Category Archives: Travel

The best honeymoon destinations

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The honeymoon is the best way to celebrate your new married status and enjoy some peace and relaxation, after the stress produced by organizing the perfect wedding. But, it is true that weddings don’t come cheap, so you probably don’t have left that much money to go on your dream honeymoon. You probably would like somewhere far away, on an exotic island, sipping cocktails and being shaded by a palm tree. Well, you deserve to go there and make your dream come true because only once in your lifetime you can enjoy a honeymoon. For this, you can access holiday loans offered for such purposes, so your dream honeymoon can become a reality. Now that we covered the financial issue let’s see what the best honeymoon destinations are.

The first choice in the list is Camino Real, Acapulco, for the incredible weather, warm throughout the year, perfect for snorkeling and swimming. John and Jackie Kennedy spent their honeymoon here back in the days, but the destination is as famous today for honeymoons as it was back then. Even if the views are stunning and beach nearby, Acapulco is an affordable destination, in comparison with others. Restaurants are available for exquisite dining and clubs for having fun after night falls. If you want to have breathtaking views during your honeymoon, visit Fairmont Chateau, at Lake Louise, Canada. The destination is perfect if you enjoy spending time up in the mountains and practicing winter sports. Lake Louise is fed by a glacier, so the temperatures here are chillier. But, the hotels has a spa for pampering, romantic sleigh rides into the nearby forests, and a setting you will never forget. Not to mention that you get to cuddle up near a fireplace in the evening.

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Do you want something more exotic? Then try Amankila, in Indonesia. The place is translated as being the “peaceful hill”, and it is, so it is perfect if you want to relax and enjoy your time. For an ultimate honeymoon experience, it is recommended to book the deluxe pool suite, if you wish to have a pool just for yourself and your lover. Besides this, you will love the culture and multiple temples of the area. If you want a luxurious and wild honeymoon at the same time, visit the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa. All the bungalows are constructed on the water, so you will be able to see fishes swim under the glass panels of the bungalow’s floor. The views are simply stunning, activities charming and you get the chance to spoil yourself at the spa.

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10 Things Travellers Must do to Stay Safe

Staying safe as a traveller is a must. Although there’s so much fun to be had when travelling, it’s important you stay safe. You do want to be spontaneous and try new things, but you don’t want to be careless. Here are 10 things travellers must do to stay safe:

Stay in Touch With Friends/Family

Make sure you stay in touch with your friends and family if possible. You should call, send texts, or Skype with them so they know that you’re OK. If you plan on doing something particularly adventurous, it might be wise to text them to let them know. This is especially important if you’re doing it alone.

Leave a Note in Hotel Rooms

You’re always going to make friends when travelling, but you can’t always trust people you’ve just met. This is why it’s important you leave a note in your hotel room to let people know where you’ve gone and when you should be expected back. If anything should happen, it’s likely somebody will raise the alarm.

Keep Money and Documents Safe

You’re going to have lots of money and documents on you when travelling, so you need to make sure you keep them safe. Wear a money belt, and make sure you keep money in different places, just incase. Don’t flash your money around wherever you go. Make sure you have copies of your important documents too.

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Write Down Emergency Numbers

Write down emergency numbers in the area, just incase anything should happen to your mobile phone. Keep these numbers safe with your documents. It might even be wise to keep some emergency money with them, in case you need to use a phone box or buy a card. People back home should have emergency numbers too.

Get Insurance

Insurance is essential, especially if you plan on doing adventurous things while you travel. You’ll need to be sure the level of insurance you get suits the things you plan on doing.

Apply for an EHIC

Apply for an EHIC to make sure you get the same treatment as a local in the area you’re travelling. You can see Ukehic to learn more about this card. Bear in mind that it only works in certain countries.

Research Safety Precautions to Take in the Area

There are going to be different safety precautions you should take depending on the area, so make sure you do your research.

Be on Your Guard

Be on your guard for scams and people who might not be genuine. Be open to making friends, but if something feels wrong, it probably is.

Have a Story in Your Head

Sometimes, it can help to have a story in your head for when locals ask questions. This is true especially for lone female travellers. You may be asked where your husband is. It’s always safer to make up a fake husband and somewhere he may be, rather than revealing you are alone.

Don’t Drink too Much

You must keep your wits about you when travelling, so don’t drink too much. Know when enough is enough!

Stay safe and you’ll have the best time.

60 funny facts about Romania. Dracula’s country through the eyes of a brazilian

Fernando Castilho Cintra is one of the many tourists who found Romania interesting enough to visit it and to have a great time here. However, this tourist was really special. Beside the fact that he took interest in Romanian culture and people, he wrote a really interesting review, of his time in Romania, on Facebook. His 60 funny facts about Romania have quickly become viral. So, for the sake of sharing his experience in Romania with you guys, here is what he wrote:

”Exactly 1 month ago I was arriving in Brazil. So here it goes: 60 things I learned by living in Romania!

PS: Pay attention to what down here is a joke and what is not.

Check it out!

1 – Dracula is a vampire outside Romania.

2 – The same dude, Vlad Tepes, is a national hero.

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3 – While vampires drink blood, the real red thing I loved to drink was Visinata.

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4 – Another devilish drink is Tuica, Hungarians call it palinka, but it is the same thing.

5 – Most moldavians, muntenians and others have no idea what happens with Hungarians in Ardeal

6 – Romanians smoke an absurd amount of cigarettes. They smoke inside their houses, restaurants, and even shopping malls.

7 – Romanians always take of their shoes when entering home
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8 – I believe Romanians prefer to keep their floor clean rather than their lungs.

9 – Travelling in Romania is one of the best memories I have. Rivers, canyons, hills, mountains… They have it all

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10 – While travelling in Romania you will go through Romanian roads. They are in good condition, but they have an absurd amount of curves.

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11 – Also when travelling in Romania, you might want to pee. But worry not; there are so many houses by the side of the roads that it’s easier to end up in a bathroom than behind some bushes.

12 – Maramures is a happy place. Happy people, happy costumes, happy colours, even happy cemetery

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13 – The only thing that isn’t happy in Maramures are shepherd dogs. They are not happy. They don’t like you. Run.

14 – In fact, unless you are inside a city, whenever you see a dog in Romania, run.

15 – Another tactic is to always carry mici with you. As I’m vegetarian, I wouldn’t mind giving mici to dogs.

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16 – As a matter of fact, as a vegetarian in Romanian I can definitely say: Romanians love meat

17 – Sarmale, tocanita, slanina, carnati… you have it all, meat eaters.

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18 – Romanians have soup every single day of their lives.

19 – Taxis in Romania are ridiculously cheap. In Bucharest they can cost as low as 1,29 per km.

20 – Another extremely easy way to go around is Hitch-hiking. Romanians do it, and give it in return.

21 – Romanians also expect you to pay for giving you a ride. You can, of course say “nu am bani” before hopping in, but you can get a frustrated driver to shout “INCHIDE USA” at your sorry moneyless face. (true story)

22 – My favourite mean of transportation though was by inter-regio train. They are cheap, comfortable, on time and often not crowded.

23 – However, you can end up inside a 12 hours train trip from Suceava to Mures back from New Year’s holiday. Then you will know what “crowded” really means. (true story)

24 – Romanians love skiing.

25 – Skiing in Romania is absurdly cheap.

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26 – It took me 3 full days to be taught how to ski. Skiing is not for Brazilians or tropical countries inhabitants.

27 – Once you learn, though, you will love it and open another door to my favourite part of Romania: Mountains

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28 – Romania has the most beautiful scenarios I’ve seen so far in my life. All of them from mountain tops.

29 – Romanian mountains have incredibly well signed paths for hikers, cabanas for travellers to stay overnight and places for the more audacious to camp.

30 – By now you should have guessed that doing such a trip will be absurdly cheap.

31 – Interesting though is that many Romanians have never been to such mountains.

32 – Even more interesting is that Romanians will often overestimate some rather average places (e.g. Mamaia or Bucovina Monasteries) and underestimate awesome places (e.g. Bucharest).

33 – Bucharest is a great city. Sure it has no such architecture as Budapest, Krakow or other eastern European cities, but it has the museums, parks and nightlife that few others have

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34 – People say there are many stray dogs in Bucharest.

35 – I had more dogs chasing me in any given day by bike that I had during a week in Bucharest.

36 – Truly, I didn’t see stray dogs in Bucharest.

37 – Romanian language is beautiful. It sounds beautiful and is achievable for Brazilians to learn

38 – “Cu carne de vaca nu se moare de foame”…. And my Google chrome translator thought I was writing in Portuguese.

39 – However, the most obscure part or Romanian language is Dativ.

40 – AHHHHHH DAAAATIIIIV!!!!

41 – You can say “mi-e foame” “mi-e sete” “mi-e somn”….. but you can’t say “mi-e oboseala”.

42 – AAAAHHH DATIIIIIV!!!!

43 – Romanians talk with their shoulders. Observe it! When someone says “pai, nu stiu…”.

44 – Follow the same exercise mentioned above and observe their mouths and the chin.

45 – Hungarians won’t admit, but they have THE Romanian accent. The way of saying “nu stiu” is the same of saying “nem tudom”

46 – My preferred way of practising Romanian is with drivers that have me a ride by the road.

47 – They would often say what the hell am I doing in such a country if am Brazilian.

48 – These drivers didn’t know that Romanian healthcare system is great, it has a lower murder rate than Norway and is the fastest growing economy from eastern European countries.

49 – Generally Romanians complain about Romania. They will find a way to complain about it. Politics, economy, society…

50 – They are wrong.

51 – I learned what 4 seasons mean: Hot summers, cool autumns, cold winters and fresh springs.

52 – Romania has all the 4 seasons with two huge advantages from northern countries: In winters they have sun. In summer it’s not cloudy.

53 – Romania has a nice wildlife: Dears can be seen frequently, black goats can be seen on occasion (been there done that), bears and wolves are invisible
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54 – The closest we’ve been to a bear was its footprints

55 – Romanians are Latin in language, but not as Latin in blood.

56 – When you enter an office, you have to shake hands with the men but you just wave to the women.

57 – Romanians expected that me as a Brazilian would play football really well… Terrible mistake

58 – For months after the world cup I would hear “so, do you like Germany” from people. Go to hell…

59 – Most Romanians at their 18’s have two dreams in mind: 1 – Moving to the UK. 2- Moving to any other country that isn’t Romania.

60 – While Romanians dream to leave, I dream once I will come back.”

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Family Day Out Ideas for the Kids

Now that the summer holidays have arrived, every parent is on the lookout for ways to keep the kids occupied. While us mums love having our little ones home with us, it can be a bit of a struggle keeping them entertained for six weeks.

However, that being said, it is possible, it just takes a bit of creative thinking that’s all. As well as having days at home baking, getting crafty and watching movies, it’s important that you also plan a few fun days out.

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In case you are feeling a little stuck for inspiration when it comes to planning days out that the kids will love, I thought I would share a few ideas with you. For all my favourite day out ideas, keep reading, below:

Take a trip to the beach

Kids love the beach, so if the sun is shining, why not pack up the car and head to the beach? Beaches are great fun and have so much to do that the kids will never be bored. From building sand castles and swimming in the sea to having donkey rides and watching Punch and Judy, there’s always lots to do.

One of the best things about taking a trip to the beach is that it isn’t an expensive day out. All you need to pay for is the fuel to get there, the parking, and your picnic food, and that’s it. So, even if money is tight, a trip to the beach is the perfect family day out.

Visit a theme park

For us mums, theme parks may not be the most exciting of places. However, kids absolutely love going to theme parks, so they are the perfect place for a family day out.

The best thing about taking the kids for a day trip to a theme park is that there are so many to choose from. From Thorpe Park and Alton Towers to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Drayton Manor, there are lots of options. So, however old your children are, there will be a theme park that is perfect for them.

Go for a bike ride and picnic

Around the UK, there are various off-road cycle paths that are ideal for a family bike ride. So, if the weather is warm, pack up a picnic basket and head out for a family day of cycling.

Just make sure to map your route in advance to ensure that you have chosen a route that is completely off the roads, so it is safe for your little ones. To find the best local cycling routes for families in your area, have a look online and do some research.

Spend the day at a water park

Many of the UK’s water parks are only open seasonally, so make sure to make the most of them by planning a day out to your closest park. If your kids are young, it’s best to opt for a park that has heated water so that they don’t get chilly while splashing about.

Most water parks have various slides and play areas, including areas for teens and adults, children, and babies and toddlers. So no matter how old your children are, the whole family should have a great time.

Keeping the kids occupied during the summer holidays isn’t always easy. However, by planning a few fun days out, you can make it much easier for yourself.

Tips That Inexperienced Travelers Need to Know

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Have you dreamed of traveling and now you finally have the money to do it? If this is the case, you are about to begin an amazing journey where you will see and experience foods, cultures and sights that you could never have imagined. However, traveling is not something that you should do without careful consideration. There are many things you need to think about before you leave on your trip, as well as after you arrive at your destination. If you fail to plan your trip properly, it could result in a multitude of problems that ruin your overall travel experience. Here are some useful tips that inexperienced travelers need to know.

1. Plan a budget

Planning a budget for traveling is not as easy as it sounds. While you know going in how much your plane tickets and hotel rooms are going to cost, there are many other expenses which are hard to plan for. Budgeting for food and transportation are difficult to do, especially if you only have a rough idea of where you will be going and what you will be doing on your trip. If you go to a foreign country, the exchange rate is something that confuses many people. Find out what the current exchange rate is in your destination country before you leave on your trip. It is important for you to know how much your money is going to be worth.

2. Money

You will need to think about how you will be paying for things when you are on your trip. When people go overseas, they often bring traveler’s checks with them. Some also bring large amounts of cash. While traveler’s checks are a safe way to pay for things when you are abroad, they can also be cumbersome, inconvenient and easy to lose. Also, you can’t use a traveler’s check to pay for everything. For example, if you want to take a bus, taxi or subway, you will need to pay for that in cash. Therefore, you should simply withdraw money using your ATM card whenever you are in need of some money. You would be wise to only withdraw it in amounts that are small. This is because most banks charge special fees when a person withdraws money in a foreign country. The larger the withdrawal, the larger the fee. Another reason to only take a small amount of money from the ATM is to protect yourself. You are in a strange city, so you could get robbed. If you only carry small amounts of cash, getting robbed or losing your wallet or purse will not be a devastating event.

3. Take looking for a hotel very seriously

Do not simply book a room at the first hotel you come across that is located in your destination city. You can save money on hotels in Honolulu by devoting a few hours of your time to researching hotels. The time you spend doing this will be worth it in the long run. Keep your budget in mind when you are comparing room rates. If you have kids with you and you are on a limited budget, it might be necessary to have them sleep in your room. The money you can save by doing this is significant, especially on a long trip.

This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a complete travel platform that allows you to do everything from comparing charter flights and train rides, to finding the best resort hotels and Airbnb rentals.

The Best European Cities for a Weekend Break

Sometimes you just need to get away for the weekend. And although you can go to London, Edinburgh or perhaps Cornwall, you might want to explore further afield. It feels more like a proper holiday when you go over the Channel, even if it’s only for a couple of days. There are lots of cities on the continent to explore, and it doesn’t matter whether the weather is being kind for your trip. If it’s sunny, you can walk around or lie on a beach, but if not there’s always food, drink and other activities. When you go away for the weekend, you want plenty of fun and excellent value. So check out these top European destinations for a weekend break.

Paris

For a classic weekend away, you can’t beat a trip to Paris. You can take the ferry or train, and take a car or leave it behind. Book yourself and whoever comes with you into a chic boutique hotel. After you’ve checked in, you can go looking for somewhere for dinner. With so many restaurants, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Spend your evenings out on the town, enjoying the food and drink. During the day, you can take in some culture or get in some shopping.

Prague

If you would rather have something different, Prague is another popular destination for a weekend break. Beer lovers will want to make it their second home and could spend the weekend moving from pub to pub. Visit one of the cities museums if you want to learn more about its history or admire the antique shopping arcades, and perhaps buy a souvenir. At night, there’s plenty of live music, especially if you’re a fan of jazz.

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Bruges

This Belgian city might not be the first place you think of when you want to get away. But it’s easily accessible by Eurostar, ferry or flight, and it’s a beautiful city. Once you’ve booked your hotel or apartment using Venere or a similar site, you can plan your weekend. Take a boat ride through the city people often call Little Venice, and see the magnificent belfry in the square. You could buy a waffle for an authentic Belgian experience, drink plenty of beer, or just spend the weekend pigging out on chocolate.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful place, and the perfect destination to visit with your best friends. If you love art and especially architecture, you’ll be captivated by the city. But there’s plenty of other things to do if that’s not your thing. Spend some time lounging on the beach with a cocktail and some ice cream or sample some tapas on a tapas crawl. The nightlife is fantastic too, so you’ll have plenty of fun out on the town. If you want to take in as much of the city as possible in a couple of days, go on a walking tour, hop on a bus or sign yourself up for a Segway tour.

There are lots of possibilities for a quick weekend break, whether you want to drive, fly or take a train or coach. There’s something for everyone all over Europe, from beaches to beer.

Days out and weekenders with a difference

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by  Paolo Camera 

Do you ever find you get tired of doing the same old same old and wish you could think of something different to do on a girls’ night out, or for a weekend away? Preferably, this will be something that isn’t going to cost the earth or involve too much hassle in arranging etc. After all, there are only so many bars, clubs and restaurants you can go to – and it’s nice to plan ahead and have something a little bit different to look forward to now and again.

And planning ahead is the key to success here by the way. If you’re anything like me, you try to organise something and one or two people tend to back out at the last minute – so agreeing something well in advance and, preferably, getting the participants to make a small financial commitment up-front is ideal.

Anyway – without further ado – here are some idea for nights and days out, and maybe weekends away, that you may not have thought of.

A day at the races

Having a day at the races can be an absolute hoot at any time of year. If this is a new thing to you – then a short lesson in racing first. There are two types, flat racing and National Hunt. Flat is self-explanatory, National Hunt basically means jumps and hurdle races, which tend to be longer, on the whole, than flat races. Flat racing generally takes place in the warmer months of the year (though there are various all weather courses up and down the country) whilst the opposite is true of National Hunt racing.

Flat racing is what happens at Ascot and Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby and Glorious Goodwood etc. This is where the ladies get dressed up and it’s often all champagne and strawberries etc.

With National Hunt racing – think green wellies brigade, Land Rovers, headscarves, hunting and dogs etc. and you’ll be on the right lines.

Each has its own merits and the great thing about racing is that there are meetings more or less every day in all parts of the country. Just have a look at one of the online guides to UK racing, pick out a course you like the look of for a day out and see which meetings are good for your schedule. Alternatively – making it a part venue for a weekend away also gives the weekend a little added spice sometimes.

During the summer months, there are a lot of evening meetings up and down the country. If you’re within striking distance of London, for example – as close to a third of the UK population are – then Windsor racecourse is an a beautiful setting and hosts loads of evening meetings throughout the warmer months of the year.

As for betting – well there’s a whole new lexicon of terminology for the uninitiated, but a flutter certainly makes the races a lot more interesting. Placing a few bets on the horse racing with the exchange Betfair is relatively quick and easy, and the odds are usually better as it’s an exchange with no traditional bookmaker involved. It’s a good idea to place a small bet on each race before you go then you aren’t distracted during the course of the afternoon or evening and you can concentrate on the bubbly, or whatever else takes your fancy!

If you don’t know how to place the bets etc., then ask someone who does. It’s all very easy and you’ll soon get used to it and there are usually free bets available for new customers etc., so remember to take full advantage of these.

A day at the races is as much fun as you make it. Just remember to get the dress code right and to book a table and facilities if that’s what you’re looking for. This is usually worth the extra money if you want to do it in style – but be sure to book well in advance if it’s a well-known and popular meeting you’re going to such as the Grand National, the Cheltenham Festival, the Epsom Derby, and Glorious Goodwood, the York Ebor meeting or Royal Ascot etc.

A day ON the horses

Staying with our equine theme – how about getting on the horses instead of watching from the side-lines and cheering them on?

This is great fun and is even more fun if you’ve never done it before, or only once or twice when you were younger perhaps. These days, the horse riding facilities provided up and down the country are a lot better than they used to be and more imaginative.

There are many places you can try this and it’s an absolute ball if you do a group booking with your friends.

An afternoon in the sky

Or how about looking up to the skies for inspiration? If you’re feeling brave enough as a group, why not try a parachuting for beginner’s type class? This is one of the most exhilarating things a human being can do. This is, of course, because jumping into seeming oblivion runs contrary to every instinct in your body but you have to override this with logic knowing you are completely safe. That’s where the real fun lies.

Again, there are lots of places around the UK that you can try this out. It’s one of those things many of us intend to do one day – but have never yet set a firm date to do so; so why not do that now? This life is no dress rehearsal and a parachute jump is on many people’s bucket list of things to do before the die.

On a same but different basis – how about a bungee jump?  Now this is, in many ways, even more scary the first time than a parachute jump. The beauty of this is that it needs no training and drawn-out safety courses etc. You get the basics only in what to do then you simply have to launch yourself over the edge. Look for the different places you can bungee jump in the UK then close your eyes and go for it. This is an experience, like parachuting, that will truly be with you forever. This is truly living your life to the full!

If either of these are just too scary to contemplate for you or your friends, then how about something a little more sedate – like a ride in a helicopter? Believe me; there’s nothing too sedate about this and it can be the thrilling part of weekend.

One such tour takes places in and around the wonderful and historic city of York. York is a great city to visit any way and at any time of year. But add a helicopter ride into proceedings and now we’re really talking! A helicopter ride above the famous sites of York and around over the Yorkshire Dales where Emmerdale Farm is produced, and much more, can be done on a superb 45-minute flight. The flight even takes you over Harewood House for an aerial view of the set built for the ever popular ITV1 soap. You’ll see other famous venues including Home Farm and The Woolpack as you hover over Emmerdale.

This is just one idea – you can book similar helicopter flights all around the country.

Murder and Mystery Walks

Another great thing you can do for your weekender in York or many other of Britain’s most historically interesting cities are murder and mystery walks. These really are spooky and great fun. If you decide to go up to Edinburgh for a weekend, for example, you’ll be able to visit the races and the wonderful city that ‘Edina’ is – and do a great murder and mystery walk as well.

One excellent walk is conducted by the “late” ghostly highwayman Adam Lyal. The real Lyal was executed in 1811 but he’s still able to take you around the old city on an award-winning one hour and 15 minute spooky evening walk around the auld Scottish capital. You’ll see the alleys and courtyards of Old Town Edinburgh as Mr Lyal tells you haunting but true tales of torture, body-snatching and witchcraft. Just remember to keep an eye out for the “jumper-ooters”!

Walking Tours

If you prefer something a little more historical without being scared out of your wits in the dark into the bargain – then a guided walking tour of a city that is also great to visit for the weekend anyway is a good idea. A Chester city walls walk is one such good example – whilst other walks have literary themes. For example, you can do a Jane Austen walking tour of Bath that takes you to where the great authoress lived, along with various locations covered in novels including ‘Persuasion’ and ‘Northanger Abbey’. This particular tour takes an hour and a half but there are many other similar tours up and down the country which make a nice addition to a weekend away.

Chocolate Tours

Who doesn’t love chocolate? So why not enhance and indulge that love with a chocolate tour? These really are fascinating and all the more so if you love the stuff. There are walking tours of the best chocolate shops London has to offer, for example. This particular London tour is organised and led by a chocolate expert who shares secret tips and facts about chocolate and you get discounts in the stores toured along with lots of free tastings.

Locations Tours

Or how about a tour of one of your favourite TV shows? Again, there are many to choose from – from the famous Granada Studios Tour if you’re vising Manchester (which is something that never lets you down).

However, if you prefer something a little more sedate and rural – you might want to choose the Midsomer Murders locations tour. The show is actually filmed in several different counties including Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. One day-long tour for Midsomer lovers includes the main sights along with lunch in the Midsomer village, which was also used in the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ movie and ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ TV comedy. Oh yes – and you also get to see a few of the churches used as locations for the ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ movie.

Beautiful Blackpool

Last but certainly not least – if you’ve never been to Blackpool you’re missing out on one of the most amazing places on the planet – seriously! There’s only one Blackpool and seeing is believing. Whether you come here tongue in cheek on a “kitsch” basis as so many people do these days – or just to use the famous Pleasure Beach – Blackpool is an experience you will surely never forget.

Britain’s own take on Las Vegas; Blackpool has something to entertain you at every turn and at all times of the year. Have a look at the What’s on guide before you come, but do make time for a trip up the famous Blackpool Tower (modelled originally on Paris’s Eiffel Tower) and for an afternoon at the Pleasure Beach. We spoke about bungee jumping earlier – well the famous “Big One” roller-coaster at Blackpool makes you feel like you’ve just done one!

A trip to the famous Sandcastle indoor water park is always a hoot for everyone as well. This is the country’s biggest such park and something well worth doing as part of a weekend away.

You can even make a trip to Blackpool a cultural and wholesome weekend if drinking too much in Kiss-me-quick hats and eating hot dogs on the prom isn’t really your cup of tea. Many people don’t realise that the countryside around Blackpool is beautiful and you’re only down the road from the Lancashire side of the Dales which are truly beautiful at any time of year. Similarly, the Lake District with all it has to offer is only half an hour up the road – so it’s easy to kill two very different birds with the one carefully aimed stone!

Have a ball whatever you decide to do.

 

The Hottest London Venues For Marriage Proposals

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If you are living in London and looking to propose you will be pleased to hear there is no shortage of hot venues to choose from. Below we have a look at some of the most popular.

If desert beaches and mountain tops are beyond your reach, there are plenty of unusual places that will provide the perfect backdrop for the big question. The following suggestions are all based in London, but you can adapt the ideas to somewhere near you.

The London Eye

A capsule on the London Eye is fast becoming one of the most popular places to propose. With stunning views over the city and thirty minutes to complete the journey, it’s the perfect place to start your celebrations. The London Eye has special offers for Valentine’s Day itself, which include champagne, roses, chocolates and a private capsule, but if you want to propose at a different time, call the company to see if you can make special arrangements.

The Serpentine – Hyde Park

In a recent survey, hotel concierges said that a rowing boat on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park is currently a fashionable place to propose. Check out the weather, hire a rowing boat or pedalo, bring the ring, the champagne and prepare for a truly romantic proposal.

Hampton Court Maze

Possibly the most famous maze in the world, Hampton Court Maze is a great place for a romantic proposal. Set in the beautiful gardens of Hampton Court Palace alongside the River Thames, the yew hedges are a perfect backdrop for the occasion. Get deliberately lost and then drink champagne when you get to the middle!

A Boutique Hotel

London has many famous hotels, but a new type of hotel is coming of age in the city – the Boutique Hotel. These are small, individually decorated and quirky hotels that pride themselves on personal service. They are also, compared with many London hotels, good value for money. Take a room or visit the restaurant for a proposal to remember.

Some prospective grooms might want to propose to their girlfriends in a private, intimate setting. But as a women, I would love to be asked before thousands in the middle of a Culture Club concert. They are my favorite group. I’ve loved these guys since I was 13.

I bought myself 2 Culture Club Tickets and I’m looking forward to seeing them at The O2 on Tuesday 9 December 2014.  This will be their first live performance together for over 15 years and an evening not to be missed.

 

Wilson Island On The Great Barrier Reef Is The Perfect Honeymoon Vacation Resort

106_107 Hayman Island

If your perfect honeymoon resort has to be on a tiny coral cay, and it has to be an Australia Honeymoon Package on the Great Barrier Reef, then Wilson Island should tick all the right boxes. It is surrounded by a pristine coral reef and quite the loveliest of beaches.

If you have spent any time in Africa on safari and stayed in a tented camp, then the accommodation on Wilson Island will not be unfamiliar to you, except this is real five star luxury camping, all inclusive, with food that is just out of this world, and a fantastic wine cellar.

When people think of camping, have never been on a camping safari or stayed at Wilson Island they have this idea of sleeping bags and poles, and leaks and cold water showers.

Wilson Island is the perfect Honeymoon Vacation resort, because when they talk tents what they mean is six permanent tents all looking out over the reef and the ocean designed with the guests ultimate comfort in mind.

All of the tents have raised timber floors, King size beds with Duvets, Bedside Tables, Battery operated bedside lights, deck chairs, bathrobes, bath towels, beach towels, toiletries, and daily housekeeping service.

The only drawback is that because of the fact that Wilson Island uses solar power, all the hot showers are in the central amenities building, where each tent has its own private designated area.

So what will you do on Wilson Island as your perfect honeymoon resort.

The short answer is little or nothing, but you could cheerfully snorkel right off the beach where you will see some fantastic fish, and perhaps even a turtle as well.

You could just lie in a hammock and be lazy, or you can walk round the island, picnic on the beach, and end up watching the sunset drinking champagne, or the sunrise with a hot cup of coffee and biscuits.

Wilson is that kind of place, probably idyllic for three or four days with no mobile phone coverage, no children, no television, just the birds, and the crashing of the sea to listen to.

If you are able to entertain yourself, and you don’t mind the unorthodox toilet arrangements, or a communal dinner party atmosphere in the evenings, then Wilson Island could be the perfect honeymoon resort.

Winchester Mystery House

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The Winchester Mystery House was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Winchester. She commissioned the house to be built in 1884, and construction continued under her guidance for the next 38 years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year until her death in 1922.

The mansion is now opened as a tourist attraction in San Jose, California, and draws thousands each year to explore the most unusual architecture. What draws people to this mansion is the bizarre phenomenon in its construction. Legend has it that Sarah visited a psychic after the deaths of her husband and daughter; the psychic convinced her that her family was cursed due to the deaths from the Winchester Rifle; the only way to appease the spirits of those killed by the gun was to continuously build a home for their spirits to find rest. It is believed that she was told if she stopped building, she would die.

She was obsessed, whether the legend of the medium is true or not, and she believed she was haunted. A blue print was never drawn for the mansion; many of the 160 rooms were drawn by Sarah herself, making you wonder what thoughts were crossing through her mind. The house gains its fame from the staircases leading nowhere and a chimney rising four floors. There are doors that open onto blank walls and the upside down posts may astonish you as well but then again, what would you feel looking at a window that is built into the floor?

Sarah Winchester considered the number thirteen and spider motifs to be lucky, and these beliefs reappear around the house. She had a very expensive imported chandelier altered to accommodate 13 candles instead of 12, there are clothes hooks on the walls all equalling 13, and there are 13 coloured stones on a spider web patterned Tiffany window in the home. There are 13 bathrooms, 13 fireplaces and even 13 California Fan Palms lining the front drive. Of the 160 rooms, 110 are open to the mansion tour, allowing you to experience the mysteries of the Winchester Mystery House for yourself.

After enjoying the architectural marvels that can be found in the mansion, you can retire to your room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The hotel is located in downtown San Jose, across from the San Jose McEnery Convention Centre, the Centre for the Performing Arts, the Tech Museum of Innovation, Adobe headquarters and within walking distance to the HP Pavilion. The hotel offers cosy guest rooms that are well furnished and equipped with modern amenities. The Mediterranean style restaurant, at the hotel, serves a variety of delicious delicacies for your pleasure. All in all, the Crowne Plaza Hotel is the perfect location to relax and enjoy all that San Jose has to offer.

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