10 Exciting Things To Do This Winter in London!

10 Exciting Things To Do This Winter in London!

London is a beautiful city at the best of times, but my favourite time of the year in London is definitely the winter. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely detest the frozen fingertips and other bodily extremities, foggy mornings and dark evenings, BUT I truly believe the festivities and lights of the winter make up for the cold weather. We have reached December, meaning we have 31 days left to complete 2016! It is really beginning to get cold now, but that doesn't stop me from going out, and enjoying myself around London. In this post, i'll share with you my top 10-ish places I love to go and things I love to do during the winter season in London. Many of these things are exclusive to London, making it a perfect post to direct you to the fun within London this winter. I took my camera out with me most days for the past two weeks and captured the latest views within London. I'll...
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The Chess Valley Walk, UK

The Chess Valley Walk, UK

Last weekend I decided to partake in a 10-mile walk on a glorious Saturday morning. The Chess Valley Walk is a 10 mile linear walk through the Chilterns following the River Chess from Rickmansworth to Chesham. It passes through the beautiful scenery of the Chess Valley and several attractive villages and at times gets close to the clear sparkling waters of the River Chess, one of the Chilterns' famed chalk streams. My friend came across this walk online and suggested starting from Rickmansworth and walking to Chesham. I've done many long walks within Greater London and the UK, especially this year, and so I wasn't too worried about the length of the walk. We got to Rickmansworth at 10am via the Metropolitan Underground Line. I would highly recommend downloading the PDF map of the walk as a guide, as some points during the walk, there is no Internet Network and signage isn't great. We had planned to pack lunch from home as we didn't...
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I Am In Newcastle & Durham

I Am In Newcastle & Durham

A few weeks ago, I decided to travel to the North of the UK with a lab colleague from London. We have both made a concerted effort to travel more within the UK on weekends and Bank Holidays. This time, we decided to go to Newcastle as we had heard lots of good things about it and the weather that weekend seemed decent enough! We travelled by the National Express coach service, and this only cost £17 return, in comparison to £100+ by train! The only downside was the time it took to travel there - 7 hours. I managed to take some work with me and downloaded some programmes from the iPlayer app to keep me occupied for some of the journey. We left London Victoria at 7am and arrived in Newcastle at 2.30pm. As soon as we arrived, we began exploring the city, beginning with the Science Centre and surrounding areas. It was clear that all the students had arrived in the...
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I Am At Mayfield Lavender

I Am At Mayfield Lavender

I am an avid TimeOut London reader. It's where I discover new places, and hear about the latest events that are happening in London. I recently saw a picture of a friend frolicking in the fields of  Mayfield Lavender on Instagram, and as soon as I did, I just HAD to schedule a day to visit. Lavender fields are usually regarded as exotic, and are reminiscent of the fields in the South of France. Luckily, I was just in time to see some lavender fields before full harvesting. Half of the field had already been harvested and the rest will be harvested mid-September. Although it wasn't as purple as I expected, it was absolutely beautiful and very calming to be there. There was also a small shop selling everything lavender, and a cafe to grab a bite. It's also just £1 to enter the fields, cheap and cheerful! Directions to Mayfield Lavender from Central London: Overground train to West Croydon from Canada Water. From West Croydon...
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I am at the Seven Sisters White Cliffs

I am at the Seven Sisters White Cliffs

As an annual retreat, my lab group embark on long walks outside of London. This year, we decided to walk along the Seven White Cliffs in Sussex. The Cliffs are situated in the Seven Sister County Park, a short bus journey away from Brighton Beach. We took a train from London King's X to Brighton, and then a bus journey of over an hour. Although the journey was tiresome to say the least, it was exciting once we arrived at the Park and started to follow the walking trail up and down each cliff. The cliffs are made of white chalk, and are naturally unstable. After walking for a while, we took a pit stop to have a picnic for lunch. We had all planned to bring some home-cooked food for lunch; we ended up with an overwhelming selection of food the corners of each continent around the world. At the end of the final cliff, we reached a platform where we went down...
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I Don't Know Who To Travel With!

I Don't Know Who To Travel With!

Choosing the right travel companion is a key part of (almost) guaranteeing a smooth sailing holiday. Although frequently overlooked, I cannot emphasise the importance of selecting a travel partner carefully, and to not simply plan travels with anyone available at the time. As a young child, I only ever travelled with my parents, immediate or extended family. At that age, this is great. As a young adult and into my early 20s, I became more selective with which 'friends' I wanted to travel with. There's a famous saying that states that: 'You don't know the true colours of a person until you live with them, travel with them, or have dealings with them.' I can't vouch for this more. Although I have not personally had any issues when travelling with friends, I do notice the importance of having similar interests and lifestyle when on a holiday with someone. Something as basic as where to eat could cause an issue if one person wants to go somewhere a...
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I am at Darwin Brasserie

I am at Darwin Brasserie

I'm not a huge 'brunch' person - I think it's more of an American/ European thing to do. Us Brits have begun to brunch more so now, with the coming of the 'hipster' trends. A friend recommended visiting the Darwin Brasserie for breakfast/lunch and of course, I'm not one to ignore recommendations and managed to book a table for 10.30am on May Bank Holiday Monday. The Darwin is located in the Sky Garden. It is free to enter the Sky Garden (with a booking) but separate pre-booking of the resturants is usually required. I opted for the buffet continental breakfast. When booking, I specifically asked for a table with a nice view. There are some tables for two located on the edge (as I was seated), but there are also some tables more inside the restaurant for larger groups. My first plate of food was made up of pastries, nuts and some fruit. I went for seconds with some bread, croissant...
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I am in York

I am in York

All throughout the Easter break, I stayed in University to complete some work in a quiet environment. Because of this, I instead took a long weekend off at the end of the holidays. I travelled to York and the Lake District for a relaxing few days in the North of the UK. I have never been to York before and was pleasantly surprised by this old but beautiful city. York City has been walled since the Romans were around and a lot of this wall still exists to this day. There are distinct gates (as below) where it is clear where the walls were. It is also possible to walk along the wall around the city. The biggest attraction by far is to see York Minister. This iconic gothic-style Cathedral is one of the biggest of its kind in North Europe. It is possible to enter with a fee, however, as we didn't have much time in the day and a list...
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I am at the Saatchi Gallery

I am at the Saatchi Gallery

I've had my eye on the Saatchi Gallery for a while, but I had never visited as usually galleries/ museums close at 6pm. After a long day looking at cells through a microscope, the last thing I want to do is look at ANYTHING else. Last weekend, I went to a photographers meet-up at the Atlas Gallery in Marylebone. There was an piece in the Time Out magazine advertising the 'Fashion Show' exhibition that highlights fashion photography over the past six decades. When I arrived, I was slightly taken aback by how small the Atlas Gallery was - the words Fashion Show suggested an actual show. It seemed a bit like an open-house gallery as the paintings were for listed and for sale. As I didn't want to return home after 30 mins out, I remembered that the Saatchi Gallery is not too far away from the Atlas Gallery. The Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea is different to any others that I had been to...
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I am in Geneva, Switzerland – Part Two

I am in Geneva, Switzerland – Part Two

The third and fourth day in Geneva were disappointing in terms of the weather! It had begun so great with the sun, but this soon became extremely cold thick FOG. It was hard to see just a few meters ahead of you - and I thought the fog in London was bad! Here is my Part Two of my couple of days in Geneva - see Part One to see what I got up to for the first two days. On Sundays, not much is open in Geneva, so we decided to save the outdoor sights for the Sunday. First, a visit to the United Nations Office was absolutely necessary, considering Geneva's stance in the UN. Opposite the UN building stands a 'broken chair' meant as an appeal from the humanitarian organisation Handicap International of the signing for the banning of landmines. Its dignity is meant to represent those that were affected by landmine work and injury. We then visited the Mosque of...
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