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An Afternoon at The British Library for Harry Potter: A History of Magic

Outside The British Library for Harry Potter: A History of Magic

It's hard to believe that Harry Potter has been a part of my life for 20 years; my love of the series has spanned a time longer than most of my non-familial relationships, and conjures memories of late-night binge-reading under-the-duvet way past my bedtime and being OBSESSED when the next volume was due to be published.

Steak Frites at Flat Iron, Denmark St

Two flat iron steaks with chips, creamed spinach and two pints of beer

There's a whole heap of places on my London to-eat list that I haven't made it to yet because I just cannot be arsed to queue. Gradually, no-reservation eateries are starting to become less rare, but I do get it with smaller places. Flat Iron on Denmark Street is limited on space which means demand is high, and explains why it's taken me so long to actually eat there.

A Photography Walk with Air BnB Experiences

Blogger changing camera lenses

I've lived in London for long enough now that I do that annoying, pretentious scoff when somebody suggest I haven't done something that everyone has done, ESPECIALLY if it's in my North London hood. Air BnB is such a good way of finding a 'hidden gem' in a new city, but an experience in my own hometown? What could they really be showing me that I didn't know already?

Breakfast at Sunrise at Duck & Waffle, London

A Sunrise Breakfast at Duck & Waffle, London

I'm not a morning person, which is predominantly why it's taken me so long to getting around to having one of London's most iconic breakfast spots. Duck & Waffle, at the top of the Heron Tower in the City, is infamous for being open 24 hours a day and is rumoured to have some of the best views in London.

How to Spend a Day in Bath, Somerset

Umbrella Street installation, Bath

Let me just start by saying that the way to spend a day in Bath is by booking the correct train tickets, so that you don't have to depart London at 6am like I did. On the plus side, it meant we arrived before the crowds did, but also meant that by about 4pm we were so tired, we had to go and have a nap in our hotel in a nearby town.

The Beginner's Guide of Where to Shop in London's West End

How to Spend a Day in London's West End

I know the streets of the West End pretty well after almost seven years of living in London; so it is super rare that I actually spend a day in the area, rather than powering through it with my earphones in whilst I snarl at tourists. But as I've said so many times before, you don't have to go off the beaten track to have a great travel experience, so I set out to explore my own city, embracing the West End's 'London is Open' message, and had a full day of hitting actual shops rather than just adding to my never-ending ASOS order. 

If it's your first time to this area, here's where you should head to:

A Weekend in Poole, Dorset

Travel blogger eating ice cream in Poole, Dorset

My childhood holidays were 99% UK based, which means I've seen a lot more this fair isle than most. But, as with some places I visited before I truly valued my travels (Berlin, I'm looking at you), I want to start going back and appreciating them as an adult. So, in the face of adversity (re. RAIN), I went adventuring in the Dorset town of Poole.

Three Delicious Places to Eat on the Isle of Wight

View from ferry port on isle of wight

We are lucky to have some beautiful food heritage here in the UK, from Cheddar cheese to Yorkshire puddings, you can find fresh produce and tried and tested recipes that are staples of the nation in every county. I knew very little about the Isle of Wight before my recent trip; my previous visits being in my childhood or a few weekends at Bestival.

A Day in Margate

Kiss Me Quick sign at Dreamland Margate

I know I'm not alone in having an Instagram feed full of photos of Margate. The seaside town in Kent has suddenly become the place to head to for a weekend getaway, being only an hour or so on the train from London. It's undergone renovation and gentrification to such an extent that it's breeding hipster inhabitants at a rate of knots, but I was still skeptical that it would have much to offer.

Why I Loved My Family's Caravan Camping Holidays

Static caravan

I've never been to Disneyland and it's something that my mum still laments to this day. It's the epitome of a kid's dream holiday (although let's not pretend that I wouldn't pass out from happiness if I went as a 27 year old), but we couldn't go and it was never an issue for me. My childhood certainly wasn't short of holidays, it's just that they weren't all-inclusive beach resorts abroad - instead we headed to UK seasisde towns, where we stayed in static caravans and had the best time.

A Day on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas Cruise Ship

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas cruise ship

I am well versed with planes. I know the protocol; I know where the life jacket is stored and to handle turbulence. I'm good with planes.
Boats?
Um. Not exactly.

The Greyhound on the Test Hotel, Hampshire

greyhound on the test hotel hampshire review

I'm constantly saying that I should do weekends away in the UK more often. It's no secret that London has been driving me a bit nuts recently, so before heading off on my Big Trip, I spent a weekend in Hampshire, checking in at The Greyhound on the Test.

A Long Weekend in Aberdeenshire, Pt 2

cairngorms scotland

When I envisaged a long weekend in Aberdeenshire I could never have imagined how utterly blown away I would be by the scenery. After our fishing fun on the Friday, we hit the local pub quiz and were feeling a little sore-headed the following day (celebrating coming third involves a lot of whisky), so we needed fresh air. We settled into our hire car with a decent stash of Mini Eggs and headed up, up, up into the mountains.

Learning How to Fly Fish in Scotland

river dee scotland cairnton estate

Don't worry, this isn't spam and I haven't been hacked. The heading of this post isn't an SEO ruse to get traffic from fans of leisurely aquatic pursuits; I did in fact go fly fishing during my recent trip to Scotland.

A Long Weekend in Aberdeenshire, Pt 1

st cyrus beach scotland

I've spoken before about how you don't have to go very far to see beautiful parts of the world. The stunning fjords of Norway are only a two hour flight away and my road trip around Ireland introduced me to the eye-popping greenery of the Emerald Isle. When it comes to Scotland, I've only ever been to Edinburgh and Glasgow, but never to the more rural areas. We flew into Aberdeen late on a Wednesday night, just as it started snowing and drove 40 minutes to the little village of Fettercairn in near pitch black.

The Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

top london bloggers

For 18 months I lived close to the Tower of London, being lucky enough to have to walk past it every day to and from work. It is a beautiful building and one of the few major tourist attractions that I'd genuinely recommend visitors to go and see; it's actually worthy of the long queues and massive tickets prices.

A Weekend in Liverpool: Part 2

liverpool albert dock

Our weekend in Liverpool had been choc-a-bloc full of food and shopping and neon Christmas trees; on our last day we felt like we should take in a bit of culture. Our Travelodge looked over the Albert Dock - home to a number of museums, gorgeous views across the Mersey and a selection of tourist-trap shops selling the best cheap tat you could ever hope for.

A Weekend in Liverpool: Part 1

museum of liverpool

I'm no stranger to the north-west of the UK, but I'll admit that that's basically been limited to the Greater Manchester area. I went to Liverpool once, four years ago, but it was summer and it was hot and I was basically just there to go drinking with my friend (I don't regret a thing). It is, of course, a world famous city, primarily down to four specific men but I genuinely had no idea what else the city had to offer.

A Night at Clevedon Hall, Somerset

clevedon hall wedding venue

It's very rare that I'll do a weekend trip away in the UK. I'm all for a full blown staycation; a week in Cornwall or the Lake District, but one night away has always seemed like too much of an effort. My recent trip to Clevedon Hall* completely changed my opinion - I can't begin to tell you how lovely it was to escape the city for 24 hours.

Lunch at Bundobust, Leeds

best uk food blogger

Thank goodness for Twitter. When I took a recent work trip to Leeds, I asked local blogger Rihanna for recommendations on where to eat. A couple of others waded in and everyone seemed to rate Bundobust, a little Indian street kitchen a stone's throw from the main train station. As I was with a vegetarian colleague, and Bundobust is completely meat-free, we headed down pre-meeting for a spot of lunch.
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review