Posted in London, The London Link, Uncategorized

The London link #4

Welcome back to the fourth edition of the London link!

Posting this linky just makes me realise how fast two weeks seem to fly by and particularly how much I haven’t done in that time. I have been busy running around London this week but it was more dealing with normal daily tasks and sadly coping with the loss of a family member and spending time at the hospital visiting my nan who has been poorly for a while. I haven’t done anything touristy, it seems like with the return of the rain and the mild weather it feels less like summer and more like reality, but I do have a couple of plans next week. One of the things I will be taking part in is a tour of the Supreme Court in Westminster so look out for that blog post! I am then off on Holiday to Dominican Republic for a week so may have to put back the London link #5.

Two of the places I have been hanging out this week are Crystal Palace and Brixton, both local to me and great for popping into high street stores and independents. Kyra has a new obsession with charity shops so we have been visiting a few local ones to see what they have on offer.

I do use the hashtag #ohprettycity on Instagram and occasionally share photos from other instagrammers on that account that tag me, so feel free to join in!

I am adding an old post about a ghost walk in the city, would love to see where you all have been, here is a bit about the linky if you wish to join in…

The London link is a fortnightly linky for bloggers that live, work or are just visiting this vibrant city, where you can share all your London related posts. You can add daytrips, attractions, restaurants, parks, events or any other posts about the big smoke.

There are not many rules so it is simple to join in…

  • Add up to two London related posts, old or new
  • Share the love
  • Insert the linky badge into your post or sidebar
  • Use the hashtag #thelondonlink on all social media or commenting

I will comment on and share all posts that have been linked up and I will also share my favourite on the following fortnights post. As the purpose of the link up is to see all the amazing places across the capital I hope you can visit other posts and comment too if you enjoy them.

Click the box below to add your link. You can find the badge code at the bottom of the page 🙂

Posted in Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

A saunter to St Ives

I recently took a trip to Cornwall for a weeks training for my new job. I stayed at the beautiful Tregenna Castle which is set in a stunning estate and overlooking St Ives. I was with a group of other girls and none of us had previously met so it was quite an experience to explore the area whilst also getting to know each other. Most of our time was already taken up with training but in the evenings we got to socialise and get out.

As you can see St Ives is quite a distance from the hotel but we were advised by the staff that it was around 20 minutes to walk down there via a scenic pathway through the grounds that we could follow. We only really had the energy to go on a couple of occasions (one of which it was pouring with rain) as although the walk down was pretty enjoyable it wasn’t that pleasurable trying to make it back up again!

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As we exited the Tregenna estate onto a main road there was a lovely view of Porthminster beach which we also paid a visit to. I was surprised that with the glorious weather and the beginning of the holidays already well underway that the beach was so quiet!

To get down to St Ives Harbour we had to pass through the picturesque village which is full of winding roads and quaint, boutique style shops as well as a few high street favourites.

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We made it all the way round to the other side of the harbour and as you can see on the last picture is the view back up the hill, the castle is the building at the top!

The water was out but we didn’t have any intention of taking a dip anyway. One thing I did want to do is buy some souvenirs and I was shocked at the lack of tat shops that you usually see on every corner of beach resorts. We did come across a couple of fudge shops and one of them sold other bits and pieces but there was definitely more room for fridge magnets.

St Ives is actually a lot smaller than I imagined and although it was busy, it was nowhere near as packed as other resorts such as Brighton or Southend but then I suppose they have a different clientele as there are more galleries and art spaces than fairground rides or arcades. I only saw one arcade which I did intend to pop into but didn’t get a chance in the end as we had to escape the rain but not before we indulged in a proper Cornish ice-cream!

I really enjoyed my time in St Ives, even though it was limited. I would happily go back to spend more time on the gorgeous beaches and perusing the little shops if I had the opportunity. Have you ever visited this beautiful part of the UK?

 

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

The Imperial Hotel – Brighton

During my recent trip to Brighton for a family wedding I stayed at the Imperial hotel which is situated further down from the hustle and bustle of Brighton seafront but still a stones throw from the beach at Hove.

I stayed with my mum and daughter and we had a room with three single beds. On entering the room we were met with a strange musky smell but were pleased that we were not all cramped into a small space as the room was quite spacious and we quickly opened the windows for some fresh air. The décor seemed to be stuck in the 80’s and I new it needed updating when my mum declared that she liked it and would decorate her front room the same way!

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The beds were comfy and there was a nice little seating area by the window which was lucky because the TV was tiny in comparison to the room and was hard to see from the beds so if we wanted to watch anything it was easier to sit there. The view from the window just overlooked other buildings but if you opened it up and leaned out you could just about see the lapping waves of the sea.

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During my past stays in hotels I have chosen to stay in the more well known chains such as the Sofitel in Paris, The Hilton Garden inn in Manchester and the Crowne Plaza in Amsterdam and I have complained that they don’t seem to have much personality but during this trip I actually missed a lot of the amenities that I have previously experienced and for all around the same price brackets. I wouldn’t say the Imperial was particularly comfortable in the sense of luxury that I had at the Sofitel and when I went to look for the iron (I never usually take advantage of the iron but had a particularly creased dress) I realised there wasn’t one and had to ask at the desk, they bought one to the room with an ironing bored but it was very basic and didn’t do a great job!

I knew that my mum would drink as much coffee as me and I usually use all the little long life milks sachets in one cup (which still doesn’t provide me with my usual milky coffee) so I bought a pint of milk on the way and then realised there was no fridge in the room (even though there was plenty of room for one) so we had to finish it all off before it started to smell. It wasn’t particularly hot in the room and with it being and old building I wasn’t expecting it to have built in air con, like I have had in other hotels, but it would have been a nice touch to have a fan available for the muggy evening air. Another thing missing was a hair dryer which was apparently available at a price!

The bathroom lacked any sort of décor, it was pretty basic and could have done with having a fan as it was particularly stuffy and hot after a shower and needed to be aired out a bit before the next person could use it, but it had clean towels and running hot water.

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The rest of the hotel was pretty much the same as the room, lots of clashing colours and patterns but quite spacious if you wanted to hang out. We didn’t really make use of the bar or restaurant available as we were out most of the time but as we were on the third floor we did have the pleasure of using what can only be described as the worlds smallest and slowest lift.

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We didn’t particularly find our stay sumptuous and there was no grandeur to the Imperial hotel but we did sleep well and the staff were very friendly and helpful. There do seem to be hundreds of hotels in the Brighton area and would probably look for somewhere a bit more contemporary should I visit Brighton in the future.

If you are visiting Brighton at any point, check out my post on 13 things to do along the beachfront.

 

Posted in The London Link, Uncategorized

The London Link #3

Welcome back to the third instalment of the London Link!

We actually had bloggers join us last time, which was lovely! The summer holidays are now in full swing and I’m sure there has been many days out in the capital so would love to see a few more posts this week.

I spent a week in Cornwall training for my new job as an early years photographer and came back with so much information and equipment to get started, so while I have been getting my head around that I haven’t been out anywhere interesting in London. The furthest I have ventured is down the road to the local shops to pick up supplies for a family BBQ so took a quick snap as I stopped off.

I have the next few weeks free before flying off to Dominican Republic.. cant wait!! So I want to make the most of my free time by getting out and about. I will be visiting the Globe Theatre, not to see a play but to see my photos from a project I worked on with them which are now being displayed in their lobby. I also want to visit some more museums and galleries. One of the museums on my list is the Jewish museum that has an exhibition all about Asterix in Britain that was shared on the linky by Museum Mum last time.

Photograph of Asterix leaflet being held up outside the Jewish Museum London entrance

I would love to see where you all have been, here is a bit about the linky if you wish to join in…

The London link is a fortnightly linky for bloggers that live, work or are just visiting this vibrant city, where you can share all your London related posts. You can add daytrips, attractions, restaurants, parks, events or any other posts about the big smoke.

There are not many rules so it is simple to join in…

  • Add up to two London related posts, old or new
  • Share the love
  • Insert the linky badge into your post or sidebar
  • Use the hashtag #thelondonlink on all social media or commenting

I will comment on and share all posts that have been linked up and I will also share my favourite on the following fortnights post. As the purpose of the link up is to see all the amazing places across the capital I hope you can visit other posts and comment too if you enjoy them.

Click the box below to add your link. You can find the badge code at the bottom of the page 🙂

Posted in London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

A visit to Parliament

I had never thought of visiting parliament before, in fact I wasn’t aware that it was open to the public so when I was invited to take a tour I was quite intrigued.

I’m not really much of a fan of politics and was a bit worried that I would find it boring if I didn’t know what they were talking about but there was actually so much more to it than just politics. For a start the actual building is amazing, from floor to ceiling it is full of intricate details, ornate decoration and historical paintings.

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I never normally opt to join in with tours as I like to just explore by myself but our tour guide Daniella was full of information, facts and amusing anecdotes. She really brought the subjects to life so as you are walking through you could imagine the queen in her robing room sitting on a sofa by the window rather than on the throne that has been sun damaged over many years.

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The Royal family play a big role in Parliament and since watching The Crown and Victoria on Netflix I have become much more interested in the history so found it all really interesting.

It felt very strange going into the house of commons after seeing it on TV for so long, it looks so much smaller in real life! I was really impressed with how much you get to see on the tour – not so impressed that I wasn’t able to photograph it all though! (you can only use a camera in the main hall and St Stephens hall) I mean have you even visited somewhere if you don’t have photographic evidence? I was going to request images of parts of the building that I wasn’t allowed to photograph but I think it is nice to leave it to you all to visit yourself as it is so much better in real life!

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Westminster hall is the oldest of the parliamentary estate and has played a central role in British history. There seems to be a lot of work going on so we couldn’t really appreciate its magnificence and many smaller details were covered up.

I would definitely recommend a visit to anyone interested in architecture, art, history or politics and you can finish off the tour with a trip to Voice and Vote: Women’s place in Parliament exhibition which features unseen historic objects, pictures and archives from the parliamentary collections, this will be on until 6th October.

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For quite a small exhibition tucked away in the corner of Westminster hall, there is loads to see about such an important subject. Although the tour of Parliament has a fee, this exhibition is free entry so great to take the kids over summer, especially all those budding politicians!

Have you ever visited Parliament before?


 

Posted in The London Link, Uncategorized

The London Link #2

Welcome back to the second London Link!

Unfortunately nobody joined me on the last link up so I cannot share my favourite but we are new so won’t be disheartened! Since the last link up I have not been out much in London other than my trip to visit Parliament (blog post coming soon) which was followed by a walk down to the Pride festival at Trafalgar square.

Next week I am off to Cornwall to do training for my new job which I am really excited about and I am also planning local daytrips for over the summer holidays which will begin this afternoon when all the schools break up. If you have any London posts I would love some ideas to put on my list.

A bit about the linky…

The London link is a fortnightly linky for bloggers that live, work or are just visiting this vibrant city, where you can share all your London related posts. You can add daytrips, attractions, restaurants, parks, events or any other posts about the big smoke.

There are not many rules so it is simple to join in…

  • Add up to two London related posts, old or new
  • Share the love
  • Insert the linky badge into your post or sidebar
  • Use the hashtag #thelondonlink on all social media or commenting

I will comment on and share all posts that have been linked up and I will also share my favourite on the following fortnights post. As the purpose of the link up is to see all the amazing places across the capital I hope you can visit other posts and comment too if you enjoy them.

Click the box below to add your link and grab the badge below.


 
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Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

13 Things to do on Brighton sea front

As one of the closest beach resorts to London and with so much to see and do in Brighton, it is no surprise that it is such a popular hot spot for visitors, particularly on a nice summers day!

After my recent visit to attend a family wedding I thought I would put together a list of things to do should you be planning a visit in the future.

Relax and take in the views

I love a bit of people watching or just the serenity of watching the sea gently rumbling to the shore so it is perfect to just pull up a deckchair and enjoy the surroundings. Deckchairs are available for a rental charge on the beach but are free to sit on halfway down the pier. You can also enjoy the view in close up by using one of the telescopes on the pier.

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Visit the attractions

The Sealife centre is right opposite the pier and the newer British airways i360 is a replacement to the wheel that used to be pride and place on the beach. The i360 is further down the beach towards Hove and is the worlds tallest moving observation tower at 450ft high. There are also many museums dotted around with the Fishing museum actually along the seafront.

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Sunbathe on the beach

Brighton is not really known for it’s sandy beach as it is actually a very stony beach but this doesn’t stop people laying out their towels and having a sunbathe. if you are brave enough you can even take your shoes off and walk down to have a paddle and if you are lucky you will find some sand. Although I did find sand on the first day I visited, it seemed to have disappeared when I returned to dip my toes in!

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Take a selfie

Do you need an excuse to take a selfie? I personally don’t take many selfies but I certainly caught lots of others doing it and who can blame them with such a lovely backdrop. There are also lots of comical seaside face cut out boards that you can use as a prop for your holiday pics as well.

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Eat

There are plenty of places to eat but fish and chips seem to be a firm favourite and there are no shortage of shops to pick up this seaside must have. There are also lots of hot dog, donuts and crepe pop ups and we personally like the Chinese hut at the end of the pier to get noodles and fried rice followed by an ice cream on the beach.

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Fairground rides

The fair is situated right at the end of the pier and you purchase a wrist band in order to go on all the rides, there is a nice selection for all ages and it is a great way to keep youngsters entertained.

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Soft play

You may not want to spend a day trip having to watch your kids in soft play but it is an alternative to the fairground, probably easier if you have little ones. It is also at the end of the pier but is inside the arcade and surrounds the restaurant seating area so you could give yourself a well earned rest while the kids wear themselves out.

Arcades

You cannot visit a seaside resort without a little trip to the arcades! My personal favourites are the 2p machines (one day I’ll be rich enough to move to the 10p machines) and I have amassed quite a collection of tat that I have won on them. I like to put them on my book shelf as they are all quite cute and remind me of family day trips whenever I see them on there.

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Get sporty

Whether you are a keen kayaker or prefer to just watch sport on the TV you can do either in Brighton. The water had a few surfers and jet skiers and there were some fisherman down by the water but on the pier one of the bars have set up a large screen to watch the tennis which is slightly less strenuous and you can enjoy a drink or two while there.

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Get married

Brighton may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a beach side wedding but the bandstand is the perfect intimate setting to get hitched and that is exactly what my aunt chose to do. I thought it would be far from private as it is out in the open and there are people walking past but actually as it is further down the seafront towards Hove it is less busy and passers by didn’t seem to bat an eyelid.

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Cool the kids off

If you are reluctant to let the kids get in the sea in Brighton they can still cool off in the outdoor pool a short walk from the bandstand. There is also a playground next to it so plenty to keep them entertained.

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Instagram the huts

I have been to Brighton on many occasions and had never seen the beach huts before but on this visit our hotel was further down the beach at Hove and the huts were right opposite. From the back they are all one colour but the owners are allowed to paint the doors any colour they like and they look really pretty so I couldn’t resist an Instagram pic. They are also available to rent if you want to use one on your visit.

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Pick up some souvenirs

Have you even been to the seaside if you haven’t come home with a bag full of magnets, keyrings or sweet treats? We personally love a selection of sticks of rock so I always bring them back for the kids.

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I definitely made the most of my trip to Brighton, have you ever visited? What would you add to the list?