North Berwick – Scotland

Today, I decided to take a drive to the lovely little seaside town of North Berwick in Scotland after having being recommended to dine at the Italian restaurant; Bella Italia (not part of the chain – this authentic restaurant has been around for over 30 years!). Having never been to the coastal town before, I was immediately taken aback by how picturesque it was and how much there was to see and do; from the Scottish Seabird Centre and world famous Bass Rock to the quirky high street shops and beautiful beaches. A thoroughly enjoyable day out – if you haven’t been, it’s definitely worth a visit. Here are some photos – as if I need to entice you more…..

 

L x

 

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Reaching new heights

London-based company; Tentsile have quite literally taken the expression – ‘sleeping under the stars’ to another level. Their impressive range of versatile and innovative tree tents have been specifically designed so that they can easily withstand being suspended from trees and can hang up to four feet off the ground. The clever concept combines the comfort and versatility of a hammock with the security of a tent and offers not only far superior views to the conventional tent but also shelter from bugs and other predators too.

I have to say they look pretty damn good too!!

L x

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The Sea Sisters

Sea sisters

There’s nothing better than the escapism of a good book, allowing yourself to be taken on a journey to another place and another time where the characters emotions feel as physical and raw as your own and where the trivial details of your own life fade away  with every flick of a page.

‘The Sea Sisters’ by Lucy Clarke is one of those books; from the beginning, I was completely captured by the story, the characters and the beautifully honest way in which it was written. Having a younger sister myself, I could especially relate to both of the main characters and found myself being really affected by the storyline.

The story centres around two sisters; Katie and Mia who are typically very different from one another. Katie is the sensible, ‘safe’, older sister who feels that it is her duty to look out for and protect her younger sister. Mia, in contrast is the free-spirited and impulsive sister who has no real ties or responsibilities and who seems to float through life with no worries. Although these differences have caused their relationship to become fractured over the years, they both secretly long to be just like the other.

The story begins when Katie is given the tragic news that her sister has committed suicide whilst on her travels in Bali with best friend, Finn – thus signifying the end of Katie’s life as she knows it. Refusing to believe that her sister could ever deliberately take her own life, Katie goes in search of the answers she so desperately needs. With only Mia’s travel journal to guide her, Katie decides the only thing she can do is retrace her sisters steps by following her route, staying in the same hostels, taking in the same scenery and experiencing the same events, hoping to find out what caused her death.

Although the essence of the story may seem sad and depressing, I can assure you it is not all doom and gloom; the various characters and events which weave in and out of the plot are profound and intriguing and will keep you turning the pages well into the night. This is an absolute must-read which will not only keep you guessing but it will make you want to up sticks and go travelling immediately and keep a travel journal too!!

L x

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Enchanted ..

This weekend I took a trip to Pitlochry in the North of Scotland to visit the breath-taking Enchanted Forest which attracts over 30,000 visitors to the area and looks like something straight out of a fairy-tale.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Faskally Woods, this magical event lasts from the 4th – 27th October and was named Best Cultural Event at the 2013 Scottish Event Awards! As well as being run solely by volunteers, all the profits from the event are ploughed straight back into planning and executing next year’s show… Inspiring!

This year’s show; Absorb, which is the 12th  consecutive show, gets its name as it incorporates orb like shapes and lighting effects which feature heavily all around the event including in the mini shows. Also featured in this years show is a beautiful bridge completely lit up with shimmering lights which can be seen from various points along the route. As well as having on site facilities such as heated portable toilets and stalls selling hot chocolate, mulled wine and hotdogs – there are also storytelling yurts and lit up balloons available for the kids!

Not only an innovative concept but an inspiring attraction which is well worth a visit.       I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what next years show will bring.

You can click here to buy tickets or for more info.

L x

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A week in Zante!

Learning that I had won a week-long holiday to Zante via a competition in a magazine (click here for the back story) was a complete dream come true and I could not wait to get away! Finally, September arrived and it was time for my friend Katy and I to hop on board our plane in search of glorious sunshine, picturesque views lifted straight from a postcard and of course, legendary nightlife! Thankfully, we were not disappointed!

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Can you imagine owning that mansion hidden away amongst the trees!?

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Although Zante is renowned for its wild nightlife; attracting plane loads of young revellers each summer, it has so much more to offer. In order to see more of the island, Katy and I took an impressive eight-hour boat trip which stopped off at many beauty spots including Turtle Island, Shipwreck Island and various different caves along the way – there was even time for a spot of swimming in the vast turquoise sea.

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Can you see why it’s named Turtle Island?

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Zante’s water village was well worth a visit, boasting a range of fun-packed thrill rides including the superbowl which was our favourite, the giant black hole – a blackened out tower lit only by coloured ring lighting effects inside and finally, a scary looking free-fall extreme tower with a 25m almost vertical drop! In order to recover from the thrill rides, there was of course a long lazy river, where you could float along aimlessly whilst enjoying the sun… Ah, bliss!

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On our even lazier days when we found it difficult to drag ourselves out of bed, we lounged around the pool area reading our books and listening to our iPods or headed for the beach at the end of the strip. Banana beach which is the longest beach on the island was only half an hour’s bus ride away from where we were staying in Laganas and was very popular with tourists thanks to its crystal clear water and suntrap location.

Laganas offered a variety of nice places to eat, most of which we found were located right on the beach front with beautiful views looking out over the sea. Cool Peppers and Balsamico were the two restaurants we frequented most and we were never left disappointed with the meals on offer. I have to recommend the bbq ribs from Cool Peppers – they are notorious and come on a huge platter with chips, salad and coleslaw… mm delicious!

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Tasty!!

Nightfall saw Laganas really come to life. As you would expect, the strip was bursting with bars, pubs and nightclubs, even a shisha club; Medousa’s – there was so much choice! A favourite of ours was the ultimate cocktail bar called Cocktails and Dreams – not only did it play all the best dance music but it served up the most delicious cocktails and shots with rather witty names – perfect sex or a blowjob anyone?

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They serve everything in Cocktails & Dreams …

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The place to be!

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First time shisha!

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Katy loves a shisha!

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Each night saw another event take place. The paint party hosted at Zero’s club was undoubtedly the highlight of our week and saw us amongst hundreds of other party-goes being covered in over 400 litres of UV – what a night! There were also frat parties, foam parties and full moon beach parties to experience too!

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At the frat party!

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Before the paint descended upon us …

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Not even our drinks were left untouched by the UV paint!!

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Zante was truly amazing; we had so much fun even though our livers are still recovering from the trauma! Along with meeting lots of lovely people, we had the chance to see the beautiful island and experience some unforgettable nightlife! Here’s to the next holiday!

L x

Zante here I come …

Long story short – about four months ago, I entered a blogging competition in More magazine! sponsored by 18-30 holidays whereby, all I had to do was submit a blog post about my best ever clubbing holiday. The winners would receive a fully paid week’s holiday for two people to either Greece, Tenerife or Falaraki and the chance for their blog posts, tweets and photographs from the holiday to be featured in the magazine as well as on 18-30’s website etc.

To my complete surprise, I was told that I was one of the winners of the competition and would receive a week’s holiday to Zante, Greece. Sadly, a few weeks later I learned that the magazine had stopped running and I was unsure whether I would still get to go or not?

Thomas Cook have been liaising with Bauer Media and have managed to reach a happy outcome … I get to go on holiday to Zante with my friend Katy – bring on the madness!!!

Zante beach

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I apologise in advance because in case you hadn’t noticed, I am a tad excited and will no doubt be boring you with all the details. I have already had a wee look online to try and catch the last of the summer clothes and I can confirm they are en route to my doorstep right now!! 😀

Zante here I come ……..

Sizzle club Zante

Heard a lot about colour parties in Zante 🙂

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L x