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Travel UK Weekend Away

Bath, Somerset Travel Guide

February 20, 2017

 

Visiting Bath is like stepping back in time with all its beautiful Georgian architecture. There are plenty of shops, museums and galleries to visit. Here is a list of things to do in Bath.

Pulteney Bridge

Les Mis was filmed around Bath’s iconic Pulteney Bridge.

Pulteney Bridge Bath

Royal Crescent 

Royal Crescent Bath

Sally Lunns  

This is one of the oldest buildings in Bath serving a variety of sweet and savoury buns and afternoon tea. I had the light breakfast which is a pot of tea and half a bun served with cinnamon butter. The cinnamon butter is seriously amazing! They also have a small museum downstairs where you can purchase a bun to take home.

Sally Lunns Buns Bath

Visit Bath Abbey

The Abbey has beautiful interior and it’s free to have a look around.

Bath Abbey

Jane Austen Museum

Ticket costs £11.00 or £8.50 for students and with your ticket you get 10% off in the shop and tea room. You get a guided tour with information about Jane and her family and her time spent in Bath. You then watch a short video and can look around the rest of the museum with a Jane Austen waxwork at the end.

Jane Austen Museum Clothes

Walk past where Jane Austen used to live

Jane Austen House in Bath

Jane Austen House Bath

Bath Guildhall Markets

Guildhall Markets Bath

Wander around the canals

Canals in Bath UK

Victoria Art Gallery

The Gallery is free to look around but you have to pay if you want to go in an exhibition.

Victoria Art Gallery Bath

Roman Baths

Whilst in Bath you have to check out the Roman Baths. Years ago I visited the Roman Baths and Thermae Bath Spa with college. The Bath spa has thermal waters and an open rooftop swimming pool.

Roman Baths UK

Accommodation

YHA Hostel

YHA Hostel Bath UK

  • 25 minute walk from centre also it is up a massive hill which is fine walking down but a bit of an effort to get back up
  • located very close to the Bath Skyline walk
  • locker and wifi included
  • all ages welcome here there was a mixed range of people staying here including families
  • parking available across the road from hostel however there’s not that many spaces and spaces lower down the hill you have to have a parking permit between 8am-6pm Mon-Sat
  • prices start from £10

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Travel UK Weekend Away

How to spend 48 hours in Manchester

December 27, 2016

Manchester is one of the most popular UK cities to visit and it’s easy to see why. With it’s iconic music scene, industrial history and superb shopping. Manchester is bustling with character with a mixture of old and new architecture. If you love quirky vintage shops then Manchester is the place for you. I recently visited Manchester for a weekend away. I have been trying to explore more of the UK and I love heading up North as the people are so friendly!

Free things to do in Manchester

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Town Hall

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John Rylands Library

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Manchester Cathedral

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People’s History Museum

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Central Library

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Manchester Art Gallery 

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Vogue temporary exhibition

Manchester Quays

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Vintage shopping

There are a lot of vintage shops to explore in Manchester most of them are found in the Northern Quarter.

Where to eat

Annie’s is owned by actress Jennie Mcalpine who plays Fiz in Corrie. I had a lovely hot choc with biscuits. They offer afternoon tea, mains and desserts. They also have a take on the Rovers staple called Annie’s hot pot.

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Federal Cafe – This is a New Zealand/Australian cafe which is a great spot for brunch, it was super busy when I went.

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Have a drink at Sinclairs’ Oyster bar

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Accommodation

Hatters Hilton Chambers 

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Photo from Hostelworld

  • Free breakfast – toast or cereal
  • Different activities such as pub crawl, walking tours etc
  • Free Wifi
  • Communal kitchen and TV lounge – good for meeting new people
  • Prices start from £12

Information 

  • Manchester is pretty easy to get around by foot
  • There are also plenty of bus’s and trams if you don’t feel like walking
  • Parking is so cheap compared to the South I parked all day for £2.50 in Rochdale car park check out Parkopedia to find the cheapest car parks

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Food Norway Travel Weekend Away

Oslo, Norway Travel Guide

December 8, 2016

Oslo is full of colourful old and new architecture and quirky sculptures. The main thing I loved about Oslo is how everything is Koselig (cosy). Local bars and restaurants supply outdoor heaters and wool blankets you put over your lap whilst enjoying a drink. Inside is filled with candles or warm fires and many bathrooms have heated floors to warm up chilly feet. Being one of the most expensive cities in the world Oslo is not cheap so I’ve included some free things to do.

What to do

Royal Palace

It’s free to walk around the gardens and you can purchase a tour around the Palace but it is only open from end of June to Mid August. The changing of the guards take place every day at 1.30. The Palace looked so pretty in the snow I felt like I was in Narnia!

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Go Shopping
Scandinavia is famous for its elegant and minimalist clothing and home ware. Walk along Karl Johans gate for some great shops.

Akershus Fortress

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fortress-oslo-norway

Museums

If visiting on a Sunday some museums are free so check online before visiting.

Nobel Peace Centre

Nobel Peace Museum in Oslo Norway.jpg

National Gallery

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Edward Munch’s most famous piece – The Scream

Free

Go inside the City Hall

From the outside it doesn’t look that impressive but inside is full of beautiful art about Norwegian culture and history.

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Visit the Opera House

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The Vigeland Park (Sculpture Park)

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Trying out the sculpture poses obviously nailed it haha

Walk along the waterfront

Wander along the waterfront admiring the views and then get cosy in one of the bars.

Accommodation

Oslo Central Hostel

  • Free breakfast – this is the best hostel breakfast I’ve ever had. They have a wide variety of fruits, yoghurt, egg, bacon and the best herby mushrooms.
  • Lockers and towels provided
  • Good location close to the fortress and shopping streets
  • Atmosphere more of a hotel rather than a hostel

Where to Eat & Drink

Mathallen Market

This food market is outside the centre there are bus’s or trams that you can get here. We walked and its around a 20-30 minute walk. The food here is expensive but then so is everywhere in Norway. It is also closed on a Monday.

Justisen Bar

This place is a lot of fun there’s an outdoor bar with heaters and upstairs lots of different rooms. The rooms look like they have been decorated by someone’s Grandma with loads of floral wallpaper and cosy lights.

Mona Lisa – Italian

Very fancy looking restaurant you can also eat outside on the balcony.

Homan Bistro & Bar

I had the best bangers and mash here!

Homan Oslo Norway Bar & Restaurant.jpg

Information

  • If visiting in Autumn/Winter it will be freezing pack thermals, scarves and hats
  • Oslo is super expensive so budget accordingly. Dinner or lunch will cost £20-£30 for one course and that is in the cheaper restaurants. If you visit during summer you could go to a supermarket and buy some foods for a picnic. You should also pack some snacks with you. We ended up paying £5 for a packet of crisps and chocolate bars are about £3 so its worth bringing stuff in your suitcase.
  • I would recommend getting an Oslo pass they have 24hr, 48 and 72 hour passes which will provide you with free entry to museums the fortress and public transport. 24 hr is 335NOK 48 hr is 490NOK and 72 is 620NOK you can also get student discount. The museums are quite expensive to get into so it does make the pass worth it.

*Note: Special thanks to Visit Oslo for providing me with a 72hr Oslo Pass

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Czech Republic Travel Weekend Away

Prague Travel Guide

December 4, 2016

Prague is one of my favourite cities it has the perfect mixture of culture, history, nightlife and affordability. I am in love with it’s fairy tale buildings, everywhere you go you’ll find amazing architecture. This is my second visit to Prague I also went in summer last year and I was still amazed by Prague the second time around. Here is a list of things to do in Prague.

Explore Prague’s Castle

There are so many buildings to visit, you can choose between two tickets allowing you into different attractions. Make sure you visit St Vitus Cathedral the stained glass windows are incredible.

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Prague Castle.jpg

View of Prague Castle from Boat trip

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Beautiful view over Prague from the castle

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Changing of the guard takes place daily at 12.00

Astronomical clock

Crowds will gather here every hour to watch the clock doors open and figures moving.

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Old Town Hall 

Enter the doors to the side of the clock and you’ll be whisked up to the top of the tower for an amazing view of the Old Town Square. When I was there the lift was broken but its an easy walk to the top.

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Walk across Charles Bridge

In summer it is best to arrive here early as it gets crowded. However in November it wasn’t very busy.

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Band playing on Charles Bridge

Letna Park River Views

I went here last summer the view and beer garden are well worth the climb to the top.

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Boat tour

I went on a 50 minute boat trip my ticket was included in my holiday voucher. It would normally cost 300czk (£9.30)

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Klementinum library

This is hands down the best library I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take photos inside the library.

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Photo from Sean Yan

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View from top of library

Shop at Wenceslas Square

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Visit St Nicholas Church

Visit St Jilji Church

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What to Eat

Trdelniks

Hot circular pastries served hot with cinnamon and sugar you can get these with a variety of toppings and can find them on most street corners.

Mulled Wine

If visiting in Autumn or winter you can find this served everywhere. I stopped of at a cafe halfway up to the castle and had a very tasty mulled wine whilst admiring the view over Prague.

Goulash

You have to try this stew of meat and dumplings whilst in Prague.

Where to eat

Cafe Louvre

This elegant 100 year old cafe looks pretty and it’s affordable! I had the best hot chocolate its so thick and is served with whipped cream.

Lokal

This place is really cheap and offers authentic Czech food (ask for an English menu) I ordered the goulash it was pretty good.

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Gingerbread Museum

This place has so many different gingerbread treats it’s a great place to buy souvenirs.

Accommodation 

Hotel Aida

This is my first time using a Wowcher deal for a holiday and I was very impressed. I paid £100 for return flights, 2 nights accommodation and a river cruise. With it being such good value I assumed the hotel wouldn’t be nice but it was great! The staff at the hotel were friendly and the hotel has a buffet breakfast included. The hotel wasn’t in the centre but was only a 5 minute walk to the metro and then a 15 minute ride. Prices start from around £25 a night per person.

Information

  • A taxi from the airport will cost around 650czk (£20)
  • A much cheaper option would be to get the bus and metro
  • 90 min metro ticket 32czk (£1) this includes use of metro, trams and buses, you must stamp ticket in the yellow machine before entering the metro
  • If you are going to use public transport a lot you can get a 24 hr pass for 110czk (£3.40) or a 3 day pass 310czk (£9.60)
  • From the 26th Nov to 6th of January Prague has a Christmas market in the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square

Disclaimer: I received tickets to the Old Town Hall Thanks to Prague City Tourism, all opinions remain my own

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prague-travel-guide

 

 

 

Ireland Travel Weekend Away

What to do in Dublin, Ireland

November 24, 2016

Dublin is an amazing city to explore! With plenty of things to do and see from walking by the river, enjoying a Guinness in a cosy pub with live music or exploring Dublin’s historic buildings. Its super easy to get to the city centre from the airport just get the Airlink bus 747 to the city centre it takes about 30 minutes. You can buy the ticket at the airport and there is free wifi on the bus. Below is a list of things to do in Dublin.

Temple bar area

Very touristy and expensive but you should visit here at least once. Around the city there are plenty of pub crawls or beer or whisky tasting tours that you can join.

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Trinity College

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Kilmainham Gaol

Book a time slot in advance as it can sell out, it is €7.00 for adults or €3.00 for students with a booking fee of €1.00. The guided tour lasts 90 minutes and will explain the history of the jail and talk about the prisoners. I found this really interesting its definitely worth a visit!

kilmainham-gaol-dublin

Guinness Storehouse

This is very touristy but a lot of fun and you can easily spend a few hours here. There are lots of different floors featuring Guinness advertisements a tasting room and a rooftop bar. You are shown how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and then get to take home a certificate. You can enjoy your drink at the rooftop bar with a view over Dublin. Prices are around  €14- €20 and you can get a small discount by booking online.

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The Brazen Head Pub (oldest in Ireland)

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Christ church cathedral

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Dublin Castle

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St Patrick’s Cathedral

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The Little Museum of Dublin

Here you can learn about the history of Dublin in 30 minutes a tour guide will show you around the rooms. It costs €8 or €6 for students.

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Free things to do

Free walking tour

The walking tour I did meets at the Generator hostel and takes you around Temple bar area, Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

St Stephens Green

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River Liffey

Free music gig

Ireland is famous for its live music and you are likely to wander past some pubs with live singers or bands. Generator hostel also has live music nights check out what’s on here.

Accommodation

Generator Hostel

generator-hostel-dublin

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Daily events such as comedy evenings and live music
  • Bar downstairs – even if you don’t stay here you can come here for drinks and live music
  • Luggage storage
  • Lockers
  • 24hr reception

Places to eat

Jo’Burger

This place is right around the corner from the Generator hostel and offers a wide range of burgers and toppings.

Fade St Social

One of the best places I’ve had tapas! It is fairly expensive but worth it. I would recommend the truffle pasta with charred asparagus and parmesan & a tuna and tomato dish. You should try getting a few tapas to share. They also have

Queen of Tarts

This little cafe has a selection of cakes and also has breakfast and lunch dishes. I had a hot chocolate and raspberry scone. The scones are lovely and they have a variety of flavours!

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Make sure you have a Guinness it tastes so much better in Ireland. Also Guinness chocolate tastes really good too!

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Bosnia Europe Weekend Away

10 Things to do in Bosnia & Herzegovina

October 26, 2016

Turquoise rivers, tumbling waterfalls and lush green landscapes. The beautiful lands of Bosnia and Herzegovina are one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Wandering around Mostar feels like stepping back in time. Even if you only have a few days its worth visiting Mostar’s old bridge and exploring the alleys in Sarajevo. Here is my list of 10 things to do in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

1.Stari Most – Old Bridge

Stari Most means old bridge in Bosnian and is located in the old town of Mostar. This bridge is just as beautiful in real life as it is in photos. The bridge was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. A word of warning the bridge is very slippery so wear sensible shoes. Crowds gather here during the day to watch people dive from the bridge into the River Neretva. Tourists can pay a fee for advice and a practise jump however this is not safe and travellers have died attempting to jump into the river.

mostar-satri-most-bridge

2.Blagaj

Blagaj is a small village town which is becoming a popular tourist destination. Its a lovely place to relax by the beautiful turquoise river. You can also visit the Dervish house in Blagaj (Tekija) for a small fee.This house is an important monument from the Ottoman period where religious ceremonies took place. You have to cover up before you go in and there are scarves and cover ups that will be given to you.

blagaj-bosnia

3.Kravice Waterfalls

This is an amazing lake surrounded by large waterfalls where you can enjoy a swim but be aware the water is freezing! There is also a restaurant next to the lake so you can relax with lunch or a beer whilst you take in the wonderful scenery.

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4. Ancient Pocitelj

This is a UNESCO world heritage site located to the south of Mostar. The walled town of Pocitelj was built by the Ottomans.

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5. Viewpoint in Mostar

I went here on a day trip and this was our first stop with a view over Mostar our tour guide told us about the history of Mostar.

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6.Feast on meat

You have to try Ćevapi it is a traditional Balkan dish. Consisting of small grilled meat sausages made of lamb and beef mix; served with onions, sour cream and Bosnian pita bread.

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7.Learn about the history – Bosnia has had a turbulent past with a horrific war in the 90s, the effects of which are still massively visible especially in Mostar. You can still see bullet holes in buildings. I went on a walking tour in Mostar it was definitely the creepiest walking tour I’ve ever been on. I went with the hostel I was staying at, we walked to the sniper tower and had to climb over a huge wall to get in. It was at night so it was pretty dark. We walked around the corner and saw the graffiti as pictured below soo creepy!

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We then walked up the stairs over lots of broken glass to get to the roof. Once at the top there was a great view of the city.

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8. Relax with Tea or coffee and a cake –  The Bosnians drink their coffee & tea Turkish style

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9. Wander the old streets of Sarajevo, visit the winding alleys to discover antique shops and cute cafes. Buy some handmade copper coffee sets to enjoy Bosnian tea back home. Make sure you also check out the city hall!

10.Viewpoint in Sarajevo – As I only had 1 day in Sarajevo I didn’t have time to go during the day so went here at night and it had a great view of the city lit up. I saw the cutest proposal here. A man had bought his friends along and put some candles in a heart shape and played Bruno Mars “I think I want to marry you”he got down on one knee and proposed and she said yes! Their friends let go of red balloons and they floated off into the night sky it was so romantic. This viewpoint would be great to visit during sunset.

sarajevo-viewpoint

10. Visit the street corner that changed the world. This is where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated. This incident led Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia within weeks the conflict soon spread over the world causing world war one.

Accomodation

Boutique hostel skylounge – Mostar

bosnia-mostar-hostel

Photo from Hostelworld

  • Centrally located
  • Events in the evening such as walking tour then head to restaurant and bar which is a great way to meet other hostel guests
  • Breakfast included
  • So cheap around £7 a night
  • Organised tour day trip with hostel as shown in photo below

tour-mostar

Hostel Inn Luxury – Sarajevo

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Photo from Hostelworld

  • Nice design very white and clean
  • Selection of teas and coffee available for free – tea is so important for a British traveller haha

Information

  • If travelling by bus buy at the station as I couldn’t find any tickets available online
  • Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible mark (BAM) £5 = 11 BAM
  • Where to go next: Explore Croatia’s wonderful coastline such as Split or Dubrovnik or head to Montenegro and another option would be to visit Belgrade in Serbia.