Lifestyle | Travel | Health



Travel is such a vital part of life. Broadens our mind, so we can reach far and wide into the depths of our minds, spirits, and gain memories for life, and experience things we may not have dreamt we could. Blogging is such a fantastic way to share with the world, the places that I find along the way, that have been utterly worthwhile with their charm and charisma, and places to stay, eat or even just have a coffee. 

Feel free to scroll down to see just where in the world is well worth a visit, including links, and website information to all places named. Find yourself...see the world! Check out beneath travel some essentials for your globetrotting! 

Please be aware that some posts are sponsored but all views are completely my own.

Remarkable Ripon

Yorkshire has some hidden gems that is for sure. Every country lane in Yorkshire leads to a village or town, or countrywalk, riddled with majestic qualities, pure country air and always the typical northern humbling smile. With oodles of artistic flair and style, Ripon possesses so much potential for people who love to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Just a few short miles out of spa town Harrogate, Ripon is a city, with a stunning Cathedral, picturesque riverside, lots of little vintage shops and bargain shops (aren't we all on hunts for bargains) and a few restaurants that cater to everyone's tastes. Prezzo, being one of my favourites, always on point and stylish to the max.

Although on first glance, it may be seemingly suited more so to the more mature person. It probably easily could be, but for those people who like to find beauty in new places, with charm and culture mixed into one, then Ripon can be what you want to make of it. It is limited on its bars and clubs as nightlife is not its primary focus and it doesn't need to be, with Harrogate just a few short miles away, which makes Ripon such a tiny haven for those wanting to lead the quieter life.

Ripon Minster
Ripon Minster
River Ure
Every street tells such a story, building after building of untold history lies inside. So many of these buildings in Ripon date back to the 1700's and I imagine some even before that, the Minster was founded in 672AD. There are many little shops to wander into, lots of little knick-knack shops, full of antiques and vintage items, handmade crafty homewear. It seems to lack the little quaint coffee shops, but houses all the popular ones, such as Costa and Cafe Nero. Finding intriguing architecture is such a rarity, with each building being one of a kind, it makes for the perfect picture postcard.

Ripon, Yorkshire
Behind Ripon Minster 
Ripon, Yorkshire
Saint Agnes Lodge
Ripon, Yorkshire
Ripon Street
Ripon, Yorkshire
The Old Deanery
Ripon, Yorkshire
The Old Deanery

Here is a little list of my top 5 places to visit whilst in Ripon. 

1. Ripon Minster - see more here.
2. Prezzo Restaurant - see more here.
3. Karma (Spirutual/Alternative Shop) - see more here.
4. The Old Deanery Hotel - see more here.
5. Courthouse Museum - see more here.

Of course there are plenty of family friendly activities, all of which can be found here. The next tieme you're looking for a little, relaxing and very underwhelming day out with plenty of zesty cobbled streets and a plethora of places to spend your money. Ripon also offers long river walks which would be perfect coupled with a delicious dollop of vanilla ice-cream through the summer.

TODAY'S DISCOUNT - 50% off Mermaid blankets here.

This is not a sponsored post.

Create A VIP Holiday For Yourself 

Photo Courtesy of: Wikimedia

Sometimes, you want to plan your holiday on a budget. But other times, you want to splash out and really treat yourself. If you want to feel like you're special when you're on your trip, it's not difficult to do. If you have the money, you can pay for anything you want. However, even if you're not extremely rich, you could still be treated like royalty if you know how. There are some tricks you can use to get reduced prices, even if you can't get things for nothing at all. Whether you've got cash to spare or you want to spend less, try these tips to create a VIP experience.
Select the Best Accommodation
If you want your trip to feel like luxury, you should start by finding somewhere comfortable to stay. There are many different choices of accommodation, from budget options to 5-star hotels. Depending on what you're used to, any of them could feel like luxury to you. If you choose a hotel, you don't have to go to the top-end of the market to find something exclusive. Many 4-star hotels are also excellent options. If you want luxury for less, you might consider renting an apartment or house. It can be more affordable, especially when the cost is shared with others.

Join Exclusive Clubs
One of the best ways to create a VIP experience is to join exclusive clubs. You can find them everywhere, from airports to hotels and even events. For example, if you attend a Grand Prix event, you could benefit from being in the Formula One Paddock ClubAmong other things, you'll have access to fine dining and open bars. If you stay in a hotel, they often have executive clubs which come with extra benefits. You can use lounges, bars and other facilities that other guests can't access. Even when you're travelling, being able to use an exclusive airport lounge is useful.

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay
Take Private Tours
Going on a tour when you're travelling is a great way to explore somewhere new. But why join a group tour when you can book a private one? You can find many tours that will show you around cities, galleries and museums or other locations. They often don't cost a lot more than joining a larger group tour. However, you can spend more on an exclusive experience if you want access to a larger range of activities.
Travel Comfortably
Even if you keep your budget tight on other aspects of your trip, it's worth spending extra on transport. Nothing will make you feel less like a VIP than experiencing poor transport. Whether you upgrade to first class on the plane or hire a private driver to get around, you can make your travel more comfortable. In some cases, you can ensure you won't experience any delays. Even if you do have to wait for a flight or train, you will usually be cared for if you have paid more for your ticket.
It's easy to turn any trip into a VIP experience if you know how. You don't have to be swimming in money, although it does help.

Nested deep within the West Country is the lovely little historical city of Bristol. Voted Britain's most sustainable city, it is not just savvy in its environmental and economic ways, but it's full of hidden treasures which would make it the perfect little British city break. This blog post is in written in collaboration with The Vincent Retirement Living, a brand new, stunning complex of retirement apartments.

Brilliant Bristol

Bristol is home to some of the most intricate architecture in the UK. The Clifton Suspension Bridge, hanging gracefully over the Avon Gorge, is by far one of the most intriguing parts the city and this is before you even get into the centre! It's a must see for anyone who has never visited Bristol before. The city itself, in all its vibrancy is home to some incredible restaurants, and places, so here is a little breakdown of some of the cities must-see places! Getting around Bristol is relatively easy on foot, and wandering around the pleasent streets, will allow you to uncover your own little spots of happiness. 

Image Courtesy of: Pixabay

St Nick's Market

This is a vibrant bustling Georgian arcade, which is home to some quaint little shops, stalls and cafes, and it is the place to find unsuual and one-of-a-kind pieces, for home and for yourself, making it even more of a place to visit at Christmas, to tick off some of the gifts that are burning on your ever-growing Christmas-list! During the festive season, you're never too far from a bag of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. It's fun and friendly, and attracts all walks of life, and you're sure to find something to do; not to mention some of the shops and stalls are extremely Instagram worthy! 

The Clifton Observatory

This is for all the sight-seers who are keen for stunning photography, picturesque walks and a dollop of history on top! It is the pinnacle of the magnificent city, boasting the best views, and can easily hold its own to some of Europe's prettiest cities. There is also the famous Gyhston's cave which leads you to the incredible views, but when the sun is out, the views are better, foggy weather isn't ideal to get the full scope of the view! To go to the viewing platform, it costs around £2.50, but there is an option to visit the caves also for £4.00. The money goes to the inkeep of the area; but if you do wish to get some stunning views, then the £4.00 would definitely be worth it. If you have a few extra pennies, you can also hire it out for events. 

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

Queen Square

This is one for the people who enjoy a few quiet moments in between the hustle. Queen Square is the perfect place in summer for a picnic, or in the festive season, a brilliant place to sit, think, with your Maca Tea, or drink of choice and watch the world go by. This square is very reminiscent of Oxford or Bath, with it's traditional architecture and bordered by luscious green trees. The large monument in the middle of the square is of William III. The square is also incredibly picturesque in the snow!

The Bristolian

After all that shopping and wandering around the pretty streets of Bristol, a warming drink is definitely on the cards, especially at this time of year. This one is a personal favourite, and if you're a vegetarian, then this is definitely the place. It's full of deliciously healthy and organic food that will happily cater to your vegetarian or even vegan lifestyle, and a broad range of different styles of food, which will suit everyone's needs. It also encapsulates small quirky boho chic, with classic and magical charm, especially at night and with the Chrismas fairy lights! With a counter of fresh food, and friendly staff, this is one sure place to feel satisfied after a long day of shopping!

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay


Here is a plce for all your chocolate lovers, because Zazabazar is home to one of the most epic chocolate fountains, and is situated on the Harbourside of Bristol, it sits right on the waterside, which is such a nice bonus. With a vibrant and artsy vibe, it's offers food from every cuisine, and food for any palette. With only one other bar in the UK, it's a rare gem of Bristol and sells a whole host of different delectable plates of food. It can get very busy on the evenings, so booking is a good idea but not essential. It's a large venue, as are their dishes so if you're weak to a spot of gluttany and a splash of self-indulgance. 

Prettiest Prague

My latest little travel adventure took me over to the wonderous and oh so charming, Europe...most specifically, Prague. Having heard only good things about Prague, I was super excited to turn off my phone, forget my stresses and worries, and just explore...and feel. There's something so free about travelling and nothing really compares to it; that feeling of being alive, of finding new things, meeting new people, making new memories and delving into the depths of the unknown.

Cafe Lavka

One of the many bridges in Prague overlooking the Vltava River

The first taste of Prague was the pleasent drive to the hotel. Inititally I was drawn to the cleanliness of the streets, the intriguing architecture of the houses, and tram lines...everywhere! It was reminiscent of Amsterdam, and I have yet to actually ride one! After checking into the hotel, we stayed at Red & Blue Design hotel (really good); touching up my less than tidy make-up, throwing on a dress (because it was slightly sunnier than that point), enquiringly opening every cupboard and drawer, sneakily checking out the mini bar (because we all do that, right?), then changing into my comfy 'can walk for hours in' sandals, it was finally time to explore. The skies were overcast and the weather was pretty inconsistent which gave me that soothing homely feeling...sort of. After the first half an hour of walking, we stumbled upon a little cafe, named Cafe Lavka overlooking the Vltava River which was exceptionally pretty. One of those relaxing places where your mind wanders and inspiration seems to find you. I could have happily been left there with a notebook and pen and jotted down all the ideas that flew into my mind.

Vltava River
We continued on walking to the Charles Bridge, which was swarming with tourists, most of them armed with obnoxious selfie sticks that more than often I had to dodge. It was a platform for talented street artists, and musicians playing traditional Czech music (which actually sounded like old Scottish music). The views were well worth it for the river and to truly soak up the true history of this amazing city. Putting aside the buzz of tourists, you could easily saturate your mind with Prague's culture and transport yourself back in time. Of course once I crossed the bridge, and possibly four seasons all in one, I was tempted by the display of delicious looking ice-cream. Each and every building in Prague has such intricate detailing, some with imposing doors, others that just scream history, so much so, that you could almost imagine children hiding behind the windows, spying on the lines of patrolling soldiers outside during WW2. Prague was one of the only major cities in Europe not to be destroyed in WW2. The colours of the buildings bring such positivity to your mind - everything from peaches, yellows, greens, pinks and blues... the city boasts such eclectic styles and there really is so much to see. There is also such a plethora of gothic buildings, which seem so forboding, yet so magnetic! It would make the perfect location for a thriller movie - although that is definitely just my writer's mind wandering there! Prague is much bigger than I orginally thought, but with the perfect walking shoes, and probably a backpack, you could walk to all the sights.

View from Charles Bridge

Having done the typical touristy thing of jumping on the hop on hop off tour bus (which was a complete waste of time and awful service), I sat listening to the classical music through the headphones as the bus cruised down the untouched streets. Some of the facts piped through were incredible - the fact that women can walk around the streets and parks at midnight, and still feel safe, told me so much about the city. The one thing that I had been keen to do, as the park was literally right opposite our hotel, was stroll around and explore, as I'd heard the views at the top were incredible. Well, needless to say our feet gave way before we reached the top, but even half way up, you can see the most incredible views of the city. The park is called Kinskeho Zahrada and I can assure you, you wouldn't be disappointed with it. It's huge! You would probably need a full day just to explore the park itself, but it's very green, very pretty and lends itself perfectly to a romantic picnic!

Kinskeho Zahrada Park with stunning views
The sun came out!
Prague's Old Town is literally the heartbeat of the city - it's also the most commercialised, so be aware of the cafes that charge extra, and the apparent overabundence of pickpockets. In Old Town Square, you can see Prague's astronomical clock, which I had been told I had to see! An overwhelming amount of tourists (including myself) stopped to take a snap of it. The clock itself was first installed in 1410 in that exact spot. The workings of the clock are far too scientific for my creative brain to make sense of, but it's well worth a visit. I had already pre-booked a bite to eat at the U Prince Hotel in Old Town Square because it was a roof terrace and to me there is nothing better than lunch with a view! The food was wonderful, and filled with chatty American tourists, which was nice. Although we didn't have the view I was quite hoping for, you could feel the ambience, hear the hustle and hum of tourists and street performers below. Big thumbs up for the food too! Delicious cod and a lovely glass of merlot. The weather in Prague was so unpredictable, sun one minute, rain the next, but honestly the rain added to the magic of the place.

The street with every designer label you could think of!
Old Town Square
Astronomical Clock
View from Hotel U Prince Roof Terrace
After being abandoned (pretty much) by the tour bus at the Castle, we followed the steady stream of tourist towards the most incredible view. By the side of the castle, you could see stunning panoramic views of the city - but one of those views that is just not captured accurately on camera at all, but one of those views that stays in your mind forever. A hazy mist seemed to fall over the entirety of the city, and the view was so vast that your eyes struggled to take it all in. Is well worth the visit just for the view even if you didn't want to visit the castle.

Prazsky Hrad - view from of the city from the Castle

On the way back to the hotel, the ominous clouds were descending upon us, and the heavens opened. After being dropped by the tour bus in downtown (miles away from our hotel) we wearily stepped off the bus, flung up the umbrella and headed for old town...I was desperate for a sip of something wet and warm. Preferably a hot chocolate with lashings of whipped cream! The prospect of an hour's walk in the wind and rain with wet feet wasn't one I relished. Then...our saviour arrived! We stumbled upon a stylish little restaurant called Rugantino, where we were welcomed by our super sweet waiter Martin who recommended their hot chocolate! After collapsing in the chair and desperately trying to salvage the curls in my dishevelled hair, the hot chocolate arrived - a cup of hot bubbly milk, accompanied by hazelnut chocolate on a wooden stick - it was a sort of DIY hot chocolate but was true nectar to me that night and tasted delicious!! The overall experience of the city was fabulous, the atmosphere is really electric, you will never ever need to look for a cafe or a bar because they are all over! I wish I'd been able to spend more time in Prague, because it's such an incredible city. I know I felt as though I'd visited a few countires all in one... it has such an Italian vibe to it too, mixed with eastern Europe, which makes it so magical. I kind of feel that if Florence and Budapest had a baby, it would be Prague!! I will be back. At some point. Of course I love to travel, and I have a long list of cities I'd love to tick off the list first, but I can hear Prague calling my name already! For anyone wondering where to take a long weekend, Prague is the place!!

Scroll down for more photos!

View from hotel corridor - where I snuck out at midnight to see the lights!
Breakfast! Prague style!
Pretty street near Prague Castle

 London Living Could Be Just What You Need When Holidaying On A Budget

Photo Courtesy of: Pixabay

For those of us who love to travel, the world is a big place. You might enjoy casting your net far away. It’s not always practical to go the distance in your travel pursuits, though. For those times when you need something a little closer to home, London offers it all. If you don’t have long, or don’t have the funds for a holiday further afield, London won't disappoint. If you’ve never been before, or haven’t been in a long time, you’ll be surprised what the city has to offer. This guide can give you an idea of what you can expect during your stay. Be warned, the list is sure to tempt you! 
First on the agenda for any trip is a place to stay. Without a hotel booked, there won’t be any holiday! London has a rich variety of hotels on offer. Your decision depends on your budget. If you’re planning to splash out on your trip, you could book into some of the famous Mayfair hotels. This top spot offers hotels such as The Ritz and the Dukes. They're sure to give you the London experience of luxury. If you don't want to splash that much cash, there are plenty of alternatives on offer. Looking at areas a little further afield will lead you to many cheaper options. There are many hotels In Shepherds Bush and other such areas which will be more affordable. 
There are many opportunities to get educated while staying in London. You could get cultured with a visit to Tate Modern, where you’ll see many amazing art pieces on display. Are isn’t the only option. There’s plenty for the historians among you, too. The Natural History Museum offers a rich exploration of the natural history of the world. It's even home to an iconic T-rex skeleton! If you prefer your history up close and personal, London can offer that too. A trip to the Tower of London will take you straight into Tudor history and is something you won’t forget in a hurry. Get to grips with the bloody history of the site by signing up for a tour. You’ll find out some fascinating history you never knew!

You can’t visit London without doing a little sightseeing. A perfect way to do this is to take a ride on the London Eye. Built in the year 2000, this spectacular carousel will take you high into the London sky. Rest assured that you'd be able to get a good look at all the sights while you’re up there. This is no fast ride. Trips usually take between 30 - 40 minutes, so you’ll get a good look at everything. If you prefer, you can walk the city to see the sights. That way, you can get close to them. There’s Buckingham Palace, the houses of Parliament and Big Ben, among others. Do some research and plan your way around London!