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Top Five Places to Visit in London Off the Beaten Path



Hello friends, I am here again with another article in the series of London and United Kingdom. In my last article I talked about the top five weekend getaway places in my opinion which are away from London, but easy to reach [Read: Top Five Places to Visit Away From London]. These are those places where one can enjoy being away from the work tension and hustle bustle of London. Getting a good response from you readers and travel enthusiasts, and getting hundred shares on Facebook by you all really encouraged me. Some of my followers on Facebook and via email suggested us to also write about the places within London where one can plan an evening or weekend. And I have quickly considered this suggestion as it will be a good addition to support our travel series on London and United Kingdom.

If you want to find a great place in London where you can plan or organize an event like a meeting, party, a formal or informal function then you may try finding a suitable venue for it here This is the same website which helped me hire a meeting room as I discussed in my previous article. If you just want to plan an evening or a weekend where you can hangout with your friends or with your special one then I am going to help you ūüėČ

London is a great city and there are many things to do for all kind of people. Recently I also wrote an article on best bars in London. I visited many bars and pubs and restaurants and listed one of the best bars in my opinion. As I said London is for everyone, if you are not the one who enjoys spending time with friends in bars, there are a number of art galleries, theatres, museums, gardens, etc. whatever finds your taste.

When we think of London a lot places come to our mind, like Big Ben, London Bridge, and London Eye, etc. These are no doubt one of the most popular attractions in London, but if you are in London for a long time and you need a change then you must chose the unbeaten path. There are many places in London which deserves your tourist eyes equally.

1. St. James Park

London Eye across the St. James Park
London Eye across the St. James Park, photo by TrevorLowe

If you are in central London, this is one of the best place to stroll. This place is really close to Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Place, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Westminster. It is a good place to come with your family friends or your better half. Plenty of benches to relax and talk or you may sit on the grass and admire the nature. I could count 28 different species of flowers in the park, in the season¬†daffodils cover a good part of the park adding the charm in its beauty. If you have been to Hyde park, this one you will find comparatively smaller but equally good. While in the nature surrounded by grass, flowers, birds and squirrels, you can still admire the view of the palace and London eye. You will find some brave squirrels there, if you love them do not forget to take some nuts with you and you will be able to make some new furry friends. You can arrive here from Green Park tube or St. James Park tube. Green park is another beautiful park just adjacent to it.

If you are with kids, they will love this place as there is a lot of open space to run about and there are ducks, swans and many other different birds and pigeons in the park and in the lake. If you have plans of eating there then beware of squirrels, but if you have come to feed them, then enjoy feeding them. If you have come to visit the palace, or London Eye, you should spend some time here to rest and relax before continuing your rest of the London trip.

2. Up at the O2

Up at the O2
Up at the O2, Photo by Jason

Up at the O2 is quite a new attraction which London has to offer to the tourists and Londoners. It was officially open ¬†to the public on 21st June, 2012. This place deserves your time to give you an unforgettable experience which will take¬†you on an uplifting expedition across the roof of the world’s most popular entertainment venue along a 190m long tensile fabric walkway and then back to the base with a thrill completing your ninety minutes of adventure. In the centre of the roof, from the viewing platform you can experience the stunning 360 degree view of the London including the Olympic Park, Thames Barrier, The Shard, Historic Royal Greenwich and Canary Wharf.

Try to go there in the evening when the sun is setting while going up you will be able to enjoy the sun setting and on the top as the sun goes down you will see the city lighting up which is a great feeling. At first the climbing could be very steep and it could be really windy up there. They will provide you shoes with better grip and wind proof suit that would help you even better to enjoy the view.

The staff is really friendly and can guide you along the expedition telling you interesting things about London and Up at the O2. People move in batches so you will have plenty of room when you will be enjoying the 360 degree view at the top.

Tickets start at £22 for adults and children. Try booking in advance to avoid disappointment. If you are an O2 customer you are eligible for nearly 15% of discount if you book tickets online.

3. Somerset House Ice Rink

Somerset House Skating Rink
Somerset House Skating Rink, photo by oatsy40

This is one of the greatest Ice Rink, not in the size but in the sense of its location, in the Somerset House! Excellent location and cheaper than expected, the atmosphere at this Ice Rink has more to offer than just skating. With music, with a small “light show”, and a tent where you can warm up with hot chocolate or mulled wine, skating here is more than just fun. Since the rink is comparatively smaller you may expect it to get crowded, but still getting here and getting the tickets is easier. Even then I would advice you to book in¬†advance to avoid any disappointment. During Christmas and new year it is even better with all the festival decoration and new year fireworks.

There is a separate area for learning dedicated to small children with push along penguins to help them take support as well as give them the understanding of other people in the rink. There is a cafe too and cloak room which can take care of your bags.

4. Regent’s Park

Regent's Park
Regent’s Park, photo by¬†Rictor Norton & David Allen

This park is one of my favourite place, I think this is one of the place in Europe where you can see people playing cricket freely. Being a part of TWR I learnt a lot about cricket while in India, people are more crazy about cricket there than they are in England, given it is a British game.

The park is a large and well kept popular recreation area where you can enjoy tennis courts, cricket ground, children’s playgrounds and the London Zoo. There is also one artificial lake, boating pool and an open air theatre. The park is busiest on its south side where access from public transport is easier. On the north side of the park is London zoo.

The park acts as a true oasis in the middle of all the hustle bustle of the city. If you wander further in the park, you will be completely isolated from the noise of the city. You can walk and explore or you may rent a bike, you may even rent a deckchair and stay amidst the blooming roses. The place is also good to go with family kids or pets. In the evening you will find kids playing cricket or soccer, which is a great sight specially seeing them playing cricket as I have not seen people in Europe playing cricket, although it is a European game.

5. Covent Garden

Covent Garden
Covent Garden, photo by Jaume Meneses

This is a happening place for both guys and girls; men and women; basically for everyone and for every age, and for all kinds of tastes. This place offers some of the nicest restaurants, bars, markets, boutiques, shopping centres, and theatres making it London’s premier tourist centre. It is a real tourist trap, but fun to almost spend the whole day. If you want to eat or get a drink then it could be slightly costly. Fast food in the market can be better choice if you need budget food of good quality.

There are shops selling from clothes to jewellery to cupcakes and macaroons. On the weekend you wil lfind handicrafts and stalls for other cool handmade gift items too. It is always interesting to walk here and you will find way too talented street artists and performers who never fail to amuse you with their performance. The food, drinks, transport museum, Disney store and Apple store, everything is good and you will feel really safe. The atmosphere and the ambiance will pull you from anywhere. In history and story books I have read about this place a lot of times, but being here was a different experience and I was able to relate how it was narrated in the books in the real life.

Don’t think that if you are in London that too in a shopping place then you will have to spend a lot. There is everything for any range and it is not¬†compulsory¬†to buy something. Even if you do not buy anything there is a lot of free entertainment at this place that can keep you entertained for the whole day. You can enjoy looking at the street performers, people, and having snacks and meals with drinks.

This place can sometime be very crowded so time your visit accordingly and I am sure you will enjoy this place.

I hope you agree with the places I listed here as one of the best places in London where you can relieve your work and city tensions. As I wrote in my previous article, it is not necessary to move out of London to find peace, you can do that well being in London. So here I am concluding this another article in the London and UK travel series. You may subscribe to my updates and follow me where I am travelling via RSS. You can write your opinion in the comment section below and send me suggestion on which places should I cover next.

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7 Travel Safety Tips You Should Know



aircraft flight travel packing

Travelling can be enthralling, but have you ever asked yourself what if you get robbed? What if you get kidnapped? Or you get lost? 

Leaving the comfort of your home to explore a foreign country can be an exciting experience. However, several worst-case scenarios can make you anxious when travelling overseas. From losing precious items and getting injured to theft or kidnapping, a lot can happen abroad. 

The first step is to acknowledge that bad things can happen, which is part of the adventure. With these safety tips below, you can protect yourself as a traveller and have peace of mind.

 Conduct Sufficient Research 

Research and gather a lot of information. Travel safety starts even before you board that plane. Google about your destination and know the common risks and prevalent scams in that country. Get to know the safe and unsafe neighbourhoods. 

Ensure you read reviews in the places you’ll visit or the hotel you’ll be staying in. Check if your rent property is in a safe environment. Read blogs from travel bloggers to find if there is anything written about your destination. You can watch videos on YouTube to learn a few things. You can listen to the accent, see attraction sites, and what the landscape looks like.  

TripAdvisor is also a great platform where you can search your destination before travelling. It’s great for hotels, restaurants, local attractions, and tour companies. Read reviews to get valuable information from previous clients. 

Doing research helps you feel confident and comfortable when travelling. 

Buy Travel Insurance 

A vacation isn’t a vast investment, like buying a car or house, but you still need a lot of money. Buying airfare, paying for tour guides, and accommodation needs tons of cash. The travel insurance cover protects you from lost or damaged items. 

It can be expensive to replace items like electronic devices, clothes, and medication. You might also get hurt or sick while in a foreign country. If you get hurt or sick before travelling, you’ll have to cancel your trip. With this, you’ll lose the full cost. In such a scenario, the travel insurance will reimburse the amount used. 

You may also need to get evacuated from a danger zone, and using helicopter transport can cost you a fortune. This is where travel insurance comes in. Early returns or losing a family or friend are other incidents that should motivate you to get insurance cover. 

However, ensure you get a comprehensive cover that will cater to almost every bill you might incur. Choose a reliable insurance provider to give direction and offer the necessary help. Check the reputation of the said company, their insurance packages, and don’t forget to read reviews. 

Share Information with a Reliable Friend or a Close Relative

Travelling is marred with uncertainties. Anything can happen when in a foreign land. That’s why you should let those close to you know about your whereabouts. 

In case of an emergency, you might not manage to communicate specific details. The insurance may require you to call before going to the hospital. They can help you find a reliable hospital nearby. 

It is always advisable to scan and print important documents and upload a digital cover of the insurance package.

Keep Your Money in Various Places

Never travel with all of your money in the same place. Stash emergency money throughout the luggage just in case you lose some. You can also place cash on your body but in different pockets. 

You may wear a money belt beneath your clothes or have a handy bra pocket to keep your credit cards and cash. Invest in an excellent zippered passport pocket that can hold a phone and a passport. This way, even if you get robbed, you’ll still have some cash and cards tucked away. 

More so, be mindful of purses and pockets when in a crowded place. It’s too easy to get pickpocketed in a crowded subway or bus. Criminals know their target pretty well, but you can give them a hard time trying to rob you. 

If you get into a crowded place, keep your hands-on any pocket that has your valuables. If possible, tuck the purse underneath your arm to ensure it opens towards your body and hard to access. Ensure the purse can be zipped, covered, or fastened. 

Avoid keeping stuff in your back pocket as it’s an easy target. Also, it’s recommended to ditch the purse and wallet altogether. 

Lock Your Bags

Locking your luggage can deter thieves. Zip your wallet and purse and lock your bags as well. A determined thief goes for easier targets. They know travellers carry tons of valuable items, and that’s why locking your luggage during transit is a great security measure. 

You can use non-TAS travel locks as they’re hard to break, unlike the universal TSA lock. However, you may use a TSA-approved travel lock for added security and peace of mind. 

Don’t Bring with You Your Precious Items

It’s easy to have items disappear while in transit. It could be a scarf you left in a park or sunglasses fell in the water as you were surfing. When packing for air travel, leave anything that will break your heart if it gets stolen or lost. 

For instance, leave your precious jewellery at home. Carrying education or property documents is risky. Bring cheap items like a travel-friendly necklace or wedding ring, an older smartphone, or inexpensive clothes. 

Watch Your Drinks 

When in a foreign country, you become an easy prey. No matter the circumstances, ensure you watch over your drinks. Make sure you see what’s being poured so someone doesn’t spike your drink

It would also be best to avoid getting drunk. If you usually take six drinks, reduce to two. If you didn’t travel with a buddy, go everywhere with your drink, even to the washroom.

Every day there is news of travellers who have fallen victim to several crimes while travelling. This should be your huge concern in taking the necessary measures. Don’t be too na√Įve or optimistic to think it can never happen to you. 

But don’t allow anything to stop you from having an enthralling vacation. Follow these travel safety tips, and you’ll enjoy a peaceful trip. 

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A unique perspective of Jamaica



Over the last years, Jamaica has become one of the most visited destinations by tourists in the entire world. This beautiful Caribbean island with its stunning beaches, rich nature and delicious gastronomy has everything you could wish for in a holiday destination. However, if you want to experience Jamaican culture in a unique way while interacting with nature hand in hand, there is a place you can not miss during your trip: Yaaman Adventure Park.

The most original holidays

Jamaica is famous as a beach holidays destination. And who can really blame those that choose to visit the country because of this? Its white sand beaches with crystal clear waters and jungle right next to the shores make out for some breathtaking views. However, Jamaica has so much more to bring into the table. A good example of this can be found in the famous tours in Ocho Rios offered by Yaaman Adventure Park.

Ocho Rios is known as the most touristic area on the entire island. And in an area with such a wide catalogue of activities focused towards tourists, we can find Yaaman Adventure Park. Formerly known as Prospect Plantation, Yaaman Adventure Park original placement used to be an 18th Century agricultural property with a lot of history and cultural points. Yaaman Adventure Park offers its visitors the opportunity to interact hand in hand with nature in a lot of adrenaline filled adventures that will make out for unforgettable experiences. 

Do not limit yourself to simply laying on the beach, discover the beautiful island of Jamaica and its culture in a fun and original way. 

The perfect activities for everyone in the family

There are as many types of holidays as there are types of people in the world. Yaaman Adventure Park is aware of this, and that is why they offer a wide catalogue of activities in Ocho Rios that will adapt to everyone’s needs. Your age does not matter, there is the perfect activity waiting for you at Yaaman Adventure Park. Yaaman Adventure Park has a lot of fun activities that will allow you to interact with nature, as well as some more relaxing ones that will help you understand Jamaican culture better. Some of their most renown activities include:

Bird aviary tour

An activity that everyone in the family will surely love! In this aviary, you will be able to interact with exotic and local birds while they freely fly around you. The aviary is a tropical heaven for the birds that live there, and will make you feel like you have been transported to a fairytale world.

Swim with dolphins

Dolphins are some of the most beloved sea animals in the world. And in Yaaman Adventure Park you will be able to swim with dolphins in their unique shore excursions in Ocho Rios. These loving creatures are very smart and love interacting with the visitors. During these excursions, you will be able to swim with them and even hug and kiss the lovely dolphins. 

Cook genuine Jamaican recipes

Jamaica has one of the most delicious cuisines in the world. Their traditional colourful dishes are full of unique flavours that will not disappoint your palate. On the cooking tour offered by Yaaman Adventure Park, you will learn how to prepare the traditional ‚ÄúJamaican Fare‚ÄĚ. The famous chef Irie will teach you all the secrets of this dish consisting of festival, Steamed Callaloo and chicken. All of this while you enjoy some breathtaking views 1100 feet above sea level.

But these are only some of the activities you will be able to enjoy at Yaaman Adventure Park. From Mud buggies tours to tours across near stunning rivers, rides on the back of camels or a jitney ride, the possibilities at this park seem endless. So if you are looking for a fun and original alternative for your next holidays, then look no further, Yaaman Adventure Park is the perfect place to go.

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How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?



malaga andalusia spain

There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?

Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?

Spanish cities where to live cheap and well

In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.

The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries. 

In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run. 

Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors

I have already decided on the place. Now what?

Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?

Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.

To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.

And remember: a move is always a new beginning.

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