Natural Wonders Bucket List

We have put together a natural wonders bucket list that will give you all those wanderlust feels. There are so many beautiful places to choose from and we hope we get the chance to visit each and every one of them. There are so many wonderful sights from crystal caves to magnificent waterfalls, lakes and mud volcanoes that have made rock formations that look like a work of art.

Mud Volcanoes, Gobustan, Azerbaijan
The mud volcanoes are Just 65 kilometres south of Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, we have heard the mud volcanoes of Gobustan have a strangely Martian landscape appearance. Small volcanoes that still throw out some mud, which is thought to have medicinal qualities apparently you will see people stripping down and smothering themselves with it.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path National Trail, Wales, UK
Situated in southwest Wales, this path twists for 300 kilometres from St. Dogmaels to Amroth. The weather is not always good (as expected), but rumour has it on a sunny day, it is one of the most beautiful places you will find on your travels. You can join the trail in different locations, and if you are lucky you might even see seals in the waters below. There are also guided walks if you prefer to be with someone who knows the trail well.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia has some of the most stunning views trust us! The sea life and coral is just stunning and something everyone has to see once in their life. Some of the Great Barrier Reef tours from Cairns offer glass-bottomed boats, which will let you see even more. They also give you the chance for snorkelling and diving as part of your trip which I (Rach) did when I travelled Australia and it was INCREDIBLE!

Verdon Gorge, Provence, France
Verdon Gorge is known for being one of Europe’s most beautiful gorges. We really want to swim in the clear blue waters of the Verdon River that flows through for 25 kilometres. It is also meant to be a popular destination for rock climbers if that takes your fancy.

Ayers Rock, Australia

This is probably ones of Australia best-known landmarks.  To the aboriginal Anangu custodians, it is a sacred place and climbing it is considered to be disrespectful to them. It is also dangerous but viewed from as close as you are safe to go, it is a truly amazing sight.

Angel Falls, Venezuela
This waterfall cascades from the largest tabletop mountain in Venezuela and is the highest waterfall in the world. It is located in a remote jungle, which you can only reach by plane. The local people work as guides so that you can see how most of the water evaporates on its way down and never reaches the bottom.

Cascate del Mulino, Saturnia, Tuscany, Italy
The waters that come from the natural springs have a temperature of about 37.5 C, and they run down as a series of small waterfalls to different levels. It is said that a 10 minutes soak in these mineral waters will help to relieve the discomfort of many ailments, including muscle and joint aches and pains!

Iguazu falls, Argentina
Located in Argentina, these falls are simply stunning that they have to be on our bucket list. Just look up images and you’ll want to head there tomorrow. These are the largest waterfalls in the world so are pretty impressive.

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
With the bluest waters ever seen you must add Moraine Lake to your bucket list. Trust us you will want to sit and stare at this lake for hours. You can also hire a canoe and really impress your friends with incredible pictures. Whilst you’re here find some time to visit Lake Louise and walk to Big Beehive for incredible views. There is so much to see in Banff National Park, just keep a look out for bears!

These are just a few of the places that you should consider including on your natural wonders bucket list. Every country in the world has amazing sights somewhere in them; it is just a case of finding the ones you want to see!

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Helping you prepare for your trip to China

There is no denying that China is one of the most unique and fascinating destinations in the world. From the interesting culture to the amazing attractions, it is a place that so many travellers want to experience (including us). We thought we would answer a few questions about China as we researched them ourselves and wanted to share them with you!

When is the best time to visit China?
Because of the size of China, you can visit at any time throughout the year. Peak tourist months for the most popular destinations are April, May, September, and October. Prices tend to lower from June through August and again from November through March. In terms of visiting Hainan Island and the Northeast Harbin, winter months are peak-visiting time, especially for the Ice-Lantern Festival in Northeast Harbin, which has become world-famous.

How long will it take to walk the Great Wall of China?
A trip to China would not be complete without witnessing the Great Wall of China, but how long does it take to walk the Great Wall of China? Well, of course, this all depends on the route you are going to take and your general fitness levels however on average most people walk The Great Wall of China in five days. A lot of people are happy with just seeing the wall from a certain viewpoint, though, so it is entirely up to you.

What should you pack for your trip?
Casual clothing that is good for walking in would be best. One necessity is a good pair of walking shoes. Remember to dress for comfort, especially during the warmer months. Wearing shorts is acceptable in China, so long as you are not visiting a religious shrine.

Do I need a visa to visit China?
You are going to require a visa for visiting most places in Asia, and China is no different. You need to make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity remaining and you will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Please note that this is the case for Mainland China and Hainan Island but not Macao or Hong Kong. For example, a visa allowing a second entry into China is needed for visiting Hong Kong, so make sure you have all the required documents before flying.

We hope you enjoyed reading some of the information we have picked up along the way with our research!

The Spa at Lochgreen House Hotel

Lochgreen spa is a 5 Star hotel located in Ayrshire in Scotland. If you are looking for a luxury place to stay during your visit to Ayrshire then Lochgreen is your answer.

During our visit to Ayrshire we were lucky enough to visit Lochgreen spa!

Lochgreen Spa opened last year and is the perfect place to visit, it will certainly allow you to rebalance and relax without having a care in the world. There offer a number of different calming treatments including soothing massages, signature facials and luxurious body wraps. They also have a beauty salon which offers manicures, pedicures, make up and hair styling services.

Wow, where do we start here! We had the most relaxing time at the spa at Lochgreen and we are actually started writing this post as we chilled with a glass of prosecco in hand looking out at the stunning views of the Sea, If you don’t believe us, check out the picture below!

When we arrived we were welcomed by the loveliest lady called Kimberley who took us to the changing rooms where there was a robe and slippers in a locker.

She asked us if we would like to sit in the jacuzzi before our treatment and of course we jumped at the chance. Kimberley said she would fill up the jacuzzi for us whilst we got changed. Before doing anything we completed the consultation form and were given a glass of infused water (which was so refreshing and delicious!). We were then taken to the spa room which had 2 massage beds set up and the jacuzzi.

We enjoyed 25 minutes in the jacuzzi before getting ready for our back, shoulder and neck message and of course we had to take a few cheeky photos!

This 25 minute massage was incredible. Rach has been for many a massage and it was definitely the best one yet. Often the massoose doesn’t give enough pressure but this time it was perfect and you could really feel all the knots being pushed out. Annie is ticklish so was worried about it, however it wasn’t ticklish in the slightest!

We both felt so zen after our massage, we were given a few moments to chill before putting our robes back on and we were then taken to the relaxation room. Like we mentioned previously we were handed a glass of prosecco and some handmade chocolate which were divine. The views from the relaxation room are stunning!

The staff at Lochgreen we’re incredibly attentive and made sure we had everything we needed. They made us feel really special and really wanted to make sure we had the best time we possibly could. It came totally natural to them and you could tell they really enjoyed their job.

We sat and chilled for a good length of time and if the weather hadn’t of been so nice outside we could have stayed there all day. The grounds of Lochgreen were beautiful and we just had to get outside and explore (you know us)!

We had a nosy around the spa and we noticed there was a nail parlour and make up area. Lochgreen hosts many weddings so this would be an added bonus if you had booked to get married at the venue. Imagine being able to have a massage the evening before your wedding! (There is also a bridal package available). We also spotted there were champagne glass holders next to the dressing tables which were so cool (see photo below).

We made our way down to the hotel reception where we were introduced to some of the staff. We then made our way outside and spotted the tables outside the front of the house which we sat at for a couple of hours taking in the atmosphere and the beautiful surroundings, it was just so peaceful!

Lochgreen spa was absolutely stunning, and from what we could see from the hotel it definitely deserves the 5* award. We would love to return to do a full review of the hotel and the food they serve. We had a nosy in one of the restaurants and the food looked absolutely incredible.

There honestly isn’t anything we could fault about our experience at Lochgreen it was just the perfect way to end our weekend.

6 Things to do in Dublin

If you had to make a bucket list of things to do in Dublin before you die, what would you choose? Here are a few suggestions of some of the most popular excursions, and some that are more off the beaten track.

Kilmainham Gaol Museum
This is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and it has a history stretching back more than 200 years. It is said to be haunted by the ghosts of prisoners, but if you can stand the chill we have heard it’s well worth making the tour. It has been used several times as a movie location as well which is pretty cool.

Experience The Bars
The nightlife of Dublin is something not to be missed. There are bars and restaurants all over the city. Live music is played in many of them which is incredible! We actually came across an amazing band when we visited Dublin called Keywest, they were busking in the Street. Since then we have been to see them play in London. The atmosphere around the Temple Bar area is incredible.

We stayed in this hotel when we visited- https://www.maldronhotelpearsestreet.com/ in Pearse Street, they also put on a delicious breakfast! YUM.

Watch An All Ireland Final At Croke Park
Croke Park stadium is one of the largest in Europe with a capacity for 82,300 spectators WOW. It is very easy to spend a whole day at Croke Park. By the time you have taken the tour, watched a match and had a meal you will have had ones of the best sporting days you are likely to experience.

A Lazy Day At St Stephen’s Green
Taking a stroll round St Stephen’s Green wouls be ideal. It is the perfect place to take a picnic with you, http://www.heritageireland.ie/en/dublin/ststephensgreen/. There are shops close by where you can enjoy an ice cream in the afternoon.

Shop Till You Drop
Bypass all the big shopping centres and head for places like Capel Street or Henrietta Street. These are places where you will find the likes of the original Louis Copeland outlet as well as the craft beer joint known as the Black Sheep. These may not be the cities most fashionable streets, but you will find hidden gems that are well worth exploring.

Guineas tasting
You can buy Guinness in every bar, hotel and restaurant in Dublin, but why not go to where it originates from. The Guinness store charts the history of the brew from when Arthur Guinness first made it to the present day. You will find out how it is made and get a pint to drink while you are there. We visited during our time in Dublin and we couldn’t recommend it enough.

There are no doubt many other things to see and do in Dublin before you die, and these are just a few of the things you might like.

What to do in Skegness

Skegness is a seaside resort that we have heard has a lot to offer! We have not yet visited Skegness but we would love to and therefore we decided to do a bit of research!

It appears that there is a lot to do in Skegness from relaxing scenery and lots of different attractions. It has always been a popular spot for tourists to visit for a weekend away.

BEACH

There is only one way we would want to begin our weekend away and that would be visiting the beach. There is a pier on the beach that we would definitely take a walk on! The beaches are known for being clean, sandy, and long, and the Central Beach has been awarded the coveted Blue Glad Award. Lifeguard cover can be expected from June to September, and swimming is good here. There are also body boarding and surfing opportunities.

SEAL SANCTUARY

Close to Central Beach, there is also the Seal Sanctuary, which looks like a great place to visit while you are in Skegness. We would potentially visit this after spending the day on the beach!

WALKS

We love to walk so we would of course research a couple of walks we could go on! Sometimes we even just like to put our walking shoes on and see where the path takes us!

HOTEL

Last but not least, the importance of choosing accommodation with care cannot be ignored when it comes to any type of trip. After all, a hotel or B&B can make or break your trip. The good thing is that there are lots of hotels Skegness-based and in the surrounding areas, so you should have no trouble choosing something suitable. Whether you want to be based on the seafront or in the Lincolnshire woods, you will be able to find somewhere beautiful and comfortable to stay with ease.

THE EMBASSY THEATRE

There is always something exciting going on at the Embassy Theatre. Many acts have played here, including Jimmy Carr, Jools Holland, and Lee Evans. From stage shows and live bands to comedians, we would definitely check out the events page to see if there is anything going on during your visit.

As you can see, there are plenty of different things to see and do while in Skegness, as well as lots of amazing places to stay too.

Hopefully, we have helped with suggestions of what you can do. One thing is for sure; you are bound to have a great time, especially if the sun is shining!

Typical Tourist things to do in Rome

After visiting Rome, it would be rude not to write a post like this, plus we want to share our lovely photos with you all!

The Colloseum
This place truely is a thing of beauty! Its so magnifcant and its amazing to think how old it is! We bought tickets in advance online and despite doing this you still have to queue up. The queue was over an hour long standing in the sun. We were advised to pay 15 euros each to have a guide and you skip the queue. We didn’t fancy waiting in the sunshine but also didn’t want to waste our day so decided to go for it. To be honest our guide was so boring and you could tell she hated her job so we ditched the guide and went exploring. Our tickets also included entrance to the Forum which is opposite the Coloseum.

The Trevi Fountain
This fountain is another typical place to visit when in Rome. Make sure you get that coin and chuck it over your left shoulder and make a wish. In the height of the season it is very busy here so be prepared to push your way to the front for a picture!

Pantheon
This is the famous church with a hole in the roof, its simply stunning and so cool to look up and see the sky! The sun shines right down the middle and its beautiful. As this is a church you will need to cover your shoulders to enter.

The Vatican
Again another place you must go and see when in Rome. If you want you can book in advance and the full tour and see the Sistine Chapel etc. However if you don’t want to pay then you can go into St Peters Basilica for free. Everyone said to us that the queue was ages but we queued for about 20 minutes. As its such glorious weather in Rome we didn’t want to spend our whole day inside so this worked out perfectly for us. We were still able to take pictures and say we had been to the Vatican City.

The Spanish Steps
To be honest we were a bit underwhelmed by these steps because basically they are just some steps with a monument at the top. It was so so busy that we literally looked at the steps and then left!

Not so touristy places but so worth the visit:

Roseto Comunale
These rose gardens are soooo pretty and its nice to get away from all the tourists. We literally took so many pictures of flowers! If you fancy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the main city then we suggest venturing here. They are close to the Orange Gardens (below) so you can visit both at the same time. There is also a water fountain here which is useful to know.

The Orange Garden on the Aventine Hill
The view you get from these gardens is spectacular. We chilled up here in the sunshine surrounded by pretty trees. It is worth the climb up here and is pretty underscored too so you won’t see many tourists.

Palazzo Venezia
These gardens are so well hidden and the perfect place just to sit and relax. There is also a water fountain here to fill up your water bottles. We kept going back to this place to fill up our water as it was quite central.

Top tips: you can basically walk everywhere in Rome all the places you want to visit are all close by so wear comfortable shoes and get exploring. You also stumble across some pretty stunning places on route so its defs worth it

Most of the fountains are drinking water so get yourself a water bottle and keep filling up your water, you will save a fortune!

The Cotswolds: Planning The Perfect Weekend Break

Stretched across six counties, The Cotswolds are made up of lots of beautiful Cotswold villages. Think thatched cottages, golden coloured townhouses, beautiful churches, and country estates. The Cotswolds is a beautiful location and a place we like to visit frequently.

The Cotswolds is a great location because there is so much to do and see! From hiking and horse riding to shopping and enjoying the local surroundings, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

We have come up with some great ideas of things to do in The Cotswolds that should help you organise your trip.

The accommodation is incredible

Throughout The Cotswolds, there is some amazing accommodation to choose from. From traditional pub inns in Bourton-on-the-Water, such as The Old Manse pub and inn to Cotswold lodges at Watermark near The Cotswold Water Park (which we visited the other weekend and absolutely love, if you visit you have to go to the beach and go on the giant inflatable). Cheltenham is also a great place to visit and also has a number of pubs and bars if that is something you enjoy.

The food is fantastic

The Cotswolds is home to some of the best food in the UK, Think organic produce, seasonal dishes, and locally reared meat and fish. The number of farms in The Cotswolds mean that the food on offer is truely what you would call fresh. You’ll be spoilt for choice with a range of Gastro pubs, quaint English tea rooms, delis, and farmer’s markets to choose from. We always make sure we visit Trip Advisor and have a read of the reviews for each place before going!

The villages are stunning

The Cotswolds is made up of some incredible villages (and towns too). There’s Bourton-on-the-Water, crowned ‘The Venice of The Cotswolds’ due to the lovely river running through it. Just a short walk from here, down a country path you will find Lower Slaughter, a quaint hamlet with a beautiful country pub called The Slaughters Country Pub we have read that this is the perfect place for a spot of lunch or even a quick coffee.

Stow-on-the-Wold, the next town across is a market town that is home to the Fosse Gallery and the Famous St. Edwards Church. It’s also home to the historic postbox, one of the oldest postboxes in the UK.

Winchcombe is another Cotswold village that has a beautifully timeless quality to it. Imagine Cotswold stone cottages combined with black and white Victorian-era buildings, narrow cobbled streets and charmingly quaint houses. This small town is famous with walkers, due to the number of trails it has all around it.

There are towns and cities within reach

In addition to the villages and towns of The Cotswolds, there are also an array of other towns and cities within each reach.

Cheltenham is one town that has a lot to offer as we have previously mentioned. There is great shopping facilities, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Burford is also a beautiful town. It’s smaller than Cheltenham and far more traditional, but it’s still a wonderful place to explore. Complete with a small high street full of delis and eateries, this small town is so beautiful and we recently visited and went on a lovely long walk, it was just stunning.

The Cotswolds has so much to offer, which is what makes it such an ideal location for a weekend getaway! We would highly recommend a visit.

Highgrove House Hotel Review in Ayrshire

Highgrove House hotel is a beautiful house located in Ayrshire on the outskirts of Troon. Highgrove House Hotel was incredible and we couldn’t have picked a better place to stay ourselves, we thoroughly enjoyed our final night in Scotland (Ayrshire).

Highgrove house is part of the Costley & Costley group which was founded in 1988 by Bill and Cath Costley. Since 1988 they have built up a business and now have four award-wining country house hotels. Highgrove House has a special place in their hearts as it was the first hotel in the Costley group.

Highgrove House is located on a hilltop overlooking miles of coastlines across the firth of Clyde and to the Isle of Arran. We particular enjoyed the views during the evening when the sun was setting as it was a beautiful sunny day.

There are eight individually decorated bedrooms complete with en-suite bathrooms at Highgrove House. We were in bedroom number one which was located at the top of the stairs. The room was luxurious and had all the facilities we needed including TV (with Sky), Hairdryer, tea and coffee (which took us a while to find it was tucked away in a cupboard).

The bedroom was a good size with two single beds, arm chairs and a chest of drawers. We loved the decoration of the room it was very countrified and we immediately felt at home.

The en-suite bathroom was ginormous, we could have had a party in there! It has a shower, bath and double sink. We loved the shower products they provided they smelt great and the shower cap came in handy when we didn’t want to wash our hair.

We arrived at Highgrove house in the late afternoon, unpacked and made our way down to the outside terrace. We enjoyed some rose Whilst sitting outside in the evening sun watching the sun starting to go down. The wine was delicious and we liked the fact we could order a jug Instead of a bottle.

We chatted on the terrace for ages it was so peaceful and the waiter came out every so often to Check we had everything we needed.

Highgrove House is renowned for its cuisine which was evident to see as the restaurant was full all afternoon with customers enjoying Sunday lunch. The restaurant sells seafood, steak dishes, along with home-made ice creams and chocolates. We have written a post all about the restaurant (it really does deserve a post of its own) at Highgrove House which we will be posting soon.

We also have to mention the breakfast because it was absolutely delicious. We will also be posting a separate blog post all about it so stay tuned.

The staff a Highgrove House were incredibly polite and always on hand to help. They really do take pride in ensuring everyone is happy during their stay or visit.

The hotel is only 2 miles away from Troon and on Sunday morning we decided to go for a run. It didn’t take very long at all and you can definitely walk there.

It’s was nice to stay in the countryside overlooking the town of Troon but also be able to easily access the town without having to get a taxi. It as a lovely run and very picturesque!

Gleddoch Spa Review

We were lucky enough to stay at the beautiful hotel that is Gleddoch which you can read all about here! The spa at Gleddoch was very small but perfect for a couple of hours. We were really looking forward to a nice relaxing few hours especially after the long week we had.

They provide you with robes, towels and slippers so don’t worry about bringing your own. You will find this in your locker so just ask reception for a locker key!

There is a large swimming pool 17m to be precise and also a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. Outside is also another jacuzzi with gorgeous views of the river and Ben Lomond which we sat in for a longggg time. On the terrace there is also lots of outdoor seating and also deck checks available. It was a lovely day so we did opt to sit outside for a little while.

There is a very light and airy room with hot stone chairs to chill in and magazines to read. We also chilled here whilst we were drying off waiting for our treatments. There is also a water machine- which is very much when in a spa as you need to remember to stay hydrated.

The staff were very attentive at the spa and always made sure they were on hand to help. We also noticed they liked to keep things clean and wiped down the hot stone chairs after they had been used.

Before our treatments we were told to make our way to the relaxation room. The relaxation room was very relaxing indeed and we loved the music that was being played, it made us feel very zen. We sat on the beds for a little while before it was time for our treatments to begin.

Rach went for a 1 hour massage full body massage and absolutely loved it! She was really looking forward to a massage and it definitely didn’t disappoint!

Annie opted for the shellac nails as she loved getting her nails done but can never really find the time! The shellac nails took about 30 minutes and it was ever so relaxing. I opted for a purple/mushroom colour as I wanted to go for something quite summery! Would definitely recommend the shellac nails at Gleddoch!

After our treatments Annie went to the hotel gym which was next door to the pool area. The gym was really well equipped and it was completely empty which was great. Rachel went back to the pool to swim some lengths before we both had a shower.

We had a lovely afternoon in the Gleddoch spa, it was very relaxing and the perfect way to spend our Saturday.

The Hottest Holiday Destinations: Europe’s Favourite Locations!

Are you looking for inspiration for your next holiday? If so, we may have some ideas for you! It’s never been easier to spread your wings and fly away (as long as you have some dolla), but saying that there are so many affordable flights now days that is has opened us up a host of new destinations. Although Spain continues to be the destination of choice for most people, other locations are catching up.

Spain is the most popular holiday destination for European tourists, but there are signs that other countries are becoming increasingly appealing. Maybe it’s media attention or the availability of cheaper flights but other locations are appearing on the map. Croatia, for example, has become a leading tourist destination in recent years- a county that is definitely on our bucket list.

We recently visited La Palma, it wasn’t very touristy at all but it was so cheap and such an incredible Island. It was a four hour flight from London and before you know it you are in this beautiful little haven.

Budapest is another country that is ridiculously cheap when you are there! Budapest is the perfect mix of city break and relaxation. Rach loved it when she visited and cannot wait to go back with Annie.

We visited Ibiza a couple of years ago and it barely cost us any money which we were really surprised about. Quite a lot of people are put off of the idea of visiting Ibiza due to its party reputation, but we have to say it was truly stunning and didn’t even visit the party town.

Bulgaria is another country that we would love to visit! Any tips on where to go in Bulgaria would be fabulous! We have heard the skiing there is pretty incredible in the winter months as well!

If you’re looking for a holiday destination, and you fancy a change of scenery, why not consider visiting somewhere you’ve never been before? There is nothing quite like the thrill of exploring new places and discovering different cultures.


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