Do you feel like you’ve explored most of London’s iconic landmarks and seen the same overcrowded markets and museums? Whether you already live in the capital or are a frequent visitor by having a second home there, you’ll be surprised how much more there’s still to see, even if you’re visiting London on a tight budget. It doesn’t matter if you’re a history buff, a nature lover or just want to immerse yourself in some quirky attractions, check out the list below for new ideas to explore a different side in and around London.

The Monument for city views

In contrast to the London Eye with its long queues, visit the The Monument right in the heart of the city’s financial hub. Climb up the 311 step staircase built inside a Doric column to get a fantastic view of the London skyline. The building was built in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of London in 1665 and is located just 10 meters away from where the fire started. You can even receive a certificate as proof you’ve managed to climb all those steps!

Croydon for shopping

Forget about battling through the shoppers in Oxford Street and head down to Croydon instead where a modern transformation of the town has elevated it in recent years making it a popular choice for people to move there. Visit the vibrant Surrey Street Market, allegedly Britain’s oldest market, serving customers since 1276. In addition to homemade and fresh food there’s lots of independent traders selling arts and crafts, and if you get tired, head to one of the oldest pubs in the area for a locally crafted beer.

Hoxton Hall for entertainment

Recently restored, Hoxton Hall is firmly entrenched in the East End history of music halls that first opened in 1863. Fast forward to the present day and it continues to host a range of music, dance and plays from local and worldwide companies which include experimental, cabaret and family orientated performances. Sitting in the Victorian cast iron balconies, your tickets will be a fraction of the price than a West End theatre.

There are so many unsung attractions, shops, bar and restaurants in London and the edge-cities that surround it, there’s no time no be bored while you’re staying over. These are the very places that deserve recognition in an ever-evolving landscape of the capital so now’s the time to get out there exploring.

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Gorgeous Tanzania is Africa in her finest glory. Even the names of the places there sound like music  – Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Lake Tanganyika, Ngorongoro – and the list isn’t even a quarter way through. Tanzania is home to the Olduvai Gorge where mankind is said to have started, two million years ago.

Whatever your reason is to visit Tanzania, you’ll not be disappointed.

If you’re planning to visit Tanzania, read on:

A lot to offer – Everyone has heard of Mt Kilimanjaro and its magnificence. Apart from this, there is Mt Meru as well. If it’s islands you need, look at Pemba, Mafia and Zanzibar. Tanzania is also home to the lakes of Malawi, Victoria and Tanganyika. Tanzania is a mix of modern and traditional, old and new, great food and shopping and all sorts of activities that might please you.

Time to visit – the time to visit Tanzania is when it’s not raining. The right time would be between June to October for a Safari and Wildebeest migration. Do remember that the place gets terribly crowded and costs shoot up during peak times. In terms of weather, it’s mostly hot and muggy, but the land cools down in time While we believe that Tanzania is a hot country, you’ll be surprised to know that things get freezing cold in some parts of the country – Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro, to name just two. You can book Tanzania flights online using websites such as Tripindigo and others. In fact, you can also check out excellent destinations for safari, beach and islands.

Wildlife areas – if you’re looking for the most magnificent and impressive wildlife, head to the Northern Circuit. When it comes to safaris, you can get so much – not just the animals but the landscape, the flowers and plants and the creatures, both large and small. Here you’ll find the Tarangire National park with its scores of bird species, gazelle, wildebeest and zebra. Apart from this, Udzungwa Mountains National Park features a wide variety of plants and flowers.

The wildlife – this is definitely the reason why people travel here. For the hippos and the elephants, the wildebeest and giraffes. This is also home to the lions and crocodiles, among many other creatures who dot the landscape of this country. The big game is a reason why Tanzania is the destination of choice for travelers.

The culture – Tanzania is home to the red-clad Masai tribe. You can spend time with them and learn about their ways. From a traditional meal to the kind of music they dance to, the tribes will teach you about how it is to live in harmony with nature. People in Tanzania are friendly and warm and this is one of the highlights of the culture.

The Sights – you must make a visit to Serengeti, the Stone Town of Zanzibar, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the scores of National Parks.

Tanzania has a lot to offer. Enjoy a time of adventure, animals and ancient cultures.

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Camping has changed a lot in the past few years; no longer is it all about sleeping in a thin sleeping bag on a thin foam mat with three other people in a small tent. Technology has improved to the point that you can now have a wonderful experience in the wild without having to give up too many of your creature comforts. Some people take things even further and create a home away from home; these people don’t just go camping, they go glamping. Here are a few of the things that you can take with you if you want to go glamping.

Tents

The technology of tents has improved greatly over the years. It has led to the types of tents which you can not only stand up in, but that have separate rooms for each person as well as a living area. You can also get some tents that are pushing the boundary of technology including an inflatable dome tent that is big enough to fit your whole family. Another big advance is how long it takes to put the tent up when you arrive. No longer will you be spending hours trying to fit all the poles together; now you can get a three-room tent with seven windows that can be put up in two minutes. As well as the tents themselves, you can also get additional parts that can be attached. One such attachment is a netted area that protects you from flies and mosquitoes. It allows you to sit in the sun and enjoy the day without getting bitten.

Cooking

There are many types of cooking equipment specially designed for cooking while camping. However, they are not completely ideal for the glamping lifestyle. If you want something a little more upmarket, then there are other sets you can buy. One type is a cast iron cooking set that includes a griddle, pot and frying pan. Although they won’t necessarily make the food taste any better, they will make the cooking process more glamorous. Some people have also been known to take ceramic cups and plates to use for their meals. Although there is nothing wrong in doing that, you need to make sure they are packed safely to prevent breakage. When it comes to stoves, you can now get a variety of different types that all perform the same function. You can get more expensive stoves that can be packed down to small case size for ease of packing. They usually come with a gas canister that can last for some time with normal use.

Staying Clean

Some places that you visit for camping vacations will have a dedicated shower block for you to keep clean and, of course, toilets. However, not everyone wants to use those shower blocks, plus, you might want to make camp somewhere that isn’t a camping site. For the people that want to stay clean, you can now get a portable luxury shower. All you need to do is connect it to your water hose and a propane tank. It can raise the water temperature by an impressive 35 degrees, so if the water that’s going in is at 55 degrees, that will take it up to around 90 degrees. If you have a shower, you are going to need somewhere to wash, so you can also get a separate shower cubicle that looks like a small tent. You can even get ones that also have a separate changing room, so you don’t have to change outside. Although the glamper will most likely bring their own shampoo and conditioner, it is still important to think about where your camping and look after the environment. For that reason, you can buy special multi-purpose liquid that is biodegradable so that it won’t harm the wildlife. It has the added benefit of having multiple uses; you can use it on the washing up and as a general cleaner.

Toilets

Just because you are in the middle of nature, doesn’t mean that you need to forgo the comforts of home. There are many types of a portable toilet on the market now, and most of them use a chemical system to stay clean and fresh. You may also want to use the same portable shower cubicle for some privacy, and a place to store it while it’s not in use. There are other types that use a bag system, but they are not as efficient as the others, plus you need to dispose of the bags afterwards.

Furniture

Although some glampers with plenty of space bring wooden chairs with them, there are ways to have some nice furniture in your tent that is a little more compact. For example, you can get inflatable sofas that also combine with a bed, so you can sit or lay outside or in the tents living area. They can also be practical as a way of accommodating additional friends or relatives that want to come along. You can also get specific inflatable daybeds that allow you to lay out in the sun and relax or watch the stars at night. One of the favorites of many campers is the folding chairs. They can be versatile, and some have additional features such as umbrellas and footrests. They are a particular favorite for people who like fishing, though they can also be used in the tent as comfortable chairs.

Beds

As mentioned earlier, the days of sleeping on a thin layer of foam are long gone. There are now more comfortable ways to spend the night in a tent. Inflatable mattresses have become the norm, not just with glampers but with regular campers as well. As they can be folded up into a compact unit, they take up little space in the car, and you can get single and double versions. Along with the mattresses, you can also get cozy double sleeping bags that will zip up to the neck like the single versions. Sleeping bags, in general, have also improved, not only are they warmer, but some also have a hood that allows you to sleep with just your face uncovered.

Lighting

With the improvement in LED technology, lights are now far more efficient than they used to be, which is good for the camper. It means that battery powered lights will last much longer than before, and there is less need to use your valuable propane as a light source. You can now get LED lights that you can hang in the tent that not only illuminate the area but also have a built-in fan to keep the tent cool. There are also folding solar panels that will recharge your phone, or lights quickly during the day for use at night. If you don’t want to have one big light, then you can always take some head torches with you so that you can move around at night without waking everyone up. Most modern LED lights, especially those for camping, are rechargeable, which means they can be left illuminated all night without having to keep lots of batteries with you.

Entertainment

For the serious glamper, there are things that you might want to take with you for entertainment while you’re sitting around in the evenings. There are now portable giant movie screens that you can put up in just a couple of minutes. With that and a small projector, you can have your very own cinema in the middle of the forest. To power the projector and also the main lighting, you can also get portable camping generators. They usually run off 4-stroke engines like those you find in a motor mower. They are a great idea if you have a lot of electricals that you want to power, and with today’s smartphones and tablets, it means you can still charge them at night when the sun goes down. While you are outside watching your movie, you may find yourself getting a little cold. If you are the type of person that can’t make campfires, then there are portable fire pits that you can use instead. They run off a propane tank and have lava rocks to not only give an authentic look but also help to radiate the heat. If you don’t want anything so specific, you can get portable propane heaters that you can run outside the tent. Another handy invention we all know and love is also making a big impact on the camping scene: the Bluetooth speaker. As they are so small and can be easily recharged, they are the perfect accessory to take with you for some music.

There is no doubt that the world of camping has progressed a lot to the point where you can now do almost anything that you can do at home. Though there may be some purists that think this isn’t real camping, it is encouraging more people to travel outside of their usual comfort zone and explore the wilderness.

 

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We all know the beauty that England holds. From Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, to adventurous activities like river cruises, or hiking on the South West Coast, the opportunities are endless. However, if you are a lover of all things British, then you will quickly become a lover of the Kiwi country, New Zealand. In fact, if you didn’t know, England once ruled the island country, drawing similarities between each country. With that being said, if you are looking for an experience of a lifetime, check out these NZ South Island tours that will strike resemblances to England but in a whole new way.

1.  Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park Tour

In New Zealand, one of the most popular destinations is Milford Sound. This location offers stunning views of snow-covered mountains, breathtaking fjords, and verdant greenery. Today, the Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park NZ South Island Tour is one of the most popular attractions in the country. This full day event is designed for small groups and includes ample photography moments. If you sign up for this specific NZ South Island tour, you will get a special Kiwi-style barbeque overlooking beautiful scenery. Keep a look out for some fur seals on your adventure!

2.  Heli-Hike Franz Josef Glacier Walk

Have you ever dreamt of getting to explore a glacier before? With Franz Josef’s NZ South Island Tour, you will hike through ice caves and fly in a helicopter to the tops of New Zealand’s well-known glaciers. The best part about these tours is that you are not required to purchase your own hiking equipment – everything is provided. Explore the beautiful Alps of New Zealand and learn some fascinating history about how New Zealand was formed. At the end of this tour, travelers will have the opportunity to swim in one of New Zealand’s many hot pools.

3.  Dart River ‘Funyak’ Canoe and Jet Boat Tour

The Dart River NZ South Island Tour is a full-day experience, providing travelers with the chance to canoe and ride in a jet boat through some of New Zealand’s most beautiful nature scenes. The tour begins in Queenstown with a coach ride over to Glenorchy, where Lord of the Rings was filmed. Tourists will have the opportunity to paddle in inflatable canoes, also known as funyaks, and speed through the streams with a jet boat.

 

This tour will reveal top secret streams and hot pools that even Kiwis don’t know about. The best part about this entire tour is the beautiful wildlife that awaits your journey. Be sure to wave and take pictures!

For lovers of British culture and adventure, a trip to New Zealand will surely not disappoint. In fact, after one trip, you will be ready to plan another!

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What better way to explore scenic coastal towns and soak up that blissful island getaway atmosphere than by boat? Whether you’re keen to admire colourful wildlife on a snorkelling trip or prefer to stay on deck in the sunshine, prosecco in hand, holidaying by boat opens up a world of opportunities not always afforded to us when we travel overground.

From historic cities to sun-soaked archipelagos, there are plenty of places to go in search of your perfect break on the water. The added joy of a boating holiday is that you can hop from location to location the most laid-back way possible, luxuriating in your very own yacht or motorboat. No matter if you’re preparing to have your own vessel serviced and ready for summer or will be hiring on arrival at your first stop, these stunning destinations are ideal for exploration.

Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Croatia’s Dalmatian coast boasts more than 1,000 islands in varying shapes and sizes, ranging from the untouched and remote to bustling stop-offs that house gourmet restaurants, stylish cocktail bars and ample shopping opportunities.

Hvar is one of the best known Croatian islands, home to the Gothic palaces of Hvar Town and great sightseeing spots like the Franciscan Monastery and Cathedral of St Stephen. The views from Hvar’s ancient Fortica are almost unparalleled, and moorage fees to jump ashore here come as low as €5 per metre of your boat’s length.

On the northern coast of Hvar you’ll find Stari Grad, where the harbour makes an ideal location for early morning paddle boarding, and from here there are smooth sailing conditions to the incredible Blue Lagoon on the island of Krknjaši. Driving from Hvar to Krknjaši can be long and arduous, but sailing past other Dalmatian islands on gentle waters is a pleasure.

Krknjaši is almost deserted, and it may be for that reason that the lagoon’s azure waters feel such a world away from the hustle and bustle of nearby island towns. Ideal for swimming, kayaking or stand-up paddle boarding, spending some time in this serene spot means you might just experience the most spellbinding sunrise you’ve seen yet.

 
The Whitsunday Islands, Australia

If listening out for the sound of dugongs swimming around your hull and whales singing sounds like a pretty good way to fall asleep, sailing the Whitsundays may be the choice for you. More than 150 protected anchorages are here to enjoy, sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef.

You won’t find any busy roads and lanes crowded with shops here – the only way to access the Whitsundays is by water, and if you’re a fan of holidays afloat this region is unmissable. Diving the Great Barrier Reef is on many a bucket list, with more than 1,500 species of fish to spot and bright corals as far as the eye can see. From your own yacht, slipping under the waves couldn’t be easier.

If you aren’t a confident sailor but want to set sail to these tranquil waters all the same, then don’t worry. A number of companies now offer the option of hiring a skipper along with your boat, so you can spend your time perfecting your holiday photography while someone else keeps your boat on course. And if you want to really indulge, there are also plenty of fully crewed options available – meaning large groups can put their feet up with extra help from hostesses, chefs and deckhands.

 

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Some of the finest cuisine in Europe, delectable wines and mile after mile of gorgeous coastal views – just a few reasons why the Amalfi coast is such a popular holiday spot. Sail here and you can wake up in a new location every day, avoiding the narrow, winding roads that lace the hillsides and instead enjoying the freedom and space of open waters.

What better way to get those truly postcard-perfect views than from the deck of your boat, sailing along the coastline? While the vistas you’ll enjoy on land are certainly a spectacle, cruising from Capri to Positano offers panoramas on another level. Villas stacked atop each other wiggle their way along the hillsides, with brightly coloured architecture and lush greenery as far as the eye can see.

By boat, you can explore the caves and coves of this UNESCO World Heritage Site at whim, with ample opportunity to swim in the emerald ocean waters or simply soak up the sun along the route. Jump ashore to sample truly authentic Limoncello liqueur, or an easy-going glass of the local Ravello Bianco wine.

 
Lau Islands, Fiji

The Fijian islands each have their own unique culture and identity, with untouched island groups like the Lau islands and busier, developed areas like Ovalau. Without a boat of your own it can be a struggle to explore easily and in full, but for those who love to sail there are few destinations more suited to a visit.

Taveuni, known as the Garden Island of Fiji, is home to waterfalls, lush rainforests and a range of rare exotic birds. After mooring here, far from the beaten track, you can easily sail past the volcanic peaks of Kadavu, or opt for a shorter sailing past Rabi Island to the calm and colourful Natewa Bay.

White sands, sapphire seas and either quiet solitude or vibrant bars and dining spots – the choice is yours. There are more than 300 islands to wind your way around, with coral reefs and clear lagoons making for ideal snorkelling and scuba diving conditions. Fiji is often referred to as the ‘soft coral capital of the world’ thanks to the hundreds of varieties of corals and sea sponges you can see here, not to mention more than 1000 species of tropical fish.

This part of the world provides unparalleled marine biodiversity, and a boating holiday is the perfect way to get up close with giant Manta Rays and even docile Hammerhead sharks. Year-round diving weather and great visibility make these islands as much a dream for budding wildlife photographers as they are for water sports enthusiasts, and a truly unmissable getaway.

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Five Reasons To Jump On A Plane & Travel

by Julie on January 29, 2018

Travelling is one of the most popular ways of taking a break from your everyday life, and flying is definitely one of the quickest and most convenient ways of getting from A to B. From a quick hop across the country to a long-haul excursion to the other side of the world, air travel is something that allows you to spread your wings and experience an extraordinary variety of destinations across the globe.

It’s not without its possible pitfalls, but the majority of flights are completed on schedule and with no issues. In the event you do suffer from delayed flights, specialist compensation service websites such as Fairplane.co.uk will help with the claims process.  Before you fly, make sure you have everything you need to ensure the flight passes comfortably, and you don’t get bored. Take a magazine, a puzzle book, sleep mask, whatever works for you.

Making memories

Life is a collection of your memories, so it makes sense to experience as many memorable events and activities as you can. Travelling to other countries, seeing new natural wonders and living within other cultures can be one of the best ways of enriching your life and making lots of happy memories to treasure.

Challenging yourself

Without challenges, life can be pretty dull. Although you may face challenges of many kinds at work and home, setting yourself a goal like trekking the Andes is a way of pushing yourself to accomplish something you may not have thought possible. Achieving ambitions and living your dreams is a fantastic way to lead a more fulfilled life, as well as being good for both physical and mental health.

Learning

We live in a world that is more connected than ever before, constantly hearing about and seeing other countries, people and wildlife. Experiencing these countries first hand expands your knowledge and understanding of other cultures, and helps you to appreciate the realities of life around the world. It’s not unheard of for people to have life-altering experiences after travelling.

New Experiences

The human brain needs stimulation to function properly and to enable you to achieve what you desire out of life. Continually repeating the same old routines month after month, however pleasant and familiar they may seem, does nothing to expand your brain and make full use of your intelligence. Eating new food, talking to new people, exploring ancient architectures, all get the mind buzzing and rekindle your enthusiasm to embrace life.

Family history

Many families have relatives in other countries that they see infrequently or may never have met. Flying to Canada to meet the descendants of the uncle who emigrated in the 1950s is an opportunity to make new connections and strengthen family ties. There’s a good chance you will see photos of your relatives that you’ve never seen before, and learn things you never knew, on a genealogical-themed trip. It can also be a very moving experience to visit the part of the world from which your ancestors came, and learn about your heritage.

 

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Top 3 Islands to Visit on a Croatian Cruise

by Julie on January 25, 2018

Cruising around the Adriatic Sea and enjoying the full beauty of Croatia can be one of the most fulfilling and memorable holidays you’ve ever had, but with more than 1000 islands to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which ones you actually want to visit. Of course, you probably won’t have time to stop at each island, so you’ll have to be okay with cruising by the vast majority of them. Fortunately, there are really only about 80 larger islands, with the Hydrographic Institute classifying the rest as smaller “islets” and “rocks,” so choosing an island to serve as your holiday headquarters shouldn’t be too difficult, especially with your list narrowed down to the following three options:

1. Mljet

Although the island of Mljet isn’t the most popular, it’s renowned for its lush greenery and an interesting history that stretches back thousands of years. In fact, the island is a key site in both Greek Mythology and Christianity, as it’s said to be the haven where the apostle Paul was shipwrecked as well as the site where Calypso detained Odysseus for 7 years. Covered in inspirational natural scenery and dotted with fairy-tale like architecture, this humble hidden paradise is an often overlooked yet unanimously cherished highlight of Croatia’s famous Gulet cruises – learn more about this kind of nautical tour.

2. Cres

The island of Cres is home to enchanting forests, exotic beaches, and a range of rare wildlife that makes for superb photography and observation opportunities. More specifically, the island is home to one of the world’s densest populations of Griffon – a majestic vulture with a massive wingspan. Furthermore, as part of the Cres and Lo Lošinj group of islands, there are plenty of other interesting sites to see nearby.

3. Dugi Otok

This long but slim island stands out with towering cliffs and awe-inspiring coastlines adorned with abundant greenery and white sand beaches. As the largest island in the northern Dalmatians, it’s home to Telascica Bay and Nature Park – one of Croatia’s 8 national parks – as well as Saharun beach on the north side of the island which is lined with impressive orchards and vineyards.  Plus, immediately south of Dugi Otok lies a group of islands that make up Kornati National Park, so stopping here is a good way to experience two must-see Croatian parks in the span of a day.

Planning a Cruise that Will Show You All of Croatia

With a Gulet cruise, Croatia as a whole becomes more accessible and the experience feels more intimate than the alternative of sailing on a larger commercial cruise liner. Believe it or not, it’s possible to see most of what this diverse archipelago has to offer within just a few weeks if you have a well-planned trip itinerary and cruise route prepared ahead of time. Booking far in advance not only saves on travel reservations, it also gives you plenty of time to compare cruise providers, choose hospitality accommodations, and research the main attractions you’ll be visiting during your holiday.

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