Scotland | Places to visit in Skye

Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides. It is also home to some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery and wildlife. Here’s an overview of places to visit in Skye.

Skye, which is one of the most scenic places in the world, is off the northwest coast of Scotland. With its rugged mountains and pristine coastline, Skye has always been a popular tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts. As it’s located north of mainland Scotland, Skye is especially cold and wet during winter. That’s why the island is a particularly popular place to visit in the Summer months. However, the scenery is stunning all year around.

Places to visit in Skye

Below are some places to visit in Skye that you should not miss:

1) The Quiraing

This is a dramatic ridge on the western side, with its sharp cliffs and steep slopes, offering spectacular views over Loch Coruisk to the Cuillin hills on Skye’s southeast side.

2) Glen Brittle

Glen Brittle is a deep valley with high cliffs on either side. It has an incredible waterfall spilling all year round.

3) The Black Cuillin

The Black Cuillin is known for its dramatic views and steep climbs. Tourists often visit this area for hiking and mountain biking. However, it is a tough climb, so make sure you’ve done your research before attempting to reach the summit and ensure that you’re monitoring the weather forecast too.

4) The Fairy Pools

At the foot of The Black Cuillin, you’ll find The Fairy Pools. The Fairy Pools is a collection of five pools that are fed by the Allt Coire Uaigneich, a tributary of the River Brittle.

The pools are the top place in the world to fall in love, according to romance publisher Mills & Boon. The area is popular with tourists, so the path towards the pools often gets busy, especially during the summer month.

The route to Fairy Pools starts from Glenbrittle House on the A855 road just south of Broadford.

5) The Fairy Glen.

According to legend, The Fairy Glen is a mythical place, where fairies gather at nigh. If you listen to believers, ghosts are often seen near The Fairy Glen, which was once home to an ancient stone circle.

6) A walking route

This island has a lot of walking routes, which make it easy for you to find a route that suits your skill level and needs. It also has plenty of waterfalls and coastal walks, because Skye is an island next to the sea.

7) Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle, which dates back to 1100 AD, was built on top of an ancient fort. It has two large rock structures on either side of the entrance, which are known as ‘the gates’ or ‘the twin towers’.

8) Talisker Distillery

Talisker is one of the few remaining distilleries to use the traditional malting process. Founded in 1825 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, this distillery is on the shores of Loch Harport in Carbost, Scotland.

Visiting Skye

Skye is a great place to visit for all types of travellers. It is near the south coast of Scotland and has a lot of different attractions to offer.

The island has amazing views, interesting wildlife and untouched landscapes. If you’re visiting soon, then enjoy your trip and make the most of your time on this beautiful island.

Portugal | Visiting Lisbon? Take a Sintra Day Trip

Pena Palace and Park - a must visit during a Sintra day trip

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and millions of people visit each year. If you’re one of them, you’d be crazy not to take a Sintra day trip. Here, I explain why you need to visit.

In Lisbon, you can visit many museums, walk in the street markets, eat seafood and admire the world’s biggest art nouveau monument. The city offers plenty to visitors. But Sintra is just a train ride away and it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s almost a magical land and it is well known for the Palácio da Pena, a fairy tale-like building that was constructed in the 19th century by King Ferdinand II.

Taking a Sintra day trip

Sintra is an hour away from Lisbon. It is a perfect day trip for people who are looking to explore the city, whilst also experiencing Portugal’s natural landscapes.

There’s a list of things to do in Sintra, but if you are there for one day, then here’s my list of activities that you should not miss out on.

  1. Explore Pena Palace
  2. Visit the National Palace of Sintra
  3. Have lunch at Quinta de Regaleira
  4. Walk around downtown Sintra
  5. Eat, drink and take in your surroundings

Visiting Pena Palace and Park

If you’re going on a Sintra day trip, then a visit to Pena Palace and Park is almost none negotiable.

You have to explore the beauty of this place! Pena Palace and Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is often considered as one of the most beautiful parks in the world.

Built during the 19th century, Pena Palace is on the site of an old monastery. British architect Edward Hargreaves designed the palace. He adapted Queen Marie Amelie’s neoclassical ideas into a romantic Medieval revival style. Portuguese architect Carlos Mardel later extended the palace.

The park has a Moorish-style garden with plants, lakes, fountains, waterfalls, exotic birds and peacocks roaming freely around the grounds. One of its most beautiful features are its cascades that drop from a height of 40 metres into natural pools below.

Getting there

If you’re based in Lisbon, then taking a Sintra day trip is really easy. You can drive there, catch a train, or jump on a bus.

Trains from Lisbon leave from Rossio Station, which is in the centre of the city. They tend to leave around every half an hour. The journey can take up to an hour, depending on the service you catch. Some stop at a lot of different stations, whilst others are more direct. Train tickets are very cheap and you shouldn’t have to pay more than a couple of euros. Just keep in mind that the route can be busy during the height of summer.

Driving, or going by bus, will take around 45 minutes. However, as the train is so cheap and easy, I would recommend that you went via rail.

You have to go!

Lisbon is an amazing city and there’s plenty to see, do and explore. However, Sintra has an amazing natural environment and lovely architecture. With it being so close to Lisbon, it is well worth the visit!

If you get any chance to go on a Sintra day trip during your Lisbon trip, please do. You will get to see a whole different side of this amazing country!

London | Restaurants with a Private Dining Pod

brown concrete bridge over body of water

Whether you’re looking for a quirky and unique dining experience, or the pandemic has left you a little concerned about dining amongst a large group of others, restaurants with a private dining pod are a great option for a private dining experience. Here are some restaurants with a dining pod in London.

pexels-photo-4255489.jpeg
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

If there are any positives to be had from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown after lockdown, then the rise in popularity of al-fresco dining options in the UK should definitely be near the top of that list! Bans on indoor dining may have initially forced us outside to grin and bear the typically inclement British weather. But thanks to our collective love of European cafe culture and some innovative outdoor dining solutions, eating outdoors seems like it’s here to stay. While patio heaters, blankets and marquees are now a common addition to many restaurants up and down the country, some establishments have gone one step further to really make the outdoor dining experience an event to remember and have created unique, privacy booths to dine in. As always, London leads the way. Countless establishments across the capital are now offering outdoor private dining experiences so here’s a round-up of my favourite five!

London Restaurants with a Private Dining Pod

Gaucho – Canary Wharf

If food with a view is your thing, look no further than Gaucho’s Canary Wharf restaurant. Here you can dine while looking out onto the River Thames. Hosting two permanent glass pods that can accommodate up to six guests each. Gaucho are providing a dining experience like no other. You’ll take control of your own lighting and music for the duration of your stay while you enjoy the exclusivity of your own private server. Be sure to book in advance due to the limited number of pods!


Coppa Club – Tower Bridge

Another permanent fixture are the igloos over at Coppa Club. Up to eight of you can dine overlooking the iconic Tower Bridge. Not only can you choose from the restaurant’s a la carte menu, but there’s also an exclusive igloo menu that might just take your fancy. Igloo bookings must be made online, and, like Gaucho, they get booked up fast!


The Berkeley Beach Huts

For something a little bit different, why not try the beach huts at The Berkeley? Taking their inspiration from typical British seaside destinations, these five marine-themed beach huts offer a private dining experience for up to six guests. And it’s not just the decor that’ll be getting you into the seaside spirit – the menu is packed full of seafood options, too!


Aviary

The winter igloos are making a comeback at the Aviary Rooftop Restaurant in Finsbury Square, from 4th October 2021. Here, you can appreciate surround views of the London skyline. Either dine as a group of up to eight on the 9th floor Palm Terrace or choose the more casual ‘drinks and snack’ igloo experience in a pod on the 10th floor Aviary terrace.


Dining Domes @ WC1

Alternatively, Holiday Inn Bloomsbury have transformed their outdoor terrace garden into an outdoor dining space for all to enjoy. Unlike the aforementioned igloo options, making a reservation for one of the domes doesn’t come with a minimum spend. This means this is an affordable option while retaining some of the exclusivity of private dining. Uniquely, the Dining Domes @ WC1 open daily from 9am – providing al fresco breakfast and brunch options without the need to be exposed to the elements!


So there you have it! 5 great options for dining in those quirky and special, privacy booths while in London town! Have you tried any? Let us know!

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Autumn Travel Destinations

orange trees

If you love nature in all its Autumn splendour, then you may want to consider booking a journey to somewhere renowned for those Autumnal bursts of colour. Here we’ve put together a list of some fantastic, Autumn travel destinations.

brown wooden house beside river
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Amazing Autumn Travel Destinations

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt is a small town in Austria, known for its salt production. It’s lesser mentioned when it comes to potential travel destinations, but this small village packs a big and breathtaking punch.

A perfect and magical location to visit at any time of year, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is like a dream. And during Autumn it has that extra level of added wow in the form of a sprinkle of Autumnal colour.


Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto in Japan is an absolutely stunning location to visit, regardless of the time of year. However, with that being said there are two VERY popular times of year to visit. Spring and, you guessed it, Autumn!

It’s not hard to see why, just a quick google search of ‘Kyoto in Autumn’ will fetch the most glorious, Autumnal displays of natural colour you’ve ever seen. Imagine actually travelling there during the season?!

With mountain forests, temples, shrines and everything in between, you are spoiled for the most intense and beautiful, Autumn scenes when you head to Kyoto!

Also worth a mention is Kyoto during Spring blossom season!


Ontario, Canada

Ontario is a province in central Canada, and it will spoil you for choices of incredible, Autumn locations.

With multiple parks, forests, lakes and more, and renowned for its natural diversity, you’re not going to struggle to hunt down a backdrop for your Autumn travel dreams!


Paris, France

Maybe not one of the first locations that come to mind when you think of travelling for Autumn. However, the gorgeous and always elegant Paris, in France is one of my all time favourite places I’ve visited during Autumn.

It’s so easy to ‘fall’ in love with France (pardon the pun!).

Of course, the natural spaces, such as Jardin du Luxembourg are outstandingly Autumnal, and that goes without saying. But I actually find that the simplicity of the Autumnal trees that line the city’s streets, and make the white buildings glow, along with the way the sunlight hits… It just all hits different in Paris in Autumn.

The light! If you know you know. And if you don’t know, then you absolutely need to.


Edinburgh, Scotland

This magical, Harry Potter-esque city in Scotland, is a perfect location to find your Autumn hit.

With the gothic stone buildings, set amongst the richly green and golden foliage, quaint little cafes and restaurants and book shops, what more could you need?

If Edinburgh doesn’t work for you, perhaps you could try another UK city, like London, or Birmingham.


Vermont, USA

Vermont is renowned for its mostly forested landscape, which should give you an idea of how this has made it onto the list of amazing places to travel to in Autumn.

Awash with Autumnal hues, cute barns, farms at harvest and that golden sunlight, it really is the epitome of Autumn.

This is the location you’ll catch in a lot of movies where Autumn in on full display. It’s an absolute treat!


Tuscany, Italy

The delectable, Italian countryside region of Tuscany is just as delicious during Autumn as it is those hazy days of Summer.

When all of the vineyards turn from rich and green, to warm and golde, you really see Autumn come to life before your eyes.


Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a forest reserve in Croatia. It’s well known for it’s glorious, turquoise waters and waterfalls, but it’s lesser discussed when it comes to Autumn locations.

When it comes to Autumn time at Plitvice, it’s a feast for the eyes. An Autumn spectacular. The richly coloured trees surround the lakes, and it’s completely splendid.


So there are just a few of the many, many locations that are perfect for your autumn travel needs! There’s nothing we love more than Autumn in all its glory. Just remember to check if you need an umbrella! We hope these will feed your Autumn love as much as they did ours.


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10 Free Places For Families To Visit In West Yorkshire

Travelling with even a small family can be a costly business. And so if you are trying to save money, are on a budget or are just wanting some great ideas for where to go around the region, here are 10 free places for families to visit in West Yorkshire! Written by guest blogger, Jo Boyne.


10 Free Places For Families To Visit In West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire is full of fun places to explore. But paying entrance fees when you have a family is no fun. So these free places can save you a load of money while still giving you great days out for the whole family.

I love West Yorkshire as you are never really far from a town or city. There are a tonne of brilliant shops and markets to visit, whether you choose Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield or Halifax. But for me, the history in the region really shines. And so I’d like to introduce you to some of our favourite places that don’t cost a penny. And some of them have free parking too!

The Royal Armouries – Leeds

The Royal Armouries in Leeds is completely free to visit. The Armouries is set over 3 floors, and it showcases the history of weapons and armour.

With over 60,000 items on display including guns, swords, armour and daggers, there is plenty to explore. Some of these objects date back hundreds of years, and there are galleries devoted to different historical times and locations where the weapons were used. It is such an interesting place. Check out the armoured elephant and see Henry VIII’s ornate armour. 

Parking at the Armouries however is not free. There is a large multi-storey car park nearby. And you can also access the Armouries from the centre of Leeds on foot, though it is quite a walk.


Kirkstall Abbey – Leeds

Kirkstall Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery in Kirkstall, just west of Leeds.The Abbey was founded by Benedictine monks from the nearby Burley-on-the-Hill Priory in 1152.

The first Cistercian abbey in the north of England, it soon became one of the most successful and influential monasteries in the region. Kirkstall had extensive land holdings and owned coal mines, grist mills and lead mines.

These days the Abbey is an impressive ruin, but it is set in gorgeous grounds by the side of the River Aire. Free parking is available at the opposite side of the road from the Abbey. And here you can also find a large children’s play area, and the Abbey House Museum. The museum is not free, but has quite a modest entrance fee. So it is a great place to spend a day.


Leeds City Museum

Found right in the heart of Leeds in Millenium Square, Leeds City Museum is a great free attraction. Set on about 5 floors you can find a huge range of artefacts, from a real Egyptian mummy to stuffed tigers! There is a gallery dedicated to the story of Leeds and the region. And a large display of ancient greek, roman and middle eastern artefacts. 

As this is in the centre of Leeds there is no free parking. But it is very close to the city centre for the main car parks and bus routes. And you may not want to spend more than a couple of hours here, but there are so many shops and eating places nearby that you can make a day of it. And maybe consider visiting the next attraction whilst you are here…


Leeds Art Gallery

Just around the corner from the city museum and right next door to Leeds Town Hall is the city’s main art gallery. And this is also totally free to visit. Discover many top works of art from the likes of Anthony Gormley, Damien Hirst and David Hockney set alongside new and upcoming artists and period masters. It is a lovely mix of art. And even the cafe is worth a visit to see the architecture and decor!

In fact the whole building is an absolute gem for history lovers, with stairwells of Victorian tiles, ornate brickwork and busts of past Leeds dignitaries. It is well worth a visit.


Bolling Hall – Bradford

Bolling Hall is actually a bit of a hidden gem. Set in the suburb of Bolling just south of Bradford city centre, this Elizabethan Manor House is a small but perfectly formed glimpse into how life used to be for a noble family in Bradford.

The house has rooms filled with period features and furniture, has its own tower (which has sadly been closed during covid as it is such a small space, and may even have its own ghosts!

Bolling Hall played a part during the English Civil War. And the fate of the family was definitely tied to their allegiance to the Royalist cause. But it remained in use as a family home until the Edwardian era, so there is a lot of history packed into this small stately home. 

The hall has a free car park. And even though the hall may not take much time to explore, there is a public park and children’s play area just down the stairs and across the main road. 


Cliffe Castle – Keighley

Further afield from Bradford is Keighley, and here you can find Cliffe Castle. Cliffe Castle is a stately home built by the Butterfield family. The Victorian textile millionaire Henry Butterfield who built and owned the house was a voracious collector. He travelled all over the world bringing back all manner of objects to add to his collection.

Now his collection forms the basis of a wonderful display, that also has many items of local heritage interest. From stuffed animals to period clothing displays, you are sure to find something to marvel at. And at the centre of the collection is a stunning display of Morris & Co. stained glass.

Furthermore, the house is set in gorgeous grounds, with a large greenhouse, aviary and cafe. And there is also a play park for the children with probably one of the best views in Yorkshire!

A small but free car park is on the site, but you may have to park on the side of the road in one of the nearby streets as it does get busy.


National Media Museum Bradford

Right in the heart of Bradford overlooking City Park you can find the National Media Museum, which opened in 1983.

The National Media Museum Bradford is an institution that was set up to educate the public about the history of film, television and sound. You can find so much wonderful TV and film nostalgia in its galleries, and learn about how TV programmes are made.

The museum has many interactive exhibits which are targeted at different age groups. The museum offers tours for families and schools as well as workshops which can be tailored to suit different needs. Plus on site here is the first IMAX screen that was built in the UK. For an additional cost you can watch a 3D or standard film on this massive cinema screen.

There isn’t a free car park available at the museum, but it is right in the centre of Bradford so close to the many car parks and bus routes in the city.


Lister Park And Cartwright Hall – Bradford

Just to the north of Bradford city centre is Lister Park, a Victorian era public park opened on 14 September 1870 by Lord Mayor of Bradford, William Henry Brook.

Lister Park has a children’s playground, a cafe and a bowling green. But it also houses some wonderful public gardens with stunning water features. And has a large boating lake where you can hire a family pedalo. It is a lovely place to spend a summer day.

Right in the centre of Lister park is Cartwright Hall. This purpose built Victorian gallery was a gift from Samuel Lister – after whom the park was named. And it now homes both contemporary and traditional art, from Old Masters right up to the present day. So it is the perfect place to discover some art and local history too.

Free parking is available on the roadside of the streets nearby. Again be aware that these roads do get busy.


Saltaire

Saltaire is a suburb to the north of Bradford. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was once a village built specifically to house the workers in the mills and factory of the Victorian philathropist and mill owner Titus Salt.

The centre of Bradford during the Industrial Revolution of the mid to late 1900s was a dirty, smoky and hazardous place for factory workers. So Titus built his mill in the cleaner air far removed from the city. He founded Saltaire on the banks of the Aire and Leeds-Liverpool canal. Which was also perfectly sited on the railway lines of the times. And he created the perfect housing for his workers, complete with schools, library, gym, concert hall, hospital, churches and meeting places.

Nowadays you can stroll around the village and visit all the lovely shops you find there. The showpiece however is Salt’s Mill itself, a massive mill that has been converted into shops, a cafe and art gallery. Here you can find many stunning artworks from a local artist that became famous around the world – David Hockney.

And if you visit on a lovely day there is Roberts Park right next door, with its large park and children’s play area.

There are some free parking spaces available, but also pay and display car parks in the village.


The Piece Hall – Halifax

Finally on this list of 10 free places for families to visit in West Yorkshire is the Piece Hall in Halifax.

The Piece Hall in Halifax, England is the only remaining example of a piece hall. It was built in 1779 and was originally owned by John Taylor & Son. The Piece Hall is used to sell goods which are made up of different amounts of fabric.

Piece Halls originated in Europe in the medieval era, when they were known as “cloth halls”. They were used to store and sell pieces or bolts of cloth that came in various sizes which made it easier for merchants to buy the correct amount. The Piece Hall in Halifax, England is one of two remaining buildings with this function; the other one being located at Cloth Hall Street in York.

Each gallery on the 3 levels has many doors that would have originally led to a small selling area for each of the merchants using the hall. Now, many of these small spaces have been knocked through to create larger shops and spaces, but a few of them are still kept in their original condition to show how this hall would have originally been used. The central square hosts many markets and displays through the year, and it is a lovely space to explore. Need more? Then Eureka! The museum for children isn’t too far away. There is no free parking, but the hall is very close to the bus and train station in the town.


A Rose Tinted World is a lifestyle blog by Jo Boyne. After 22 years of being a dentist, Jo had her first child in her mid forties, and decided to take a bit of a career break. She discovered a new love of sewing, and decided to start a blog about her parenting, sewing and travel experiences. You can find her over on her

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Scotland | Things to do in Dumfries and Galloway

If you’re heading up to bonny Scotland, to the less visited region of Dumfries and Galloway, you’re probably wondering about things to do in the area! Check out this fantastic guest post by blogger Melanie Varey of Best Things to do in Cambridge, full of things to do in Dumfries and Galloway.


Things to do in Dumfries and Galloway

We are a family who adore spending our holidays in Scotland. The peace, space, scenery
and tranquillity for us makes for the perfect break. One of our favourite (and less well known)
regions for a really peaceful holiday is Dumfries and Galloway. This area of Scotland has low
levels of population and traffic so really offers that all important sense of calm and a slower
pace of life.

Not only is Dumfries and Galloway a wonderful area of the country, it is really accessible
from England so is a perfect as a stop off destination for those taking the longer journey to
the Highlands.

It has everything you need- wonderful wildlife to spot, beautiful sandy
beaches and breathtaking scenery to wander, and plenty of great quality food and drink
producers- perfect for those who enjoy eating out and in by cooking with amazing produce.
Whether you are seeking a super remote, loch-side, or active experience, there are many
ideal places to stay. What are you waiting for?

hills & harbour gin

Here are our must-see recommendations for those visiting this part of Scotland.

Food & Drink

Castle Douglas is known as the foodies town in the region and worth visiting to browse and
stock up on some local favourites. We love the bread, cakes and pastries from The Earth’s
Crust Bakery, and the award winning pies from  Ballards Butchers . Local restaurant Mr
Pook’s Kitchen is well worth a visit as it showcases the delicious local Scottish produce. Gin
fans will enjoy a tour of one of the areas distilleries, f or example Crafty Distillery which offers
tours and lunches. You can of course stock up with their delicious Hills and harbour gin
which contains the natural botanicals of the region.

Art & Culture

Lovers of art and culture should head to the town of Kirkcudbright to take in one of its many
exhibitions and events. Be sure to visit the Harbour Gallery, Broughton House and the
Stewartry Museum, all of which are wonderful places to learn about the local area. Literature
fans will love the town of Wigtown which holds its annual Book Festival and has a wide
range of independent bookshops. It is also a good place to wander some interesting shops.
Visit Dumfries and Galloway in January to enjoy the Big Burns Supper celebrations, or catch
one of the other cultural or music festivals held in the region. Perhaps you would like to visit
one of the stunning castles in the area?

Getting Outdoors

Lovers of the great outdoors, and a physical challenge, will enjoy the mountain biking
courses at the Galloway forest park. Active types can also get involve in wild swimming, golf,
windsurfing, yachting and plenty more pastimes.
For a slower pace, you can have beautiful walks and find peace and seclusion at Kilsture
Forest, Galloway Forest Park, St Ninian’s Cave, Rigg Bay, and Garlieston. There are many
beautiful and secluded beaches in the area. Our favourite is the small but perfectly
formed Monreith. Portpatrick also has a beautiful coastal walk.  The dark sky park (only the
second in Europe) is the perfect place for some stargazing.


Dumfies and Galloway really is a beautiful and interesting place. With so much to see and do
but with the luxury of such peace, we return to it again and again. We hope that you enjoy it
too.

Melanie Varey

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Cheap and Free Things To Do In Las Vegas

attraction building city hotel

Las Vegas is an amazing city to visit, but it certainly isn’t a cheap one. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of cheap and free things to do in Las Vegas!

aerial photography of city during evening
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Take a Look Around The Hotels

Almost every hotel in Las Vegas is themed and they are often spectacular to look at, not only from the outside, but from the inside too. 

One of the best things about Las Vegas is you can walk around the inside of all the hotels, even if it is just to be nosey!

The best for theming include The Luxor, New York New York, The Excalibur, Paris (complete with miniature Eiffel Tower) and Caesars Palace. 

You can walk between many of the hotels without actually leaving or needing to head back out onto the strip which saves time (and aching feet!)

Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

If you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas then a visit to the Bellagio Hotel to see the fountains is more than likely on your to do list. 

However, if you venture inside the hotel, you can visit the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens for free. 

The stunning glass roof is over 50ft high and the gardens are designed to compliment the seasons, changing throughout the year. Visitors will be blown away by the array of colours, flora and fauna and models on display. It really is a breathtaking experience!

While we’re on the subject of the Bellagio, did you know that the hotel actually houses the world’s largest chocolate fountain? It’s behind a glass case so although you can’t actually eat the chocolate, it’s still pretty amazing to take a look at. 

You can find the chocolate fountain in the Spa Tower, not far from the conservatory.

Travel On The Deuce

One of the best things about Las Vegas is there is just so much to see and do. The strip is just over four miles long and that’s before taking a walk around any of the hotels.

The Deuce is a bus service that runs up and down the strip and over to Downtown Las Vegas 24 hours a day. It stops outside most hotels and is one of the most affordable ways to get around the city. Grab a double decker and sit upstairs for the best views!

An unlimited day pass costs just $8 and a three day pass costs $20 – far cheaper than getting an Uber! Just purchase your ticket from the machine located at all stops.

Take A Trip Downtown

Downtown Las Vegas is situated to the North of the main strip and you get there either by Uber or by taking the Deuce. 
Here are some reasons to visit downtown Las Vegas if you’re on a budget.

Cheaper Gambling – Gambling in downtown is much cheaper than on the strip so your money should last longer. 

Fremont Street Freemont Street is home to the world’s largest video screen and there is a free accompanying light show each evening. 

Fremont Street also has plenty of performers and buskers throughout the day as well as people dressed up as everything from superheroes to film characters who you can have your picture taken with for a $1 or $2 tip. 
Container Park – Container park is a shopping area which is worth visiting even if you don’t plan to shop. There are sculptures (including a heart love locket and a huge Praying Mantis which breathes fire), a playground and an outdoor theatre.

Cosmopolitan Hotel Chandelier

The Cosmopolitan hotel is home to one of the world’s largest chandeliers which spans two floors and is quite a sight to behold! It cost over a million dollars to create and can be seen from several vantage points on the floors of the hotel. 

There is even a cocktail bar in part of it where you can enjoy the shimmering light sparkling down on you while enjoying a drink or two.

Comped Drinks

While gambling in Las Vegas, your drinks are usually comped, meaning the hotel provides them for free as long as you’re playing at a table or machine. It doesn’t matter whether you’re playing  for cents or hundreds of dollars, you’ll still be asked if you’d like drinks. You can ask for soft drinks if you don’t want alcohol.

You will need to tip the waitress around $2 – $3 each time if you want her to keep coming back. While this is a great way to get free drinks if you were planning on doing some gambling anyway, just be aware of your alcohol intake and what you’re spending.

Free Poker Lessons

If you want to brush up on your skills before attempting to play for real, then many Las Vegas hotels offer free lessons in Poker, Blackjack, Craps and other card games. 

These usually take place in the mornings or early afternoon when the Casinos are quieter. Once the lessons are complete you may be able to participate in some low stakes ($1-$2) games with other beginners. This means you can practice playing without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated.

Free Flamingo Wildlife Habitat

Flamingos probably aren’t something you’d expect to find in the middle of Las Vegas but there are lots to be seen at the Wildlife Habitat located at the Flamingo hotel. 

This small oasis in the middle of all the neon lights and noise of the strip is home to a variety of birds, fish and turtles and is free to enter.


As you can see, there is plenty to do in Las Vegas, even if you don’t have a huge amount of money to spend!

Fiona Hawkes is a blogger and freelance writer who loves saving money. She documents her love of slow fashion and thrifty food over on her blog www.savvyinsomerset.com


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8 of The Best Beaches in South East Asia

brown on seashore near mountain

Are you looking to head over to the glorious, tropical islands in South East Asia? Whether it’s Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines or elsewhere, check out our list of 8 of the best beaches in South East Asia.

brown on seashore near mountain
Photo by Alexandr Podvalny on Pexels.com

South East Asia is the perfect place to island/country hop on one holiday. It’s the kind of place where when you’ve paid out for your flight from home, you’re then able to travel around within area for months pretty easily, and for relatively cheap too!

And while you’re island hopping it’s a great excuse to check out the stunning beach locations this glorious part of the World has to offer, because they’re some of the most jaw droppingly beautiful ones around.

Check out our list of 10 of the best beaches in South East Asia.

8 of the Best Beaches in South East Asia

Long Beach, Koh Rong (Cambodia)

With a 4km stretch of stark white sandy beach, and gloriously warm, turquoise waters, you really can’t help but adore this Cambodian beach location.

Part of Koh Rong, which is famed for party people, this stretch of beach is a much quieter part of Koh Rong. So you can steal yourself away if you’re looking for a little peace.

Koh Thmei (Cambodia)

Koh Thmei is a far quieter and less visited part of Cambodia. It has very few residents, and has a much more remote island vibe to it than Koh Rong’s long beach.

You can revel in nature and explore Ream National Park, and appreciate this stunning beach location, that really will make you feel like you’re on your own tropical island.

Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

The breathtaking Ha Long Bay in Vietnam is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s really not hard to see why.

With it’s glorious, bright waters and the hundreds of gigantic, towering, limestone islands covered with rainforests, it’s like nowhere you’ll have ever seen before!

Definitely a kind of beach location for when you want to mix things up and see something completely different.



Ho Coc (Vietnam)

Ho Coc is a small beach community located in Vietnam’s Bà Rịa–Vũng Tàu Province, in the Xuyên Mộc District. (Wiki)

It’s a much less tourist trafficked area, which means for a far more peaceful, beach experience.

You’ll find the yummiest seafood places around the area too!

Sandira Beach AKA Paradise Beach (Philipines)

Sandira Beach, Bantayan, is one of those secluded, island locations you only dream about… Well, until you plan your next journey to the Philipines anyway, right?!

When you glance down onto Paradise Beach for the first time, it is sure to take your breath away with it’s white sand and crystal clear waters.

Cloud Nine, Siargao (Philippines)

Cloud Nine is renowned for being a surfer’s paradise, but for the blissful beaches and ocean here on Siargao Island in the Philippines it really is worth visiting it even if you don’t surf!

Koka Beach (Indonesia)

Koka Beach is a bit of a challenge to get to, with a rocky trek on route. However, what you’re rewarded with in this secret cove, hidden away on the island of Flores is pure magic.

Like something out of a movie.

Tioman Island (Malaysia)

Tioman Island is a nature reserve, just off of the coast of Malaysia.

It’s covered in tropical rainforests, rich with nature, and surrounded by glorious beaches.

This should definitely be on your travel plans for the area!


Of course, one of the perks of pursuing adventures in South East Asia, is that you’re spoiled for choice of blissful, tropical beaches. From touristy, to secluded, to nature reserve… You really get a full and rounded, beach experience while over that part of the World.

Have you been to any of the South East Asian countries? Where were your favourite beach locations? Let us know!


Looking for the Best Beaches in Sicily, Italy?
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Day Trips from Rome

colosseum rome italy

So you’re heading to Rome? If you’re looking for where else you can visit within a day from Rome, here is a list of some great Day Trips from Rome.

colosseum italy
Photo by Chait Goli on Pexels.com

Whether you book a day trip with an established company, or you decide to hire a car and road trip with a friend, there are numerous options available for amazing days out when you’re based in Rome. Check out our suggestions.

Pompei Ruins & Mount Vesuvius Day Trip

In this 13 hour day trip from Rome, you can enjoy a journey to the ruins of Pompei and Mount Vesuvius.

You get to hike up Mount Vesuvius, and experience the historic city in person!

The Isle of Capri

Another 13 hour journey to the delightfully blissful Capri.

You can enjoy deep, blue oceans and the gorgeous island, as well as a boat trip to reach the island to begin with!

Venice

Try out this amazing trip to Venice via high speed train from Rome.

Imagine being able to visit 2 iconic, Italian cities in one holiday?! The floating city is one of the most unique places I’ve ever experienced, as far as having zero roads once you’re on the island.

Enjoy a day slowly meandering through the many alleys. Get lost and find yourself.



Florence & Pisa

This 12 hour adventure to the stunningly iconic city of Florence, and also to the small village of Pisa will tick off 2 very high on the Italian bucket list to-do’s.

Florence is without a doubt the epitome of Italian city. Its stunning architecture speaks volumes, and I personally feel it’s even BETTER than Rome (oooooooo ahhhhh).

And then add on a visit to the famous leaning tower. What more of a quintessentially Italian adventure could you ask for?!

Tuscan Countryside Sightseeing Tour

Adventure for a richly spent 12 hours throughout the Italian countryside on this sightseeing tour of Tuscany.



Of course there are thousands more day trips you can take from Rome. It’s a great base as it’s pretty central within Italy. You can adventure near or far. Or could even hire a car and drive to some more remote and unique spots.

Wherever you choose there are some day trips from Rome for everyone.


If you’re travelling throughout Italy, make sure to check out some of the Best Beaches in Sicily.
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The Best Beaches in Sicily

bird s eye view photo of coastline during daytime

Looking for the best beaches in Sicily? Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean sea, and as such has a gorgeous collection of beaches available. So read ahead for our collection of this Italian island’s best beaches.

sea landscape beach vacation
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Sicily is an Italian island, and one of the five, autonomous, Italian regions. More importantly, it is an island rich in history, culture, music, art and literature. An absolute treasure trove for an inquisitive and creative traveller.

There are SEVEN, yes SEVEN UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Sicily, which are not to be missed!

But yes, it also has some of the most delectably divine beaches in the World. With white sand and sparkling, turquoise water, so let’s get to work on our Best Beaches in Sicily list for you.

The Best Beaches in Sicily

San Vito Lo Capo

San Vito Lo Capo sits on the coast in the North West of the island.

It’s a sweet, small, seaside village that sits at the bottom of the Mount Monaco.

As you can see from the photos (left) the striking, turquoise waters contrasts stunningly against the light, sandy tones of the surrounding scenery.

San Vito Lo Capo is one of the most adored areas of Sicily for both Italians and foreign tourists alike, and it’s really not hard to see how this quaint, seaside village won the hearts of the travelling world.

This location is an excellent choice for travellers no matter what your requirements are. It’s renowned for being super safe for families with young children. It’s also a great choice for those with a passion for outdoor pursuits with plenty of options for hiking, climbing, biking, swimming etc.

And if you’re a foodie, well… you’re in an Italian, seaside village. What more could you ask for?


Cala Mazzo di Sciacca

This small and quiet beach is a hidden treasure trove of a location that is close to the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro.

Hidden and ‘secret’ are always a winner with the more introverted travellers among us, am I right?!


Isola Bella

I mean, what a dreamy location to visit?

Isola Bella is a small Island near Taormina. Though small, she be but mighty. What a punch she packs with her utterly dream like scenery.

This ‘pearl of the Ionian sea’ was privately owned by Florence Trevelyan until 1990 at which point it was bought by the Region of Sicily and turned into a nature reserve, and I think it’s a thing to behold.

Here travellers are greeted by a more rocky beach, and sea coves. It’s the perfect, ‘beach’ location for anyone who appreciates a rich and indulgent, completely unique location.


Riserva Naturale Dello Zingaro

Riserva naturale dello Zingaro was the first nature reserve to be set up in Sicily.

This was around 1981.

It has 7 stunning and unspoiled kilometres of coastline, so plenty of beautiful beach coves to choose from.

The oceans are richly turquoise, and the scenery is an even more gorgeous backdrop. And as an added bonus for nature lovers, the reserve is home to a whole array of birds and wildlife. Perfect for those wildlife lovers amongst you.


The Turkish Steps, Realmonte Coast

Near the hilltop town of Agrigento is the Realmonte coast.

Nestled on this coast is this incredible, bright white, rock cliff. It has gradually been eroded over the years, and as such has a really interesting shape that makes it easy to climb up and lay on.

It has been given the name the Scala dei Turchi due to its staircase like shape.

it’s a perfect location to really appreciate just how crystal clear these seas really are, all whilst appreciating one of the 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


Calamosche

Nature’s swimming pool.

If Calamosche beach had a nickname, it should be that.

It’s calm, shallow waters are perfect for families with young children. But also a perfect location for snorkelers and divers a little further out as there is a great selection of marine life to be seen and explored.

It has been named the most beautiful beach of Italy before, and it’s really not hard to see why.


So there you have a selection of the best beaches in Sicily. Of course, as an Island you really can’t go too far wrong with this stunning, Italian island.

Make sure to adventure with your taste buds too, and check out the best places to eat in Sicily, too!


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