Borough Market of London

Borough Market of London

Borough Market – London

There’s a fascinating story behind Borough Market of London – arguably Britain’s most famous food market.  Back in 900AD when London Bridge was constructed, London was a small walled city on the North of the river Thames.  Southwark was a southern neighbour and the home to hawkers, craftsmen and criminals.  In fact, for many years a felon committing a crime in London could flee to Southwark where the bailiffs weren’t allowed to touch them!  Years moved on and the vital artery of London bridge encouraged traders – including butchers whose live produce would often cause havoc when they escaped.  The market’s popularity and location changed and nearly ended in the 1970s when New Covent Garden Market was constructed.  But in the 1990s the revival of artisan foods and the endorsement of almost every British chef, secured the market its position as a genuine institution. 

There’s no need to get up early to visit this food market! Head over for a coffee and stay for some amazing street food. Pick up artisan foods to enjoy at home and choose some thoughtful gifts for family and friends.

Borough Market, Southwark, London, England

Food and drink

Visit 7 days a week

Mon-Fri 10am - 5pm

Saturdays 8am - 5pm Sundays 10am - 3pm

Coffee and Sweet Treats

There are so many vendors to choose from offering pastries, brioche, coffee, mulled drinks or homemade fudge. Try The Colombian Coffee Company for a deliciously smooth coffee while supporting a worthwhile Social Enterprise. Choose the Castillo variety which is sweet and delicate, and grab a bag to take home. They will even grind the coffee to perfectly suit your at home coffee maker.

Colombian Coffee Stand
Discover Borough Market Fruit and Veg
Fruit and Vegetables

You don’t need to be a vegetarian to LOVE the fruit and veg stands at Borough Market.  Full of fresh, weird and wonderful varieties – it’s a great place to pluck up the courage to buy something and then figure out what to do with it when you get home.  I bought some pretty and striped baby aubergines which I can’t wait to try in a Thai Curry.

Taste the globe

If travel isn’t on the agenda for a while, Borough Market provides the perfect opportunity to eat around the globe instead.  Taste Croatia Deli offers unique cheeses, jams, oils and vinegar that celebrate Croatian gastronomy.  You could try their amazing pumpkin seed oil. It completely changes up a tomato and finely sliced onion salad with its rich green colour and unbelievably nutty flavour.  Travel on to Russia and the Baltic at the Karaway Bakery.  Their Lithuanian rye bread is super soft for a rye-style bread with a hint of caraway.  Layer up slices with soft cheese, salad leaves, smoked salmon and dill making a quick and nutritious lunch.

Taste Croatia Deli
Discover Borough Market
Herbs and Spices

If you haven’t got room for fresh produce, or you need something that will last – try Spice Mountain.  Who knew that the world offers so many varieties of peppercorns?  There are herbs and spices to enhance every dish, from tagines and curries to mulled drinks and chai latte ingredients.  Unique spice containers, pestle and mortars and dainty spice spoons are all on offer too.  Spice Mountain is a go to stall for exciting foodie-lover gifts to treat your loved ones.

Under the sea

The meat counters at Borough Market of London look amazing, however, for me, it’s the fish stalls that steal the show.  You are likely to find seafood varieties usually only tasted on holiday and certainly not available in the supermarket.  Tucked around the corner from the vendors, you’ll come across seafood paella and mussels being cooked up so you can try the fish even if you don’t want to take it home on the train!

Fresh Fish Stand Borough Market
Discover Borough Market - greenery
Gardening and Greenery

Not everything is edible at Borough Market. The Gated Garden brightens Three Crown Square with a colourful array of flowers, plants and garden ornaments. Pick up tulips to take home or a pretty jug or bowl for use in arrangments at home.

Feeling peckish

It’s impossible not to feel hungry wandering around Borough Market. As lunchtime approaches the hustle heightens as locals pop out of their offices to stop in for lunch.  There are street food vendors with a huge variety to choose from – Mexican to Apple Crumble! For me, there is nothing like watching something being made in front of you – and even better when a taster is offered.  The fresh mushroom risotto is a super popular choice – amazing to watch and delicious for lunch.

mushroom risotto at borough Market

Want to find out more about Borough Market of London? Head over to the Borough Market website.

the Shard
Beyond Borough Market of London

When you’ve shopped the market and eaten until full, the area of Southwark has plenty more to offer.  The Shard is just down the street and offers a viewing gallery with 360-degree views for up to 40 miles.  Book tickets ahead of time to save disappointment.  Nearly sunset? Head up to one of the Shard’s restaurants for a sundowner with a great view. Down by the river you’ll find a lovingly reconstructed replica of Sir Francis Drake’s 17th-century Golden Hinde ship. From a very different era, you could also explore the HMS Belfast Warship. If fashion is more your thing – delve into contemporary fashion at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum.

Looking for something quirky? How about this..

The Old Operating Theatre Museum & Herb Garret

It’s housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas’ Hospital and is only accessible via a spiral staircase. This atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The original timber-framed Herb Garret was once used to dry and store herbs for patients’ medicines and in 1822 an operating theatre was included. Predating anaesthetics and antiseptics, it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe. Here’s a link to their website – The Old Operating Theatre

And finally, if you are heading home via Waterloo Station, then take a short detour to The Cut. You can enjoy a delicious and authentic Italian meal at Olivelli’s. No frills, friendly service and wonderful food.

What to see in wonderful Copenhagen

What to see in wonderful Copenhagen

What to see in wonderful Copenhagen

Wonderful – Wonderful – Copenhagen – the famous song rings true! Copenhagen is one of Europe’s oldest cities which means you can explore everything from Viking culture to over 1000 years of Royal history.  There’s a pretty canal network, a squeaky clean harbour, a dreamy amusement park and fairy tale heritage to soak up.  With Danish design shopping streets and modern Nordic food to try – here’s what to see in wonderful Copenhagen.

How to see Copenhagen in just a day

Let’s start in Nyhavn Harbour, the iconic and photogenic harbour.  Nyhavn is a 17th century waterfront, canal and entertainment district, lined with brightly coloured townhouses, bars, cafes and restaurants and home to many historical wooden ships.  Take some memorable photos and enjoy a waterside cafe. 

What to see in wonderful Copenhagen - Nyhavn harbour

Next, head North to Amalienborg Palace, home of the Danish Royal family. It consists of four identical classical palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard; in the centre of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg’s founder, King Frederick V.​  The Amalienborg Museum is also an option if you’d like to explore where the Royal family live and hold special events.  There is Christian X’s study, the Fabergé Chamber and the Gala Hall.  The Marble Church, a stone’s throw away, is worth a quick look at with its mesmerising ceiling. ​

Amalienborg Palace

Insider tip!

Arrive at noon and you can catch the changing of the Royal Guard as they march from their barracks. Don’t worry where you stand as they circle most of the courtyard.

Royal Guard Amalienborg

Now we can walk North through The Citadel (Kastellnet) – a well preserved 17th Century citadel that is still in use by the Danish Military. It’s a hidden gem and is a lovely place to stroll through, past the Commander’s house and barracks.

What to see in wonderful Copenhagen - Citadel - Copenhagen

We can’t miss the Little Mermaid!

Once through Kastellnet turn right and follow the corner around to the famous – Little Mermaid.  This has to be one of Copenhagen’s most iconic tourist attractions (although it might be a little smaller than you expect!). The sculpture of The Little Mermaid was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale about a mermaid who gives up everything to be united with a young, handsome prince on land.  It was unveiled on 23 August 1913.  The statue is made of bronze and granite and was a gift from Danish brewer Carl Jacobsen to the City of Copenhagen and was sculpted by Edvard Eriksen.

 

The Little Mermaid Copenhagen

Walk back past St Alban’s Chuch and the beautiful Gefion Fountain, the largest monument in Copenhagen and a beautiful depiction of the legendary Norse goddess. You’ll continue South along Bredgade until reaching the Kongens Nytorv square and gardens with its elegant buildings and statues.  There’s some wonderful shopping to enjoy along Ostergade.  Stop in to enjoy some Danish classics – Illums Bolighus, Royal Copenhagen (China), Georg Jensen, Lego and Hay House to name a few.

What to do in Copenhagen - shopping streets

Ending the day at Tivoli Gardens amusement park is a delight.  Built in 1843, Tivoli is the third oldest amusement park in the world.  It was said to the be inspiration for Walt Disney’s theme parks.  Head into the park at dusk and enjoy a romantic night filled with twinkling lights, traditional and modern rides all with an authentic vintage feel.  There are lots of places to eat – from fine dining to traditional theme park fare.

What to see in wonderful Copenhagen - Tivoli Gardens

There are so many other highlights in Copenhagen – so mix and match as you like!  Here are some of the other top Copenhagen locations on offer!

what to see in wonderful copenhagen - botanical gardens

Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Garden is Denmark’s largest collection of living plants, a few steps from Nørreport Station. It’s a free public green space to roam and relax in and is filled with rare trees, shrubs and herbs. There’s also a flower shop, cafe, butterfly house, and a beautifully renovated Palm house.

Church of our saviour

Church of Our Saviour

The Church of Our Saviour is one of Denmark’s most famous churches. Ever since the serpentine spire was inaugurated in 1752, it has been a popular pastime to climb the 400 steps to the top. From 90m above street level, the view over the city is impressive.  The last 150 steps are outside the spire – this is not an ascent for the vertiginously challenged! Open from 9 – 8 daily but not in all Winter months so check before you go.

what to see in wonderful Copenhagen - round tower

The Round Tower

This is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe – and as you’d expect has a fantastic view from the top.  Finished in 1642, the slightly eccentric architecture involves a long internal brick spiral ramp.  You can also enjoy the small library hall that is a museum today.

Rosenborg Castle

Rosenborg Castle and Gardens

Rosenborg Castle was built by one of the most famous Danish kings, Christian IV, in the 17th century. The beautiful castle features 400 years of royal treasures, and the Crown Jewels and Royal Regalia.  The gardens are as delightful as the castle and include rose gardens and even talking statues.

Copenhagen food delights!

Make the most of traditional foods, fine dining and fresh food market produce

Reffen – Open daily, Reffen is an urban playground for co-creation, innovation, food and creativity – and last but not least – the largest street food venue in the Nordics. You can get there by bike, bus or boat. More than 50 chefs and artisans share their food passion and knowledge.

Torvehallerne Food MarketWith over 115,000 locals visiting every week, Torvehallerne is a popular spot to find local produce and farm-to-table dining. There’s a mix of Danish specialities and global cuisine.  The undercover market housed in two buildings is located near the central pedestrian zone by Nørreport station.

Fine Dining  – In 2022 there were 15 Michelin star restaurants to choose from in Copenhagen – try Geranium, Alchemist or Kokkeriet.  Seaside Toldboden might not have the stars, however it has fantastic food and a wonderful harbour view!

Broens Gadekøkken  – At the Inner Harbour bridge between Christianshavn and Nyhavn you find Broens Gadekøkken, with harbour views and amazing street food. The food stalls offer delicious street food from established and well-known chefs and restaurants in Copenhagen and it’s a real melting pot of flavours.

For more information on Copenhagen, here’s a link to the Copenhagen information website

Some Of My Top Destinations

Some Of My Top Destinations

Some of My Top Destinations

Looking for inspiration? Here are some of my top destinations.  There are ideas for a weekend away, a trek or a splurge vacation. Some destinations are about the culture and mood, while others are for the experiences and activities.  Take a look and be inspired!

Seville - Plaza De Espana Some of My Top Destinations

City break – Romantic – Walkable

Seville, Spain

Seville is one of my favourite cities in the world.  It has stunning architecture, soft sunny colouring, tempting tapas and numerous iconic buildings to visit. It’s very walkable and invites you to explore both day and night.

Seville, Andalucia, South-West Spain, Europe

Sightseeing, food and drink

Visit in the Spring or Autumn

Nyhavn Harbour Copenhagen

City break – Cultural

Copenhagen, Denmark

Reputedly the happiest city in the world, Copenhagen has a lot to offer. Sightsee on canal tours, through beautiful Nyhavn harbour or cycle through the gardens to castles and palaces. There is plenty of culture to soak up too, with an opera house, theatres and museums.

Copenhagen, Denmark, Europe

Sightseeing and culture

Spring through Autumn

Some of My Top Destinations - Lacanau Ocean Beach

Beach holiday – sports

Lacanau Ocean, France

The 14km long sandy beach is a base for lots of family fun, watersports and walking. It’s one of the best surf spots in France – so a great choice for beginners through to pros.  The sandy beach leads into deep forests and nature reserves to explore on foot or by bike.  There’s lots of great locations to day trip to including St Emilion, Bordeaux or the Phare du Cordouan.

Lacanau Ocean, France, Europe

Surfing, hiking, cycling

Early Spring to Late Summer

Some of My Top Destinations - Little Gasparilla Island Boardwalk

Family – beach and relaxing

Boca Grande & Little Gasparilla Island, Florida

If you are in the need of some R&R, then Boca Grande or Little Gasparilla Island might be your spot.  BG is a village on Gasparilla Island Northwest of Fort Myers, and LGI lies a short boat ride away. Low-key beach life blends with delicious dining. Spend your days fishing off a boat, shell collecting on beach walks or perusing the BG shops and cafes.

Boca Grande & LGI, South-West Florida, USA

Relaxing beach vacation

October to March

Some of My top Destinations Trek to Petra through rocky desert

Trek – across the Jordanian desert to Petra

Dana village to Petra – Jordan

This epic trek is one of the finest in the Middle East. Through rugged and rocky terrain across the edge of the Rift Valley. There are canyons and gorges, steep inclines and breathtaking views. Wilderness Bedouin style camping under the stars end each of your trek days. The final destination is magical Petra – one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites.

Dana village to Petra, Jordan, Middle East

Trek and Sightseeing

April, May, October or November

Some of my top destinations Scilly Isles from a boat

Relaxation – outdoor activities

Scilly Isles, England

The Scilly Isles might lie just off the Cornish coast; however they feel a world apart.  140 small islands lie in turquoise waters waiting to be explored by foot, boat or bike. There’s a sense of escaping to these isles as you get to explore and enjoy or equally do nothing but soak up the spectacular views. Each island has a unique feel, and there are sub-tropical gardens, beach, coastal or country walks and water activities to try out.  And did I mention great seafood? 

Scilly Isles, off Cornwall, South-West England

Walking, watersports, relaxation and dining

Spring to Autumn

Some of my top destinations

Couples or Family Beach & Activity Holiday

Riviera Maya, Mexico

Sweeping white-sand beaches are dotted with All-Inclusive hotels, small boutique hotels and restaurants galore. Riviera Maya is perfect for a care-free holiday especially suited when you have a mix of ages to cater for.  Take days out to sacred ruins and sparkling cenotes or get some adrenaline hits with zip-lining, horseriding and activity adventure parks. Quieter than Cancun, you can still seek out Mexican culture and authenticity – but you can equally sit back, relax and recharge. The choice is yours.

Riviera Maya, Caribbean Coast, Mexico

Relaxing beach holiday with activity and cultural days out.

December through to April

Some of my top destinations, Keystone Colorado mountains

Winter or Summer activities

Keystone, Colorado, USA

A fantastic ski resort in the rocky mountains of Colorado.   Mountains of fun – from skiing, sleigh rides, snow tubing and ice skating.  In the summer, take the lifts and cruze down the mountain bike runs.  There are fabulous places to stay, eat and shop too.

Keystone, Colorado, USA

Winter sports and Summer hiking, biking, fishing

January to March (Ski) May to Sept (Hike and Bike)

Rhossili Beach The Gower

Walking, Surfing and outdoor life

The Gower, Wales

It’s no wonder that The Gower was Britain’s first Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty!  There’s so much to explore and do here.  Rhossili, Three Cliffs or Whiteford Sands are the perfect place for a recharge day.  Walk the Wales Coast Path taking in saltmarsh, dramatic cliff or secluded bay views. There’s history and heritage to explore and local food and drink to try. 

The Gower, Wales, Europe

Coastal walks, watersports, history and heritage

Year round

Hammam Spa Beginner’s Guide

Hammam Spa Beginner’s Guide

Hammam Spa Beginner’s Guide

Not sure what to expect, what the steps might be or want to know any do’s and don’ts? Read my Hammam Spa Beginner’s Guide to get up to speed!

 

I’d done a bit of research about Hammam baths before our trip to Turkey.  Like most things in life, reading about something is one thing – experiencing it is another.  Let me share the reality of my first Hammam experience so you can be better prepared for yours!

Getting Ready 

As my taxi pulls up in Kemmer outside an arched cellar doorway –  the spa signs faded by time and sunlight, I wonder what I was letting myself in for.  But my Turkish Hammam was one of my best ever spa experiences.

Rika welcomes me to his ’boutique’ Turkish – gloriously dated and kitch.  Directed to the changing room I’m relieved to find that I can leave my bikini on!  However, I swap my leather flip flops for plastic ones or traditional Turkish bath clogs (Takunya). With all personal items safely in a locker, I attach the key to my wrist and move on.

Cold Plunge Pool Hammam bath
Belly stone Hammam spa (800 × 643px) (1)
Peshtemal Hammam Bath metal bowl and towels
Massage bed in Turkish Hammam spa

Step 1 – The steam room

It’s important with a Hammam to get your body nice and warm so the first step is often a steam room.  Hy host shows me to the steam room and only interupts 10 minutes in with a cool cup of water.  15 minutes and I’m ready for Step 2!

Step 2 – Cold Plunge pool

Maybe I didn’t look the type, but Rika hesitates when he suggests a dip in the cold plunge pool!  But it’s all about embracing the opportunities – so take the dip and you’ll be glad you did.

Step 3 – Sauna

I sizzle as I step in the sauna – and then take deep breaths as eucalyptus salts waft from the sauna coals. So far so good – but nothing unusual in the spa experience until…

Belly stone Hammam spa (800 × 643px) (1)

Step 4 – Laying on the belly stone

The dry bit – My lovely lady therapist now takes over and leads me to a marbled room with the central gobek tasi – or belly stone taking centre stage.  I lie down on my back on my Hammam towel (Peshtemal) and the stone starts to warm my body. 

 The wet bit – She manoeuvres a large stone basin (Kurna) under brass taps that extend out of a beautiful mosaic backsplash.  The taps turn on and hot water fills the basin. Water cascades over the edge which makes a beautiful calming background noise.  Swooping a silver bowl (Hamam tasi) into the basin of water, I’m doused in soothing hot water from top to toe.  It’s an unbelievably simple yet intoxicating experience.  

Step 5 – The scrub

Donning a slightly rough mitt (Kese), I’m scrubbed down with firm but not rough strokes.  More soothing bowls of water rinse me off, then I’m flipped over for the same treatment on the other side.  What luxury! When would I get a back scrub in my busy routine let alone have time or inclination to scrub the soles of my feet.  Another rinse and I feel squeaky clean!

Peshtemal Hammam Bath metal bowl and towels

Step 6 – Bubbles!

So many bubbles!!!  She picks up a light muslin that looks like a small pillowcase (köpük masajı) and is impregnated with soap.  The muslin plunges into the basin of hot water,  and after opening, is deftly waved back and forth. The forced air pushes bubbles to rise from the pillow shape and then they are hovered gently across my body.  It’s joyful and whimsical and it makes me feel like a child, as I let out a giggle. This process repeats until I’m submerged in small bubbles that I feel melt across my skin.  It’s total joy.

The bubbles are then rubbed into my body – she even gets my neck and behind the ears.  More bowls of water and I move to a seated marble area where again I’m doused in bowls of water until not a bubble remains. I’m gently patted down with more Hammam towels – it’s really like being a kid again.

BONUS

In some spas you can expect a hair wash and condition – so don’t be surprised if that’s the case!

Massage bed in Turkish Hammam spa

Step 7 – Clay mask

Laying in a relaxation area, covered in warm towels a clay mask is gently brushed onto my face. And there I’m left in peace and quiet, just me and a sweet cup of Turkish tea.

With my clay mask cracked and dried, it was time to rinse it off and move on.

Step 8 – Massage

This final full body massage ensured that every remaining ounce of stress was eased out of my body.

Step 9 – Return to reality

As I dress I’m feeling soft, clean and with a lingering feeling of being a marshmallow.  A morning well spent.

Where to get a Hammam Spa?

A Hammam Bath is an absolute must if you are lucky enough to visit Morocco or Turkey. There are plenty to choose from and they’re surprisingly inexpensive.  But if you are looking for the Hammam experience closer to home then Viator and Tripadvisor can help.  Treatwell.co.uk also has a useful list of UK based Hammam spas.  If you are anywhere near Harrogate in the UK,  the Turkish Baths Harrogate is a hidden gem and about as traditional as it gets.

Hammam Spa Beginner's Guide - belly stone, towel and bowl

Good to know..

  • It’s ok to leave your bikini on.  Or leave your bottoms on and wrap a hammam towel around your top if you prefer
  • They will scrub and wash you down underneath your bikini!
  • Masseuses often don’t speak English so be prepared for sign language
  • Drink lots of water
  • Despite what some might say, a Hammam is not painful
  • Don’t go to a Hammam if you have open wounds and don’t shave the day you go!

The Glorious Gower

The Glorious Gower

The glorious Gower

Glorious Gower.  If ever you are in need of some rest and recuperation, then this is your spot.  It’s one of the most naturally beautiful coastal regions in Britain. No wonder it was the first place in Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Part of the Gower’s beauty is how unspoilt and unchanged it is.  Couple that with how incredibly quiet it feels, and you can see why it’s magical.  There’s so much to do, see and explore.  The Gower is also one of those locations that seems to ooze atmosphere.  Catch sunset on a sunny summer’s day and it’s stunning. It’s equally wonderful to be wrapped in a scarf and hat, walking on a windy Rhossili beach in Winter.

Beautiful Beaches

Rhossili Beach from Spaniard Rocks

For me, the beaches are the star attraction of the Gower.

Super Star Beaches

Rhossili beach has been voted one of the world’s best beaches time after time.  For good reason too!  There’s 3 miles of sweeping golden sands, sand dunes, frequent surf and you can often have most of the beach to yourself.  Three Cliffs Bay has its own special magic.  The Pennard Pill River cuts through the woodland hillside and down across the bay.  Ruined Pennard Castle sits high above Three Cliffs waiting to be explored.  With no beach car park – it’s tricky to get down to – but that makes it even more special. The 2 mile long Whiteford Sands beach is backed by sand dunes and the pine forest of Whiteford Burrows.  The National Trust nature reserve has paths that cross the varied terrains of dunes, beach forest and edge the salt marsh making it a fantastic for nature lovers.

Family Friendly

If you want easy access beaches or don’t want to travel far from Swansea or Mumbles, then check out Caswell, Langland or Port Eynon.  All have parking, cafes, toilets and are Blue Flag Award beaches making them perfect family day out beaches.

Wonderful Welsh walks

Rhossili Beach The Glorious Gower

Did you know that the Wales Coast Path was the first footpath in the world to stretch the full length of a country’s coastline?  The Gower and Swansea Bay section of this epic footpath offers you 111km of beach hut, sand dune and limestone cliff lined pathways. Download the useful and free Wales Coast Path App to help you discover more about the path and track your journey.

Surf and SUP adventures

Llangennith offers the most reliable surf in the Gower and is popular with both beginners and professional surfers. There are three spots to surf from – Rhosilli is at the Southern end and Peaks is at the Northern. The main area for surfing is from the Hillend Campsite which is an easy 50m walk through the dunes to the beach. Hire equipment from Llangennith Surf School  based on the beach. If you are a beginner, they offer surf lessons too.  PJ’s is a well known and loved surf shop that you’ll pass as you head to Llangennith – so stop in to feel like a local.

When there’s no surf, or if you’d like to explore more of the Gower coastline from the water, then how about a stand-up paddleboard?  Hire them from SUP Gower, and you can take them away to set sail from your favourite Gower beach.  They also offer 2-hour taster sessions based from Mumbles.

Gower Secrets

The Helvetia Shipwreck Rhossili Beach

I love a hidden gem and the Gower has some amazing secrets for you to discover.  First up – the steppingstones when you reach the Three Cliffs Bay from the car park and campsite above. We once crossed these lovely steppingstones and enjoyed a gentle amble on Three Cliffs Bay.  But when we began to head back, we couldn’t find the steps.  Realisation hit that they were now a foot under water as the tide was coming in fast. There was nothing for it but to whip off the hiking boots and wade across the now shin deep water – it all adds to the adventure!

Then there’s the secret shipwreck.  It’s not often you can wander around a shipwreck without getting wet. The Helvetia washed up on Llangennith Beach back in 1887 on its voyage from Canada to Swansea.  Only visible when the tide is out, it makes for some amazing photos.

Another tidal gem is Worm’s Head.  Make sure you wear sensible footwear for this epic but challenging walk over volcanic rock to Worm’s Head.  Please check the tides – as it’s only accessible for 2 hours either side of low tide.

You can also feel quite smug when you find a secret beach! Broughton is one of those beaches as it takes a bit of a hike to reach it.  Pobbles Bay is also a hidden gem of a beach just out of sight from Three Cliffs Bay.

Where to stay when visiting the Gower?

The Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park has to have one of the best campsite views in the world!  The Times claimed it was one of Britain’s 20 Best Campsites and I’d agree. If you have a campervan or can hire one, choose one of their Sea View Campervan Pitches.

The 18th Century King Arthur Hotel in Reynoldston offers B&B hotel rooms or a 4 person cottage. It’s got a popular pub and restaurant and the Sunday Telegraph said it was ‘Exactly what country pubs should be…comfortable, well run and difficult to leave.’ Need I say more.

Three Cliffs Bay Holiday Park - Gower
The King Arthur Hotel Reynoldston Gower

Why is travel good for you?

Why is travel good for you?

Why is travel good for you?

Let’s start with a great travel quote – “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller.

So there’s our first big reason why travel is good for us – it brings us some adventure. 

Adventure

Most of us would benefit from a little more adventure in our life.  Adding adventure breaks us free from normal life and pushes us outside our comfort zone. Being outside your comfort zone allows us to transition and grow. We allow ourselves to tap into unknown skills and resources and we try new things.  Then, when we accomplish something new or overcome a new hurdle, it breeds our self-worth and boosts our positivity.

Adventure = Growth opportunity Why is travel good for you?

Manage stress

Travel brings us a fantastic opportunity to manage stress.  Naturally we can think about stress fading away as we swing in a hammock between two palm trees.  However, it’s the exploration of new places, trying fun experiences, meeting new people and the opportunity to use your senses more fully that helps relieve stress. A study showed that 89% of people showed a significant reduction in stress after only 1 – 2 days of travel.  We gain a huge sense of achievement when we travel and this boost in our self-esteem and confidence reduces stress because we feel more able. If travel planning feels a little stressful, then use A Dash Of Adventure to help you travel plan less, and do, see and explore more!

 

Making memories

Making travel memories is one of my most favourite things.  Memories last a lifetime.  They are the moments we hold most dear and the ones that stay strongest in our mind.  Have you ever been taken straight back to a holiday destination because you smell a waft from a tropical plant you once encountered, or you taste again a once familiar holiday dish?  Maybe it’s the feel of sand between your toes or the light sea mist on your face that brings you back to happy childhood vacations. 

Often, it’s the holiday experiences that didn’t quite go as planned that become part of the funny holiday memories we love to recall.  We once had a Christmas vacation with dear friends in the Florida Keys. Our snorkel adventure day turned into half the group being stung by Portuguese Man 0′ War Jellyfish.  I recalled the quote – “If you’re going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.” Green with seasickness, scraping stinging tentacles off each other and slathering on salt to deactivate the sting – I asked the captain to take a photo.  You know – just to capture the moment! And indeed, the jelly fish Christmas ornament our friends sent us that year sparks memories and laughs every time we put it up!

Seashells on sand - why is travel good for you?

Review your perspectives

Travel is a great opportunity to broaden your horizon and review your perspectives. New destinations, cultures, food or experiences can help us grow and appreciate both differences and similarities.  But sometimes travel can make you appreciate home. When our family returned to the UK after living overseas, we appreciated ‘home’ in a different way.  We had a new appreciation for British hedgerow greenery, narrow country lanes, castles and cozy pubs.  Explore, review, reflect and appreciate both where you travel to and what you come home to.

Invest in yourself

Travel is an important investment in yourself.  Whether it’s downtime on a beach, time with good friends or family or time for activities and pleasures you love. Travel is the opportunity to stop and refuel your tank.  It gives you room to step away from the everyday pressures and have a little room to breathe.

Enjoy the sunset - why is travel good for you?

A time to learn 

Travelling can bring so many ways to learn. Whether it’s learning a new language, trying new flavours, trying new activities or experiencing new travel methods.  

A chance for creativity

I don’t know about you but there are some clothes I love to wear on holiday, but I’d never wear at home.  It’s not just because it’s warmer / colder or the restaurant is fancy.  It’s because sometimes on holiday it’s nice to have a change, be a little different – maybe be more creative.  And when you walk past that vendor at an overflowing outdoor market, you’ll be more likely to try that new morsel – and you’ll probably like it too!  With a clearer calendar and hopefully tech free time away, you might find conversations flow easier.  Maybe ideas for home or work come more easily to mind. Use your travel time to get creative. 

Make a difference 

Making a difference to a local charity was a huge part of my charity trek to Jordan.  Raising over £100,000 as a trek group will make a huge difference to many lives for which I feel both humbled by and proud. There are so many ways to make a difference when you travel.  Seek out those little independent shops or the local producers at markets. Eat in the charity run or outreach restaurants or cafes where your custom makes a huge difference.  Visit locations and activity providers who support local causes and that look after and protect their environment.  Or take part in a beach clean the next time you go.   

Time for relationships 

Travel can be great for rebooting relationships.  With the usual daily distractions removed, you can find time to reconnect with your fellow travelers, whether family or friends. It offers the chance to finish those often started but frequently interrupted conversations.  There’s nothing like a long beach walk to deepen conversation. Psychologists believe that side by side positioning is preferred by men when engaging in conversation as it removes direct eye contact. So that makes beach walks perfect!

Engaging in a loved one’s favourite activity can also build your relationship.  Knowing someone has prioritised something that makes you happy boosts the happiness of both parties.    

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain

Travel makes you more resilient 

It’s no wonder that when we travel, we often face a surprise or challenge.  After all, we are stepping into more unknowns than a usual day might entail.  Journeys, locations, people – there’s lots of opportunity to explore and sometimes some things to overcome.  When things don’t go to plan, you’ll probably find yourself being more resourceful than you ever thought possible.  When flights are delayed, you’ll strike up conversations and maybe friendships with people you’d otherwise let pass by. One island stay vacation, we had a power cut and in desperate need of coffee we made a brew on the gas BBQ!  Travel can show you how brave you can be, how good you are at adapting and how the unexpected isn’t so bad after all. 

Embrace all the good that travel has to offer – and turn ‘I wish I had’ into ‘I’m so glad I did.’

Pin It on Pinterest