Seeing Paris’ glorious architecture and immense history in Autumn’s golden light is simply jaw-dropping.

paris4

Aside from all of the usual things I choose to do on city breaks (eat… drink… eat…etc, etc…) I love to explore on foot. And of course, whether you like it or not, it’s only necessary to visit a few tourist spots to get them ticked off the list.

I’m not always the biggest fan of tourist-y things (cue long queues, overpriced tickets, and big crowds…), however going up the Sacre Coeur was my favourite. Yup, even more so than the Eiffel Tower.

image6

We were lucky that our boutique hotel was located nearby the walk to the very quirky MonteMarte, and therefore also Sacre Coeur. So we set off out of our gorgeous room off to explore…

paris11

It is a long walk up to the Sacre Coeur, so there are lifts for those less able to walk very far – but I highly recommend walking it if you can. We set off at golden hour, and the views on the way up are magical; those golden rooftops underneath dusty pink skies just get me every time.

image7

In between each set of steep steps were authentic cafes and bars, that I was just dying to try…

image1

image8

 

But with the sun setting slowly but surely, and knowing the views from the top are well worth it, we saved them for another time! Sacré-Cœur is a Roman Catholic church that boasts breath-taking 360 panoramic views of the city, offering sights of the romantic cobbled Parisian streets and its iconic landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower.

 

paris8

paris9

paris3

Tickets are almost half the price of many other viewing points in Paris, and they don’t let you down. So it’s good for those of us on a budget, yet who still want to make the most out of our travels.

After a long wander around Sacre Couer, our hunger took over. We’d passed Montemarte on our walk up, and since walking down is a little more pleasurable, we couldn’t wait to head back and try some French cuisine.

image5

This busy part of Paris is a beautiful little square, full of artists, restaurants, and bustling with energy. Not to mention the extremely tempting patisseries…
image4

We settled on a little restaurant outside in the square, and although the food and service did slightly disappoint, the atmosphere made up for it. The wine was good, too…

paris6

 

Follow:

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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

 

Follow:

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.

image10 3

 

image14 3

image3 5

 

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

 

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.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

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.

 

bedg2

IMG_3903

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…

Follow:

Just outside of London, around about an hour or so away is my home county, Kent.

Whilst living in Kent as a child, I couldn’t wait to get away from the place – I always found it boring, with nothing to do. I simply craved the city life.

However, as I became older and finally made that big move to the busy city of London, I started to really appreciate my trips home to the countryside. Now, although this was somewhat to do with seeing my family, it was also because it was quite relaxing to return on a weekend and go for a countryside walk, and it helped me really appreciate how beautiful Kent is.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Dover Cliffs are probably one of the most beautiful sights in Kent, and if you have never heard of them before then I recommend paying it a visit sometime soon if you are nearby!

Part of the National Trust, the cliffs were used as defence in both of the World Wars and look out across the English channel towards the French Coast. We arrived, paid only the £3.50 parking charge, and off we hiked into the wind…

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

It doesn’t take too long to walk to the other side of the cliffs, and along the walk you can see boats drifting along the channel from France (so close that our phone networks thought we weren’t in England anymore!) and little Shetland horses nibbling at the grass around you on your way.

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I particularly find it beautiful not just because of the stunningly huge, chalky cliffs, but also because of the rolling hills you are walking through.

On the other side of the walk is a lighthouse, and you can enter it for a coffee which is supposed to be nice, although we didn’t do this as it was quite busy that day.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

So if you are visiting England, perhaps don’t dismiss Kent and the Dover Cliffs as a possible visit.

 

Bethany xxx

Follow: