Category: Travel

I was a massive festival goer in my younger years, sadly as you grow up and take on more responsibility, less money and become attached often your festival going days tend to dwindle. You also find a sudden distinct dislike of discomfort and certainly don't want to be reminded of your advancing years by being pushed and shoved around by a load of 'youth' during the headliner acts.

Having said all that there are festivals and there are festivals and it would make me way to sad to not go to any at all. So the Isle of Wight is my chosen keeper. It's a festival that's not going to leave you with cold feet and an achy back or feeling like you're a parent before you even have your own kids worrying about the state of youngsters around you. You also don't need to feel as though you need a holiday afterwards because you can combine it with a bit of sightseeing turning this into a festi-mini-break which is far more adult and civilised.

The Isle of Wight Festival really welcomes all ages, no one is going to get 'I feel old' pangs here, you can even introduce the next generation of festival goers as it's massively kid friendly. It always has a great line up, extra entertainment, a variety of bars, luxury camping options and you get to go there on a ferry for God's sake!

It's hard to top. The perfect festi-mini break (I think I'll coin that phrase), plus - and it's a bit plus - it always seems to land on the great weather.

If you go this year, please combine it with a little Isle of Wight sightseeing and definitely book yourself into The Hut for a seafood platter. I have been missing that place all year and can't wait to go back.

This year is the festival's Golden Jubilee 50th Anniversary and acts I'll be jostling to the front for include Hurts, The Wombats, Depeche Mode, The Killers and Kasabian.

Thursday 21st June - stick it in your diary and start planning your weekend, tickets can be found here.

 

Sometimes, when the London lifestyle gets a little too hectic, the best thing to do is to head for the coast. Jump in the car… hop on a train… just find a way as the classic British seaside break has a lot going for it….

It’s true that there are some funny old associations with British beaches and their culture. There’s a peculiarly naff quality connected to attractions such as bingo halls, dubious roller-coasters and those classic saucy postcards; but whilst a sense of all that still remains today, it’s unobtrusive enough to enjoy as a quaint novelty, or to forget about entirely if you’d rather.

There’s a great choice of resorts, many of the best being in good old Essex. You’ve got favourites such as Clacton on Sea, which offers a lovely sandy beach along with the expected Victorian pier, or Southend on Sea, which can admittedly get slightly raucous.

Perhaps the best offering is Brighton. This might sound an odd favourite as the beach isn’t sandy so sandcastles will never be on the cards, but a bit of pebble-skimming is always an option. What makes Brighton so attractive though is the completeness of the town itself: it’s somewhere that would still be great without the beach, whereas a lot of these resorts have little to offer but the sea.

 

For instance, alongside the classic arcade with all its shoot-‘em-up games and slot machines, there’s a proper casino for when the sun goes down and you want to hit the tables. It might be an idea to get your eye in with some online games on the train on the way down as these Brighton folk can be crafty customers! There are great clubs here too and the nightlife really benefits from the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Brighton. Being so close to London, and with its university, there’s a lot of young blood to keep things fresh and just plain cool.

 

Also of course there’s plenty of culture here, so although you’re out of London you won’t have to experience any withdrawal symptoms! There are lots of little galleries dotted around the place as well as Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. In addition to its fine art collection there’s always a thought-provoking exhibition here to get some ideas flowing. This museum-cum-gallery is located right next to the famous Brighton Pavilion, which is itself a work of art from Brighton’s Regency days.

If you’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt, then after your splash in the sea you might like to consider popping over to Lewes, a lovely little spot just up the road from Brighton. Lewes castle will give you a nice blast from the past (…built in 1069!) and if you’re peckish you could always pop into Bill’s. This is the original café that lead to the chain that everyone is now so familiar with up and down the country. It all started as a greengrocer’s and it’s quite nice to see where it all began, and to say that you’ve been to the original site.

Up winding mountain roads well into the mountains above  Palma is a quiet, idyllic little hotel, La Posada Del Marques.
With a real goose bump entrance, amazing views and cosy interiors this place would fit a holiday in Mallorca any time year round. Perfect for a couple of nights away, you are near to large city Palma as well as Michael Douglas favourite, the achingly picturesque Valdemossa for day trips. You can also find little coves, wonderful biking and hiking and boat hire for all levels nearby.
For evenings there are a number of ports nearby where you can sit out by the water, listen to live music and have a few drinks. There are also high gems of restaurants further into the mountains that are perfect for sunset viewings.

 

Mallorca is quick to get to and the hotel is only a 20 minute drive from the airport making it a great choice for a quick weekend recharge.
Whether you go out exploring (we would recommend a hire care) or simply stay in the hotel to have drinks and around the pool, wonder around their palm, orange and olive tree peppered gardens and early nights in cool rustic bedrooms, it's a great little weekend break to stick in your pocket when you need some R&R.

A wise website once said - those who morn the summer are right misery guts.. those that embrace colder days have the best bloody festive time ever.

So with that in mind, if you need a little nudge to welcome back that big coat out of the cupboard with open arms look no further than booking a little R&R in K-West over the festive period.

The wreath is up on the front door and the mistletoe is hanging in the lobby... K-hristmas has arrived at K West Hotel & Spa in Shepherd’s Bush! For those looking for a Silent Night after a day of rockin’ around Westfield London, one of Europe’s largest shopping destinations, K West is offering four exclusive packages for Winter 2017.

Wrap Up – 20% off Bed & Breakfast
The Wrap Up package includes accommodation across all room categories, a delicious cooked breakfast in Studio Kitchen the following morning, and a festive cocktail upon arrival. Valid from 20 November 2017 until 28 February 2018.

Chill In – 20% off Stay & Spa
Guests can treat themselves or a loved one to a city spa retreat with 20% off, including accommodation in one of the comfortable guestrooms, a cooked breakfast, and relaxing 30-minute treatment at the award-winning K Spa.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – 25% off during Christmas
Guests can enjoy a 25% discount off the Best Available Rate across all room categories between Sunday 17 and Wednesday 27 December 2017.

Party into 2018 – NYE 2017
Guests will not have to worry about the taxi ride home as the package includes an overnight stay, a cooked breakfast in Studio Kitchen the next morning and late checkout at 1pm on 1 January 2018.

Fancy getting away from London for a day or two? Checking out a great city like Liverpool, which is just over two hours away by train, can provide experiences that rival anything found in the UK’s capital. Whether it is music, sport, art or history, Liverpool has something singular on offer. Below are five things you can do in Liverpool, not found anywhere else in the world:

Visit the Cavern Club (pictured above This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC- SA):

Liverpool was the city where it all started by one of the most influential bands of all time – the Beatles. The Cavern Club was the home of the Fab Four from 1961-1963, where they played an astonishing 292 times. Today, it is effectively a shrine to the Beatles, where you can spend your time listening to tribute bands on stage or checking out cool Beatles memorabilia. There are brilliant events and festivals too, such as the International Beatleweek Festival (22-28th August).  

Experience the Grand National:

 

There is no horse race in the world quite like the Grand National. For a few minutes on 14th April 2018, the whole British nation stops to watch 40 runners and riders tackle the toughest course in racing. The National has been run for nearly 180 years now, making legends of horses like Red Rum and Golden Miller. This year, those looking to make history include the likes of Total Recall (12/1) Blaklion (14/1) and Cause of Causes (20/1). You can find free bets with the latest 2018 Grand National betting offers, which might help you make it a free trip. Regardless if you win or lose, the breath-taking action at the Grand National is not to be missed.

Check out Liverpool’s Historic Waterfront:

Liverpool’s Waterfront was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. It provides an insight to the city’s mercantile past, echoing the glory years of Liverpool as one of the great maritime centres of the world. It shows that Liverpudlians have a deep connection with their roots, but also points to the future of this thriving city. There are plenty of hotels, bars and restaurants in the area. Be sure to check out the Titanic Hotel on the Stanley Dock, a fitting tribute to the old world with all the comforts of the new.

Watch Liverpool FC at Anfield:

When opposing teams are about to step on to the pitch at Liverpool’s home ground, they must read one last message before the game starts. The simple inscription in the tunnel states: This Is Anfield. Its purpose is to remind opposing players they are about to enter the home of one of the world’s greatest football teams. Few sides leave the historic stadium with a win, but if they do it has been hard earned. Even if you are not a football fan, hearing legions of loyal fans sing their haunting anthem, You’ll Never Walk Alone, is one of the most spine-tingling experiences in world sport.

Liverpool Biennale:

Liverpool has always been a hub for both culture and counterculture. That is to say that it has always been a city for art, but it is not always what you might expect.  The 2018 Biennale invites artists to reflect upon the turmoil, both economic and social, happening around the world today. The Biennale is entitled, Beautiful world, where are you? With Liverpool’s history of working-class protest, social upheaval and the resilient nature of its people, they may have found the perfect city in which to ask such a pertinent question.