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Longleat Safari Park

June 25, 2017

Last month when Sam and I visited Wiltshire, we took a day trip to Longleat Safari Park. I had wanted to visit Longleat for ages and it ended up being such a fun day out!

Safari Drive Through

When you arrive at the Longleat safari entrance they hand you a CD. This guides you through each section of the safari with some information about the animals. The first stop is the African village and walking safari where you can park your car to get out to explore.

Longleat Safari Park GiraffeLongleat Safari Park Lemurs - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogYou can even walk side by side with the Lemurs!

We then decided to brave the Monkey drive through. The monkeys will jump on your car and could possibly break something. Sam has to get a new back windscreen wiper! However, it is a lot of fun watching the monkeys jump all over other people’s cars and seeing the cute babies. If you don’t want to risk it then you can just take the by pass lane and carry onto the next part of the safari or take a bus which you can organise through Longleat here.

Longleat Safari Park Monkeys - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLongleat Safari Park Monkeys - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLongleat Safari Park Elephant - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogWe then passed Annie the elephant!Longleat Safari Park Deer - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogAnother fun part was the Deer enclosure where you can purchase a cup of deer pellets for £1 to feed them through the window. It was pretty busy and we were in the wrong lane so Sam thought it was a great idea to feed them a packet of shortbread biscuits. The Deer loved the shortbread and wouldn’t leave us alone haha!Longleat Safari Park Rhino - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogLongleat Safari Park Lion - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

Longleat House

Longleat Safari Park House - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogMazeLongleat Safari Park Maze - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogBoat tripLongleat Safari Park Boat trip - Enjoy the Adventure travel blogOn the boat trip you’ll cruise past Gorilla colony, seeing Nico the oldest male Gorilla in Europe in his own private home. Our tour guide told us that he has a T.V and enjoys watching Peppa Pig or spending time chasing the birds. You will also pass by the hippos which are  pretty hard to see as they sleep a lot.  The sea lions come right up beside the boat and you can buy fish to feed them, it was so funny listening to them bark for the fish!

Information 

  • Safari drive through takes between 2-3 hours depending how busy it is and how long you want to spend in each area
  • On the safari drive the only toilet stop is at the African village none after that until back at Longleat house and main square
  • There are plenty of food options such as pizzas, burgers, sandwiches or snacks.
  • You can feed the Giraffe at 10.30am or 2pm at the African Village
  • Feed the Deer for £1
  • Opportunity to feed the sea lions on the boat trip for £1
  • Arrive early and spend all day here as there’s so much to do
  • Cost – £33.95 at gate or £28.85 online

Location

Address: Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW – if using a sat nav use this post code BA12 7JS

Longleat is just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury

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My trip to Longleat Safari Park was complimentary in exchange for this review. However, all views and opinions are my own.

Travel

Knomo Harpsden Backpack

June 19, 2017

Knomo London have a range of beautiful and practical bags. The bags are ideal for work and travelling about with. They have a great selection of bags such as clutches, backpacks, totes and briefcases.

I have been trying out the Knomo Harpsden backpack here are the features:

  • Padded section to fit laptop – Protects and allows easy access when needed
  • Main section – great for organising, section for cards, pens and other small items
  • Water resistant
  • Cushioned mesh back – comfortable to wear
  • Padded straps for comfort
  • Front pocket – great for using on the go

I think this backpack is very practical and has a lot of space to fit all my essentials. I love that its waterproof and has a section for my laptop. I also like the section for organising where I can fit my cards and other bits and pieces. The backpack is also comfortable to carry around. I hate carrying bags which dig in and leave strap marks.

The Harpsden backpack is availabe in blue and grey. This backpack is waterproof so is great to take with you if walking, cycling or travelling. This backpack costs £89.00 and all Knomo bags are guaranteed for two years after purchase.

Whats your favourite backpack?

*I was gifted this bag by Knomo London*

Travel

Weekend in Wiltshire

June 2, 2017

Wiltshire is filled with lots of countryside and many areas of natural outstanding beauty. Home to World Heritage site Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral which has the tallest church spire in the UK.

Here is a guide on where to go in Wiltshire:

Stonehenge

After parking and buying tickets a shuttle bus will take you close to Stonehenge. Here you can then explore the landscape by foot. Even visiting Neolithic houses to discover tools and objects of Neolithic life. You can also visit the Stonehenge exhibition to discover the story of Stonehenge.

Entry: £16.50, students/over 60s – £14.90, child-  £9.90

Longleat Safari Park

Longleat Safari Park was amazing! It’s such a fun day out with so many animals to see. Separate blog post on this coming soon.

Entry: £33.95 or £28.85 if booked online

Salisbury

Salisbury Cathedral

Entry is free but suggested donation is £6.00. All museums and houses below are located within walking distance of the Cathedral, in the Cathedral Close.

Arundells

Arundells was the home of former British Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath.

Entry: £7 for house, garden and exhibition or £3 for garden

Mompesson House

Mompesson house is an 18th century townhouse with a beautiful garden.

Entry: £6.50, child – £3.25

National Trust members free

Rifles Museum

The collection in this museum tells the story of the Berkshire and Wiltshire regiments over the past 250 years.

Entry: £5.00, child – £3.00

The Salisbury Museum

The museum has information on the history of Salisbury with artefacts, a ceramics gallery and costume gallery.

Entry:£7.50, child – £3.60

Accomodation

Harepath house

This beautiful house is located in Bishops Cannings in the heart of Wiltshire. This studio apartment is a great place for 1 or 2 people to stay. The house is very cosy and peaceful, surrounded by countryside.

Getting to Wiltshire

  • 1 hour 30 minutes from London Waterloo to Salisbury on the train.
  • We drove from Surrey to Devizes it took around 2 hours and it was very easy to get around Wiltshire by car.

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*A huge thank you to Visit Wiltshire for inviting me to explore this beautiful county*

What to do in Wiltshire, UK - Enjoy the Adventure travel blog

Travel

Top 5 Things to do in Cuba – Guest Post

May 31, 2017

I have always wanted to visit Cuba and reading Heidi‘s blog makes me want to go even more. Read on to see Heidi’s recommendations on what to do in Cuba!

Top Five Things to Do in Cuba

AND

Why NOW is the time to go?

Only an hour flight from Miami or a direct flight from many global hubs, the treasures of Cuba await you. This once forbidden island is bound to fascinate all. Its contrasting colors, complex, musical rhythms, and parade of classic 1950’s American cars mesmerize your eyes and ears. Meanwhile its world famous rum and cigars play with your taste buds. With over five years of travel to Cuba, let me share with you the top five things to do in Cuba.

Ride in a Classic Convertible Car

You’ve heard it many times that traveling to Cuba is like going back in time. Well, it is. Immediately, you notice the rolling museum of vibrant 1950’s American cars. Everywhere you turn and in every color imaginable there is eye-candy. When in Cuba, you must take a convertible classic car ride. It is the best YOLO souvenir that you can gift yourself. Whether in Havana, Cienfuegos, or Varadero, a classic car ride is like visiting the Fountain of Youth. Regardless of your real age, you will turn back the clock, smiling from ear to ear, throwing your hands up in the air like you don’t care, and letting the wind blow through your hair. To hire a classic car or any taxi in Cuba, always agree upon a price before getting in. I highly suggest a recorrido (tour/spin of the city), which is roughly 35-40 CUC (GBP 31-39 or USD 40-50).

ConvertibleCaravanHavanaCubaHeidiSiefkas

Eat at Paladares

The paladar (private restaurant) scene in Cuba is exploding. What started out in the 90’s with small cafes run out of one’s home serving traditional Cuban dishes such as roasted pork, malanga (taro), moros (beans and rice), and flan has morphed into global Cuban fusion cuisine, no longer served out of one’s home, but instead larger, multi-level restaurants. Prices vary depending on the location you choose as well as your tastes. Expect 15-25 CUC per person for dinner (approximately GBP 13-22 or USD 17-29). Also, it is customary to leave a tip of 10% at restaurants and bars.

Cuban Pork

Explore the Art Scene

Whether its mural paintings, sculptures, or mosaic work, art is found around every corner in Cuba. Be prepared to be shocked at the ingenuity of Cuban artists. Without the art supplies of the modern world because of the continued U.S. Embargo, Cuban artists improvise using repurposed items like old washing machines, car parts, and typewriters to make sculptures while implementing untraditional tools for creating all forms of art. Across the country, you will find arts and craft markets, artistic community projects, and private galleries to admire the creativity and perhaps purchase a souvenir. If in Havana, don’t miss these two art hotspots: Fusterlandia, a mosaic neighborhood done by Jose Fuster, and the Fábrica de Arte Cubano (Cuban Art Factory or FAC), which is a converted warehouse turned multi-media art gallery and entertainment center.

FusterlandiaHeidiSiefkas

Go to a Show or Two

In Cuba, you must take in a show or two. It would be a huge faux pas to leave without experiencing the dynamic sounds, rhythms, and non-stop energy of Cuban bands. Sometimes having as many members as a football team, Cuban musical groups come with not one, but multiple percussionists, singers, horn players, guitarists, and dancers. Cubans take the adage of the more the merrier to whole new level. When in Havana, the two most popular shows are the famous cabaret, Tropicana, and one of the various Buena Vista Social Club performances. Although shows start at 10pm or 11pm, you won’t doze off during the shows. In fact, most show tickets include rum and mixers. With the combination of libations and lively music, most spectators end up dancing on stage with some of the performers. Outside of the capital, ask for the local Casa de la Música (music house). Most towns have one with a combination of live music and DJs in the evenings.

TropicanaHavanaHeidiSiefkas

Enjoy the Moment

Every city or town in Cuba has a main square (Plaza Mayor), promenade, or seawall that is the local hotspot and meeting place. In Havana, this place is the Malecón, the ocean boulevard. After 5pm, you will witness groups of friends, entire families, musicians, and lovers getting together to relax, sing, dance, drink, and enjoy the moment; thus, it got its nickname as the world’s largest sofa. Join in the fun by putting on a pair of good walking shoes and bringing some small coins and bills 1, 2, 3, 5 CUC (GBP 0.90-4.50 or USD 1.15-5.75) with you to buy mani (peanuts), sweets, or drinks from local vendors. With Cubans being very friendly and curious, don’t be alarmed if many interact with you, trying to dance with you or even practicing their English, French, or other languages. There is very little to worry about. Violent crime is almost non-existent. Just be careful with your purse or wallet like you would in Paris, New York City, or London.

CubanMusicianonHavanasMalecon

Cuba is fascinating. After nearly thirty trips to Cuba, its culture and people continue to amaze me. NOW is the time to discover Cuba and its riches for yourself. If you are interested in more info before you go, check out my book, Cubicle to Cuba, and my blog http://www.heidisiefkas.com/blog Continue Reading

Days Out Europe Travel

#1 Zoo in Europe – Loro Parque Tenerife

May 3, 2017

On my recent trip to Tenerife me and my parents spent the day exploring Loro Parque situated in the north off the island. We started of the day with the discovery tour. Our friendly tour guide showed us round and explained all about the zoo. They work with many different projects to protect endangered species and to help protect the environment. Loro means Parrot in English and Loro Parque actually started off as a refuge for Parrots. They still have loads of parrots there and breed them there. The zoo previously won the Tripadvisor’s travellers choice for zoos and aquariums and came number 1 in Europe and 2nd in the world. The zoo is amazing and there’s so much to see and do!

Loro Parque Zoo Penguins - Enjoy the Adventure

On the tour we went to the Penguin enclosure its amazing you stand on a moving platform and can see them dive into the water. There’s also a machine to create snow falling from the ceiling.

Loro Parque Zoo Fish - Enjoy the Adventure

Loro Parque Zoo Flamingos - Enjoy the Adventure

For lunch we stopped off at Casa Pepe which serves Canarian specialities tapas-style. I would recommend the cheese with Mojo sauce for a starter. They also have a selection of meat dishes such as chicken skewers and a variety of sausages.

Animal shows

The shows are well worth seeing! Its amazing what the animals can do. I would recommend trying to see as many of the shows as possible. We missed the parrot show as we had to get back on the coach. Try and get to Loro Parque early as there’s so much to see there.

Loro Parque Zoo Whales Enjoy the Adventure

There are six Orca Whales at OrcaOcean who perform, even a deaf one who receives guidance through special hand and light signals. Bear in mind if you sit near the front you’ll get soaked.

Dolphins Loro Parque Enjoy the Adventure

The Dolphin show is brilliant and all of the shows give you information about the animals.

Sea Lions Loro Parque Zoo Enjoy the Adventure

My favourite show was the Sea Lion show. One of the sea lions wanted all the attention. Every time the trainer went to do something with the other sea lions it would jump down and get in the way.

Loro Parque entrance - Enjoy the Adventure

I loved this zoo there’s so much to see and the animals are treated well. It’s easy to see how the zoo has won so many awards. If I visit Tenerife again I’d love to go back as I didn’t get to see the bird show and could have spent longer exploring the zoo.

Loro Parque Tenerife - Enjoy the Adventure

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*Disclaimer – I was a guest at Loro Parque.*

 

Travel

Tracking my sleep with S+ by ResMed

April 14, 2017

Sleep tracker

I travel a lot and work shifts so I often struggle to get enough sleep. I have been trying out a sleep tracker called S+ by ResMed to see if it can help me get a better nights sleep. This is the worlds first non contact sleep tracking system. I’ve seen a lot of sleep tracking bracelets but I wouldn’t find wearing these comfortable at night. I’ve also tried using Jawbone to track my sleep but this isn’t very accurate. It tells me I’ve had 8 hours sleep even if I’ve woken up a few times in the night. This tracker has been a lot more accurate and provides me with a lot more information.

Sleep tracker Resmed

What it does

  • Measures light and temperature of room
  • Breakdown of light, REM and deep sleep
  • Offers tips on how to get a better nights sleep
  • Option to relax to sleep with calming sounds
  • Can use mind clear feature to write down any thoughts or to do lists that might keep you from falling asleep

Sleep tracker S+

How to use

  • Place tracker on bedside table facing your chest
  • Download the ResMed app
  • Connect phone to tracker with Bluetooth
  • The tracker has an extra USB socket to charge your phone so it doesn’t run of out battery during the night
  • Once plugged in a red light will appear on the tracker
  • Click on sleep button
  • Answer questions on how stressed you were in the day, caffeine intake, alcohol intake and exercise
  • Light on tracker will go off
  • Once awake click stop tracking then sync

S+ by Resmed sleep tracker

Every time you log your sleep the tracker will give you some personalised tips on how to improve next time.

Verdict

I was able to see what days I got the most sleep which is always the days I have off work. My aim is to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at a similar time. The tracker shows it takes me at least an hour to fall asleep which is a long time. I’ll be trying some of the tips and avoiding going on my phone or laptop straight before bed as the light can have an affect on your sleep.

I did have a few issues with using the tracker. Twice during the night the light on the tracker and my phone came on waking me up. I’m not sure if this is an issue with the tracker or something going wrong with my phone. I normally turn my phone off when I go to sleep and my phones been playing up recently. It’s been fine the rest of the time so I’ll keep using it.

I have learnt a lot about my sleeping habits and this tracker is helping me to make sleep a priority. It makes such a difference to my day when I get a good nights sleep!

Sleep Tracker Resmed

Have you used a sleep tracker before?

*Disclaimer I was sent the S+ by ResMed to review*

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