18 places to travel in 2018!

It’s only 21 days into 2018 and I feel like I’ve been on Skyscanner about 238947 times (minor exaggeration) already. Flight prices in the January sales are all too tempting – I’ve seen flights on Ryanair for £5.09. That’s less than the price of a footlong subway! (legit my way of measuring the cost of things)

2017 was great. In December, my boyfriend and I went on a romantic getaway to Venice. In November, I went to Paris to visit my pal who moved there for work (blog post on Speakeasy bars coming soon!) and did a cute little trip to the Cotswolds with my friends. In the summer I did a road trip around the USA, tried surfing in Cornwall, camped in the Lake District, explored my Irish heritage in Dublin, etc. etc. Far away places are incredible but it’s so easy to forget to explore a bit more close to home as well. So I’ve been trying to do more of that recently.

2018 is going to be an extremely busy year for me. Juggling a career with long hours as well as studying and passing six professional exams in one summer is going to be tres difficile. Not to mention making time for the acting/singing classes I take, my website, my long distance relationship and friends/family. BUT I want to cram every gap with an adventure.

I’ve made a list of 8 travel experiences that give me that wish-I-could-just-quit-my-job-and-go feeling. Hopefully I can tick most of these off by the end of the year.

8 travel destinations in 2018

  1. Spot grizzly bears in Banff, Canada

Omg just look at it!!!!!!!!!!!! Mountains, wilderness, hiking, bears, that incredible blue water – what more could you want? I cannot wait to go to Canada in summer.

2. See the Northern Lights in Finland

2 finland

Source: VisitFinland.com

B-E-A-UTIFUL. I’ve always wanted to see the Northern Lights and if I don’t catch them in Canada then I’ll definitely be heading to Finland to get a glimpse!

3.  Eat crepes and pastries in Paris

3 paris

Source: ME

So I’ve been to Paris a billion times but I want to go again, alone. Every time I’ve been before, it’s involved drinking/Disneyland and not enough culture.

I have this image in my head of sipping a coffee in Parisian spring, with nothing but a good book and my camera for company. I want to just sit and observe the French lifestyle.

4. Push myself to climb Killimanjaro

4 killi

Source: ThoughtCo

I texted my friend the other day saying, “do you fancy climbing Kilimanjaro?” and she’s like “yeah why not, you free in October?” and honestly these are the kind of people I need in my life. I immediately sent an email to my resourcing coordinator at work to book off the time and now I guess we’re climbing Kilimanjaro in October. Cool

5. Go to the airport without knowing where I’m going


Source: ME

I’ve been dying to do this for ages. Whether it’s just turning up to the airport and booking onto a random last minute flight or using a website like srprs.me, which books you a trip based on your style/budget and only tells you where you’re going when you get to the airport, the idea of not being able to plan anything sounds oddly comforting to me.

6. Everest base camp trek

6 everest

Source: G Adventures

In all honestly, there is absolutely no way I’ll be able to afford both this and Killimanjaro, especially since I’ve already booked a trip to Canada. But … let a girl dream.

For complete transparency, I’m going to admit that I initially wanted to climb Everest (as opposed to the base camp trek). I then realised this costs about $45,000 and takes two months. Um, no thank you. ANYWAY, I have now realised that most people do the base camp trek, which is much quicker/cheaper. It looks peng de la peng and some people have described the route as the “steps to heaven”.

Maybe I’ll win the lottery or something?


Home is my favourite place and I want to spend as much time as possible there this year, even if it means four hours on a train from London.


I got bedbugs in Vietnam (& other travelling horror stories)

‘I bet these blankets have bed bugs,’ I joked to my friends Laura and Ben, as made our way onto the sleeper bus which would take us from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Laura and I had come to South East Asia together. We met Ben in Phnom Penh (the capital of Cambodia) and ended up travelling with him for a few weeks, crossing the border to Vietnam together.

‘Don’t be silly,’ they both said, ‘people get these buses all the time, of course they don’t have bed bugs.’

‘I know. Just kidding.’

I was just kidding. I didn’t actually consider that they might. The sleeper bus had been organised by our hostel back in Cambodia and we’d had a choice between a cheap one and an even cheaper one. Obviously we picked the even cheaper one.

A couple days later, I noticed I had way more mosquito bites than usual. It’s normal to get bitten by mozzies and some people suffer more than others, because they’re attracted to certain blood types. But this was ridiculous; I had them all up my arms and down my legs.

‘Guys, I don’t think these are mozzie bites,’ I said, looking at the odd clusters of itchy red marks on my arms. Some quick Googling told me that if the bites are in zigzagging lines/clusters, this is one of the main symptoms of bed bugs. As well as being unbearably itchy.

Unfortunately, we happened to be in the middle of a two day trek to get to the top of the highest mountain in Indochina, Mt. Fansipan. As if it couldn’t get any worse, it was an unbearably cold night and we were camping halfway up the mountain in the blistering cold, with broken sleeping bags. Everyone huddled their sleeping bags together. Naturally, no one wanted to be too near me. Ngl, it wasn’t the best night. My friends started calling me ‘bed bug Bob’. I tried v hard to see the funny side.

halfway up fansipan

‘Okay, so I Googled it and basically you need to burn all your clothes,’ said Ben. ‘And maybe your rucksack too.’

‘Right.’ I said. ‘The trouble is, we’re on top of a mountain and I have no clothes to change into.’

‘Hmm. Guess you gotta wait til you get back down then.’

Great. Another bed-buggy day for me then.

You know when people start talking about head lice and suddenly your scalp starts feeling very itchy? People wouldn’t shut up about my … issue … and I wanted to scratch my skin off just to relieve the itch.

nice of them to hug me and risk the itch

After a long night and extremely rainy second day (we forgot it was monsoon season lol) we finally made it to the top. As you can see from the pic, the view was so worth it …. oh wait.

In all seriousness, trekking up Fansipan was one of my favourite things in south east Asia. Bed bugs or no bed bugs.

I’m happy to report that the second I got to the gift shop at the top (lol as if there was a gift shop), I bought a whole new outfit and immediately changed. I even ditched my trainers. I was sad to say goodbye to my full moon crop top and shorts but happy to be rid of the bed bugs.

The rest of my trip was a bed bug bob free experience!

riding away from the bed bugs

Thanks for reading pls like and share or u will get bedbugs too x

How can I save £3000+ to travel this year?

Eating out is my guilty pleasure. When I first moved to London, I was honestly eating out 2, 3, sometimes even 4 times a week. Not to mention after work drinks which happened multiple times a week. And the hot chocolate I bought everyday from the cafe in my office, despite the fact there was a free coffee machine on every floor. Also, everything in London costs money.

There was no way I was going to be able to save dolla to travel if I kept this up.

1. How much are you spending on your morning coffee?

Okay, so I don’t drink coffee because I can’t handle the caffeine lol, but I was buying a hot chocolate every single morning in the office. I was too much of a hot beverage snob to just get the free stuff from the machine upstairs. “It doesn’t taste the same!!!!” I used to moan as I sipped on a perfectly lovely FREE chocomilk. “And the cups are, like, half the size. And where’s the whipped cream?”

Get over it.

That £2.50 (+ an extra 50p for whipped cream?!) I spent on a hot chocolate equated to £15 a week. Over the course of 52 weeks, that’s £780 a year. (I’m gunna be honest, I’ve never actually calculated that before and I’m literally in SHOCK. What the F? That’s an absurd amount of money!?!?!?!)


Spend your coffee savings on return flights to New York instead!!

2. You probably don’t need that t-shirt which looks just like that other t-shirt you have

I’m not saying I never buy clothes ever. But after realising that the majority of my purchases were spur-of-the-moment decisions, I started adopting a 14 day approach where I would leave the item and see if I still wanted it in two weeks. I found that about 90% of the time, by the end of two weeks I no longer wanted whatever it was I so desperately wanted in the first place.

A cheaper way to find cool new clothes is to have a look in charity shops. Most of my favourite clothes are from charity shops! You can get some really cool finds. Don’t knock it before you’ve tried it!

You could even try selling some of the stuff you have at the back of your wardrobe to get some extra cash.


Couple of shopping sprees or helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon? Hard choice 

3. Drinking habits

It’s no secret, Brits love to drink. I enjoy going for bevs with my friends after work or at the weekend as much as the next person, but alcoholic beverages are almost always going to be more expensive than their non-alcoholic counterparts. Absolutely still go and socialise but occasionally consider swapping the £8 glass of prosecco for a £2 lemonade.

USA 406

Wouldn’t you rather save it for a bev here?

4. Subscriptions to Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime?

How much would you really miss these things if you didn’t have them? I had a Spotify subscription for ages on the basis of I LOVE MUSIC SO MUCH I WOULD LITERALLY FALL APART WITHOUT IT but, come on, the adverts aren’t that bad. Now I’m saving that £9.99 a month to give me an extra £120 at the end of the year.


L.A. looking BEAUT

5. Start a “travel fund”

When you start a travel fund and see it begin to grow, you’ll become addicted. Make a habit out of putting some dolla in once a week/month, whatever. In fact, chuck in what you would have spent on coffee.


She wants you to save money!

6. Spend less on eating out

I’m feeling awkward as I write this because I bloody love to eat out (curse you Wagamama’s chicken katsu curry!!!!!). But when I realised I was eating out more than I was eating in … things were getting bad.

My name is Bobby and I’m addicted to going out for food.

I realised that by just eating lunch and dinner out one day less a week, I could save about £20 a week. That’s over £1000 a year.

USA 788

He’s mad at me for my eating out habits

7. Get fewer haircuts

I sound like such a killjoy don’t I? But honestly you’ll be thanking me later when you’re on a plane headed somewhere FAB. I get my hair cut a couple of times a year, if I’m lucky. And I often get model cuts (where trainees cut your hair for a fraction of the price) to save the pennies. And I swear no-one actually needs to get their hair colour done every 6-8 weeks like they tell you.

Even if you get a trim every two months instead of every month, that’s still a huge saving when you consider how expensive hair styling can be!

USA 355

Not a relevant pic but thought it looked quite nice – this is from when I went to Horseshoe Bend in Arizona!

And there you go, my top tips for saving money, whether it’s for travelling or not!

10 reasons why you should travel solo (& survival tips)

I’ve changed a lot in the last few years. I moved out of my village in Devon to go to uni in Bath and then relocated again to London to work in the City. These things have meant a leap out of my comfort zone and lots of new experiences. But one thing I never thought I’d do is travel across the Atlantic aaaall byyyy myyyseeeeelf (cue Celine).

Deciding to travel alone to North America was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I absolutely loved it and learnt so much during my summer there. It was inexplicably exciting, completely terrifying and ever so rewarding.

To anyone considering traveling solo (or to anyone that can’t understand why on earth travelling alone might be fun?!), here are 10 reasons you should give it a go:


1. You learn that you can stand on your own two feet

Okay so let me give you some context. I’m that person in every friendship group that just sort of goes with the flow and leaves the organising to someone else. I’m extremely last minute and never really do anything with much of a plan. Before I went to America, everyone was like lol how is she gunna survive? Well bitch I did, and there was no one there to get mad at me for not wanting to plan too much. Which leads me on to my next point …


2. You can do what you want, when you want

Ahhh, no one to compromise with.. heaven. No one to roll their eyes because you want to go to LA and they want to go to Vegas. Or because you want to eat here and they want to eat there. Or because you want to get up for a 5am sunrise and they don’t fancy it, or vice versa .

I had a flight booked from London to the USA at the start of summer. I had no hotels booked, no real plan of what to do, except for a return flight booked back to London at the end of summer. I met some cool people in Florida, then flew to New York to hang out with one of them. From there I very last minute got involved in a road trip from New York to LA with a fab group of people. If I’d been with a group, I may not have had this freedom, and would have had to cater to other people’s ideas of the perfect trip too.

Grand Canyon

3. You meet some really, really cool people

‘Travelling solo’ makes it sound like I’m suggesting you spend all your time alone. I’m absolutely not. You’ll meet fab people from all sorts of cultures that you’ll have loads in common with. So, when you’re travelling alone you’re never really by yourself.

Look at these fab gals I ended up doing a road trip across North America with, all bonding over a mutual appreciation for Matthew McConaughey. 10 points to Gryffindor if you can spot the Hollywood sign in the distance.


4. You are more present

If you’re travelling with a friend or group of friends, it can be tempting to just speak to each other and not get involved with local culture. When you travel alone, you spend more time looking at what is around you and getting in touch with your surroundings.



5. You become more confident

By the end of your trip, you will be able to talk to just about anyone. Before I left I was like, do I even know how to get through airport security by myself? But as I navigated my way through the USA, I realised I was much more capable than I had thought.



6. You can make/change plans last minute

It is nigh on impossible to change plans on a whim when you are travelling in a group. You will be worried about messing up other people’s schedules/finances and getting a group of people to adjust their plans can be très difficile. When travelling solo, you’re on no one’s timetable but your own. If you want to skip that bicycle tour and catch up on sleep, go ahead. Found a cool steak restaurant nearby but you’d already decided on a sushi place across town? Easy decision.


New Orleans

7. It’s not as scary as you might think (but have your wits about you) 

Don’t get me wrong, being a solo traveller can be intimidating, possibly even more so if you’re female. To save money when I visited New York, I stayed in Newark, NJ. When I first arrived to Newark with my backpack, I got followed up the street by some pretty dodgy looking guys who were yelling all sorts of things at me.

My advice is to just have your wits about you. Find out from your hostel’s reception if the areas you are planning on going to are safe, and find out when the last trains/buses back to the area are if you’re planning on exploring. If in doubt, get a taxi. Just do your research before you go, try and do most of your exploring in daylight and keep friends/family updated on your whereabouts. I actually used the Find My Friends app, which meant that my Mum/sister could track my location while I was away (it was more for their peace of mind than mine).



8. You get to know yourself a bit better

Back home, I have this need to be with people all the time. I live in a house of five girls, and when I’m home alone I feel oddly anxious and lonely. This feeling of never wanting to be alone and always needing to be busy probably isn’t overly healthy, so I was intrigued to know how I would find travelling solo.

There is no situation in which you are more likely to encounter your true self than when you are travelling alone. Without your family/friends around to encourage you to act a certain way, a little bit of solitude goes a long way in allowing you to be yourself. Let yourself just be alone and see where your mind goes. You’ll be surprised.


Grand Canyon

9. Solo travellers are more approachable

Ever walked up to a group of people who have a bunch of in-jokes and are chatting about mutual friends or past experiences? No, because it’s intimidating as hell. It is far easier to go up to approach people when they are on their own and as keen to meet others as you.


Monument Valley

10. You will definitely want to do it again

Now that I’ve travelled alone once, I absolutely wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. I’m not going to pretend there are zero downsides – for example when you have to ask people to take photos of you or when you’re witnessing something beautiful and you kinda wish you were sharing that with someone. But when you go back, you will have hundreds and hundreds of stories to tell and I can almost guarantee you will be desperate to book the next one.

A long weekend in Venice (winter edition)

The “Floating City” / “City of Bridges” / “City of Water” / “City of Masks” – whatever you call it, Venice is undeniably one of the most quaint and romantic places in the world. An absolute maze of canals filled with the purest turquoise water you’ll ever see, buildings that look like a film set (some of them actually are, think James Bond and Italian Job!) and picturesque little bridges, everywhere in Venice looks like a postcard.


LITERALLY THIS COULD BE A POSTCARD how is everything so cute and perfect

How long should I go for?

I went for 3 nights because flying Thursday-Sunday was only £30 return (London Gatwick – Venice Marco Polo), compared to Friday-Sunday which was a lot more expensive. Also, I’m a bit lazy and wanted to go at a slower pace but you could absolutely fit Venice into 2 nights if you wanted. Some people even do day trips.


Venice at night ft. over half of the Rialto Bridge and some nice boats

Isn’t Venice, like, really expensive?

Before I went to Venice, everyone was like, “oh, Venice is sooo expensive!” Look, like any city in Western Europe, sure – Venice can be pricey. But there are definitely ways to enjoy this magical city without breaking the bank. For example, get public transport from the airport to the city, instead of an overpriced water taxi. Save your money for a gondola! There are no cars on the island, so explore by foot. Food & drink are more costly near the Grand Canal / Rialto Bridge, the tourist hotspots, so stray a few streets away for both cheaper (I’m talking €6 for Carbonara and €2.50 for red wine – THIS IS NOT A DRILL) and more authentic Italian cuisine.


Getting from the airport to the city

Venice Marco Polo is the closest airport to the city but you will still need to get from the airport to Venice itself. Private water taxis are hella expensive (around €135) so I would highly recommend getting a public waterbus (€15). *TIP* – do not do what I did and arrive in the early hours of the morning, after the public waterbus has stopped running. The waterbus connects the airport to Venice and the main Venetian islands and is called the Alilaguna.

The last water bus to San Marco runs around 1am but different lines run at different times. The last bus going to Rialto is midnight, which is the one I missed. Check here for timetables. Find out where your hotel/hostel/Airbnb is and plan in advance if you’re getting a late flight, especially if you have a suitcase. I was only carrying my backpack (because I’m just such a backpacker lol) so I actually didn’t mind the fifteen minute stroll from Fondamenta Nuove to the hotel.


The trusty public waterbus, the Alilaguna, or as I like to call it “A little iguana”

Right, onto the fun stuff.

Day 1


We woke up bright and early(ish) on Friday morning and headed out to explore. As beautiful as Venice looked during our walk to the hotel last night, I was now seeing it in an entirely different light. It was December so it was VERY cold, hence the huge faux fur coat. Despite the bitter chill in the air (still warmer than England), I was in awe. I must have said about 80 times that first morning, “how is this real?” followed by, “I feel like I’m in a piece of Shakespeare,” or, more commonly, “wait, I swear we’ve been here before? Get Google Maps out”. You’re going to get lost in Venice, so just roll with it.


Cold and happy, a Venetian oxymoron

The first day we made absolutely no plans. I highly recommend aimlessly exploring, allowing yourself to wander down alleys and over bridges – it means you can truly appreciate every part of a city instead of impatiently hopping from one tourist attraction to the next. Yes, it’s great to go and see famous sites like Rialto Bridge and St Mark’s Basilica but allow yourself time to explore like a local too.

It’s pretty hard to imagine a city built on water unless you actually see it for yourself but there are 177 different canals in Venice, snaking their way through the city, splitting it into 118 different islands. Unlike the states I visited in America, there are no “blocks” to keep you on track, no “1st Street”, “2nd street”, none of that rubbish. Oh and don’t think you’re safe just because you’ve got Google Maps because my 4G let me down *waves fist angrily at Google*.

street signs.PNG

Pretty sure these street signs were just put here to trick us, that or I’m just bad at following them


After getting thoroughly lost in the backstreets of Venice, we decided to grab a bite. I would advise to avoid all the overpriced tourist traps, the places where the menu is in six different languages and there are large photographs of the food. Eat like a local; if you can barely understand the menu then the food is probably going to be cheaper and more authentic.

We came across a little place called Barcaro Vinto 22. It was perfect! The menu was in Italian and it was super cheap; €6 for Carbonara (?!!?!?!?!? SO CHEAP !!??!?!?)

The menu was superb and the service impeccable. The owner offered us red wine, which I don’t usually like, but he found something sweet and not too heavy that I actually really enjoyed. The wine was only €2.50 a glass which was certainly kinder than the London prices I’m used to.

IMG_0185 (2)

Carbonara at Barcado Vinto 22


After a leisurely lunch, we took a stroll through the pleasantly quiet streets of Venice, stopping every now and then to peak at shop windows. There were art shops everywhere and loads of Venetian carnival mask shops. There were lace masks, filigree masks, feather masks, costume masks, there was even some Steampunk stuff floating about. Venetian masks are a tradition that goes back centuries and are worn during the annual carnival (Carnevale di Venezia) in Spring but historically they were worn to hide identity/social status. Pretty cool, right?

We happened across the Da Vinci Museum (Museo Leonardo da Vinci), and the Dan Brown fan girl in me came racing to the surface. I paid the €8 adult entry fee.


Still lolling at when I was convinced this was the original The Last Supper and it didn’t cross my mind that there would have been a little more security if so


As the last rays of sunshine filtered through the city, we meandered around the streets for a while before heading back to our hotel to recoup.


God, the sunsets in Venice are to-die-for


We headed out for food. I’m about to be a mahoosive hypocrite but … we ate along the Grand Canal. YES it was probably overpriced and goes against everything I said above. But the views were nice and we got sucked in. Do I regret it? No (look at the views!) but the bill did come to like €70 for food and wine for two. Stop judging me!


Dinner views


We wandered back to the hotel along the Grand Canal, taking a moment to stop and appreciate the quietness of the streets. Venice is not exactly known for its wild nights and clubbing scene (which is nonexistent) but there are definitely places to stop for a Venetian cocktail if you aren’t too tired from a day of exploring.


Day 2


After a hearty breakfast and lots of prosecco, we headed out to explore again, this time with more of a plan of where to go. We walked to San Marco, passing loads of very fancy shops – Gucci, Burberry, Bvlgari, Prada, Miu Miu, YsL, Louis Vitton – all sorts of things I can’t afford. We walked a bit further and the shops became a lot more unique, all with charming, picturesque little storefronts and balconies.



We did all the classic touristy things, such going to see St Marks Basilica, Doge’s Palace and Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. I would definitely recommend the latter, especially if it’s a nice sunny day. The views were honestly divine. Pretty much everything in Venice is within walking distance but if your feet are feeling tired then get the Vaporetto, the boat which has stops all over the island.


As we ambled back through the winding streets, the sun was beginning to set. I don’t know if we just got really, really lucky or if sunsets are always like this in Venice. But have you ever seen anything so beautiful!? They don’t call it the most romantic city in the world for no reason. Something that made this even more magical was the lack of people. No hordes of tourists with selfie sticks. No kids crying because they dropped their gelato. Just pure tranquillity.


Dorsoduro sunset


By 7pm, the evening chill was beginning to swoop over us. We went for dinner in San Polo to warm up after a long day of walking around. Locals eat late in Italy, so unfortunately (or fortunately) the restaurants are all pretty empty at this time.  I got tagliatelle with meat sauce. Halfway through our meal, the place started getting more full and the lively conversations of locals began to surround us. Italian is a lovely language to have in the background.

There are all sorts of evening activities you can get involved in, such as going to a concert or jazz club.


Day 3


We woke up to the sun pouring in through the curtains, accompanied by a blue sky. We could have been forgiven for thinking it was t-shirt weather. A quick hand-out-the-window technique assured me that – no – it’s still absolutely freezing outside, so once again, we wrapped up warm.

After a long breakfast (making the most of our unlimited prosecco), we didn’t have much time before we neeedd to head to the airport, but there was one thing we had been dying to do since we arrived. Take a ride on a gondola.


Despite being undeniably romantic and arguably the symbol of Venice, gondola rides are expensive. However, can you really go to Venice and not go on a gondola? Possibly not. The average price is €80 for a round trip of about 40 minutes. If you’re paying more, you’re probably getting ripped off. Our gondolier was super nice and informative. He explained that gondolas are traditional Venetian boats that were historically used to transport wealthy families. Gondoliers power the boat by hand with long oars.



Before we head to the airport, there’s just time to saunter over the Rialto Bridge and take in our last burst of Venetian sunshine. You can get the Alilaguna straight to the airport from here.


Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoy Venice as much as I did!

9 cosy things to do in London in Winter

So, since I’m now on a grad scheme in the City it seems fitting to make my first real blog post about London. I’ll be honest, this post probably isn’t too helpful for backpackers because London is expensive. Oh, and I may have mentioned the Ritz … Firstly, London is beautiful. Sure, it’s got ugly bits too but that’s what makes it so beautiful. If you haven’t experienced London in winter, it’s definitely one to put on the bucket list. This is my second Christmas in London and it hasn’t disappointed thus far.

Whether it’s the Christmas market on Southbank (where street performers still work their butts off to entertain us despite it been finger-freezing cold), the London Eye all lit up on New Years Eve, the ice-skating rink at the Natural History Museum, the hustle and bustle of stressed last minute Christmas shoppers on Oxford Street or mulled wine and fairground rides at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, there is no shortage of cosy things to do in London when the temperatures drop.  Here are some of my favourites!

1.  Go ice skating

There are barrels of places to go ice skating in London in winter. Bare in mind they will probably all be very busy! My favourite is the one in Canary Wharf because they had some cracking tunes playing and it was all lit up with little fairy lights on trees. I also really enjoyed the ice rink at the Natural History Museum (below). There’s a cute Christmas tree in the middle AND a Hotel Chocolat van if I remember correctly. You can also ice skate at Somerset House and the Tower of London.

ice skating

Ice skating at the Natural History Museum

2. Go to Winter Wonderland

If you’re into mulled wine, hot cider, rollercoasters, hot doughnuts, candyfloss, lots of tourists, slightly drunk people by 9pm and a medium-to-strong chance of rain (it is England after all), then this is the place for you. Admittedly it was hella crowded when I went and the queues were out the door (with one of the bars I went to being “one-in-one-out”)  and to be honest I’m not the biggest fan of mulled cider but it’s still a must-do.

Bare in mind that about 90% of the activities there are OUTSIDE and since England is very cold in winter you will want to wrap up warm – see below for my OOTD ft. a very furry hat. You will also notice a lack of gloves which I regretted so wrap up or be prepared to buy a hot drink just to keep your mitts warm.

winter wonderland

Yours truly at Winter Wonderland 2017 – looking v happy after the mulled wine

3. Go for a winter walk in a London park

Okay, hear me out. I know it’s cold. But the parks in London are just as glorious in winter as they are in summer. My favourite will always be Richmond Park, go and spot the deer! They’re adorable. I also love going to Primrose Hill. If you make the effort to walk to the top, the skyline is superb, day or night. If you’re stuck for things to do at New Years, Primrose Hill is always a good shout. I went last year and it was fab – people sit at the top with picnic blankets and fizz and listen to music and have a good time. Regents Park, Greenwich Park and Hyde Park are all great options too.

snow park

I’m never taking this hat off

4. Walk along Southbank

Southbank’s Winter Market features wooden chalets selling all sorts of treats such as food, drink (lots of mulled wine) and unique Christmas gifts. I work near London Bridge so love walking from London Bridge all the way down to Waterloo and seeing views like this on my way (yep that’s Tower Bridge and the Shard:


View from London Bridge

If you walk the whole way down you’ll pass a whole host of famous buildings and landmarks such as the National Theatre, Tate Modern, the Oxo Tower, the Globe Theatre, and the London Eye, just to name a few. Not to mention all the bridges in between (there are lots!) Near London Bridge station is the Shard, if you fancy a touch of class or alternatively check out Borough Market where you can find all sorts of fun festive food and drink.


5. Afternoon tea

There’s nothing cosier than pausing to warm up with some afternoon tea or some hot cocoa. There are a billion places to go in London for this sort of thing. If you want somewhere slightly upmarket I recommend Café Concerto (sorry it’s a chain!). This strawberry/cream/sorbet situation was SO good.

cafe concerto

Enjoying a bloody good dessert at Café Concerto

If you want a traditional afternoon tea and don’t mind spending a bit more dolla, head to the Ritz (pls don’t literally just head there lol, it gets very busy and you will need to book way in advance!). There is a dress code at the Ritz and you’ll see why as soon as you enter. Probably this sense of formality is one of the things that draws tourists in to experience a true sense of Britishness. You can make an evening of it and bathe in the lavish ambience complimented by a musical ensemble from the resident pianist/harpist.


Afternoon tea at the Ritz, source: the Ritz website

6. Visit Greenwich!


When you’re done with Southbank, take a boat trip from Westminster to Greenwich. I’m slightly biased because I spent a year living there but Greenwich is fantastique! I could honestly rave about Greenwich for days. Not only is it home to the o2 (which you can climb up!), and London’s only cable car, it also happens to be packed with royal heritage. Not to mention the Maritime Museum, Cutty Sark and Planetarium! Walk up to the Royal Observatory and cross the Greenwich Meridian. The view from the Observatory is honestly breathtaking. Just pause and take in that incredible view of London. Then afterwards go get a full English at one of the many restaurants Greenwich has to offer.


7. Check out Harrods window display.

Just go see for yourself!

8. Go to the theatre

I spend half my life at the theatre (ps. that may not be 100% accurate). There are so many good things on in London at the moment (including incredible Broadway show Hamilton, which is now on at the West End). I would highly recommend seeing An American in Paris, Mama Mia! and Phantom of the Opera. There are so many amazing shows on at the moment and the theatre provides the perfect shelter if it’s raining/cold/snowing.

9. New Years Eve fireworks

Unfortunately tickets are now sold out for New Years Eve 2017 so if you’re desperate to see it you might have to watch it on telly in true British fashion. Something to bare in mind for next year though – book early!


Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy London as much as I do.