*This Schengen visa for Austria post is a collaboration
A lot has changed in the travel world during the last few years and two of the biggest changes are Brexit and the dreaded C-word. While many of us haven't been travelling as much, it's easy to not realise the rules have changed for travellers from the UK to enter Europe. There are now 26 countries which make up The Schengen Area and the rest is the European Union, which means UK travellers will require different visas in order to travel freely. Citizens of the 26 countries which have signed The Schengen Agreement can move freely between these 26 countries, which include Austria, Poland, Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and many more.
Currently, UK passport holders can travel within EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. However, if you wish to stay longer within The Schengen Area, you will need to apply for a visa or exemption. For residents of many other non-EU countries, you may automatically need to apply for a visa in order to get the same 90 days. It is always best to check your government website for the latest up-to-date information regarding visas, travel and health advice before you travel.
Austria is a true jewel in the crown of Europe. I visited a few summers ago and spent weeks road tripping, camping, climbing mountains and swimming in the lakes. It was stunning and there's a certain shade of blue that will always remind me of those sunny days. There is so much to see in Austria, from the incredible mountains and ski slopes, to castles, lakes and the beauty of Vienna.
You will need to prove your eligibility when applying for a tourist Schengen visa for Austria, you can do so by providing the following documentation:
Once your application is completed and signed, you will need to contact your embassy to make an appointment.
There are many factors to take into account when applying for the Schengen visa for Austria. These may impact how and when you choose to apply. You will be required to pay the visa processing fees. Some Austrian embassies will also require proof of employment and bank statements if you lack the funds to apply for your visa. You might even be asked for a travel Itinerary, describing the nature and duration of your trip.You cannot apply for your Schengen visa more than three months before your arrival date. Also, you must have your visa three weeks before you are due to arrive in Austria.
Visa applications can be filed at the embassy or consulate of the country you arrive in within the Schengen Area. Or you can do this in the country where you plan to spend the most time. Once your visa has been processed and granted, you will be able to stay and travel within the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. If you are thinking about applying, you can find more information here: How to apply for a Schengen visa going to Austria.
Would you like to visit Austria? Have you been to Austria before? What do you think about changes to visa regulations in Europe after Brexit?
*This post sustainable holidays post is a collaboration, all pics supplied by nature.house
All of us are looking at ways of living more sustainably – whether we're changing our diet, habits or lifestyle. But did you know that changing the way you travel can have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint? It can be difficult if you're planning to travel long-haul to offset the carbon emissions from flying, but since the you-know-what, many of us are choosing to stay closer to home.
For my UK readers, that might mean planning staycations in the UK, or popping over to Europe for your summer holidays. Instead of jet-setting and city-hopping, you might prefer a more remote location with less people. If the last few years have shown us anything, it's a renewed love of the great outdoors and exploring nature. That feeling of being cooped up inside was what inspired me to buy my camper van and start exploring the UK, and the first place I went was the forest, beaches, moors and anywhere wild and untouched.
If you're looking for inspiration for next year's trips, I've discovered the secret to avoiding mass tourism, busy cities and crowds. Escape into nature and stay in quirky and unique accommodations while using a platform that supports local wildlife and nature projects. nature.house support a range of projects that focus on improving habitats, restoring recreational facilities, rejuvenating forests, boosting diversity and climate adaptation. In July 2020, they reached the goal of 1 million trees planted in Africa. Currently they are working with Rewilding Europe to support the recovery of the endangered Marsican brown bear population. This project is centred around restoring and boosting biodiversity in The Central Apennines, a wilderness at the heart of Italy.
Sounds too good to be true right? Well it's not, nature.house provide opportunities to stay in unusual Dutch cottages while supporting the local environment. You could wake up to the sound of birdsong, the wind in the trees and the smell of fresh coffee brewing as you start your morning relaxing in nature. Even better, sustainable holidays with nature.house are not just in the Netherlands, they currently offer more than 18,000 nature houses worldwide! From off-grid hiker's cabins, to idyllic cottages by the water, sustainable tiny houses and even luxury camping among many other options. I've picked out some of my favourite unique and quirky stays in the Netherlands.
Dreaming of the perfect secluded spa weekend? If you fancy a touch of luxury but without leaving the walls of your nature house, this is the place for you. Relax into your stay with an infrared sauna, Turkish steam shower and a bubble bath in front of the floor-to-ceiling patio doors overlooking the river. On the banks of the River Lek, this riverside cottage is based in the green heart of the Krimpenerwaard in Lekkerkerk. Just across the river, you will find Rotterdam and the world-famous windmills of Kinderdijk. Watch the boats, geese and swans passing from your bed, or head out on a bike ride across the area. Visitors can enjoy added benefits during their sustainable holidays such as solar energy and even the use of home-grown herbs. (House ID: 47909)
Who says escaping into nature has to mean muddy campsites? Luxury glamping is a great compromise for those who prefer those extra home comforts during their stay. You could stay in this beautiful, spacious, boho tipi located in Parc Extraordinary, with spectacular views. It's your choice whether you want to relax at the tipi or you prefer outdoor adventures such as canoeing on the Niers or mountain biking in the Reichswald. (House ID: 55379)
Watch the sunrise over Dwingelderveld National Park from the comfort of your treehouse escape as birds and squirrels scamper across the terrace. Sleeping a family of six, there is a double bed with views of the stars and sunrise, with comfy box beds for the rest of the family. From the terrace you can enjoy views of the sunset from the wooden treehouse, complete with heather on the roof and a wood-burning stove to keep you cosy. Best of all, you have 3,500 acres of national park as your backyard, just waiting to be explored. The height of sustainable holidays, this property uses 50% green energy, hot water, insulation and heating, plus natural cleaning products and honey from the garden. (House ID: 36430)
Rent a floating holiday home with your family and friends to experience the peaceful port of Makkum. Part of the IJsselmeer Natura 2000 area, the port is protected which means it is a haven for wildlife. From nesting birds in the spring, to foraging swans and even the odd spoonbill. There's plenty for the avid bird-watcher to spot. The spacious ship accommodates a group of eight. Close by, there are lots of nature reserves including the Wadden Sea seal paradise. There are also lots of beautiful walks and cycle routes available from the harbour. This accommodation uses 50% green energy during your sustainable holidays which will help reduce your carbon footprint further. (House ID: 52311)
Want to upgrade your outdoor experience? Why not stay in a stunning caravan or wagon inspired by traditional traveller or Romani vardo? This nature house has everything you need, from a cosy bed and living room, bathroom and even a fire pit. Engulfed in ferns and rhododendrons, the caravan sits on the edge of the most beautiful nature reserve in Brabant. A welcome hamper includes locally sourced wine, coffee, tea, herbs and oil. Nearby, you can explore Loonse and Drunense Duinen National Park, lots of nature and forest areas plus even the many islands in the Biesbosch. (House ID: 35417)
Once upon a time, sod huts were inhabited by the poorest workers of the 19th century. But now, you can enjoy a night of nostalgia and fairytales as you stay in this cosy little home. Dine on a homemade stew from the witches' cauldron by a crackling fire, or enjoy a glass of wine. For a cosy night, pre-book the wood-fired hot tub and sauna. If you don't feel like cooking you can also book the Finnish grill hut with a complete barbecue package. Just a few kilometres from Groningen in Germany, the sod house is located in beautiful Drenthe village Roswinkel. (House ID: 28310)
What's the most unusual accommodation you've stayed in? Have you visited the Netherlands before? Would you like to visit any of these quirky stays?
As the world starts to creep back towards “normality”, travel is back on the radar for many. Many of us are starting to plan trips abroad once more and that means we’re all on the lookout for those tantalising cheap flights. Everyone has missed travelling over the last two years and we’re all eager to make up for lost time, so how better to do it than to find a great deal on your next trip? As a budget traveller, I’ve always loved hunting down a bargain for flights and accommodation so I can save my money for fun activities when I reach my destination. I’ve caught many flights over the years, so here’s the best tips and tricks I’ve discovered for scoring a great deal on cheap travel.
One of the best tips I can give to travellers on the hunt for budget-friendly flights is to remain as flexible as possible when booking. The more you can do this, the more money you will save. If you don’t mind where you travel to, you could save even more by selecting the Everywhere function available on a lot of online flight search engines. By setting search engines to look for the best flights on certain dates, they will pluck out the cheapest deals available. It might even inspire you to travel to places you hadn’t considered before. I’ve done this before a lot when travelling Asia and Europe – it’s a great way to explore a continent and to jump out of your comfort zone.
Take this tip in two ways. Firstly, avoid travelling in peak season or school holidays. Flights, accommodation and activities are so much more expensive during these times due to popularity. If this is unavoidable, try booking as far in advance as possible to avoid being stung by price increases. You can also save a lot of money by being willing to fly at less popular times of the day. For instance, early morning flights are always less popular and yet when you arrive you have an extra day to explore. By avoiding the middle of the day flights, you can often save money and find flights less crowded. Spicejet offers a range of flights from Dubai to India available at all times of day.
Always shop around before you buy and you could find far cheaper deals on flights and accommodation. Often the same hotel room or flights will be listed on different websites for varying prices depending on whether you use flight search engines, book directly through the airline or even buy as a package deal. Make sure to research and compare prices before you book or you could end up paying more for exactly the same trip. If you really want to find cheap flights, you could try spicejet for flights from Dubai to India.
Budget airlines are notorious for being tough on travellers for baggage allowances and extras. But, if you learn to pack light and really work the system to your advantage, you could save yourself a small fortune in extra fees. Don’t risk turning up at the airport and being charged more than your flight cost for bringing a bag that is a few kilos overweight. Do your research beforehand and ensure your backpack or suitcase is the right dimensions and shape for the cabin. Don't forget to check that it will comply across a range of budget airlines so you don’t get caught out. Next up, master the art of packing light and only taking what you need. Downsize your liquids/toiletries so you only take the essentials. Always weigh your bag before you leave home and remember how you packed so you can replicate it for the flight home.
There are some fantastic resources out there with websites and even online memberships that allow you exclusive access to flight deals. If you’re pressed for time or don’t have the inclination to hunt down those cheap flights, this can be a good way to skip the hard work and reap the rewards. You might end up paying a small membership fee but you could end up saving a lot more overall if you are planning to fly regularly. Collecting air miles through airline points cards, or even your credit card, can be an easy way to rack up the savings without even trying! You can collect miles on a range of regular purchases these days and then put these towards savings on your next trip. If you travel often, you might even earn enough miles to upgrade to business class or book a long-haul flight.
What are your best tips for saving money on flights? How do you go about finding flight deals?
*This hikes in the UK post is a collaboration with Adidas. All opinions remain my own. [ad – pr products]
If there's one thing I love, it's getting outside in the fresh air and hiking in nature. It's my favourite way to explore a new place whether I'm headed to a different timezone, visiting a new continent or simply heading on a staycation. Spending more time in the UK over the last two years provided me with the perfect opportunity to keep adventuring closer to home. I traded far-flung destinations for vanlife in the UK and it's been an amazing opportunity to discover how much the UK has to offer. If you follow me on social media, you'll have see that I went on quite the adventure travelling across Devon, Cornwall and Wales, and I still have plans to visit more in the coming months.
Rain or shine, the UK is incredibly beautiful and I can't believe it has taken a you-know-what to finally get me to visit some of these destinations. It's been a fantastic reminder that travel starts at home. Even when we can't venture further afield, we can still have adventures and enjoy some of the best hikes in the UK. Even if all you can manage is a weekend away, there are so many amazing places right on our doorsteps. I'm lucky enough to be based in Norfolk which has some incredible walks and hikes. But heading down to the south-west of the UK really highlighted how many amazing landscapes we have to enjoy. From coastal strolls to mountain climbs and much more. Pull on your hiking boots and give some of these walks a try!
Naturally I couldn't start this blog post without shouting about my home county. With an incredible 87 miles of Norfolk Coast Path to explore and some of the prettiest seaside towns and wild nature reserves in the UK. Norfolk has a lot to offer hikers and the best thing about this area? It's so quiet even in peak season and remains easy to escape the crowds even on the sunniest days. My favourite hikes include:
You can download a Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path National Trail leaflet here with more information about routes to explore. You can also find 12 brilliant walks in Norfolk here. Check out my blog posts below on other walks and fun activities for when you visit:
One of my favourite hikes from this summer – the combination of epic views and challenging elevation provided a real contrast to the much flatter walks of Norfolk. England's largest gorge provides dramatic scenery and towering cliffs at 400ft for hikers to explore. The Cheddar Gorge walk is 4 miles and yet it was one of the more challenging hikes due to the elevation and steep inclines. It's a circular walk and takes around 3 hours to complete, providing views of Glastonbury Tor, the Somerset levels and Bridgwater Bay. There are some parts that can be muddy and slippery if it has rained so be sure to wear sturdy shoes. When you reach the road, continue on to the Black Rock path opposite to continue the hike to the other side of the gorge.
The hike that has brought me back to Cornwall on multiple occasions this summer. The Lizard Peninsula and Kynance Cove truly are some of the most spectacular, wild coastline the UK has to offer. After visiting earlier in the summer with friends, I just knew I had to return to this magical part of the south-west coast. The Lizard Walk, Cornwall, which takes you to the most southerly point of mainland Britain, also has some lovely cafes and pubs en route so it makes a great day out. The 7 mile route takes you from Kynance Cove, along the coastline and across the top of the towering cliffs towards Lizard Point, then across the village and back towards Kynance Cove. National Trust say it takes around three hours and that the walk is challenging. This could vary a lot depending on the hikers and how many times you stop to take photos/enjoy the views!
If you want a relaxing coastal walk for the whole family, Baggy Point is the place for you. There are a range of routes varying from easy family trails suitable for pushchairs to more challenging paths. Head to Croyde Bay where you'll find the National Trust car park at the beginning of the trails, here you will also find a cafe, toilets, shop and you can also pay by card for parking. From here there are several options for walks around Croyde and Woolacombe via the cliffs and headland, or easier routes that stick to the path suitable for families.
There are so many amazing hikes in Dartmoor National Park, you could easily spend your entire trip just in this area alone. Picture lush, leafy forests with hidden waterfalls and Dartmoor ponies running wild on colourful moors overlooking the ocean. If you ever needed reminding that the UK can be just as spectacular as travelling abroad, this is the place for you. Prepare for jaw-dropping scenes of true natural beauty as you hike the following trails:
Take the South West Coast Path from Lynton Cliff Railway Station and enjoy a 3 mile loop route to the famous Valley of the Rocks. The path is tarmac and suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. You can also park at the Valley of the Rocks and complete the loop from there. The walk is fairly easy and offers incredible ocean views, plus adorable wild goats grazing around the Valley.
A 6.5 mile hike that takes around 4-5 hours and takes you alongside some spectacular Cornish coastline. It follows the South West Coast Path with endless seascapes and rugged cliffs that are bound to impress. There are lots of variations on this walk depending on how far you choose to walk and which direction you prefer. Porthcurno to Lands End and Sennen Cove is recommended, but choose the route that works for you and a level of difficulty you can handle.
One of the most well known beauty spots on Bodmin Moor, Golitha Falls is a series of cascades and waterfalls set in a stunning oak woodland. Follow the trail along the River Fowey, which has been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walkers will want to wear good hiking shoes as the best time to visit is after heavy rainfall and the area can become muddy and slippery. This is a stunning location, but the path is not always the clearest so best to research before you go.
Cornwall's best kept secret, the St Nectan's Glen hike takes you through beautiful ancient woodland to three mesmerising waterfalls. The circular walk is only 1.9 miles so it's super easy to squeeze into your visit. Plus the car park is free which is always a bonus.
The highest mountain in England and Wales stands at 1,085m high and provides amazing views over Snowdonia, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire and Ireland. Snowdon has a choice of six routes of varying intensity and incline to choose from – see Your Ultimate Guide to the Six Walking Routes to the Summit. Be sure to research before you go and set off early to allow enough time for the hike. Be prepared for changeable weather. Remember the temperature will vary with the elevation so pack warm layers and waterproofs. Make sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes as some of the paths will require scrambling across rocks or slippery sections.
Starting from Porth Clais Harbour, the Tregennis route covers around 6 miles and takes around 3 hours to complete. The Pembrokeshire coastline is wild, exposed and beautiful with plenty of wildlife to spot. This includes seal pups in late summer and early autumn so keep your eyes peeled! A circular walk, you pass several coastal villages and even an old copper mine.
This area remains so quiet even during peak season that it has the air of an undiscovered gem. Picturesque beaches, towering cliffs and huge caves to explore. The Stackpole Estate includes Barafundle Bay, Broadhaven South and Freshwater West. All stunning locations, but Barafundle Bay remains my favourite because it is only accessible on foot via a half a mile walk from the car park. This distance seems to put off the crowds and makes the area feel even more secluded.
Check out this blog post for The best things to do in Swansea Bay, Wales including the best hikes, places to eat out, activities and much more.
Choosing the right clothing is so important when organising hiking trips in unpredictable climates such as the UK. We can easily face four seasons in a day. So never leave home without packing clothing that will keep you comfortable in all weathers. I teamed up with Adidas this summer to try out their activewear and was amazed at the range of sustainable products they offer. I scaled Cheddar Gorge in Somerset wearing their purple set and found them so comfortable for a day of hiking. The leggings were an aeroknit material with sweat-wicking technology – perfect for hiking. I also loved that they were made from recycled materials.
During my month-long road trip I was very lucky with the weather. Yet I still experienced torrential rain and flooding, plus blue skies and a heatwave within just days of each other. But no matter what the weather, I was keen to get outside and make the most of my trip. For warmer days hiking the Cornish coastline, I loved this Adidas pink crop top and black shorts set. The shorts ended up being one of my most worn items on the trip. They even made it to the top of Snowdon in Wales! My best tips for choosing great hiking gear:
Would you add any hikes to the list? What are your best hikes in the UK? Can you recommend any hikes near where you live?
*This blog post features a press trip with Visit Swansea Bay but all opinions remain my own.
Despite growing up in the UK and spending most of my life here, I've only been to Wales once before and unfortunately that trip didn't last long due to severe weather warnings. When I planned my first trip in my new camper van, I couldn't wait to spend two weeks road tripping around Wales with an old friend. So when Visit Swansea Bay got in touch asking if I would like to explore the area, I couldn't wait to visit this beautiful part of Wales after making our way along the Pembrokeshire coastline.
After spending two weeks travelling around Cornwall and Devon, Wales was so peaceful even in the middle of school holidays. It may have been quiet, but there were so many amazing things to do in Swansea and beyond so I'm excited to share this guide with you all. I hope if you're planning any trips to Wales, this guide will convince you that a stay in Swansea Bay is a non-negotiable!
The Gower Peninsula is nestled on the stunning southern coast of Wales – an area known for its award-winning beaches. Boasting a huge range of activities suitable for the whole family, whether you're an adrenaline-chaser, a foodie, weekend walkers, history hunters or you fancy a touch of luxury. Home to Swansea Bay and the beloved Mumbles, you will also find countless castles filled with living legends, water-based activities, spectacular scenery and amazing places to eat and drink.
If you're travelling from London, it takes just 3.5 hours by car and 4 hours by train, making Swansea a perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a week's holiday. Once you arrive, I recommend having a car – whether you prefer to hire one or drive to the area. That way you can base yourself in one of the cute little villages and explore at your own pace. There are so many fantastic attractions within less than 30 minutes drive from each other so you'll be spoilt for choice with fun, family and dog-friendly activities to enjoy during your trip.
During our visit to Gower, we were staying at The King's Head Inn, in Llangennith which proved to be a perfect base for three days of activities around the region. This four star 17th century inn is set in the picturesque village with views over the largest church on the Gower peninsula and ocean providing the perfect setting for drinks or breakfast on the terrace of the pub. Picture exposed stone and beams, with stunning red and green ivy growing across the front of the building.
A quiet and relaxing location, it's perfect for walkers and from the village there is access to Llangennith beach which stretches to Rhossili which is nearly four miles away. Best of all, the hotel also has pet-friendly rooms and a pet-friendly area in the pub in case you want to take your pooch on holiday with you! The beach is also dog-friendly all year round. Each room comes with cosy under-floor heating, en suite, plasma TV and a mini-fridge. One thing I also loved was that the rooms come with a huge bath – so many places just offer showers now so it's always a treat to enjoy a bath at a hotel.
For me, food is such an important part of travel and I love finding independent restaurants that use great quality local ingredients. Swansea Bay has some amazing and even award-winning restaurants and pubs scattered around the Gower Peninsula. Not only do they have fantastic menus and wine selections, but they're in beautiful locations with walks through the countryside and coastline.
Picture evening drinks in the sunshine overlooking the village church and with views of the ocean. This 17th century inn, The King's Head, is in the heart of Llangennith on the gorgeous Gower Peninsula and also has rooms if you would like to base yourself here during your trip. The menu is full of local ingredients including Welsh lamb, fish and cheeses. I highly recommend the fresh, local mussels and the curry dishes. There are also some great options for vegetarians. If you stay at the hotel attached, they also do a great breakfast.
One of the most beautiful hotels I have ever seen, the floral displays at the entrance to the King Arthur Hotel wowed me before I had even tasted the food. A perfect spot to enjoy a drink outside on a sunny day. We stopped at the hotel for a quick bite at lunch and we loved the cosy feel of the main bar with its reclaimed timbers, original stone work and open log fires in the winter. Appealing to my traveller nature, their stunning Gower Room displayed nautical artefacts including local maps and photographs of Gower’s nautical history. The restaurant is renowned for their home cooked food with a menu that includes locally caught fish and seasonal game. I particularly liked seeing so much Welsh fare on the menu and so many locally sourced products displayed with pride.
This was by far one of our favourite meals of the entire two weeks in Wales. This award-winning 17th century Britannia Inn features beams from shipwrecks, original fireplaces, bread oven and gas lamps. It has all the cosy pub vibes but also a menu that showcases Welsh ingredients at their best. Their menu features locally sourced Gower Salt Marsh lamb, Selwyn's seaweed, Swansea smoked salmon and Gower gold ale. We were particularly impressed that there was a separate vegetarian menu which featured truffle mushroom and pea risotto which is without doubt one of the best risottos I’ve ever had.
Another highlight of the trip, Langland’s Brasserie is right on the beach with spectacular views across the bay. If you love seafood, this is the place to eat. They have a fantastic menu with seafood platters, fresh fish, lobster and meat dishes. They also have great vegan options and the presentation of each dish is outstanding. After making our way along the beautiful coastline, it was a great way to spend the last afternoon of our trip. I dined on the fresh sea bass and roasted vegetables dish from the specials while my friend tried a dish from the vegan menu and both of them blew us away.
Travelling around the UK, I’d set myself the challenge to get in the water as much as possible. The sea around the Gower Peninsula has some of the warmest water I’ve experienced in the UK. We couldn't resist jumping in when we arrived at Rhossili Bay. There were even some people surfing! We headed to Oxwich Bay which was the busiest beach we visited while in Wales. But it was easy to see why, it was a popular spot for families as it was so sheltered and warm. The bay being so enclosed made it the perfect spot for water sports. We were signed up for a hour's stand-up paddle boarding with Oxwich Watersports.
I've been paddle boarding before but it was the first time for my friend and we both loved the experience. It was such a lovely way to start our morning. You have the option to have a class with an instructor or just to hire the boards for £15 for an hour. I recommend hiring the boards for longer as an hour felt quite short. I could have happily stayed out on the water for a few hours. Oxwich Watersports also offer kayaks and jet ski safaris. There is lots of parking available by the beach. Warning: if you have a camper van or larger vehicle it is expensive as they charge a day rate no matter how long you will be there.
If there's one thing you guys know that I love, it's a good walk! If it's a coastal walk, all the better. Gower had some beautiful walks. Those areas protected by the National Trust were absolutely pristine and all of the walks offered amazing scenery, peace and quiet.
This is a beautiful area to explore with endless miles of walks available in every direction. Head down to Rhossili Bay via the easy path down the cliff and you can stroll for miles. Or, head past the National Trust Shop and Visitor Centre in the former Coastguard buildings that date back to the 1930's, you can also pop in for information about the area and gifts.
Keep walking along the cliffs for spectacular views over Rhossili Bay and around towards Worms Head. This is actually a causeway that you can walk across at low tide. Be sure to pop into the Coastwatch house to check you have enough time before the tide turns. We arrived at the wrong time so instead we popped into Rhossili Sunflowers. It costs just £2 and gives you beautiful views of the sunflower fields over the ocean. You can then head up to Rhossili Downs for breathtaking views.
These two are not too far apart if you fancy fitting a few different walks into one day. You'll be spoilt for choice! Head to North Gower where you'll find beautiful Llanmadoc – the village is beautiful and it's easy to find parking. There's a 4km route to walk, which includes Whiteford Burrows, Llanmadoc Church and views over the Loughor Estuary. However you can easily make this walk stretch further if you decide to explore the woodland and the beach more extensively. This walk is also accessible by bus.
Llanrhidian has over 38km to choose from with routes taking walkers through farmland, commons, salt marshes and ancient woodland. These scenic footpaths have varying distances with a choice of a 2.5km Red Route, a 3.5km Blue Route and a 7.5km Orange Route depending on how much time/energy you might have.
You can't visit Swansea Bay without exploring the charming seaside village of Mumbles. It's a great place to spend a leisurely morning popping into the handmade craft shops and boutiques. We loved visiting the Lovespoon Gallery with the largest collection of lovespoon designs from Wales' best carvers. We even picked up a lovespoon of our own! For beautiful local artwork and gifts, head to the Gower Gallery where you'll find lots of paintings, sculptures and ceramics. If you're planning to stay around Mumbles, you can also do the "Mumbles Mile". It's lots of fun hiring bikes and exploring the seafront restaurants and bars up to the beautiful Victorian Pier.
Or, if you prefer to explore on foot and fancy going further afield, follow the Gower Coast Path. You'll find the path by Fortes Ice Cream Parlour, near Limeslade Bay, and can follow the path all the way to Langland Bay. It's a beautiful walk and mostly pedestrianised so it's super peaceful overlooking the water.
A huge thank you to Visit Swansea Bay for such an amazing trip. As always, I won't recommend anything that I don't love and that I wouldn't be happy booking myself. This truly is a spectacular part of Wales with so many amazing activities and places to explore. I can't recommend Wales enough whether it's for a holiday, a weekend break or a vanlife trip. I'm already excited to go back and explore more of this beautiful country.
Have you been to Swansea Bay? How was your experience? Have I persuaded you to visit on your next staycation?
Before you hit the road on your next trip – don't forget to check you have healthy tyres. Tyres are essential parts of a car since they ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. When not looked after properly, tyres can result in serious consequences including costly repairs and compromising the performance of your vehicle. Also, it can put you and other road users at risk of a road accident. Therefore, it is key to maintain your healthy tyres at all times. Here are five top tips you can use to keep your tyres in the best condition.
Tyre pressure can massively impact your car’s handling, braking, mileage and steering ability. Over or under-inflated tyres not only can increase fuel consumption but are more prone to wear and tear. It is crucial to regularly check your tyre pressure at least once per month including that of your spare tyre either at your local petrol station or using your pressure gauge.
Tread depth ensures the overall safety of your car and enhances its performance in poor weather conditions. 1.6mm is the legal minimum tread depth, and it is illegal as well as dangerous to drive below this limit. Proper tread depth ensures good control and optimises the safety of your vehicle and ensures healthy tyres.
Incorrectly aligned tyres can not only result in uneven tyres but can make them more susceptible to damage. Balancing your tyres ensures that they evenly get worn, to get things properly checked it is worth visiting a garage.
It is essential to check your tyres for any signs of damage such as cuts, bulges or puncture marks. In order to buy tyres online in Fife, you can get in touch with Fife Autocentre. Having your tyres checked by a professional can help you identify damages that can go unnoticed.
Practising good driving habits is the key to ensuring that your tyres are in the best condition at all times. Avoid excessive acceleration or braking, which are terrible for your tyres.
There’s a lot of things we put unspoken age caps on, both individually and as a society – camping for senior citizens is one of them. How many times have you had something suggested to you and you’ve thought or said “I’m too old for that”? One of those things might well be camping. When you reach a certain vintage, the idea of roughing it in the great outdoors, sleeping under canvas on the ground, loses its appeal for many people. As you age, your creature comforts become more important to you.
However, if you’ve decided that your camping days are behind you, you may have had occasion to feel left out this year. Triggered by the COVID-driven slump in overseas travel and the subsequent huge hike in demand for UK holidays, camping has seen a resurgence this summer. Many families have taken to camping simply because they could not afford soaring UK hotel prices, or because everything else was booked up. If you were invited along for a camping trip with the grandchildren but couldn’t bring yourself to endure the cool, soggy mornings and midnight toilet trips, you might have to reconsider your position. Anyone who has invested in camping gear this year to get a post-pandemic holiday will be keen to make the most of their investment with lots of future use.
Plus, a lot of people have discovered that camping is really, really fun, especially for kids. Don’t be surprised if you get a repeat invitation next year. If that’s the case, maybe you should think again about your retirement from outdoor holidaying. After all, age is but a number, and there are lots of ways to ensure a camping trip turns out to be a fun, enjoyable and comfortable experience for all ages. Here’s what you need to know.
We get it. One of the main reasons senior citizens get to a point where they can’t face the idea of camping is because they envisage cramped little tents that they have to crawl into and lots of bending down when they’re inside. If you’re not as flexible and supple as you once were, this can lead to serious discomfort. Camping for senior citizens can often seem inaccessible and uncomfortable.
But tents don’t have to be small and cramped. With their traditional central pole structure, bell tents are designed to make it easy to stand up straight and move around freely inside. Not only that, but the more room you have in a tent, the better you can kit it out with the kind of gear that is going to increase the comfort of your stay.
Camping doesn’t automatically mean you have to sleep on the hard ground, which is another guaranteed way to end up with aching limbs and a sore back. The first thing you should think about after sourcing a large tent that allows for easy movement inside it is getting raised cots to sleep on. These are proven to help with campers who suffer from bad backs, and being off the ground will also help you stay warmer.
One issue people have with camping is that their tent gives them a place to sleep but that’s it. What do you do if you just want to take a load off for a while and relax? As you get older, you are probably less interested in being on the move from dusk til dawn and will appreciate somewhere to sit and relax.
Taking comfortable folding chairs is strongly recommended. Of course, you will hope the weather is fine enough to allow you to sit outside in the sun, but as you can’t always rely on the British weather, it is also a good idea to have an indoor space you can sit in. Again, this is a big benefit of larger tents. Models that have separate living compartments to the bedroom are particularly useful, as they can double up as a seating, dining and storage areas,
The standard view of camping is that to get into the spirit of things, you have to embrace the rough and ready. Cooking on gas stoves, lighting your way at night with torches, keeping warm with blankets and perhaps a campfire. Yes, it all has a certain romance to it. But not everyone wants to spend their holidays denied the amenities they are used to in their own home.
Camping doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your creature comforts. One thing you can do is choose a pitch with an electric hook up. With the simple addition of electricity, the whole camping experience becomes little different to staying in a caravan or motorhome. Camping versions of pretty much any appliance you can think of are available - kettles, cookers, refrigerators, even a heater to keep you toasty on chilly evenings!
One final thing to make sure you get for your camping trip is travel insurance. Yes, you might be travelling within the UK, but with COVID still very much a part of day to day life, the risk of testing positive before you go and having to cancel your trip is very real. If you’ve paid for your pitch upfront, you will likely lose your money. Senior UK travel insurance will pay out to cover the cost.
Daily traffic, as well as spills, scuffs, and mishaps, put a lot of strain on floors. The best technique to clean hardwood floors begins with proactive preventative steps that not only protect flooring but also reduce cleaning time. Place floor mats both outside and inside exterior doors to reduce tracked-in dirt. Set up a boot removal area in snowy or wet weather to avoid damaging flooring with tracked-in water and de-icing products. Keep a rag or cleaning cloth hidden away close to the door, along with a place to sit and a place to store shoes, to swiftly wipe up accidental puddles on wood floors.
A usual once-a-time cleaning with a broom or dust mop is a wonderful way. It depends on the traffic of your hardwood floors how often you need to do this job. To clean up quickly, dust wooden floors using a dusting powder to collect dust, filth and animal hair that could scrape the floor surface. For hardwood floors, options for the best mop include ones with a microfibre. This material is intended to capture stains and dust. Follow the recommendations of the mop maker for the use of polished or potted wood floors. Some mops do not require an additional cleaning chemical.
Preventive measures and routine cleaning are the best ways to clean hardwood floors, but sometimes a deeper clean is required. Dirt, grease, and grime accumulate over time and are not completely removed by dusting once a week.
Use a wood floor mop and a wood floor cleaning product diluted according to the label recommendations to deep clean hardwood floors (perform this cleaning in the spring or just before the winter holidays). Soak a sponge or rag mop in water, then wring it almost dry so it's only slightly damp when you touch it. Damp-mop the floor, being careful not to leave any standing water.
Rinse with a clean, water-damped mop, but only as required by the cleaning product. Wipe excess water, because it might damage the wood surfaces by standing water. If the weather is wet, use the ceiling ventilator or air conditioner to accelerate the drying process. If you do not clean, you may have to refinish the wood flooring to make them look new.
Talk to your flooring manufacturer if you're unclear of the best hardwood floor cleaner for your home. Often you can recommend a particular cleaner for your product. But you cannot pick a product that is specially made for wood cleaning if your floor isn't new, or you cannot consult the manufacturer.
Use vinegar, a popular household ingredient, as a natural wood floor cleanser. Learning how to clean hardwood floors with vinegar will save you money while also ensuring that your floors are cleaned safely. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar to a gallon of lukewarm water to clean wood floors with vinegar. To avoid water damage, use the above instructions for cleaning hardwood floors with a mop. Then use vinegar to clean the remainder of your house naturally!
Before trying to remove the stain from wood floors, consider your flooring finish. If the stain is on the surface, the hard finish of your floor is likely to be like urethane. The floor probably has an oiled, soft finish, common to ancient homes with flooring that have not been refined and resealed, if the finish has gone through the wood. Wipe surface stains with a soft, clean cloth for floors with a tough finish. Do not use sandpaper, steel wool or harsh chemicals, as they can ruin the coating permanently.
So, you have a long train journey ahead of you. And while a rail trip a priori can't be boring, it's better to have a few options on how to spice up your time onboard. Sure, all modern trains provide excellent amenities, such as power sockets, Wi-Fi, and some even boast multimedia systems at every seat (check out Rail.Ninja to read more about European trains and what they have to offer), but why not try something new this time? So, let's see what a traveler can do onboard apart from staring into a window and checking his watch every few minutes.
In no particular order, our list starts off with the beloved by many activity of watching movies. Everyone has that movie list that they keep on adding their friend's suggestions to or films that you didn't have the time to finish. Time will pass as fast as the movies' run time, so put that list to good use and write up a compilation of the best train movies to watch! Not only will you get enjoyment from relaxing and crossing off movies from your list, but you can also use movies to bond with your train mates. Finding the right companion along the journey may appear as a confronting task. However, bonding over movies can last in long and interesting discussions with your companion and can even lead you on to a new adventure.
Just like movies, finding a game to play on a train that is not digital is an excellent and perhaps the oldest method to spend time during a train journey. Whereas movies can take upwards of 3 hours, and not all train rides last that long, a game of chess, checkers, or even blackjack can last just minutes, allowing you to set up a new board or deal out the cards again to start a new round. Bringing board games like Cluedo, Monopoly or Scrabble can just as well entertain you during your ride and help you with finding a companion along the way. As long as you don't bring Jenga along, any board game is a great choice!
Meditation on a train may seem contradictory at first consideration. The train is in motion and shaky, all types of noise surrounding you, from the metal wheels sliding across the railway to the chatter in the corridor. In fact, all those distractions can be the best conditions under which a person can meditate! Taking time to separate yourself from all disturbances, feeling every slight movement at once and focusing on it, then shifting your mind to focus on surrounding sounds, helps you meditate and eventually hear your own thoughts. With meditation, time becomes relative and works in your favour to speed up a long and sometimes tedious train ride. And, of course, meditating can help you get your much-needed rest and calmly put you to sleep.
More often than not, railways are built away from populated places. Because of this, your travel route is likely to go through majestic landscapes that you can observe from the window. Seemingly endless fields of greenery, dense and luscious birch tree forests, gigantic snow-capped mountains peeking out from hills, and even uninterrupted animal life can be seen on your way to your destination. You can also take surprisingly detailed photos from your phone of the scenery that separates you and nature by just a few millimetres of the window to later show your travel-enthusiastic friends or for yourself to remember your trip by. Or you can take a more artistic approach and pack drawing equipment or even just a pencil to draw what you see outside the way you interpret it.
The simplest way to kill time on a train is to entertain yourself with gaming. Be it a computer or a mobile game, as long as it works offline (most of the time, you won't get any reception on a train ride), you are good to go. However, to make things more interesting for you, find out what genres of games you haven't tried yet and give them a go. Download multiple games on your device to have a backup plan if you don't enjoy some of them and attempt to not open the game until you settle on the train; that way, you get to experience the excitement during the ride. Just like with board games, a game can be for two players on one device, so consider downloading games that you and your potential companion would want to play together!
All people enjoy the concept of reading but often find themselves getting distracted with daily routine tasks. On a train journey, there is little to be distracted by, hence it serves as one of all reader's favourite places to read. Alongside a movie and a game, bring a book along for a ride that is of a similar genre that you enjoy, or even a book that has a movie adaptation to find out more about the characters or, more importantly, the plot.
One of the most common tips for long train rides that you might get is to occupy yourself with activities that you've been planning on doing. Making progress on your recent design project, learning how to knit, or even planning on where to go on your next journey are all things that can develop into an hours-long productive time that you certainly won't regret.
This entry is primarily useful only for parents, however, read on and see if this applies to you or your scenario. What do children enjoy the most during a plane or a train journey? The answer is toys. Bringing along a new toy and letting your child open it on the train will bring them so much excitement that they will lose themselves in the toy and spend the rest of the time figuring out new ways to play with it on a train. Moreover, try to get as excited about the new toy as your child and buy one for yourself to play alongside with your kid.
Food. As simple as it is will help you skip some of the train travelling time whilst you enjoy every bite and sip of your meal. Despite train rides not requiring any physical effort from you, it is common that passengers find themselves exhausted once on their way to the destination. Such an unorthodox train activity is commented to bring the most enjoyment out of all the aforementioned ones! To spend even more time on food, make yourself a challenge and buy ingredients out of which you can make food on the train instead of preparing it at home or buying pre-made food. This is sure to keep you busy during your ride.
The train environment is one in which all passengers are separated from their comfort zone, and everyone tries to find ways to keep themselves busy. Instead of finding the best train movies to watch or games to play on the train, you can learn and find out much more from the stories of your roomette companion than in any TV-Series. Start a conversation over a board game or a book and develop it into a full-fledged dialogue about that one time you visited a foreign country, or listen to stories that others have to tell and find something useful for yourself. You never know what interesting people with unique backgrounds sit next to you until you start a conversation with them. But always keep in mind social distancing when deciding to engage in conversation!
What's your favourite way to pass the time on a long train journey?
*This post is a collaboration
It’s that time of the year when everyone works hard to get the perfect glow up for the coming season. It’s time to focus on yourself deeper and the needs of your skin. You don’t have to wait for someone else to buy you skincare products as you can gift yourself some of the best for a perfect glow up you deserve. Taking care of yourself is the best care you will ever need since the relationship with yourself is the most important.
Below are skincare products you can gift yourself for the ultimate glow up.
Beauty facemasks can come a long way in making your skin glow. These masks are the foundation to any luxurious glow up routine, and they provide numerous benefits. It does not matter how dehydrated, broken out or stressed your skin as you will always find the perfect facemask to help restore and return your skin to its glow. You can get yourself the Blue Lagoon mineral mask set with bioactive elements extracted from the blue lagoon water, known for improving the skin. One can use the facemasks from the set for different skincare needs.
Most people know the importance of using soap to cleanse their skin. However, not all soaps are created equal. Natural soaps, which are made from fatty oils and glycerin, are generally much gentler on the skin than commercial soaps, which often contain harsh chemicals and detergents. In addition, natural soaps are usually fragranced with essential oils, which can benefit the skin.
Two of the most popular types of natural soap are goat milk soap and tea tree oil soap. Goat milk soap is thought to be beneficial for sensitive skin, as goat milk helps moisturise and nourish the skin due to its acids. Tea tree oil soap is known for its antibacterial properties, making it an ideal choice for people who suffer from acne. Both goat milk soap and tea tree oil soap are available in various formulations, so it is important to choose one that best suits your individual needs.
Moisturisers are another important product for a perfect glow up. Moisturising is always the final step in your skincare routine to ensure your skin settles well and glows beautifully. By gifting yourself a luxurious moisturiser, you ensure that your skin remains healthy by hydrating it after your evening pamper session. Constant moisturising leaves your skin wrinkle-free, leaving you looking young, stunning and with a lot of confidence.
One thing that can be very annoying if you are looking to have a perfect glow up is having dry skin. Even if you have invested in moisturisers, it is important to have body oil since it gives you a healthy glow by getting rid of dry skin, which lotions and other creams can’t do. With luxurious, sweetly scented oils taking over, it can be a great idea to gift yourself one of these oils.
The ultimate glow does not only involve the skin but also how you smell. Your scent is something that most people notice almost instantly when you meet. Gift yourself some new perfume and get a new scent or fragrance that boosts your confidence. Depending on your goals, you can get a new perfume with a signature fragrance that goes with it to keep your confidence high.
Nothing says "new you" more than having a perfect smile with a perfect white set of teeth. You can do many things to achieve this in your evening routine, but one thing you should not forget is brushing your teeth. You can do this perfectly by getting yourself an electric toothbrush.
Remember: it is also important to adopt healthy habits like exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and drinking enough water.
*This post is a collaboration
Have you ever considered how much data different companies store about you? There are some brands you give permission to access certain data. If you’ve bought something from a website, you usually provide your name, address, contact details, and payment details. But what about websites with pop-ups asking you to read and accept their very long terms and conditions? Most of us click ‘accept’ without reading them. Do you know what information they keep about you?
If you are interested in finding out, Rightly have created data maps for their latest campaign #MappingMyData. They show the different information that various industries and companies may have stored about you. I was intrigued to know what information some of my most used apps may have stored about me. Check out the images below to see what data may be being stored about me. It’s not surprising social networking companies hold plenty of data on their users considering how much people use it. But that data is also sold on to others, perhaps it's time for a data detox.
Think of a data detox as a sort of spring clean, but instead of cleaning your home you are cleaning up all the data that these companies store on you. Users of these websites and apps have the right to ask these companies for any personal data they may hold on them, what the data is used for, and if you wish, you can ask them to delete this information.
This is because of GDPR which has strengthened data protection laws in the UK and across Europe, meaning that if you are not happy with the personal information being stored about you by these companies, you can simply have it removed. That’s one way to stop so many brands from targeting you with annoying adverts. While it can be time-consuming to read different websites’ terms and conditions, seeing these images and knowing what personal information they can hold on you may make you think twice before hitting ‘accept’ without any thought in the future.
If you would like to know what personal information companies may be storing about you. You can get in touch with each company and request to see this data, but this can be time-consuming. For a more efficient way, the team at Rightly can get in touch with thousands of companies on your behalf. They can help you find out what data has been stored about you. They can also help you update the personal information that each company holds. Or if you’d prefer for it to be deleted altogether they will assist you with that too.
What do you think about these companies and how they keep the data of their users?
*This post is a collaboration. Disclaimer: I am not providing medical advice, please consult your doctor.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition among adult men and women worldwide. Unfortunately, the condition does not have a cure. This means that people diagnosed with hypertension must learn how to manage it by making lifestyle changes and perhaps taking medication. However, you can still live a normal and long life despite suffering from this disease. Having this condition does not have to hinder you from traveling. But many people worry about flying after they are diagnosed with this condition.
Yes, flying can affect someone with hypertension. At high altitudes, you are at a higher risk of low oxygen concentration in the blood. Someone with hypertension could feel the effects of this. However, the effects of flying are not that bad that you may be asked not to fly.
While you are free to fly even if you suffer from hypertension, it would help if you practiced the precautions below;
One of the first things you should do before boarding a flight if you have hypertension is talking to your doctor. Disclose your traveling plans with your doctor and get recommendations on precautions that you should take when flying. Most of the time, your doctor will help you control the condition with medication. It would also be wise if you found out about the severity of your hypertension before flying. The severity of your situation will determine the precautions you need to take.
At high altitudes, you are at a higher risk of blood oxygen deprivation. This could trigger your blood pressure levels. Most airlines usually have oxygen masks on board. You can also for the oxygen mask to help keep your breath in optimal amounts of oxygen throughout the flight. Therefore, you do not have to worry about experiencing less oxygen in your bloodstream.
As someone with hypertension, it would be wise to carry snacks from home. This is important because most airlines usually serve salty snacks and crackers. Salty snacks tend to increase blood pressure levels. This is obviously something you do not want if you already suffer from hypertension. Therefore, the best solution would be to carry snacks from home. In addition to the snacks, you should also ensure that you take plenty of water during the flight.
It would also be a good idea to avoid consuming alcohol or sedatives while on the flight. Taking these items can make you more prone to falling asleep or staying in a single position for the entire flight. This is something you should be avoiding if you suffer from hypertension. For someone with hypertension, you need to be active during the flight. This will lower the chances of the occurrence of adverse symptoms. Furthermore, studies have shown that alcohol consumption increases the risk of elevated blood pressure.
Another must-do when flying with hypertension is keeping your medication close. The last thing you want is to start suffering from symptoms of hypertension and cannot reach your prescription. For this reason, your hand luggage is the best place to pack your medication when flying with hypertension.
It would be wise if you carried a blood pressure monitor on your flight. This way, you can keep track of your blood pressure levels at all times and determine when you need to take your medication during the flight.
You may also benefit from buying travel insurance that covers pre-existing medical conditions like hypertension. This means that if you fall ill while flying or at any point of your travel, all medical costs will be covered.
Most people worry about flying with hypertension because its symptoms can become aggravated at high altitudes. However, practicing the precautions mentioned above will help ensure you don't suffer any issues.