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london

UK

The Natural History Museum, London.

October 21, 2016

A couple of weekends ago, Stu and I went to London for the day. It wasn’t for a special occasion or anything, I just had a voucher for Vapiano which we wanted to use! As much as we love the food there, we knew we couldn’t spend the whole day eating Italian food and it was due to rain most of the day. We wanted to plan a few things to do because there’s nothing worse than being stuck outside in the rain, without any idea where to go. Our grand planning session resulted in me suggesting the Natural History Museum. Neither of us had been there for years, it’s easy to get to and no ticket necessary!

natural-history-museum-entrance

We probably got to the Natural History museum about an hour after it opened. There was a bit of a queue to get in but it wasn’t raining and there were a couple of PokeStops nearby so we didn’t mind waiting. After about 15 minutes or so, we were in the doors and completely overwhelmed as to which way to go and what to see first. We decided to wing it and ignore the maps and just have a wander around.

london-museum-dippy

The museum is HUGE. There are so many different sections to it and you could easily spend hours there. Some parts get a bit crowded so avoid going on a Saturday if get a bit claustrophobic. My advice would be to take a break. It gets tiring walking around, you’ll definitely need some snacks!

natural-history-musuem-globe

Like all museums, there are bound to be parts that you enjoy more than others. I loved the dinosaur exhibition but get a bit creeped out by all the taxidermy. I seem to be in the minority with this opinion as the main crowds are around the big stuffed animals.

london-dinosaur

Being a big tourist attraction for families, there’s lots of interactive exhibitions and these are by far the best bits. There’s one game where you have to try and keep a human alive for as long as possible. Let’s just say that Stu and I won’t offer to babysit anyone for a little while…

Have you been to the Natural History Museum recently? What did you think?

 

Health & Fitness, Lists

26.2 thoughts on running the London Marathon

May 2, 2016

1. This is going to be fine, loads of people run the London Marathon!

2. What was I thinking signing up for the London Marathon?! 26.2 miles is a really long way!

3. Apparently Tim Peake started the race from Space this year. I wouldn’t know because I’m so far away from the start line!

4. I’ve finally crossed the start line. This is great! Keep cheering my name crowds, I feel famous!

london marathon 2016
5. Is that someone walking after 1 mile?

6. How do so many people need the toilet already?

7. I feel incredible right now, this is the greatest race ever!

8. I did think the runners would have spread out a bit by now.

9. Oh great, a Runners World pacer surrounded by hundreds of people.

10. I wish I had a shorter name, the crowds seem to struggle with 4 or more letters…

11. Has that man got a washing machine on his back?!

12. I can’t believe I’m not even half way yet.

13. People are actually stopping to take selfies at Tower Bridge.

14. Oh great, I can see people who are at the 22 mile mark already. They look fast…

15. Did I just get overtaken by a dragon?

london marathon fancy dress
16. This slight incline definitely counts as a hill. They told me London was flat!

17. Why are there so many people drinking beer in the crowds? Happy Sunday guys! Can I have some?

18. I’m practically finished now, right?

19. I still have an hour left of running to do!

20. Where’s that Wall everyone talks about?

21. Oh there it is.

22. This is now the furthest I’ve ever run!

23. Forget everything your parents ever told you about taking sweets from strangers, you need all the help you can get right now!

24. 2 miles to go, just think of this as a little run after work.

25. Longest. Mile. Ever.

26. Hi Queenie.

26.2. Is that the finish? It is! I suddenly have the energy to sprint! It’s about to end! Do I want this to end?

london marathon
Trust me. The London Marathon is the most incredible race. It’s worth all the months of training and I genuinely enjoyed running it. Thank you to everyone who sponsored me. I smashed my target for Make A Wish!

Now, what marathon shall I do next?

Europe, Travel, UK

Easter Weekend in London

April 13, 2016

Easter may seem like forever ago but I’ve been a bad blogger and haven’t got round to writing about my trip to London with my family. So now you can sit back and remember how nice having a 4 day weekend at Easter was and look forward to our next bank holiday in May! Not that I’m counting or anything…

Anyway back to London! Over the Easter weekend, I went to London with my Dad and Stepmum. Thinking about it now, it’s probably the first time that we’ve ever done something just the three of us as there are usually other family members in tow. I’m really glad we got to spend that time together. Travelling definitely made me realise how important it is to see your friends and family as much as possible.

We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel which is right next to the Hatton Cross tube station. It’s about a 40 minute journey into Central London but you get a bigger and much nicer room than most inner city hotels which is a big plus for me! We stayed for two nights and I thought it was a lovely hotel. It’s full of lots of people going on holiday as it’s near Heathrow airport which made me extremely jealous! I also loved the breakfast buffet – purely because it had a toast conveyor belt and those little glasses of juice you get on holiday. It made the trip feel even more like a holiday for me (I know I’m weird…).

Now obviously there’s tons to do in London and this post isn’t going to tell you how to see all the typical tourist sights in one weekend. What I will do is share with you some of the highlights of our weekend. We seemed to do loads and I enjoyed myself so much. So in no particular order, here’s what we got up to!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Both Sarah and I had read the book by Mark Haddon, which is fantastic, so we were really looking forward to seeing how it translated into a play. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but you definitely won’t be disappointed. It’s a very clever set with talented actors who draw the audience in to the story. One of my pet peeves is when a play or film deviates too far from the original story so I was relieved when the play did stay true to Mark Haddon’s book.

The London Dungeons

Now I had no idea what to expect from the London Dungeons. Friends had told me that it was really scary and I’ve been around the Saw Maze at Thorpe Park before which has actors and that seriously freaked me out. However this was a lot more family orientated. All of the actors were good and stayed in character the whole time but I only jumped a couple of times and that was probably due to my Dad trying to scare me! It’s more of a fun thing to do and not scary but you do learn some of London’s history which can only be a good thing.

The Imperial War Museum


Now if you really want to learn some history then I suggest you visit the Imperial War Museum. This is a fantastic place to go if you like your military history. I had quite a few modules in my degree about the different wars in the 20th Century so I found it particulary interesting. I don’t think you have to be a history nerd like me to appreciate the IWM though as it covers such a broad timescale that there is bound to be something that interests you, whether that be Hitler or 9/11. One of the best exhibitions is the floor dedicated to the Holocaust. It’s a harrowing exhibition which might make some people feel uncomfortable but it’s a subject that everyone should learn about to ensure it doesn’t happen again. If you’re after something a little different to do in London, you should definitely visit here!

Camden Markets


Last on my list is Camden Markets. Incredibly, I’ve never actually been to Camden before. Seeing all the different stalls selling such an array of items and food reminded me of Glastonbury festival. I love wandering about markets and seeing all the different shops and smelling all the food – even if I rarely actually buy anything! We walked through the Stable Market with all the horse statues and then saw the Amy Winehouse statue on the way out. I’d like to visit the markets again soon and see what hidden treasures I can find.

So that was our weekend in London! It was good to be a tourist in my capital city and explore some different parts of London. Thanks to my Dad and Sarah for a such a good weekend!

 

Next time I’m in London will be in just over a weeks time for the London Marathon. Wish me luck and please sponsor me if you can – details here.

Europe, Travel, UK

IceBar London

November 3, 2015

I recently spoke about my trip to London and mentioned that we visited IceBar. I wanted to write a whole post about the bar because it was such a fun experience! I’ve never really been to a novelty bar before so it was all new to me and I had a great time.


My Mum pre-booked our tickets as we’d heard it can get quite busy – especially on a Saturday. I think our time was about 5pm so it was full of people getting ready to start their night out in London. We arrived about 10 minutes before our allotted time and got to see the previous group leaving – all looking very cold! It was soon our turn to enter the Ice Bar but first we had to put on our thermal coats and gloves. I loved our outfits with the fur cape,I felt like I  was in Lapland!


 We then entered the bar (or the giant freezer) and was greeted by a wave of cold air, good music and lots of ice! Literally everything is made of ice. I’m talking the bar, your glasses, tables, sculptures, everything! It looked really impressive.

As you only get 40 minutes in the bar there is an initial rush for everyone to get their free drink and then take pictures with everything in sight. This did calm down once people realised that 40 minutes is more than enough time to enjoy the surroundings and have a few drinks.

Now if you’re like me and really feel the cold, you’re probably thinking that standing in a freezer for 40 minutes doesn’t sound fun in the slightest. The truth is, you don’t actually get that cold. The cape and gloves keep you warm and you’re constantly moving around anyway which helps. So don’t worry about the cold and give IceBar a try! It’s an ideal place to start a special night out or just to try something a little different when visiting London.

Have you ever been to an Icebar? What did you think?

Europe, Travel, UK

One Day in London

October 23, 2015

Last Saturday I spent the day in London with my mum for a bit of mother daughter time. We booked a return coach (so cheap with Megabus!) and had a loose plan of going round the shops and having a meal somewhere.

  
I was in London only a couple of weeks ago for work but I didn’t get a chance to see much more than the tube station and the office so it was nice to be a bit more of a tourist for once. First stop was Harrods as we knew they would have all the Christmas stuff out in the food hall. This made me seriously excited for the Christmas season to be upon us! Keeping in the tradition of shopping in expensive stores, we went to Harvey Nichols next. They also had their Christmas gear out so we really couldn’t get away it all.

Now lunch was something to get excited about. One of mine and Stu’s favourite restaurants in Australia was Vapiano. We went to one in Sydney, Mebourne and Surfers Paradise. In fact the only one we missed out was Brisbane! Anyway, Vapiano is now in the UK! They have 3 branches in London and one opening in Manchester next month (Vapiano if you’re reading this – please come to Bristol next!). Mum and I went to the Soho branch and I was filled with happiness as soon as we walked in. The restaurant was so similar to the ones in Australia and brought back so many memories. The menu was the same as Australia and Mum and I both had bruschetta followed by a pasta dish. If you haven’t been to a Vapiano before, your meal is cooked in front of you as you order and you can really taste how fresh it is. We loved it! I can’t really recommend it enough – just go!

   
    
 After lunch we headed to Regent St and Oxford St for a bit of retail therapy. It’s so busy shopping in London on Saturday and I can imagine its only going to get worst in the build up to Christmas.

  
Come 5pm, Mum had a treat booked for the two of us, a trip to Ice Bar London! This was so much fun and I’ll write a whole blog post about it soon.

  
Before long, it was time to head back home. It’s only a couple of hours to London from home and I sometimes forget just how easy it is to get there. I might see if I can squeeze another trip in soon…