I turn 40 at the end of November. I’m not phased by the prospect of it, but instead of my usual birthday request of taking the day off and doing nothing except watching my favourite films and eating my favourite food I wanted to do something special to actually acknowledge it.
It’s my birthday soon and my sister, her boyfriend and The Bloke took me to London for the weekend to celebrate.
The focus of the trip was initially the Tutankhamun Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery – 150 artefacts from the tomb of Egypt’s most famous King are on display there until May as part of the final World Tour – which could potentially be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see them. We ended up planning a long weekend around it, arriving on Friday and leaving on Sunday, with the plan to find other interesting things to do while we were there.
We were booked into a Premier Inn Hub hotel near Westminster Abbey, which is something that we haven’t tried before. We’ve always been fans of Premier Inn hotels, but after an unpleasant stay in the Tower Hill branch earlier in the year (mouldy bathroom, no TV signal etc) and the ever-increasing prices that are now becoming out of our budget we opted for the much cheaper option of the Hub. Continue reading
Planned and booked in advance, flights can be extremely cheap. We booked in November to travel in June with EasyJet, flying from London Luton to Dubrovnik for just £75 return. The flight from Luton took just under 2 1/2 hours.
By law, the relevant regulations of Croatia means that the provider of accommodation services in a hospitality facility is obliged to collect and record the personal data of each person using those accommodation services. Essentially, the place where you stay will take a note of your passport and travel details. You don’t have a choice in this. Continue reading
The Bloke and I have taken to going out on day trips mid-week as of late, taking advantage of the general working day and term-time schedules to visit places that would be busier at the weekends. We’ve got Annual English Heritage passes which allows us unlimited free entry into English Heritage sites and discounts on other places like Blenheim Palace, and living in the West Midlands means that we are lucky enough to be a short drive away from some stunning stately homes, castles and historical places of interest.
One such place is Witley Court.
A hidden gem, I couldn’t believe that I had never heard of it before (despite living in Birmingham since 2001), and it is just a forty minute drive away from where I live.
*First published in 2015 – updated for 2019
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I love Barcelona. The Bloke and I were lucky enough to visit a few years ago and it was an amazing experience. However, like any popular tourist destination it can be expensive and difficult to navigate, so here are 20 travel and money-saving tips when traveling to Barcelona for the first time!
Choose your hotel wisely. When going on a city break, it’s more than likely that you will spend most of your time outside, but, for me at least, it’s important that the room is clean and you feel safe to leave possessions behind while you are out exploring. We did very little research on this, but were extremely lucky with what we booked. The Hotel Sant Augusti was exactly that – clean, safe and in a fabulous location, being right next to one of the main metro lines, La Bouquiera Market, the beach, The Gothic Quarter and La Rambla. It also served a buffet breakfast every morning from 7.30am – 11.00am and had free wi-fi, which was useful when keeping in contact with loved ones.
Work out in advance what it is that you really want to see, and where possible, book tickets online before you go as there are enormous queues and long waits for the main attractions. For example, we arrived at La Sagrada Familia early, but had to queue for about half an hour to buy a ticket and then waited a further three hours before we were allowed in as there were timed entrance spots. It may be also useful to take a guidebook and print off maps of the areas you wish to travel to in advance – we had to buy a map when we were there and soon discovered that it was poorly labelled and many of the sights and attractions were in the wrong place. Continue reading
After my awesome afternoon experiencing a street art tour in Shoreditch with my bloggy friend, Tiffany, I headed on over to Victoria and caught a train to East Croydon to meet another bloggy friend: Donna, the creator of Jot to Jot. We connected a few years ago online and have met several times in person since (she even came to my wedding), and since the birth of her little girl last December I had been promising to visit.
It only took nearly a year. Better late than never I suppose! Continue reading
It’s been a surprisingly beautiful day and The Bloke and I have just been on a train to London. We were really lucky with the seats, it was quiet and we had a really nice chat with a Ugandan-Canadian girl who is studying at uni here. It’s always interesting to meet new people – she told us about her education in Uganda and her plans to go into robotics, used words like ‘hella’ and ‘legit’ and told me I had a baby face.
Bonus points for her then… Continue reading
I love travel blogs – they give me an insight into parts of the world that I have always wanted to visit from a first hand perspective, and if I am planning a trip I will spend lots of time reading travel posts from some of my favourite bloggers to gain ideas of things to see, do and eat that are not part of the usual tourist hotspots.
Tiffany is one of those bloggers. An American ex-pat currently living in Qatar, she is the creator of A Girl and Her Passport, a travel blog that documents her travels and experiences of countries from all over the world. What I like about Tiffany’s blog is the fact that she varies her posts to incorporate all areas of travel, from reviews of hotels that she has stayed in, individual activities in cities that she has visited (I particularly loved this one about a Thames boat trip in London), what to pack for specific activities, and, my favourite of all of them, humane and ethical encounters with wildlife in places that I would consider to be exotic – her Elephants in the Wild post in Sri Lanka made me incredibly envious. I love her photographs from her travels: Continue reading