5 places you should consider for your next UK staycation


Relaxing in Durham
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Staycations have seen a massive rise since the start of the Pandemic, with more people realising there are some fantastic places to explore right on our doorstep. This little island offers so much variety from city breaks to adventure-seeking outdoor activities, relaxing hikes in the countryside or taking in the art and culture of many museums and historical sites across the UK. While everyone has been heading off to Cornwall and West Wales, I thought I would offer a few alternatives for UK Travel so that you can still soak up the atmosphere without the manic crowds. Despite some of the more popular areas having sold out their accommodation, there is still plenty of deals to be had and a great site to find a hotel is ebooking.com

1. Cardiff

The Welsh Capital is often overlooked for places like the Brecon Beacons or the beaches of West Wales and while it's not the biggest Capital city it is a vibrant one with plenty to see and do, making it the perfect base for a weekend away. Beside the shops and cafes you can also indulge in some history by visiting Cardiff Castle which stands right in the centre of the city, as well as taking a stroll through Bute Park where you can also catch the water taxi to Cardiff Bay. The National Museum and Cardiff Story Museum are both great for adults and kids a like (and are both free), if you wanting to up the pace you could hire a Nextbike or try SUP on the River Taff and then end the day with some cocktails on St Mary's street.

Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle

2. Weymouth

Did you know that Weymouth is one of the sunniest locations in the UK? Well it is, which means you can make the most of it's Blue Flag stunning beach, which also offers up some fun activities such as paddleboarding. The historic Harbour is a lovely place to wander around before tucking into some of the freshest foodie delights or if the outdoors is more your thing there are plenty of amazing costal paths or perhaps spend a few hours discovering Portland Castle.

3. Ironbridge

Did you know that Ironbridge, in Shropshire is the "birthplace of the industrial revolution"and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site? My kids and I spent a weekend exploring this historical village in 2019 were very pleasently surprised with how interesting and beautiful Ironbridge is. Our favourite parts of the trip were exploring the cute shops and cafes as well as making sure to walk across the worlds first ironbridge (which the village takes it's name after), visiting Blists Hill Victorian Village which I highly recommend and also a fun educational visit to science based museum Enginuity.


4. Durham

Another fantastic cultural and historical hub in the UK, Durham makes for the perfect couple or solo weekend away as it has some stunning accommodation, chic bars and upmarket shops as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is The Cathedral and Castle - both of which I recommend visiting, along with a boat ride on the River Weir. There are some great places to eat out and last time I was there I enjoyed some amazing cocktails at the tin Tin of Sardines Gin Bar, along with indulging in some afternoon tea at the Garden Gate Cafe at Crook Hall. 

5. Edinburgh

Okay so yes Edinburgh is a popular location but I love this city so much that I had to include it and I still feel people overlook this magical place. The Scottish Captial city is great for both adults and children and you will be mesmerised from the start to the finish of your trip. Of course you need to walk up the Royal Mile and take in the views across the city from the Castle. I also highly recommend walking up to Calton Hill and Arthurs Seat, you won't regret it. There are also so many fantastic pubs, cafes and a bustling high street and for those who prefer more indy spots then spending time on Leith Walk is a must. 
Have you been to somewhere amazing in the UK this summer? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below. 

Edinburgh city break

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10 Styling Tips to Make a Metal Bed Feel Cosier


metal bed

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Metal beds are modern and sleek, but they can also feel cold and metallic so here are some tips to make your bedroom space and bed softer and warmer and can be applied to any kind of bed.

If you have a metal bed, chances are you love it but want to make it a little bit cosier, and this article will help you do just that with ten styling tips.

Let’s jump right in!

1. Hang fairy lights above your bed

Fairy lights are beautiful because they mimic the stars at night, so hanging them above your bed will create a real sense of wonder and warmth.

If you don’t want to be dazzled by them, try hanging the fairy lights behind coloured netting or a bedsheet suspended from the ceiling.

fairy lights


2. Wrap the top of the headboard/footboard in Tulle

If your metal bed has an ornamental headboard or footboard, wrap the top section in netting to cover up most of the metal you touch and soften the look of your bed.

The type of netting you need is voile or tulle, see-through netting materials most commonly used to make net curtains (tulle is lighter and more refined).

3. Dress your bed in a giant sweater

If the problem with your metal bed is its coldness, you can always add warmth, and a great way to do this is with a giant knitted blanket!

Knitted bed blankets are chunky and super-snuggly, so you are guaranteed to increase the cosiness of your bed by throwing one on it.

4. Add touches of faux fur

One of the simplest ways to add warmth to a metal bed frame is with faux fur, whether with cushions, throws, pillowcases, or bedding.

The great thing about faux fur is it can be convincingly lifelike, or you can get it in colours that match your colour scheme.

cosy bedroom

5. Layer up with cushions

What do you want to do when you see a bed covered in plush cushions? If you’re anything like us, you’ll want to jump right in!

Layering up with cushions is the best way to give your bed instant eye appeal, and you can get creative with interesting textures and colours.

6. Upgrade to linen bedding

Linen is the most versatile bedding material because it’s textured enough to be cosy in winter yet light enough for summer.

Linen is not the same as cotton (from a different plant, the flax plant). Linen feels slightly thicker and more subtle on skin, creating a sense of warmth.

7. Textured white bedding

One of the most beautiful and versatile bedding options is textured white bedding. Not only is it crisp and modern, but it’s also warm and cosy!

Sometimes, an absence of colour is what a metal bed needs to fit into a room. Give white bedding a go and see what you think.

white bedding

8. Make a cosy canopy

You can make a DIY canopy without a poster bed with nothing more than a few screw hooks and a large piece of netted fabric (voile or tulle netting).

Alternatively, you can make a canopy with a curtain rod on your ceiling. A canopy is a great way to emphasise your metal bed and soften its appearance.

9. Throwdown a bedside rug

Throw down a fuzzy bedside rug made from faux fur or a shaggy rug with a high pile to create an instant sense of warmth and comfort.

Not only do bedside rugs look great, but they feel great too! There’s no better feeling than getting out of bed and stepping onto a soft rug.

10. Use warm light at the bedside

Metal beds can feel cold and metallic, so they need warm light to soften the space around them and create a welcoming, peaceful vibe.

Use dimmers in your bedroom and move bedside lamps to the wall. Another good tip is to install an LED light strip around the back of your bed.

cosy bedroom

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5 natural ways to ease a migraine


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natural health

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Lately, I have been experiencing more headaches and migraines than usual, I think it's partly down to stress and how up and down the past 18 months have been. As many people know migraines can be debilitating at times and can stop you in your tracks. Recently on a trip to London, I had to go to my hotel to lie down for 2 hours as I was so uncomfortable, not ideal when you are travelling with two young kids.

As with anything I always try and avoid relying on painkillers when possible and as they say prevention can be better than cure so staying on top of any migraine triggers is key. I have gone through some trial and error but here are 5 things that help ease and reduce the number of migraines and headaches I get.

1. Get enough sleep

I know this goes without saying yet more and more people are simply not getting enough sleep and not only can this increase the number of migraines you may experience but also a whole host of other issues may arise as well. Getting the right amount of sleep can reduce headaches so aim for around seven to nine hours of sleep each night. CDB oils can also really help with switching off and getting enough sleep, you can find more about it on this website

2. Take Ginger

Ginger has been used as a herbal remedy for years for a variety of ailments such as travel sickness, nausea, arthritis and muscular aches but also migraines. While scientific research on the effects ginger has on migraines is limited, it can be a safe home remedy so could be worth a try especially if you feel nauseous with your migraines. You can increase your ginger intake easily these days as it comes in so many forms. You can get tablets, use raw ginger, tea and lozenges to name a few.


3. Reduce Alcohol intake

While the odd drink here or there won't cause a headache, overindulgence or regular drinking may as alcohol is a diuretic that causes your body to lose fluid and increase dehydration which in turn can cause tension and cluster headaches. If you suffer from bad migraines it would be a good idea to refrain from alcohol for a while. 

4. Relax with Yoga

Yoga has an array of benefits and could be a positive addition to your daily lifestyle as it can improve your strength, flexibility, help relieve stress, increase energy levels and even help with sleep. Studies have also found that those who practised yoga for three months had a reduction in the frequency and severity of their headaches. Here are 13 poses that can help relieve tension headaches.

5. Drink more water

As with so many ailments, drinking more water can improve symptoms and the same goes for headaches. Studies have shown that dehydration is a common cause of migraines and tension headaches, luckily they can usually be relieved by simply drinking more water - it's free and can really help. 

Another option is to try drug-free pain relief, for example, many mothers and mothers-to-be use TENS machines during labour, I did, and it can really help to reduce some of the pain by using a mild electrical current. Paingone offers small portable TENS products such as their TENS pen which fits perfectly into your handbag or backpack and offers fast, effective, drug-free pain relief and is definitely something worth looking into. 

Is there a natural remedy or lifestyle change that you find works for you? I would love to hear how you cope when migraines hit. 

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7 Essentials for hiking in Autumn


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autumn hiking

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As we slowly wave goodbye to summer and say hello to Autumn and the colder months ahead, getting outdoors is just as important for our overall wellbeing. Although, unlike those warm summery days where you can head out on a hike with just some sunscreen, water, in a t-shirt and shorts, well a little bit more planning Is needed as the temperature drops, to ensure you have fun and stay safe. 

Autumn is one of the nicest times to get out into the forest or head on a walk up to a trig point or mountain summit as the landscape is full of change, with golden and brown hues from the fallen leaves & kids enjoy this time of the year as well, making it the perfect season for family hikes. 

So I thought I would share the essentials I pack on any autumn hike

1. Extra Layers

As the weather is very changeable this time of the year, while it may feel mild at the start of your hike, if your heading higher up to a summit, it will without a doubt be colder the higher you go, as well as the temperature drop later in the day, so do prepare for that with extra layers such as a fleece jumper and woolly hat.

2. Waterproofs

The worst thing is getting caught by rain on a hike when you are miles always from the car and no waterproofs in sight, what it's even worse is when it starts to get cold, in fact, it can be dangerous. So a lined waterproof jacket is a must at this time of the year and waterproof trousers isn't a bad idea either.

3. A good pair of socks

I can't stress how important a good pair of walking socks are, not only will they keep your feet warm but also help prevent blisters. A good pair of socks will also be breathable, help regulate temperature and wick away sweat to help keep your feet dry even in the wettest of weather. 

hiking boots

4. Hiking boots

While you may be able to get through summer with a simple pair of trainers, Autumn brings with it more wet and damp conditions which can also mean more treacherous terrain so having a decent pair of waterproof or Gortex lined hiking boots that offers better support as well as needing a rugged sole for better traction on slippery surfaces. The more comfortable your shoes or boots the more enjoyable the hike

5. Headlamp or torch

In the UK as soon as we start heading into the colder months, daylight hours drastically shorten and it's easy to get caught out on the trail with evenings getting darker earlier so it's always a good idea to have a headlamp or small portable torch just in case you find yourself in need of some light. 

6. Mobile phone charger

We rely on our phones for everything these days, including using trail finder apps such as the Ordnance survey or my kids favourite outdoor adventure app - Geocaching, of course, these things drain your battery and if your hiking somewhere remote it's also your connection to the outside world in case of an emergency 

7. First aid kit

As I said the terrain can become somewhat more treacherous and slippery in autumn and winter so it's worth having a small first aid kit with you, especially if your hiking with kids. You can easily put a mini kit together at home containing things such as plasters, hand sanitisers, antiseptic cream and a few painkillers. One last thing always pack more water than you think your will need.

The main thing as always is to have fun and having the right equipment certainly helps with that as you will feel more comfortable, which is what you want when heading outdoors. 

Hiking Wales

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Slowing down at Fforest, West Wales



Fforest Farm, near Cardigan in West Wales, has become well known among those who seek a place to slow down and step away from the modern world for a few days and reconnecting with nature without any compromise on comfort and luxury, so of course, I was interested to see what it was all about.

Summertime here is pricey (and busy) so I would recommend going at an off-peak time like we did, it's quieter and prices drop somewhat making spring and autumn a great time to get away.

Fforest has an array of accommodation options from their chic Geodestic domes with log burners and Kata Cabins, all located in stunning meadows or forest settings. You can also go for the Garden or Hill Shacs or the Crog Lofts. 

Geodesic Dome

Fforest Farm

We booked 2 nights in the Crog Loft which is perfect for a family with young kids as it has a double bed on the mezzanine and bunk beds downstairs and is also dog friendly. It is very stylish and heated and has a gorgeous walk-in shower, however, it still offers that connection with the outdoors as the kitchen area is outside (undercover) naturally encouraging you to eat al fresco outdoors. There are plugs but no TV, instead a lovely mini library and no Wifi means you are encouraged to leave the screens behind but with a beautiful lawned area just in front of the Crog lofts, with swings and views of the Welsh countryside, it's very easy to leave any tech at home. 

Fforest Farm

Fforest farm

The one thing that became quickly apparent was how spacious this site is being on 200 acres, while there are many different accommodation options you don't feel like your on top of other people, with most of the glamping domes being hidden away from sights altogether and the Kata Cabins having their own large meadow. 

There is also a central hub at the lodge which has a small shop and cafe where you can stock up on freshly baked pastries for breakfast or their own craft beer in the evening while watching the sunset. Up from the lodge is the Bwthyn, their own little pub, along with plenty of outdoor seating and a large fire pit for social evenings. There is also an on-site cedar barrel sauna which unfortunately due to Covid was not open (that may have changed by now).

Fforest Farm

Fforest Farm

Fforest Farm

We went earlier in the year and the weather gods were kind, offering up 3 dry and sunny days with glorious sunsets each night (of course this cannot be guaranteed). We walked to the Welsh Wildlife centre from Fforest through some ancient woodland (I highly recommend you do this while your there) and spent a lot of time soaking in the surroundings, we also spotted some deer. 

The boys and I felt really rejuvenated and rested even though we only spent two nights here, the surroundings are so calming and it really is a great spot to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life.


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