Hey , I totally missed putting up a Links & Likes for June, so without further ado, here’s my Summer Edition. It will most probably come in two parts, as we have some way to go yet, thank goodness! There’s definitely a bit of a travel theme going on here. So hopefully a bunch of holiday inspiration. 🙂 . Enjoy!
Know where to find the best Ice Cream Parlours in the North East? Chloe has put in some serious research!
Paul is galavanting round Iceland , ticking off Game Of Thrones filming locations. 🙂
Hurrah I found a Photo Scavenger Hunt recently, courtesy of Hawthorn at I Live, I love, I Craft, I am Me. So I thought I would join in for June! I must admit, I have borrowed a couple from the archives, on this , my first attempt. But mostly my photos were taken in the past four weeks. 🙂
The Setting Sun. Crystal Cove near Tofino on Vancouver Island. Wow 11 years ago! Oh to go again and look for bears, whales and giant woodpeckers. 🙂 You can see some of my memories of Canada here.
Local Wild Place. I guess if I am not walking the dog down the fields, my nearest local wild place is Clitheroe Castle and it’s park. I’m lucky enough to live a stones throw away, and its a great place for watching birds , squirrels and butterflies.
Mug of your favourite drink in the garden. There is actually a drink in my mug. Honest! I wouldn’t say coffee is my favourite drink, but I certainly consume more of it than I ever used to. In fact before I met my other half ( many moons ago) , I didn’t drink coffee at all. Now I am on the hard stuff. Strong and Black! 😉
My kind of beautiful. My beautiful nephew and niece.
Look to the skies. A holiday snap from our stay in Norfolk. Taken from the pier at Cromer. I love the slightly moody sky in this picture.
Rain. A Yellow Flag Iris covered in raindrops. This was in Norfolk too, on the Sandringham estate. A very rainy walk !
Mini Beasts. Spot the shiny green beetle. Out with Hugo on a miserable rainy afternoon, a glistening green jewel caught my eye.
Something Summery. Beautiful Beach huts at Old Hunstanton in Norfolk. I love Beach Huts! There are not many in lovely Lancashire , though St Annes has some. The Norfolk coast has it’s fair share though. 🙂
Urban Wildness. Swans and cygnets on the canal in Skipton. 🙂
My Own Choice. My family! Minus the crazy cat. Its me, Wil and Hugo outside The Golden Lion in Hunstanton, Norfolk.
If you wish to join in too in July , check out the blog link above . Catch you soon!
Whilst in London, there are so many ways to discover the city, to get your bearings and enjoy the view. Why not aim high and book a slot at Sky Garden in what locals affectionately call the Walkie -Talkie. 20 Fenchurch Street is the fifth tallest building in the capital, so as you can imagine the views over London are stunning.
Sky Garden is as it’s name suggests, a garden 38 stories up ! Three tiers of lush geenery and tropical pants make up this heavenly space , with its incredible panorama. I decided it would be the perfect venue to admire the city-scape , whilst we were down in London celebrating my sister’s Birthday. It was a fantastic post by Laura from Tales of Adventures Big and Small that inspired me to look it into it. Not long after , my facebook feed started buzzing with folks enjoying a cocktail here, so its definitely gaining in popularity. 🙂
Of course another incentive to visit, is that Sky Garden is a public garden , therefore absolutely free! You do however need to book an hour slot and tickets become available online up to three weeks before your chosen date.
Our overall experience of Sky Garden was great. We had a short wait on the ground floor before being ushered to the elevator that zipped us up into the clouds with ease. 🙂 On arrival we were drawn out onto the open terrace to enjoy the views and the fresh air.
It was a lovely sunny spring afternoon so the views towards the Shard and down the Thames were suitably impressive. After drinking in our surroundings we enjoyed cocktails at the bar. You are not obliged to buy any food or beverages, but this was a birthday treat after all. 🙂
There was ample time to explore the gardens and admire the many vistas before our hour time slot expired. Not that anyone asked us to leave, I think the staff are fairly relaxed about it.
It is possible to visit Sky Garden as a walk-in early mornings ( fancy breakfast with a view? ) and in the evenings. But make sure you do book tickets for daytime trips. Nearby tube stations include Monument and Tower.
Have you ever been to Sky Garden? I really recommend it as a great and Free thing to do in London. 🙂
This past week I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time in my nation’s Capital London. And what a wonderful week ! Our trip was all in aid of celebrating my baby sister’s upcoming 40th Birthday. We managed to pack quite a bit in. Here are a few photos of what we got up to in this beautiful city. 🙂
Far the best way to travel to London ( unless you have your own private plane 😉 ) is by train. You can often find relatively cheap First Class Tickets, so your journey is speedy and comfortable with plenty of food and drink included. We booked with Virgin £80 each return from Preston and had use of Virgin’s complimentary First Class Lounge at Euston. ;0).
is well worth visiting, if only for the Dinosaurs ! Like many of London’s museums it’s free and is so vast you could easily spend the whole day here. I especially liked the moving Deinonychus above. One of the best ways of getting around the city is via The LondonUnderground and the nearest tube stops are Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Underground travel has gotten simpler with the use of contactless payment. Remember though , the money doesn’t go out of your account until a couple of days later.
Spring Blossom In Green Park.
Typically I hunted for Green Spaces in the city, and there are plenty. One day Wil, my brother and I bought a picnic from Harrods ( like you do)and sat down to eat it in Hyde Park. We then walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park , back to our hotel near Trafalgar Square. It was a nice way of seeing London and the various wildlife that makes the park its home. Look out for the Parakeets!
Harrods food hall.
London Eye from St james’s Park.
My sister wanted to see a show whilst we were away and which better to experience than The Lion King which plays at The Lyceum and has since 1999. Its an amazing piece of musical theatre and we loved it. Highly recommended.
The Lion King.
Happy times. 🙂
Even in London it is possible to stumble upon almost secret places. Colourful Neals Yard in Covent Garden is an Instagrammers delight with its multi – coloured buildings. Its also a lovely spot for a coffee or a bite to eat. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.
If you are going to celebrate a special Birthday in the Capital then you might as well go the whole hog and book a luxurious Afternoon Tea in one of London’s high class hotels. 🙂 Claridges in Mayfair offers a delicious array of finger sandwiches, warm scones with Marco Polo jelly & Cornish clotted cream, a varied selection of teas and a tray of delectable cakes and desserts from £60 per person. The setting in the grand art-deco inspired foyer and the attentiveness of the friendly staff add to this sublime experience.
A must for everyone’s London trip is a river cruise down the Thames, taking in all the cities famed landmarks, old and new. We used City Cruises to plan a return jaunt to Greenwich which is definitely worth a visit.
Helter Skelter in Greenwich.
On the Boat.
Another way of enjoying stunning views of London is to go some place high. Very high ! Like The Shard The Sky Garden commands a spectacular vista of the city. Unlike The Shard, it is absolutely free ! You still need to book online and tickets are usually available from three weeks before you go. We enjoyed cocktails ,amazing views and an unusual garden setting from 155 metres above. 🙂
Sky Garden goodies.
Sky garden’s view.
So there you have it, just a small selection of what we got up to in London town. It was a fabulously memorable holiday and a fun way to spend time with family too. Hopefully I will try and blog about some of our adventures in more detail soon.
Thanks for reading and a Very Happy Birthday to my sister Yvonne. 🙂
The Helpful Hiker has compiled a list of the Best Outdoor Dates For Valentine’s Day. ♡
Ever considered Greenland for a City Break ?? Ellen says Ilullisat is one of her favourite destinations. And I can see Why.
Nina is celebrating 2 years of being a Mum to little cutie Lana. 🙂
I might have to try this tasty looking low fat Flapjack recipe on Fred The Thread Blog.
Need to know what Galentine’s Day is all about. Read this article here and arrange time out with your Besties. 🙂
Happy Valentine’s Day ! Let me know how you will Celebrate? I’m doing ‘The Galentine’s ‘ thing on Friday night with some girl friends. A cocktail masterclass at ‘Escape’ in Clitheroe. I will let you know how it goes. 🙂
When planning a break with your four-legged friend , it is always handy to know that one particular Lake District resort has been voted ‘Uk’s Most Dog Friendly Town’ by the Kennel Club for four years on the trot. Lovely Keswick has it all. Stunning countryside with miles and miles of walks, a beautiful lake ( Derwentwater), cosy pubs and cafes, eclectic shops , several dog-friendly parks and a variety of accommodation and visitor attractions that welcome waggy tails. It seemed the ‘Pawfect’ place for a January Break with our labrador Hugo. 🙂 Here’s what we got up to….
Where we stopped. We booked Butterfly Cottage through Sally’s Cottages who are based in Keswick. They have over 230 pet friendly holiday cottages in The Lake District and Cumbria. Our bijou retreat was so cosy with its Wood Burning Stove ( a must for a Winter Break), open plan downstairs space, fully equipped kitchen and beautiful bedroom with comfy King Size Bed. The location was really handy for everything in town and it was super useful to have an enclosed back yard with a muddy boots and paws wash.
Where we walked. Every morning before breakfast we headed to Crow Park on the banks of Derwent Water. This is one of three Dog Friendly Parks in Keswick that we noticed. The others are Hope park and Fitz Park. Each morning depending on the weather, the scenery changed. Sometimes the mountains were bathed in gold, sometimes they were an angry slate blue. It was peaceful there and Hugo had a great run around.
There is a ten mile circular walk around Derwent Water itself which we hope to try on our next visit. We did however revisit a Railway walk which we enjoyed whilst camping in Keswick a couple of years ago. The Keswick to Threlkeld Railway Path is now partially destroyed due to last Winter’s storms but what remains, still makes for a pleasant stroll or bike ride. The walk starts from the Swimming Baths near Fitz Park.
We also walked up to Castlerigg Stone Circle situated just outside of Keswick off Castle lane. With the mountains of Helvellyn and High Street as a backdrop, the stone circle is among the earliest in Britain, dating back to 3000 BC. On a clearer day the views are stunning.
Places to Eat & Drink. Keswick is great for dog friendly pubs and cafes. In fact all the pubs in Keswick welcome dogs except for the Wetherspoons. Of course we made it our mission to try out as many as we could ! My favourites were The George Hotel with it’s cosy seating area by the fire, The Wainwright Pub, The Packhorse Inn, and of course The Dog and Gun famed for it’s ‘Homemade Goulash’ and doggy treat menu. 🙂
I don’t know about you but for breakfast on holidays I love pancakes. 🙂 Keswick has that sorted . We loved Merienda on the main street. It’s a fab Cafe Restaurant open for Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner. With an 8am opening time Mon-Sats and 9am on Sunday it is the perfect place to refuel before yomping up those hills. Another great venue for early starters is CafeBar 26 on Lake Road which does amazing Full Spanish Breakfasts. And both do make delicious pancakes. 🙂
Many of the pubs serve great food ( try the Royal Oak for their amazing Cheese Boards & Platters) and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants in Keswick that welcome dogs. As well as Bar 26 and Merienda look out for The Square Orange Bar/Cafe, Java Chocolate & Coffee Shop, Lakes Bistro & Bar, The Filling Station, Little Chamonix, Laura in The lakes, Kat’s Kitchen ( Veggie ) and Mrs F’s Fine Food emporium, to name but a few.
Shopping. Plenty of shops in the town don’t mind you being accompanied by your four legged friend. I find the best thing to do is always ask first. Lots of the Outdoorsy shops are dog friendly and so are many others. Hugo visited lovely gift emporiums Cherrydidi and Love The lakes on St John’s Street,for holiday souvenirs. He also bobbed into Keswick’s well loved Pet Store Podgy Paws which is a great place to visit for advice on local walks and dog friendly places, activities and attractions.
Visitor Attractions. Here is a quick list of pet friendly things to do and places to visit in Keswick and the surrounding area. 🙂
Cumberland Pencil Museum. Carding Mill Lane. Journey through the history of pencils and pencil making. Home to the biggest colouring pencil in the world! pencilmuseum.co.uk
Keswick Launch Company. Derwentwater. See the gorgeous scenery of Derwentwater on a lake cruise. keswicklaunch.co.uk
A Puzzling Place. 9 Museum Square. An exhibition of optical illusions and trickery. puzzlingplace.co.uk
Whinlatter Forest Park. England’s only true Mountain Forest with walks, trails and adventure play. forestry.gov.uk
Mirehouse & Gardens. Stately Home and gardens on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake. Dogs welcome in the gardens and grounds. mirehouse.co.uk
The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden. Portinscale. Beatrix Potter often holidayed here and the garden was the inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale Of Peter Rabbit. Reachable via a lake jetty or car. thelingholmestate.co.uk
I shall certainly take a look at the list on our next visit to Keswick. Hugo cannot wait to go again…and nor can we. 🙂
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