Experiencing The Outback This Summer

Australia is such a fab country that Rach visited in 2016 and would love to go back to! Australia is also coming into summer whilst we are preparing for winter so we know where we would rather be! Perhaps one of the most vast and unexplored places in the whole of Australia is the outback.

The outback is a term we brits have heard for years and years and maybe we haven’t put two and two together to realise this is a vast desert area down under. For an amazing adventure we have got to visit the outback and we have heard it’s one we certainly won’t forget any time! Here are some of the places you have to see in the outback this summer or in your lifetime.

Ayers Rock
Uluru is a stunning sandstone rock which has acted as the most popular Australian outback destination for years and years. It is thought that this rock is over 700 million years old which is staggering and as such, this rock is incredibly sacred to the aboriginal people who live there. It is definitely a place you have to see before you leave and we have read it will blow your mind.

Alice Springs Desert Park
If you fancy going somewhere more contained and organised In the outback then you may love a trip to the desert park. During your visit to the park you will be able to see some stunning landscapes, natural flora and fauna of the area and you can also learn more about the aboriginal culture which resides here. We most definitely think It would be a fascinating trip and a fun one.

Kings Canyon
If the idea of seeing a canyon close up is your thing, then you can’t miss the chance to visit this Kings Canyon also known as Watarrka which is located 300km away from Uluru. It is meant to be a beautiful place and it offers the perfect photo opportunity for you during your stay! Woohoo! The canyon walls tower more than 100m over head and the area is incredibly important to local wildlife and therefore no swimming is allowed here.

Lake Eyre
For a stunning experience which you won’t forget any time soon (according to everything we have read), a trip to the largest lake in the whole of Australia is essential when you visit the outback. Lake Eyre is a mind blowing place to see and it is so vast that you will be mistaken for thinking the water goes on forever and ever. This is the ideal place to come on a nice sunny day to bring a picnic and have a hike.

Port Augusta
If you fancy seeing the point which the desert meets the sea, you will be in for a treat when you visit Port Augusta. This is an amazing place that we would love to see. It can be surreal to see the point where the desert ends and the ocean begins. It is a good place to come for a relaxing day sunbathing and catching some waves.

The outback is a beautiful place which will make you feel like a tiny little ant as you explore its vast length and breath! When we return to Australia we will certainly be exploring the outback and we cannot wait!

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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2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies: Banff & Johnston Canyon

Two weeks in the Canadian Rockies has been split into a number of posts as there is just so much to say. However there is also a post of 2 weeks in the Canadian Rockies in a Nutshell if you want to read the summary.

Tips:

– We suggest that where you can reserve campsites online on https://reservation.pc.gc.ca/ParksCanada for what you can. Don’t worry if cannot book everywhere as there are walk in campsites available too as detailed in the post below.

– How the walk up campsites work is you turn up and find an empty plot. Plots are reserved with a slip of paper which you pick up from the hut at the entrance, which states your arrival date and how many nights you will be staying. Picky your plot and then put your money in an envelope, which is also provided at the camp entrance and you post into a letter box. We suggest you arrive at about 11 as people have to vacate at 11.

– You will need to buy a parks pass to visit the rockies. You can buy this pass on entrance Banff national park, if coming from Calgary then he place to buy is a couple of km after Canmore. Don’t worry you won’t miss it and will more than likely queue with everyone else! If you are staying more than 6 Days it is cheaper to buy a year long pass.

– Pick up maps from the tourist information, these are so so helpful and you will take it on all your hikes/use them to plan your hikes. The great thing about this trip is that all the walk are signposted and will also tell you how many kms so you will NEVER get lost!

– We flew into Calgary, hired a camper and headed from Calgary to Jasper and back and it took 2 weeks. We hired our Camper through Wicked Campers and couldn’t recommend them enough. They are cheap, cheerful and suited us perfectly for what we want.

Banff:

We suggest staying 3 nights here to make the most of it, which gives you 2 full days.
The couple of campsites to stay in are: Tunnel mountain (largest With tunnel mountain 1 and 2) or Two Jack (Two Jack and Two Jack Lakeside)

The best way to get around is by bus, there are 5 bus routes in total which take you to the Main places. The bus is free from your campsite to wherever you want to go and then $1 return. Each day work out how many buses you will be taking as you may find it cheaper to get a day pass for $5

The busses do not give change and you can pay with a maximum of $20 However if you need change the bus driver gives you a slip of paper with how much you are owed and you can collect this money in cash from a number of shops on Banff high street. Ask your bus driver and he will give you a slip with all the participating places.

When in Banff we suggest you hike to the top of Sulphur Mountain . You can take the gondola but it will set you back $64 each Which is a little crazy. The walk takes 2-3 Hours and is constantly up hill so make sure you wear hiking boots. However the good news is the views are spectacular and so worth it, also another bonus is that after 7pm the gondola is free to ride down so time your walk so you can take e gondola back down for free.

At the bottom of Sulphur Mountain is Banff Upper Hot Springs. Now we are going to be frank here and we genuinely were disappointed with these springs. We had an idea in our head that there would be a number of different hot pools to visit, hot tubs swimming pools etc. However there is just one swimming pool that’s nice and warm. After a long walk it is nice to relax but if you are pushed for time don’t worry about making visiting here a priority.

A visit to Lake Minnewanke is an absolute must. If you are staying at Two Jack Campsite it is pretty close to here. The lake is simply stunning and you can walk along the edge and take some epic photos. You can also rent a number of different boats, from speed boats to canoes. We also walked to the Lake Minnewanke lookout and picked the bus home up here.

Banff itself is a very busy place and there are many shops, bars and restaurants. Bars we suggest you enjoy an evening drink at are Park Distillery who make their own gin and vodka. This place is very popular and busy especially for food, if going for a drink request to sit on the balcony upstairs. We also really liked Banff Avenue Brewing Company, again this place has gorgeous outside sitting at the front. A little tip is on a Monday they do half price beers which is brewed in Calgary and the local area.

Somewhere to go for delicious ice cream is called Cows and there are soooo many flavours to choose from, they all very unique so it will be hard to pick your flavour! They also make their own waffle cones.

The supermarket to visit here is called IGA, so you can pick up any groceries here, but its always busy so be prepared to queue.

Johnston Canyon:

We suggest staying for 1 night in Johnston Canyon, a couple of campsites to stay in are: Johnston Canyon Campground or Castle Mountain Campground

30 minutes from Banff is Johnston Canyon which is very popular. We suggest trying to get a reservation online for Johnston Canyon Campground however we didn’t manage to so jut did walk in at Castle Mountain. We also recommend getting to the carpark for Johnston Canyon super early to get a car parking space otherwise you could be parking 1-2 miles away from the start of the walk on the road. We got up early and left our campsite and headed straight for Johnston Canyon.

We did the long walk all the way to the Ink Pots passing the Lower and Upper Falls on route. Personally I preferred Lower Falls as they are amazing and you go though a tunnel to see the waterfall. The round trip takes roughly 4 hours. We did the walk and then headed straight to our campsite to get a spot on the first come first serve.

In the afternoon we hiked to the top of Castle Mountain Lookout. This was an epic walk which was constantly up hill and took us also 4 hours return. This walk was not as popular as the others so we hardly saw other people, only a couple of serious hikers (like ourselves, haha!!).

We loved Castle Mountain Campsite as it was so rustic, we had a little fire and our cute little plot. You can share spots if you want to save money as 2 vehicles are allowed per plot. A camper came in late looking for a spot so we kindly offered to share to get some extra dollar!

Read more about visiting the Canadian Rockies: Lake Louise & Moraine Lake and Icefields Parkway & Jasper

Tourist Guide to Covent Garden & Surrounding Neighbourhoods

Covent Garden is one of London’s most well known areas. It is often on every tourists to do list when visiting London and we can totally see why. Covent Garden has a lot to offer from restaurants and bars to history and culture and it is also home to several London theatres including the Lyceum, where the Lion King is performed. Whether you are visiting Covent Garden for a civilised dinner, a night at the theatre or you plan on dancing the night away Covent Garden is the place to be.

If you want to be in the heart of the city during your stay then we would definitely recommend staying in Covent Garden as there are plenty of hotels on offer.

There are so many hidden gems both in Covent Garden and it’s surrounding neighbourhoods. If there is one tip we could give you when exploring London it would be to walk and wonder everywhere. Don’t waste your time on the tube places are far closer than you think! Oh and don’t stick to the main roads go down the side roads that are off the beaten track because that is there that you will stumble across all the quirky and independent places!

Below are some of our favourite places in and around Covent Garden that would make the perfect day out for you and a friend!

Another Space
If you are fitness fanatics like us that like to try out the local fitness scene in whatever city we visit then why not kick start your day at this boutique gym. Another space is located in soho just a few minutes walk from the centre of Covent Garden. Give spinning or boxing a go and it will certainly leave you feeling ready for the day ahead!

Coffee & Brunch
There are coffee shops on every corner you turn in Covent Garden (or just London I fact)!

Ladurée– A must visit if you are a macaroon lover as they are known for their macaroons. Enjoy a macaroon and an English breakfast tea or coffee in their outside seating area.

The Ivy Market Grill- sitting outside on the terrace overlooking Covent Garden Square is a must! They have an all day menu and also a brunch menu so it would be perfect anytime of day.

By CHLOE- One of the coolest vegan restaurants around has recently opened in Covent Garden serving incredible vegan comfort food YUM!

Dishoom- We would advise arriving earlier than you plan on eating to avoid disappoint as it is likely you will have to que for a table, but don’t worry they hand out free coffee in the que whilst you wait! The brunch menu is served daily until 11:45!

Apple market
Apple Market was once home to a well known fruit and veg market. Although it no longer sells fruit and veg they still continue to support market traders selling a range of unique products (on Mondays the market is dedicated to antiques). The market is open form 10-6.

Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House is renowned for its outstanding performances of traditional opera. Some of the world most well known opera singers have performed at the Royal Opera House. If you are a fan of the ballet then we would definitely recommend this show.

Street performers
Why not stop and watch some of the street performers in Covent Garden for a chilled after in the Square. You could even go to the Punch and Judy bar and watch whilst enjoying a beverage. Street performers at Covent Garden have to go through auditions in order to perform so they sure do have talent!

Shops
There are so many shops to visit in Covent Garden, some are chains and some are independents so you’ll certainly find some nice goodies. The shops are really quaint so the perfect place to pick up a present for someone.

Dinner
Balthazar- is a US chain that only recently made its way across the pond and to London. The restaurant is in the heart of Covent Garden so the perfect location for some food. Despite being a US restaurant this place is vey French/Parisian with Paris style decor and delicious French food.

The menu is simple but elegant, a variety of starters including selection of artisan bread (which we ordered) and pate de campagne. To drink we went for a cote de Provence (our favourite)!

There is also the dish of the day ranging from duck pie to coq au vin (which was delicious!). Annie went for the fillet of salmon with warm lentil, spinach and walnut salad.

The staff are very friendly and attentive too, which is something we really appreciate.

Theatre
There are plenty of box offices in Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square so if you haven’t pre booked theatre tickets then pop along and choose the show you want to watch! There are so many AMAZING shows! Some we can recommend are: Lion King, Kinky Boots, play that goes wrong, Mamma Mia, Matilda & 42nd Street.

Dessert
In recent years so many dessert places have opened up in London (its incredible). Some people just go out for dessert instead of dinner!

Milk train– this place is loved by all instagrammers as it’s a dream place for a picture. Their signature is ice cream with candy floss around the edge. You pick a cone, a flavour of soft serve ice cream, toppings and then candy floss. It sure does make for a pretty epic picture, and tastes good too!

Bubble wrap– nestled in the heart of china town this place is very popular and quite often there are queues out the door. Despite not being in Covent Garden it is only a short walk away and gives you the opportunity to explore China Town too. The bubble wrap cone is pretty cool and you can watch the staff make them. You pick your flavour ice cream, your topping and your sauce and hey presto your first bubblewrap ice cream!

Yorica – closer to China Town/Soho Yorica serves dairy free frozen yoghurt and ice cream with all the toppings. For those with an allergy but a sweet tooth we highly recommend this place for dessert.

We had such a fab day out exploring Covent Garden and it’s surrounding neighbourhoods. Our spending money was kindly gifted by Hotels.com but all views are our own.

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.