London by day is vibrant, but London by night is magical.

There are just some particular places in London that really do shine at night. No pun intended.

In this post I am just going to post some of my favourite moments from some of my nights spent in London this past year. Some of them you may not be a surprise, however some of them you may not have considered visiting at night.

CHELSEA BRIDGE

A simple bridge that at night looks so breath-taking and is the perfect view for a night time stroll.

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OXFORD CIRCUS

One of the best places for shopping in the day, however at night (especially at Christmas) everything is lit up and I love the atmosphere here!

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TOWER OF LONDON

When the sun goes down, the lights surrounding this historical tourist spot flash back on. Its quite different from the modern buildings that are lit up around London, and at night this really shows in contrast to the financial-sector-skyline next to it.

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BIG BEN (OF COURSE)

You knew Big Ben (aka Queen Elizabeth Tower) was coming up didn’t you. And why would it not, just look at it…

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THE LONDON EYE

Strolls along this bridge are better at night. (and not just because no longer pushing through a crowd)

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Night-time in London is my favourite; the hustle and bustle of the daytime rush is usually somewhat lessened and you get to see the city’s building looking their best. Those were just a few of my favourites, obviously others such as the London Bridge and the Shard definitely stand out in my mind as must-visits too!

Bethany x

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I am always interested in new things to bake. It might have something to do with how much I love cake… However, it is always handy to find healthy alternatives to cream cakes and all sorts. We just had to try these breakfast muffins!

Fruity yet still tasting like a muffin (you can tell by the taste that they have a much healthier content) and topped with pumpkin seeds, I’m craving them again already.

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This batch and recipe only makes 6, so if you want more, just double the amount of everything.

INGREDIENTS:

1 free range egg

125ml of natural yoghurt

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

150g of plain, wholemeal flour

2 tablespoons of porridge oats

1 tablespoon of dark, soft brown sugar

1 teaspoon of mixed spice

2 teaspoons of baking powder

200g of blueberries (you can swap these for mango or other types of fruit – although we only tried the blueberries so far)

2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

 

METHOD:

Firstly, preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius/425 farenheight and line the holes (6 for this recipe) of a muffin tray with paper muffin cases.

Beat the egg in a jug, followed by the yoghurt and vegetable oil.

Stir the flour, oats, sugar, mixed spice and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add the blueberries and the egg mixture to this bowl, and combine all of the ingredients together.

Once fully combined, divide the mixture between the six muffin cases and sprinkle over the pumpkin seeds.

Finally, bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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Ta-Da! There you have yourselves some quick, easy, and healthy breakfast muffins. So good, and because they’re quite healthy it makes you feel a less guilty when you go to grab that second… or third serving…

Bethany x

 

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Last week we treated my sister to some afternoon tea at the Larkfield Priory Hotel. It was her birthday and she has been to her fair share of afternoon teas, but I have not yet and so I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this hotel was considering how inexpensive it was here.

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We didn’t spend more than £30 for the whole experience, and although before hand I never thought a cupcake and a scone would fill me up, it really did! We had unlimited tea, some champagne, 12 different filling sandwich slices, a cupcake each and scones.

Considering this place was only a short drive away from my parents house it really was worth it.

This place is a nice start and day out for those who don’t usually go to afternoon tea – it has definitely made me want more now and I am interested in trying other places to go.

Bethany x

 

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I couldn’t wait to move to London. But once I was there, and I started to have little visits home to family in Kent I also began to really, truly appreciate the countryside.

As a child, the countryside was dull and I craved city life (I still do!). But now, as I am older and able to explore a bit more, I can see how amazing it really is!

My top tips for discovering and really taking full advantage of all things country and British are:

Do something different. Something that may even be fairly ordinary in the countryside, but something that you rarely choose to do. The other week we decided we would go and rent a rowing boat and ride around the river all day. It was so nice and although the day wasn’t rammed full of lots of activities, it was enough to keep us entertained yet chilled out. We rented from Bodiam Boating Station   in Sussex and it was a great price – about £40 for 4 full hours.

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TIP 2: Get out into the sunshine. Make the most of the English sun whilst it is here! It is rare that we can spend time in the countryside here and actually feel the sun on our skin, so when it is out do not waste all day sat inside. There’s plenty to do, even on a budget. We decided on the first full sunny day here to go on a picnic. I bought a cute gingham picnic basket from T-K-Maxx and a checked blanked (essentials!) and filled it with yummy treats and drinks. Find a nice location – for us it was Leeds Castle in Kent – and you’re good to go and become oh so English.

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TIP 3: Be a tourist in your own hometown. This can apply to those living in the countryside OR the city. If someone from another culture were to visit you, where would you take them? Even the smallest of villages have impressive places. Be it beautiful buildings or breathtaking scenic routes; make sure you try them out for yourselves. Many of us leave the touristy things to the tourists themselves thinking we have “all of the time in the world” to see the nice things. But there is no time like the present! I recently revisited a favourite tourist spot in my old home county of Kent – the White Cliffs of Dover.

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TIP 4: Reacquaint yourself with family and friends. This may only apply to those who are returning to their hometowns after being away (like me!). But I feel it can be relevant to many of us so why not include it! Leaving a year ago made me realise who were my true friends, and unfortunately who were not. That is something that comes with growing up, however ever since I left I always made the effort to stay in contact. I still have friends at home that I meet up with for catch-ups and it feels as though nothing has changed, and I always make as much time as possible for my family. Not everyone will like that you have left but those who are true to you will be happy for you, and be the people whom you should make time for.

TIP 5: Find activities in your area. More often than not, even small towns have activities and attractions that you wouldn’t usually think of. For example, near my hometown is “Go Ape“. I went last summer and really enjoyed myself (apart from feeling like I had vertigo at the beginning!). Climbing through the woods and jumping from trees on harnesses – could you get any closer to nature?!

We also took a hike around the beautiful Bedgebury Pinetum and Forest.

 

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I hope that at least one of those tips above are useful for at least one of you. I know I rambled on, but it was far better than me spamming with a post on each and every place on this page!

Bethany x

p.s. apologies for that last photo (from Go Ape)… awkward action shot from behind…

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Sun, ocean and mountains. If those three words get you excited then you and I have something in common. Many of my dream travel locations all seem to include those three components too, coincidence eh?

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So you can imagine my excitement when I arrived in Greece and decided that for a full weekend we should both quad bike and trek through glorious Cephalonia mountains. I mentioned them on my blog before however in this post I thought I could discuss the way I personally feel is the most interesting way to get around the island, and how to make the most of the experience.

We were based in Lassi, however we were keen to leave the tourist areas for a while… I believe you can find even more beautiful places when you go off the beaten track.

Public transport is yet to take up residence here, almost making the place a paradise away from the modern world.

Therefore, to travel through as much of the mountains as we could in a weekend we had three options… I felt that by driving a car we wouldn’t appreciate the full experience, and by biking or walking we wouldn’t really get very far in this vast wilderness. So, what better way to do this than to hire a speedy Quad and have the wind blowing through your hair as you ride around the mountains themselves?

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The islands are filled with picturesque villages and secret, magical coves just waiting to be discovered. My highlight of the mountain riding was probably Myrtos beach. The views there were absolutely stunning and just looking down onto the beach was like looking at a photograph in a travel brochure.

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We began our ride in Lassi, and travelled through Argostili towards the mountains. As we made our way towards the verdant mountains the views were stunning, with the turquoise sea just glimmering in contrast to the rich, deep greenery covering the huge mountains.

We left with no directions, no sat nav; not even a map. I had my boyfriend with me and he is much better with directions than myself so he pretty much led the way, however we did find at times we were both very lost with where we were. But even at the time, it was all part of the excitement and made us at least feel more spontaneous.

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At one point we found ourselves at a beautiful harbour village between the mountains and we stopped off for breakfast, thinking we had reached our destination of Fiskardo… however we could only spot sailing boats and the place was pretty small so we soon started to doubt ourselves. Plucking up the courage, I casually strolled over to a Greek lady hanging out laundry on her sailing boat to ask: “Do you know what this village is called?”… “Umm… where are we right now?” Yes. This did evoke slightly funny looks. But it turns out we were still an hour away from Fiscardo. This place was a nice accidental find though, and we had a traditional Greek breakfast here for 10 euros between us: orange juice, tea, coffee, fresh bread, tomatoes with egg and feta cheese and chips. Everything you find here really is this cheap!

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As we carried on to Fiscardo some of the roads were shut due to a recent earthquake, and the alternative routes were much longer but also much more stunning. The rough tracks took you thousands of feet high up the mountains and it really was like nothing I had seen before.

We spent two entire days, dawn until dusk just travelling around on the quad in the mountains, and overall the quad rental hire was under 100 euros from Lassi. We only had to refill the gas in the bike once as far as I can remember.

Definitely necessary to bring extra suncream and water, as driving through this direct heat for hours could get real bad real quickly without it! Hence why my skin is quite red in some of my photos here…

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This is the quad that we rented from a small rental place in Lassi, however we saw many places like this in other locations such as Argostoli. NOTE: my boyfriend in the background of this with his shirt on his head like a really peculiar-looking turban…

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For more amazing views, get your hiking boots on and attempt Mount Ainos.

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