5 UK Cities We Want to Visit in 2018

We do love to write about the places we have visited, but this time, we thought we would write a post about the cities we want to visit in the UK. City breaks are great because you can go away for a long weekend, and it can feel like you have been away for ages.

York

We have wanted to visit York for a while not only to see the beautiful cobbled streets but also to visit Betty’s. Of course, with us, it’s always food-related, but Betty’s Tea Rooms are famous in York, plus the food looks divine. However, we would be torn whether to go for brunch in the morning or for tea and cake in the afternoon because they both look so yummy — guess we could go for both.

We would also like to walk down The Shambles, which is the maze of twisting lanes that we have seen in lots of pictures. Of course, we would also visit the famous York Minister, which is the largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe.

Canterbury

Canterbury is only an hour’s train ride away from London so it’s easily accessible and a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of London.

Someone recommended we do a walking tour that takes 90 minutes, so we would definitely take part in that. We often go on walking tours when visiting a new city as firstly, we love walking, and secondly, it’s a great way to see all the city and learn about it. The tours leave twice a day, so you’ll be able to join one of them!

Manchester

We stumbled across a blog post about Manchester once, and ever since then, we have wanted to visit! It seems like there is so much to do there, and it is so easy for us to get to Manchester from London!  We would start our day with a run through Heaton Park like we do with any trip we go on!

We would head down to the quays at night to grab some dinner along the waterfront. We feel like when in Manchester, you have to do something football-related, so we would do a football stadium tour.

Newcastle

Newcastle is another city in the north of the UK, and although it may be famous for that crazy TV show called Geordie Shore, it’s also a City we would love to visit!  Newcastle sure does have a crazy night out (including a treble vodka mixer for £5), but there’s much more to the city than that. We would  choose to walk over the Tyne Bridge, as we feel like that is a must if you ever visit Newcastle.

Edinburgh

We have only ever heard good things about Edinburgh, so a visit will definitely be on the cards for 2018. As you probably already know, we love walking, so this would be the perfect city break, as we could visit Arthur’s Seat and challenge ourselves to climb the main mountain in Edinburgh. It wouldn’t be a trip to Edinburgh without a visit to the famous Edinburgh Castle.

Have we left any cities off our list that you think we should visit? We would love to hear your recommendations; there are so many beautiful cities in the UK that we need to explore.

Marrakech- The City That Comes Alive At Night

Before this year I had never been to Marrakech before and in fact I had never even thought about going there. It wasn’t until my sister happened to mention what a great time she had had when she visited a couple of years ago and how amazing the hotel was she stayed in.

During our time in Marrakech we opted to stay in an all-inclusive 4* resort which was close enough to the city centre, luckily our hotel put on a shuttle bus during the day which was perfect as it took us right into the centre of the Medina.

Medina
We visited the Medina in the day time arriving at roughly 11 o’clock, we headed straight to the square where there were a large selection of drinks stalls selling fresh juices for about 20p we couldn’t get over how cheap they were when in London you would be paying at least £4.50. The juices were amazing they were so fresh and made to order we got one orange and the other mango and they were both so delicious.

juice 1

The Medina in the day time was fairly quiet, there weren’t many tourists walking around instead it was locals trying to sell fresh local produce. We did notice however, there were a number of snake charmers in the square which was quite scary (especially if you are terrified of snakes) so we avoided them like the plague.

marra 1

When we returned to the Medina one evening the atmosphere was COMPLETELY different, as you can see from the title of this blog post it is literally the city that comes alive a night. The atmosphere was buzzing, there were hundreds of people walking around the Medina visiting the different performers, it was amazing and the hustle and bustle was exactly what we were expecting to see when we went in the day time.

Souks
Visiting the souks in the day and night were two completely different experiences and we would definitely urge everyone to visit in both the day and night. The souks are under cover keeping you out of the heat in the day which is amazing as it would be far too hot otherwise.

During the day time the souks were basically deserted, apart from the market stall holders and a few stray cats roaming around. Every stall and shop we passed would try and entice us in telling us all about their products. It is a known fact that you should barter with the shop keepers when in Marrakech so that is exactly what we did, it was so much fun and you could see the happiness in their eyes when you agreed on a price and purchased the item.

donk

In the evening the souks are literally as busy as Oxford Street the shop keepers are occupied by customers who are already in their shops as this is obviously prime time for them to make their money. During the day we noticed locals riding through the souks on their mopeds and bikes which was something we kept having to dodge, we didn’t expect to still see this happening in the evening but I guess they have got to get home somehow.

As we were browsing the souks during the evening taking in the atmosphere and culture we happened to notice the young boys working in the souks all had their phones out watching something very intensely. We wondered for a moment what they were watching when we noticed it was football it’s funny that you can be in the middle of Marrakech and there are still young boys obsessed with football- the sport that speaks one language.

Food Stalls
When we first visited Marrakech in the day time we were looking for the food stalls as we had been told we had to visit them during our stay. We couldn’t for the life of us find the food stalls and it wasn’t until we returned back in the evening that we realised they were only set up at night.

The food stalls were such an experience and something we would definitely suggest everyone visit during their time at Marrakech. The men working on the stalls were hilarious, they were coming out with some hilarious English phrases; ‘M&S simply the best’, ‘you are well skinny minny, you must be starving marving’, ‘where are you from Wembley, Hackney, Chelsea Essex?’.

We decided to go back to the first man we spoke to as the food on their stall looked so delicious. We were seated at the table and all the staff behind started to sing ‘….’ It was hilarious and they were all so full of life.

We decided to try the mixed skewers, chicken tagine, vegetable cous cous and of course some of the traditional bread we saw being sold. It’s safe to say we were so full after so it was nice to finish the meal with a Moroccan tea (fresh mint) although they seem to like putting sugar in their mint tea in Morocco so it is incredibly sweet, I wasn’t a massive fan but that’s probably because I am not used to it.

Transport
We were lucky to have a shuttle bus at our hotel but we happened to notice lots of other hotels did as well. We would definitely recommend the shuttle bus/coach so if you are thinking of booking a hotel a bit of the way then find out if your hotel puts on this service.

If you want to use a taxi we would suggest using a taxi that your hotel recommends. We found that the same taxi drivers often sat outside the front of hotel. One evening we had to get a taxi back from The Medina as the last shuttle bus was at 8pm, all I can say is that if you want a real life experience of Grand Theft Auto then by all means go ahead and take a taxi because my gosh we did and it was the  scariest taxi ride of my life. We might have just been incredibly unlucky with our taxi driver but just be careful when you do get into a taxi as health and safety goes completely out of the window.

There are lots of horse and carts in The Medina that will take you around the city, we didn’t do this so we are not sure how much it would cost but everything in Marrakech is so cheap so it probably wouldn’t set you back too much.

Marrakech is an amazing city and like nowhere we have visited before, we would 100% recommend visiting!

Top 10 cities we want to visit

We do like to write about the places we have visited, however this time we thought we would write a post about the cities we want to visit. City breaks are great because you can go away for a long weekend it can feel like you have been away for ages. City breaks also mean you don’t have to take too much holiday, so you can do lots of mini breaks throughout the year. There are often cheap deals going on flights so there’s no excuse!

Between us, we have visited, Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Prague, Florence and Paris (we are off to Paris in April again and cannot wait), therefore this post is all about the cities we haven’t visited but really want to. Let’s see how many we can tick off the list!

Barcelona-We have heard some amazing things about Barcelona, and of course want to visit the Sagrada Familia – it is the most iconic building in Barcelona after all. However the Park Guell looks just as impressive! The best thing about Barcelona is that is a city that has a beach, so we would be able to top up the tan and relax for a bit too. We cannot not mention Spanish food, going for tapas and watching Flamenco dancing would be definitely be the best way to spend an evening. And lastly we both love markets, so we would definitely visit a Spanish market whilst there.

Budapest- Budapest is renowned for being cheap so we just have to visit. The city looks incredible with lots to do and we can imagine just wandering the city stumbling across beautiful sites and taking lots and lots of pictures. We have been recommended going on a cruise down the River Danube as it’s a good way to see both Buda and Pest. We also would love to attend a ‘sparty’, which is basically a party at one of the many spa’s in Budapest. Whilst in Budapest we would have to sample local Hungarian food of course, and taste the local Goulash.

Dubrovnik- Croatia looks like a stunning country and the city of Dubrovnik looks amazing and even better it’s another city by the sea, so a trip to the beach would be on the cards! It would be pretty amazing to go sea kayaking here, which would be a different thing to do on a city break or take a trip in the cable car for some fantastic views. Another recommendation has been given to us of visiting the Island of Lokrum, and the pictures do look stunning – maybe we will need longer than a long weekend to visit Dubrovnik!

Lisbon- Lisbon is meant to be the cheapest place to go for a city break so we are intrigued to visit and see if this is true! We would definitely visit the Sao Jorge Castle whilst there and also take a trip to a view point for some cool pictures and also ride the tram. Whist there we would definitely have to enjoy a pastel de nata (custard tart) or two!

Marseille- Marseille is not somewhere you would instantly think of visiting for a city break which is why we want to visit. Marseille is a city in the south of France and looks stunning as there is a Greek feel to the city with a pretty port. We feel this city will be very similar to Paris but less hectic and busy. It would be the perfect city break full of cheese and wine, and of course French bread. Marseille Old Town looks picturesque so I imagine we would spend a lot of time there!

Stockholm- We have never been to Sweden so a city break to Stockholm sounds like a fab idea, and it looks like another beautiful city. The decision is, to visit in summer or winter? We do much prefer hotter climates though…..

Edinburgh- Why should we not pick a city to visit in the UK?! We haven’t visited Scotland and heard so many good things about Edinburgh so a visit would be worthwhile. As you probably already know, we love walking so this would be the perfect city break as we could visit Arthurs Seat and challenge ourselves to climb the main mountain in Edinburgh. It wouldn’t be a trip to Edinburgh without a visit to the famous Edinburgh Castle or a trip to the theatre.

Helsinki- Again this is another country that we haven’t visited, so a trip to Finland would be quite the adventure and experience. In Winter it will be super super cold, but imagine the Christmas markets are quite spectacular and of course lots of snow! The city looks equally stunning in summer and for the past 5 years in summer you can have dinner in the sky, which looks incredible! Imagine eating dinner high up in the sky, the pictures look epic! Kayaking is a main hobby and outdoor activity in Finland so we would definitely have to hire kayaks in the summer or go on a kayak tour. We have also been recommended to do a bike tour of the city, which we can imagine you can do in summer or winter.

Warsaw- A trip to Warsaw would be a very historical and cultural trip, so maybe best to go in winter as we can imagine  a lot of the trip would be spend in museums such as the National Museum in Warsaw, the Museum of History  of Polish Jews or the Science centre. However we would also enjoy the food and drink that Poland has to offer and explore the old town on foot. Breakfast is a serious meal in Poland and we love our breakfast so we will be sure to enjoy a very large Polish breakfast every morning to set ourselves up for the day. Warsaw also has a lively bar culture so we will be sure to visit some bars in the evening.

San Sebastian- This is not a very well-known destination for a city break, but this city in Spain looks beautiful so a different destination to add to the list. There is meant to be one of the best beaches in Europe here so we will most likely spend a lot of time here, from sunbathing, to walking and morning runs along the beach. The old town also looks stunning and we can imagine spending an evening eating and drinking here. A highlight for us would be taking the funicular railway to the top of Monte Igeldo to see impressive views and take some perfect blog pictures!

Where do you think we have missed off our list? Where would you recommended we visit next?

Cambodia : Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and I was a bit nervous about visiting a capital as I prefer the country, however this was a pleasant surprise and I loved it!

We arrived after a very long bus journey from Siem Reap (7 hours in total!). We stayed at the G Eleven hotel which was in a great location, with spacious rooms and a swimming pool.

We met the group for dinner and first went for a drink together before going for dinner. Again I was not a fan of this dinner. The restaurant was full of tourists and the food wasn’t great, by this point me and the girls were starting to get fed up with being treated like we were children and being escorted everywhere, and also being taken to restaurants where it felt like we were on a cruise ship! After dinner we managed to escape the group and went for a short wander before heading to bed.

The next morning we met for the trip to the killing fields and Tuol Sleng genocide museum. Again we had a guide provided, and we were meant to be taken around the prison and killing fields by a guide. I did not want to and nor did my friend, we both felt we wanted to visit at our own pace and asked to have one of the headsets provided. Our G Adventures guide was not very happy about this, however in the end we were allowed to do so.

Both were very moving and I believe it is something everyone should visit when visiting Cambodia. I won’t write much about this morning as the whole visit was very distressing and emotional. However, I am glad I opted to have a headset for both as I learnt a lot and also listened to personal stories which I found interesting.

(If on this G Adventures tour, do not pay $20 for the tour, go on your own and take a tuk tuk to the 2 locations, it is only $6 entry and you can do at your own pace, I wish I had known this myself, and believe G Adventures over charged and wish they recommended we did it on our own)

We spent the afternoon chilling in the sunshine by the pool, which was very much needed.

We went to dinner early and visited Wat Phnom Hill, which is the only hill in the city, and legend says it was first discovered by a lady named Penh. The local people come here to pray for good luck and success with exams etc. We then visited the night market before going for dinner. Myself and the girls opted to not go with the group as we were fed up of over priced cruise ship dinners, instead we went to a street food restaurant, where the menu was only in Cambodia and there were only locals eating. We all enjoyed some noodles and then headed to another place for dessert. This was one of my favorite evenings of the whole Cambodia trip. We all loved embracing the local way of life, and eating authentic Cambodian food. This evening we did not feel like we were on a ‘tour’ and we all went to bed feeling super happy!

The next morning we took the bus to Sihanoukville, post to follow!


– all views are my own 

BLOGMAS Day 22- Christmas in London

We love living in London at Christmas, it always get you in the festive mood and there is so much going on to see and do! We thought we would put our favourites things to do in London at Christmas for you all to spread the festive cheer! The below are in no particular order!
Carnaby Street- Carnaby Street always have some cool and different Christmas lights that are great to go and see. We love Carnaby Street because it’s not a busy as Oxford Street but has some really cute shops. Carnaby Street starts with Liberty’s which is such an amazing department store and very typically English. We love browsing there at Christmas, even if we cannot afford to buy anything! Along Carnaby Street are some fab shops such as……… There are also some great places to eat which can be found along Carnaby Street and also in Kingly Court. Why not try Mother Mash, Dirty Bones or The Diner.
Christmas Carol Concert- There are so many carol concerts happening in London during advent so you have plenty to chose from depending on your location. There’s a great range of concerts at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, with a concert that’s even dedicated to Christmas shoppers! Langham Place the church next to the BBC also have a lot of carol concerts to go to. Or why not visit the famous St Paul’s Cathedral, we went to a lovely family Carol concert on a Saturday afternoon and it was lovely.
Winter Wonderland- It might look and seem super tacky but what a better way to feel Christmassy than a visit to Winter Wonderland. They are celebrating their 10th Anniversary of being open so putting on some cool displays. Winter Wonderland can sometimes be very busy, so be prepared to queue!
London’s Southbank- Why not spend the afternoon or evening around the iconic London eye visiting the Southbank Christmas market and treat yourself to some mulled wine and browse the cute Christmas stalls. Walk a little further along the river and there’s another market outside the Tate Modern.
Covent Garden- We love Covent Garden, it’s such a fab little place to visit with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also lots going on here as the street artists love to perform here. You are more than likely to see a Christmas choir perform when you visit! The lights at Covent Garden are always beautiful so worth a visit. If you are going to the theatre in London’s West End then Covent Garden is a great place to go for dinner beforehand!
Roof Top Bar- For those who like to enjoy a drink or two, why not try London’s many roof top bars. We love Pergola on the Roof at London’s Westfield White City.