Lyme Regis - Girlglobalising

Here we are, back again with another very delayed post. My motivation to do anything other than come home from work and wait impatiently for Love Island has gone seriously amiss. It’s really no wonder that time is just flashing by when all I seem to do with my days is turn up for work, wander home, maybe pop to the gym and then sit in front of the now infamous reality program.

It’s made me really think how much time we spend watching other people live their lives. I know I’m guilty of letting one too many hours float by whilst watching stupid videos on youtube.

A few weeks ago, having had work on that really sunny Saturday while everyone else was out basking in it, I decided I had to make the most of Sunday if it was to be my only chance that week.

After attempting to get out of the house at a reasonably early time to beat the rush to the seaside (11am counts as reasonably early, right?) we headed down south to Lyme Regis. This beautiful small town on the Jurassic coast was absolutely heaving with people who all clearly had the same idea. And after the palaver of trying to find a parking space – a drama involving a near miss crash and a race to another town to get cash for the charity car park we eventually managed to find, we began the stroll back down to the beach.

Lyme Regis - Girlglobalising

As you can see, it was a pretty glorious day. We settled down with a Cornish pasty on the sand and Dom went for a quick dip in the sea. Although don’t be fooled by the sunshine like he was, it’s certainly still chilly in there!

Afterwards we wandered along to the breakwater and small harbour, admiring the boats in all their colours, shapes and sizes.

Lyme Regis - Girlglobalising

Of course no trip to the seaside is complete without an ice cream that then melts in the sun so you have to eat it really fast. If you happen to be in Lyme Regis then I highly recommend the gelato stand on Marine Parade – I wish I could remember what it’s called because it was damn good gelato.

Make sure you wander back up through the little town, there’s plenty of little shops, including sweet shops making Devonshire fudge. A delightful little place, perfect for a short day or afternoon trip. Afterwards Dom and I raced back to Bristol to get to the Lido before it closed but unfortunately didn’t make it in time. Sitting in a bath tub of cold water to cool yourself down is just not the same as an open air swimming pool.

Lyme Regis - Girlglobalising

I’m determined to have more days like this and really make the most of summer. Low-key day trips and afternoons enjoying the outside. I know I’m certainly too tied to my phone and computer for most of the week and it’s time to pack it all away. Savouring days like this one in Lyme Regis will only help in making sunny days in the office a bit more bearable anyway.

xx

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

I warn you now, this is a lengthy post. I didn’t think I had taken that many photos in Amsterdam, but then I started looking through them and realised I wanted to share every single one of them. Call it a testament to such a wonderful city. I’ve got lots of places to share with you, including where to stay, museums to see, places to shop – the list goes on.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

I mentioned in my previous post that Amsterdam, although known for it’s beautiful old town, canals and picturesque dutch buildings, it also has some very interesting architecture as well.

Nemo is a great example of this. The science centre located on the water front by the central station is a crazy building that looks a bit like a ship. We didn’t go in the centre itself, but you can walk up the steps to the terrace at the entrance of the building and it’s one of the only places to get a high up view to this ever-so flat city. Since we managed to catch such good weather, we sat and had an ice coffee on the terrace – a very pleasant way to start the day.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Right next to Nemo, just over the bridge is the central library. This is a pretty cool building and certainly not like any stuffy old libraries that you might have been too as a child. Have a wander around and make sure you stop by the restaurant on the top floor. This was probably one of the best lunches we had and they’ve got everything from a salad bar, to a freshly made pizza bar to smoothies.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

We stayed in the Hotel V Fredrichsplein, that’s just on the edge of the De Pijp neighbourhood. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the very centre and is the ideal location for being central, but staying slightly out of the hustle and bustle that comes with any capital city.

I can’t recommend the hotel enough. The staff were lovely and so helpful, the breakfast was just what you need before a day of exploring and the lobby and bar are great for an early evening relaxing drink. Plus they do 2-4-1 cocktails between 5 – 6pm. If there’s something I love more than cocktails then it’s buy one get one free cocktails!

I’ve also heard great things about the Hoxton Hotel and the No 377 House Hotel, both look as beautiful and Instagram worthy as the Hotel V.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

There are plenty of things to do in Amsterdam apart from endless wandering of the beautiful canals. The museum square has plenty to keep you occupied for more than a morning. We chose the Rijksmuseum as our choice, which has a whole mixture of collections including a bit of Van Gogh and the dreamiest of libraries.

Right next door is the Van Gogh museum which I will definitely pay a visit to another time, and the Stedelijk museum as well.

From there you can head to Vondlepark, which is lovely for a stroll around in the sunshine. Bloemenmarkt, the famous floating flower market, is well worth a little wander round, particularly in tulip season.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

You can’t visit Amsterdam without trying a piece of Danish Apple cake, which we enjoyed it as a little afternoon pick-me-up on the first day. It has an almost sponge-like pastry base that is amazing – I have to find a recipe and recreate it at home.

A canal boat trip is quite a touristy thing to do, but I have to say it was a highlight for me. Cruising along the water in the sunshine, hopping off when something caught our eye and we wanted to go exploring. There are only two companies that run the boat tours in the city, and they are both priced pretty much the same. So take your pick, catch a boat and enjoy the waters of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

There are some great places to shop in Amsterdam, and although the exchange rate is not that great at the moment there’s still a lot of window shopping that can be done. A few highlights were Things I Like, Things I Love, and the Concrete Mans Supply Store next door. Anna + Nina is a very popular jewellery store in the city, full of beautiful things. A wander around the Jordaan neighbourhood will take you past loads of interesting independent shops, including some great vintage choices.

For places to eat I always recommend getting out of the very centre and about ten minutes walk south of the centre will take you to Utrechtsestraat, a road full of independent shops, bars and restaurants. Bar Moustache is a great little Italian place that was a big hit from the whole trip. Pata Negra, just opposite is a tapas place that was busy every single night and Meat and Greek looked like a fab take away option. For more food options I highly recommend Carrie’s Amsterdam city guide – full of lots of amazing recommendations.

Amsterdam City Guide - Girlglobalising

Visiting Amsterdam was an absolute delight and I can’t wait to visit again in the future. Although it’s a small city there’s plenty to fill your time. And of course there’s always the option of taking a day trip to the coast or to The Hague. There’s always more to see.

xx

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam seems to be having a bit of a moment right now. It’s all over my Instagram feed, I’ve read multiple blog posts and city guides, plus it’s been at the top of my city break list for quite a while.

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Although the most photographed part of the city is the old town and all the beautiful canals and dutch buildings – my favourite part of town to wander round with my camera, it was a very pleasant surprise to find some very interesting modern architecture there as well. A complete juxtaposition to the more traditional side of the city.
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
I’ve got a big city guide in the making that will include things to see, where to wander, places to eat and where to find the best shops, but for now I’ve put together a little visual diary that will hopefully spur you on in booking a little trip there yourself. Amsterdam has a very relaxed atmosphere, and we were unbelievably lucky with the weather – I can only imagine it’s even lovelier in the summer, sipping a glass of wine by the canal in the sunshine.
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
Amsterdam - Girlglobalising
Check back soon for my Amsterdam travel guide, but in the meantime I hope you like the first taster of the many photos I took whilst there.
xx

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

I’ve just arrived back from what I think was the best and loveliest city break that Dom and I have ever been on together. From start to finish Amsterdam was an absolute pleasure.

It started with the easy drive to Bristol airport. Why all airports aren’t that convenient to get to, I don’t know. Then a quick hop, skip and 50 minute flight and you’re in Amsterdam Schipol. How bloody easy!

Amsterdam - Rijksmuseum - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Although a little grey when we arrived, the sun soon showed it’s face while we wandered around the quiet canal lanes and over bridges. I will never tire of looking at the picturesque Dutch buildings – each one is different and the huge windows made them look like what could be my dream home.

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

I’ll tell you more about what we visited in Amsterdam in another post, but for now I couldn’t wait to give you a taste of all things Dutch, including the beautiful Rijksmuseum, the tasty cocktails we drank and wonderful streets we walked.

Amsterdam is an incredibly walkable city and we were averaging around 20,000 steps per day. A bit better than the measly amount on a normal working day for me.

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

Amsterdam - Girlglobalising

I’ll be back with more photos soon and a complete Amsterdam city guide, but for now I’ll leave you with some of the photos I shared on Instagram – follow me here!

xx

It’s been awhile since I packed my bags and headed off for a (usually early morning) flight. My week in Cornwall was lovely but other than that the last time I gave in to the travel bug was back in June for a long weekend in Copenhagen. Although I’m counting down the days, literally not just mentally, until my trip to New York in November, I also can’t help but dream about all the places I’d like to head to right about now.

As a week long holiday is not always an option – I know I’ve been saving for NYC for what feels like forever – the next best thing is a long weekend city break. Here are my current top 5 short haul European cities:

Paris - Girlglobalising

Image sourced from Google

Paris – Because Paris is always a good idea, right? Yes. But also because Paris is only 2 hours away on the Eurostar and couldn’t be more accessible. Although on some leader boards Paris has slipped slightly, in favour of other European destinations that are slowing coming out of the woodwork, Paris still seems like a magical place to me. The Sacre-Cour and Montmartre are yet to be ticked off my list, as is the Picasso museum and the Louvre.

Read more about my day trip here and my winter-y trip here.

Brandenburg Gate - Berlin - Girlglobalising

Berlin – Ah Berlin. Berlin holds a place in my heart but I’m sometimes not entirely sure why. It’s a fantastic city, especially for it’s street art and nightlife, but they are not always  the things I look for in a city break. Berlin is in my top five as it’s one of the few big cities that is still so affordable (we actually stayed in a hotel, which never happens), the locals are friendly and there’s plenty to see and do. I recommend visiting in the summer when the city really comes alive – not that I’ve witnessed that. I visited in the dead of winter and was repeatedly told about how amazing the city is in the warmer months.

Find out more about Berlin here and here.

Nyhavn - Copenhagen - Girlglobalising

Copenhagen – The most recent destination that I’ve been to. Copenhagen is in my top 5 city breaks not just because it’s a lovely city to visit but also because any longer than a few days and the cost will really start to ramp up. It’s a city full of the friendliest people, the most stylish shops and beautiful architecture. A few days here and you’ll want to overhaul your life and start living like a Scandinavian.

Related posts: a mini city guide and all about Paper Island

Bruges - Girlglobalising

Image sourced from google

Bruges – Bruges is the ultimate winter destination. I’m sure it’s equally lovely in the spring and summer, but having visited just before Christmas I can’t imagine any other place that would get you more in the spirit of things. Full of canals, small lanes and alleyways and bitterly cold but there’s plenty of liquid hot chocolate to warm you up again.

Rome - Italy - Girlglobalising

Rome – Rome has struggled it’s way into my top 5, not because it’s not a great city to visit, but because I can’t think about it without remembering just how hot it was. It’s a city with ancient history, amazing food and fabulous locals, and really we barely scratched the surface of what’s on offer there. But it’s also a city that you can just sit back in and soak up the atmosphere. I recommend visiting in the spring or autumn though, and not in the middle of a heatwave.

Read more about Rome here.

There are far more places in Europe that I would absolutely love to visit – Amsterdam, Vienna, Croatia, Greece, more of Germany, the south of France… What is more enjoyable that exploring new places and cultures and experiencing what the wide world has to offer. Let me know what your favourite cities to visit are, obviously I always need more travel inspiration!

Ps. I was determined not to bring up Brexit in this post because any mention of it makes me want to cry.