We’re a mini obsessed family, so when I found out it’s possible to book a tour of the plant in Oxford, UK, I jumped at the chance. The plant produces up to 1,000 cars per day, and the tour allows you to get up and personal with the factory to see just how that iconic British icon is manufactured.
Tours are booked in advance and cost an attractive £19 per person, they run twice a day and they keep the groups small to allow the best interaction, our group consisted of only 8 people.
Upon arrival at the plant you are free to browse the shop and information centre, here you can learn all about the history of Mini, the evolution of the brand, and see different models through the ages. Once you’ve finished you can head over to your tour group, plug in some headphones, put on an attractive overall and head off to the first factory ‘Body and White’.
Body and White is where the journey of a Mini begins. Parts are assembled by hundreds of robots and you are able to identify the three different Mini’s that are manufactured at the plant. We spent a full hour walking around the factory floor and watching both machine and technician assemble a collection of cars.
The second part of the tour took us to the Mini assembly room, here Mini’s have been through the paint shop and are being personalised to suit the order (no mini is produced without an customer from the dealership), again you spend at least an hour perusing the processes, from installation of engines to fittings of interiors, you really do see it all! Here the plant is busy with people, still heavily focused on robot’s, but you’ll see so many more technicians operating the machinery. Each car is fitted with a tracker so at each stage of the manufacturing process the machines can read the customer requirements to ensure cars are built to specification.
If your planning to visit the plant tour I’d recommend setting aside a 3 hour slot, tour guides don’t rush the process and it really is fantastic value for money. Please remember this is a working factory so wear appropriate clothing.
Las Vegas is still one of my favourite cities in the world, love it or hate it you just can’t help but admire all it has to offer. Most people have the impression that if you’re not in to overpriced vodka or Avicii pool parties then it’s not for you, but how wrong they are. In fact, if you choose to avoid the pool vicinities then you aren’t likely to come across the drink culture at all! We recently spent 4 days in Vegas, but I’ve condensed our trip into a 24hour itinerary of what you really need to see on your visit to Sin City.
Almost a year to the day since we stayed with St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth, we have visited sister company Jesmond Dene House, Jesmond. This spectacular establishment oozes class and sophistication, swimming in history and elegance, it really was the most perfect way to begin our Easter break. Step away from the hustle of Newcastle City and you’ll find the quaint village of Jesmond, home to Jesmond Dene House Hotel. Perfectly situated a little over 10 minutes from the centre means visitors really do experience the best of both worlds, calm and tranquil surroundings, yet a stones throw from the inner city vibe. There’s no surprise we loved this hotel, and with their long, ever growing list of awards you’re sure to engage in an exceptional stay with Jesmond Dene House.
Rooms at Jesmond Dene House are elegant, spacious and favorably contemporary. None of the 40 bedrooms and suites are the same. Rooms are reflective of the hotel’s original character and preserve architectural features such as fire places and bay windows as they would of been displayed historically. Our room was equipped with a spectacular king size bed, perfect for a sound nights sleep! You really do have everything you need supplied at Jesmond Dene House, from the mass of complimentary lotions to the hot water bottle for those cooler winter nights.
Nestled down a little ally off the famous streets of Chester is a wonderfully quirky and contemporary restaurant and bar that hit the UK scene by storm. The Botanist, sister to The Alchemist, was always going to appeal to my heart with it’s reflective connotations of Harry Potter crossed with the Secret Garden. Myself and Sam were fortunate enough to visit the Chester branch during our recent stay in the city and will most definitely be returning very soon.
I’ve previously visited one Botanist within their chain on Boar Lane, Leeds and I confirm they achieve such a simalar ambiance. Both nestled away from the crowds, you’d be lucky to spot it without knowingly seeking, this for me makes them that little bit more special than the average bar.
Call be bias, but I love me a stay in the Yorkshire countryside! So when Gorgeous Cottages invited me along to spend two nights with the fabulous Millers Retreat I eagerly accepted. Millers Retreat is a quaint 3 bed-roomed cottage located on the edge of Bedale, North Yorkshire. This luxury cottage really is fully loaded, each double bedroom is extremely generous in size making it difficult to choose a ‘master’ bedroom as all rooms harbor equal beauty! Bedrooms are fully equip with their own en-suite inclusive of shower units and come with all the potions and products that a girl, or guy, could ask for.
Millers Retreat is designed as an upside down house. Bedrooms are the first rooms you reach upon entrance into the property. Located at the rear of the cottage are a set of stairs which decent into the open plan living/ dining area and cottage kitchen, access to the patio is achieved from here.
Last weekend was my birthday (pops a party popper), so as always, I made Sam pack up his bags and whisk me off for a weekend away. So this year it wasn’t quite New York, but our weekend with Hillcrest Park Camping Park came a close second! When we were looking for some alternative accommodation ‘Podding’ (a word I’m taking credit for the creation of) looked right up our street. Podding is essentially glamping, you hire what can be best described as a wooden hut placed in the countryside and spend the night. Pods are inclusive of plug points, heaters, lights and blinds and although you essentially only get the outer shell, I was totally impressed with the internal facilities.
Step out of the city and over the Yorkshire Moors and you find yourself in the wonderful arms of the East Riding Coast. Home to many iconic British seaside towns such as Whitby, Bridlington and Scarborough. This weekend, my fiancé and I were fortunate enough to spend an evening with a hotel in Scarborough, Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. Situated a 5 minute drive from the seafront, Ox Pasture has so much to offer. This quaint, rustic hotel is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with breath taking views visible from all angles, come all seasons this place really does gleam!
We stopped in a suite which was inclusive of a king size bed! The room was beautifully presented, spacious and has separate quarters for sleeping to a sitting room. I was highly taken by the bathroom and the large waterfall shower, the bath and its waterfall taps. Suites have the most wonderful views of the surrounding land and the over-sized panel windows really come into their own when the sun rises in the morning. I found myself admiring the views of the landscape and sheep in a neighboring field.