City Break: Copenhagen

If you know anything about me, it’s that I love a good city break. A quick getaway to a new city is an adventure I can never pass up. Most recently, I was in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. I’ve rounded up a few of my recommendations for things to do while in Copenhagen.

I highly recommend purchasing the Copenhagen Card while you’re in the city. It offers unlimited travel and free entry to most of the attractions I’m about to list. Seriously worth it!

Arrival

Now, I’m a languages girl – studied Spanish, lived abroad, and learning German on Duolingo. But, Danish is completely different to any languages I learned at school, so thank goodness that most people in Denmark speak English. At the airport, I activated my Copenhagen Card, securing me free train travel to our hotel.

This is where Google Maps and EU Data Roaming pretty much saved me. First, I ended up on the wrong platform, and nearly on a train to Sweden! That would have been bad, if not for me double checking Google and then confirming with a guard on the platform.

We stayed at Hotel Loven which was pretty much in the centre of everything – we could see Tivoli Gardens out the window and knew that the city centre was just a short walk away. It was a pretty basic room but the hotel offered communal kitchen facilities, which was perfect for travelling on a budget. Our first few hours were spent drawing up an itinerary, and then off we went to explore the city.

Royal sights

Copenhagen has a rich royal history, and the city is peppered with castles and palaces that each offer a unique story.

Famous for its guards, Amalienborg palace is a must-visit destination for anyone with the slightest interest in royal history. The palace itself houses a museum which takes you back through 150 years of Europe’s royalty, back to the Danish king Christian IX and Queen Louise. They were known as “the in-laws of Europe” because four of their children ascended to the thrones of England, Greece, Russia and Denmark. Entry to the museum is free with the Copenhagen Card.

Amalienborg

Plan your trip to coincide with the changing of the guard ceremony, which takes place every day at 12 noon. They march through the streets of Copenhagen and reach the main square at Amalienborg at 12, so make sure you’re there to watch the intricate dance as the new guards take over from the old watch.

Rosenborg castle

Set in the beautiful King’s Garden, Rosenborg castle features over 400 years worth of art, royal regalia and the crown jewels. The splendour of the throne room is a huge attraction, and the interiors of the castle are generally well-preserved, giving you a glimpse into royal life. Down in the vaults, you can see the crown jewels of Denmark. They’re behind glass though, so no trying on allowed!

Now home to the Danish Parliament, Supreme Court and Ministry of State, the stunning Christiansborg palace holds over 800 years of history in its walls. You can walk through the Great Hall where huge tapestries adorn the walls, depicting 1000 years of Danish history. Check out the historical ruins below, too. The Copenhagen Card will get you free entry.

Historical Copenhagen

Nyhavn is possibly one of the most iconic spots in Copenhagen. The old commercial port is now a hotspot for tourists to enjoy a cold beverage as the sun sets, or eat at a local restaurant by the waterside. Famous author, Hans Christian Andersen spent over twenty years living in Nyhavn by the port. Many of the buildings are originals that have been refurbished and are now excellent restaurants serving fresh seafood and traditional Danish meals.

Offering fantastic views over the city, Rundetaarn (or, the round tower) is well worth the climb. After a great leg work out, walking in a spiral of about 209m, you’ll find yourself at the top of the still-functioning observatory – the oldest one still in use in Europe. Inside, the library hall is often home to art exhibitions, but it used to be Hans Christian Andersen’s favourite haunt.

Fans of HCA’s fairytales shouldn’t missed the Little Mermaid statue, or Den Lille Havfrau in Danish. The bronze statue has been sitting on a rock at the Langelinie promenade since 1913 and is a popular tourist spot for fans of the story. There is also a museum dedicated to the author, which is ideal for families to visit. Experience a walk-through of Hans Christian Andersen’s life and some of his most popular tales.

Den Lille Havfrau

Lovers of rollercoasters, rejoice! Tivoli Gardens is one of the world’s oldest theme parks and is open for business so thrill-seekers can enjoy themselves. Plus, they hold a regular fireworks display that you can easily watch from other areas of the city. The Copenhagen Card gets you free entry, but remember to splash out for the rides pass!


Copenhagen was the last trip abroad I took before the Covid-19 pandemic so it holds a special place in my heart. Once things get back to normal and people feel safe about travel again, I’d highly encourage you to visit and taste a crisp beer, smorrebrod and the rich history of Denmark’s capital city.

7 Unmissable UK Seaside Holidays

With the Covid-19 pandemic, air travel seems a distant memory and a faraway pipe dream for many of us. Well, summer is here and if you’re not planning on going abroad for the summer (I know I’m not!) then you’re in luck. I’ve rounded up some of the best beach holidays in the UK for you to snag those insta-worthy snaps.

Blackpool

You’ll never be short of things to do in Blackpool. If you’re looking for excitement, then Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s amusement park will be an alluring attraction.

A shot of Blackpool pier
RMC42 – Shutterstock

The vintage wooden rollercoasters will please thrillseekers and the seaside itself is perfect for those looking for a chill holiday. You can also visit Blackpool Tower, which is home to the famous Tower Ballroom (which is probably closed for the moment, but certainly well worth a visit).

Brighton

The home of Pride, Brighton is where the LGBT+ community can feel at home. It’s edgy, it’s quirky and most importantly, it’s got an awesome nightlife.

A shot of Brighton Pier from the pebbled beach
BerndBrueggemann – Shutterstock

And if that’s not your scene, there’s still plenty to do and see in Brighton, like the stunning architecture of Brighton Pavilion. Take a trip to the pier for a fun day out and far reaching views across the Sussex coast.

Bournemouth

I spent many summers in Bournemouth as a child so I might be biased, but this beach resort is packed with things to do. It’s probably my favourite UK beach to sit and relax on.

Bournemouth Pier and beach
Philip Hector – Shutterstock

Take a trip to the Isle of Purbeck and explore the Jurassic Coast, or visit Corfe Castle. Or, you can chill on the pier with all its amusements.

Falmouth

It’s a tiny seaside town, but Falmouth is the home to absolutely delicious fish and chips. For an extra dose of history and culture, visit Pendennis Castle, or explore the maritime museum.

Falmouth high street
Falmouth high street

READ MORE: What I did in Falmouth

Llandudno

Hit up Llandudno Pier, which was built in the 19th century, for a historical stroll and stunning views. The coastal town is famous for its Victorian architecture, but there’s plenty to see and do in Llandudno that doesn’t just revolve around the beach.

S-F – Shutterstock

If you’re a fan of cliffs, you can take the Great Orme tramway up to the summit. Check out the mining tunnels too for an adventurous day out.

St Ives

A Cornish gem, St Ives is especially popular with British tourists. It’s chock-full of sandy beaches, where you can relax, rest, or hit the waves and go surfing or on a trip to seal island. There’s no shortage of coastal paths to walk and views for days. Plus, the art scene comes alive in St Ives, with the Barbara Hepworth Sculpture Garden and the Tate gallery.

St Ives

READ MORE: Discover Budleigh Salterton, a sleepy seaside town

Whitby

A beautiful northern beach, Whitby is also home to the famous Captain Cook, and you can visit the museum dedicated to his life. Head to the gothic Whitby Abbey to see Bram Stoker’s inspiration for ‘Dracula’ and enjoy views over the sea.

Lukasz Pajor – Shutterstock

If you do visit any of these beaches, please remember to leave only footprints – take any litter with you and ensure you keep the beach clean and tidy. Make sure you maintain social distancing and are respectful of other people’s space, too.

The Best UK Road Trips

The coronavirus pandemic has really put a spanner in the works for most people’s summer holiday plans. Tourism and travel are expecting record low visitors, especially for travel abroad. As a travel blogger, this does have me worried – already I’ve had three trips cancelled. But better safe than sorry!

The UK government is now hoping that our infection rate R will be low enough by the summer for some hospitality services to reopen. So, with that in mind, here are some UK travel ideas, including beauty spots and roadtrips galore.

Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Set within the Mendip Hills in Somerset, Cheddar Gorge was England’s top road trip according to Click4Reg who found the location was tagged almost 60,000 times on Instagram. At 400 feet deep and nearly three miles long, this collection of cliffs is well worth a visit.

Lake District

One of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Britain’s largest National Park and World Heritage Site in Cumbria was tagged over 2 million times on Instagram, according to data from Faraway Garden Furniture. It’s a spectacular beauty spot in the UK and makes for an ideal walking holiday or day trip.

IMAGE CREDIT: Daniel Kay

Hardknott Pass was rated as one of England’s top road tripping destinations, too. So, kill two birds with one stone by visiting this stunning nature site, while also experiencing an exciting journey.

Peak District

This National Park spans across Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire and Yorkshire, so if you live in any of these areas count yourself lucky to have such a stunning spot on your doorstep. As well as being a top walking destination, according to data commissioned by Click4Reg, two popular road trips cross through this site.

READ MORE: The most beautiful lakes in the world

Snake Pass, was hashtagged over 12,000 times on Instagram. The road links cities in Greater Manchester and North Yorkshire and is often used by commuters. But it still ranks highly as a destination in its own right, especially for cyclists and driving enthusiasts. Woodhead Pass was less popular, with just under 2,000 hashtags. This route is a major A road, but utterly beautiful as it passes through the Pennines.

New Forest

Home to ponies galore, the New Forest in Hampshire is a nature lover’s dream. Featuring winding forest trails, points of historical interest and rare species of birds and mammals. It’s also one of only three parks in the UK that is still governed by verderers, who keep an eye on the fair usage of the park as a grounds for cattle grazing. If you’re keen to encounter animal life during your nature walks, then this is the perfect place for you.

IMAGE CREDIT: Chris Button

London to Bristol

The Great West Way is an iconic 125 mile drive that will take you from central London to the vibrant city of Bristol, with tons of historic points of interest along the way. I’ve driven this route myself and it’s difficult to concentrate on the road when you’re faced with such epic scenery, like Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. If you’re not up to driving such a long way in one day, you can plan a short tour with stops in different towns along the way – but perhaps wait until the pandemic subsides a little bit. In the meantime, you can take a virtual tour instead.

Somerset to Cornwall

If you’re based in the South West and looking for a scenic coastal and countryside route, then the Atlantic Highway is ideal. The entire route spans three counties – Somerset, Devon and Cornwall – and would take almost 8 hours. While in lockdown, even though it’s eased slightly, it’s difficult to justify that kind of mileage. So consider taking short day trips along the route. You’ll see the best of British countryside, while being able to visit some major cities and landmarks.

READ MORE: Exploring Exeter, Devon

Once the pandemic subsides and tourism picks up again, it’ll be worth travelling the whole route, stopping off in different towns along the way. You’ll get a mixture of stunning rural scenes, like Exmoor National Park, and breezy coastal views, especially once you hit Cornwall. Plus, you can visit the westernmost point of the UK’s mainland: Land’s End.

A beach view of Land’s End

READ MORE: A trip to Falmouth, Cornwall

Even if the hospitality sector doesn’t reopen, you might be lucky enough to live nearby one of these spots for a day trip. Pack your own lunch and away you go!

Please be sure to check before you travel as many of these parks will still be closed. Please do not immediately flock to our open spaces. Maintain social distancing as much as you can.

The Best Lakes in the World

Forget beach holidays and city breaks – a peaceful lakeside trip is exactly what your 2020 holiday plans need to rest and recharge for the new decade. So, with that in mind, here are the most stunning lakes across the world – perfect for your Instagram feed, and your sole. (geddit?)

5. Dead Sea, Jordan/Israel

Stepped in history, this extra salty lake is a must-see, boasting over 1 million hashtags on Instagram. Be sure to get that perfect shot of you lazily floating along!
IMAGE: vvvita – Shutterstock

4. Lake Como, Italy

Surrounded by stunning mountainous background, it’s no wonder Lake Como was so popular with 1.4 million hashtags! An up-market must-see.
IMAGE: Gaspar Janos

3. Lake Michigan, USA

One of the five Great Lakes of North America, this is the only one to be situated entirely within the USA.
IMAGE: ehrlif – Shutterstock

2. Lake Tahoe, USA

Embodying the best of both worlds, enjoy ski resorts and restful beaches, along with nearly 2.5 million other Instagrammers.
IMAGE: topselles – Shutterstock

1. Lake District, UK

Set in England’s north west, this beautiful lake topped the list with nearly 3 million hashtags on Instagram. Safe to say it’s well worth a visit. Watch this space!
IMAGE: Michael Conrad – Shutterstock

Where will you plan your next trip? It’s gotta include a lake!

Data from www.showerstoyou.co.uk

2019 in review

Back in 2018, I set myself some goals for the new year. I swore off making steadfast resolutions and instead had five things I wanted to be better at… So, how did we do?

1. Travel more Well, I’d say I nailed it. I visited a few countries this year – India, Spain, France, Denmark – and the trips varied in length. It’s safe to say I’ll be doing more of these in the new decade.

Nyhaven, Copenhagen
Dreams really do come true in Paris

2. Read 2 books I didn’t quite hit this quota. I got stuck on a book that wasn’t gripping me and sucked the fun out of reading (unfortunately). I’ll give this one up for 2020 and hope to find something I enjoy for next year.

3. Be healthier By and large I’m doing okay – more consistent gym schedule, and eating better meals. I’m hoping to eat less meat in the new decade and more seasonal fruit and veg.

4. Blog consistently So, I was unemployed for a little while this year and managed to get regular posts out for a few months. Since then, I’ve started a new job and am about to move house so once things settle down, I’ll be coming back to the blog. But I’ve been writing consistently for Brown Girl Magazine this year so definitely check them out!

5. Keep better skincare This one worked to an extent! I certainly took care of my skin, but unhealthy eating over the holiday periods really made good skin a challenge…

Fun with skincare, makeup and hair products ❤

And for 2020? My outlook is similar. But with the added goal of furthering my writing career. So, if you’re looking for a versatile freelance writer, drop me a line in the comments 😜

5 Things to See and Do in Exeter

The capital city of Devon, Exeter, is a tourist and financial hub (to an extent) in the South West. If you’re looking to holiday in the UK this Summer, the South West is always popular. To help you decide where to go, I’ve put together a handy guide to Exeter, so that you can maximise your time.

Continue reading 5 Things to See and Do in Exeter

Exploring Budleigh Salterton

Struggling with your UK holiday destination? With Brexit looming, fewer Brits are choosing EU locations for the summer holidays. Beyond Europe, many families will be priced out of a summer holiday abroad this year, but for a pebbly seaside retreat, we need look no further than the South Devonian Coast.

Continue reading Exploring Budleigh Salterton

Travel Tips: Last-Minute Packing

I am a disorganised traveller. Having grown up as a British Airways staff-traveller, booking holidays last-minute has become second-nature. Worse still, packing for week-long holidays the night before we were due to fly became customary. My most recent trip abroad saw me scrambling on a Friday night, trying to pack everything away in time for a flight on Saturday morning.* So, with that in mind, I want to share some of my top packing tips for disorganised or busy travellers; let me paint you a picture…

Continue reading Travel Tips: Last-Minute Packing

Winter Getaway: Bruges, Belgium

Holiday season is fast approaching, and with Brexit on the horizon, now might be the best time to pack your bags and book an impromptu long weekend. And what better place to visit than a small city with good beer, good chocolate and a good belfry? That’s right I’m talking about Bruges, Belgium.

Oh yes, that Bruges… And I promise, it’s not as boring as Brendan Gleeson would have you believe…

Continue reading Winter Getaway: Bruges, Belgium

San Francisco in Three Days

I recently went to an Indian wedding abroad in the state of California, so there was no way we could pass up a trip to The Bay! But having spent a week at the wedding itself (there’ll be another post all about that don’t you worry), we wanted to make the most out of a very short space of time. And of course, the responsibility of creating an itinerary falls to the eldest, the first-born, the only organised person in the family; me. So without further ado, I give you my Three-Day Itinerary for San Francisco:

1. Alcatraz

No trip to the Bay would be complete without a visit to The Rock, and at just a short mile away, you’d be daft to pass up the trip! But make sure to book in advance – Alcatraz tours sell out months beforehand, and it’s one of the most interesting and eerie places I’ve visited in a long time. The audio-guide is also a must – taking you through the ghost halls and recalling the history of the prison, from back when it was a military fort of strategic value, to the occupation of The Rock by various Native American groups.

Be sure to block out the entire day though – while the ferry trip takes almost no time at all, the exploration of the island can take absolutely hours, and the last thing you should do is rush through it.

2. The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco’s most iconic landmark. Always best on a sunny day, when the fog and mist can’t obscure the view of such an incredible structure, the Golden Gate Bridge is a true testament to human ingenuity. Suspended entirely over water, carrying thousands of vehicles and people each day, the bridge is a wonder to behold. Built in X by Y, the bridge has stood the test of time, and has been modified as technology advances, to keep it safe and operational on a daily basis. It took my breath away and is one of the reasons I left my heart in San Francisco.

The Golden Gate Bridge

3. Chinatown

Aside from skyscrapers and financial districts, there is one thing that all major cities have in common – Chinatown. And as an ethic minority myself, nothing brings me greater joy than seeing other minorities band together to create their spaces. Fundamentally, every Chinatown is the same – a range of restaurants, shops and markets, created by and for East Asians. But Chinatown in San Francisco blew me away, because it showcased street art the likes of which I have never seen before; not even in Shoreditch.


4. Fisherman’s Wharf

If you live near a harbour or pier, you might not understand why there’s so much hype surrounding Fisherman’s Wharf, but it really is worth it. With fresh seafood being served on every corner, and various museums and activities placed at the different piers, it’s worth exploring, especially if you’re making the trip to Alcatraz.

In particular, be sure to check out Pier 39, which is home to some truly beautiful sea lions. Displaced after a natural disaster, they have made Pier 39 their home, and are well-loved by both tourists and locals.

5. Lombard Street

Perhaps the simplest and yet most stunning site in San Francisco is this small residential street at the top of a hill. Famous for its zig-zag shape, Lombard Street is like something out of a fairytale. The houses stand tall, bright and full of foliage, and the road meanders downhill, showcasing the stunning view of the city below.

The famous San Francisco tram network has a stop right by this popular tourist spot, and I fully recommend taking a trip between Lombard Street and Fisherman’s Wharf via tram. You get to see the whole city and experience the novelty of vintage trams! The best one was Powell and Hyde St, so definitely check that out.

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San Francisco tram network

San Francisco is one of the more exciting cities I’ve visited in a long time, and we covered a wide area of the city, hitting all the major landmarks. After living in London and Madrid, my expectations are pretty high, but as a big fan of The Princess Diaries, I had a fantastic time re-living my childhood and pretending to be the Princess of Genovia.

photography of red bridge under white and gray sky
Photo by zoe pappas on Pexels.com