also one of the longest outdoor swimming pools in Europe, so make sure you visit if you're going to Cambridge! 


Go Punting Down The River


If you visit Cambridge, punting must be on your list of things to do. This Cambridge classing has you pushing a boat along a river. You can choose to have a tour guide or punt yourself. For first-timers, I'd recommend having the tour guide. It was relaxing to have someone push you along and teach you about the history of Cambridge. Many offer an afternoon tea package deal so you can have a slice of cake in a local cafe too! Don't forget to tip the punter! It's not required, but it's a nice gesture as many of the guides are students. Every little helps! 


If you have a larger group of friends with you and want to have some fun, you can take the boat yourself. I have never done this, but I have heard it can be quite hard to steer! If you're feeling brave, this is something I'd recommend you try! Bring along a small picnic and enjoy a drink together on the river! 


Take A University Tour


Cambridge is famous for its universities. There are many in the location, all with beautiful gardens and tours. If you're visiting Cambridge, why not take a tour around the campuses? There are lots of different tours to try, so you'll find something for everyone to enjoy. There are punting tours, which I have personally taken. The tour guides are lovely and well informed about the history of the universities. You can get guided audio tours and even scooter tours if you want to try something more thrilling. 


Cambridge is quite a historic place, and there is a lot to learn about the city. Even if you don't take a university tour, you could try a walking or bus tour of the city itself. Tours are an affordable day out, and you can educate yourself on this beautiful area! 


Try One Of The Many Escape Rooms


If you're looking for some fun, why not try an escape room. Although escape rooms aren't exclusive to Cambridge, there are many on offer in the city. An escape room is a perfect way to escape from the bustle of the street. Cambridge can be busy, full of students and cyclists. Sometimes it's nice to duck away for a few hours. The escape rooms can last around an hour to two, so it's a fun way to spend a rainy day. You can have up to 6 players, so it's good if you're visiting with friends. Most escape rooms let you choose the theme/difficulty of the puzzle, allowing you to customise your experience. I'd love to hear how long it takes you to escape!


Enjoy A Slice At Tom's Cakes


I love grabbing a slice of cake wherever I go. For me, it wouldn't be a day out without a sweet treat. If you're looking for a local coffee shop with a large selection of cakes, I'd highly recommend Tom's Cakes. It's a small coffee shop with a rustic-looking interior. They have barstools by the front window, so you can eat while you watch Cambridge go by. There are tables both indoors and outdoors for you to sit at too. As for the food, you won't be disappointed.


Firstly, the cakes on offer are high quality and delicious. There are so many to choose from, including a slice of a layered cake, brownies, eclairs, Bakewells and more. There are even some less common options, such as crumble and hummingbird cake. The selection is changed regularly while still having a few classics on offer. They also theme some of their treats to seasons and upcoming celebrations. If you're not a sweet person, you can get a selection of sandwiches, cheese scones and other savoury treats. 


Cambridge is full of fun and family-friendly activities. Whether you're there for the day or making it a long weekend, I'd highly recommend all of these activities. It's a beautiful place, so you can get some unique pictures for social media while you're there. What are your favourite things to do in Cambridge? I'd love to hear what hidden gems you've found on your trip! 


About the Guest Writer!

Em is a UK blogger focusing on blogging, business & sustainability on her blog "Love, Em". With 4 years of experience in the blogging world, she is keen to share her knowledge. Emily is passionate about helping others, and since leaving college, has decided to put her passions in writing. You can find her over on social media!

Blog - https://www.loveemblog.com/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/LoveEm_blog

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/loveem.blog/

10 EUROPEAN CITIES YOU NEED TO VISIT

Yay another travel blog! I haven't written one in so long due to the pandemic and travel not really being as accessible anymore, but the future is bright. We may as well start thinking about places we'd like to go as something to look forward to. Or if you're like me, you would have been thinking about travel this whole time.


If you are dying to travel when it's safe again then you should start by checking out this amazing list of cities in Europe that I have lined up for you.


10 cities you need to visit in Europe


1. Amsterdam


I have been to Amsterdam twice now and would still love to go again. There is so much to do and I really loved it there. It's not too far to fly from the UK either and you can usually find reasonably priced flights.


Read more about my trip to Amsterdam.


Amsterdam canal

2. Sorrento


I think Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast are some of my favourite places in the world. Everywhere you go is just so beautiful. Staying in Sorrento, it's really easy to travel to other places along the Amalfi Coast too like Positano, Amalfi and Capri. I love Italy and would love to see more of it, so many Italian cities are on my list.


Read more about my week in Sorrento.


Sorrento

3. Krakow


Krakow is such a beautiful city with a lot of history. It's also really close to Auschwitz Concentration Camp which is the reason I went. It's really good prices to go out for food and drinks there too and again, flights from the UK can be found at reasonable prices a lot of the time.


4. Dortmund


My family and I have been to Dortmund for the last couple of Christmas markets, except for 2020 because of the pandemic. My family used to live there and the Christmas market is amazing so I really love going there, although I haven't been there any other time of year that I can remember. I would definitely recommend the Christmas market though.


Dortmund Christmas market

5. London


I know London isn't too far for me to travel but I still think it should be included as it is one of my favourite places! There is just so much to do and I keep seeing more and more things I want to add to my list of things to do in London for next time I go. I always have such a good time in London and haven't visited in a while due to the pandemic.


6. Dublin


I have been to Dublin twice now too and I loved it both times. If you want to go somewhere for nice weather then it's probably not the place for you but I really love Dublin it's such a cute city with so much personality and the people are a lot more friendly than in London.


7. Paris


OK I admit I only visited Paris for one day with college when I went to Disneyland but I really enjoyed my time there and would love to visit again for longer. I feel like it's just a classic place to go and if you want to travel around Europe, you need to go there.


8. Cardiff


This is definitely an underrated city and again, it's not very far for me to travel. I only went to Cardiff for a couple of days for work experience but it seems like a good place for nightlife and shopping. Hopefully I will be able to go again soon.


9. Barcelona 


I haven't actually visited these last 2 cities but they are probably top of my list so I thought why not share them too? My mum and dad went to Barcelona and said it was amazing and it does look it with the beautiful architecture and the beach too. 


10. Budapest


Finally, I would love to travel to Budapest I just think it looks really cool and hopefully I will be able to go soon and say more about why it's a good city to visit.


I might write a list like this of UK cities that you need to visit too, let me know if you'd like to see that.


Related: UK cities you need to visit


Where is your favourite European city?

A DAY OUT IN LONDON WTH NATIONAL EXPRESS COACHES

The return coach journey was a gifted PR service, however, all views are my own.

This week, my boyfriend Joe and I went on a press visit to London with National Express coaches. In this blog post I will be sharing my day with you and what we got up to, while also reviewing my return coach journey.


National Express coach


First of all, we got our coach into London from Bournemouth bright and early at 6:30am. We got into Victoria Coach Station at 9:50am so we could spend a lot of time in London. Our coach had phone charging facilities which was needed for a day out in London, air conditioning, leather seats and a toilet (also needed).


National Express have competitive prices and are often cheaper than trains. It didn't even take much longer than the train journey from Bournemouth to London and it didn't feel too long at all. Coaches are also the most environmentally friendly form of public transport, so well worth considering for your next trip away. I'll be honest, I never really thought of travelling anywhere by coach until this experience but it's definitely worth doing for a day trip like this.

Related: UK cities you need to visit

Exploring London


The first thing we saw when we left Victoria Coach Station was Peggy Porschen cakes. I had seen it all over Instagram so we decided to go in and try a cake. We had the salted caramel and popcorn cupcakes and it was the best cupcake I've had in my life. It should have been for £4.50 per cake but I didn't mind spending that as I enjoyed it so much in the end.


peggy porschen salted caramel and popcorn cupcake


After sitting in Hyde Park for a short while eating our cakes, we decided to go to Covent Garden. We had a walk round there, then Leicester Square and finally China Town. I had to refrain from going into M&M world because I always want to go in but never buy anything. London was actually quite quiet, probably because it was a Monday, but I thought it would be a lot busier than it was being the first day indoor places were open.


China town London


Camden Market


We then went to Camden and looked around the market for a while. Of course, we ended up getting food at the market! I got a cheeseburger from Burger and Beyond which was amazing, and mac and cheese from The Mac Factory which was also amazing. We had planned a boat trip on the canal that goes around the zoo and ends up in Little Venice, but we didn't get to go because it started pouring down just as we were about to depart. Classic.


burger and beyond cheeseburger

mac factory mac and cheese


When the weather turned and we couldn't get on our boat trip, we ended up just going inside places to stay and stay dry, and away from the thunder and lightning. Our coach back was at 7pm so we just made our way to Victoria again and went inside pubs to stay dry.

Related: 48 hours in Lincoln

Home time


We then got the coach back and ended up back in Bournemouth at around 9:20pm, it was a lot quicker on the day home due to less traffic. By this point we were so tired from getting up so early, but a good tired as we had a lovely day out. We walked almost 8 miles and over 20,000 steps.


umbrellas at camden market


We both went straight to sleep when we got in and I had the best sleep I've had in so long! It was such a lovely day, despite not going quite to plan with the weather, and getting the coach was so easy too. It was also very well socially distanced on the coach which I was happy with, I felt safe due to the limited seating and wearing of face coverings.


national express coach interior

Related: 3 days in Suffolk

Thank you to the National Express for a lovely journey, we had a great day.


Have you ever travelled by coach before?

UK CITIES YOU NEED TO VISIT

I have been so excited about posting this! I love travelling to different places in the UK but I haven't been to enough cities yet so I asked some bloggers on Twitter to collaborate with me and send me their favourite cities and why. I've included some of my own favourites too. Sorry if your city is missed off, these are just the favourites of some bloggers and myself.


As coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted in the UK, we may as well make the most out of being able to visit the different parts of the country, as well as being safe of course. Be sure to keep up to date with government guidelines before planning anything.


I have listed the cities and the blogger who wrote about it next to them so be sure to check them out after this post! The ones with no name next to them are my favourites.


Cities you need to visit in the UK


1. London


I love visiting London, there is just always so much to do and I have a great time any time I go there. I feel like everyone in the UK should visit if they can because it's just such a cool place to be and really has everything. 


2. Lincoln - Sophia Patel


Lincoln UK

With 1000 years of history, Lincoln is a city with so much to explore. Situated in the East Midlands (140 miles north of London), Lincoln is a hidden gem in the centre of England. Did you know that Lincoln Cathedral was considered the world’s highest building for nearly 240 years, following the Pyramids of Giza? It also holds a copy of the Magna Carta – created to ensure the rights of the people 800 years ago. If you fancy escaping the busy life of major cities and want to explore the cobbled streets of old England, then Lincoln is the one for you.


3. Bristol - Polly's Pad


Not only has Bristol ranked in the top 5 in the 'Rough guide' of the best cities in the world, it has also been voted the 'coolest' and 'kindest'. If that doesn't tempt you to visit, it is the birthplace of Banksy and his street art, as well as Brunel's Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain. Bristol is a famous foodie haven, as well as home to some great music venues. There are also a ton of cultural venues including museums, art galleries, and heritage sites.

Check out Polly's Bristol bucket list.

4. Bath


Bath is another one of my favourite cities, and it is very close to Bristol too! It's great for shopping, drinks and food. It's also so pretty and picturesque too with the Roman architecture. I would definitely recommend visiting Bath as soon as you can.

5. Bournemouth

Bournemouth beach uk


Another one from me, and I know Bournemouth is classed as a town and not a city, but I felt that it was important to include. I have been living here on and off for over 3 years for university and it really has it all. There are so many things to do and amazing beaches and sites!


6. Liverpool - Until Another Day 


In my opinion, Liverpool is one of the greatest city's in the world. I may be biased because I grew up here, however working in a city centre University has proved just how wonderful the city of Liverpool really is. Every Liverpool newcomer comments on how friendly and approachable the people are. People are so supportive and willing to help wherever they can. 

Not only are the people incredible, but the city has a plethora of delicious independent cafes and restaurants. Liverpool also has many astounding musicians and music venues, as well as regular music festivals to showcase the local talent. Liverpool has some very iconic and historic architecture, including The Liver Buildings, Albert Dock and St Georges Hall just to name a few. 


Liverpool is also filled with rich history and has its very own Museum of Liverpool dedicated to the city's culture. You will never be bored in Liverpool, there's always something to see and do. If you're looking for a vibrant city to visit on your next UK break, Liverpool is definitely the place to go.


7. York - Skinned Cartree


York is a beautiful walled city in North Yorkshire with Roman roots and a Viking past. It has lot’s of history which you can see by walking down its cobbled streets. York is a popular place to visit by both tourists within the UK and internationally. There’s the beautiful York Minster that stands tall and proud. It’s one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world and one of the largest in Europe. 

You can talk a stroll down the shambles, the iconic street which is said to be the original Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter books, visit the Yorvik museum, where you get a taste of what life was like during Viking times. There are plenty of unique places to eat and drink. My favourite bars are those that have unique features, tucked away in old buildings that make you feel like you’ve gone back in time, such as Trembling Madness, Eagle & Child and the Shambles Tavern. 

Places we love to eat are Yak & Yeti - a Gurkha restaurant with the most amazing curried dishes, Little Italy - the best Italian I’ve visited and Red Chilli, an authentic Chinese restaurant with a massive menu so you can get ‘typical’ Chinese food or more unique dishes. Don’t forget to visit the iconic York Dungeons for a spooky adventure through time! 


8. Brighton - Samanthia Blogs


I’m absolutely in love with the city and have been there 3 times already, I mostly visited because of vlogger Zoe Sugg seeing such a beautiful place I knew I had to visit. Brighton beach is my favourite place (it also has the i360 which is such an amazing experience!) and Brighton will forever hold a special place in my heart as it’s where I got engaged! Definitely worth going to the lanes if you plan a visit, so many cute and tucked away cafes, shops and more. 

9. Cambridge - Jess in your Ear


Cambridge is famous around the world, thanks to its university, but there are so many more reasons to visit. This pretty English city is packed full of cobbled streets, stunning architecture and the unique sport of “punting,” a way to travel along the river similar to the gondolas in Venice. Its location just an hour from London by train means that it’s easy for a daytrip from the capital but, if you can, stay for a few days to truly experience all this wonderful place has to offer. 

For food, head to Hot Numbers or Stir Bakery for the most Instagrammble, tasty brunch. Grab a coffee from the delicious Bould Brothers and make sure to treat yourself to an ice-cream from Jack’s Gelato. For dinner, try Scott’s All Day, De Luca Cucina, Salisbury Arms – or, if you’re looking for something really special, experience fine-dining at Restaurant 22. Finally, grab a pint at Thirsty or treat yourself to cocktails at the local’s secret 196.

10. Oxford - Rays of Adventure


Oxford is one of my favourite cities in the UK. The iconic circular building, the Radcliffe Camera, looks stunning on a sunny day. I love exploring all the university buildings in the city - it really feels like you're in a Harry Potter film set! Oxford has some great restaurants and museums as well, and walking along the river is lovely. Everyone should visit Oxford!


11. Leeds - Aimsy's Antics


Leeds is such a fab city and one of my favourites because it is my hometown. A true gem of the North of England, with great links to other nearby towns and cities. If you come to Leeds, the shops are where it is at, with a few different shopping centres (although Covid may have changed what shops are around now), ranging from modern to vintage Victorian arcades and The Corn Exchange that are a sight to behold! 

Not only do you have a mass of shops, but the places to eat and drink are fab with so much choice. You could easily spend a day shopping, and then carry this on with a few cocktails in the many bars. That is only the city centre! On the outskirts of Leeds, there are so many older buildings to explore, with Kirkstall Abbey one of the more famous sites. 

You can't forget the beautiful buildings of Harewood House and Temple Newsam too. If nature is what you like, then there is a few woodland walks and nature reserves to check out too. I love this city because it has so much to offer, whatever your interests. From the history of the city to nightlife, to the slower pace of life and getting back to nature. The best of all worlds!

12. Edinburgh - The Learner Mum


I just love Edinburgh. The fresh air stinging your face, the faint sound of bagpipes, the beautiful scenery, the friendly people, the talent on display - it all comes together create a wonderful atmosphere. The fact that a return journey anywhere in Edinburgh is somehow entirely uphill goes against the laws of physics, but tired legs are part of the Edinburgh experience. My favourite UK city by far.

13. Belfast - Grace Bee


Belfast UK

Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, and an absolute must see for anyone looking to explore every corner or the UK. The city is full of history, unfortunately not all of it pleasant, but modern day Belfast is a safe and welcoming place for tourists. From the Titanic Museum, to Crumlin Road Gaol, and even day trips to the magical Giants Causeway, Belfast has tons of things for visitors to see.

If nightlife is your thing, then you are in for a treat as the city has plenty of great pubs, bars, and clubs. For a traditional Irish pub head to Kelly's Cellars, or the Duke of York, but if you're after a more upbeat place the 5 Points on Dublin road has live music 7 nights a week. 

Travellers on a budget won't be disappointed as Belfast is very affordable, especially when compared to other UK cities such as London or Edinburgh. There are also plenty of free things to do in the city such a free walking tours, the Ulster Museum, the Botanical Gardens, and self guided tours of the many murals.

14. Norwich - Anny's Adventures


Norwich is a relatively small city but that's what makes it so special. With a castle on a hill, cobbled streets, daily markets, a cathedral, and beautiful historic buildings, all while also being located in the countryside. The main area of the city is walkable and has a shopping street, a nightlife street, and the Norfolk Broads National Park running through it. But what makes the city so special is the small boutique independent cafes, hole in the wall bars, all while being close enough to the North Norfolk Coast for day trips to the beach.

15. Swansea - Cruise with Amber


If you take the effort to travel a little further west from Cardiff on the M4 motorway you will find the city of Swansea nestled in between the imposing Brecon Beacons and the many beautiful blue flag beaches of the Gower Peninsula. 

Swansea has developed over the past couple of decades; however it still feels as though it’s yet to reach its full potential. Easily accessible from the motorway, and with mainline rail services and Swansea can act as a hub for many attractions slightly further afield. Highlights on your visit should include Clyne Gardens, Swansea Market, Mumbles Pier, Langland Bay, The Dylan Thomas Centre and National Waterfront Museum.

16. Derby - Lovely Local Indie


Derby is a much underrated city. It’s easily accessible both by car and public transport. This makes it a perfect destination for meeting up with friends and family as restrictions ease and things start opening up. The Cathedral Quarter is full of beautiful architecture and independent shops.

For great brunches and amazing coffee, check out Bear (on Irongate or the Derbion mall) or the champagne breakfast at Seven at Pride Park. At weekends Bustler street food market comes alive with the very best street food vendors, and always a good selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options and a great atmosphere from live DJs. 

For a discerning night out, take the short taxi ride to Darley Abbey, a historic mill village and UNESCO World Heritage site which now hosts a range of upmarket yet casual bistros and bars. You can also be in the most stunning scenery of the Peak District in less than an hour.


17. Winchester - The Globe Trotter


Steeped in history, Winchester, England’s ancient capital and the former seat of King Alfred the Great is a fantastic city to visit. It is a pedestrian-friendly city and with its architectural marvels, Winchester knows how to charm its visitors. Some of the city's popular attractions are Winchester Cathedral, Winchester College (the oldest continuously running school in the UK), the City Museum, The Great Hall (home to the legendary Arthurian Round Table), St Mary’s Abbey, St John’s Hospital and the ruins of Wolvesey Castle. 

There are plenty of self-guided trails to explore, with the 'Winchester Tudor Trail' which takes in a number of Winchester’s popular landmarks from the Tudor time being one of the most popular one with visitors. The city also has a thriving shopping scene and some really great pubs and bars making it a great place to visit.


18. Salisbury

Salisbury cathedral

Last but not least, we have Salisbury. Salisbury is my home city and I grew up there and have lived near there for all my life except from when I'm living in Bournemouth. For this reason, I kind of have a love hate relationship with it but now that I'm older, I really think Salisbury is a nice place to visit. If you like history, it's definitely one for you as Salisbury Cathedral is home of the Magna Carta and it's close to Stonehenge. There are also a lot of hidden gems around the area and independent shops and cafes.

Thank you to all of these lovely bloggers for participating, make sure you check them all out. Again, apologies for not covering all cities, maybe I will make a part 2. 

What is your favourite city in the UK?

5 THINGS TO DO IN WILTSHIRE UK

When I'm not living in Bournemouth for university, I live in Wiltshire, UK. I will always say that there is nothing to do in Wiltshire, so this list as well as for my readers, is for me, to remind me of what there is to do when I'm at home. If you live in Wiltshire or want to visit after the lockdown, then here are some ideas of what to do while you're there.


Things to do in Wiltshire


1. Caen Hill Locks

Caen Hill Locks is placed on the Kennet and Avon canal near Devizes. It's a really nice place to go for a walk or picnic. Wiltshire has a lot of countryside walks but this one is different because you get to see the canal and the boats on it.

Caen Hill Locks

2. Longleat

Longleat and Center Parcs are very well known in Wiltshire. Longleat is a safari where you can drive through or go on a bus and see the animals from your window. There is also a zoo and lots more things to do when you've finished driving around. Just try not to drive through the monkey enclosure, they can be pretty ruthless with your car. It's a great day out for families.

3. Cholderton Farm Shop.

I really love the farm shop in Cholderton. It's only a small shop but they serve great breakfast and lunch, you can sit outside too to appropriately social distance. My favourite thing to go for is the brie and bacon panini. They have chickens walking around outside as well which is a bit more exciting than your normal breakfast or lunch out. Proper countryside.

Cholderton Farm Shop

4. Rosebourne

I mentioned Rosebourne in my Top Places to Eat Out in and around Salisbury post. OK, this one is actually in Hampshire but not by much. I'd describe Rosebourne as a shop / restaurant / garden centre / farm shop. It has it all. I love going there for lunch and then wandering around the shop after and recently they've had their Christmas decorations out which definitely makes the shopping more exciting. A lot of their food in the shop is quite high end and some of it can be a little pricey but good for a treat.

5. Stonehenge

This is a pretty obvious one as Stonehenge is world famous. If you are visiting Wiltshire, Stonehenge is a must! You can visit Stonehenge through the visitor's centre and hear all about the World Heritage Site. Or, if you just want to see Stonehenge briefly, you can drive past on the A303. However, I would recommend walking so you don't potentially cause a car accident. You can walk up past Woodhenge in Amesbury and you will be able to see it from a little further away.

Stonehenge

Have you ever been to Wiltshire?

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3 DAYS IN SUFFOLK

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the introduction of a lot of travel restrictions, I have been much more appreciative of seeing different parts of the UK. In summer, I spent 48 hours in Lincoln and 48 hours in Hastings.


Before the second lockdown, I was able to get away to Suffolk and stay in a lovely house there with my friend Maddie. It was a really old, beautiful house in the middle of the countryside. The house was a short drive away from some pretty beaches and seaside towns so we were able to explore them.


Wroxham Norfolk Broads


Day 1


On the first day, we wandered round a town called Aldeburgh and walked along the beach. There were quite a few independent shops there and lots of really cute dogs! We had an ice cream there and then went back to the house. I did some uni work in the house too - the grind never stops in third year.


After going back to the house, we decided to go out for dinner. We went to this Italian / pub called The Angel which I thought was a little strange but the food was delicious. I tried scallops for the first time in my seafood linguine.


Southwold Sea


Day 2


Similar to day 1, we walked around another little town and beach in Southwold. Again, they had lots of little shops and really cute dogs! Not far from Southwold, we went to this hidden away fish and chip shop called Sole Bay Fish Company. I might even go as far as to say it was the best chippy I've been to. You could get alcoholic drinks there, and you could sit in too. They didn't just have your classic cod, chips and mushy peas. They also had muscles, lobster, crab, you name it. I had muscles and chips and they were amazing!


After that, we went back to the house and played some board games and had an amazing cheese board. I have to shout out to Maddie for this, she really put on an amazing spread!


Sole Bay Fish Company

Cheese board platter


Day 3


I think Day 3 was my favourite day. We took a trip up to the Norfolk Broads and went on a boat around the broads. I really love going on boat trips, we went on one in Amsterdam around the canals too and that was really fun. It's probably just a novelty for me because it's something I only do when I go away.


There were some amazing holiday homes on the Broads, it was just so relaxing and fun on the boat. It did get really cold really quickly though.


Norfolk Broads


Where is your favourite place to visit in the UK?


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Related Read: 5 Things to do in Wiltshire UK


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PLACES YOU NEED TO VISIT IN DORSET

Since I have been studying in Bournemouth for the last couple of years, I've visited a lot of nice places in Dorset. We are lucky here to be surrounded by lots of beautiful places, and to be right by the sea. I've put together a list of all of my favourite places in Dorset that I have visited so far. There's still some places I haven't been to and things I haven't done, so I'm going to be making a bucket list for my final year of university. I may post it on my blog and tick it off as the year goes by so keep a look out for that.


Places you need to visit in Dorset after lockdown


Bournemouth Beach


Obviously, I have to put Bournemouth Beach as the first destination on the list as I live in Bournemouth. It's one of my favourite places to go in the country. It's such a lovely beach to visit all year round, that's why it's so popular. There's also lots of things to do nearby like the Oceanarium and the arcade.


Sandbanks


Sandbanks

Only 3 miles from Bournemouth Beach, Sandbanks is one of the most expensive places to live in the UK. Sometimes, I like to go there just to drive past the huge houses there. It's half beach, half harbour at sandbanks and it's just an all round nice area.


Hengistbury Head


Still on the beach, Hengistbury head is a great place to go for a walk and you will usually see lots of cute dogs. It's basically just a big hill on the beach and once you get to the top, you can see amazing views of the sea and you can see all the way to Christchurch and Mudeford too.


Poole Harbour


I really love going to Poole harbour and pretending I'm rich and deciding what boat I'd have if I was. Maybe one day, I can dream! They usually run cool boat trips from Poole harbour too, with some going to Swanage and Brownsea Island. I would check that though because of Covid.


Corfe Castle


corfe castle

Corfe Castle had been on my list of places to visit for a while and it's such a lovely village. The actual castle is really high up so has great views of the rest of the village.


Swanage


Swanage is just your typical seaside town which I love. There are lots of little independent shops there and it's just a really pretty place. The arcade there is really fun too!


Sculpture by the Lakes


Sculpture by the lakes Dorset

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit Sculpture by the Lakes near Dorchester on a PR trip. It's such a tranquil place and a really great day out. Read all about my trip to Sculpture by the Lakes.


Tyneham Abandoned Village


Tyneham is a village that was abandoned during World War II and no one ever returned. It's an interesting visit but is a very little place so it doesn't take very long to look around. I believe it is only open to the public for visiting on Saturdays but it's really interesting to see.


Durdle Door


durdle door

Durdle door is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of England in my opinion. I don't feel like I need to explain this one - the picture says it all.


Do you live near any nice places to visit? Until the lockdown is over, stay safe x


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Related Read: 48 Hours in Hastings


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48 HOURS IN HASTINGS UK

Since I have finished my internship in August, I have had some time to myself over the summer. In that time, I spent 48 hours in Lincoln, and I have also recently been to Hastings in East Sussex.


My boyfriend, Joe, is from Hastings when we aren't at uni together so I go there to visit him from time to time when he's at home and I really like it there.


It's right on the sea and Joe's house is walking distance to everything so I got a lot of steps in. When I drive into Hastings I get to drive along the sea front which is so pretty and it always seems to be nice weather when I go there.


beach huts in Hastings


When I arrived in Hastings, we did our usual walk around by the beach and through the town. We have a little tradition of going to this little local seafood shop by the beach and getting some food so we did that on the first day and sat on the beach for a little while.


I also love to get an ice cream when I'm near the sea so we did that too, after eating our seafood. Hastings has so many local seafood restaurants and fish and chip shops, you really can taste the difference in freshness with it being a seaside town.


In the evening, we went for a few drinks but didn't stay out too late.


The next day, we went to the seafront again and played some minigolf. Joe won, I am still yet to beat him but it's going to happen one day!


After spending the day out again, we went to a seafood restaurant in the old town called Whites. The old town in Hastings, is more individual restaurants, shops and pubs as opposed to the new town with things like Primark and Pizza Express. I really like that they have both options.


Seafood platter in Hastings


We had a huge seafood platter which is unlike me because I'm really fussy with food. I just wanted to try it because we were right by the sea and I thought I'd like most of it. All of it was so nice apart from oysters, I don't think I'll eat one of them again in a hurry. 


After we ate so much food, we went for a few drinks on the pier. Hastings pier is quite big and since the social distancing rules have come into place, they put a DJ set on the pier with a bar and tables for drinks. I have never had drinks on a pier before so it was something new for me.


Just before leaving on my last day there, we went on a dog walk at a really pretty country park called Fairlight, it had such amazing views to the sea.


I quite like writing about places that I visit in the UK, so I will definitely be doing more 48 hour style blog posts whenever I go anywhere now.


Where's your favourite place to visit for a weekend away?


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Related Read: 3 Days in Suffolk


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