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Top Five Places to Visit Away From London.

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Coming to London is always interesting, I have never got bored of this city. Even after knowing a lot about the city, as I have been learning about it since childhood, I still feel there is lot to learn about it, and lot to experience. In my previous article I wrote about the best bars in London in my opinion. Today I will talk about the places which are not in London, but interesting, near and easy to reach. London is surrounded by some of the interesting castles, towns and English country side.

I arrived in London for an educational trip. And since you know I love to go around the places I never miss the opportunity of utilizing my free time in travelling. In a sudden change in plan we had to shift our meeting place. I had to hire a meeting room in London as the one where we had planned, was undergoing renovation. And I am glad that we did. This new place was very beautiful in the premises of a college. It had a panoramic view across the Thames and was few steps away from the famous art gallery and London landmark, Tate Britain. Sitting there after the conference, I was thinking and talking to the students about the places they prefer to go during short vacations or long weekends near London. I am glad that I had traveled to most of the places which fellow students suggested me. Here is my list of top five places to visit from London.

1. Brighton – London by the Sea

brighton pier
Brighton Pier, Photo by Helen Clark

Brighton is a famous sea side resort, a perfect getaway point for the ones in London who wish to celebrate their weekends away from the city. Brighton is known for its oriental architecture and large gay community.

Try getting down to Brighton Pier, it is a nice place to walk in the cool breeze, along the beautiful sea shore & in the calmness all around. This is a place that will get you revitalized if you need a break from your busy work schedule. It can be a long walk, there are cafes after a mile or two and public conveniences. The light reflected from the cliff is very bright making the place even more wonderful. The place is well lit at night and is good for making photos.

If you enjoy hiking like me then come to Devil’s Dyke where nature will treat you in its own way. If you are lucky to find clear sky, you will find the views over Sussex breathtaking which will make you just want to go on a long walk. It gives you a 360 degree views of Brighton out to the sea and across to North Downs. There is also a pub restaurant on the top. The pub is surprisingly good and gives you a great panoramic view if it is cold outside. The food is above average.

If you admire Indian architecture, come to Royal Pavilion, I had no idea such a thing existed in English cities when I went there to attend a friend’s marriage. Royal Pavilion is a brilliant piece of art designed with unbelievable architectural touches. Rebuilt in the 19th century by architect John Nash, this building features a unique mixture of classical and Indian styles, which has been labeled as “Hindu-Gothic. You can start your tour with the electronic headphone which can translate the history of pavilion into several languages. Paintings and other architecture inside the Pavilion gives you the Indian feeling.

2. Cardiff, Truly Welsh

bute park cardiff
Bute Park, Photo by Sarah Barker

Cardiff is the capital of Wales in the United Kingdom situated on the south coast of the country. The city is gaining popularity with tourists who are interested in its history and Welsh culture. Cardiff is quickly becoming one of the United Kingdom’s tourism hot spots.

Away from London if you have come to Cardiff for walking or picnicking with your family and kids, then Bute Park is one of the best places. There is an amazing animal wall silence in the park which gives you the calmness and creates a romantic atmosphere. Waterbus is a really nice touch to the park. Hop onto the waterbus which takes you along the river past the Millenium Stadium to Cardiff Bay. It is of great value and is a nice ride along the river. The park has good networks of tracks for cycling along with good cafes.

I have visited a lot of castles but Cardiff castle was one of the best I have seen in the country. It has 2000 years of history together in an eight acre site: Roman, Norman, Plantagenet and Victorian history. You can go from the old Roman, Norman and Medieval ruins to the newer wartime shelters and lavishly decorated interiors. The main castle itself in the centre has some great views of the city, Millennium rugby stadium being one of them.

3. Cambridge, a University City

cambridge backs
Cambridge Backs, Photo by Paul Fenton

Cambridge allows you to form various impressions about the place. from world famous Cambridge Univeristy to breathtaking view of King’s College Chapel from across the river Cam. It is very common to see students pedaling their way to the lecture hall and people spending their lazy summers near the River Cam. The town also deserves your admiration for rich intricacy of Gothic architecture.

River Cam and the view of serene greenery and colleges makes Cambridge a place to relax being surrounded by some of the most genius people in the world. Come to the Backs which is known for their daffodils and crocuses in the spring and beautiful open areas and road through gardens behind many colleges along the River Cam. The river is a good for punting during lazy summers.

Visit a college and walk on their garden and enjoy student’s cafes and see if you can recall your college days. Entry inside the college campus may not be free unless you are member or if you have a local pass.

Also see Anglesey Abbey which is a few miles east of Cambridge, take bus no. 10 which plies every hour. It is a National Trust Property, a beautiful house having extensive trail of nature, pond with fishes, beautiful gardens big enough to lose oneself. It is a good place to take your kids and play. There is a water mill which functions whenever there are volunteers, it is fun for kids as they can mill flour. And you can buy the milled flour right there. The on-site catering is good quality, offering a fair choice of meals and snacks at lunchtime.

4. Northampton, Beautiful Countryside

coton manor garden northampton
Coton Manor Garden, Photo taken by Elliott Brown

Not to be confused with the Northampton in Massachusetts (U.S), it is a largest settlement in U.K which is not classified as city. The place has beautiful gardens, lakes art galleries and museums.

Northampton is smaller compared to Cardiff and Brighton and there are less things to do. What I like here is the peace and experiencing true English country. My favourite place here is Coton Manor Garden which is among the best gardens I have been to. I was lucky to see real flamingos here. There are less but good cafes for refreshment. Entry fees £6 per adult is of a good value and Parking is quite big. If you are a gardener yourself or pursue it as a hobby then you may learn some tips and tricks at this place and even buy some plants for your garden. There are several different types of gardens, and they give you a map. Start by the house and you will appreciate the beautiful lawn, rose garden, a large pond and terrace gardens.

Another beautiful place is Stanwick Lakes. There is lack of public transportation and its better if you go by car. Keep binoculars with you if you enjoy bird watching. The entry to the place is free and parking fee is mere £2 for the whole day. There is a nice cafe and mobile drinks van for refreshments. Cycle tracks are nicely laid if you love cycling. The atmosphere is serene, pretty and oriented for all. The place is great for relaxing with family or playing with kids. People of all ages would enjoy here including a romantic visit for couples.

5. Oxford, It is not all about the University!

Christ Church Meadows, photo taken by Tejvan Pettinger

Known for one of the most famous university in the world, Oxford University is also the oldest university in United Kingdom situated 50 miles (80 Km) west of London. The earlier evidence of teachings dates as far back as 1096.

Much of the development in Oxford is surrounding the university, though Oxford is not all about the university. Train ride from London takes you Thames valley. Section between Reading and Oxford gives you some of the best views of English countryside.

Christ Church Meadow is my favourite place in Oxford. It is a beautiful place ideal for picnic spot or just relaxing. This scenic park offers you to walk through the meadows and along the river. The park is just two minutes walk from the main Oxford shopping street in the city centre and leads you down to the river banks of the Isis (Thames as it is known is Oxford). Take some cheese, bread, strawberries and champagne with you and head to the meadow watch the punters and enjoy the magnificent view of the Christ Church.

Another similar place is Port Meadow. Stroll by the river, have lunch and drinks in a pub, take horse ride or even feed the horses ducks and swans. It is a great open space with horses and cows around. Whether you do cycling or run or walk, this place is good for all and if you are here during winter you can even see kids from the neighbourhood skating on the frozen lake.

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Yacht charter in Barcelona, the comfort and privacy you can’t get on land

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Traveling the coast of Barcelona in a luxury yacht is an unforgettable experience that everyone should experience sometime in their lives. It is the perfect trip for those who want to get away from the city and its noises, to relax in a peaceful atmosphere that can only be reached at sea.

Barcelona, located on the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is one of the most visited cities in Spain, even in Europe. It is the perfect place to enjoy the architectural, artistic, cultural and gastronomic diversity of the country, making it one of the favorite tourist destinations for millions of people around the world.

Among all the many attributes that the city of Barcelona has, one of the most outstanding is its beaches. Years ago the American magazine National Geographic named Barcelona as the best coastal city in the world.

There are 4 kilometers of sand in the Catalan capital available for the fans of maritime landscapes, finding beaches for any activity you could wish for during your holidays, either to relax, practice water sports and more. 

Among all the activities that have been on the rise in this paradise is the rental of luxury yachts. And nothing can compare to sailing along the beautiful coasts of Barcelona in one of these majestic vessels, which are at your disposal to discover the most beautiful landscapes.

Undoubtedly, touring these paradisiacal landscapes aboard Barcelona charters is the best way to get away from the noise of the city and just enjoy the feeling of freedom and calm that can only be achieved on the high seas.

Imagine living the pleasure of riding on a modern motor yacht with capacity for a dozen people traveling at speeds up to 25 knots; it would be, without a doubt, a unique experience! 

In the city of Barcelona there are prestigious agencies that rent these fast and elegant luxury boats for periods ranging from one hour to the whole day and even the weekend. 

These services are aimed at VIP clients and can be used for all kinds of events, such as corporate events, meetings and romantic dinners, including unforgettable tours along the coast of Barcelona and the Maresme. There is also the option of buying drinks on the boat and catering service. There are a lot of possibilities, and companies will always provide alternatives to suit the client’s needs.

Learn a little more about these boats

Luxury yachts fascinate those who seek privacy and comfort in its maximum expression, which is sometimes difficult to achieve on land. It is a pleasant way to get away from the world.

These boats can be quite amazing in terms of all the luxury features they offer. Specialized blogs have even made rankings of the 10 most expensive yachts in the world, which are a privilege that is only reserved for a very exclusive elite.

These yachts are considered by many as titans of floating vehicles. They are jewels of engineering equipped with the latest technology and elements for maximum comfort. 

The top 10 most expensive yachts are as follows: 

1.- History Supreme ($4.8 billion).

2.- Eclipse ($1.5 billion).

3.- Streets of Monaco (1.1 billion dollars).

4.- Topaz (527 million dollars).

5.- Motor Yacht A ($440 million).

6.- Dubai (350 million dollars).

Sailing Yacht A (US$323 million).

8.- Al Said (300 million dollars).

9.- Dilbar (256 million dollars).

10.- Lady Moura (210 million dollars).

We encourage you to review the features of these amazing vessels in specialized portals, among which we can mention, heated swimming pools, heliports, basketball courts, concert halls and more. The wealthy owners of these “mega yachts” spare no expenses to make these vehicles with all the comforts that anyone could imagine.

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Planning to Travel? Here Are the Do’s to Observe

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Air travel

Traveling abroad isn’t just a matter of packing and leaving; there several significant aspects of your journey that you need to be on top of before you embark on your journey. For a safe, peaceful, and enjoyable stay at your travel destination, your health should top the list from your travel plans.

It would be best to consider a thorough health checkup for vital health concerns like vaccination, blood test, malaria, urine test, and dental checkup.

Why Is a Dental Checkup Important?

If you plan to have an extended stay, you should tend to broken fillings, decayed teeth, or any dental issues to minimize dental emergencies. It’s prudent to also have the necessary treatment before leaving.

The standards of dental care worldwide vary widely and the certainty of getting dental supplies from a trusted and certified dental supplier isn’t assured. The cost may also become cumbersome given that your destination of choice may not have dental care coverage for kids.

Depending on where you’re traveling, either in developing, developed, or remote areas, leaving your dental health to chance can be uncomfortable if not dangerous. Your chosen destination may lack the resources, dental supplies, and equipment to cater to your dental needs.

Air travel causes specific pressure changes, affecting your root canal, causing pain and potential infections. Therefore, it’s advisable to ensure that you complete all your treatment before traveling or consider paste filling to minimize the risks.

Pericoronitis is an infection caused by food trapped through the flesh covering your teeth. The condition can spread to parts of your neck and head; to avoid this outcome, consider removing lower wisdom teeth that are partially exposed.

The other thing you should look out for is if you have gum (periodontal) disease, it’s essential to have your teeth cleaned by a hygienist or a dentist.

Checklist Before Travel

As stated earlier, the most vital thing is you and your health, so here are some things you should consider.

Travel Insurance

Probably, the health care insurance coverage that you have at the moment will not cover the scope of international travel. After you’ve assessed the situation keenly, consider opting for emergency medical insurance and medical evacuation.

The majority of options and plans offered by travel insurance providers occasionally cover trip cancellation, lost luggage, plus medical emergency and evacuation.

Get the Right Visa

Do thorough research on the kind of visa you need. This is a critical but overlooked aspect by many travelers. Any mixup can turn your trip into a disaster, as this little mistake could mean you’ll get turned away from the said country.

To make matters worse, you won’t even be allowed to leave the airport, which should serve as a motivation to be extra keen. Find out the visa you qualify for and apply early in advance.

Pre-Book Accommodations

You wouldn’t want to deal with the stressors involved in getting an instant spot without prior arrangements. Start on the right foot by booking a one-night accommodation in advance, ensuring you aren’t anxious through your journey.

You can have a fun-filled day exploring the area after a comfortable night’s sleep. To prepare for any eventualities, ensure that you also have a hard copy of your accommodation reservation besides having a soft copy.

Travel Advisory

Before you decide your destination, it’s vital to cross-reference through the government state department website to see if the country you wish to travel to poses a threat (short or long term) to travelers. You’ll find a list of countries with a travel warning. This is critical because travel insurance does not cover countries under a travel warning.

Vaccination

Scour through to find the health information of the country you’ll be traveling to and whether you’ll need to be vaccinated. Finding out nations that pose a risk to your health are highlighted on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

This mainly applies if you’re traveling to third-world countries and the vaccination may vary, including yellow fever, Zika virus, malaria, cholera, etc. Also, get enough supplements to last you the entire trip if you aren’t sure you’ll be able to supplement your fill abroad.

To avoid security hiccups, find out which drug prescriptions are not illegal in your destination or countries you’ll pass through. It’s essential to bring along photocopies of your prescription and always carry the medicine in its prescribed bottle.

Suppose your medical condition requires you to have syringes, relay the information before security checks. Take your vaccination six weeks before departure, as vaccines take a couple of weeks before they can kick in.

Enjoy Your Stay

We didn’t delve deeper into aspects including culture shock, travel deals, packaging, payment methods, etc., adhering to those mentioned above essential will keep your mind at ease. What remains is to enjoy your exploration.

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Staying Safe While You’re Abroad

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Travelling family memories

Going on holiday is a thrilling experience, there’s so much to see, discover, and feel, but you need to make sure that you’re safe while you’re away. Being so far from home can leave you vulnerable to a lot of different dangers, and you’re not going to be able to resolve them in the way that you usually would. You need to know how to look after yourself in the event that something should happen, and that way you can ensure that your time away ends as a positive experience. There’s a lot to explore, but new experiences can sometimes bring about a risk to your health and safety.

Keep your important belongings close to you

No matter where you’re going, if it’s somewhere that requires you to have important documents and money with you at all times, you should make sure you have a way to prevent that from getting lost or stolen. There are many ways you can do it, but finding a way to keep those important belongings close to you, without the chance of them going missing is very important. Some people even go the extra distance to bring extras of those documents, and it can ensure that it doesn’t hinder their ability to have a good time while they’re away. The last thing you want is to lose your passport when you need to get home.

Make sure to take medication

If you’re going somewhere where you’re at risk of getting a disease, you must find out about it before you get there. Being able to prepare the proper medication and prevent those diseases can be a real life-saver. Going to another country means exposing yourself to new elements, making you much more vulnerable to health risks. Knowing how to do things like preventing Malaria, or warding off bugs is important! You never know what might happen while you’re out there, but if you’re prepared you at least know that you’re safe.

Know how to avoid getting lost

If you’re going somewhere far from home, it’s only expected that you’re not going to know where you are at all times, especially if you’re not going with a group. If you are out and about exploring, you’re going to want to know how you can make sure finding your way home is possible. Being able to communicate with the locals can be very helpful when you need to ask for directions. Now, learning a whole other language for a vacation isn’t realistic, but there are words and phrases you can learn to take you that little bit further.

You should also consider buying a map of the area that you go to before you set out. It’s great to explore, but a map can mean that you avoid getting lost. You’re likely going to have to rely on yourself whenever you get into trouble, so knowing how to read a map and navigate is going to make all the difference. It’s an adventure, but your safety should be your top priority.

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