Weekend in London – Day 3

My last day in London was a bit of a whirlwind and unfortunately I spent a lot of time in transit as I had to be at the airport for 5pm.

However I did manage to eat and drink my way though Camden Market before my departure…

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Camden Market is such a cool place to visit, it’s situated in Camden Town which is easy to reach by tube if you get off at Chalk Farm station.

It is London’s largest and most varied market that really has everything on offer. If you fancy some tasty street food, freshly squeezed fruit drinks, boutique clothing stores and vintage vinyl records hit up Camden Market! If I was a Londoner I would make this my Sunday lunch spot, you would never get bored….

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WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU LEMONS….

We spent a couple of hours indulging in the markets offerings before wondering down Regent’s Canal towards Primrose Hill.

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Regent’s Canal

Primrose Hill is another beautiful green space in London with one of the best views of the city’s skyline. This calm space is the perfect spot to spend to a sunny afternoon with a picnic, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

On my journey back to Edinburgh, I spent some time planning what I would do the next time I visit (which will be a lot sooner this time)! A weekend in London is certainly not enough time to do even half of the things you would want to do, but it was a great flavour of the city that left me wanting more. I am genuinely surprised about how much I enjoyed roaming London. Maybe it was the company and the good weather, but I have a feeling that is was because it was full of life! At every turn there was something different to see. Whether that was a historical site, a street-performer or newly invented version of the ice cream cone (Milk Train)…..London has it all.

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Weekend in London – Day 2

I hope you all enjoyed reading my Day 1 post about London but if not click here!

We started off our second day in London by flying high on the Emirates Air Line  which gives you a unique view of the River Thames and the skyline. It’s a cable car experience that only opened in 2012 around the time of the London Olympic Games. The ride only costs £4.30 and can be paid for via the contactless machine (just like the underground stations) or you can purchase them from the attraction’s ticket office.  It definitely felt like the first class experience  minus the champagne unfortunately. However, they did make up for the lack of fizz by offering us a free souvenir photo at the end of the trip. You can pop into the photo booth, pick your destination (eg Maldives) and magically your photo looked like you were enjoying your holiday at the other side of the world!

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After our long flight to the Maldives we decided that we needed some brunch to recover from the jetlag. Sophia knew of this gorgeous garden cafe that sits inside Regent’s Park, Regent’s Bar & Kitchen. I can honestly say this was my favourite place we went for food in London, it was perfect! Just watch out what time you go because we wondered in at 11:30am and apparently breakfast was no longer being served and their lunch menu didn’t begin until 12pm! We said that was fine and enjoyed a muffin and an iced coffee in the garden while we waited patiently….

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Al Fresco Lunch in Regent’s Park
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Regent’s Bar & Kitchen
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Regent’s Park

Our next stop was the Rose Garden within the park and it did not disappoint! This area was beautiful and had quirky names for all the types of roses….ice cream was my favourite….

Like I said we came to London in a heatwave, so it was ideal weather just to lie amongst the roses for a couple of hours!

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Rose Garden ft SandCloud Wanderlust Towel

If you love the look of my towel use my personal code CatrionaKe15 for 15% off all orders at the checkout! A percentage of all Sandcloud’s profits go into saving marine life by supporting conservation charities. #savethefishes

After enjoying the rays at Regent’s park we headed towards the crowds in Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Piccadilly Circus reminded me of what I imagined a mini Times Square to be like….hectic, touristy and full of large screens!

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Piccadilly Circus 

We didn’t spend much time in Piccadilly before moving onto Chinatown! This is such a cool area of London, especially the decorated gateways. If we were’t so full from the pizza we would have grabbed something from one of the takeouts, everything smelled AMAZING! 

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Chinatown

After walking through Leicester Square we went to a quirky courtyard area that Sophia knew about called Neal’s Yard. I would have quite happily stayed all evening discovering the independent eateries and bars in this little garden space. Not far from Covent Garden and just off Monmouth Street you will find this secret little alleyway full of colourful buildings and places that you wouldn’t want to miss!

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Nearby Neal’s Yard we found a pretty little bar called Boki

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We found seats at the botanic-styled cocktail bar and chatted to the bartenders as they created our recommended concoctions….

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We spent the night partying at a rooftop club called Queen of Hoxton, which was in the up-incoming Shoreditch area of London.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my second day in London, stay updated for my final instalment!

Winter Getaway In York

As soon as our exams finished we decided to escape to York to get into the Christmas spirit! York is only 2 hours and 30 minutes on a train from Edinburgh, perfect for a short break. We spent a couple of days in this enchanting city exploring the fairy-lit alleyways and exploring York’s main attractions!

Day 1 

As soon as we arrived in York we took the bus from outside the station to Ashley Park Road where our Airbnb was. As I have never used an Airbnb before I was slightly apprehensive of the situation but I was amazed at how perfectly it worked out. I cannot recommend Kilmartin Lodge  enough, it was cosy, well located and Michelle the host was extremely welcoming (fresh bread and homemade jam on arrival)!

We arrived into York early evening so we just got settled into our accommodation then headed into York for dinner. As it was our first night we just took an Uber into York (cost around £6) and dined out. Our first meal was at a gorgeous Italian restaurant called Gusto.  It had a canape of fairy lights and leaves, perfect for a romantic dinner! I would highly recommend the smoked haddock risotto for a heartier option….

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Before heading back to the apartment we journeyed into the Teepee Tent that was in the centre of the Christmas market to indulge in some mulled wine!

Day 2

We woke up early to ensure that we had a full day of exploring York! We started our day by journeying into York on the Coastliner bus which was only a short walk from the accommodation. Once we arrived in the city centre we headed towards York Minster which is definitely a sight to see! It is a stunning cathedral that can be accessed with an entry fee of £10 (all profit goes to the maintenance of the site).

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After taking in the architecture that York Minster has to offer we strolled over to The Shambles. This is a picturesque street combined of many antique shops, confectioneries, jewellery shops and of course Harry Potter shops. This famous little street is said to be the inspiration of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series (hence the 3 Potter shops)!25593580_1718968314790287_279270880_n

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Then we headed towards the York Castle Museum to find out what living in York was like through the decades.

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Feeling peckish and with so many quirky places to try, we ventured into an art bar called Victor J’s to grab some lunch. This is definitely a great spot to admire local art work while warming up in this cosy bar/restaurant.

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Before heading back to the apartment we explored the Christmas market again, trying everything that was on offer….especially the York Fudge!

In the evening we dined at a restaurant that was recommended by a local and we were not mislead. We had dinner at a unique Spanish tapas restaurant called Ambiente  . Like many restaurants in York the building was originally someone’s home, which made the place even more charming. Spanish cuisine is my personal favourite so we had the tasting menu for 2 and loved every dish… (the meatballs were fought over… which can only be a good sign)!

Day 3

We woke up and gave our keys back to our wonderful Airbnb host in the morning which was all very easy. I can honestly not express how well my first experience of using an Airbnb went , I will definitely use the website for future travels.

We headed into York for the last time and took our luggage to the storage space near the station. It was the best option seeing as our train home was not till 6pm. After dropping our luggage off we headed back through the city walls, and down to the river for a walk in the park. We also climbed up Clifford’s Tower to take in the bird’s eye view of York.  25630317_1718968258123626_191023481_n25630739_1718968298123622_1199901981_nDSC01930

Afterwords, we visited The Shambles one last time and of course bought some more fudge to take  home with us! We still had a few hours of exploring before we needed to go for an early dinner, so we went to the York Dungeons . 25674344_1718968271456958_342321547_n.jpgThis was one of my favourite attractions in York. The actors were incredible and made me scream once or twice….. it’s such a good way to learn the history of York….even if you do get accused of witchcraft….

Before catching our train back to Edinburgh we had an early dinner somewhere that we always walked past and were eager to try. Lucia is an Italian restaurant that has lots of seating in the fairy-lit canopy courtyard. To keep dinners warm outside in the winter they also have outdoor fires amongst the tables as well as an indoor seating area.

Our time in York was amazing and we would definitely spend more time in this beautiful city. If we went back we would visit the places we ran out of time to see such as the top of York Minster and The Chocolate Story Museum!