Tag Archives: uk

Wrapping up a British summer in Haslemere, Surrey

This weekend my friend and I took a drive to Haslemere, Surrey for a delicious lunch at The White Horse, before taking a walk along one of the nearby trails.

The weather may not have been great this weekend but fortunately, I had good company to make the most of the dismal rain.

Located on the High Street, the pub is a neighbourly and relaxing place, with a selection of quality food and extensive drinks menu available. We enjoyed a camembert starter, sausage and mash as a main course and hot chocolate, to put some warmth back into our bodies.

Camembert starter at The White Horse, Haslemere, Surrey

Hot chocolate at The White Horse, Haslemere, Surrey

Sausage and mash at The White Horse, Haslemere, Surrey

The White Horse, Haslemere, Surrey

After enjoying a delicious and filling meal, we sought advice from the staff about the options for taking a walk. We opted for Longmoor Wood and Swan Barn Farm, a woodland and meadow walk that’s part of the National Trust trail.

The walk is scenic and not too difficult. It’s relatively flat along this route and would be suitable for all abilities.

Haslemere, Surrey

Swan Barn Farm, Haslemere, Surrey

Swan Barn Farm, Haslemere, Surrey

Swan Barn Farm, Haslemere, Surrey

Swan Barn Farm, Haslemere, Surrey

Longmoor Wood, Haslemere, Surrey

Haslemere is a quaint and charming market town, with excellent access to the city of London. My friend and I enjoyed taking the unbeaten path as we walked around the area.

For a day trip from nearby cities, it’s an ideal getaway for a refreshing connection to the British countryside.

A summer escape with the family to Oxford Castle unlocked

As part of a summer holiday staycation I visited Oxford Castle Unlocked for a day out with my sister and two nieces, both aged 8. We were keen to make the most of a day in Oxford and this opportunity to explore the history of the castle.

Built in 1071 by Richard d’Orilly, a Norman baron and close ally of William the Conqueror, Oxford Castle has had a constant presence in key historic moments of Oxford’s evolution. Most of the castle was destroyed in the English Civil War and by the 18th century the remaining buildings had become Oxford’s local prison. This later became HM Prison Oxford, which closed in 1996. Continue reading A summer escape with the family to Oxford Castle unlocked

Dive into Britain’s black history at the Black Cultural Archives, London

The Black Cultural Archives (BCA) in Brixton, South London was established in 1981 by educationalist and historian Len Garrison to celebrate the contributions that black people have made to culture, society and heritage of the UK’s black history. Continue reading Dive into Britain’s black history at the Black Cultural Archives, London

London to Cardiff with Great Western Railway

As part of my summer travel plans, I’m opting for more focus on visiting destinations around the UK, especially when there’s a chance of decent weather.

I recently took a day trip to Cardiff (Caerdydd) the capital city of Wales with Great Western Railway (GWR). My last recollection was a school trip – more than 15 years ago – and I could only guess that the city has changed a lot since then. Continue reading London to Cardiff with Great Western Railway

Hiring a car abroad? Check in with the DVLA before you travel

If you’re planning to rent a car while abroad this year, be aware of DVLA changes which threaten to put the brakes on your summer holidays.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is scrapping the counterpart driving licence on 8th June 2015. Continue reading Hiring a car abroad? Check in with the DVLA before you travel

Tips for travelling during the festive season

I’ve lived in London for three years and it certainly has it ups and downs, with one of the benefits being the accessibility to a range of cities around the country. I love having the option to travel across the country in a few short hours to have new experiences and thankfully, the UK’s infrastructure is pretty supportive of this, however the season can completely determine just how successful my ventures will be.

When it comes to festive travel, I typically spend months organising my travel from London for the holiday season and this year is no different. Whilst I’ll be taking an international flight this year, here are my tops tips for travelling within the UK during the festive season.

Plan ahead

Give yourself as much time as possible to plan your journey. Popular routes tend to be on main city connections like Edinburgh, Birmingham and London, so check out your options and the best way for you to make the journey to your destination.

In some cities specific festivities usually take place, so be prepared that some routes may be more congested than usual.

Also, be sure to check out the connections on your route to help you to travel confidently and of course, give yourself enough time to make the connection.

Frankfurt Christmas market in Birmingham
Frankfurt Christmas market in Birmingham

Stay informed, stay in control

It’s not uncommon now for companies like TransPennine Express to keep you in the loop via their website and social media channels. Whether it’s bad weather or ‘leaves on the line’, staying informed can help you to stay calm and reassured for your trip.

Invest in noise-cancelling headphones

If your silence is golden then headphones are more than worth their weight in gold. Being relaxed and able to entertain yourself on the trip is invaluable. In the event of a delay, at least you can claim a little bit of personal head space.

Be flexible to save money

Tickets for journeys over the festive period usually go on sale a few months in advance, however certain routes may offer a reduced service. If you need to take an alternative route then be open to it. It could save you some cash – a bonus of being flexible.

Pack gifts with care

If you’re travelling with gifts, be mindful of anything that may be large, heavy or fragile. Wrap bottles and other breakable items in clothing to prevent your gift from being broken before it arrives under the tree. Even better, send your gift in advance to avoid having to travel with any bulky items that will only add to add potentially frustrating trip.

Many thanks to TransPennine Express, leading providers of rail services across the UK and part of First Group, for collaborating with me on this blog post.

It’s all peace, love and harmony at the One Love Festival 2014

The One Love Festival was founded in 2008 to establish a fun, loving and respectful way to bring reggae fans from all over Europe and beyond together in peace and harmony.

Continue reading It’s all peace, love and harmony at the One Love Festival 2014

Pay and go with Telaway for your next trip to the USA

Telaway logo

While using your UK issued mobile phone in the USA is easy, it’s not always cheap. If you need to be in contact with home at an affordable rate, it’s worth considering the purchase of  a local SIM card.

On my recent visit to the USA, Telaway offered me a solution that allowed me an unlimited phone, text and data allowance for the duration of the trip.

While there’s some up-front cost to pay for the SIM card from Telaway, using a local SIM card is liberating, allowing to you to use your phone whenever and wherever you like without any obligation to wait for a good WiFi connection or to pay an extortionate rate for a phone call.  Continue reading Pay and go with Telaway for your next trip to the USA

Stonehenge: a load of old rocks or something more?

Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England, close to Amesbury and Salisbury. As one of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones that apparently opened in 2000 BC with construction commencing in 2600 BC. 

Now I say apparently because before visiting I knew very little about it and now, after the visit, well I still know very little.  Continue reading Stonehenge: a load of old rocks or something more?

A German-inspired Christmas in Birmingham

A visit to Birmingham during the Christmas season wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Frankfurt Christmas Market. It’s an annual event that (in my opinion) marks the start of the season.

Continue reading A German-inspired Christmas in Birmingham