Review- Fear At Avon Valley- Bristol’s Scariest Attraction this October

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Want to get super scared this Halloween? Then get yourself down to Fear at Avon Valley as this is the scare park for you.

I am one of the biggest scaedy cats there ever was.. Or so I thought!

We had the opportunity to visit Fear at Avon Valley last week for their opening night and I can tell you that I’ve not jumped out of my skin so much in a long time. There were frights galore!

Fear at Avon Valley just outside of Bristol is a Scare Park. Scare Park’s have been gaining momentum across the UK and based on the screams and sqeuals we heard all night it seems as scary as they are people love them!

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Celebrating their 5th birthday Fear at Avon Valley have got bigger, better and scarier than before. They have grown over the last 5 years and developed their mazes to further shock, scare and spook the living daylights out of its patrons. They have even travelled over to the U.S to get inspiration and ideas on how they can continue to up the anti and finds new ways to scare people.  With 4 mazes, a live-action shooting range, 2-minute escape room challenge, a very scary clown name Frank overseeing the area, fairground rides, fire show, yummy food trucks, bars with some spooky cocktails and creepy characters wandering around (note chasing you!) it’s a great night out this October.

The 4 mazes (Phobia, Anarchy:Live, X4 and House of Clowns) all feature their own storylines as you make your way through them. Phobia is what it says on the tin. It covers most people’s phobias from claustrophobia to bugs. Anarchy: Live is the oldest maze and is reinvented every year. This year it’s a zombie film set gone wrong. House of Clowns is exactly what you think with some hella creepy clowns hiding in a cute little of ladies house, ready to do the creepiest laughing you ever did hear! X4 is military based and there has been an outbreak and you’ve got to escape.

They are an assault on all your senses with strong smells, strobe and disorientating lighting, twists and turns, people jumping out on you, clever use of darkness and making the silence even creepier than a clown evil laughing in your ears.

They are cleverly planned out and designed even the start of Phobia has you (and your partner) standing in a coffin in the dark for a good 10/15 seconds before someone screams at you and drags you into the maze. This was the first maze we did and it 100% set us up for a night with us on edge.

Out of the four mazes, my favourite was  Anarchy: Live mainly as there were parts of this that I felt so lost in and literally like I wouldn’t find our way out. The fact that you also get chased out by an axe-wielding zombie was a nice touch.

We had a VIP ticket which meant we could jump the queues, had an unlimited entry into all attractions and a special bar area complete with popcorn and sweets. If anything the VIP is most worth it for being able to jump the queues and I would recommend on busier nights. This is worth its weight in gold. I can imagine queuing up hearing people squealing and screaming probably adds to the anticipation but it could also grow quite tiresome. It was £45 which is a jump up from the standard ticket at £17 but if you wanted to go into the mazes more than once and don’t like queuing then I would recommend it.

Would we do it again? Yes of course! It was a really fun night and whilst I’ll probably regret saying it – it was nice to been spooked leading up to Halloween. We were way braver than I thought.

There are only limited dates remaining with the final night of the event falling on Halloween so you want to get your tickets quick. To book and find out more click here.

 

Featured Image courtesy of Fear at Avon Valley. All other images our own.

Disclaimer:

Fear at Avon Valley kindly invited us to enjoy the VIP experience in exchange for an honest review and mentions on social media. We would of course only recommend places/attractions/products that we personally enjoyed. We had the best night and thoroughly recommend you go experience it for yourself. If you do then let us know what you think!

Iceland Tales- The Lava Tunnel

Looking for a unique experience close to Reykjavik to see to the inner workings of a volcanic eruption? Then this is the tour of The Lava Tunnel is for you!

Have you ever been inside a lava tunnel?

To be honest, before I went to Iceland I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a lava tunnel. I always thought the lava burst up out of the ground and not flow underground like a huge fire breathing river. The things you can learn whilst you are travelling!

There are so many geological experiences to enjoy in Iceland and I must say this was one of my favourite activities that we did whilst we were there. Actually walking where lava once flowed! Not many people can say they have done that!

We came across the Lava Tunnel a little by accident (or luck you may say) and even luckier still got there with a minute to spare before the next tour. We thought we might just get to see an opening of the tunnel but no we quickly discovered they did two tours. One standard and one extreme. We opted for the standard as it was an hour tour and touted that it was easy walking. The Extreme tour is 5 to 6 hours long and for the more adventurous and go further into the tunnel. Maybe one for the next trip.

The tunnel is 1.4k meters long and was formed due to the path of the lava from the Leitahraun eruption over 5,000 years ago. This lava tunnel is considered one of the longest lava tubes in Europe. They have restored it well especially as it was only opened officially in Summer 2017. Initially, you could make your own way in however over time it was becoming more unstable and ended up being a bit of dumping ground with lots of rubbish being left in the tunnel. It was then strengthened with footbridges and lights and added knowledgeable guides that can talk you through the history of the tunnel. We had a really insightful guide who gave us so much information about the rock formations, how you can see what temperature the lava got to in places and also answered lots of questions about the geological makeup of Iceland and just Iceland in general.

At the beginning of the tunnel, there are skylights where the cave has collapsed had let the snow in so formed huge big snow dunes. They allow the light to shine in and show just how expansive the tunnel is. Leading into the chamber you are also treated to a huge display of Icicles. There were so many and they were the tallest I had ever seen. We were told that in winter they are even taller and larger. They looked so magical and it just shows even further that Iceland really is the land of fire and ice.

At the end of the standard tour, there is a part of the tunnel where they turn off the lights and you can see how dark it is as there is no light from anywhere coming in. It really plays with your eyes. You truly feel underground and so close to the centre of the earth. It’s an unnerving experience in a way as it’s not often we ever get to experience true darkness.

The Lava Tunnel is located 30 mins from Reykjavik and is open from 10 am – 5 pm daily all year round. With your ticket for the standard tour, you get free hire of a helmet and helmet light. It does get chilly in there so make sure you are dressed warmly and definitely have sturdy footwear (it can be a little slippy in places). As with anything in Iceland, it’s not cheap but it is worth the expense for a truly interesting experience. The standard tour without transport is 6,400 ISK per person (as of June 2018) with the Extreme tour it is 19.900 ISK per person.

To see more about this tour or to book click here or for more inspiration on what see and do in Iceland click here

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Where in the World Wednesday- Stockhill Woods

Where the wild things are

I’ve only recently discovered this area which considering its only 20 minutes down the road from where I have lived for 11 years is pretty bad form on my part.

Stockhill Woods is located in the Mendip Hills just outside of the village Priddy and city of Wells and is a great place to explore if you want to get out and enjoy the natural landscape. It reminds me of a pine forest we have behind our property in Australia and as soon as we got into the tree line I automatically felt transported home.

The Mendip Hills can be found in Somerset in England and and have been named as an Area of Outstanding Beauty. THis is largely due to the stunning landscapes that you can find with the gorges, limestone outcrops, hilltops, lakes and and the grasslands that make up this beautiful area.

Stockhill Wood fits within this description and even more so when you learn of its past. This is what happens when an industrial wasteland becomes an area of outstanding natural beauty.

All over the Mendip Hills there is remnants of the 200 years of Lead mining that went on in the past. Over the years with every new technology advancement the mining took on a different shaped and in turn has shaped the landscape to what you see today. The rises, gullies and trenches haven’t just happened as nature intended they were set in motion by our forefathers looking to industrialise the nation.

It really is so hard to imagine what it was in the past, when what’s been left is a mystical and picturesque landscape. You feel like fairies should be buzzing around or that Snow White and the seven dwarfs will go marching by. The sun streaming through the canopy, birds singing, and hidden delights on what you will discover with the next step. It’s a very peaceful place and whilst every time I’ve been there has been a car park full of cars I’ve only ever bumped into a handful of people walking the trails.

There are soft trails meandering through the trees or dirt tracks if you want something more solid to walk or cycle on. It does have a sign saying no horses but dogs and bikes are certainly allowed. Just make sure you pick up any dog mess. No one wants to step in that!

There is a large car park and picnic area perfect for a  sarnie and drink after your walk. It is an easy walk but if you go on the soft trails you will need to go steady. Definitely make sure you’ve got wellies or boots on as it can get pretty muddy.

You may have seen on our Instagram that we’ve recently added to our fur family with a sweet and lively little pooch called Ozzy. With this it has meant that we have a whole new type of adventuring and if these are the types of places we can start discovering I can’t ruddy wait to find more!!

You can find other great pleaces to explore in Somerset here

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Take a walk through the South Bank, Brisbane

One of my favourite things to do in Brisbane (apart from visiting my sister obvs) is to spend the day down at the South Bank Parklands.

Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River you can find this urban paradise. This vibrant area actually used to be the site of the Brisbane’s ‘88 World Expo. The new site opened in 1992 and has been a popular destination in Brisbane for tourists and locals alike. It’s often referred to as the cultural heart of the city and is the perfect play area within the city for all ages.

If you want to wander along the river, swim, watch a show, take in some art, sunbathe on the golden sand, sit in the park, walk amongst the Bougainvilleas, shop in the markets or just sit in a bar/restaurant and people watch the world away, then this is the place for you. It’s a completely pedestrian area and somehow just magically transforms you away from being in a busy capital city to an oasis.

There is plenty to see and do and something for everyone and all ages. If you want to eat and drink then there’s so many bars and restaurants to choose from with all sorts of cuisines. Being in Queensland and that its usually ‘beautiful one, perfect the next’ they all have outdoor areas to sit and enjoy your lunch in the sun.

If you fancy a bit of shopping you can find the South Bank Markets every weekend and also the night markets on a Friday night. We’ve been there for the weekend markets and found so many amazing items. I’ve always wanted to visit the night markets but we’ve not quite got there yet for those. Defo on the list for next time. There is also a whole host of other events so do check out their website for ideas and dates.

If sitting around and shopping isn’t your thing then you can talk a stroll along the river’s edge overlooking the city or you can do the South Bank Walkway and walk under the 1 km of bougainvillaea. It’s gorgeous colour just illuminates and really is the prettiest of sights. There are lush green parks with tropical plants and to wander around.

You can even get up high in the sky with the Wheel of Brisbane. I think it might be sponsored by 7.Mainly due to the 7 logo right in the centre. I’ve not been on this but I can imagine it would give some amazing views of the South Bank Parklands, the Brisbane River the City skyline.

Being considered the cultural heart of Brisbane It ozzes culture. With The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, The Queensland Performing Art Centre, The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, The Queensland Maritime Museum and the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre all in the area there is plenty of places to get your cultural fix.

But as with many people, the absolute cherry on the top of this stunning parkland is the swimming facilities! There are three different areas including the Streets Beach, Water Play Park and the Boat Pool. All are free to use, patrolled by lifeguards and open all year round. Whilst they do get pretty busy especially in the summer months you can always find a spot on the sand (yes they even have real sand!) or in the crystal blue water to unwind. I’ve heard that the sand is brought in from the nearby Moreton Bay and that there is enough water to fill FIVE Olympic size pools.

It really is a great place for everyone living and visiting Brisbane and if we haven’t sold you on visiting already then takes a walk through the South Bank below….

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The Best View in NYC- Top of the Rock

For someone slightly afraid of heights I do love to see a city from above and New York is one city that you’ve not really seen till you’ve got up high.

On my first trip to NYC I went up the Empire State Building (which was amazing) but on a recent trip, I’d heard a lot about Top of the Rock and I wasn’t leaving till I had gone up there to see what all the hype was about.

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Opened in 2005 the Top of the Rock is an observation area literally on top of the Rockefeller Centre. The observation area is across 3 floor 67th, 69th and 70th (no idea what’s on the 68th!). You can visit every day of the year and the usual opening times are 8 am to Midnight with the last elevator going up at 11 pm but do check the website just to make sure. I visited at lunchtime but I’ve heard and seen amazing photos during the golden hour, sunset and in the evening with the city lights shining brightly. New York is one of those cities that you know is pretty darn special but once you get up top and look out across it you have a whole new appreciation for it. I could have had hours up there taking in the views and filling my memory card with pictures.

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On the 67th and 69th floor there are big panes of glass for protection and to stop the wind but if you take the stairs to the 70th floor you get a sweeping unobstructed 360 view of the city. You can see Central Park, the streets of midtown, Chrysler building,  Statue of liberty in the distance and the best is that you get a view of new york with the Empire State Building standing tall and strong in the foreground. Even on a cloudy grey day, it was the most beautiful view. You should note that is you are visiting during the Christmas holidays sadly you can’t see the ice skating and Christmas tree from up top but you can spend some time taking in the festive spirit once you’ve come back down to street level.

It’s a popular attraction for millions of visitors every year. It’s also a popular place for engagements and wedding photos. We were lucky enough to see a couple up there having some pretty spectacular wedding photos. Who wouldn’t want the NYC skyline in their wedding album! The tickets run on a timed system so you need to book for a certain time however once you are up there you can stay as long or as little as you want. I’d recommend at least an hour.  We booked online and you can do that or at the box office with several different options for tickets availabl. Do check out their website but a standard adult ticket is $36 which is brilliant value for an almost priceless view.

The main entrance is on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. You can’t miss it there is a big red carpet out the front and likely a queue of people. The queue does move fairly quickly and be ready for security checks when you get inside.

We visited late December and even with the foggy and grey skies, it’s still so beautiful…

Central Park is there under the clouds I promise

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I’d seen this shot on Instagram so obvs had to copy

Looking for other things to do in NYC then check out our post on The High Line and The Brooklyn Bridge.

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The best view of NYC from Top of the Rock on The Wandering Darlings

The beauty of Glastonbury Abbey in pictures

Glastonbury Abbey by The Wandering Darlings

Glastonbury Abbey has long been one of my favourite places in the UK. As soon as you walk into the abbey grounds you just get the feeling you are in very serene and special place. Maybe its the connections to King Arthur and the legend that he’s buried here, maybe it’s the many stories the ruins hold or maybe it’s just that its a place of worship.

Located in the town of Glastonbury, Somerset (more popularly known for its ties with Glastonbury Festival) the Abbey is a popular visitor attraction. The Abbey buildings date back to 688 and whilst they are now ruins, they are still just as beautiful as what you would imagine they were back in their heyday.

The buildings are Grade 1 Listed and set in within 36 acres of parkland which is all immaculately preserved so that history lives on and that visitors can learn about the history and myths of this tranquil area. Whilst visiting you can see what is believed to be King Arthur and Queen Guinevere’s final resting place, Lady Chapel, St Patrick’s Chapel, the Holy Thorn, Cider Orchard and Abbot’s Kitchen. The museum helps answer any questions that you may have about the area and in the summer months, there are even costumed guides walking around sharing information about the ruins.

There are so many stories both historic, legendary and mythical within these ruins and parklands. Including that it is considered the earliest Christian Foundation in England and linked to Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Thorn, ties to the Saxons, Romans and Normans, it’s been raged by fire and rebuilt and has considerable connections to the legend of King Arthur.

To visit the Abbey the admission price is £7.34 per adult if bought online (slightly higher if paying at the gate) and there are student, over 60 and family tickets also available. For less than a tenner it is well worth the entry price and with so much to see and do its a great (and educational) day out for all the family.

You can also visit the Abbey for plays, gigs, workshops and other events so do check out the events page of their website here for what is coming up.

It’s a mystical and mythical place that I have visited several times and is one place that I could visit a thousand times more. Take in the beauty for yourself with these serene pictures of the majestic Glastonbury Abbey.

Glastonbury Abbey in pictures from The Wandering Darlings

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Glastonbury Abbey in pictures pin for blog post from The Wandering Darlings

Where in the world Wednesday- St Nicks Market, Bristol UK

  Where in the world is this little alleyway?

Those familiar with Bristol in the South West of England will be well aware of St Nicholas Markets and also would only refer to it as St Nicks. It’s one of Bristol’s historic hot spots for food and shopping with over 60 independent traders.

One of the oldest and most adored markets in Bristol it has been a huge part of Bristol’s past and is still located in the heart of the old city. Established in 1743 it now brings the old Georgian style architecture together with the new fashions, handicrafts and world food cuisines. It’s the perfect mix with just the right ambience that makes it the perfect place to meander around whilst visiting the city.

St Nicks is home to the Indoor Market and on certain days is also home to the  Bristol Farmers and Producers Market, Street Food Market (Tuesday and Friday) and The Nails Market out on the adjoining pedestrian streets- Corn Street and Wine Street.

You will notice outside the Exchange Hall several big brass pillars. These are referred to as ‘Nails’ and are where traders would settle their deals in the past and is where the phrase ‘Paying on the Nail’ came from. There are inscriptions on the nails that date right back to the sixteen hundreds and are a great reminder of the historic past of St Nicks and market trading in Bristol.

I can 100% recommended the Street Food Market which is every Tuesday and Friday. Most workers within the city centre have had their lunch from this diverse market. They honestly have the best range of cuisines from the Old Smokey Belgium Donut Chimneys, to Indonesian Nasi Goreng, to Italian sausage you can get whatever you desire and it all tastes amazing.

Within the Indoor Market areas, there are three areas- Exchange Hall, Glass Arcade and Covered Market.  The Exchange Hall is an open planned trading area and it’s MASSIVE. The mix of items to buy is so eclectic you’ll find something you never even realised you needed. The Glass Arcade is home to the eateries and you will be in awe of how many unique options are available.  Some stands even have seating so you can sit and take in the buzzing atmosphere. The Covered Market consists of small alleyways and independent retailers to further fill your bags and empty your purses at. It’s a great place for finding a really original gift.

The markets are open Monday- Saturday 9.30-5pm. Do check for bank holiday opening times and also for the speciality outdoor markets. You can find St Nicks here Corn Street, Bristol BS1 1JQ. It’s very centrally located and easily accessible from central hotels, the bus and train station.

For more information please do check out this link

Bristol is a great place to explore and whilst visiting you should also visit The Lido and visit during the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

To see Where in the World we were last week check it out here.

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Seaspray Day Cruise – Fiji

Oh Fiji,  I couldn’t rave enough about you if I tried!

We were staying in Sigatoka but knew that we really wanted to get out and explore some of the many islands that make up this picturesque country.  With so many day tours to choose from we finally decided upon the South Sea Cruises Seaspray day trip. The main reason was that it included a visit two of the Mamanuca Islands and we wanted to see as much as we could. Greedy I know.  It also included a barbeque lunch, unlimited drinks (beer, wine & soft drink), morning and afternoon tea, visit a traditional village and snorkelling gear to explore the colourful reefs. It was the complete package!

We were lucky enough a to do this tour on Fiji Day and the Fijian spirit was out in full force and what better way to spend  Fiji day sailing around the islands with the dulcet tones of the Fijian crew singing.

The day starts with a South Sea Cruises catamaran from Denarau in which we passed some well know islands – Southsea, Bounty and Castaway. I was in love already and I hadn’t even set foot on the soft white sand of an island. After powering through the islands on the catamaran we went aboard the yacht at Mana island and then set about sailing around islands to our first destination, Mondriki Island.

It was like a little piece of paradise just lying there in the crystal clear waters waiting to be explored. You could get the dingy boat over to sunbathe or you could don the complimentary snorkel gear and dive right off the boat and swim your way into shore whilst taking in the coral reefs below. This deserted island is actually famous for being on the big screen. It was the island used for filming Castaway with Tom Hanks. Funny how he just wanted to get rescued from this island but trust us you will wish you never had to leave. You have almost an hour there to walk around the white sandy beaches, sunbathe, find the HELP ME sign written in coconuts or stay within those clear waters watching the world below you. It was a really beautiful place and one where you felt like you were nowhere near civilisation.  No other tour group can visit this island so if you want to go here you need to book this cruise. And you really want to go there.

Once we had finished exploring the pristine Mondriki we boarded the yacht and whilst we had been swimming and snorkelling the crew had been cooking up an absolute feast for lunch.  Sat on the yacht eating the amazing bbq lunch with a wonderful array of salads, beer in hand, the crew singing and with the most stunning view, you literally couldn’t imagine life being any better.

A quick sail over to the days next stop off on the lovely island of Yanuya.  This island is a little haven and has a gorgeous colourful traditional village. Once ashore the first part of the visit was to experience a traditional kava ceremony. Please note this doesn’t happen on a Sunday. Two people from the group are chosen as the group’s chiefs and they sit down with the village chief and partake in the ceremony while the rest of the group watches on. Once they chiefs have taken their cup of kava the rest of the group can try it.  It’s certainly an interesting tasting drink! The women of the village have all their handicrafts out so you can purchase some lovely souvenirs and presents. There is then a tour through the village where you can see the homes and meet some of the villagers. We met some friendly children by the school who were quick to show us around their dorms and playing fields. The Fijians certainly are the most loveliest people. There are some village customs to be aware of you need to make sure you aren’t wearing a hat within the village and you need to dress modestly in a sarong or longer skirt.

After two amazing visits to two picture-perfect islands, the voyage finishes with a quick anchor out in the lagoon for a 10 min dip jumping straight off the boat. The most fitting way to finish an amazing day.

Throughout the journey the service by the crew was outstanding. They were happy, knowledgeable and sang and played the guitar to ensure that each and every passenger had the best time. We absolutely loved it and I still look at our pictures and can’t believe we were there and got to experience it.

There are daily departures just bear in mind that the cava ceremony is not available on Sundays. The catamaran leaves Denarau at 9 am (do check as this may change in time) and returns back around 6 pm.  If you are staying on other islands you can also transfer over to Mana to pick up the yacht there do check the times and prices as they will be different to those travelling from Denarau. We did this tour in October 2017 and paid FD$259 per adult from Denarau. I believe this to still be the price but do check their website.

If you need even more inspiration to visit Fiji then check out another of our posts here.

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15 Reasons to Visit Paris (like you need them!)

Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and is often included in most people’s bucket lists but what is it about that city that makes so many long to explore its beautiful streets. Is it the romance of the city? Or the history? Or the art? Or more importantly the food? Whatever it is this city has a draw to it like some kind of huge magnet. Maybe that is what the Eiffel Tower is made of??

When you think of Paris you think of style, sophistication and class. Just thinking of the city conjures up romantic images in your mind and not the just standard romance it’s the romantic ideals of the city. With its architecture, it’s quaint side streets, the stylish people sitting outside cafes drinking coffee, the hidden and not so hidden love stories that inspired the paintings inside the galleries and the photographs that locals and tourists still capture just transport you into a French dream-like experience.

Audrey Hepburn was so right, Paris is always a good idea.

If you are exploring simply for the weekend or for a longer period there is more than enough to experience and leave you wanting to come back for more. To help you either work out what to see and do or to just fuel even more wanderlust for this stunning city here are our top 15 reasons to visit.

You can see some awesome art  

A lot of the worlds best art and artefacts can be found in the museums and galleries of  Paris. Some of them even have a day where they are free to visit so do check out if you are travelling on a budget. There will be queues but it is worth the wait to see these artworks with your own eyes.  Obviously, the Louvre is a must visit but you should also visit the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Petit Palais and the grass-covered exterior of Musee du Quai Branly.

You can marvel at the Eiffel Tower

There is nothing more magical than seeing the Eiffel tower lit up glittering at night. This is one landmark that should really have more than one view on your trip. Sunrise, during the day, sunset and then at night. Whatever the angle whatever the weather it’s a magnificent place to be.

A bird’s eye view is the best view

There are several vantage points where you need to get up high and witness the city from a bird’s eye view. Climb the stairs at the Sacre Cour for breathtaking (once you get your breath back from climbing) view of the city with the river and Eiffel tower or climb the Effile tour to see the view of the city streets. If ever there was a city to see from above it has to be Paris.

You can meander along the River Seine

Lazing by the river in the summer sun, or cruising along under the many bridges on a boat tour- Paris is yet another city that should be viewed from the water.

You can eat alfresco

The cafes take up just as much space on the pavement as they do inside. You’ll notice that the chairs are usually all lined up looking out to the street. It’s the perfect place to order a drink and people watch to your heart’s content.

You get all the history

With so many historic buildings and monuments, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to see and do.  There is Notre Dame Cathedral that dates back to 1163, The Arc de Triomphe (just don’t try and drive around it! #confusing), the Sacre Coeur Basilica (one of my absolute favourite places in Paris) to the Ile de la Cite where Paris was born in 300B.C Paris has had many different rulers and all of these have their mark on the city which makes it a like a history book that you can step inside and explore.

You can appreciate true style

Fashion and Paris are synonymous with each other. The best shopping and the best style can be found on the streets of Paris. It’s not showy or gaudy it’s all just classic. Maybe keep the credit card locked in your hotel safe if you are out shopping.

You get a whole lotta bridges

Paris is no Venice when it comes to bridges but it does have a staggering 37 bridges spanning the river Seine. All are designed differently and all beautiful a couple of our favourites are Pont-Neuf, Pont Alexandre III and Pont de l’Alma

You can pack a picnic and get the grass between your toes

For all the amazing things to see inside the museums, galleries and historic buildings you’d be forgiven for not even thinking that there are parks to relax and unwind in. There are so many perfectly manicured gardens across the city to enjoy. You should check out Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg and Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil.

It’s almost wrong not to be a tourist

The age-old debate of being a traveller or tourist. In Paris, it is almost wrong not to be a tourist. Who goes to Paris and doesn’t go to the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and Arc Triomphe? People who don’t really want to see Paris that’s who!

You can explore all the neighbourhoods

There are 20 arrondissements within Paris and sometimes just trying to work out where to say, go out and explore can be a little intimidating. Each has its own charms, vibe and areas to be a little wary of.  So your research and try to experience at least 3 of them on your travels. Montmartre in the 18th arrondissements is a firm favourite of ours as the 1st arrondissement due to the picturesque views and of the course, the Keira Knightley Chanel adverts were filmed there.

You can get those steps up on your Fitbit

An abundance of walking tours focusing on different aspects of the Parisian life or do what I do and walk until your lost and then just see what gems you can find along the way. It’s an easy city to walk around and whilst there is public transport it would almost be a sin to use it and miss some of the best street scenes in all of Europe.

You can fall in love

Maybe with a local but more likely, it will be with the city itself. Paris is always referred as one of the most romantic cities in the world and once you are they you will melt to its romantic charms.  The art, the history, the music all were fueled by love and lovers in the city. Even the simplest of things just sounds and feels more romantic in Paris. Drinking a coffee in a cafe on a Parisian street, walking the side streets in any weather, lazing in the park or sitting along the banks of the river enjoying a croque-monsieur.

You can eat all the food

French cruise is an art form and where better to indulge than in the capital. From rich meat dishes to simply a warm croissant n the morning from the boulangerie, there are so many dishes you need to devour. Macaroon’s, and crepes are also must for a sweet treat. As with most places try to find some smaller cafes and restaurants and not the usual touristy ones the food will be so much better.

You can escape the city for the day

From feeling like French royalty at Versailles to taking in the water lilies Monet style in Giverny to witness and reflecting at the poignant rows on rows of white crosses at Normandy. There are so many places close to the city to take in more of what France has to offer.

What’s your favourite thing about Paris? Have we left anything off? We’d love to hear your suggestions below in the comments.

Want to see more reasons to visit other great cities, if so be sure to check out our Copenhagen, Marrakech and Venice posts.

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Being Brunel- A new must visit museum in Bristol

Visiting Bristol and need something to do? Then you must visit the new Being Brunel Museum at the SS Great Britiain

Do you know this man?

A few hints

–  He is the reckless engineer

– He was quite partial to a top hat and cigar

– He built bridges, railways, ship and tunnels

– He is a big name in British history

– He was a change maker

– He’s got a pretty awesome name

Guessed it yet?

It’s Isambard Kingdom Brunel and this is a 3D statue of him at the new museum Being Brunel In Bristol. It has only just opened at the site of one his spectacular ships the SS Great Britain. It’s a must-see attraction if you find yourself in Bristol or the South West.

The museum opened in March 2018 and houses a fantastic range of artefacts from Brunel’s life. It’s taken a few years to build and once you get there you’ll understand why. There are 6 galleries which include a moving replica of a train carriage, a huge display of letters, sketched and photos, a massive mural of his life, a video show with smells and sounds to put you firmly in the past. You can see his office in London and Bristol as well as his Shakespeare dining room and the dockyard. Everything is so detailed and you can tell that it’s been built with passion and respect for the forwarding thinking legend.

The crowning glory is the gigantic statue of Brunel’s Head in the middle of the main gallery. You can see he commanded attention when he was alive and this statue is no different. It’s also very clever as you can literally walk inside his mind and experience a 6 min film of his personal thoughts (from letters and diary entries) of key points within his life and career. Most of the scenes were filmed on site and once you have seen the video you can then walk around and put yourself in the picture.

History has to be engaging these days to capture people and to teach them that we are where we are now due in the past. Both from the failures and the successes. We have access to all the news and all the information, so I really enjoy it when I see a museum or historic attraction use such interactive ways to draw in both children and adults. All of the galleries at Being Brunel allowed you to open draws, test out an old-fashioned train carriage, look at drawings, interactive video games, see how they used to make 3d pictures and even put a top hat on. In this day and age, you wouldn’t have an engineer celebrated like Burnel was and is. It’s great that children can have access to people in our past like this and not just the celebrity culture dominating the news headlines.

To see the drawings, letters and even newspaper articles of the past was amazing to get an insight into how some of the bridges and railways that are in my day to day life were first conjured up and then went from an idea to a reality.

As a photography lover, I enjoyed discovering a new contraction. They also had these great viewfinders which when a picture has been inserted it would show as a 3D image. They were really cool and I just loved the vintage photos.

My other half has long held Brunel in the highest regard so it was a must for us to visit but I can guarantee even if you have no idea about who Brunel was before you entered you would be sure glad you learnt who he was. This new museum is a wonderful celebration of Brunel and his life’s work and also a great insight into the man behind the top hat and cigar.

As Being Brunel is housed within the SS Great Britain you can also explore the majestic ship and the dry dock it’s housed in. I’ve not yet posted this yet (I promise it will be live soon!) so you can learn more about it here  

Where – Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol, BS1 6TY

Prices (as per their website in April 2018) – All tickets are for a year and you can go back and explore as many times as you like within that period.

  • Adult £16.50
  • Students and Seniors £14.50
  • Under 4 Free
  • 5-16-year-olds £9.50
  • Companion or assistant (alongside a disabled paying visitor) FREE
  • Family £45

Check out their website here for more details and to book tickets http://www.ssgreatbritain.org/