extreme adventure globe 6

The 5 Most Extreme Adventure Destinations Around the Globe

extreme adventure globe 6Fancy a summer holiday with a difference? Why not check out these adrenaline packed destinations to get your extreme adventure fix! With adventures for the faint-hearted to all-out thrill seekers alike, these destinations will offer you a trip you won’t forget…

extreme adventure globe 1

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is a mecca for thrill seekers from all over the planet. Whether it’s tackling New Zealand’s highest bungee jump, chucking yourself out of a plane or hitting the slopes in winter – you are guaranteed to find adventure in this beautiful town.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Pull on your scuba gear and discover one of the natural wonders of the world.

Swim alongside sharks, manta rays and fish of all sizes and colours. You don’t even have to be PADI qualified, just take a hold of your guide and jump in!

If you fancy keeping dry, why not check out the AJ Hackett bungee jump in Cairns?

Lake District, United Kingdom 

You could say that battling the weather in the Lake District is extreme enough. But you won’t be worrying about the traditional British drizzle as the Lake District offers you plenty of distractions.

Take your pick from Ghyll Scrambling (navigating your way up or down a gorge with plenty of obstacles to overcome on the way), Bog Snorkelling (yup, it’s what it says on the tin), abseiling, rock-climbing, mountain biking… The list goes on!

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The Alps, Europe

Stretching across eight countries, the Alps are bound to offer an extreme adventure perfect for you. You can ski in Austria, glacier walk in France or try out canyoning in Italy to name but a few!

Don’t think that the Alps are just a winter destination, extreme adventures are to be had year-round.

Tara River, Montenegro

Montenegro is still relatively undiscovered as a tourist destination. The area is stunning and the best, and most extreme, way to take in the scenery is to go white water rafting down the Tara River.

Health and safety regulations here are lax to say the least, so just pop on a helmet, grab an oar and a friendly guide and don’t forget to hold on tight!

Have you been on an extreme adventure holiday? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

Theres No Place Like HomeTheres No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home

Theres No Place Like HomeTheres No Place Like HomeWith the countdown clock showing a meagre 13 days until the #gaplife begins, I’ve been spending my days organising, planning or refusing to believe that the weeks are slipping away so fast.

But this weekend it was time to take a break from all that. To step back from manically adding things to the packing list or begrudgingly shelling out for travel insurance.

It was time to get some fresh air.

Cookham Lock RiverSo off we stomped to the waterways, across frosty fields and rusty bridges until the River Thames twirled into life.

I always moan that there’s nothing to do around my suburban hometown. Once you’ve crossed out shopping, the usual circuit around the fields and (if you’re lucky) a trip to one of the Thameside towns then you’re left twiddling your thumbs.

But with the #gaplife looming closer, I thought it was time to say goodbye to my familiar stomping grounds.

River Scenery

Mother Nature saw us coming and provided a glorious sunny day allowing the river to twinkle and glow in all its watery glory.

River Walk

RIver Tree

Cookham Lock TreeOur patch of river, near the quaint upmarket town of Cookham, was deserted.

We frolicked to our hearts content and took moody pictures on the banks.

Cookham Lock InstagramFor more pictures visit my Instagram account

Until an angry swan decided to join the party.

Cookham LockI may look calm, but those fellas scare the life outta me – they can break a man’s arm ya know!

Moving on swifly, we found ourselves overlooking Cookham Bridge and the posing continued.

Cookham Bridge PoseThis look felt like a good idea at the time…

Cookham Bridge PhotoAs the sun began to dip, we trudged back off home.

Well, home for the next 13 days.

It’s nice to look at your home anew, to search for things you want to take with you and remember on the road. You begin to notice things you would usually ignore, the cry of stray parrots in the trees, the friendly nods from strangers you pass, the reflections of the trees on the water.

No matter where I end up, there’s no place like home.

Do you like where you live? How do you feel about leaving home to travel? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media links.

If you haven’t already, remember to follow me on Bloglovin’!

Danesfield House Title

Prim and Proper at Danesfield House

Danesfield House Title

If you’ve read any of this blog then you may be aware that I can be quite frugal at times… All with the purpose of affording to travel of course.

I’m one for roughing it in tents, probably being mistaken for an escort to get free drinks and stocking my fridge with own-brand everything.

But some occasions call for an experience fitting of their importance. Take my sister’s 21st birthday for instance.

What a better way to celebrate than a fancy afternoon tea at one of the most exclusive estates around. Danesfield Hotel & Spa.

Danesfield House TowerDanesfield has recently played host to Hollywood’s highest profile stars at George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s second wedding reception. So we were in good company.

Danesfield House MenuWhen we arrived we were whisked through the gorgeous hotel lobby and into the bright tea room. We had luckily picked the one nice day we’ve had in a while so light spilled through the windows and made the room look even more exquisite.

Danesfield House View

Danesfield House TeaRoom

Danesfield House TeaRoom Group

I’ve never done this whole Afternoon Tea business before (very un-English of me I know!) so I had no idea about the etiquette involved at such an occasion. Even the concept of a tea strainer was foreign to me.

PG Tips, this was not.

White Tea Chinese

Danesfield House TeaWe sat sipping our tea and watching helicopters ferry hotel guests to their next glamorous destination. I’m not even kidding.

Then came the main event. The food.

Danesfield House Afternoon Tea

Tiers of cakey, sandwich-y goodness, topped with warm scones, jam and clotted cream. My mouth’s watering again…

Scones and Tea

With an appetite as unyielding as mine, those three measly tiers and that small looking slab of treats didn’t look like too much of a challenge.

Oh, how wrong I was! There are only so many smoked salmon sandwiches, raspberry macaroons and jam topped scones a girl can handle!

Defeated by a dainty afternoon tea. I hang my head in shame.

When the tea had run dry, we headed for a walk around the hotel and its grounds.

Making time for a bathroom selfie. Obvs.

Danesfield House Bathroom SelfieWe reclined in the drawing-room.

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Bar Danesfield House

Before stretching our legs with an amble around the grounds.

Danesfield House Grounds

If you haven’t been before then I would definitely recommend taking the afternoon for tea, especially somewhere that is so stunning. It’s nice to get dressed up and put on your best posh accent once in a while.

Leave the Tesco Value at the door and enjoy the finer things in life for once.

You leave feeling pleasantly full, relaxed and that little bit more classy. Bliss!

Afternoon Tea at Danesfield Hotel & Spa is £25 p/p. Find out more on their website here.

Have you been to afternoon tea before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media links. 

You can now follow me on Bloglovin’! Click the link in the sidebar or find me here: bloglovin.com/thestudenttravels.

 

Greenwich Lookout

On Top of the World: My New Favourite Spot in London

Greenwich Lookout

London has gone and done it again.

Whenever I think I’ve drained all I can from my favourite city, it pulls yet another fairytale site out of the bag.

On this occasion, it was beautiful Greenwich which knocked me for six.

Greenwich Observatory

With a gig at the O2 in the evening (Alt-J were incredible – give them a listen if you haven’t already!) Ryan and I had the late afternoon free to wander as we pleased.

It was then that I remembered Greenwich.

A friend of mine lives in nearby Eltham and had taken me for a stroll around Greenwich Park once before. I just had to show Ryan that view.

O2 Stadium

With cheeks flushed and hearts fluttering, we reached Greenwich Observatory and that fantastic panorama.

Having just missed out on the sunset (despite frantically scaling the hill) the crowds were slowly beginning to disperse, giving us a front row seat.

Greenwich View

Slowly, the lights of the city below began to flicker into life, creating an electrical display like no other.

London Skyline at Night

I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera as my cracked, tired iPhone didn’t even begin to pick up the brilliance of Canary Wharf by night.

You could even spot the glimmer of Tower Bridge and St Paul’s further down the river.

Seeing as it was right in front of us, we checked out the Prime Meridian Line, origin of Greenwich Mean Time.

To be honest I’m not too sure what GMT actually is apart from the fact that I set my clocks to it. A quick Wikipedia of it didn’t bring any further enlightenment – something about solar and sailors?! If anyone knows in layman’s terms then let me know!

Nevertheless we couldn’t resist giving the line a quick straddle.

GMT Line

At night a green laser shoots across the city, following the Meridian line. It’s pretty impressive.

GMT Laser

GMT Laser City

With stomachs rumbling we reluctantly left the view behind and stumbled back to Greenwich village.

This little suburb is probably the cutest in London. Lined with darling cafes and wonky Tudor houses, Greenwich is a prime example of London’s blend of old and new.

Sticking to the traditional, we headed for some hearty London Pie ‘n’ Mash at Goddards at Greenwich

Pie and Mash Shop GreenwichWith a classic white tiled interior, bargain prices and portions to keep even me happy – I was sold.

Pie and Mash

Pie and Mash SHop London

Pie, mash and beans washed down with a London Pride for just over a fiver?! I’m in.

I’m not going to be London for a while now so finding a new favourite patch was a great send-off.

But don’t think you can get rid of me that easily. In the immortal words of Schwarzenegger, ‘I’ll be back’…

Things I’ll come back to Greenwich for:

The Market – We glimpsed the vibrant food and trinket market as the stallholders were closing down. I’d love to have a nose when it’s up and running.

A pint down the pub – Greenwich has loads of lovely looking watering holes I want to explore.

Arrive by London River Bus from the City – You can hop onto the commuter and tourist friendly River Bus in central and jump off at Greenwich after soaking in the city from the Thames.

Have you been to Greenwich? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Let me know via my social media pages or in the comments below. 

Antique Globe

A Breath of Fresh Air

Walk Buckinghamshire

After a week of long commutes and rushed gym sessions, there’s nothing better than stretching your legs in the great outdoors.

Taking a breath of fresh air and getting some colour in your cheeks is the perfect remedy for a week in the city.

Especially when you have weather like this.

Tree and Sky

Hills Buckinghamshire

Walking Buckinghamshire

With the family in tow, we headed over the hills in search of the perfect pub lunch.

Sheep Buckinghamshire

Sheep Buckinghamshire Grazing

It was hard to believe that this was the middle of January. With the sun beating down, scarves and gloves were peeled off, replaced by sunglasses and light jackets.

Family Walk Buckinghamshire After the rolling expanse of hills, we headed deep into the woods.

Chiltern Walk

Woodland Path

With the ‘Into the Woods’ soundtrack ringing in my ears, my eyes scanned the forest for a flash of Red Riding Hood or a creepy Johnny Depp.

Instead, I settled for a fleeting glimpse of a deer’s bum…

Deers Buckinghamshire

Wildlife photography may not be my forte…

Emerging from the woods, we were greeted by swaying fields of wilted corn and fluffy bushes of Bedwine.

Corn Field Bucks

Corn Field Buckinghamshire

Old Man's BeardEventually we ended up at my favorite antique shop, Home Barn in Bourne End.

Antiques Bourne End

Eye-wateringly expensive but a treasure trove of home inspiration.

I was in heaven.

Antique Shop

Converted Barn

Antique Globe

paint antique shop

United Kingdom Flags

Just don’t look at the price-tags…

With the walk over, we scraped the mud off our boots and headed to the pub. With a gin & tonic in hand and a steaming plate of lamb and mash in front of me I was perfectly content.

Sometimes a breath of fresh air is all you need.

Have you been on any fresh country walks recently? Do you like being in the great outdoors? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages. 

 

Corfu Town

The Budget Girls Weekend Destination Guide

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a weekend with the girls. Whether you’re exploring somewhere new, downing the local wine or hunting down the best cheese boards in town, girls weekends are the best time to wind down and relax.

These precious moments with your gal pals don’t need to cost the earth either. Make the most of your mates and check out these budget-busting destinations to get the most weekend for your money!

Berlin, Germany

Berlin ReichstaggIf you’re a culture-vulture by day and a hardcore raver by night, Berlin is for you. Check into an apartment with your friends (Airbnb has lots of choice), take to the streets and explore this vibrant and eccentric city.

Perfect for the budget conscious, Berlin has plenty of free museums and the free walking tour is a must!

Hvar, Croatia

Hvar CroatiaThis small slice of island paradise is easily accessible for a weekend getaway. Party hard in Hvar’s budget bars and wash away your sins in the crystal clear Adriatic sea.

 

Switzerland

Switzerland GrindelwaldGet out into the great outdoors and lose yourself in Switzerland’s rugged scenery. Head to the slopes in Winter or visit in Spring to see the mountains in bloom.

Keep an eye on EasyJet for cheap flights to Switzerland’s cities.

Brussels, Belgium

Belgian Waffles BrusselsFoodie heaven. Wash down your sweet treats with local Jupiler beer, admire the architecture at Grand Place and have a laugh at the Manneken Pis.

It’s worth parting with 4 euros for entry into the Museum of the City at Grand Place. The Manneken Pis exhibition is probably the most hilarious thing I have seen.

 

Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral I have made my love for this Kentish city (and my University town) quite clear on this blog!

Just because I’ve graduated doesn’t mean I’ll be letting my Canterbury addiction go any time soon…

Canterbury is a great place for a girly break, catch-up in one of the city’s many bars, coffee shops or restaurants (here are my faves) and soak up the history of this quaint medieval town.

If you’re visiting in the Uni holidays, bag some cheap accommodation in the University halls. Find out how here.

 

Corfu Town, Greece

Corfu Town Beautifully undiscovered, as far as girls-only weekends go, Corfu Town is a hidden gem. Hit the shops, relax on the beach and eat as much Tzatziki as is humanly possible!

Come back home bronzed and refreshed.

 

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin PubOne of the ultimate girly escapes and the first one I took. Dublin is conveniently close to home and cheap to get to with airlines such as Ryan Air.

When you’re there, avoid the expensive pubs in touristy Temple Bar and instead follow the locals into one of the hundreds of other drinking holes. Grab and Guinness and prepare yourself for a sing-along!

Have you been on a girly weekend? What is your favourite destination? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

 

Natural History Museum

There’s More to Oxford Than the University

When you think of Oxford you think of the University. And why wouldn’t you? It’s one of the most prestigious and ancient institutions in the world!

You think of Hogwarts’ style dining halls, bright young minds riding their bicycles or taking a punt on the river and rusty old professors struggling across the cobble stones.

Yet, take a trip to Oxford during the student’s winter break when even the hoards of tourists have dispersed and the Oxford behind the University really shines through.

I live only a half an hour drive from Oxford city centre but rarely make the journey. Oxford is still undiscovered territory for me, with many sites still to visit. However this time I wanted to leave the University colleges behind and see what else Oxford has to offer.

The Turf Tavern

Turf Tavern OxfordThe Turf Tavern is an Oxford institution. A watering hole frequented by many notable intellects and celebrities alike, a pint in this time-worn pub is a must.

Blackwell’s Book Shop

Blackwells BookshopDeceptively Tardis-like from the outside, the Blackwell’s Book Shop is spread over four floors with shelves stacked with books on everything and anything you can imagine. Well worth a browse.

Lunch at the Vault Cafe

The Vault Cafe OxfordA must-munch in Oxford. Serving up fresh organic fare canteen-style, The Vault is a great pit-stop for some hearty fare on a chilly winter’s day. Hot main meals start at £7.

Oxford University Museum of Natural History and The Pitt Rivers Museum

Natural History MuseumSo it might be a bit of a cheat seeing as the museum is University owned but it is worth a visit nonetheless! Housed in a beautiful building with masonry reminiscent of its London cousin, the Natural History Museum is packed full of interesting taxidermy and fossilised replicas of your favourite prehistoric pals.

But the best gem is the Pitt Rivers Museum out the back…

Pitt Rivers MuseumThe Pitt Rivers Museum is going to get a whole blog entry to itself – it’s that good. The museum is a treasure chest of global goods, rammed with artefacts from gruesome shrunken heads to ancient playing cards. A Cabinet of Curiosity gone wild. It’s worth coming to Oxford just for this.

The Covered Market

Oxford Covered MarketThe covered market is situated slap-bang in the middle of Oxford. Sack off the boring high street and check out the quirky shops and market stalls selling everything from incense to pork pies.

Modern Art Oxford

Oxford Modern Art MuseumI’m a big art lover and love a trip around a good gallery (check out my top 5 here). Oxford Modern Art isn’t my favourite but you can’t complain as it’s free and currently has a couple of decent Andy Warhol’s hanging on its walls. The cafe is lovely though!

A Walk up the Mound at Oxford Castle

Oxford CastleOxford Castle has been lovingly restored over the years and so you subsequently have to pay to get in. Walk up the ancient mound instead for a pleasant view of surrounding Oxford. Cheap as chips and great at sunset!

I had a great time in Oxford and would love to come back again. Have you visited the city? What did you think? Let me know in the comments or via social media if there’s any places you’d recommend!

Moon Close-Up Photography

8 Photos Everyone With a New Camera Takes

Perhaps, like me, you were the lucky recipient of a camera this Christmas.

After unwrapping mine on Christmas Day it has never left my side, photographing anything and everything I’ve stumbled upon.

Here are the 8 photos that anyone with a new camera is bound to have experimented with…

1- The Selfie

Selfie Photography

With faces bloated with Christmas turkey, these selfies may not be the best of the year… Nevertheless the selfie is the first picture we all take – don’t deny it! – and the true testament of a good camera!

2- The Art of Reflection

Reflections PhotographyThe way the water ripples, the dark smudges of oak between reeds, erratic scratches of branches on the surface… Reflection shots have it all.

3 – Landscape

Landscape PhotographyYour post-Christmas ramble would be nothing without coming home with an SD-card stuffed with landscape shots. Testing out your camera with pictures of the rolling hills of home are a must.

4 – Effects

Ram Effect Photography

Red Highlight PhotographyAfter an afternoon of experimenting you discover that  your camera offers a range of effects and edits for your festive snaps. Make that sheep look like it has been painted by Monet or your parents look like a still from Schindler’s List. Gimmicks, but fun none the less!

5 – The Couple Shot

Couple PhotographyIf you’re one of a pair then a new camera creates the opportunity for those super-cutesy couple snaps. Unfortunately some couples are more photogenic than others…

6 – Close-ups

Moon Close-Up PhotographyI was told that my new camera was praised for its zooming abilities. Keen to try it out, I could think of no better zoom-worthy target than the moon.

With crystal clear skies, I was able to take this shot and am pretty sure that if there was life on the moon I’d be able to see it. Step aside NASA.

7 – Sunset

Sunset PhotographyIn terms of travel, sunsets are the money shots. Unfortunately there haven’t been many good’uns in my neck of the woods recently but I did manage to snap this melting sun and a beautiful pylon to boot…

8- Panoramas

Panorama PhotographyAlthough panoramic settings are pretty standard on most camera models, I’ve never had a camera or phone which has supported it. Panoramic photos make everything look good and a bit quirky, cue countless pictures of your living room or garden!

Did any of you guys get a camera for Christmas? What have you been snapping away at? Let me know and share your best shots in the comments or via my social media pages!

All featured pictures were taken on the Sony DSC-HX50.

Merry Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas

Wherever you may be in the world I wish you a lovely, happy Christmas!

Whether you’re sunning yourself on a gorgeous beach somewhere (jealous) or shivering away in good ol’ Blighty – have a wonderful day.

Eat too much, drink too much and be merry!

How are you celebrating Christmas? For me, Christmas revolves around Doctor Who family. Playing board games, trying to force my Dad and Uncle to play Ring-of-Fire and falling asleep in reindeer antlers.

Let me know what you’re up to this Christmas! Are you far away from home somewhere exotic or snuggled up with the family? What are your Christmas traditions? Drop me a message in the comments below or via my social media pages.

 MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

 

Brighton Sunset Heart

When in Brighton… Eat Japanese

Pompoko Brighton

Prices in Brighton have been soaring lately. As the middle-class move in, the artisan coffee shops and pretentious bakeries hike up their prices and push out many of the locals.

This is why Pompoko is such a gem.

Located opposite the entrance to the Brighton Dome, you can easily miss its tiny shop front.

Although it looks like a hidden gem, word has spread about this little Japanese firecracker and the tables, both inside and out, are often heaving with hungry guests.

Japanese Rice Dish Brighton

We plumped for large steaming bowls of Oyako Don (poached egg with fried chicken) and Sesame Chicken Don with massive portions of rice and noodles.

And you just had to have some crunchy spring rolls on the side…

Japanese Food Brighton

Our bill came to just over £15 for both of us! A single dish costs around £4.70 and you can wash it down with Japanese tea for as little as 90p a cup.

I can also vouch that these dishes act as amazing hangover cures! By far my favorite budget eat in the city.

After the main came dessert…

Choccywoccydoodah Brighton Vishnu

A very different kind of dessert in the form of Choccywoccydoodah, Brighton’s famous artisan chocolatier. We marvelled over the amazing chocolate constructions and picked up some Christmas gifts.

They also have a shop in Carnarby so Londoners won’t miss out.

A must visit for any sweet-toothed visitor!

Choccywoccydoodah Brighton

With bags full of goodies we headed to the seafront to watch the sun melt away.

Brighton Pier

Brighton Sunset

I love that Brighton keeps showing me something new. I always thought that Brighton lacked the variety of London but it hasn’t disappointed me yet.

I just simply can’t get enough of Brighton.

Brighton Sunset Heart

What are your favourite places in Brighton? Where should I visit next? Let me know in the comments below or via my social network pages.