Saturday, 19 December 2015

Memories from Morocco

Last time I ventured to Morocco it was 45 degrees in the middle of summer, and I saw very little in the stifling heat from the confines of our western hotel.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

What does a travel blogger do when she's not travelling?

Back in April I set myself the challenge of finding more things to do in the UK that would fulfill my travel bug and also to encourage locals to experience more of what is on their doorstep. 

My "Fulfil your travel bug with: something unusual" post 'research' soon filled most of my spare time in between house hunting and working full-time.

Saving money, settling for a while and not travelling has been quite an experience for me so far this year. There are so many things to do and experience in and around London, that are a little bit different; and I've surprised myself at just how much I've enjoyed exploring the UK these last few months.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Still unusual: 7 usual things to do in London with an unusual twist

As I continue with my series of posts covering Unusual Experiences (see post here), I thought I would cover some of the more unusual experiences and events that take place at some of the popular tourist sites in London.

So, if you're a visitor to the capital you might want look out for some of these more unusual choices whilst planning to hit the key sights. Or if you've done the tourist bit in London you might find some of these appeal instead.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Gingerlines Secret Island is no longer a secret #unusualexperience

I was just heading onto the East London overground line at Canada Water, when I felt the buzz of my phone vibrating in my bag.

A text from Gingerline had arrived, a little earlier than expected... But with 4 of us to organise for our latest night out, the earlier we knew where we were headed, the better.

"What a great idea for a birthday present!". Someone at our table, part way through the evening, was certainly taken with the Gingerline experience. And hopefully so was the birthday boy himself!

Gingerline is a multi-dimensional dining experience. When booking you are sworn to secrecy:

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Something unusual for Summer Solstice: My first Microadventure

What is a bivvy bag and why do I need one? for a microadventure? And what exactly is a microadventure?

Alistair Humphreys book has been either on my coffee table or by the side of my bed since I bought it, back in April.

I've honestly been trying for ages to give a microadventure a go. However, the usual excuses of not having time were getting in the way and it was a combination of eventually getting my hands on a bivvy bag and a nudge from a friend that finally got a date in the diary. Then when the day came, I just stuffed a bunch of things in a bag and trotted out the door, without a care in the world.

photo credit: Adam Snelgrove
The great thing is, that's what a microadventure should be about. Not really having to make plans. Just turn up and go. Literally.

Plus it fits in perfectly with my series of unusual experience posts: Fulfill your travel bug with: something unusual

Saturday, 27 June 2015

5 unusual London tours

A first time visitor to the UK's capital will of course want to see the key sights. The choice of organised and guided tours is endless and the quality and price can also vary quite a bit.

What about those who have been there, seen it and done it all already, or perhaps would rather avoid the popular tourist traps and want to venture off the track.

Then there's those who probably live reasonably close to the capital but don't take advantage of this enough.

For me, it's all about getting under the surface of a destination and doing something a little bit different and unusual. As regular readers will know I have been running a series of posts focusing on unusual experiences, more of which you can read about here: Fulfill your travel bug with: something unusual.

As part of this series, for this post, I have been scouting out some of the best tours in London with an unusual theme. Whether you're visiting London to see the sights, or like me, want something different, then some of these really should not be missed.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Experimental travel: walking London from A to Z

As promised in yesterday's post, here are the highlights from my day of experimental travel in London: walking from A to Z, starting at Aaron Hill Road in E6, all the way to Zulu Mews in SW11.

Click here for full detailed Google 'My Map' which you can add to your device.

Staring at the map of my first official Experimental Travel challenge, I felt somewhat overwhelmed.

At almost 13 miles (20 kilometres), which would apparently take just over 4 hours, if we didn't stop, this wasn't going to be a simple walk across London.

The route passes by numerous landmarks, things to do and of course, for us, geocaches. So plenty to explore and experience.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Endless 'unusual' experiences with: Experimental travel (Latourex)

Ten years ago, Lonely Planet released a guide on experimental travel which was based on the concept of Latourex (LAboratoire de TOURisme EXperimental, or in English: LAboratory of EXperimental TOURism), which involves a novel approach to travel, where the journey is based on a quirky concept and can lead to anywhere.

The idea of the book didn't really take off, at least not evidently from the blogosphere. However, some of the ideas and stories within it are definitely worth considering; even if just for something different and unusual to experience.

So, if you have been following along with my series of posts covering unusual experiences in the UK (see 'Fulfil your travel bug with: something unusual' for the list so far), and in my bid to inspire those that can't travel as much as they would like to, you can probably guess what's coming next!?

Sunday, 7 June 2015

10 unusual things to experience in London at night

London's busy nightlife lures people after work on week days and visitors on weekend's. Like many other cities, it completely changes once the sun goes down.

There are many things to experience at night in London, some of which are difficult to get tickets for. However there are plenty of things throughout the year as well. Here are some of my recommendations for the coming months.

Monday, 1 June 2015

An unusual weekend at Open House London and my tips for planning your visit

Open House London is a once a year chance to explore some of London's extensive architecture, and in particular some special and unique buildings that are not normally open to the public. Included in this are: private homes, government buildings, historic sites, educational establishments, and many others.

As part of my series of posts covering unusual experiences (see 'Fulfill your travel bug with: something unusual' for more), I wanted to share with you my experience from last years Open House London event, plus a few tips on how to make the most of this years event in September.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Escape from the capital with a night in a yurt

As I packed away my things and headed out the door, I felt a surge of freedom rush through me. It had been a very long week and finally it was Friday!

Not wanting the hassle of needing to plan ahead, the ability to just jump in the car or catch a train a short distance out of London was the main appeal of my latest escape.

To continue with the theme of unusual experiences, I've been trying out some unusual accommodation. With a choice of tree houses, windmills and even a prison cell, the first: Surrey Hills Yurts offers something a little bit different.

This Eco friendly camp site, doesn't cater for those that like to rough it. In fact the little details make it well above average when it comes to luxury. Glamping doesn't get much better than this in my experience.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

The day I saved London from a major explosion, with Agent November

Last month I saved London from a nuclear device!

It all started when we walked into a small unassuming pub near Kings Cross. We waited for a discreet moment before shuffling up to the bar and quietly whispering our password to the barman. 

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Something unusual: exploring the area where I live with 12 things to do in Wimbledon, London

In an attempt to keep to the challenge I set myself earlier this month, see 'Fulfill you travel bug with: something unusual', I've been exploring the area where I live. This also happens to be close enough to an area well known for a famous sporting event at the end of June each year.
Of course it needs no further introduction, but it is encouraging to know that there is plenty to do during the other 50 weeks of the year, when the tennis isn't on. Whether you're a visitor, resident, local or wondering if it's worth passing through, on your way to or from centre court, take a look at the my recommendations and see just how much there is to do and see.

Monday, 4 May 2015

5 wheelie unusual UK experiences

Today I watched the BT Wheelchair Rugby National Championships at the Copper Box in London's Olympic Park. Tickets are still available for the Rugby Challenge in October too - see here.  

This got me thinking about my latest series of posts on unusual experiences 'Fulfill your travel bug with: something unusual'. So in keeping with the theme, today I'm sharing with you some suggestions for unusual things to do on wheels. 

Whether you enjoy cycling, getting naked or just a bit of fun, you might just find there's something here to include in your upcoming plans ...

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Paddling provides an unusual perspective: try a London Kayak Tour

The often grey UK weather probably doesn't immediately have you thinking about partaking in water sports, and getting wet isn't going to encourage you.

Regents Canal, London

However, if you're suitably prepared (perhaps with your Crocs like I was!), getting wet isn't going to be an issue. Trust me I'm a geocacher!

There are a surprising number of water sports possible around the UK, but what about in the centre of London?

Monday, 13 April 2015

Something unusual: take on the challenge at Escape Rooms, London

To kick off my series of "Something Unusual" posts (as mentioned here), I wanted to start with trying something unusual in the capital...

Are you looking for something different for a special occasion, or want to try something unusual for your next day out? Maybe you simply have an hour to kill or are looking for another way to spend your lunch break?

The concept of escape rooms is already well established in many parts of Asia and Europe. It's lesser known in the UK, but starting to become more and more popular, and after my first experience I can understand why.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Fulfill your travel bug with: something unusual

Reality for most people means money, jobs, mortgages, children and many other responsibilities that get in the way of travelling.

So how do you live with the travel bug if you have it, and if you don't, how should you make the most of your time.

This year I'm looking to save some money, settle for a while and focus on finding more things to do back home in the UK. However, I want to avoid falling into the trap of just doing ordinary things, and instead adopt the same attitude as I do when travelling, and try the more unusual things. I want to experience the UK more as a traveller.

So many choices!

So, to continue with this theme, I'm going to try out a few unusual things, become more open to other people's ideas that I might have previously turned my nose up at, and maybe even attempt the concept of Microadventures and Experimental Travel.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

A surprising taste of Brixton that left me hungry for more

It can be extremely refreshing to find yourself re-exploring an area many years on, but I never actually thought this particular place would ever be one of them.

I spent a week in Brixton, nearly 20 years ago, when I was sent there to work. And I think I blanked it out. However, I do recall feeling uncomfortable, and the fact that each evening I would scuttle along the High Street, rushing for my train to escape home.

After that brief experience, I have never ventured back.

So just this week, I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a very different version of the Brixton I remember. There was also the added advantage of experiencing some local food delicacies, and the very knowledgeable company of our guide, Roo, on Mind the Gap's "Eat London Tour".

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Bath in all seasons

In the first of my posts on places to visit outside of London, I've been busy shortlisting what I think are some of the more worthwhile destinations.

A mere 90 minutes out of London by train, and away from the busy capital, Bath offers a fresh perspective and a stepping stone to many other places.

Pulteney Bridge

The great thing about this city, is that it is an all weather destination, just be prepared for typical British weather and you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

My most used travel apps

I've read quite a few posts featuring recommended apps for travelling, so today I thought I would share my own recommendations with you.

Being able to access an app and utilise it's main features offline is my first priority when travelling. Often this means planning ahead to ensure I can make the best use of the apps on my Android tablet when I'm on the road.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

7 scams in Cuba

My trip to Cuba last year was amazing and I'm so glad that I went when I did.

The announcement that the US has decided to loosen it's restrictions on travel and commerce to Cuba, is likely to take a bit of time to fully impact the island, but it will soon be a very different place.

I don't think the recent news will change everything. For example, the standard of living created by the very low average wage, means that many Cubans have to find an alternative income to afford more than basic supplies.

Unfortunately this means some Cubans turn to scamming tourists. So much so that it's difficult to avoid the common scams during a visit. Please don't let this put you off going there though, as they are only trying to make a living and often it's not a lot of money. The reality is that some of these scams also exist in many places elsewhere in the world.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

A brief guide to transportation in Bangkok

All roads lead to Bangkok! Simply, Bangkok is a central hub of activity, with travellers coming and going probably more so than any other city in Asia.

Whether you are heading there specifically, stopping over or passing through en-route to another Thai destination, or heading somewhere else in Asia or the South Pacific, you will at some point encounter the Bangkok transportation options.

Many first timers to Bangkok will automatically jump in a taxi on arrival at the airport, or even just to get from A to B once in the city. However, just because taxi travel in Thailand is one of the cheapest in the world, it does not mean it should always be the default.

Taking a taxi in Bangkok isn't always the cheapest option or the most reliable. More importantly there are some great experiences to be had by taking other forms of public transport.

Researching all the options can be a minefield, so this post is designed to give you a summary of the options available and point you in the direction of some useful resources to help plan for your Bangkok transport needs.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Some encouragement and tips for recording your travels

Do people still keep handwritten journals? 

Maybe they have advanced to electronic records, much like my travel blogs, that once started out as scribbled notes in the back of a old school exercise book.

Whether or not you keep a journal, I would encourage you to document you travel experiences. Not only is it a nice thing to reminisce over, and spark memories, but it can be handy as a reference to help others who are travelling to a destination you have already visited.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Tastier than I expected: Cuban cuisine

Before heading to Cuba, I researched the cuisine a little, trying to pin down what typical foods to expect and what to try; to ensure I didn't miss anything.

I was given the impression from most guidebooks and blog posts that I would be disappointed, as the food tends to be fairly bland. And the Lonely Planet even recommended taking a supply of sauces or spices to liven up the food after a couple of weeks of a rice and beans diet.

With the expectation level set, I was extremely surprised to find, after my first few Cuban meals, that this must have only been the case for visitors not knowing where to eat, or that the information was considerably out of date. 

Amazing fish