The words that come to mind when I think of Birmingham are chocolate, industrial architecture, cats, Ozzy Osbourne and alchemy. Potentially the most random combination that I can conjure, but that can the joy of exploring less touristy destinations. Disclosure: this alternative city guide to Birmingham was commissioned by Hotels.com to showcase booking in at the Birmingham airport hotel, but all random adventures are very much my own (you’ll see).
Something people say to me all the time is ‘I bet you’ve been everywhere in England… I’ve never really explored that much of the UK and it’s such a shame’, and honestly, I agree. England is such a diverse patchwork of villages, towns and cities – and the history is second to none.
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.)
I’ve always dreamed of exploring Turkey. My fascination began in High School when I learned about the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (now called Istanbul) through the ancient empire building of Alexander the Great. (I was struggling to find the words to share our trip to Turkey, so I thought I’d begin with my impressions of Cappadocia and Istanbul.)
We began our trip in Goreme (after landing in Istanbul for the night and then catching an internal flight – I’ll write a full itinerary in a subsequent post) the tourist capital of Cappadocia.
The honey-stone walls of Oxford city centre conjure all kinds of wishes and whimsy – and each time that I’ve stayed overnight in Oxford, it’s like slipping into an architectural Narnia. Disclaimer: On this visit I was an invited guest of Mercure Hotels and Experience Oxfordshire, but all thoughts and laboured literary metaphors are very much my own.
Oxford is one of those cities that seems unaffected by the passing of time.
Sunrise slowly shimmered through the dawn fog and the soft twitter of birdsong spread across the valley. We were snugly nestled under our duvet, enjoying our weekend staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel, with a glorious view unfolding right at the foot of our bed. Disclaimer: We were invited to spend a weekend at Tewkesbury Park but all thoughts, images and curtain twitchings are very much my own.
I always love staycationing (or taking a ‘minigap’ which seems to be the newest phrase) and exploring new corners of England that I haven’t yet traipsed to.