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First day back at work after two weeks away is always a struggle but I'm happy to get back into a healthier routine after far too much dim sum and ramen! 😋 I've added Hong Kong and Tokyo to my Stories highlights for those who missed my updates!

We found this pretty street in Shibuya, Tokyo, near the famous and very hectic Scramble/crossing. So nice to see some more traditional streets hidden amongst the super modern tower blocks and huge neon lights.

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First day back at work...

After a long hiatus from the blog, I've just shared some of my recent favourites. From @oddboxldn to @olio_ex, they're all helping to make our lives more sustainable! Click the link in my profile and let me know what you think.
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Featuring my beautiful WWF KeepCup!
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#sustainability #sustainableliving  #keepcup #london #thisislondon #wwf #noplanetb #sustainable #ecofriendly #londonblogger #plasticfree #londonbylondoners #climateweek #reusable #reducereuserecycle #foodwaste  #olio #oddbox #allplants #eatlessmeat #londonblog #ecofriendlyliving

After a long hiatus from...

Spending a few days enjoying Sicilian views, sunshine, food, and spritz!
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Spending a few days enjoying...

Take me back please!! đŸ™đŸ» The walk to the calanques near Marseille was tough in the heat but the views made it worth doing! Loved having a picnic in the shade before going for a swim in the clear waters.
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#provence #southoffrance  #frenchriviera #igersfrance #merveillesdefrance #travelblogger #travelblog #travelfrance #topfrancephoto #visitlafrance #jaimelafrance #france_photolovers #marseille #prettylittletrips #darlingescapes #athomeintheworld #neverstopexploring #travelfolk #iamatraveler #mytinyatlas #letsgosomewhere #postcardplaces #lifeofadventure #traveldeeper 
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Take me back please!! đŸ™đŸ»...

When you spot a pretty backdrop! đŸƒâ€â™€ïž Marrakesh was 10x more beautiful than I had been expecting, with decorative arches, colourful tiled courtyards and orange trees being common sights. I loved the smells as well - argan oil, orange blossom and fresh mint all remind me of Morrocco now.
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When you spot a pretty...

I think the cats of Essaouira and Marrakesh deserve to have a post dedicated to them, given how much time I spent admiring them! 😍 #catsofmorocco
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I think the cats of...

Exploring North Wales

By Posted on 3 min read 718 views
north-wales

classic mini cooper car

NORTH WALES

It’s been far too long since I’ve shared any pictures of Wales! Chris has taken me to see his family quite a few times now, and every time we make the trip up there we try to fit in a bit of exploration. I think North Wales is totally underrated – I’m actually looking forward to going there again soon because I still have a lot left to see. If you’re into castles, love quiet walks by the sea, or enjoy mountain hikes, you’re guaranteed to love it too! Bonus points if you drive around in a yellow classic Mini.

I thought I’d share a few special places I’ve discovered in North Wales in the past couple of years…

 

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Penrhyn Castle

I was first drawn towards Penrhyn Castle by the beautiful red leaves covering its walls. The most impressive thing about this 19th century castle is how huge it seems on the inside – you could easily get lost if there weren’t signs telling you which way to go! We went up and down the impressive stone staircase and did a quick tour of the beautiful interior (full of wallpaper inspiration!) before wandering around the castle’s gardens.

Entry to the castle will cost you about ÂŁ12.50, or you can join the National Trust like we did!

If you’re interested in visiting more castles, have a look at Lady and the Tramper‘s article about Medieval castles in North Wales.

 

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Tu Hwnt I’r Bont

This place looks like it belongs in a fairy tale! Driving though the village of Llanrwst with our friends Katie and Owain, we couldn’t resist stopping here for a bite to eat. We got very cosy in a corner of the tea room and enjoyed some scones and traditional Welsh Bara Brith (bread with raisins). I would love to go back there later in the year to see it covered in red leaves!

 

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Portmeirion

Portmeirion is an incredibly colourful little village which looks like no other place in the UK, or even the world! Its quirky architecture draws inspiration from places like Portofino, making it very interesting to explore and photograph. If you like music festivals, you should check out Festival Number 6 which is held there every summer.

A ticket to enter the village will cost you ÂŁ8.

 

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blackberries

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North Wales, llanddwyn island cliffs

Newborough Beach and Llanddwyn Island

I spotted Twr Mawr lighthouse on Pinterest one day and decided we had to go and see it for ourselves! It almost doesn’t look real, perched on a hill by the sea, with a winding path leading to it. To get there, you drive through part of Newborough Forest before walking along the beach to Llanddwyn Island (only really an island in high tides). Look out for delicious wild blackberries in the summer!

There is a ÂŁ4 toll per car to pass through the forest to the beach car park.

 

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Bangor’s Garth Pier

Bangor is mostly known for being a university town, but its pier is really worth a visit. I’d never seen such a beautiful pier before, with a little tea room at the end of it and cast iron details from the 19th century. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea here on a sunny day in August.

 

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Other points of interest I’d recommend visiting in North Wales:

  • Conwy Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Beaumaris Castle, and Harlech Castle
  • Bodnant Gardens
  • The smallest house in Great Britain (in Conwy)
  • Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch train station
  • Betws-y-Coed village
  • Llandudno’s Victorian promenade
  • Anywhere in the Snowdonia national park

For adventure travellers, there’s also a huge zip line, trampolines in caves, a surfing lake, and many more outdoor activities.

I would definitely recommend exploring in a car because public transport isn’t all that convenient for getting to all the different castles, villages, and nature reserves.

I hope this will encourage a few of you to consider Wales as a tourist destination – after all, it has more castles per square mile than any other country!

Exploring Portmeirion, Wales

By Posted on 1 min read 767 views

portmeirion-wales

PORTMEIRION

Portmeirion was born from the vision of one man, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Although it looks a little like an old Italian village, it’s located in North Wales and was built between 1925 and 1976. Clough bought the site for ÂŁ5,000 and made his vision a reality, creating a place that’s an explosion of colours and styles. Mediterranean houses with bright turquoise shutters are surrounded by pink hydrangeas and palm trees – you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve ended up in Portofino.

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portmeirion-swimming-poolProbably one of the most scenic swimming pools I have ever seen!

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Portmeirion is a popular place for tourists, with 240,000 visitors every year, and for weddings. You certainly wouldn’t run out of pretty backgrounds for your wedding photos! You can stay at one of the many cottages, the hotel by the sea, or even the Victorian castle.

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portmeirion swimming pool

fire engine door

From the ice cream cones to the fire engine door, every detail has been thought through and made more beautiful and colourful. I don’t even think my pictures do the place justice – you’ve got to visit the place to realise just how wonderful it is!

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What I wore:

All Saints leather jacket (old), Sandro bag and jumper dress (both old collections), Carvela chelsea boots via Shoeaholics.

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Dreamy pastel houses. Even better than anything you’ll see in Notting Hill!

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Suddenly it feels like we’re in Greece!
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Clough’s motto was “Cherish the Past, Adorn the Present, and Construct for the Future” – I think he did pretty well with that, don’t you?