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Top 5 Travel Destinations in United Kingdom This Summer

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Cornwall steam railway

Cornwall Steam Railway, photo taken by J D Mack

This is another article in United Kingdom travel series. It is vacation time again as the summer season is coming very soon. This is also the time when most of the travel and hotel agencies would be coming out with schemes and special offers to attract more tourists. In this article I will also suggest you ways to make your trip cheaper.

Which destination will you chose for your summer holidays?

I have been to London many times during my educational trips. It used to be my base station from where I traveled to most of the parts of the United Kingdom. In this guide I will be covering the full length and breadth of the UK from East to West and from South to North in two separate trips. Try If you are lucky you might get some good deals to grab online that will make your trip even cheaper. I would recommend you to go through Expedia travel vouchers and browse through the coupons and vouchers that suits you well.

Starting from London I will move in the South west direction to a seaside town of Weymouth where I will explore world heritage Jurassic Coast and award winning sandy beach. From Weymouth I will make a turn to North West to another seaside resort town of Woolacombe which is famous for blue flag and premium seaside beach. Continuing the zig zag trend, I will move towards south west to Cornwall where I will have a seaside train ride as well as a ride on the steam train through beautiful landscaped countryside.

1. Weymouth

Weymouth is a beautiful seaside town with its award winning beaches and world heritage sites and picturesque traditional harbour. The place is livelier in summers when the sun is up and sky is clear, the beach sand shines and the water sparkles in the ideal sunny day. The water is crystal clear and the place was chosen for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for conducting sailing events. There are ample of sports facilities available like kite surfing, wind surfing, diving and sailing. Each area is marked with flags indicating whether it is safe to swim in that area or not.

weymouth beach
Weymouth Beach, photo taken by Elliott Brown

Weymouth beach is perfect for families and couples and offers a lot of other things to do like amusement, rides and snack stands. Arriving at the beach is very easy, large number of buses and shuttle services ply on the road between various holiday resorts and the beach. You may also come by your own vehicle, but finding parking space can be difficult and time consuming.

White sand on the beach is amazingly soft, the beach is clean although you may find cigarette butts. I went to the right end of the beach near the viewing tower and amusement, the sand is even more softer and beautiful. I really enjoyed walking along the esplanade, and I was surprised later as the sun was settled we had a light show. There are variety of snacks available at various snack stands, but if you wish to save money you can bring your own lunch or snacks and have a nice homemade food at the sea shore.

Jurassic Coast
Jurassic Coast, photo taken by Rach2k

Jurassic Coast

Jurassic Coast is another special thing about this place. It is England’s first natural world heritage site. The Jurassic Coast which is an offshore bar consists of Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous cliffs, spanning the Mesozoic Era, documenting 180 million years of geological history. The oldest rocks along the coast can be found at Exmouth and are as old as 250 million years whereas the youngest are at Studland Bay at around 65 million years old. The site shows excellent examples of landforms, among them is the natural arch at Durdle Door, the cove and limestone folding at Lulworth Cove and the Isle of Portland. Chesil Beach is a tombolo (a deposition landform in which an island is attached to the mainland by a narrow piece of land such as a spit or bar).

Moving from Weymouth to Woolacombe takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes on a 170Km long journey. Woolacombe is not one of the well known travel destinations in UK, but it has started receiving tourists recently, most of them stop by to see the Woolacombe bay. Plymouth and Bath have been more popular destinations in the region.

2. Woolacombe

Woolacombe was voted the Best British Beach in the Mail On Sunday and also holds the ‘England for Excellence Gold Award’ for best family resort. Although not much popular, Woolacombe’s profile is as strong as any other popular summer destination. Woolacombe can be best reached by road. The roads are largely very rural and quite narrow which may become very congested during summer as people queue up to get into one of the two large car parks which are situated close to the beach.

Woolacombe Beach
Woolacombe Beach, Photo by Gary Huston

Its three mile long golden sand beach has won both the blue flag and Premier Seaside Beach award. It is voted one of Britain’s best beach and lies between Morte Point and Baggy Point. There are four beach within a five mile walk. And all can be very crowded in the summer making it difficult to find a parking space which is £5 for a whole day.  It would be better to walk to the beach from the beautiful streets enjoying the beautiful view. Try to book a hotel near the beach so that you do not have to walk much. You may be lucky to grab few appropriate deals through travel vouchers and coupons.

I was saddened to hear the news that the beach lost the blue flag status recently in 2012 due to water quality issue. However, it still retains many other awards. You stand at the beach looking at the Atlantic Ocean waves touching your feet, behind you lies the highlands that surrounds you from the rest of the sides, creating a very beautiful scenery.

The beach is also famous for various sports activities like kite surfing, wind surfing etc. The beach also provides a designated area for dogs. I found a little kid there who was making a sand castle, it was fun to sit with her and help. When the sun had settled down and it was dark, we went up. Walking back to my room, I saw the sand castle intact, and the waves striking the coast even harder. The sound of the waves were louder which can make anyone happy specially me who loves sea and beaches.

Continuing my journey, I am heading to another seaside place Cornwall. The place not only has beautiful sand beach, but also has picturesque landscape and beautiful coastline which can be explored by train. One of the reason of coming here for me was riding in the trains here.

3. Cornwall

Great Scenic Railways of Devon and Cornwall passes through some of the most beautiful places, From mesmerizing coastal views to green countryside, clear river crossings to densely wooded valleys and the almost moon like landscape of the Cornish china clay industry.

Cornwall Steam Railway
Cornwall Steam Railway, Photo taken by J D Mack

I felt travelling in this train was very off the beaten tourist path, and I am glad I did, the train passes through beautiful town, small villages, historic mountains and bustling cities, it is a vital link for the locals, but the way it passes through is so stunning that it has gained popularity as a tourist train.

There are six lines of Great Scenic Railways of Devon and Cornwall mainly Maritime Line, Looe Valley Line, Tarka Line, St Ives Bay Line, Atlantic Coast Line, Tamar Valley Line.

Train Fare:
Looe to Plymouth £5.40
Liskeard to Newquay £5.80
Truro to St Ives £6.30
St Austell to Looe £7.60
Falmouth to Plymouth £9.50
Penzance to Plymouth £9.50

These fares are applicable for adults, children between the age of five to fifteen may take ticket for half price, and children under five years can enjoy the ride for free. Also if you take GroupSave option, four people in a group would be able to travel for the price of two adults Off Peak Day Returns on First Great Western trains.

Cornwall also has steam trains running through beautiful countryside. I went to Bodmin which is the prime station and junction of Cornwall’s steam railway. The station was beautifully revamped to give a look of 1950s. The main station building is old by centuries and was constructed by Great Western Railways in 1887. Again there are a number of steam railway lines on different routes which are quite small but good enough to spend time and admire the beauty of Cornwall sitting in the vintage train, a unique experience. Various lines are Launceston Steam Railway, Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Lappa Valley Steam Railway, and World of Model Railways.

Refreshing views, clear sky, warm sun, clear water, soft and warm sand in West England is what makes it a great destination for spending your summer vacation. My trip to western region ends here, returning to London and from their I will move towards north exploring the spectacular Lake District and beaches in the extreme north UK; Durness, Scotland.

4. Lake District

The Lake District is also commonly known as The Lakes or Lakeland as there are a number of lakes in the mountainous region. Lying in the North West England, this place is a combination of picturesque forests, lakes and mountains, Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England is also situated here. The place is famous world wide and has its associations with the early nineteenth-century poetry and writings of William Wordsworth and the other Lake Poets.
Lake District UK
Lake District, photo taken by Steve Pyke

Lake Derwent is one of the most visited lake in the Lake District. It is a very picturesque lake surrounded by lots of woodlands and fells sloping down towards the water. I walked around the lake little bit which is an 8 and a half mile long walk and tried my hand at boating. There are many companies ready to provide you the boating experience. There is a pastureland overlooking the lake where the sheep and lambs play. I took some delightful photos of them grazing and at play. It is hard to tell if the lake is more beautiful from the lake level or viewing it from above when hiking in the area. Either way, it’s a treasure and worth visiting.

Once you are there you can have your packed meal, or buy a snack. You may visit the National Trust shop, take a boat trip or hire a row boat. Perhaps the ducks and geese along with the sheep and lambs catch your eye. If you wish to, you can even buy bags of bird food.

Catbells Lakeland Hike is easily reachable from Keswick and is famous for its views over Derwent water. The hike might take nearly two hours up and down and may be even three if you would stop everywhere like me to take photos. To reach up catch the Keswick Launch across to Hawes End and climb up Catbells over Skellwith Bank, there are little steep climbs and easy challenges but the view from the summit is probably one of the best in the Lakeland for so little effort. If you still feel energetic at the summit you can walk further  up on to Maiden Moor and come back down different views. When you come down arrive at Hawes Gate  and walk back to catch the Keswick launch, along the Lakeside.

Moving further north I will enter Scotland, another kingdom in the United Kingdom. Durness  is a village and in the north-west Highlands of Scotland. Famous for its Smoo cave and unspoilt beaches backed by cliffs.

5. Durness

Durness is famous for Smoo cave, when I reached there I had not expect this cave to be as awesome as it was. It was really easy enough walk down to it as their is a wooden fence to hold on to and steps. There are flood lights which still makes it look great even if the weather isn’t that good. There is a huge cavern and you can imagine living there centuries ago. The second cavern leads to a tremendous waterfall full of cold sprays making it almost impossible to take a photo of it. During rainy season, the caves are wet and  you may find water dripping through the roof at various points.

Durness beach
Durness Beach, photo taken by Lluís Ribes Portillo

Durness beach is  fantastic sandy beach with stunning black rocks embedded in the sand, beautiful bluish green sea and rocky cliffs. The place is very photogenic and can make a day promising! I walked all the way along the length of the beach and then I moved up at the end to a lighthouse from where the view is even more spectacular. The beach accompanied by a waterfall at the edge of the bay makes it even a better place for those who loves natural photography.

Sango bay in Durness made me just take my camera out when I saw rock formations sticking out of the stand. Pristine golden sands with the projectiles of Rock on them gave the experience of being in totally another planet. Huge waves crashing on the shore and on the rocks creating splash of waters formed so many rainbows. I have not seen so many rainbows before all at once. The place is really cold in winters and you may expect the right time to go there only after May, if it is not raining.

Indeed it was such a long tour. I did not complete this journey in one single trip, but in two consecutive summers. I tried to merge my trip into one so that I could help you decide which one or two locations would you like to visit this summer. Coming back to my base location London, I finish the tour of Top 5 Summer Destinations in UK. Let me know which one of the place would you like to go this summer. Subscribe to my updates an follow me on my path.

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The Main Safety Concerns For Frequent Travellers

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Air travel

If you are someone who tends to enjoy travelling as much as you possibly can, you might well be keen on ensuring that you also remain perfectly safe. This can sometimes be hard to do, but the main thing is that you know what to expect, what to look out for, and what you can do to remain as safe as possible. As it turns out, there are a number of the most common safety concerns, and as long as you pay attention to those in particular, you should find that you are able to remain perfectly safe on your travels. Let’s take a look at what they are, and what you should be doing to keep safe.

Flying

For many people, flying can be a particularly scary part of travelling. This can even be a concern, sometimes, for those who fly all the time. After all, there is little you can do in a flying emergency, besides following the received wisdom of the airlines, and it can be worrying when you hear horror stories of flights going awry. However, the statistics do show that you are safer in the air than on the ground, so the main thing to be concerned with here is trying to keep your own sense of concern and worry down. Above all, try not to panic, and enjoy the flying experience for what it is. If something happens which you feel could have been prevented, or you are not sure about, consider contacting aviation lawyers like Slack & Davis. They will be able to inform you of whether what happened was up to standard, or if you might even have a legal case against the airline in the works. Above all, do what you need to to keep calm during the flight, and you should be fine.

Pickpocketing

If you have ever been mugged, you will know that it is a truly terrifying experience. However, it’s not just muggings to watch out for when you are travelling, but the much harder to detect act of pickpocketing. This is when someone takes your belongings without you knowing, and it is obviously hard to protect against in most circumstances. However, you can ensure that you are a much less likely target simply by making sure that you are not displaying your valuables while you are travelling. This is generally good advice when you are travelling anyway, so it’s something that you should ensure you are doing at all times. As long as you do that, you are a less likely target, and you will also be much more likely to minimize your losses if you do still get targeted. Nobody wants to be stolen from, so be sure to think about this when you are going travelling in the future.

Illness

Depending on where you are thinking about travelling, there might or might not be certain illnesses you need to be wary of. In some cases, the advice of your government will be to get certain immunizations, and in those cases you must ensure that you pay attention to that advice. Not getting them could result in serious illness or even death, so it’s not a gamble that you want to take. But keeping safe from illnesses does not stop there either – you also need to make sure that you are practising basic hygiene while you are travelling too. As long as you do that, you will find that you are much less likely to get ill, and as well as being generally better for you this will also mean that you are much more likely to enjoy your travels as well. It is a win-win situation when you take care of your health.

Diet & Water Changes

Going to certain countries means that you should be careful about the water, as in many cases it can lead to illness or worse. This is generally true in Asian countries and African countries, but you should always check before you go even in more trusted places. The same kind of approach should also always be taken towards food, as you never know what kind of a reaction you are going to have to foreign foods. The general rule of thumb is to try a little before you dive right in with new and exotic foods. That way, you hopefully won’t be too ill if you do get ill at all. Paying attention to your diet and water consumption is hugely important if you plan on travelling extensively, so take care.

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The Down-Low on Keeping Safe on a Winter Vacation

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The travel industry is huge, with millions and millions of people go abroad each year. While summer does tend to be the season of choice for more people to go away, there are still plenty of people that embrace a winter vacation in the cold and the snow. But due to the weather conditions and risk for things like skiing and snowboarding, it is important that you are looking after yourself and your loved ones when you go away on a winter vacation. Accidents can and do happen. So here are some of the best ways to protect yourself. Do you have a winter vacation planned?

Protect Your Health

Medical care can be expensive when you’re abroad. Even if you’re just in another part of the country, it can add up to more than you were hoping for. Cost aside, it can be difficult if there is a language barrier, as well as of questionable quality in less developed countries. So if you can avoid going to a hospital, then all the better. So to start with check if there are any recommended vaccinations for the country that you’re visiting. Take any medication that you have if you need to take them. Eat well and keep hydrated when you’re away too.

Get Travel Insurance

You should also get insurance for travel in winter (well, at all times really). A travel insurance premium can be higher if you’re going to participate in winter sports, but it is better to be safe than sorry. There are more risks in winter, due to the extreme nature of the sports and the risky conditions with ice and snow. So you may also end up in an accident that isn’t your fault. If something like that does happen, then speaking to a firm like Derrick Law Firm could be worth your time. You shouldn’t be out of pocket or health, for something that wasn’t your fault.

Protect Your Valuables

One of the simplest ways to protect your valuables is to simply not take them with you on your trip. It can be easier said than done, but do think carefully about what you are taking with you and if you really need to. If you are going to have things like expensive jewelry or cameras, then it is better to have them with you in hand luggage, rather than checked in baggage, for instance. Use a safe if your accommodation has one to ensure they are kept safe when you’re out and about. You don’t want to run the risk of losing your valuables as it can be tricky (and expensive to arrange) when you’re abroad.

Protect Your Money

It can depend on where you go, but people will know that you are tourists. And to locals, what do they expect tourists to have? Cash, and plenty of it. So to make yourself less of a target, don’t carry around cash. It can make paying for things simpler, and it doesn’t mean getting a wad of cash out when you’re buying something small. Instead, get traveler’s checks from your bank before you go, or get a credit card that enables use abroad. They usually don’t charge when it is a specific travel credit card.

Check the News

Before you travel, it can be a really good idea to check the news and any other travel advice from embassies or the government. In this day and age, anywhere can quickly become a place that you don’t want to be. So to avoid any potentially dangerous or difficult situations, just keep yourself out of the situation in the first place. Natural disasters and civil unrest can happen at any time too. So be vigilant and keep yourself in safe places, with a list of emergency numbers to call.

Do you have a winter vacation planned? I think the only other thing to suggest is to hire your winter sports equipment if that is what you are wanting to do. Though it costs you money, it does stop the chance of damage to your already expensive equipment. So unless it can go in the hand luggage, then hiring might be the best option when you get there. Just plan it in advance to figure out the costs.

Hopefully, though, these tips can help you as you travel to keep yourself safe, those around you safe, as well as your belongings and valuable things. Are there any other tips that you would add to the list here? Have fun on vacation!

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Moving Away from the USA: Top Locations Around the World

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The USA is a huge country with enough states to keep even the most nomadic of individuals occupied for a lifetime. Sure, different regions have different cultures. But sometimes our minds can wander to what lies overseas. With the current situation with the controversial President and majority right-wing views, many of us may feel distressed at the general mindset of the country and the direction it’s heading in. Now could be the ideal time to remove yourself from the torrid political climate. Others may simply want to immerse themselves in completely different cultures, surrounded by other languages, cuisines, and values. What time is better than the present to start expanding your mind and opening your eyes to what else exists beyond your native country’s borders? Regardless of your reasons for intending to leave, you can start out by taking a look at other countries and what potential they hold as a home for you. Here are some top locations from around the world to consider!

Paris, France

Paris live

Paris is one of the romanticised cities in the world. So much so that there’s an actual disillusionment syndrome called “Paris Syndrome”. The Japanese Embassy now has a twenty four hour hotline open for people who are shocked upon arriving in Paris to find that every inhabitant isn’t a chic model; that not everyone survives on a diet of rare wine, specialist cheese, and croissants; that people do indeed have to work rather than lounging in berets around beat cafes. In short, sometime people are shocked that Paris is, well, real. But if you remove unrealistic expectations of glitz and glamour from your mind before arriving, you may find that Paris is indeed a wonderful potential new home for you. The city has so much to offer! Like any other capital city, there are plenty of jobs available. This means that you will be able to sustain yourself and your lifestyle. France runs on a more circadian rhythm when it comes to work, with the majority adopting the general attitude that you should work to live rather than live to work. Working weeks tend to be between thirty and forty hours, lunch breaks are long and you are entitled to thirty days vacation a year plus eleven days off for bank holidays. Apartments may well be small, but bear in mind that you probably wouldn’t actually be spending all that much time in them. After all, there are so many museums, cafes, exhibitions, and other cultural spots waiting to be visited that it would be a crying shame to remain cooped up in your own living space. The quality of French food is superior to most, with bustling marketplaces offering fresh ingredients and restaurants playing host to world-renowned names in cuisine. The one thing that generally puts people off is not knowing the country’s native language. But once you throw yourself in the deep end, you’ll pick it up surprisingly quickly. Plus you can always fit language lessons into your weekly schedule too!

Singapore, Malayasia

live in singapore

Situated on the Southern tip of Malaysia, Singapore is a thriving city in a country that has risen to take the title of the fifth wealthiest place in the world. Now, this may not have been top of your list previously, but you may be surprised to know that people move in droves to Singapore every single year. Once you learn a little more about it, it’s not hard to see why! Not only is it widely considered one of the easiest Asian cities for expats to integrate into, but the general standard of living is high. Crime rates run low, the healthcare services are some of the best in the world, and there’s a brilliant education system for anyone planning on moving with kids or undertaking higher education themselves. As you’d expect, the cost of living is relatively high in this region. However, you do get what you pay for. Whether you move into a Condominium, apartment, or terraced housing further out in the suburbs of the city, housing is usually of high quality. Food and grocery shopping should cost around the same as you’d pay back in the USA. Public transport links are effective and affordable. However, we know that not everyone appreciates this and some would prefer to use their own vehicle to get from A to B. The good news for drivers is that you can use your own licence in the country for up to one year before having to gain a Singapore driving licence. This gives you time to get used to the roads before taking your test without having to take public transport if you don’t wish to get on board with it. The native language is Mandarin. However, many people do also speak English, which will mean that you can start learning the language without being thrown into the deep end of complete immersion in another language.

Reykjavik, Iceland

live in reykjavik

Iceland may well be a small country, but it has a whole lot to offer. Firstly, it is renowned for its gender equality and efforts to help the environment. Unlike the major cities above, Reykjavik also has a whole lot of natural scenery and stunning natural landscapes to offer. From waterfalls and glaciers to extensive hiking paths, pools and hot springs. That’s before you consider destinations such as the Blue Lagoon: a geothermal spa packed with nutrients and minerals that will give you a glowing visage. This all sounds perfect, but unless you have joint citizenships with an EU country, you’re going to have a little work on your hands, so make sure that this is a move that you’re truly invested in. There are three main ways to secure yourself a home in Iceland. The first is to be married to an Icelandic native. Unless you’ve fallen in love on a trip to the country, this may not be an option. The second is to take part in higher education in Iceland. If you’re planning on expanding your knowledge, then this might be a route to consider. Finally, you can secure a work permit for a job. So you’ll need to start applying before you purchase that one-way ticket to this stunning country!

These are just a few different places that you might like to consider. Remember that the world is your oyster and there are seemingly endless places out there that might prove to be the perfect home for you in the future! Just do your research and pick wisely.

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