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Visiting Portugal for a Wedding

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Last month my better half and myself visited Portugal for one of my oldest friend's weddings. His family has always had property in the Algarve (south coast) and it was therefore an obvious choice for their event.

The UK can be pretty drab at anytime of the year (it has actually been great this year but it wasn't worth the risk of rain). The wise choice is therefore to fly 2 hours away to the south of Portugal for guaranteed sun. By having the wedding just after the school holidays in September, the prices were very reasonable for flights and accommodation.

Because I was a long time friend and travelling from farther away from the UK, I got to stay in the family villa (see photo below). This meant I just had to cover the cost of the essentials like electricity. Most of the wedding party got a very reasonable deal at a small hotel down the road.

The wedding lasted for a week with all the before and after events. It was the perfect little holiday and almost everyone invited mana…

Swimming Lessons for the Kids Before a Holiday

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We have booked to go away this year at the end of July for two weeks in Spain. We found a good value package deal, made sure all our passports were up to date and got our youngest his first passport (nightmare at Liverpool's passport office- avoid them if you can), we even starting buying bathing suits.

Then we realised that our youngest James, has no idea how to swim. We quickly asked around and looked online. We found a really nice website for kids swimming lessons Trafford, it was coincidentally a service that our neighbour recommended to use too. So we were doubly happy to sign up.

I work with computers so always appreciate when someone has a nice clean website design. It makes me think that they will also provide a good service. We spoke to the head honcho Linda, who was very nice, and she invited us to come and try out her next lesson in Stretford.

It was ideal. A clean pool, not too many getting taught at the same time, a fun atmosphere and it seemed to be very effective, p…

What is Great About Boracay for a Paradise Holiday in the Sun

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Boracay is rightly the top tourist destination in the Philippines, a country with over 7,000 islands in the tropics. This is one of the most beautiful places to visit, plus it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to be there.

Firstly Boracay has awesome white sand beaches. In Station 1 in the north part of the main White Beach, the sand is like powder. The sea is fairly shallow and seaweed and coral free. This means it has a beautiful turquoise color. It is bliss just to be there and such pleasant surrounds make it a place where you don't feel the need to "do more".

Secondly the relaxed way of life here is addictive. Residents and visitors live on "island time". This means a brief foray out in the morning, then a leisurely lunch and possibly a snooze when the sun it at its hottest. In the afternoon people really start to go out to the beach in numbers and by sunset it is full.

Finally sunset cocktails and sunset sailing. Most days you will sit in one of the many b…

A Day in Castleton

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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…

A Weekend in Hong Kong

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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 t…

Preparing for a ski holiday with SkiA

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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 hig…

Take Advantage Of Holiday Cottages In England

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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 tub…