Tag Archives: travelling

Guest Bloggers

So hi there guys. I thought it would be pretty cool to do a Guest Blog week. Similar to what I’m currently running on Instagram, which is #FeatureWeek where each day this week I am sharing a post from someone from anywhere in the world. I thought it would be kind of cool to do the same with the blog. People sharing their awesome travel stories with you guys, and hopefully you can find inspiration in some of the stories, and enjoy them as much as I do. 

Soooooooo, I am looking for people to guest blog, which I will be doing all of next week. You must be travelling, hiking, exploring, anything like this. It could be about a trip you’ve already taken, or something you’ve got coming up 😁

I will send you a set of questions that can be answered as you see fit. I think this will be a lot of fun and I’m super excited about it ✌🏻

If you’d like more info then I’d love to hear from you. 

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The UK Bucket list – Part 1

So in my very short previous, New Direction of Adventure, I talked about the ultimate UK bucket list. In this post, I am going to elaborate on each place, and talk a little bit more on each of the locations, before I go out and tackle them all, one by one!

Durdle Door, Dorset

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The magificant Durdle Door arch and beach is part of the Lulworth Estate and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

You can access the shingle beach on foot via a path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from the Car Park (located on the cliff top at Durdle Door Holiday Park.). The beach is recommended by the Marine Conservation Society for excellent water quality.

Durdle Door is one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast. This rock arch in the sea was formed as a result of the softer rocks being eroded away behind the hard limestones, allowing the sea to punch through them. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill. Eventually the arch will collapse to leave a sea stack such as those that can be seen at Ladram Bay in East Devon.

Each year more than 200.000 walkers use the footpath between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, making it the busiest stretch in the south west.

Below the cliffs lies a sweeping beach that was once three separate coves. This popular beach has no facilities although during the summer a mobile kiosk on the path leading to Durdle Door provides ice creams and refreshments.

Hadrian’s Wall, Cumbria

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Hadrian’s Wall Country stretches across the north of England from the west Cumbrian Roman coastal defences at Ravenglass, through Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport to Bowness-on-Solway, along Hadrian’s Wall through Carlisle to Hexham in Northumberland and on to Newcastle upon Tyne, Wallsend and South Shields.

Unlike many other historic places, Hadrian’s Wall Country has something for everyone – world class archaeology, spectacular landscapes, rare wildlife, complete solitude, vibrant cities, wonderful pubs and a population of friendly and welcoming people.

Hadrian’s Wall Country offers infinite opportunities for cherished memories and special moments. The sheer scale of the World Heritage Site combined with the four seasons, the living landscape and the people who live, work and visit here mean it is an ever changing canvas. It is where history is accessible to all, where adults and children learn and it is where the Romans are still part of everyday life 1,600 years after they left.

(info: http://www.visithadrianswall.co.uk)

Snowdonia, Gwynedd, Wales

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Situated on the west coast of Britain covering 823 square miles of diverse landscapes, Snowdonia National Park is a living working area, home to over 26,000 people. As well as being the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales, as well as a wealth of picturesque villages like Betws y Coed and Beddgelert. Snowdonia is an area steeped in culture and local history, where more than half its population speak Welsh.

Snowdonia attracts thousands of visitors each year who enjoy its amazing landscapes and the wealth of outdoor activities on offer. The National Park Authority’s aims are to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area; promote opportunities to understand and enjoy its special qualities; and to foster the economic and social wellbeing of its communities.

Snowdonia, the mountainous heart of southern Britain, is one of the UK’s most popular destinations for hiking and outdoor holidays. But there’s more to this region than craters and crags. It’s blessed with some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in Wales, on the Llŷn Peninsula and Cambrian Coastline. And its reputation for fine dining using Welsh meat, fish and cheese is growing all the time.

(info: http://www.visitwales.com/explore/north-wales/snowdonia-mountains-coasthttp://www.visitsnowdonia.info)

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

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Walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestors at Stonehenge – one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. Explore the ancient landscape on foot and step inside the Neolithic Houses to discover the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life. Visit the world-class exhibition and visitor centre with 250 ancient objects and come face to face with a 5,500 year-old man.

Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC. In the early Bronze Age many burial mounds were built nearby. Today, along with Avebury, it forms the heart of a World Heritage Site, with a unique concentration of prehistoric monuments.

(info: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/history/ & http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/)

The Angel of The North, Gateshead

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Since spreading its wings in February 1998, Antony Gormley’s The Angel of the North has become one of the most talked about pieces of public art ever produced.

The Angel’s silhouette at the head of the Team Valley now rivals that of the famous Tyne Bridge.

A panoramic hilltop site was chosen where the sculpture would be clearly seen by more than 90,000 drivers a day on the A1 – more than one person every second – and by passengers on the East Coast main line from London to Edinburgh.

The site, a former colliery pithead baths synonymous with Gateshead mining history, was re-claimed as a green landscape during the early 1990s.

(info: http://www.gateshead.gov.uk/Leisure%20and%20Culture/attractions/Angel/Background/Background2.aspx)

That concludes part one. As you can see, some pretty stunning places there, all with their very own good reason why you should visit, explore and experience these places. Stay tuned for Part Two…………………………….

Things to do in Copenhagen

So the day came for me to visit and travel around Copenhagen. The day started very grey, grim and wet. But the rain then soon disappeared later on in the morning which helped massively. Now I actually didn’t do the free walking tour as I previously mentioned I was going to do, instead, I did my own walking tour. I am staying at a hostel that is on the outskirts of the city, The Danhostel Amager, and it’s only a short walk to a metro station that will take me into the city, and it was then only around 10-15 minutes on the Metro.

One thing that is evident when you get into the city, is the amount of bikes that are about. It’s a peoples choice of transport, and they also have dedicated cycle lanes around the city to make it easy for getting around. Now the main place for renting a bike if you so wish is Kobenhavns Cykelbors, where you can rent 3-speed bikes, touring bikes, children bikes, bikes with children’s seats and tandems. Or, you can even try the GPS – guided bicycle tours and discover Copenhagen at your own pace.

OR

If you really want to tour Copenhagen in style, then you can take a Segway Tour Segway Sightseeing, best rated Segway tour in Copenhagen & “worlds best Segway tour” winner. They even have a test track in their office so you can get to grips with it before you go out on the tour.

My excitement was increasing though at this point about finally seeing the famous Nyhavn (you know, the place that has all the colourful buildings along the water). So my feet wandered, and there I was, on the bridge over the water, looking over down the row of all the colourful buildings. I was very happy, and it didn’t disappoint. But what I didn’t realise, was that most of those buildings were either a cafe or a bar ha. Good if you like coffee or alcohol.

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I took so many photos of this place, got a bit trigger happy with the camera, but it’s one of my favourite places for sure.

Copenhagen has a lot to offer, depending on what it is you’re looking for. It has a big shopping scene for the retail therapists among you, it has a lot of great bars and clubs for the ravers in you, plenty of cafes and restaurants for the foodies in you, or the vast amount of history that is in and around the city. You won’t be short on things to do and keep you busy.

For many people who haven’t been to Denmark, they tend to think its pretty costly and expensive. Well I have good news for you, its actually not that bad. I found it to be cheaper than I thought, but then again I’m used to the cost of things in Norway, which is expensive, so all in all Denmark is considerably cheaper.

The Famous Nyhavn

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A nifty little museum I found ‘Magasin Du Nord Museum’

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Christiansborg Palace

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No Idea What This Is

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A Royal Horse

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The Royal Stables

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AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen

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Travelling to Denmark & Sweden

So the day has arrived that I embark on another trip, this time to Denmark and Sweden. Copenhagen and Malmo to be precise. I was hoping that it would be a weekend of a good, white Scandinavian visit, but I have been watching the weather forecasts, and it looks like its going to be far from white. It looks like its going to be very wet (must make sure waterproofs are packed).

But firstly, on the day I head off to start the journey, I started my day by heading to a nice coffee shop on the outskirts of the city, Planet Coffee Hull, which is a nice comfortable coffee shop.

From here, I will then be heading to London for an overnight stop in Kings Cross, staying at The Clink261 Hostel, which is just over from St Pancras Kings Cross Train station. It will be a short visit, but I hear good things about this hostel. I will bring a separate post on my Review of Clink261 Hostel in a separate post concluding my stay.

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Now again, I’m amazed at the what it has cost me to travel to London. I live in the north of England, in Hull, and trying to keep to a very small budget, I used MegaTrain again to travel. I get a bus from Hull Interchange, which then takes me as far as East Midlands Parkway, to which we then transfer to a train direct to London St Pancras Train station, and all it has cost me is £10.50 (0.50p admin fee) return. BARGAIN.

Anyway, moving on. After my overnight stop in London, I’ll then head to Luton airport to catch my flight to Copenhagen. Again, on a small budget, booking through RyanAir.com, I paid only £26.80 return flight. If you missed it, I wrote about it and Copenhagen in more detail on my previous post ‘The Next Adventure‘.

The plan.

I have booked a FREE walking tour in Copenhagen for Saturday, and a FREE walking tour in Malmo on Sunday. These will give me a great insight into the local information and history and culture for both of these cities. Again, I will write about these in separate posts once I have done them. But I am looking forward to them, even if it will be in the rain ha.

Let the adventure continue……………

 

 

New To Photography

Hi Everyone. I wanted to write this post about photography, because before now, I have never done any, or even thought about it. However, with all my new found travelling, I wanted to be able to have decent and high quality photos. So I decided to invest in a good camera. I contacted a friend of mine who is big on photography to ask his advice on cameras. Daley is an award winning photographer based in Lancashire, UK Daley Wilson Photography.

So I ended up going for a Nikon Coolpix 310L. I didn’t buy a brand new one as this is my first time. Instead I found someone who was selling one for £60, and in the end I paid £55 for the camera. It’s in perfect condition.

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Nikon Coolpix L310 Features

The L310 has a 14 megapixel CCD sensor and 21x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-525mm. There is sensor shift VR (vibration reduction) to help reduce the effect of camera shake.

Shooting is made easy thanks to Easy Auto mode, which automatically adjusts the cameras settings for the scene. There are also 17 scene modes which can be manually selected as well as Sports Continuous and Smart Portrait System. This includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof, Skin Softening and Red-eye Fix.

Videos are recorded at 720p HD, with optical zoom available during recording.

Key Features

  • 14 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 21x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-525mm)
  • Sensor shift vibration reduction (VR)
  • 3 inch LCD screen
  • Sports continuous mode
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80 – 6400
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Smart Portrait System

I went out to have a play and took several images, and even played around with the timer, as I always wanted one of those images you see where someone is just standing there with a great backdrop (I always did wonder how they did that), and I managed to get one. I was super proud. Needless to say I enjoyed that. But I know I have a long way to go. I am looking forward to getting back out on the road and testing my photography skills and learning about it along the way, so my images on my Instagram in particular become that so much better.

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This photo was taken at The Humber Bridge in Hull, Humberside UK.

I’d love to hear from anyone who can give me some tips on travel photography, and the best way to capture the best images while travelling.

Instagram @weekendsolotraveller – Facebook weekendsolotraveller – Twitter solotr4veller

 

Hostel Review

I wanted to write this post to review the hostel I stayed in while I was in Berlin. Now obviously there many hostels to stay in, and its hard to choose which one to stay in when it comes to booking one, book you do your research, and check out the reviews, then you should pick the right one. And that’s exactly what I did with this one.

The Circus Berlin Mitte

Initially, their reviews were great, and the accommodation looked fab on the website. I found them through HostelWorld, which is the site I personally use to book all my accommodation while I travel around. After booking, I trolled their website, and it was filled with so much good information, from getting to the hostel from various locations, to what’s on. This was exactly what I needed, as it puts your mind at rest. so perfect. 

You can however book with them direct, and if I had known about them beforehand, then I would of personally booked direct. If I was to visit Berlin again, then I will definitely be booking directly, as there is so much more information they can provide by doing so. They add the personal touch that they like to add during the booking stage: like sending you their  top berlin picks, a berlin guide and updates on our events happening at the time of there stay http://www.circus-berlin.de/.

I flew in to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport, and getting to the hostel from there was fairly simply. I headed to the train station opposite the airport, headed directly to Alexander Platz, change there for the UBahn, and then just two stops to Rosenthaler Platz, and as you head out the UBahn station, the hostel is directly opposite on the other side of the road.

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Now, like anything, first impressions are everything. I walked into The Circus Hostel and I was given a very good first impression. You are greeted with a pleasant foyer, walking through to then the main reception. Staff are very pleasant here, and they were all very happy to answer questions I may have had.

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You can book a whole range of rooms from 10 people shared dorms, to private rooms with balcony. I personally was in an 8 person mixed dorm, with shared bathroom. All the facilities were very clean and tidy, the room was quite spacious, and it particularly had a great view over Rosenthaler Platz. Part of the excitement with these rooms is not knowing who you’re going to be sharing with. Luckily, I had some great people. I had 2 guys from America, another from the UK, two girls from Italy, and I never got to meet the other 2 in the room. My only drawback from this was the lack of sleep I had, due to people coming and going at all hours in the night, as people arrive and leave all at different hours. img_1591

Now one of my favourite parts of the hostel was the bar in the cellar. It has it’s own brewery. how cool is that. The circus Hostel brews its on beer on site, which it then serves in It’s bar for only Euro 4. The Circus Hostel Brewing Co. began as an unheated bar on a street called “Am Zirkus”, and now houses our very own microbrewery located right inside the Katz & Maus Bar at Rosenthaler Platz. You can read more about the brewery Here. They do serve other beer if you don’t wish to drink the home brewed beer, and that will only cost you Euro 3. It’s good beer.

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And then there is the café/restaurant. It’s very well set out, very nice atmosphere, and you can get in incredible all you can eat continental breakfast for just Euro 5. I highly recommend this breakfast. I made very good use of it. They do say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sets you up for a very eventful and adventurous day around Berlin.

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I met some great people during my stay here. All in all I highly recommend The Circus Hostel if you are planning a visit to Berlin anytime soon.

Berlin Day 2 – A Backstreet Tour!

So today I decided to have a wander around some parts of Berlin that you may not have had thought about. It was pretty interesting to say the least.

It started off in the neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg. Formerly a working class neighbourhood of cramped tenement housing, during East German times Prenzlauer Berg’s war-damaged buildings were basically abandoned in favour of new, planned-housing blocks to the east of the city centre. It became the home then for many bohemians and dissidents who looked for a different way of life to the socialist norm, and with the fall of the wall they were joined by many artists, squatters, musicians and others who made the neighbourhood a buzzing and lively home during the confusion of the nineties. Although money has flowed into the area over the past decade or so, Prenzlauer Berg is still home to many charming cafes and bars, independent shops, and its leafy streets are great to wander.

So I started off with Weinbergspark – This is the local neighbourhood green space from where I was staying. One of the top spots for summer beers or winter sledging.

Then on to the Fashion House – This is a huge corner byuidling once the home of fashion in East Germany.

The ACUD – A cultural and Arts centre, with bars, cinema and theatre.

Then Zionskirchplatz – Was once the church of anti-Nazi resistance member Dietrich Bonhoffer. Now it’s a pleasant space which hold an Organic market out the front every thursday.

Arkonaplatz – A little tranquil housing area that is home to a flea market every Sunday.

Bernauer Strasse – The Berlin Wall once ran along the street……..It ran the length of the street and its evident in many places. I attended the Berlin wall memorial, and visited the only watch tower that exists. A story is told of some students who dug a tunnel from an old bakery underneath the wall to get to the other side.

Oderbergerstarsse – This is a quirky leafy street that is home to some of the neighbourhoods nicest cafes, restaurants and ice cream shops.

Prater Garten – At the end of Kastanienalle is whats claimed as Berlin’s oldest , and finest beer garden in Berlin.

Which lead on to Husemannstrasse – This street was renovated in East German times to represent a typical workers street, some nice cafes and bars here too.

And then I arrived to probably my favourite place today. Kollwitzplatz – This is a small square with a park in the middle, but surrounded by nice cafes once again, and I experienced a nice organic market, where I had some white wine gluhwein. It may not be Christmas but can always have some gluhwein.