St. Brelade’s Bay, Jersey UK: A Quick Guide

1 week, backpack, beaches, couples travel, destination, europe, holiday, itineraries, jersey, long weekend, travel, uk, whirlwind

I recently travelled to Jersey for a wedding and had the pleasure of staying in an apartment right on the beachfront at St. Brelade’s Bay. Having spent two and a half days exploring this small slice of Jersey I wanted to share some tips on what to expect whilst you are there.

How long do I need in St Brelade’s Bay?

As long as you want, really! Can anyone have too much beach? One day would have been enough if we weren’t so happy chilling out and exploring the rocks for the entire stay. Allow a minimum of one day to chill here before exploring more of Jersey during your stay.

Just one beautiful spot in St Brelade’s Bay

Where can I stay?

We stayed in Beau Rivage. We had a top floor self catering apartment consisting of two bedrooms (one double room, one family room with a double and additional single), a large kitchen and living room, and three bathrooms. The living room and family bedroom faced out onto the beach which offered incredible panoramic views of the bay. Downstairs is a private balcony for residents, and on the ground floor there is a lounge, pool table, and restaurant/bar with indoor and outdoor seating. This Beau Rivage apartment was cheap as chips and with all the extra cash we saved we were able to eat out for breakfast lunch and dinner.

A room with a view!

If you are looking for a different place to stay, perhaps somewhere that is not self catering, look online for your best options as there are other hotels in the area.

Where can I eat whilst there?

Stand on the beach with your back to the sea and look left. You will see the Crab Shack and the Oyster box there if you are looking for seafood. Don’t fancy fish? A 30 second walk from the crab shack is a little place called Mid Bay Cafe where you can grab a snack and a coffee or tea to go. Next along is Pizza Express, and another 1 minute walk will bring you to the Beau Bistro and Bar which is where we ate for most of our meals as I’m not a fish lover. The portions are HUGE so order conservatively!

Giant salad, anyone?

What can I do on the beach?

There is a cute trinkets/souvenir shop next to the Beau Rivage where you can buy all of your beach toys, beach shoes and general Jersey related memorabilia. Kit yourself out with bats and balls for a fun time on the beach. Next to this shop is a lovely little ice cream shop for you to enjoy.

Don’t want to play on the beach? Scramble on the rocks instead!

Swimming and water sports are permitted at St. Brelade’s Bay so get your swimming costumes out! The sand is gorgeous with a mix of soft fluffy sand and compact sand so get building sandcastles… If you prefer the rocks, walk over to the huge cliffs and delve into the many rockpools that form at low tide. Be safe, be careful of slippery surfaces, and follow safety signage.

Playing bat and ball on the beach.

Are there any other places of interest?

Churchill Memorial Park – This beautiful park is unmissable thanks to it’s well kept lawn and bright display of flowers and towering palms. Don’t miss this lovely little park just behind the sea front shops and restaurants.

Visit the Parish Church of St. Brelade – Take a stroll up to the church and go inside when allowed to do so. This enchanting church is small but very pretty.

What a setting for a church!

Head out of St Brelade’s Bay slightly to get to Portelet Common. All the information you need is here https://www.nationaltrust.je/project/portelet-common/

Is it worth the visit?

Yes. Yes. And yes. This place makes for a lovely day trip or a perfect base during your stay. The people are friendly, the water is warm, and walks are picturesque. I cannot wait to go back to see what more Jersey has to offer.

Posees on the rocks.

A Weekend in and around Arundel, UK

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Depending on how fast you want to explore, 2 or three days is the perfect amount of time to explore Arundel and the surrounding area. Arundel is a great place to base yourself if you have a car and are interested in history, countryside, and beach visits. The area is diverse, with plenty to do. Here is my suggested itinerary.

(This blog is included in my animal blogs list because the entire trip (apart from the castle) was very dog friendly. Dogs were EVERYWHERE, in pubs, shops, at the beach and so on. If you want to take the pooch then I would say DO IT.)

Day 1

Arundel Castle and Gardens

Arrive early, settle into your accommodation then head straight for the castle. There is a car park opposite the castle entrance. Pay for the day (parking ends at 6pm) and spend the day here. START WITH A BANG at this incredible castle and make sure you purchase a ticket for the gardens as well. Wear comfy shoes and be ready to climb lots of steps and walk uphill. It is recommended that you pay the GiftAid charge if you are planning to spend any money at the gift shop. By purchasing GiftAid you will essentially get double your money back per ticket in the form of a voucher to spend there (accurate as of August and September 2021)

Arundel castle

Start with the Gardens – It is a good idea to start here because they open at 10am whilst some parts of the castle open later. Aim to spend an hour to an hour and a half exploring these beautiful grounds. Do not pick the apples unless there is a sign telling you otherwise, and do not pick the flowers.

Arundel castle gardens

Head for the main Castle and Keep – Get most of the stair climbing out of the way by starting with the Keep. It opens at 11am and is sure to give you incredible views over Arundel. If you are afraid of heights, chill out on the bridge instead and hear some amazing facts about the grounds from one of the many knowledgeable staff members. Once the Keep is done you are free to explore the castle rooms. The castle and gardens close at 5pm so feel free to return to the gardens once you have finished looking around.

Arundel castle The keep and stairs

Lunch

From the castle you can walk into the main town. We had lunch at a lovely pub before heading back out. No need to look at a map, the streets are small and you will find somewhere to eat lunch without needing to put effort into the search.

River, Museum, and Window Shopping

Walk back down the hill to the river to let the food sink down, then go to the museum (next to the car park opposite the castle) and spend half hour or so learning about the area. If you are up for more walking, take a walk around the town, spend your cash, or grab a coffee before you head back to your hotel for the evening.

Day 2

The beach and more

Start with the Cathedral – As it’s your last day to make the most of Arundel, park at the top of the hill to preserve your energy and save time… Take a quick walk around the cathedral and admire the architecture. Sometimes, events are held here that are open to the public.

Littlehampton – East Beach is a lovely lesser known beach that is super underrated. The beach is HUGE and well worth the visit. Once you’re finished with the cathedral, check the tide chart online before you go and aim for low tide. This way the beach doubles in size and you will find that you can paddle out for miles in your jeans! There are dog friendly areas further down the beach, (at low tide you can be assured that your dog will have plenty of sand and rocks to explore.) The drive from Arundel is around 15minutes and easy to get to.

Eat your traditional beach day lunch – East Beach has a few little kiosks that sell chips, any fish you could possibly want, kids meals such as chicken nuggets, hot dogs, warm doughnuts, and more. There is also a cute little seating area on the beach with tables and chairs in case you didn’t bring your own. Eat up and enjoy the view…. Oh, and do not feed the seagulls because they will poop on you and scare a lot of people as they swarm over the entire seating area.

Had enough of the beach? – If the answer is no, stay here and chill. If the answer is yes, be a child and get your cash out. There is a mini funfair as well as a traditional beachside arcade that you can playing in. My mum and I spent a good hour (definitely more than an hour) playing around in and spending all the pennies we had for zero results. If you don’t like the arcade, drive back into Arundel for a stroll.

Still not ready to sleep? – Drive up to the Bignor Roman Ruins and take a stroll around, or perhaps the WWT Arundel (Wetlands) to spot nature. Check out the Castle schedule of events too. Sometimes they hold open air theatre nights that you can book tickets for to fill your evening.

Day 3 – for those that aren’t ready to leave just yet.

Last Explorations before the drive home

Drive to Bognor, Worthing, or Brighton – If you have planned to spend another day here then branch out from Arundel and drive to Worthing or Brighton, or go the other direction to reach Bognor. These beaches are all quite rocky so you may want to opt for Brighton if you are less interested in rocky beaches. Brighton can offer more in the way of attractions than Worthing or Bognor.

Me and mum at Worthing beach

If you are looking for something to do on the route home, stop off in the beautifully charming town of Petworth. This place is the stuff of fairy tales. Park up and take a walk around the quaint streets or book a visit to Petworth House.

Don’t fancy Petworth? South Downs is so close and there is so much to see. Spend your last few hours looking around the beautiful countryside. Look at your options here – https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/all-abilities/family-activities/

Enjoy your trip to Arundel!

IG: @jemsadventure

Free London!

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So much to do, so little cash?

Why pay to have fun when you can do all of this for free! Here are 10 places to go for free in London. You won’t be disappointed.

1. The Temple of Mithras

Visiting the Temple of Mithras comes first on my list because it has to be the most underrated and random attraction in London.

Experience Roman London by learning about the culture and pastimes of the people who once lived there. You will then be directed downstairs into a dark room. Once there, the randomness begins. Lit head sculptures and moving screens will keep you entertained before you enter the main room. The main room experience is what really drives the whole theme and you won’t be disappointed by what you find inside.

When can you visit? Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm or Sunday 12pm-5pm

Pre-book or Arrive on the spot? Pre-Book to ensure your space.

How long should you stay? 30mins-1hour

Getting there: Walk from one of these underground stations to save time – Cannon Street or Bank Station or Mansion House.

2. Sky Garden

Firstly, good luck if you can get tickets! Secondly, if you get tickets book for a bright day. The Sky Garden was not as well lit at night as it could have been so we couldn’t see much in the evening.

The Sky Garden is exactly what it says on the tin with the addition of breath taking views across the city and the ability to grab a drink whilst you try to forget your fear of heights.

When can you visit? 7 days a week with a valid ticket and stated time

Pre-book or Arrive on the spot? Pre-Book a maximum of 3 weeks prior to coming or you won’t get in!

How long should you stay? Times to book your visit are available here- Plan your visit – Sky Garden – London

Getting there: Walk from Monument Station

3. Camden

A visit to London simply isn’t complete without a good shopping spree around Camden. Be prepared to embrace all of the quirky things in life as you walk through the crowds of confident locals and fellow bewildered tourists. If you don’t enjoy crowds so much then walk over the bridge towards the stables and look for the food court. Tables and chairs are laid out there.

The addition of Buck Street Market brings you away from the main market action and into a cosy food hub that will be sure to fulfil all of your culinary needs. As this blog post is about FREE activities you may want to pack a picnic and sit by the canal. It’s best not to eat your own food on the premises of another restaurant or food truck unless you enjoy being asked to move.

Make sure you check out the stable yard (sorry there are no real horses here). You’ll have plenty of free food samples being thrusted into your face, so many that you probably won’t be hungry come lunch time.

When can you visit? Camden never sleeps

Pre-book or Arrive on the spot? Camden is always ready and waiting for visitors

How long should you stay? You could stay all day. If time is limited allow at least 4 hours.

Getting there: Walk from Camden Town or Camden Road stations and follow the crowd.

Camden Monopoly – @jemsadventure

4. Trafalgar Square > Downing Street > Westminster > Buckingham Palace

Head to Trafalgar square and gaze up at the giant lions before being thoroughly entertained by a variety of street performers.

Once you’ve had enough of craning your neck to see Nelson on his column take a 2-5minute walk to Downing Street. There isn’t much to see aside from the famous door but it’s simply a must if you want to see everything on the list. When you’ve finished taking selfies keep walking until you reach Westminster.

The giant architecture and the imposing giant that is Big Ben will be sure to occupy your mind for a while. On the far side of the houses of parliament there are some public gardens which offer a less crowded view of the river and a place to eat a snack. From here you’ll be in the perfect place to walk to Westminster Cathedral and on to…

Buckingham Palace, A 10-15 minute walk from Westminster Cathedral will bring you to the very grand Buckingham Palace. Tickets are sadly not free, but the view from outside is more than enough to leave London impressed. Get there early for the 10:45am Changing the Guard which takes place most days throughout the year. Do a quick internet search to make sure it is happening on the day you are going.

The palace is surrounded by public parks and is the perfect place to spend a chilled afternoon in the sunshine.

When can you visit? Anytime

How long should you stay? A good 3 hours can be spent in between Buckingham palace and Westminster

Getting there: Walk between the attractions to save time. Jump off at Victoria Underground for Buckingham Palace. Jump off at Charing Cross for Trafalgar Square.

Westminster – @jemsadventure

5. Museums

I could sit here and list the many many many museums in London but with a quick Google search you can find what you’re looking for. Instead I’ll recommend my 2 personal favourites.

  1. The Science Museum – Why? Because it’s fun. They are constantly updating the exhibits, and even the simplest scientific discovery can become the most interesting thanks to the creativity of the designers. Website: Home | Science Museum
  2. The Natural History Museum – Why? One word. Dinosaurs. Ok so there is so much more to see than just dinosaurs but nothing ever quite lives up to seeing the scale of a dinosaur jaw. Website:

If you want more museums have a read of this.

6. Tower of London in November

The historic is a beautiful addition to your activities for the day. Whilst I would recommend putting aside some cash to go inside, you may have run out and need to admire it from the outside only. If you are in London in November make sure you head to the Tower to admire the incredible poppy display that fills the grass in memory of fallen soldiers.

Key information: Use the website for all the information you need to plan your trip.

Pre-Book or arrive on the day? Either, but bear in mind it might be busy so it’s up to you to take the risk.

How long should you stay?

7. The Thames

If you manage to visit London and don’t see the Thames River then what on earth were you doing? The Thames is accessible throughout the city. I would recommend hitting Waterloo or Westminster to get the best views of it. Waterloo is full of market stalls and random entertainment to keep you occupied as you meander down the river.

When can you visit? Any time!

How long should you stay? A day, a month. There is no limit on the amount of time you should spend here.

Keep your eyes peeled online for seasonal events, festivals, shows, and attractions that you can visit for free taking place around the Thames!

8. Battersea Park

Confuse yourself by seeing the wonderful Peace Pagoda right in the middle of London. Explore this excellent Victorian park and admire the river whilst you are there. Take a picnic and relax in this lovely park

When can you visit? All year round. Check the website for any scheduled closures.

How long should you stay? The park is open between 6:30am and 10:30pm so plan accordingly.

Peace Pagoda – @jemsadventure

9. Visit a Market or Two or Three

There are so many markets in London, the tough decision is choosing which one to go to. Camden is already on the list as I don’t really class this is a typical market. Here are some recommendations for some more traditional ones:

Borough Market – This is predominantly a food market. Good luck walking round without wanting to spend any money! Everything looks delicious here and the atmosphere is great. Check to see if there are any events on here.

Greenwich Market – I stumbled on this market after visiting Greenwich Park right next door. This indoor market is full to the brim of food, fashion, artesian trinkets, and antiques. Grab a takeout meal from one of the stalls and eat it in the park.

Covent Garden Market – Possibly the most upmarket market available in London. Walk around to a violinist playing classical music, peruse beautiful jewellery, or just grab a drink and embrace the atmosphere.

10. Free Exhibitions and Art Galleries

There are so many exhibitions constantly popping up around London. All you have to do is Google ‘Free Exhibitions in London’ and the world is your oyster. Just go for whatever takes your fancy. Aside from random exhibitions there are trusty galleries like the Tate Modern and the Guildhall Art Gallery.

Tate Britain – @jemsadventure

Kew Gardens – Things to know before you go

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Is Kew worth visiting? Yes. Yes. Yes.

Here is a quick list of some useful things to bear in mind before you go there.

@jemsadventure

Book your tickets online or get them at the gate.

The gift shop is fabulous! Save the shop until you leave to save carrying everything around for hours.

Children will find fun in nature. There is a large park, children’s sections, and log walks for them to engage with. Take snacks to tide them over, and accompany them at all times.

glass ceiling at Kew @jemsadventure

Food is available from multiple stands or in the main canteen. I recommend taking snacks for the long walk round or a picnic to eat in the park. Take your rubbish home or bin it. No littering.

Comfy shoes are a must! You will hugely regret the decision to don the pretty shoes that match your outfit instead of the comfy not so pretty trainers. Thank me later.

Exploring Kew @jemsadventure

Grab a map at the entrance. This will help you navigate all of the points of interest. If you are bad at map reading, you’ll be pleased to know that google maps works just fine inside Kew and many of the structural buildings appear on there.

Hay fever tablets – Take them before you arrive so they kick in but the time you get there. There are flowers from around the world are situated all over Kew Gardens and the last thing you want is a sneeze attack ruining your day.

Log Walk @jemsadventure

Sunny weather is ideal. If it is raining you will spend 90% of your time getting wet. If that’s not a problem for you then by all means visit in the rain. It will be amazing all the same.

Dress for hot and cold / wear removable layers because the different glass houses are temperature controlled. One minute you are sweating in a tropical room and the next, you are freezing cold with the alpine plants.

The Hive – @jemsadventure

The hive (pictured above) is an eerily beautiful place. The noise it makes is soothing and it’s a great place to sit and catch your breath. Sit beneath it or walk up the hill to get onto it. Your choice.

Kew Palace – (pictured below) This overtly orange building is like a separate attraction all of it’s own. It is free to enter, however, it is recommended that you make a small donation to keep the palace going. There is a lot of interesting history here to explore, and when I visited last, there was a mental health exhibition on the top floor which was excellent.

Off to see the palace @Jemsadventure

Sports games and jogging are not allowed at Kew. Leave the football at home and enjoy the nature instead.

Time needed to explore can range from a few hours to a whole day. If you want to see everything at a glacial pace then plan a whole day visit. Realistically, you need a half or full day because there is so much to see and lots of ground to cover.

Peacock – @jemsadventure

Wildlife doesn’t just mean insects. Look at this beautiful peacock above that we saw on our way around. Be prepared to see more bees than you have ever seen before in such a beautiful setting.

Exhibitions change throughout the year. Have a look at the Kew website to see what’s on before you go. For example, the first time I went there was a glass exhibition which was incredible. Pieces/Instillations are generally dotted around Kew.

The pagoda @jemsadventure

Aside from the flowers there are plenty of interesting buildings to explore such as this pagoda or Queen Charlottes cottage.

Renovations – speaking of the cottage… check for renovation works on the various attractions before you go. We walked 15 minutes off our planned route to realise it was under renovation. Don’t make the sane mistake.

Credit @jemsadventure

Getting to Kew Gardens can be done by rail (Kew Gardens Station) or by car (parking in residential areas is never guaranteed). There is also a limited spaces car park for under £10 for the day.

Do not pick the flowers – As beautiful as they are, and as tempting as it may be, do not pick the flowers. Let them stay as they are!

Enjoy Kew!

@jemsadventure

Nicaragua – Must See List

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This country is vastly overlooked by travellers and my question is why? I have put together a brief overview of the key places you should visit based on my 4 cumulative months spent there, and how long to stay in each of the locations.

Ometepe Island

This spectacular island is home to two volcanoes! Do I need to say more? No, but I will.

Rent a bike – thank me later for this suggestion. You will see so much more if you are on limited time. It will be well worth it.

Hire a guide and hike up the volcanos – get those legs moving and climb up the volcanos. Personally I prefer the view form the bottom of the volcano, but if you want the challenge then go for it.

Ometepe display twin volcanos

Petroglyphs – If you are a lover of history then seek out the petroglyphs. Don’t know what they are? Rock art! Ancient rock art.

Hostels – there are some really fun hostels on the island. Have a search on hostel world before selecting the first random hostel you see.

Go nature and monkey sight seeing – you will hear the monkeys in the trees, but can you find them? And can you find the waterfall?

Waterfall in Ometepe

How long? If you are not hiking up the volcanos then 3 or 4 days is plenty.

Masaya

Full of culture, friendly people, excellent nightlife, and beautiful markets.

Things to do:

Laguna De Apoyo – aka The hidden gem of Masaya. My favourite place for a swim in the fresh water lagoon. Panoramic views. Kayak rental, stone beach, restaurants, occasional monkeys and birds… Do not leave this off of your Nicaragua sight seeing tour.

Group shot in the lagoon

Cultural Center Old Craft Market – Get ready to spend all your cash on the amazing hand crafts available here. There are so many things on offer here. Make sure you have room for a hammock or two in your bag.

Near the market you can walk over to visit the Folklore Museum which offers fabulous insight into Nicaraguan culture and history.

Folklore Museum mural

Parque Central – A wonderful place with friendly people and lovely parks to chill out in. Head to the central park for a slice of pizza and wifi. Look around the surrounding bars for a Toña or cafe’s for a nice ice coffee. There are lots of places to jump onto the computer nearby, so bring some change so that you can surf the internet and speak to folks back home when you need to. It is a good idea to base yourself near the park.

Volcano Masaya – This active volcano is well worth visiting. It may be best to join a tour, and if you can visit in the day time and the night time then do it! The contrast is amazing. Its incredible what difference the night sky can make. You can walk to the volcano but the walk is verryyy long. Maybe take a car instead.

Me and Yamil at Volcano Masaya

How long? 4 of five 5 is a great amount of time to see it all.

Leon

Spectacularly colourful. Friendly people with excellent night life.

Cathedral Basilica – visit the biggest cathedral in Latin America for a small price. Admire the architecture and tick it off your list.

Volcano boarding / Volcano sightseeing at Cerro Negro – thrill seekers gather round. I recommend staying at BigFoot hostel for excellent packages and shuttles to experience volcano boarding. The volcano is about 45 minutes away from Leon.

Beaches near Leon – easy commuting distance made easier if staying at BigFoot hostel.

Relaxing in hammocks comes easily in Nicaragua

Walking Tour – find a walking tour and learn about the beauty of Leon.

How long? With day excursions, allow 3 or 4 days.

Granada

This city is the oldest town in Nicaragua and full of Spanish architecture.

Things to do:

Climb the bell tower of Iglesia de La Merced for amazing views across the city. You will need to pay a dólar or two but it is totally worth it.

Visit the Guadalupe Church for a lovely look at the old architecture, then head to the Catedral de Granada for a brightly coloured and completely opposite experience.

Whether you smoke or not, take a tour of the Mombacho Cigar factory. The place is intriguing and you will find their processes intriguing.

Embracing Nicaraguan culture

How long? 1 day or 2 is plenty to see the main sights.

San Juan Del Sur

Surfer paradise, beach vibes only, perfect place to relax and unwind by the sea.

Things to do:

Climb up the hill in my picture below and look out over the sea like a pirate, before coming down to the sand for a necessary sun bathe and sand castle building session. Then jump in the sea to cool off.

Surfing is best done at Playa Maderas if you are experienced and in need of big waves.

Jesus statue – Why not pay a visit to one of the biggest Jesus statues in the world whilst you are here? It is called The Christ of Mercy and costs a couple of dollars to visit.

How long? I love the beach vibe here, so 2, 3, or 4 days can easily be spent here if you love the laid back beach life.

Managua

This bustling city is a bit of a maze. Good luck navigating without a map! There are plenty of bus stops, so getting around is relatively easy.

Things to do:

Antigua Cathedral is a really beautiful location that is well worth visiting. You can spend a good hour exploring and learning about the history of Managua and the building itself.

Shopping – Managua is the perfect place to grab all of your essentials and more. Head for the Centro Comercial Galerías if you want a lot of shops and a cinema, or the smaller Metrocentro.

The best advice for Managua is just to explore. Just ensure you have 3 or 4 days to spend here. There is plenty to see and do. Take walking tours. Head for historical buildings or soak up the bustling city. Use Managua and your entry and exit point for easy access around Nicaragua. Buses are very easy to get from here. Use your spanish and be prepared to get a little lost now and then.

Estelí

Stunning mountains with an abundance of unforgettable views.

Things to do:

Being at one with nature – rivers, mountains, nature. It’s all here in Estelí.

Estelí views are extremely diverse.

“Fat woman” statues – These random statues are beautiful but bizmare. Dotted around Estelí you can expect to find a few of them holding different items. How many can you spot?

El Jalacate – Spend a few hours admiring the creative rock carvings. Paying to enter is not a problem when you see how much work has gone into this place.

How long? Day trips are perfect. But if you are enchanted by the mountains, stay for longer. I stayed for 3 days and have zero regrets.

There are so many things to see and do here! A month overall is recommended if you can get the time so that you can explore these places and more.

I hope that this has helped you plan your perfect Nicaraguan trip.

Dog walking in East Berkshire & Buckinghamshire, England

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Trying to find a safe and welcome place to walk your dog (off and on the lead) can be difficult. Here are my top walking destinations in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire

BEST FOR EXPLORATION –

Black Park, country park

Lead or no lead? This park is my favourite because you can take the dog off the lead. No restrictions apart from right at the back offered sometimes there is a gathering of livestock, sealed behind fencing.

Swimming? Yes lots! Walk around the lake from the carpanel, past the children’s park, and you come to a bank where they can swim freely.

Open fields? Yes. One large one. Just follow the signs by the carpel to walk int he right direction. Be aware sometimes some of this area is used for filming by Pinewood Studios, but generally it’s still enough space to run around.

Exploring off track? Definitely. Stick to the paths or wander off. It’s your choice. Allow your dog to find mud puddles, leaf piles, and streams without worry.

What about the humans? There is a big car park, two cafes, GoApe, Net kingdom, holder s parks, and picnic benches dotted around, also sightseeing when filming is happening

SECOND BEST FOR EXPLORATION

Langley Park, country park

Lead or no lead? Either is welcome. If your dog is a sucker for a swim keep them on the lead near the lake until you get to the low bank.

Swimming? Yes, a little. Just be mindful of any nesting birds before you let them in.

Open fields? More than Black park but lots more rabbits here so be watchful.

Exploring off track? There is, but not as dense woodland as Black Park. More open space than running amongst trees and a nice winding path with lots of plants.

What about the humans? Small cafe at the entrance, a medium sized car park,children’s park, walled garden.

THIRD BEST FOR EXPLORATION

Burham Beeches

Lead or no lead? A lot of the areas will require a lead due to wildlife in the area. There is an open field and lots of trails to follow off lead.

Swimming? No dog swimming spots here.

Open fields? Yes. One big one in front of the car park.

What about humans? Lovely little dog friendly outdoor cafe by the car park.

Cranbourne park

BEST FOR OPEN FIELDS

Cranbourne Park

So much space for the dog to run around in. Open fields and wonderful views. Ensure there is no livestock before letting your dog roam around .

Running between the courts

SECOND BEST FOR OPEN FIELDS

Farnham Park

This park has been a great open field for dog walkers for years. Softball courts have taken over a lot of the space but there are still two free fields over the back and one at the front. You can walk around the outside of the courts if you want to go around the whole place. Be aware of cars coming in and out on the road, pick up your pop or get shouted at by sportspeople, and check there’s no rugby or football on before you go to ensure you have optimum space.

OTHER LOCAL WALKS

Kennedy Hill and Claycotts

Climb the hill in abrir well with your pooch to seriously tire them out. Then make your way down to cross the road to the children’s park. There is a small field dogs can run around on next to it.

The Long Walk

Lovely place to bring the dog on or off lead. Perfect for tiring them out with plenty to see for you too. Only drawback is once you reach the deer park you will need to turn back if you want your rig to continue burning off steam.

Have fun walking your dogs in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

Things to see and do in Windsor and Eton

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Things to see and do in Windsor and Eton

I live a 10 minute drive from Windsor, and wanted to share a few ideas with you as to how you can get the most out of your time here. Sure you can spend all day trying to spot the queen, but there’s so much more you can do!

Windsor Castle:

Let’s start with the main attraction. This castle is the main residence of Queen Elizabeth II who loves spending time here. This means that although you can go inside, you won’t be able to explore it in it’s entirety as some of it is shut off for the queen. There is plenty to see and explore and the ticket price I feel is justified.
A perk of visiting Windsor Castle is that it contains St. Georges Chapel which is usually open for visitors (unless a private event is being held, or there are renovation works.) If you go inside the castle you can expect to spend a decent amount of time staring at the impressive Queen Mary’s dollhouse.

Book Ahead – When visiting the castle you can expect queues to get inside, unless you book ahead. On three occasions I have tried to get into the castle to show my friends around, only to see that the queue was over 2 hours long to get inside. On more successful visits I have booked ahead.
Book tickets for the castle here: Windsor Castle – Visit Windsor

How Long?: Allow 3 hours minimum to look around

Windsor castle JREID

The Long Walk and Windsor Great Park:

This scenic path runs straight from the main gates of Windsor Castle and up to the Copper Horse Statue of King George III. The walk is…. you guessed it, long. Along the way you are sure to see plenty of deer in the surrounding fields grazing and resting.

If you start the walk from the castle you may want to take the dog for a walk at the same time. Dogs are welcome to join you on your walk, and if you are both well behaved you can let them off the lead. Once you reach the green gates, you are entering into deer territory, at which point your dog should be placed back on the lead and not interact with the deer at all.

How Long?: The Walk is around 2.6miles so take water with you. Allow a couple of hours maximum to make it there and back if you’re not in a rush. ALSO if you have prepared your parking then add an extra hour onto whatever you think you need because you won’t want to run back!

Long walk JREID
Windsor Royal Station:

The Queen’ Locomotive can be found here next to the main train station and is a stunning piece of history from the Victorian age. Great for a quick selfie and just a quick look to say you’ve seen it. Aside from this you can spend half an hour exploring the market stalls and shops inside the shopping centre. 

Diamond Jubilee Fountain:

This fountain is a lovely spot unknown to many tourists. Visit it at night to see it all lit up, or swing by during the day to enjoy the river views with the fountain splashing beside you. This is a perfect lunch spot. There is a cute bowls court next to it and tennis courts just opposite for some free entertainment.

Windsor Guildhall:

This enchanting little re-purposed museum is a small but interesting way to learn about local history. The museum is great for all ages and frequently hold small events for families and individuals to take part in.

Shopping:

Plenty of clothes shops available to spend all your hard earned cash! High street fashion shops and luxury brands are available. 

The River:

The river is a great place to take a walk whilst in the area and may be preferable to those not wanting to trek down the Long Walk.  Swan feed can be purchased from the small cafe where the swans nest. You can also rent a small boat and take a ride on the river or join a duck tour .

Windsor JREID

Escape Rooms:

Fancy a challenge? There are a couple of companies super close to the high street offering this fun experience  simply google “Windsor Escape Rooms” and take your pick. An hour of indoor guaranteed fun for all the family. 

Eton College:

As an operational college you can’t just expect to receive a full tour when you arrive here. The external architecture is worth the short stroll down the road and there’s nothing quite as British as seeing the students walking between classes in their traditional tails.

Eton High Street:

Much quieter than Windsor High street, Eton’s main road is arguable more charming with a church set back away from the road that is almost un-noticeable. Eventually you will reach Eton College, but before you get there, take a look at the quaint and quirky shops that line the street. Also… Look how pretty it is at Christmas! 

Eton Christmas JREID
Legoland:

Who hasn’t heard of Legoland?! Whether you have kids or are a big kid yourself be sure to visit if you love Lego before you leave. Expect to spend at least an entire day here, or maybe two if you want to spend the night in the Lego hotel!

Theatre Royal Windsor:

A lovely theatre located just outside the castle offering shows all year round for reasonable prices – Theatre Royal Windsor – live entertainment at its best in Berkshire

Windsor Leisure Centre:
If you would like a serious lane swim or a fun day out in the family pool then this is the best place to go. Look at the website before visiting for more price and time information: Windsor Leisure Centre (leisurefocus.org.uk)

Windsor On Ice:

Ice skating!!! During the winter you can expect to find a Christmas extravaganza in the form of an ice rink, charming food stands selling traditional bratwurst and candy treats opposite the jubilee fountain at Alexandra Gardens. You can get your tickets here: Welcome to Windsor On Ice | Windsor on Ice 

Windsor on ice JREID

Hungry in Windsor & Eton

Food for those on a tight budget these are some of my favourite foody places: McDonalds / Honest Burger / Weatherspoons / Starbucks / Krispy Kreme / Manny local restaurants! If you want to take a picnic to the long walk or by the river then this is not prohibited. 

Food on a slightly bigger budget: Flaming Cow Eton /  Gourmet Burger Kitchen / Bella Italia / Many more restaurants right on the castle’s doorstep or by the river.

Getting There

By Train: There are 2 train stations in Windsor. They are a 10 minute walk from each other so whichever one you choose it won’t matter because you’ll end up more or less in the same place! Here is how to get into Windsor and Eton via each one –

Windsor and Eton Central – To get to this station you will have to connect at Slough. The train journey from Slough is very cheap and takes around 5-10 minutes. If you are commuting from London Paddington you will connect at Slough before boarding the short journey to Windsor.

Windsor and Eton Riverside – This station connects Windsor to other areas of London such as London Waterloo. The train has many stops and may be less convenient time-wise than if you are able to get the fast train from Paddington to Slough and on to Windsor and Eton Central.

By Car – If you are driving from Slough/M4 come up the dual carriageway and take the first exit to the castle. DO NOT park near the castle or the river unless you don’t mind paying extra. Try Victoria Street Car Park for more reasonable rates. It’s a three minute walk from the shopping street.

Where to stay:

It’s nice to stay in Windsor… It’s also quite expensive to stay in Windsor. Opt to stay in Slough instead. There is a Moxy hotel, Premier inn, Travelodge, and many bnbs that will save you a heap of money. There are buses and taxis into Windsor for less than £10 so you do the math! If you are fixed on staying in Windsor then you will find plenty of options available online.

Have fun exploring Windsor and Eton!

Nairobi, Kenya – A chilled 10 day Itinerary

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Kenya is a vast country with so much to explore and experience.

Sure you could spend 5 days in Nairobi and probably see everything mentioned below, but this itinerary is for those who want to make the most of their time and take it slow. Within your 10 days you will even get the chance to get out of the city a little too.

 

Day 1 – Acclimate

Depending on where you arrived from you may be jet lagged. If possible, plan to arrive in the evening so you can go straight to bed. If you have to arrive in the middle of the day or the morning spend the day acclimatising and sit by the pool with a Tusker until it’s time for bed. Get your rest because tomorrow it’s time to explore!

 

Day 2 – Museum, lunch, giraffes.

Start your trip with an educational visit to the West Lands where you will find the informative Nairobi National Museum. Learn about the history of Kenya and ask the friendly staff any questions you have. Learning about Kenya before exploring it is a great way to immerse yourself into the local culture.

Grab yourself some lunch.

Head to the Giraffe Conservation centre and have an incredible time being up close and personal on the balcony. Don’t forget to grab a food bag as you enter so that you can feed them!

giraffe kiss in nairobi kenya

Me and the extremely friendly giraffe

Spend your evening in your hotel and rest up for your early start tomorrow.

 

Day 3 – Safari!

It’s day 3 but by now you should already know that Safari translates to ‘journey’.

Today’s safari will take you into the bizarre Nairobi National Park – (bizarre because you’ll be watching lions and rhinos with skyscrapers in the background!) You’ll ride in a car or an open top jeep and your guide will provide you with information as you drive around the reserve.

To avoid disappointment, it is recommended that you book you’re a safari either before you arrive in Kenya, or a day or two before you intend to go on safari. Enquire at your hotel for the best prices.

Aim to go on safari early in the morning. This way you will avoid the heat, and you will have a higher chance of seeing more of the animals.

Tip: Ask your diver to stop at the elephant ivory memorial site during the safari. The site is a great opportunity to sit and relax, use the toilet, and take in the emotional ivory burning site. (Toilet warning – There is a block of toilets here… They are not the cleanest, so it’s recommended that you pee before you start the safari.)

After your safari, if possible, ask your driver to take you to a viewpoint on the way back to your hotel. For a little extra cash the driver should be able to find a nice spot for you to watch the sun go down. There are so many around the national park!

 

Day 4 – Fashion and Food

Spend today looking (and buying) as much as you can from the various markets in Nairobi. Kariokor Market is a great market to begin with as it’s generally quite cheap and will give you an idea of what to expect price wise in other markets. Gikomba Market and of course the Maasai Market are a MUST. I hope you made room for souvenirs.

souvenirs in kenya

So many souvenirs, so little luggage room.

Once you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped take a stroll around the city for a few hours before dinner.

There are so many incredible restaurants in Nairobi. Just google ‘best Nairobi restaurants’ and choose one that looks the most quirky to you. Whilst I wasn’t interested in eating crocodile, there are so many places offering foods that you may not have encountered before and if you can find a restaurant where the food is cooked in front of you then you are in for a treat. Carnivore comes highly recommended but I opted for a lesser known restaurant which was equally as incredible.

 

Day 5 – Elephants, night drives, culture.

Today will be amazing, because a day full of baby elephants will never be forgotten.

Book a taxi from your hotel and head to the David Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage. Save yourself money by going it alone. You don’t need a tour because the men looking after the elephants speak throughout the whole experience. They will introduce you to each elephant, provide their back story and more.

CHECK OUT MY TOP TIPS VIDEO FOR VISITING THE SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST

elephant baby at the nairobi kenya sanctuary at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Get ready for cuteness overload at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

If you have an incredible experience (you will) you may want to sponsor an elephant afterwards. If you don’t have the funds to sponsor an elephant,  be sure to buy a little something from the gift shop to support the elephants care on your way out.

If you aren’t all ‘animalled’ out (is that even possible) I would recommend that you spend your evening on a Night Game Drive. It’s a completely different experience to the day drives!  If you don’t fancy seeing any more animals today then scout out some live music or theatre to enjoy your night in style.

 

Day 6 – Escape the city, Lake Naivasha

Whilst in Kenya you should definitely head out to see the Maasai Mara for a couple of days. The journey can be a little long so make sure that you arrange to stop off at Lake Naivasha first.

Lake Naivasha is home to a huge pod of hippos. Despite this, you can still jump on a boat and head out to see them! Seeing the hippos is both a scary and magical experience, you will probably hear them before you see them, and the boat drivers will probably get closer than you would thing was safe.

Before and after seeing the hippos you will also see an incredible variety of birds. The boat drivers are incredibly proud of the wildlife in the lake and will do all in their power to give you a show.

hippos in lake naivasha

There are hippos in this photo… honest

The lake tour is 100% worth it and makes for a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Make sure you book a Maasai Mara experience that allows you to do the lake either on the way or the way back.

After the lake tour, jump back in the car and continue your journey onto the Maasai Mara for the next two days of fun!

 

Day 7 & 8 – Maasai Mara

It’s up to you which tour you choose but I recommend that you pick one with the ability to meet some of the Maasai people simply because it’s an experience that I will never forget.

Traditional Maasai homes,

The safari experiences and game drives are incredible, but meeting the Maasai people was a major highlight. We danced, sang, tried to communicate with hand signals, I still have a bracelet that was made for me the first time I met them in 2012.

 

Day 9 – Using your legs!

Use your first day back in Nairobi to revisit Nairobi Safari but this time let’s do it by foot. The Nairobi Safari Walk is a wooden bridge across the safari park. You may have been on safari already, but this will give you a totally different perspective on the park.

After you’ve warmed up your legs and said another hello to the wildlife it’s time for a mini hike. Jump in a taxi and head for the Ngong Hills for a hike uphill.

You don’t have to climb all of the hills, just do whatever you feel comfortable with. I recommend that you take a packed lunch with you so you can have a snack when you reach the top.

Enjoy the view before heading back down and into the city for a stroll around town or back to your hotel.

 

Day 10 – Home time

Today is your last day! Try not to cry, revisit your favourite places, eat as much yummy Kenyan food as you can stomach, and wish you’d stayed a little longer.

 

Have an incredible trip to Kenya.

Soak in the people, the culture and all that you can whilst you are there.