While I was in London, I wanted to make sure that I explored as much of the UK as I did outside of it. I went on a lot of day trips and weekend getaways. The people were always really friendly and I loved seeing all the gorgeous old English houses, and what the small and large sized towns had to offer. I have narrowed down the top 5 places I think you should check out if you are ever in the UK or you live in the UK and haven’t ventured around your own country.
In no particular order (its hard to choose!)
- OxfordWhere to start! The buildings are gorgeous! I really liked Oxford, there is just college after college that is stunning. If your a Harry Potter fan, there were a few places that are from the films. I just loved walking around the streets and wishing I got to go to one of the colleges as a student.
- BathBath was another stunner! If you like culture then this is the place for you. Jane Austen spent a few years here and it is one of the few places where the city is a World Heritage Site. The city’s website has downloadable walking tours which were really great and easy to use. It has a spa where you can get some relaxation where you can rest your feet after a long day of walking the streets.Definitely check it out and save your pennies to treat yourself to the spa!
- BroadstairsNot the biggest of places but if you want to go to a chill place where you can just relax on the beach for the day – then this is the place for you! It was so peaceful, and fun for all ages. If you got sick of sitting on the beach you can make your way up the coast to all the other little bays nearby before heading back for some fish and chips on the beach =)
- Isle of WightAfter a train ride to either Southampton or Portsmouth, catch the ferry across to the Isle of Wight. It is a very small island, and as you can see in the pictures it has beautiful buildings. It is not big at all and has one little strip of shops but if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of London then this is a relaxing getaway for the weekend, and if your really organised – take a bike as there are paths to get around.
- BrightonBrighton is not far from London, and is the perfect getaway if you still want quite a busy city but with the beach feel. So many winding streets to get lost in shops or eat and drink your way around the city. So many good options so make sure your wallets are full! Then relax on the beach when you have had enough of the crowds and want to cool off with a swim.
To see more on these cities check out my full posts on each one.
Until next time x
In December I went to Cambridge for the day as I had not been yet and I loved Oxford so needed to get to Cambridge before I leave! I love the architecture, and all the colleges throughout the city. I went in and out of all the ones I could get into for free, they just look magical! I am so jealous of people that get to go there as we don’t have anything as old or similar that you can go to. I know some people stay at accommodation on campus, but you don’t really apply as such.
There were some really yummy food places that I had to check out as well. It was pretty chilly there so I definitely took advantage of the warmth of a restaurant when I could!
First stop of the morning was Novi, I got some yummy coconut pancakes. The portion was a little small, but really nice! And it was quite quiet so it is nice being able to eat in a relaxing environment.
I also checked out Fitzwilliam Museum, there was a lot of things that are the same as most museums – painting etc. but it was nice to get out of the cold for a bit and look around – its free so why not. I wandered through a couple of parks and had a look through their ‘winter wonderland’ – it was pretty small, and not very busy which was kind of surprising since London’s one is packed. Then it was getting dark and I needed to find some dinner before catching the train. I went to Pizza Hut which was my first time in the UK, I wanted to try their gluten free bases in case I had been missing out. I have to say I was surprised, the base was really good! It was let down though as there wasn’t enough topping so was more base than topping, but otherwise pretty good! Also if your in Cambridge I wouldn’t go to that branch as the service was pretty bad and a table arrived next to me ended up leaving as they took so long to give them menus and then never got their order taken.
All and all Cambridge was worth the trip, I have to say I still hold a light for Oxford and if you had to choose, in my opinion Oxford was better but either way there are gorgeous buildings and if you are into that then you will be in awe!
Until next time x
Sunday was my favourite day in Bath. I started it by going to the Roman Bath Kitchen for breakfast where the staff were lovely and I got a bacon and egg roll with a teapot of herbal tea. Then I walked across the cobbled street to the Roman Bath’s. It was so interesting, there was a lot of information and you get a free audio guide to take with you around. At the end you get to drink some of the water which is a little odd as the water is warm and you can taste that there are minerals etc. in it.
Then I made my way to the Spa! They do a two hour welcome spa for £37 on the weekend. It includes towel, shoes, and a robe and you get to go to a couple of pools, one of which is on the roof and aromatherapy sauna rooms. It was just what I needed! Especially on a cold day, it was so good to relax and enjoy the experience. After begrudgingly leaving the spa I did the audio guide for Jane Austen. It was really interesting and made me want to live in that time. I had run out of time, but there is also a Jane Austen centre that you can go to.
Now it was time for food again! I went to Cosy Club, and got some tapas and a drink. The food was amazing! Perfect way to end my weekend in Bath, before getting the train back to London.
Until next time x
A couple of weekends ago I ticked off another destination in the UK that I have been wanting to go to for ages! Bath!
I took the train once again on Friday night, and found out that I was going to be staying at a Belushi’s. For those of you who aren’t from the UK, it is a bar. Upstairs was quite quiet but the noise outside the window from the people on the street was not as pleasant. If your there to party if would be fine, but otherwise you will need some earplugs. Saturday morning I went to Bill’s Bath for breakfast, and got avocado on toast with a poached egg. The avocado was a little over the top as there was more avocado than needed, but otherwise just what I needed to keep me fueled up for my day. While I was at Bill’s I looked at some pamphlets and saw an advertisement for the Visit Bath website. It was so good, and will definitely look up other cities in future to see if they have a similar thing. They had audio guides that you can download to your phone that takes you around the city to all the sights. There was a world heritage one and a Jane Austen one (she used to live in Bath for six years). I started off the World Heritage audio guide, it took me off around the corner from breakfast to the Bath Abbey. I then walked past the Roman Bath’s, and down and around to No.1 Royal Crescent. I stopped the guide and went inside, which is the only Georgian style house in Bath on display.
After I wandered by the river, and over the Pultney Bridge and to the end of the road where Holburne Museum is and had a quick look inside. It is free so you might as well go in, I didn’t spend too long there as it wasn’t really my type of thing. Then it was back across the bridge to end the guide.
It was still early afternoon so I went down towards the station and out the back to go for a bit of a trek, to Alexandra Viewpoint. It is not for the lighthearted, it was very steep and stairs all the way, but if you are up for it, it is definitely worth it! The view is amazing! After taking in the goregous view, I went back down and to Prior Park Landscape Gardens, this wasn’t steep but it was a slight incline all the way there and it was a long walk! I should of grabbed a bus. This was a paid entrance, which I’m not sure was worth the price, there was a few really nice parts to it, but if you are strapped for time, its not the end of the world.
I walked back into the city centre where I got a very well deserved dinner. Iwent to Stable bar, I had seen they did gluten free bases so I grabbed dinner there – it was really yummy! and the staff were friendly, I tried one of their ciders from the region as recommended by the lady behind the bar. Then it was home for an early night after walking around all day.
Sunday’s excapades will be in part 2
Until next time x
On Friday night I had been talking to one of my best mates until after 12. When I got off my computer, I looked on Citymapper to check how long it would take me to get to the train then I somehow got distracted and fell asleep. I woke up to my alarm I had set earlier in the week knowing I would need to get up around 6.30ish but that wasn’t early enough! I needed to leave at 6.30 so I was in such a rush and freaking out as there was a slim chance in hell of making my train on time. I ran from stop to stop – platform to platform and I made it! With not even a minute spare!
I walked nearly the length of the train and found my seat to then relax as I made my way to Nottingham!
Once off the train, I beelined for the Nottingham Castle, I got there before the doors had even opened. If you go to Nottingham and don’t have much time I wouldn’t waste my time or money. It was pretty average, and was mostly just a museum about nothing to do with the Castle. By now I was starving (running around like a crazy person does that), I had seen some good reviews for Hartley’s Sandwich Bar and I got a bacon, mozzarella and spinach panini with a berry boost smoothie. It was delish! Now that my tank was full, I went to my next stop which was the City of Caves. It was well worth doing! Really informative and interesting and if you like playing dress up you get to wear a hard hat =)
I then went to the bus depo and took a bus out to Wollaton Hall and Deer park. It was just what i needed! It was so beautiful and peaceful, the leaves on the trees were all changing since we are now in Autumn, really lovely.
The hall is gorgeous from the outside, and is free to go in and check out the exhibits. There is a couple of floors to occupy yourself for a while. I then headed back to the city centre and wandered around the streets before finding somewhere for dinner and a few post walk cocktails which is always satisfying!
Another day of exploring been and gone….
Until next time x
At the beginning of the month I had some visitors from home, they were travelling around Europe and UK for a couple of months and we met up the night before they left.
I had heard from a few friends about the Skygarden in the Walkie Talkie tower and it came highly recommended so thought it would be an awesome idea to take my friends up.
To go up the tower is free, you just need to book online a time slot, and your good to go!
I wish I had known about it sooner! It was so amazing!! You go through a security check then take the lift up and it brings you to the bar. It is a gorgeous open space with 360 degree views of London. We arrived just as the sun was about to set so got to see day and night views. We found the drinks menu and although the cocktails looked amazing, we weren’t too keen on paying over 11 pounds for a cocktail so we opted for our countries ‘Old Mout’ cider. It was reasonably priced, same price as bars, maybe a little more depending where you go. Then we had a look around. There is a garden – as in the name, and two sets of stairs either side that go up and around the back of the bar area. After taking a few snaps, and taking in the view, we then we grabbed ourselves a table and took in the view while catching up on life.
A must do if you like nature, views and drinks =) and who doesn’t? Right!
Until next time x
At the end of September I ticked another UK town off my list and headed North to the land of the Geordies.
I arrived early Saturday morning and went to Olive & Bean for breakfast. the staff were really lovely and had many gluten free options ( Fun fact – I have Coeliac Disease), I got the Eggy Bread and it was delicious! I was staying at the Albatross Backpackers and the staff were again very friendly and had luggage storage for me while I spent the day exploring.
The Snowdogs had just been planted around the city and everyone was out and about following their trail so I decided to join them and take a few pics.
On Sunday I went to the Life Museum – it was really good! They had an Animals Inside Out exhibition on and it was amazing, the animals have been skinned and you can see all the organs and arteries etc. that are inside an animal. I love science and animals so I was in my element!
In the morning of Sunday I strolled along the Quay and took a peek at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art – it was worthwhile and you can’t go wrong with a free art centre. They also had a viewing platform looking over the Quay.
In the neighbourhood of Jesmond there was a nice creek trail that lead to a waterfall and old windmill and for the kids and big kids at heart there was also a Pet’s Corner where you can coo over the bunnies and other animals there.
I always feel at peace exploring a new city/town and I love getting out of London to explore more of what the UK has to offer.
Until next time x
I am a little late on this post. A couple of weekends ago I made my way out to Kent to Broadstairs. It was blue skies and sunshine, and there were people already enjoying the beach when I arrived so after a quick look around I joined them!
It was really relaxing and peaceful, I laid out my sarong and laid back to soak up the rays. It was the first time since I’ve been in the UK that I knew I would be getting in the water! After a short while a lovely lady asked if she could join me and I welcomed her next to me. After a slight language barrier I found out she was from Turkey and was there learning English for the next couple of months. It was nice to have some company.
Before the sky clouded too much I took the plunge and made my way to the water, it was FREEZING!! But I was determined to have at least one experience in the water before the summer ends.
Once I had dried off a bit I made my way along the beach to check out the bays either side of Broadstairs. I wanted to check out Botany Bay which was about 5 bays along. It was quite a trek on the sand but luckily for the coastal trail on the way back or it may have been a very slow journey on the way back.
All and all another favourite coastal area where the people are friendly and the food was delish! I would definitely recommend checking this little town out.
Until next time x