Africa, one continent that has always fascinated me. If you’re planning to visit then with the help of Nicole of Adventures of Lil Nicki we collated a 10 ten list of places you must see whilst road-tripping from Cape Town to Zanzibar, and if you’re looking for where to stay during your travels, you can find lots of accommodation options on Accommo Direct.
1. Cape Town, South Africa
Don’t forget to see this beautiful city before you depart from it. Make time to a get in the great views of the city from the top of Table Mountain, soak in some sun on Cape Town’s famous Clifton Beaches and Camps Bay!
If I had a pound for every post I wrote about Harry Potter I’d be a very rich girl, but, here goes another! Last week I took a trip to Northumberland and stayed with the fabulous St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth (review found here). Making the most of the trip we headed over to Alnwick Castle. Alnwick Castle is located in the historic market town of Alnwick in the North East of England, the castle is INSTANTLY recognisable as Hogwarts but it is also home to the show Downtown Abbey and is set for many more TV shows and films. Alnwick Castle was built as a medieval fortress and has been the home of the Percy’s, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland, since 1309. Today, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England as it is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and their family.
Alnwick Castle is open each year from April 1st to October 31st, during this period the trust sees an influx of 200,000 visitors. The castle has been a widely used film location but these days the castle draws most of its attention from Harry Potter fanatics. The castle was featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies filming flying lesson with broomsticks in the first movie, The Philosopher’s Stone, and Ron & Harry’s Ford Anglia scene from the Chamber of Secrets.
The castle offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, whilst there take part in your choice of guided tours of the castle and grounds, archery lessons, magic and wizardry with a Harry Potter theme and a Knight’s Quest. Harry Potter activities, my personal pick, include a Battlesticks to Broomstick tour, three sessions a day of Broomstick Training with Hogwarts prefects and Magic with Hagrid and Dumbledore. We were a little late in the sign up for Broomstick Training so my tip if you really want to try this out is to pre-book, particularly in the school holidays. Broomstick Training is available to all age groups so don’t feel silly if you’re wanting to give it a go!
Alnwick Castle offers so much for all ages and is most definitely my pick for anyone visiting Northumberland, whether you’re a Harry Potter Fanatic or interested in the local history you’re bound to have a great day out with Alnwick Castle. Don’t forget to hit up the Gift Shop before you leave, a wide variety of Film Memorabilia is available for purchase.
Rebekah Esme was invited as a guest of Alnwick Castle and The Northumberland Tourism Board, as always, my views are my own. Please also find my review featured on the Northumberland Tourism Board Blog here.
So this week I was fortunate to spend two nights with the spectacular St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth located in the heart of Northumberland, UK. It’s just been Easter and we wanted to get out into the countryside to explore! St Mary’s Inn is perfectly situated for just that, positioned in a corner of Northumberland is the B&B which has recently has been transformed from the former administration building of St Mary’s hospital to quaint, contemporary first class accommodation.
Rooms at St Mary’s Inn are as close as you can feel to being at home. Rooms perfectly reflect the pubs ambiance and the ‘country bumpkin’ theme flows throughout incorporating striking antique cabinets with contemporary bathroom suites.
We’ve all seen Matilda, that childhood classic. The story of a bright and rebellious little girl, with special powers. Matilda’s parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood, have no time for her and treat her as a nuisance. She spends most of her time reading books from the library astonishingly quickly, whilst they watch TV. Life for Matilda is no better at school despite the care and support of her teacher, Miss Honey. Matilda decides the grown-ups should be taught a lesson and in the process discovers her supernatural powers!
Roald Dahl’s Matilda is performed at the Sam S Shubert Theater on Broadway! Such a beautiful theater only a stones throw away from Times Square. I was so excited to see Matilda on Broadway as I’d heard great reviews of the show! We headed off to TKTS ticket booth to pick up our last minute tickets for the show and, of course, the only tickets available were in the upper tier. FEAR NOT FRIENDS, this matters not! The theater itself is small in comparison to so many others so although we were ‘high’ up, this was nothing compared to the seat’s we’ve had in the past.
Your 20’s, your prime years… So you’ve left uni and Pound a Pint is a distant memory! You’re at a crossroads in life, who wants to settle down now? Not you! So you book that one way ticket to Aus in the hope that you become a professional surfer and never return. If that’s not you and you still need a little persuading then here’s my top 20 reasons why you, YES YOU, should travel in your 20’s.
1. Everyone’s Doing It! You don’t want to be the weird one that hits 30 and doesn’t have an obscure story about how you wrestled a crocodile do you?!
2. Your Figure. You’ve got a pretty fit body and let’s face it, that’s not going to last forever. So put on your Triangle bikini and Instagram your shit down on Bondi Beach. #selfie
3. Your Credit Card. By now it’s your friend, your best friend, and you’ve already racked up a debt of twenty something ‘k’ on that worthwhile degree, so what’s the harm in spending a little more?
4. Your Bodies a Machine. Literally. At what other age can you stay up partying ‘til 5 and catch that 8am flight
Our beloved Ireland, home to the Fairies, Leprechauns & Shamrocks, I visited Dublin a little earlier in the year and fell in love with the mystique and charm of the country. Here at my 4 reasons why you should add Ireland to your travel journals for 2015.
1. Guinness- Irelands favourite tipple and consumed worldwide. Visit the Guinness Storehouse situated at St James Gate Brewery, Dublin. The attraction now welcomes over 1million visitors each year. Tourists flock to discover the history and experience hands on the process of creating the perfect pint. Whilst you’re here you’ll learn how to pull the perfect pint and even sample your produce.
2. Giant’s Causeway – The only NUESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland! Emerge yourself in Tradition Irish Folklore and discover the tales of how the Causeway was created by Giant Finn McCool, legend reveals all there is to know about this fantastic attraction.
When we think of travel we naturally assume leisure, luxury, how lucky people are, right? And yes to a massive extent this is the case, those who travel full time experience the wonders our world has to offer but what about the people not in the traveller’s photo? What about the wanderer’s family, friends? Staying in touch with your family has a massive impact on the travellers experience. Below I have listed my tips for staying connect whilst travelling.
Before you Travel
Before you travel, it’s important to check the options to see if they’re viable economically. Most phone will work abroad but it’s worth checking this is the case before you leave for your trip. The first option for using your phone abroad is using home data. This allows your phone to work exactly the same as if would do in your home country when you reach your destination, experiencing no loss of cell service or data. Be savvy when it comes to Data Roaming, Data Roaming means if turned on, you will be changed at the international rate by your service provider, this could result in a hefty bill so be sure to research whether you require it turned on before you leave for your destination.
An alternative to paying the significant sum demanded by your national provider is to have your phone unlocked, phones are usually locked to a network provider until your phone contract is paid, you are able to call your provider and request your phone be unlocked which will allow you to use any Sim Card purchased in any country. My server O2 specifically unlocked my iPhone 5 for travel to the USA, I was then able to purchase a local Sim Card and experience local chargers for my usage which was so much cheaper than my carrier back home!
I would highly recommend you research your chosen provider before you venture off on your travels, a selection of companies offer sim cards specifically created for travellers, I recommend Lebara. Using the Lebara website is it easy to see how much calling home from your destination will cost you. Below I recorded my results:
Using a Lebara sim card will work out cheaper than continuing with your home carrier’s sim whilst you’re away. The advantage of the sim is most definitely that it’s transferable between counties enabling you to only purchase the 1 card for your full trip.
If you prefer to use Data whilst away then you will find many bars offering free wifi services whilst abroad. You could consider Facetime, Skype and iMessage to keep your costs down, these connections can be made whilst in the range of free wifi or you can utilise your sim for local data rates whilst travelling. I personally use this option and make sure that on my phone iMessage capable enables messages to come to and from my Apple ID email address, this allows people to retain contact without having to advise of a change in number.
With forward planning, staying connected can be stress-free. Do you have useful travel tips you’d like to share?