Tag Archives: UK Travel

A Trip To Greenwich

The Queens House, Greenwich

A few weeks’ ago I spent a few night in Greenwich with my Brother as part of his belated birthday gift. We had such a good time I thought I’d share a few snaps.

If you ask me, the most important thing about Greenwich is that it’s the original site of the Royal Observatory, and that’s precisely what formed the basis of our trip – my brother and I are a little space obsessive so the idea of spending a day exploring the home of British space study was too delicious to pass up. We paid due homage to the meridian line too, of course, but whiled away several hours getting to know the Summer night skies in the Planetarium (it’s well worth a trip). We just missed the new exhibition for Astronomy Photographer of the Year but  I did pick up a planisphere which I’m very happy about. Cross your fingers for clear skies, guys!

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Since we wanted to see so many shows, it worked out cheaper for us to sign up as members of the Royal  Museums of Greenwich. That also gave us access to the Cutty Sark, the Queen’s House and the Maritime Museum for 12 months. On this trip we only got to check out the Royal Observatory and the Cutty Sark but that’s great as it just means we can go back to Greenwich in the future to see the other museums and enjoy the planetarium some more…

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The Cutty Sark was pretty cool too, but is about as interesting as you can expect a tea clipper to be for a coffee drinker. What was more interesting is the little area around the Cutty Sark which had a little food market and other bits and bobs plus beneath the ship in the café area was a collection of the coolest/strangest Ship Mascots I’ve ever seen. Apparently it’s the biggest collection in the world…

I really like this Armless King. “Tis but a flesh wound”

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I must admit I was charmed by Greenwich – it doesn’t have the same heavy bustle as London but it has that quaint, cultured atmosphere that always leaves you feeling like you’ve had a really refreshing weekend away.

Have you visited? Do you have any recommendations for our next trip there?

Kitty

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Noble Court Holiday Park, Narberth | A Short Stay in South Wales

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

When you live “up North” the opportunities to visit South Wales are relatively thin on the ground, however this weekend we decided to do a spot of Glamping in Pembrokeshire. We hit the road and took the winding, seemingly endless drive to Narberth to enjoy the peaceful, scenic haven of Noble Court – which is a camping, RV and tent-friendly campsite. They allow dogs, but since we anticipated a 4.5 hour drive we didn’t bring Bob along.

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

Flowers in the local boutiques

We arrived late, around 9pm, and were very tired from our drive. We were welcomed a the bar and directed to our hut which was about 1/2 way between the bar/reception and the wash block. There’s no shop or restaurant onsite but Narberth centre is a convenient 2-minute drive down the road, so it didn’t take us long to locate sustenance and a few drinks before snuggling down in our pod with a few drinks, listening to the delicious silence of the countryside with the sort of awe that only city people can muster for peace.

Our pod was super cosy, potentially sleeping 4 across 1 double and 2 single beds, so it’s ideal for families. There was a picnic bench on the pitch too. We were really close to the wash block and toilets so we didn’t miss having our own, however the pods were short of an indoor ledge or table (phones, drinks, everything had to go on the floor at night). The pitches would also have benefited from a BBQ. After stuffing the car full of bedding, and anticipating limited space in the pod we hadn’t brought a camp stove, and we regretted it. Nevertheless the pod was clean, comfy and incredibly warm, and we slept very well there indeed.

Saturday is when we’d planned to take Narberth by storm, and sample all the delights on offer. We started early with a shower in the communal block. Usually I hate this, but they were clean and spacious, with pretty good facilities. The water was very warm and there was a hairdryer on site too, which is rare and welcome. Within 30 minutes we were on the road to Saundersfoot Beach, which is about 15 minutes drive.

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

On the journey there we learned there’s actually lots to do in the area. Obviously the beach, which is beautiful and bustling and has several seafood restaurants which looked pretty nice. We also drove through Narberth itself and stopped off on the way back, which I’ll detail more later. There are also a few attractions for those with young kids, like Folly Farm (a zoo type experience). We spent a few hours at the beach and enjoyed a seafront breakfast and posh cupcake before driving back up to Narberth.

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

If you like artisan boutiques, vintage shopping, foodie shops and antiques then Narberth will steal your heart. It’s small, but full of character, with pastel houses lining the winding, hilly streets. We visited a number of vintage fashion shops, a beautiful antique market and spent a good hour sampling flavoured balsamic vinegar in a local food emporium. Before we knew it, we’d spent a few hours roaming around enjoying the bustle of village life, meeting literally hundreds of dogs (everyone seems to be a dog person there, which I loved).

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

Narberth Town Hall – How gorgeous!

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

The Malthouse Antique Shop – Hours of fascinated browsing!

Back at Noble Court we hit the outdoor pool, which is advertised as being heated. I was really looking forward to taking a relaxing dip after walking all morning. The first thing I noted that it was so peaceful by the pool. Granted, it was only 16 degrees outside, the other guests might not have been quite as daring as us, but we found it tranquil across the whole park if truth be told. I must admit, the pool isn’t what I’d call warm but it certainly wasn’t cold, and would have been very refreshing on a warmer day. It was clean, though, which is basically all you need!

Glamping in Pembrokeshire

That evening we took a few drinks in the Celtic bar on site, which was priced pretty reasonably at £3.59 a pint. The bar was cosy and well staffed, with nice furnishings. We managed to bag the armchairs by the fire and spent an hour or two watching guests come and go. I understand there’s also entertainment in the bar, but we turned in early so we missed it. Turns out the seaside and country air knocks you out, and we were fast asleep again by 9:30pm, ready for our long, winding drive back to the stresses of city life!

All in all, we enjoyed our stay at Noble Court and I’d certainly recommend it if you’re near enough. We are natural explorers, so I’d suggest 3-4 nights may be enough to get the best from the area but if you just like to relax then this is a nice place to do it!

The glamping pods were actually really impressive – spacious, cosy and secure – but could have been a bit better equipped with a folding ledge/table. They kept out noise well and were very warm, so for the most part they were fantastic!
If you’re planning on trying out a spot of Glamping in Pembrokeshire then I’d point you in the direction of Noble Court!

In fact, if it weren’t such a long drive, I’m sure we’d return frequently!

Kitty

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Harry Potter WB Studio Tour | Geekend Away.

This weekend, as a belated birthday present, I visited the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour.
Perhaps more appropriately known (by me) as Harry Potter Land, it was one of the most anticipated trips I’ve ever been on. ever.
And I’ve been to loads of places.

As a self confessed Harry Potter geek, I was overwhelmed (and sleepless) over the prospect of trying butterbeer, sitting on Hagrid’s motorcycle and visiting Godric’s Hollow.
Little did I know that the weekend we were due to visit would be the “Animal Actors” feature at the studio – enabling visitors to meet their best loved creatures from the movies – Crookshanks, Fang, Scabbers… and of course Hedwig.
As an ex-Film Student this trip was doubly exciting – visiting a real movie set (okay, that’s not new) PLUS getting to meet some of the stars of the show?
Alright, if you insist!

I don’t intend to write a review on the studio tour because you can all do without a tome of squee from someone who won’t get over the experience for many years to come.
I do intend to share a few pictures from my favourite bits, though!

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I was so excited for seeing the interior of Hogwarts that I hadn’t anticipated seeing any of the exterior.
I was absolutely blown away by the replica Hogwarts in the K Studio, which even had lights in the dormitories.

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Stepping into Diagon Alley was like a grown-up version of walking through Disney’s Magic Kingdom and believing you’re really at Cinderella’s palace.
Seeing Pygmy Puffs in the window of Magical Menagerie and Owls for sale in Eeylops Owl Emporium actually hurt my eyes.
Gilderoy Lockhart’s window display at Flourish and Blotts and Mr Mulpepper’s Apothecary were pretty much exactly as I’d hoped – with the exception of them not being open to muggles.
Even Gringotts stood at the bottom of the Alley, crooked and grumpy.

The creatures were also a sight to behold!
As I said, the animals from the movies were there, and we saw many of them – including the Albino Brazilian  Boa from HP1 and those horriffic spiders used to practise the Unforgivable curses.
(They’re called Amblypygi – google them at your peril).

We met Hedwig!
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Despite being female, Hedwig was played by this handsome gentleman in HP 2-8.
When we met him, he was VERY vocal, and absolutely lovely.

We also got to see the models of some of the not-so-sweet creatures, including the Mandrakes and the half-form of Voldemort.
These were in the K Studio with the special effects displays, along with a very impressive animatronic of Buckbeak.

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We also saw the entrance to Dumbledore’s office – and Dumbledore’s office itself!
This included the Pensive, among other wonders.

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We visited The Burrow!

We had Butterbeer (which is exquisite!)

In short, it was quite a weekend.

Now… to do more moving prep!

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