Destinations

Travel destinations | Vacation destinations | International destinations | Destinations of the World |

  • Asia

    Review: Day Trip to the Great Wall of China

    Upon booking our flights to New Zealand was agreed on a 10-hour layover in China. The flights were so cheap with the layover and thought we would hang around in the airport, especially as Beijing is one of the largest terminals in an airport. It wasn’t until I was having a chat with my Mum about her previous layover in Singapore where they have a little bus shuttle from the airport that I started to investigate what our options were. Beijing Layover Tour I stumbled across the 24/144 hour visa-free transit pass, meaning that you can apply at the airport to leave the terminal. A tour company called Beijing Layover…

  • Oceania

    The Ultimate 15 Kiwi Songs for your New Zealand Roadtrip

    One of the most fundamental parts of any road trip is the playlist. Aside from the itinerary and snacks, it is one of the first things that I plan out. Join us in making the perfect New Zealand Playlist as it would not be complete without these great kiwi tunes. Kiwi Roadtrip So True – The Black Seeds With its kiwi infused reggae beats and a catchy chorus, it’s not hard to sing along to this summer classic, even if the sun isn’t shining. The Otherside – Breaks co-op With local legend, Zane Lowe making up part of this trio, the Otherside is a laid-back beach vibe, perfect for cruising around the…

  • Europe

    What You Need To Know About Tubingen, Germany

    Located around a 40-minute drive southwest of Stuttgart is the small little town of Tubingen. History With a medieval castle atop one of the many hills of Tubingen that dates back to 1078. The founding of Eberhard Karls University in 1477, making it one of Central Europe’s oldest, Tubingen has a wealth of history. In fact, the settlement of Tubingen dates back to the 6th and 7th century. Schloss Luckily during the Second World War, Tubingen was left relatively unscathed and many of the medieval buildings still remain intact. If you willing to take the small hike up a hill to Hohentubingen Castle (Schloss), the reward is spectacular views of…

  • Oceania

    Getting Lost in the Rotorua Redwoods

    Rotorua in the central North Island of New Zealand is infamous for its geothermal activity, with the lingering notes of sulphur in the air and its Maori heritage. What maybe isn’t as well known, is the Whakarewarewa or Redwoods Forest alongside the south of Lake Rotorua. An interesting experiment… During the early 20th century, foresters in the area were intrigued as to what northern hemisphere trees would grow in this part of the world, and planted over 170 species as part of an experiment. New Zealand trees tend to grow quite slowly and with an increase in settlers, wood was needed for building shelters and homes. With demand high, a…

  • Oceania

    Experience The Magic Of Middle Earth At Hobbiton

    In a small hole in the ground, once lived a hobbit; and in the small Waikato town of Matamata lives a little magical piece of Middle Earth. Finding Middle Earth When the filming of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy confirmed, the challenge for film markers was finding the perfect set locations for these iconic novels. For many fans of the novels, the Shire was one of the most important locations get right. The Alexander farm on Buckland road was seen by the location scouts from above, with its rolling green hills and large Oak tree at the perfect setting for the Shire of Middle Earth. They could not have…

  • United Kingdom

    From Balloch to Tarbet – The West of Loch Lomond

    Where the sun shines fair on the banks of Loch Lomond Britain’s largest loch (or lake) is one of the most beautiful destinations in Scotland (and trust me there are a lot of places to chose from). I have spent many childhood summers visiting my grandparents who are only a 10-minute drive away. Situated in the heart of the ‘Trossachs’ Scotland’s first national park, is a miniature version of the highlands, only an hour from Glasgow. Balloch The start of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs park is Balloch, which has plenty to do and see. Balloch Castle Country Park Initially developed in the early 19th century, the country park and…

  • Europe

    When I didn’t have a Spiritual Experience at the Vatican

    For Easter 2012, all the women on my Mum’s side of the family (11 of us in total) went to visit Rome and the Vatican as part of our Grandmother’s 70th Birthday celebrations. Ranging from 75 to 16, all of us were raised Roman Catholics, and we arrived in Rome on the morning on Palm Sunday. Although I am not a practising Catholic, unlike the majority of my family, I was really excited to see the Vatican. I don’t quite know what I expected when I walked into St Peter’s Square, but some sort of religious revelation. The seat of the Holy See and home of the Roman Catholic religion,…

  • Travel Advice,  United Kingdom

    How To Stay Safe During The UK Heatwave

    As the UK enters its longest ever heatwave, it is essential to remember to protect yourself from the sun. Travel safety is critical, with everyone being savvier overseas, but not considering that the UK sun can be just as hot! Here are the top tips for staying safe this summer The main risks associated with the current heatwave are dehydration, overheating and sunburn or sunstroke. If you are vulnerable to heat, stay in the shade between 11 am and 3 pm. This time is the hottest part of the day. Regularly drink cold drinks such as water, and avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages. Wear loose cool clothing. Make sure you wear a…

  • United Kingdom

    Bletchley Park

    Situated an hour north of London, is an inconspicuous estate close to Bletchley train station. A mansion and grounds, that was pivotal in the modern era of information technology and cloaked in secrecy. The home of the code breakers in World War II has exceptional historical importance and is still relevant today. The Mansion and grounds were purchased in 1938 by the head of the secret intelligence service, in the event of war. On the train link between Oxford and Cambridge and only 50 miles from London, it was a prime location to attract academics that the secret service would hope to hire.  Bletchley was to be the new home of…

  • Oceania

    Moeraki Boulders, New Zealand

    On Koekohe beach, between Dunedin and Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand, is a natural phenomenon steeped in Maori folklore. The Moeraki Boulders are one of the most photographed landscapes in New Zealand. Numerous wonderfully circular orbs of stone litter the Otago beachside. Local legend says the boulders are the remains of eel baskets, calabashes, and kumara washed ashore from the wreck at nearby Shag Point from a large canoe of Arai-te-Uru. The patterning on the boulders, according to legend, are the remains of the canoe’s fishing nets. Over 50 boulders have been unearthed from the eroding shoreline, with stones still half hidden in the banks of the…

  • Europe

    Saklikent Gorge

    Hidden is the Taurus Mountains on the south coast of Turkey a canyon of 300m high and 18km long is carved. Melted water from the snow caps on the mountain tops gush down the steep slopes, dissecting the terrain. The water is thick with limestone from the mountains and ice cold. One of the most massive gorges in the world is found near the tourist destinations of Fethiye and Olu Deniz. During the summer months when the tide is low, you can walk deep into the gorge. The whole day is magical, the sides of the canyon towering over while you wade in the water. What to take with you:…

  • Europe

    Top 7 Things To Do In Budapest

    Budapest is a city of contrast. From the gently sloping hills of ancient Buda to the flat terrain of Pest. With a history of Celtic, Roman and Ottoman occupation, and pivotal during both of the World Wars, Budapest has something for everyone. Here are the top 7 things to do when you visit Budapest 1. Take In The Architecture Of The Parliament Building The outstanding Gothic building on the banks of the Danube is one of the largest buildings in Hungary. Still, a fully functional parliamentary office, stunning from virtually every angle, forming part of the UNESCO site as a central element in the Danube panorama. Tickets are available daily to…

  • Africa

    Chilling With Penguins In Cape Town

    An hour-long drive from Cape Town southwards, along the coastal road through Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, lives an unusual family. Hidden in a sheltered bay of granite boulders, resides a colony of African penguins. White sandy beaches, peaceful neighbourhood, plenty of swimming spots, Boulders Beach is the perfect place to settle. A few friendly penguins settled into the beach first in 1982. Now their family has grown, and the colony is almost 3,000 penguins. It is incredible that so many wild creatures have made this little part of the Cape Peninsula their home. Remember they are wild animals, and those beaks are pretty sharp! African penguins are an endangered…

  • United Kingdom

    The First Emperor and Liverpool’s China Town​

    The first Chinese immigrants to Liverpool arrived in the 1830s when the first vessel direct from China arrived in Liverpool’s docks to trade such goods as silk and cotton wool. More immigrants came in Liverpool in the late 1860s with the establishment of the Blue Funnel Shipping Line. The commercial shipping line created strong trade links between the cities of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Liverpool; mainly importing silk, cotton and tea. Liverpool is still a twinned city with Shanghai. From the 1890s onwards, small numbers of Chinese began to set up businesses catering to the Chinese sailors and some married working-class British women, resulting in many British-born Eurasian Chinese being…

  • Oceania

    ANZAC Day

    To all those unselfish heroes who have given everything for us – you will never be forgotten Today (25th April) is observed as ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand, and is a day to commemorate and remember those serving in Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Most notably, this day was started to honour who lost their lives at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. The day has since expanded to celebrate all those who have served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives. You are now lying in the soil of a friendly…

  • United Kingdom

    Liverpool – Road Trip Playlist

    Liverpool has been synonymous with music since the Beatles burst on the scene in 1960s, and of course any road trip requires a banging playlist. Liverpool has been awarded a UNESCO City of Music status in 2015 for its influence on popular music that still resonates today, it seems that the only problem of making a playlist would be what songs not to include. The Beatles Liverpool’s famous sons are regarded as one of the most influential musical bands encompassing various styles of music and spreading ‘Beatlemania’ across the world. Living is easy with your eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see – Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles Not without…

  • Europe

    Healing Waters – Budapest’s Thermal Baths

    Budapest sits on a complex network of almost 125 thermal springs, and this thermal-water reserve is one of the largest in the world, especially for a capital city. Budapest is therefore rich in world-class healing baths and ‘taking the waters’ has been a part of everyday life. There can be few places in the world where water is as lavishly celebrated. The healing powers of the hot springs were first discovered in 100 AD, when Romans settled at Aquincum, which is now part of Budapest. Then it was the Turks, who occupied Hungary during the 16th century, who built the baths and developed the spa culture. The water contains calcium, magnesium, hydrocarbonate, alkalis, chloride, sulfate and fluoride. Some of…

  • Europe

    Ruins to Rebirth – Budapest’s Ruin Pubs

    In the quiet heart of the old Jewish Quarter of Budapest, there is an unexpected emerging bar scene. From the abandoned homes and businesses, has grown an eclectic nightlife. The Jewish Quarter is the smallest in Budapest, yet it currently has the highest population density. The Jewish district is full with the historical remains of the Jewish community that once thrived there. There are three synagogues in the area, with the Dohány Synagogue being the largest and, indeed, the second largest in the entire world. Sadly, the tragic effects of the Holocaust ravaged the area and stripped it of its population and identity. Luckily, the Jewish culture is not only something of the past. The district is experiencing…

  • Europe

    Brainstorming Budapest

    Before travelling, it is always recommended to do your research so that you are prepared for your destination. Whether that is confirming which country you are going to, the currency they use or the language. For this trip, this is unfortunately things that have required investigation before we travel today! When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable Budapest is voted as one of the world’s most beautiful cities worldwide. From a quick google search, it is easy to see why. The architecture, spanning neoclassical to art nouveau, Castles and Parliament buildings, with the…

  • Travel Features,  United Kingdom

    Britain’s Forgotten Mother Tongues

    International Mother Language Day is recognised by UNESCO on the 21st February each year, celebrating linguistic diversity and promoting multilingual education. There are an astounding 2464 languages listed as vulnerable, and at potential risk of vanishing, from almost 6000 languages worldwide. Almost 10% of these languages are critically endangered. It is possible that almost 600 languages may become extinct in a single generation. In the UK, there are 11 languages that are listed as vulnerable, and UNESCO registered 2 of these languages as extinct previously, but a resurgence and revitalisation has forced UNESCO to reconsider this classification. Manx or Manx Gaelic is the native Gaelic derived language of the Isle…

  • Africa,  Travel Inspiration

    Skydiving Over Cape Town

    The shutter door rolls up on the right handside of the small aircraft, hovering 9000ft above Cape Town, revealing an expanse of baby blue sky with a spattering of fluffy white clouds. The cold air sweeps in, causing goosebumps. Knees weak, palms sweaty. The tandem jumper issues his last instructions ‘Bend your knees under the plane, lend back and roll out‘. A short drive from Cape Town, is a small airfield home to a well established skydive company. They have been operating out of Cape Town and nearby Stellenbosch. The sun beats down on the runway, as divers are meticulously folding parachutes. The place is deserted from tourists, and the…

  • Europe

    I’ll Meet You in Paris

    Paris is just 300 miles away from London, and with fantastic transport links with the Eurostar, EuroTunnel and Channel Crossing Ferry, I have visited the French Capital on a number of occasions. Here are the best things to do and see in Paris Arc de Triomphe The icon Arc de Triomphe is found at the end of the Champes-Elysees and is a monument to the fallen during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It is found in the centre of a roundabout with 12 avenues radiating from the centre. This means this junction a little bit scary as it is very busy with cars, best to use one of the…

  • Europe

    Shark Diving in Gansbaai

    The brisk salt air of the South Atlantic Ocean nips as it fills the lungs, in contrast with the gentle swaying of the small diving boat. 20 minutes out at sea from Gansbaai, an 8 man diving cage attached to the side of the vessel, is ominously lowered. ‘Remember, do not put your hands outside of the cage‘ shouts our guide over the sudden flurry of activity of squeezing into wetsuits. Seeing the immense shadow materialise next to the boat, the additional warning was unnecessary. The small town of Gansbaai in South Africa, 100km south-west of Cape Town, is famed for its Shark Diving Tourism, as the entrance to Shark…

  • Oceania,  Travel Inspiration

    Dare To Be Wise – Study Abroad

    I finished my A-Levels in 2004 and the plan was to go to University. I did not want to go to a London based University as I wanted to have the experience of independence and freedom. At 18 years old, I believed that I was fearless and brave and applied to University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Pretty much the furthest University from London. I had heard of the University before from some friends from New Zealand and went online to find the course and applied. The application process itself was pretty straightforward. I completed an application form and made the submission (much easier than UCAS!). I was given…

  • United Kingdom

    Happy Hogmanay!

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year or Happy Hogmanay! Hogmanay is the Scottish word used for New Years Eve, and is a huge celebration in Scotland, especially the capital Edinburgh. Although I have never spent a Hogmanay celebrating in the centre of Edinburgh or Glasgow, I have spent it with my family in Scotland and still have some of the traditions in my celebrations in London. Generally Hogmanay is spent with family, friends or neighbours, visiting their homes. On Hogmanay, we do not eat until just gone midnight, with a meal of steak pie (the table needs to be laid and full at midnight to bring a full table…

  • United Kingdom

    Shakespeare’s Stratford and Warwick

    William Shakespeare is one of Britain’s most iconic writers, play-writes, poets and manipulators of the English language. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, and on a very wintery Friday whilst staying Birmingham I ventured down to Stratford to see what this quaint market-town. William Shakespeare’s birthplace and childhood home is located in the centre of Stratford, among cobbled streets and mewses. This restored building is owned by the Shakespeare centre and is a haven for lovers of literature. Although I did not visit the centre inside, so I cannot give an opinion on the attraction, it is a steep price at £15.75. Just walking along the Henley…

  • United Kingdom

    Glasgow Patter

    I am currently in Glasgow on a short surprise trip to visit my wee granny and have been thinking quite a bit about the language. Not the accent but the actual words used. Language is something that I have always found fascinating, not that I can speak anything other than English (know some very basic German and Turkish) and the UK is beautifully diverse in its regional dialects. Having spent many summer holidays in and around Loch Lomond, and my mum being Scottish I never really understood that there was such a difference until I starting talking to Londoners (friends and colleagues) that they maybe didn’t understand what I was…

  • Europe

    Christmas Markets in Esslingen

    Esslingen am Neckar is a small medieval town close by to Stuttgart. Last year I was lucky enough to be visiting Esslingen for a workshop and had a chance to visit a traditional Christmas Market. However, the Christmas Market in Esslingen is unique. With more than 200 booths, the Esslingen Market is one of the largest in the region and had so much history given that there has been a settlement at Esslingen since about 1000BC. For almost four weeks at the Medieval Market, merchants in historical garments offer their goods for sale just as they did hundreds of years ago. Craftsmen like pewterers, felt-makers, tinder-makers, blacksmiths, rope-makers, basket-makers, broom-makers or…

  • United Kingdom

    The White Cliffs of Dover

    The famous white cliffs of Dover on the Kent coastline has always been a focal point for people entering and leaving the UK. With is close proximity to mainland Europe, Dover was the home to the first settlers to Britain with historical relevance from the Bronze age. When the Romans expanded through Europe though, Dover was the start of the network connecting the UK to Europe. The White Cliffs are part of the National Trust and for a small fee you are able to walk along the cliffs. The cliffs themselves stretch for about 8 miles! Apparently on a clear day, you can see France from this viewpoint (To be…

  • Oceania,  Travel Inspiration

    Bucket List – Bungee Jumping

    A bungee/bungy jump is something that I always wanted to do and living in New Zealand, home of the world’s first permanent commercial bungee site near Queenstown, I knew that this is where I would need to take the leap of faith! Bungee jumping has it origins on the small pacific island of Vanuatu, where young men would dive off tall platforms with vines attached to their ankles, as a rite of passage into adulthood. As a celebration of completing my degree, I decided to do the jump at Kawarau River in Queenstown. This site has been open since 1988 (almost as old as me!) and at only 43m high, it…

  • United Kingdom

    People Make Glasgow

    Glasgow is often given a bad reputation compared to its elegant and sophisticated sister Edinburgh, being more industrial and gothic to the pretty and romantic capital city but for what Glasgow may lack in aesthetics it makes up for in charm and character. Glasgow was crowned the City of Architecture, Capital of Culture and Commonwealth Games Host in 2014. What was once a city of gangs and slums, now shines with tolerance and diversity. George Square & Merchant City George Square and the City Chambers is the grand space that forms the city centre (almost like Trafalgar Square in London). There are some prominent statues in the square and depending…

  • United Kingdom

    Brighton Rocks

    Brighton is an iconic seaside town on the south coast of England. This resort is a day-trip haven in the summer months for Londoners, giving it the nickname ‘London-by-the-sea’. A lovely clean pebble beach, with lots of little shops and arcades all the way along. Beautiful in the summer months as well as a stroll along in the winter and you can’t go without pier doughnuts! Brighton Pier is open all year round so you can enjoy all the fun of the seaside any time of year. From fish ‘n’ chips to arcade games and funfair rides and free deck chairs. The pier does get very busy so be prepared for some crowding. The Lanes…

  • United Kingdom

    Exploring Edinburgh

    Edinburgh is one of the prettiest cities I have ever visited. This historic old town has a wondrous range of activities and things to do, with heritage, culture and festivals. The contrasts of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town has bundles of history. The city was leading the Scottish Enlightenment during the 18th century and retains its cosmopolitan feel with its summer festivals. Having lived in Dunedin (Edinburgh of the South) in New Zealand, before visiting Edinburgh, it was really extraordinary to see the similarities. Mostly with the street names and styling of buildings and monuments, but they really did attempt to make Dunedin an Edinburgh…

  • Europe

    Xanthos-Letoon, Turkey

    The two nearby ruins of Xanthos and Letoon nearby Fethiye in Turkey, are listed as UNESCO sites due to the significance in the understanding of the Lycian people. These ruins are close by to the hotel resort that I frequently visit in Turkey, and I have driven past them many times, not realising their cultural significance. We decided to visit the ruins and understand more about the history of the local area. Turkey has a very long history, and the Lycian language started dying out by 546BC! As you can see from the images, these sites have a unique intact architectural example of the ancient Lycian Civilisation, and many texts were…

  • Oceania

    Dunner Stunner

    From 2005 to 2007 I moved from my home in London to Dunedin, New Zealand to study at the prestigious University of Otago. I was lucky enough to be accepted based on my A-Levels and applied for my student visa and I was on my way! (Obvs there was lots more planning but that is part of a different post!) Dunedin is a student town towards the south of New Zealand’s South Island, with a student population of about 20% (of its 120000). Dunedin means ‘Edinburgh of the South’ as it originates from the Gaelic for Edinburgh and has a proud Scottish History, with a statue of Robert Burns in…

  • United Kingdom

    Giants and Dragons on the Northern Irish Coast

    On Christmas Eve, two of my girlfriends said that they had booked a super cheap flight to Belfast (£25 return flight) for February to see the Giants Causeway. So, naturally, I decided to gatecrash! We were flying out on Friday night after work and returning Sunday lunchtime, so we arranged a guided coach/tour company for our whistle-stop tour of the Northern Irish Coast. Our first stop was the Bushmills Whiskey Distillery. Bushmills is Ireland’s oldest distillery, operating since 1608 and they have numerous different blends available in their store. Being half-Scottish, I am quite partial to a wee dram so upon our arrival, we decided to have a little tasting…

  • United Kingdom

    On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond

    O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye, But me and my true love will never meet again, On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond My momma was born in Glasgow, and my Granny moved to near Loch Lomond while my mum was still little. Although my Mum has now lived in London since she was 18 when my sister and I were little we used to spend our summer holidays visiting the Loch and nearby Glens. I try to go and visit my wee Granny once a year, and I always take my camera to snap around…

  • United Kingdom

    Breathtaking Belfast

    My father-in-law is initially from Belfast, and my husband used to travel to see his family over there in the 90’s, but this was during the time of the ‘Troubles’ and he never really got to see Belfast. As things have settled since the ‘Good Friday Agreement’ the city is now a buzz of redevelopment and energy as it really opens its doors to the world. We were invited to a family party in Belfast, we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to visit and explore. I had been to Belfast before, for work a couple of times, but sadly travelling for work meant I got to see the…

  • Europe

    Surprises in Milan

    This July I bought my husband a surprise holiday, not only did he not know where we were going but neither did I! We used the prior Expedia service ‘Surprise Trips’ where one of the grand wizards at Expedia found me a holiday based on my budget, airport and number of nights and people. We were told to get to Gatwick for 7am on the day we flew out, only finding out on the way to the airport our destination. Milan! All I knew about Milan was it was famous for fashion, Ferrari’s and football! I never would have thought about Milan as a destination for a city break, would…

  • Europe

    Chocolate, Canals and Cobbles in Bruges

    Last year for my 30th birthday, my husband bought me a weekend away in Bruges. Pretty much all I knew about Bruges before we travelled there was it’s famous for chocolate and its gothic architecture (from the infamous film ‘In Bruges’). We travelled by Eurostar from Ebbsfleet in Kent for a two-night break. We got the Eurostar to Brussels and with a fifteen-minute change over we were on the train to Bruges. I love travelling by train in Europe as it’s so different from my regular British rail commute to London. Walking from the train station to our hotel, which was about 15-20 minutes, we passed through lots of cobbled…