Ultimate Bucket List Guide To The Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales National Park is set over miles and miles of valleys, moors, hills and pretty villages and towns in northern England. It is located in the county of Yorkshire and sits central on the Pennines in North Yorkshire and Cumbria and also includes a small part of Lancashire. Unlike some overseas National Parks the Yorkshire Dales isn’t a wilderness area, it’s full of lots of wildlife but also home to many people who farm the land and live and work in the area.

This national park has so many recreational activities to offer its visitors from hiking, walking trails, waterfalls, lakes, cave systems, ravines and limestone formations. The Dales is famous for the Three Peaks which are Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent mountains, the peaks form part of the Pennine range.

If your looking for some adventure and love the outdoors then the Yorkshire Dales are for you, they offer a good balance of stunning outdoor sights and you can stop, refresh, shop, eat and drink in its quintessential English villages and towns. You could spend weeks in the Dales and explore so much and not get bored once. We spent a long weekend up in the Dales and had 4 days to go sightseeing, however there was still plenty more we could have seen. We chose to visit some of the top sites in the area. So if your short on time here are the absolute bucket list must dos when in the Dales!

What To See & Do

Bolton Abbey

Entrance Fee: £10 per car for parking

Bolton Abbey is one of the Dales top attractions it’s an area of stunning natural beauty sitting on the River Wharfe, and just a stone’s throw from the town of Skipton. The area has plenty to do with lots of walkways and countryside to explore and ancient priory ruins from the 12th century. You could easily spend a full day venturing around this area, it’s popular with families especially in the summer who come to have picnics and BBQs. There are also several cafes and places to get food and drink from at Bolton Abbey too. We visited in the morning and parked at the Bolton Abbey car park so we could easily explore the priory church, ruins and stepping stones, we spent about an hour or so there which was just enough time, however I would love to go back and spend a full day exploring the area. So if you have the time I would recommend spending a full day at Bolton Abbey.

Bolton Abbey

Burnsall, Grassington & Linton Falls

Burnsall, Grassington and Linton Falls are all closeby to Bolton Abbey and are all situated really close to one another and are easily accessible and easy to visit all of them in one morning or afternoon. Burnsall is a tiny village but draws many visitors because of its picture postcard setting. It’s surrounded by beautiful green hills and sits on the River Wharfe. There’s an arched bridge in the centre of the village which is a perfect spot for a picnic. There are several hiking trails which lead off from Burnsall as well. It’s a nice spot to stop off at to admire the views or to just grab a drink or something to eat as there are a handful of pubs and cafes and a village shop.

Grassington is only a few miles away from Burnsall and is another picturesque Dales market town, it has a cobbled square in the centre which is surrounded with lots of independent boutiques and craft shops, cafes and pubs and has quite a lively buzz to the area. Surrounded by the Dales it’s a great place to base yourself too as there is lots to see and do in and around this area, and with plenty of amenities close by.

A mile up the road from Grassington centre are Linton Falls which are some waterfalls situated on the River Wharfe, they aren’t very tall however they are the largest falls on the river and are very dramatic and powerful. There is a bridge over the top of the falls where you can witness their full force crashing through the jagged limestone rocks. A little upstream of the Falls there is a restored hydro-electric plant which has been restored and reopened and is supplying electricity through water power once again.

BurnsallLinton Falls

Haworth

Haworth is an absolute must when in the Dales, this pretty village has a vintage feel and feels like you step back in time with its cobbled street overlooking the moorlands. This village is most known for the Brontë sisters who wrote the famous book Wuthering Heights, which draws many literacy enthusiasts. As well as the village being steeped in history and heritage it has lots of independent businesses from specialist shops selling crafts, homemade produce, homewares, gifts, art galleries, cafes, tearooms and more for such a small village there is a lot to see and do.

We booked an afternoon tea at Forteas Tearoom which is a 1940s tea room and is another great experience to have while in the village, it’s a unique and quirky tearoom, service and the food is excellent and it’s such good value and you won’t leave hungry! If afternoon tea isn’t your thing then pop in for lunch or drink and a slice of cake. Haworth is my absolute favourite village in the Dales, and I can’t wait to go back. If you only have time to stop at just one of the Dales villages or towns then make sure it’s Haworth!

HaworthForteas Tearoom Haworth

Ingleton Waterfalls

Entrance Fee: £7 per person

Ingleton Waterfalls is a nature lovers dream, and one of the best nature walks in the UK in my opinion. This waterfall and woodland walk takes approximately two and a half hours and is just over 4 miles in a loop. It’s a pretty easy and accessible walk, which trails through woodland and moorland and along the way you will pass Pecca Falls, Hollybush Spout, Thornton Force, Beezley Falls, Rival Falls, Baxenghyll Gorge and Snow Falls. This was one of the highlights of our trip the scenery is truly stunning. We went late morning and it was busier than we would have liked but we still enjoyed it, I would recommend getting there for when it opens as I imagine it wouldn’t be as busy at that time.

Ingleton WaterfallsIngleton Waterfalls

Lund’s Tower & Wainman’s Pinnacle

Lund’s Tower and Wainman’s Pinnacle are located in Sutton-In-Craven set on top of a hill overlooking the Dales. The views up there are unreal! Both are stone-built towers also known as follies. Lund’s Tower and Wainman’s Pinnacle are also referred to as the salt and pepper pots by locals. We visited in the morning and pulled up on the side of the road as close as we could to them and walked up to them which was an easy walk up and we had the area to ourselves. The views were some of the best we saw in the Dales and we walked up the steps in Lund’s Tower for even better views across the moors. We spent less than an hour walking up to it and around so it’s the perfect place to start your day before venturing off to explore more.

Lund's TowerLund's TowerWainman's Pinnacle

Malham Cove, Gordale Scar & Janet’s Foss

Malham Cove is a huge 230ft curved limestone cliff formation, it attracts walkers and rock climbers from all over. It doesn’t feel like something you would normally see in the UK, the sheer scale of the rock makes you feel so small. While visiting Malham Cove also check out Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss as they are all within walking distance of one another.

Gordale Scar is a huge limestone ravine with overhanging cliffs and waterfalls, the landscape of Gordale Scar is just epic and looks like a scene from a film. I couldn’t believe the amounts of times I’ve visited Yorkshire and not been to the area of Malham which holds so much dramatic and stunning scenery!

Janet’s Foss is a waterfall and pool in a woodland area and feels like a scene from a fairytale as you walk through trees, ferns and pass moss-covered rocks. Along the footpath are several trees which have had lucky pennies pushed into the bark where people make wishes to the queen of the fairies, so it’s a great place to come with children as the whole place has a magical feel to it.

Malham CoveGordale ScarGordale ScarJanet's Foss

Ribblehead Viaduct

Ribblehead Viaduct is just over the border from Cumbria into North Yorkshire, this viaduct is a huge structure on the Settle-Carlisle Railway. It was constructed back in the 1870s. The construction cost a lot of the railway builders their lives and many died due to accidents while constructing the viaduct. This huge structure is built 32 meters above the moor and made up of 24 arches, not only is the viaduct an impressive, but it has spectacular views stretching across the moorland and the three peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside. This is also the starting point to where many people start their journey on the three peak challenge. You can spend time hiking around there or there is plenty of places to pull over and just admire the view.

Ribblehead Viaduct

Skipton & Ilkley

Skipton is a charming market town and is often referred to as the gateway to the Dales, the cobbled high street is popular with locals and visitors with lots of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs to visit. This market town has lots of history, one of its main heritage sites is the 900 year old castle – Skipton Castle. Bolton Abbey is also just a fewmiles up the road which is a great place to wander. I would suggest visiting Skipton for a few hours either over breakfast or lunch grab some food and wander the shops and make sure to have a browse in the beautiful shopping arcade – Craven Court. 

Either before or after visiting Skipton head into the former spa town of Ilkley as it’s only a 15 minute drive away. It’s another one of the Dales picturesque towns full of Yorkshirecharm. If you fancy a traditional afternoon tea then head to the famous Bettys Tea Room. Have a stroll along the River Wharfe and if it’s views your after head to Ilkley moor for panoramic views.

Craven Court SkiptonIlkley

Where To Stay

Catgill Farm

If you love the outdoors then why not camp or glamp in the Dales?! There are so many amazing places to stay from cottages, hotels, guesthouse and campsites the Dales isn’t short on accommodation options. We opted to glamp and came across Catgill Farm when we were searching for quirky places to stay. We booked one of their timber pods which had an en-suite, firepit, hot tub and views over the Wharfe Valley. It was honestly a perfect set up, the glamping pods aren’t the cheapest, it cost us £430 in total but between 4 adults wasn’t too bad for 2 nights. On our first night in the Dales, we stayed at the premier inn as nearer the time to our trip we all realised we had the day off so decided last minute to head up a day earlier.

Catgill Farm also has bell tents available to book as well as a campsite. We loved the timber pod as it was great for self-catering in the evenings and we cooked pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven and both nights spent the evening in the hot tub which was absolute bliss after lots of walking during the day. The glamping options are great for families too as while the kids are in bed the parents can enjoy the hot tub, firepit and views. The location is also a great place to base yourself as it’s set in Bolton abbey and a few minutes drive to the Bolton Abbey car park, and all other areas of the Dales are within easy reach.

Catgill Farm GlampingCatgill Farm Glamping

Transport & Getting Around

The best way to get around the Yorkshire Dales is to drive, by driving you have all the freedom to make quick stops at places of natural beauty and stunning viewpoints and get directly to where you want to go. It’s the easiest way I personally think to really get the most out of your trip. However if you don’t drive there are plenty of bus and train services available and taxis in Yorkshire are much cheaper than down in the south of England.

4 Day Itinerary

  1. After arriving spend an afternoon strolling around Skipton and Ilkley.
  2. In the morning walk up to Lund’s Tower and Wainman’s Pinnacle for amazing views, then head to Haworth for the rest of the day and book in for an afternoon tea at Forteas Tearoom.
  3. Start your day by exploring Malham Cove, Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss grab a pub lunch from the Buck Inn. In the afternoon visit Linton Falls and then head into Grassington for a walk around and finish your day in Burnsall for picturesque views.
  4. Depending on where your staying I would suggest starting your day at Ingleton Waterfalls to beat the crowds, however if like us you’re going to stay at Bolton Abbey start your day by exploring some of the ruins and stepping stones in Bolton Abbey, then head to Ingleton Waterfalls. Before heading home after your long weekend make a stop at Ribblehead Viaduct for more gorgeous views over the Yorkshire landscape.

Top Tips

Pack for all types of weather and take walking boots as some of the walking trails can be especially muddy.

Helpful Information

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Covent Garden Market

A Quick Guide To Covent Garden

Covent Garden is one of Londons more upmarket areas and is situated in the West End. Covent Garden is both popular with Londoners and tourists as it has lots to offer all visitors from luxury fashion boutiques, arts and craft stalls, markets, a wide choice of places to eat, alfresco dining, elegant bars and the whole area has a buzz especially around the Piazza where you can find street performers and crowds of spectators.

This pretty area of London is saturated in history and heritage and has undergone many transformations over the centuries and should not be missed! You could easily spend a full day exploring the streets of Covent Garden and sampling what it has on offer, however if you are stuck for time why not make a pit stop and grab some food or a drink in the area and have a wander around Covent Garden Market and its Piazza.

In this quick guide I have listed the top sites, places to shop and explore, streets to stroll down and where to eat and drink. So pin all these places on your map or load it up when your there and scroll through the lists of my top recommendations, Enjoy!

Top Sites & Attractions

  • Covent Garden Market, Piazza & St Pauls Church: This is the heart and soul of the area and if you do one thing when visiting it should be this! Wander through the market, watch street performers and people watch in the piazza and visit St Pauls Church. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle go into St Pauls garden courtyard behind the church.
  • Gas Lamps: I know it’s a bit random to mention gas lamps, but around the Covent Garden Market, the Piazza and St Pauls still stand original gas lamps which are some of the last in the city, as most street lamps are now electric, they are still manually lit by lamp attendants every evening.
  • London Transport Museum: This interactive museum has a huge collection of London transport memorabilia and is a great place to come for families or anyone that is interested in the cities transport history.
  • National Portrait Gallery: It is home to a whole range of portrait paintings and houses many pieces of artwork of historical importance and well known famous British people.
  • Royal Opera House: Sometimes just referred to as Covent Garden this world-class opera house and performing arts venue is a stunning building, even if you’re not attending a performance you can’t miss this stunning building which is just by the Piazza. Keep an eye out as sometimes you can pick up tickets for as little as £10 depending on the show, day and time etc. There are also tours available.
  • Somerset House: Is a stunning neoclassical building which hosts a variety of art and film exhibitions, ice skating in the winter, as well as other events. There are several restaurants and cafes onsite too. In the summer you can sit outside in the courtyard with a picnic and watch the choreographed fountains. It’s free to enter inside, however you will need to purchase tickets for some exhibitions.
  • Young Dancer Statue: Just across from the Royal Opera House is a life-sized bronze ballet dancer statue, it’s a really pretty statue and great for a photo opportunity.
Covent Garden MarketRoyal Opera House Covent GardenYoung Dancer Statue Covent Garden

Best Places To Shop

Markets

  • Apple Market: Set in the main Covent Garden Market Building, this small market has a variety of stalls selling handmade crafts and gifts from local traders.
  • East Colonnade Market: These stalls are set around the Covent Garden Market and sell a range of products from handmade soaps, jewellery, sweets, homewares and much more.
  • Jubilee Market: This market is located just across from Covent Garden Market and is a general market selling clothes and souvenirs etc, but also has some antiques and collectables as well as craft stalls, there are different stalls on different days of the week.

Must Visit Shops

  • Benjamin Pollocks Toyshop: This eccentric toy shop dates back to the 1880s and specialises in theatrical, creative and educational toys. This shop is a perfect place for families to visit or if you’re looking for a quirky gift for a child.
  • Floral Steet Fragrance: Is an English fragrance brand, but the pretty shop in Covent Garden is a must-visit for any perfume fanatics out there.
  • Petersham Nurseries: This stunning shop sells an array of plants, homewares, gifts and more, they also have several cafes, delis and restaurants in Covent Garden too as well as in Richmond.
  • Stanfords Travel: Is a travel enthusiasts dream! They are the UK’s leading travel book, maps and travel accessories specialist. It was established back in 1853 by Edward Stanford. This is quite possibly one of my favourite shops in Covent Garden you could easily spend a while searching through the many travel books and guides, there is also a small cafe on-site too.
  • The Vintage Showroom: This gorgeous old fashioned shop sells all things vintage fashion and accessories alongside their own brand of up-cycled fashion, no clothes go to waste there and they have a an awesome sustainable ethos.

Shopping Streets

  • Cecil Court: A whole street dedicated to shops specialising in arts, antiques, books and curiosities.
  • Floral Street, King Street, Long Acre & Monmouth Street: Are all streets bursting full of a variety of shops from independents to brands and concept stores.
  • Neal Street: Neal Street is full of more great shops and just by Neals Yard.
  • Neal’s Yard: This tucked away colourful square has several cafes and small shops and of course a Neals Yard shop, this is a good place to stop for a coffee break.
  • Seven Dials: It gets its name from the seven streets that lead off from this junction. This area has both flagship shops and concept shops as well as boutiques, cafes, pubs and much more. It’s a more chilled out area of the city too, and has a much slower pace feel to it.
  • St Martin’s Lane & Courtyard: St Martin’s Lane is another popular shopping street, and the courtyard is a beautiful open-air shopping destination.
  • The Yards: Are made up of St Martin’s Courtyard, Mercer Walk and Old Brewer’s Yard, The Yards has a unique selection of shops throughout interconnected courtyards with pop up shops and events happening regularly.

Covent Garden MarketCovent Garden MarketJubilee Market Covent GardenCovent Garden MarketNeals Yard Covent GardenPetersham NurseriesStanford’s Travel

Best Places To Eat & Drink

Bars & Pubs

Cafes

Restaurants

Covent GardenCovent Garden PubCovent Garden

Helpful Information

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How To Spend A Weekend In Margate

I had never really ever considered going to Margate and I hadn’t really heard much about it, other than when it was in the Only Fools and Horses episode when they have their disastrous jolly boys outing to Margate.

A little a while a go one of my oldest and closest friends asked me to be her maid of honour at her wedding, so straight away I knew I had to organise her an epic hen weekend with the other bridesmaids. When I asked my friend where she would like to go on her hen do her reply was ‘I really fancy going to Margate’ shocked at her response half expecting her to say somewhere hot and exotic abroad or a big city in the UK, I decided I best get to work researching this small British seaside town.

Margate is a small town in Kent which sits on England’s southeast coast. While googling I was pleasantly surprised at how trendy Margate seemed to be, with lots of cafes, bars and vintage shops on offer, the hen do planning had officially begun!

When we arrived into Margate we were so amazed at how lovely everything was and it was so good to see a Great British seaside town being bought back to life, and small businesses booming in the area. We honestly had such a great weekend in Margate and it really exceeded our expectations, so much so I really would love to go back for another weekend in the future. If your looking for retro seaside kitsch – then don’t delay and head to Margate!

Sights & Activities

Dreamland

Entrance Fee: Unlimited ride wristband from £8

Dreamland is one of Margate’s main draws, like many British seaside towns Margate has its own amusement park. Dreamland is along one of the main streets and directly opposite the beach. It has something for everyone from rides, entertainment , art installations, arcade games, food and drink vendors, music venues and even a roller disco. We didn’t really know what to expect from Dreamland half expecting it to be your usual tacky seaside amusement park, well it did not disappoint one bit!

While from the entrance it doesn’t look particularly appealing, once your in its full of vibrant colours and a really relaxed atmosphere. It was also really good value for money, and I would recommend purchasing the unlimited ride wristband. We spent a few hours on the rides and wandering around. We were lucky when we visited as queues weren’t too bad, however I can imagine in the height of summer the park being a lot busier. Dreamland is an absolute must when in Margate!

Dreamland MargateDreamland MargateDreamland Margate

Haeckels

Haeckels is a shop and spa which promotes coastal natural ingredients as well as conservation and beach clean ups. This small luxury skin care brand showcases many of Margate’s coastline natural ingredients. I stumbled across this little shop overlooking the seafront just before heading home, and wish I had known about it before as they offer a variety of spa treatments onsite too. If your a girly girl like myself then make sure you pop into Haeckels for some skincare retail therapy or even try out one of their spa treatments.

Haeckels Margate

Margate Clock Tower

Margate Clock Tower is in the centre of town and was constructed to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria in the late 1800s. When walking along the Margate Main Sands or heading to Dreamland this beautiful Victorian clock can’t be missed! It’s one of Margate’s stand out landmarks.

Margate Harbour Arm

The Harbour Arm is a concrete pier in Margate overlooking Margate Main Sands and the beach front high street. The pier was created in the early 1800s for its lighthouse. Today as it stands it’s a small extension of Margate’s trendy scene with a few small cafes, restaurants, galleries and even a micro pub (The Harbour Arm) and showcases many art exhibitions and music events which run during the summer, check individual businesses for opening times during the winter period.

A symbol of Margate also stands at the end of the Pier, Mrs Booth is a famous statue in Margate. It is also known as the shell lady, and is a large scale replica of the shell lady ornaments sold in all of Margate’s souvenir shops. The Harbour Arm is a lovely pier to walk along (although very windy) and you get amazing views over the seafront.

Margate Harbour ArmMargate Harbour ArmMargate Harbour Arm

Margate Main Sands

Main Sands is Margates main stretch of beach and has its own tidal pool. The beach is really clean and well kept and a sandy beach too. The promenade is great to walk along both during the day and the evening. The beach is really popular with dog walkers and families and during the summer has beach bars and seafood stalls. Just by the Turner Contemporary by the Harbour Arm are some steps to sit on and enjoy the sounds of the ocean and beach views.

Margate Main SandsMargate Main SandsMargate Main Sands

Old Town

Margate is a regenerated seaside town and when stepping into the old town you can see why so many hipsters are attracted to this trendy part of town. All of Margate oozes retro seaside chic. The old town is really quirky and full of buzzing cafes, galleries, vintage shops, junk yards and niche shops and has lots of colourful street art.

The old town really is the hub of Margate and you can easily spend hours wandering the old streets and dipping in and out of its many eccentric shops. Some of the shops that stood out in the old town were Peony Vintage, Madam Popoff Vintage, Pothead, Little Bit, The Light Keeper, Kings Emporium, Handsome Freaks and Fort Road Yard to name but a few. It’s really great to see so many independent shops and businesses open, it’s so refreshing to see and a nice change from your standard high street chain shops. A trip to Margate wouldn’t be complete without a meander through its colourful old town!

Margate Old TownMargate Old TownMargate Old TownMargate Old Town

Shell Grotto

Entrance Fee: £4.50

The Shell Grotto has to be one of Margate’s more kooky attractions, it was discovered in 1835 and is still steeped in mystery to this very day with so many unanswered questions who, what, why and when?! These once hidden passageways are covered in millions of shells, and its definitely one of Margate’s more eccentric attractions. The Shell Grotto is a must go and see, it really is such a cool place to visit, I have never been to anywhere quite like it before!

Shell Grotto MargateShell Grotto MargateShell Grotto Margate

Food & Drink

Beet Bar

Beet Bar is a little hidden vegan oasis tucked behind a street in the old town. This quirky cafe delivers the most delicious healthy vegan food, juice drinks and health shots, the service was really welcoming too. The avocado on toast with sun dried tomatoes was just what we needed for a hangover cure and it came with a small dessert of your choice, I chose the mango sticky rice and it was just delicious! I really liked the decor in Beet Bar and its just really cool cafe to visit, and has great food and drink at affordable prices!

Beet Bar MargateBeet Bar MargateBeet Bar MargateBeet Bar Margate

Fez

Fez is a wacky bar located on Margate’s high street, this micro bar has a friendly atmosphere, and the decor is very off the wall with a floor covered in sand, and bric a brac covering the walls, ceiling and every surface going. We popped into this cool little bar in the afternoon for a quick drink, and we did try to come back in the evening but got there too late as last orders are at 11.30pm.

Fez MargateFez MargateFez Margate

GB Pizza Co

GB Pizza Co is situated looking out on Margate’s seafront and is small little locally owned restaurant which serves up delicious fresh wood fired pizzas. We came here for a late lunch/dinner and the pizzas were just fab and they have prosecco on tap too, what more could a girl ask for?!

GB Pizza Co MargateGB Pizza Co Margate

Harbour Cafe Bar

Harbour Cafe Bar is a cute and cosy cafe overlooking the sea and serves up cooked food as well as a selection of hot drinks and cakes. It’s a great cafe to have a pit stop in for a slice of cake and a drink.

Harbour Cafe Bar Margate

Mar Mar

Mar Mar is the new place to go in Margate and is honing in on the recent trend of plants and succulents. Stepping into this cafe/shop is liking walking into an exotic jungle set just on the streets of Cliftonville. A selection of cakes are made daily onsite. I had a delicious chocolate and coconut flapjack and chai latte, and afterwards did some plant shopping to bring home some cute little succulents, which hopefully I don’t kill! As well as selling lots of plants they also sell lots of cute stationary, accessories and books.

Mar Mar MargateMar Mar Margate

Sundowners

Sundowners is Margate’s only LGBT bar, club and restaurant and overlooks the coastline. Set in an old building we headed there for a few drinks before we were meant to hit another club in Margate, but we all ended up having such a good time in Sundowners we ended up staying. The night we visited they had a Boy George tribute act on which was fantastic. It had such a great vibe and everyone both staff and punters were so friendly, everyone just gets along and starts up conversation in this place.

The Bus Cafe

The Bus Cafe sits on the promenade and overlooks the beach. This old 1980s double decker bus has been converted into the cutest cafe and cooks up delicious fresh and seasonal food and uses as much local produce as possible. The cafe also does lots of good within Margate’s community and supports lots of local charities, and as well as doing all this also ensures it’s not creating to the waste problem and uses only biodegradable and recyclable packaging. This cafe has gorgeous views of the beach, delicious food and great staff. The Bus Cafe is also next to a few little street food stalls and Ziggys Bar which during the summer months I can imagine are really popular.

The Bus Cafe MargateThe Bus Cafe MargateThe Bus Cafe MargateThe Bus Cafe Margate

The Old Kent Market

The Old Kent Market used to be a cinema and bingo hall years ago, and has been lovingly restored, and still holds lots of its original charm. The market has a range of different stalls selling food and drinks, as well as some micro pubs and bars. There are also some units selling crafts and a variety of products and services.

The Old Kent Market MargateThe Old Kent Market Margate

Accommodation

Sea View Terrace Air Bnb

As Margate is a seaside town it has a good selection of hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses to choose from. As we were a group of 11 we opted to search on Air Bnb, and we stumbled across the most beautiful 4 storey beach front townhouse situated in Sea View Terrace. It was perfect for our group with 6 bedrooms all with en-suites, it was great for 11 girls trying to get party ready! The downstairs space was also amazing and meant we could have pre-drinks and hen party games without feeling like we were crammed in. The house was in such a great location we could walk into the town centre within a few minutes, and it was a refreshing stroll along the beach promenade.

Sea View Terrace Margate Air BnbSea View Terrace Margate Air BnbSea View Terrace Margate Air Bnb

Transport & Getting Around

Margate is really easy to get around once you have arrived, I would recommend going around the town on foot, as everything is easily walkable and you get to walk along the seafront and take in Margate’s cool and quirky vibe.

Top Tips

The only tip I would have is for girls with long hair, oh my god Margate is windy (or it was when we were there), so expect to look windswept the whole time or just wear your hair up so you can actually see where your going!

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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A Shopping Guide To Birmingham

Birmingham is the UKs second largest city and set in the heart of England in the Midlands. Birmingham also played a huge part in the Industrial revolution, and used to be a large market town in the Middle Ages. Today it’s a large, vibrant and multi cultural city, with lots to offer in terms of attractions, restaurants, bars and lots of shops.

I always book all my hotels through Agoda as you earn points and cash back to use towards future bookings. I had accrued about £85 worth of points which needed to be used by the end of the year, so suggested to my husband to go away for the night somewhere not too far from where we live, so we decided on Birmingham as it’s only about an hours drive from our hometown of Milton Keynes.

We decided to not to go sightseeing as such, as this was more of a date weekend away to spend some quality time together shopping, eating delicious food and having some cocktails. Birmingham is an amazing place to visit for some retail therapy as there is so much choice and shops to suit all budgets and interests.

Where To Shop…

Bullring, Grand Central & LinkStreet

The Bullring in Birmingham is iconic landmark and always associated with the city. The Bullring was built back in 2003 and replaced two older shopping centres and the old market area. The Bullring is now a huge shopping complex and has lots of high street chain shops, as well as designer shops and departments stores and lots of restaurants, cafes and markets.

It’s always heaving on a weekend, but always worth going to when in Birmingham especially if your a shopaholic like myself. We visited just after Christmas so all the beautiful decorations were still up, unfortunately the Christmas markets had finished but there was still the Snow House Bar and a few food stalls still operating.

While shopping in the Bullring we decided to have a break, and go and sit in the Snow House Bar which is a pop up igloo. We sat here overlooking St Martins Church enjoying a mulled wine. If you visit Birmingham during the Christmas period make sure to check out the markets and the pop up festive bars and food stalls.

Grand Cental is another shopping complex which has been built onto Birmingham New Streets train station, it’s directly opposite the Bullring and has also become part of this huge retail complex.

LinkStreet is another part of the mall and a walkway which links both Grand Central and the Bullring together. This walkway has been designated to small pop up shops, independent shops and some quirky retailers.

Bullring BirminghamBullring BirminghamBullring Birmingham

Great Western Arcade

The Great Western Arcade is a gorgeous little Victorian shopping arcade dating back to 1876. The arcade is a beautiful grade 2 listed building, and in the arcade are several boutiques, cafes and niche shops. It’s really central too so can easily be walked to from the Bullring.

Great Western Arcade Birmingham

Mailbox

The Mailbox is really central and is a great place to base yourself for a weekend of shopping, there is a Malmaison hotel inside and some of other hotels located close by. The Mailbox was redeveloped from the Royal Mail sorting office which is how it got its name.

The Mailbox is a modern and up market shopping centre, it doesn’t have lots of shops, it’s more quality than quantity with a few posh shops, and some home furniture shops. There is however a Harvey Nichols department store inside which is worth a visit. As well as some high end shops there is also a great selection of restaurants and bars in the Mailbox with some overlooking the canal.

New Street

New Street is just by the Bullring and is one of the main shopping streets in Birmingham, it has lots of chain shops as well as high end shops. Coming here at Christmas also means you can see all the festive lights which line the street. At the top of New Street there is also Birmingham Town Hall and Birmingham Council House which overlook Victoria Square, both are grand looking buildings and a great spot for sightseeing.

Oasis Market

The Oasis Market is about a 10 minute walk from the Bullring, and if like me you like a bit of quirky or alternative fashion then this place is great to pick up something a bit different. I used to come here years ago with a friend, and have to admit it has gone downhill as there wasn’t as many stalls as there used to be, however as it’s not massively out of the way I would recommend coming here for a wander around and also helping local businesses if you do decide to make a purchase.

Where To Eat & Drink…

Aluna

Aluna is a cocktail bar that has a great location set on the canal at the back of the Mailbox. I loved Aluna I would say it’s pretty similar to the Alchemist and Bottomist cocktail bars. It has a huge array of cocktails on offer and a good vibe to the place also playing decent house music. The Mixologists create the most magical cocktails, I tried the Marshmallow Daiquiri and the Bubblegumtini which were both made beautifully and tasted delicious.

Aluna BirminghamAluna Birmingham

Chez Mal

Chez Mal is the Malmaison hotels bar and we came in here after we had been to Aluna, and before heading to bed we decided to have one more drink. For a hotel bar the Chez Mal seemed popular with both guests and locals and had a really good buzz about it. There’s a good selection of cocktails too from signature cocktails to cocktails named after places in the UK. The music was also really good, it was Saturday night so they had lots of dance music and HedKandi style house music playing. We really liked Chez Mal and it was a lovely way to end our night before heading to bed.

Not Dogs

Not Dogs is in the Bullring LinkStreet, and serves up vegetarian and vegan hot dogs and burgers. My husband chose the The Cris-P Chicken Burger and I decided to try the What The Duck Dog (hoisin duck hot dog) and it was so tasty we couldn’t believe it wasn’t meat. We also ordered a side of waffle fries and vegetarian chicken nuggets, and I also ordered a gingerbread milkshake too which was a Christmas special. Not Dogs is great value for money and also quick and easy as you order at the counter and the food is made fresh quickly and bought over to you, it’s a great pit stop lunch while shopping.

Not Dogs Birmingham

Tamatanga

Tamatanga is in a really good location not too far from the Bullring and located opposite the Mailbox. We really enjoyed our evening meal there, it’s fresh Indian food but with a modern twist. The restaurant itself is bright and colourful inside, and the staff are really friendly and helpful.

You can’t book a table unless in a group, the restaurant accepts walk ins and they get you seated pretty quick, we waited at the bar for about 10 minutes and got our drinks while we waited. We both chose to have poppadoms and dips and the Tamatanga chips to start and both opted on the Thalis for our mains. The Thalis are great as it’s lots of small Indian dishes, and you can choose your curry and Naan.

We couldn’t fault Tamatanga the food, service and atmosphere were all amazing and it’s a great place to come for either lunch or dinner.

Tamatanga Birmingham Tamatanga Birmingham

Tom’s Kitchen

We decided on Tom’s Kitchen for our breakfast, as most hotel breakfasts offer buffet breakfasts which my husband isn’t a massive fan of. Tom’s Kitchen is located in the Mailbox, and also has a separate deli cafe for anyone that’s in a hurry and doesn’t fancy a sit down meal. We both decided to order the Vegetarian breakfasts which were delicious and fresh and also really filling. If your staying near the Mailbox I would really recommend Tom’s Kitchen for a decent filling breakfast. The restaurant also serves brunch, lunch and a dinner with a variety of British classics and comfort food.

Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham

Where To Stay…

Malmaison

I always see Malmaison hotels in all the big cities around the UK, and had been wanting to stay in one for ages, as they all look contemporary but also have a cool edge about them.

I put my points I earned from Agoda towards our stay so we only had to pay about £19 for our room, which was an absolute bargain. The hotel is set in the Mailbox right in the centre of Birmingham. The Bullring and New Street were only about a 5 minute walk away, so it’s an ideal location.

The rooms were clean and modern and had pop art prints up which I loved. The bed was huge and the mini bar also had a good selection of drinks and snacks too. The reception staff were also warm and welcoming. The Hotel Bar Chez Mal is also worth stopping in for a nightcap.

Malmaison Birmingham

Top Tips

I would recommend while staying or visiting Birmingham to eat curry, the city is known as the curry capital of the UK. It serves up some of the best curry in the country and it is also where the Balti was invented. Even if you decide not to go with my suggestion of Tamatanga there are so many amazing Indian and Pakistani restaurants in the city to try, you can’t come to Birmingham and not sample at least one curry.

Before coming on your shopping trip try and plan what shops you want to visit as there are so many shops and shopping areas, I would recommend having a few in mind, I had a quick look on the Bullrings website to see what shops were there before arriving, so I didn’t miss any that I wanted to visit.

Important Information

Thanks for reading, I hope you found this blog helpful, if so give it a share or pin it for later. Tula ♡ xx

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