Tag Archives: guest post

Get to know Edinburgh like a local

I am happy to present another guest post today, it was written by Nicolas, an American who has a lot of European experience – he lived in Scotland recently and he gives us some insights into Edinburgh:

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is nestled in the central belt region of the country between a collection of gorgeous historical villages and medieval relics. It’s filled with an ancient heritage that really is as old as the hills, as well as new architecture that has sprung up from the cracks, and is packed with plenty of culture, activities and parties to keep the wandering traveller settled for a few months.

Enjoy the Edinburgh entertainment!

Edinburgh is renowned the world-over for its entertainment. Hogmanay is the biggest night of the year with street festivals, huge parties and on-going events but the rest of the year won’t disappoint. Expect to find cultural festivals and night-life parties that are scheduled throughout the year (come rain or snow) as well as many street performers that will entertain you during the day. Many restaurants and pubs come alive well before midday, and Edinburgh boasts a collection of fringe and mainstream clubs to satisfy any musical cravings. The party here doesn’t stop, and it’s worth sticking around to enjoy the family-friendly events as well.

Things you should see in Edinburgh

It goes without saying that you should visit the Royal Mile. It’s the stretch of roads that go from the Castle down to Holyrood House (both worth a visit, too) and it’s packed with charming little shops and houses as well as some big names like Starbucks. This is a great place to stay if you like being in the heart of the action and renting a flat is a great option for those who want to enjoy the sites of Edinburgh for a bit longer than a three-day weekend. The Royal Mile is typically geared towards tourists with shops toting tartan apparel and fudge but there are some lesser-known treasures as well. Pop into Mary King’s Close while you’re there and take part in a shriekingly disturbing ghost tour for famous Scottish scares and hauntings. Other important sights include the Rosslyn Chapel (of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ fame), Arthur’s Seat (excellent views on top of an extinct volcano) and the Camera Obscura (which affords a 360’ view of the city!).

Castlehill forming part of the Royal Mile. In ...

Castlehill forming part of the Royal Mile. In the center is The Hub, housing an information service for the Edinburgh International Festival. On the right is The Scotch Whisky Experience. On the left is the Camera Obscura and shops. Photo by Gregg M. Erickson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Things you should eat in Edinburgh

Scotland is famous for a number of things, but none less important than its black pudding, deep-friend desserts and ‘bangers & mash’. Monster Mash is a tiny little bistro restaurant that offers up a multitude of mash and banger combinations (swede mash is particularly good), and you can get deep-fried desserts at speciality restaurants in the centre of town. Keep a look-out for their popular vodka burgers, and be ready to drink everything down with a generous helping of Scottish Whisky.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Renting a flat in Edinburgh doesn’t have to be a costly affair: flats and rental accommodation in New Town is affordable, if not cheap, and the closer you get to the bigger sites the more expensive things get. You might consider staying close to the action and renting a flat with friends as you’ll soak up more of the culture and nightlife, but it’s easy enough to walk the width or breadth of Edinburgh if you’re looking to save a few pennies.

Nicolas is a travel writer and all round globetrotter originally from New York but is now specialized specifically on the United Kingdom but also Europe and the Mediterranean in general. He has traveled extensively throughout the UK, Scotland being his most recent stop where he spent for 4 months last year.

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A London 2012 Olympics Travel Guide

The city of London has been an iconic city for centuries, as well as one of the top tourism destinations on Earth. In 2012, the capital city of the United Kingdom will also serve as the host city for the Summer Olympics. Although the city is typically busy and full of action, there is no denying that the atmosphere will be even more exciting during the summer months of 2012. The official dates of the Olympic Games are between 27 July 2012 and 12 August 2012, but it can be expected that the city will be busier than normal in the days and weeks prior to the event as well as after. Let this article serve as your guide to tourism during the 2012 London Olympics, including everything from accommodation to dining and local area attractions.

The photo above shows a view of the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London.

Image Source: http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6011/6195073299_0e4e4c359d_m.jpg
Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/southeasternstar/6195073299/

 

Accommodation in London: As might be expected during an event of this size, accommodation will be an issue for visitors in London during the Summer Olympics in 2012. Many of the largest hotels in the city centre are already fully booked, both because of international travellers and the athletes themselves who need accommodation for the event. Thankfully, there are many specifically designated London Olympics rentals available for travellers. Choose from London apartment’s right in the heart of the Olympic Zone or housing rentals further away from the centre. Whatever you decide, try to book accommodations as soon as possible to prevent disappointment, as it is predicted that nearly every available bed in London will be full for the events.

Attractions in London: For many, the main attraction in London will be the Olympic events themselves. However, there is much to see and do in the city aside from the games. On days where you are without tickets or just want a break from the action, be sure to visit some of the famed landmarks in London like the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

The photo above shows the London Olympics 2012 logo.

Image Source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7180/6788394998_cbcf9203f6_m.jpg
Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/megoizzy/6788394998/

 

Tickets for the Olympics: There was some controversy surrounding the sale of tickets for the 2012 London Olympics. As might be expected, there was a far greater demand for tickets than was available. By the beginning of 2012, all the available tickets have been bought and the only ways to secure additional tickets are by purchasing them through individuals rather than the official vendor for the Olympics.

Transportation during the Olympics: One of the major concerns for the logistics of the London Olympics in 2012 is the issue of transport. The best choice for travellers is to purchase an Oyster card in advance in order to travel quickly and affordably on public transport. Most venues will have two or more means of transport for spectators to use in order to alleviate congestion. Venues outside of the city, such as Portsmouth which will be used for sailing events, will need to be reached by private car in most cases.

By reading this guide, visitors will be prepared for their trips to London during the 2012 Summer Olympics. Although much of the planning needs to be done in advance with regard to accommodation and ticketing, there will be many attractions to explore around the city at a moment’s notice.

This article was written by Alan Horton. He is a regular author of travel and social media articles, to view more of Alan’s work click on his Google+ profile

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Filed under guest post, Traveling in Europe

The Top 5 Picture Perfect Villages in Cornwall

Today I present you a guest blog entry by Laura, it gives us some insight about picture perfect villages to visit in Cornwall. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Sometimes the best way to really experience a new place during a holiday is to simply get lost.  Too often, travelers spend all of their time seeing new places, but not really experiencing them.  Cornwall is one of those places that has so much to offer its holiday visitors, but you can’t just stick to what the hotel travel brochures suggest.  Cornwall is a beautiful place hiding all kinds of treasures; start with this list of perfectly picturesque villages and see where you end up.

Kingsand and Cawsand

Villages that remain practically unaltered by time, Kingsand and Cawsand are located on the Rame peninsula and are actually quite popular among tourists.  Once you’ve gotten over the initial sight of these incredible villages, you might be intrigued to learn a little bit about their past filled with fishing and smuggling.  Frequent winners of the “Best Kept Village” award, Kingsand and Cawsand are perfect to the last detail and have pubs, restaurants, shops, and beaches that will have you wanting to extend your holiday.

St Mawgan

This pretty little village could easily be called the prettiest.  It may be a good place to start since it is located quite close to Newquay airport but is still hidden away where most do not see it.  You can spend hours taking in all that St Mawgan has to offer.  There are amazing places to simply walk and take in the views, a beautiful ford to paddle your feet in, and a rather out-of-place bonsai nursery.  When you need a rest, you can visit the Falcon Inn for a pint of authentic ale, delicious food, and a Cornish style welcome.

Port Isaac

If you’re a fan (or have ever heard of) the hit television series “Doc Martin,” it’s filming location of Port Isaac may be a fun place for you to visit.  It’s completely authentic look and feel make it the perfect location for many television and movie productions looking for that “Old Cornwall” touch.  The classic 18th and 19th century cottages are nestled snuggly inside of a sheltered valley and the long and winding streets between shops, houses, and other locations give it that extra special something.

Mevagissey

A traditional 14th-century fishing village, Mevagissey can only be described with one word; magical.  You’ll be able to take it all in as you wander the streets and in and out of craft shops, gift shops, or while stopping for some of the best fish and chips to ever tantalize your taste buds.  There are sightseeing trips available, and daring tourists can even test their fishing skills.  Rent a cottage right inside the village and spend a few days to really give Mevagissey the time and attention it deserves.

Fowey

If it’s history dating back to the Middle Ages doesn’t immediately draw you in, then the first glimpse of it will.  Fowey is so picture-perfect that it seems like you have just jumped right into a picture on a postcard.  Fowey is one village that has continued to grow and expand as the years have gone by and is still a working harbor.  From the pastel, terraced homes to the endless number of galleries, restaurants, and shopping; Fowey should definitely top your list of must-see places in Cornwall.

Photo courtesy of Karen Roe

If you are thinking about visiting Cornwall England check out the Owner’s Direct website before you travel.  With a wide selection of Cornish cottages available for rent you can make your experience truly traditional.

 

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Filed under guest post, Hidden Gems