What To Do In London: Round 2

I’ve written about my best recommendations for spending time in London before on here, but I wanted to write a second post with my updated recommendations as over this past year I feel I’ve done a lot more things i would never have thought of, and I wanted to share!

Junkyard Golf

I’ve seen pop-up mini golfs around London for a while now, but I finally managed to experience Junkyard Golf in Shoreditch recently, and I absolutely loved it. We rocked up completely unplanned and we only had to wait half an hour (at the bar of course) until we could get playing.

It’s really good fun with themed courses you can pick from, with bars dotted all around the place to indulge in some frozen margaritas, or even to pop into a gif-booth for some selfies with your pals.

It was such a great experience and it really wasn’t too expensive to spend a few hours playing golf. There are plenty of similar concepts around the city too, with Flight Club (darts) or Sink (beer pong/ping-pong) and they’re a really good way to spend an evening with your pals that’s slightly different to just bar hopping!

BYOC

Now BYOC (which stands for Bring Your Own Cocktails btw) is somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit for ages, and my gorgeous pals decided to take me here to celebrate my recent engagement!

It’s an interesting concept – you book yourself in for a 2 hour slot which you pay £30 each for the privilege for, and then you bring your own spirits… And when you turn up with your selected spirits (we chose gin, rum and prosecco between 4 of us and it was definitely too much) they make cocktails for you. Not only that but on arrival they promise you a minimum of seven cocktails for your two hour slot. MINIMUM. SEVEN. COCKTAILS.

Madness.

Anyway, it’s safe to say we had a lovely time – what we can remember of it anyway. They have two venues you can visit – one in Camden and one in the city, and it’s a nice spot to stop by for some drinks – it’s certainly not too loud or crowded, and so it was a great chance for my pals and I to drink and chat away for several hours.

I would definitely recommend giving BYOC a visit, and I really want to go again myself. Even though it might seem pricey at £30 for a time slot, and the cost of your own spirits on top, I think it works out as really good value for money considering the quality and quantity of cocktails you get throughout your time there. It’s somewhere I would love to go again

Secret Cinema

Another event in London that seems to come with a bit of a price tag – and is something I’ve been hearing about in forever, is Secret Cinema. I went this year for their screening of Romeo & Juliet, and it was absolutely incredible. 

Luckily I had access to discounted tickets because of my day job (#werkperks) so I paid half price – and a normal full price ticket rings in at around £70, so it’s certainly not cheap. But now I’ve been to one I’m an absolute convert, and I understand why so many people rave about it.

I’m unable to comment on other Secret Cinemas, but I’ve heard great things about those too, but the set was incredible – with a full sized Capulet mansion complete with drag performances. A gospel choir, a Montague bar and car wash and plenty of places to pick up themed cocktails or something to eat – my favourite was the Mac’beth and Cheese.

Now I’ve been to one I am completely open to going to more – and I think it would make a perfect gift or evening out with friends if you all have a passion for a certain film. I know in recent years they’ve done a Secret Cinema for Star Wars, Moulin Rouge and Blade Runner and I’m so intrigued as to what will be next.

Camden + Hampstead Heath

Until recently I hadn’t spent much time in this area, but I certainly have now – as I’ve moved to Camden! On the day we came to view our new flat we were pretty much sold by the location to Regent’s Park. We walked around the park afterwards in the sunshine – and even had a walk through past London Zoo where we could take a look and spot some camels…

If you want to walk further north you can stroll into and up onto Hampstead Heath, which offers a great view of the city. If the weather is looking good and you’re in need of a picnic, pop to the restaurants around Primrose Hill for a pizza and a bottle of wine and enjoy the view.

If the weather isn’t great – and let’s face it, this is England after all – then exploring Primrose Hill is also fun. If not just for famous people spotting, or trying to guess the prices of the house around there, there are quite a few restaurants, bars and cafes to stop at. When we were last there we visited Sam’s Cafe, which was reasonably priced for an incredible selection of brunch and lunch options.

Anywho, that’s it for round 2 of my London recommendations, and I’m sure a version 3 update will be comign as soon as I get to experience more of this brilliant city! In the meantime, you can find my other Insta snaps of London and elsewhere around the globe on my Instagram @GrundyTravels

Thanks for reading x

Best South East Seaside Breaks in the UK

Looking through the pictures for this post really made me realise how no matter what the weather – rain or shine – a trip to the seaside is always brilliant. The inspiration for this post has actually come about whilst I’ve been planning a surprise staycation trip for my boyfriend’s birthday and it really made me realise all the options we have here in ol’ Blighty if you’re after a seaside trip – whether for just the day, or a weekend away.

With that in mind I wanted to kick off a 2 part post with the best seaside towns in the UK I would recommend. for a little break. I have to obviously put a disclaimer in that these are only the beaches I have visited and loved so I have focused it to the South East of England, as this is where I grew up and currently live!

Brighton, Sussex

Sorry to start with the obvious, but I obviously had to include the big one – and arguably the most famous for beach getaways in the UK – Brighton Beach. It’s an absolute treat on a sunny day, but guaranteed you’ll be battling everyone else in the UK for a spot on the beach as it’s a very popular destination.

It’s great for more than sitting on the beach and catching some rays, as you can also explore the Brighton lanes for independent shops and designers alike. If shopping isn’t your thing, it’s also great fun to talk a walk down the pier and lose some pennies to the arcade machines.

The whole of Brighton has a great feel to it, and even though you might be battling the crowds for a deckchair, it’s definitely worth a trip.

Worthing, Sussex

Arguably Brighton’s better little sister – with only a 30 minute train away from the popular seaside town is a sleepier, calmer option to visit. You still have plenty of options of places to grab some fish and chips, and a pier to walk along to admire the view.

If you’re heading to the beach for a weekend away, then Worthing should be top of your list, as it’s full of cute and quiet Airbnbs and still only a short ride away from Brighton so you can still visit if you wish. If it’s sunbathing you’re after, then definitely head to Worthing beach as it’s vast but quiet, so plenty of room to spread all your bits out.

Worthing is my personal favourite out of the two – as you certainly don’t have to battle as many people to sit yourself down on the beach. Whereas it doesn’t have the infamous Brighton lanes or pier, it’s still a lovely beach side town which is filling up with cute little cafes and bars to spend your time.

Cromer, Norfolk

As I’ve harped on about enough here, I certainly have a soft spot for Norwich and the Norfolk area as it’s where I spent my three years of uni, and absolutely loved every minute of my time there. When my parents used to come and visit me at the weekend we would hop in the car and go off to visit the seaside towns dotted around the Norfolk coast, and it was a great way to experience the little towns and seaside culture – a nice lot of fish & chips by the beach.

Cromer is a fab option for all the beach usual – pier, tick. Fish & Chips, tick. Crabbing? Sure! It’s a great spot to stay for the weekend and only a short train ride away from Norwich if you want to visit the city.

Whitstable, Kent

Infamous for it’s oyster trade, and also for hosting an oyster festival every Summer (check it out and book in advance if you want to visit!), Whitstable is one of my favourite places to take people in Kent (my home county).

It’s a perfect little town for strolling the vintage shops and stopping off for an oyster or two with a glass of wine. You can walk along the beach to admire the piles of oyster shells and – of course – pick up some fish & chips to snack on.

Deal, Kent

It’s funny how an old seaside town that you used to visit as a kid suddenly turns into the go-to Kentish getaway, but that’s Deal! A picture of the multicolored houses that line the seafront has been hanging on my parent’s bathroom wall since I was a little kid, and nowadays it appears on everyone’s Instagram!

Now, as a non-Kent-dwelling resident, Deal is our first request for when we come back to Kent at the weekend. It’s similar to Whitstable in it’s quiet-little town vibes, and has become really popular in recent years for cute Airbnb spots to stay for the weekend. The row of vintage and antique shops are a fun way to lose a couple of hours perusing, in addition to new shops and installations you’d be likely to find along Carnaby street.

Personally my favourite is an old family tradition of visiting Sea View fish and chips, but there are plenty of cosy pubs – including the Royal Hotel which has a beer garden stopping at the beach’s edge.

Folkestone, Kent

If you’d have told me years ago I’d be recommending Folkestone as somewhere to go for a weekend break then frankly I wouldn’t have believed you. Having grown up a stones-throw away from Folkestone it was hardly the desirable place you wanted to go when I was a kid, but oh how times have changed!

In recent years there’s been a huge investment in the harbor and after visiting it recently I can see why it’s such a popular spot to visit. The Harbour Arm is filled with coffee spots, wine bars and food stalls which means you can spend a good afternoon – and evening – stopping off all the way down to the lighthouse at the end.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and perhaps even I’ve inspired a staycation somewhere along the South East Coast. how I’m planning our trip to Australia, I can’t wait to go back. In the meantime, you can find my other Insta snaps on my Instagram @GrundyTravels

Thanks for reading x

Planning A 3 Week Trip To Australia

G’day everyone, hope you’re all well. This post is a bit different to recent posts which have been Paris-centric, but I’m now again in the pre-planning stage of our upcoming holiday to Australia and the excitement is taking over. Personally I absolutely love this part of travelling – the build up and the excitement, looking at flights, Airbnbs, tours and things to do, it’s like Christmas Eve.

We’ve actually been planning this trip for a long time, almost 8 months now actually, and the three week journey we plan to take has changed several times throughout the year. But, now we have it all locked down – in a nutshell, our plan is to travel via Melbourne – Adelaide – Sydney – Byron Bay – Brisbane – Byron Bay – The Whitsundays.

That seems quite a lot to do in 3 weeks, but considering I did almost all of that on my last trip to Australia, and only had 2 weeks to do so – I have hope!

I’m so so excited to go back to Australia and to be there for longer than before. I’m excited to be returning in February – where the weather is still hot, but the beaches aren’t as packed whilst the kids are back at school. I’m also really looking forward to revisiting the places from my last trip, in addition to also getting to explore Melbourne and Adelaide.

I also have relatives in Adelaide who I am going to see when I’m there, and I’m so looking forward to seeing them again – since the last time I did was almost 10 years ago. I can’t wait to be there, to explore a new city and to see old faces whilst also having a lovely time.

We’ve bought our flights with Qatar Airlines (and now they’re booked I feel I can officially get excited) and since telling people I’ve heard glowing reviews (and googled it to check it turns out they’re 2nd best airline of 2018.. which is pretty great!).

As for accommodation, our plans are to stay at a mixture of hotels and Airbnbs. In my last trip we did one Airbnb and it really didn’t turn out that well as it was a lot further out of the main part of town than advertised. But I’ve learnt my lesson – go with somewhere central – and find lots of options. For budget sake we’ll stick with Airbnbs, so we can also cook our own meals as I think 3 solid weeks of going out for dinner would wear anyone down, let alone the cost of all of that.

As for activities, I’m looking forward to surfing again, and exploring the Great Barrier Reef from the Whitsundays this time rather than Cairns. I have heard a lot of people rave about Cairns but personally it wasn’t for me when we visited last year, so I’m looking forward to staying at both Hamilton Island and Long Island to see a different side to that area of the reef.

I’m so looking forward to revisiting Sydney, and also spending more time in Bondi Beach – which was a place I really enjoyed last time I was there. I want to do the Bondi to Coogee walk, and also to visit the Blue Mountains, and so I’m lucky that this time around I have more time to fit this in!

And on top of all that I’m so looking forward to sharing this trip with my fiance, as whereas I’m lucky to have been to Australia before this will be his first time and I can’t wait to show him around.

So for now, the countdown is on, and planning is fully underway. I hope this didn’t come across as a brag-gy post, but I wanted to share the planning aspect of this Australia tip, and also ask if anyone has any recommendations, let me know int he comments!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about how I’m planning our trip to Australia, I can’t wait to go back. In the meantime, you can find my other Insta snaps on my Instagram @GrundyTravels

Thanks for reading x