I loves me a quick escape from London, so when a curious pixie (or should I say THE Curious Pixie) hit me up for a cheeky weekday wander-filled daytrip to Rochester I was absolutely up for shaking off the shackles of my desk and hitting the road.
Well, technically we hit the train tracks, hopping on a quick locomotive from London Victoria to Rochester (it’s 40 minutes or so, the perfect length of time for a natter and a breakfast croissant.)
With a couple of nights to explore, every time that I investigated where to stay in Rotterdam the newly opened luxury hotel, The James, kept popping up at the top of all of my searches.
Whether it was fate or clever Google remarketing, I’ll never know, but it was such a lovely stay that I’ll chalk it up to fate. (Ps. that’s what I’ll blame all my future booking choices on I think – fates that have excellent taste in luxurious hotels.)
It isn’t often that you visit an incredibly popular tourist attraction and find an afternoon of peace. The Kinderdijk Windmills were designated a UNESCO world heritage site and I was visiting for the heritage – but what I hadn’t counted on was glorious sunshine and a quiet fishermans nook to spend an afternoon in.
Kinderdijk is situated in the Alblasserwaard polder at the coming together of the Lek and Noord rivers. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. This group of mills is the largest concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands.
Forget snow-white steeds tossing their manes and knights in chain mail, baring swords. All the modern princess of today needs is a train ticket, a great friend with exquisite taste in music and a glass of bubbly in the sunshine. Disclaimer: we were guests of Hever Castle.
Leaving London quickly behind (it’s only a 40-minute train ride, the perfect day trip from London Bridge Station.)
We’ve all done it. Booked a crazy early flight, or a flight that lands so late that you’ll struggle to get the last train from Stansted Airport and across London to get home. It’s taken me years not to trust the ‘oh, it’ll be ok’ thought when booking and settle on one hotel where to stay near Stansted Airport.
I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to step off a plane late at night and walk through the foyer of the Hampton by Hilton hotel. Or, wake up early in the morning between the crisp, fresh sheets and meander over to the Airport check-in desks.