Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Day in Castleton

Castleton is situated in Derbyshire in the north of England. From Manchester we drove and the scenic journey took around 40 minutes. Just before entering the village the scenery gets really good as you drive down a hill between two small mountains.

It was a cold day and we didn’t have our walking boots so we walked around the town, stopping in the small shops to browse for jewellery made from the locally minded gem stone.

We found a cash machine in Castleton at the end of a shop which also doubled as a cafe. That was rather handy and allowed us to start thinking about lunch.

We popped in most of the pubs and decided upon the Bulls Head, mainly due to the seat with decent views of the hills and it was next to a smouldering fireplace. Earlier we had visited another pub across the road for a drink which also had a real fire burning.

After a hearty pub lunch with very generous portions, we walked around the village again. This time we came across an attractive little river with some ducks.

After a while we had walked off our lunches and decided to go home. A great way to spend a few hours if you are close by.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Weekend in Hong Kong

This post might just help if you are wondering what is best to do in a weekend in Hong Kong. I recently spent a few days in this excellent destination. It really is a cut above the rest compared to most other cities in Asia.  Firstly I recommend you find a hotel with views over the bay. It is an excellent sight day or night, see photo. We were lucky enough to have a room with a massive window in the bedroom, which gave us a great view to start the day from bed.

Hong Kong is pretty posh for Asia. It has some of the highest land prices in the world. Mainly due to it’s small size and the fact that it is a hub for business in China and other parts of the region. This has led to a bustling expat area. We met a local expat in Sheung Wan who runs his own counselling service for other expats in the area. This place is great with loads of excellent restaurants and some cool bars too. Highly recommended for a visit if you want to get off the tourist trail.

We were staying on the other side of the bay but transport was very easy. The buses are excellent but it is easier to stick with taxis for a short weekend visit. From the airport we took the taxi into town, but the public transport including train on the way back. All very organised and efficient.

Shopping is very popular and there are excellent malls on both sides of the water. All the big western stores are located in Hong Kong. Mixed in with these are some more oriental options. We found a few bargains on a side street which sold cheap handbags and watches. The watch probably won’t last long but it was so cheap that it was worth getting even if only worn a few times.

The food is fantastic. I really had the urge to eat in the small local, backstreet style Chinese places. It wasn’t difficult to find suitable options. In one place we ate dim sum, which was awesome. Another place was a noodle cafe which was also great. I highly recommend you take the time to seek out these places to eat.

We also went over to Disneyland on Lantau Island which was a nice way to spend an afternoon. You can stay on this island at a place like Discovery Bay if you have kids with you. Discovery Bay is just 10 minutes away so it would make sense to stay there instead of across the water. Getting around Hong Kong is very easy though.

We also did some sightseeing by walking along the edge of the water and visiting some museums. Great weather and views. We will certainly be returning to Hong Kong whenever we want a weekend away in Asia.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Preparing for a ski holiday with SkiA

If you are planning a trip on the slopes soon, one way to avoid feeling out of touch when you get on the snow is to use a revolutionary new ski training aid from SkiA. The company launched the product earlier this year and it has been a major success. The Sweetspot is aptly named as it helps you discover your skiing sweet-spot.

Basically it is a pair of balancing blocks. You strap them under your boots and then all of a sudden it feels like you are in the Alps, when you are really stood in your lounge. What they do is help you practice balance. You have to keep the sweet-spot at all times, once you are in the correct position then you can practice turns and general movement.

The device is rapidly spreading around the world. It has already been a big hit with BASS in the UK and many instructors are beginning to utilise it. They are telling students to practice with the Sweetspot trainer in between lessons. For anybody going on a ski holiday in the near future, buying the product is highly recommended. You can find it at SkiA's Sweetspot.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Take Advantage Of Holiday Cottages In England

If you are thinking about taking a vacation, there are a lot of reasons to stay at holiday cottages in England. Cottages offer a lot more comfort and room than traditional hotels. They are also much closer to fun outdoor activities. Many are just a few hours driving distance from major cities, making them a very convenient choice for a holiday trip.

There are a variety of holiday cottages in England to pick from. Depending on what you like to do, you may want to choose one that is next to a scenic lake, hiking path, or biking trail. You can enjoy great activities like swimming, fishing and boating. You can get secluded cottages that mean you can get some peace and quiet away from the city. Or you can pick one that is closer to other buildings and people if you feel like being more social.

Most cottages come with all the comforts of home. You can sleep on soft beds, make all your meals with a modern kitchen, and relax at night next to a fireplace. Some cottages offer patios and hot tubs as well, so you can have a truly luxurious stay.

Cottages come in a variety of sizes and are made to fit every budget. You can get something small and cozy for a romantic getaway weekend. Or you can pick something with multiple rooms that is big enough to fit a large family. Come and relax for a couple days, or or extend your stay and enjoy the gorgeous countryside for a week or more.

Many cottages allow pets. You will not have to worry about leaving your dog at a kennel or finding someone to watch them. Your animals are sure to enjoy the great outdoors just as much as you are. Pets can be a big part of the family, and its only fair to let them in on the fun too.

Holiday cottages in Shropshire and other counties in England are the perfect choice for a vacation. You can be close to the great outdoors, but still take advantage of comfortable lodging. There will be lots of fun activities for everybody to do, like biking, hiking, swimming, and more. You can get a cottage perfectly suited for you, whether you need one to house just a couple people, or a big family. Your favourite canine friend will be able to come too, making it a superior choice to the majority of hotels.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Simple Holiday Packing Tips

Most people love traveling and look forward to a holiday. However, packing is the one thing that most agree they would rather not have to do. Luckily by following some holiday packing tips, you can make this dreaded task a bit easier.

Holiday packing tips:

• Know your climate. If you are traveling to a warm weather destination, pack the proper clothing. You will not need bulky heavy items.
• Do not take more items than you need. This is a common problem. Take into account the number of days that you will be away and be realistic about how many items you truly need.
• Take some double duty items. Items that can go from day to night mean fewer items in your luggage. A suit that can be worn without the jacket for a more casual look. A skirt and blouse along with a pair of pants that can also be worn with the blouse is another option.
• Buy trial size toiletry items. These take up less space and are usually all that you need while on holiday. Pack them in a waterproof case, or put them into a sealed zipper type plastic bag.
• You do not need more than 2 or 3 pair of shoes. One for dressy occasions, one for casual and perhaps one for athletic activities. Wear one pair while traveling and pack the other two. Put your shoes in grocery bags inside your suitcase to keep your clothing clean.
• Leave mobile telephones and electronic items at home unless you are sure you will be able to use them when you reach your destination. Often these items are packed but are not able to be used.
• Keep a copy of your prescription with you in case your luggage is lost. This way if your bag with your prescriptions inside is temporarily lost, you can have the prescription filled.
• Pack thinner items,rather than bulky items. This allows you to fit more pieces into your luggage.
• Begin packing in advance. Waiting until the last minute is sure to cause more stress. Lay all of your items out on a flat surface and take inventory. Be sure that everything you are packing is needed.

One of the best holiday packing tips is that it is better to travel light. If you find you need something, you will most likely be able to pick it up while you are on holiday.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Treating Yourself With Luxury Breaks

There are many occasions which will call for luxury breaks, and customers now can avail of the numerous offers that they find online. Whether people are planning to spend a wedding anniversary or celebrate a honeymoon, luxury travel can offer a whole world of excitement. There are numerous choices for whatever kind of break the individual wants to get, and sometimes at a low price.

Whilst it may seem a bit old fashioned, a travel agent’s office can be a goldmine of information. Taking a look around here, most customers may be able to find some very good package deals. They could also include things like decent 5 star hotels. Brochures are also available.

Travel plans will need to be made as soon as possible. Depending on the destination, the flight prices will vary. Early booking will allow people to avail of a much better deal and this is always appreciated.

Older couples may have an interest in taking a look at cruises. Cruises can often offer a great way of escaping the humdrum of ordinary, every day life. All kinds of activities and facilities are available here. Some may even cater exclusively to a specific kind of age group.

So whatever the choice, one should look carefully into it. Check out the prices and see whether this is worth it. Often, airlines and hotel companies like to entice their customers with lower deals. Travelers interested in saving money can undoubtedly use this to their advantage and enjoy a great break.

There will be other necessary things to organize. Some may come with free travel insurance. If this is a possibility, then it is advised that one take it. With all the proper precautions put in place, individuals can travel and enjoy the holiday to their heart’s content. It will definitely be the perfect gift.

Helpful Holiday Shopping Tips To Reduce Stress

When the holidays come around, there are some people who seem to scramble in their attempt to find the perfect gifts to give to their family and friends. Shopping without preparation can be a stressful experience which often ends with the recipient of the gift left wondering what their friend was thinking when they made their purchase. There are some helpful holiday shopping tips people can use to help make the holiday season a more pleasurable experience.

Create a List

The first step to holiday shopping is to create a list of all the people gifts need to be purchased for. The list should have an order with the high priority people placed at the top. After writing the names of these people, it can help to indicate the things they are interested in next to their name. Using interests and hobbies as a gift guideline will help provide gifts the people will actually enjoy receiving.

Use the Internet

The Internet is a great tool to use for any type of shopping. Even if people do not make their purchases online, they can do a lot of comparison shopping to find out what items are available in certain categories and how much they cost. For example, if someone has a boss who enjoys golfing, they could search for online golf stores to see what type of merchandise is available in their price range. This greatly reduces the effort of walking through the mall trying to locate something associated with golf.

Gift Baskets

The companies who create gift baskets actually perform a great service for people who do not know what to buy. This is where the list of hobbies or interests can be helpful. There are many specially designed gift baskets or hampers which include theme items. A hamper for someone who enjoys outdoor grilling can be designed with assorted sauces, barbecue tools, an apron and a recipe book.

After Holiday Deals

A trick used by many expert shoppers is to look for the deals and discount items after the holiday season. This allows them to purchase the gifts their family and friends want to have without paying a lot of money. This type of shopping can be done all year round if the shopper pays attention to the items placed on sale.

The best way to avoid having stress during the holiday season is to plan ahead. If a person’s interests are not well know, any type of gift commemorating the day can work, with many items available for personalization through engraving.