Sunsets at Rick’s Cafe: Negril Jamaica

Rick’s, one of the coolest spots to hang out in Negril.

Pull up by road or boat  (try both).

Get drinks

Watch daring divers

Be a daring diver

Listen to live music

Watch the most amazing sunsets

Job done.

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Margaritaville Negril: Jamaica, on the Seven Mile Beach Strip.

Margaritaville is a 5 minute drive down Norman Manley Boulevard from the Riu Negril resorts. Some hotels, like Riu Negril, will call the Margaritaville bus to come and pick you up from your hotel and the drop you off again at scheduled times throughout the day/evening.

Here you will find miles of beach to wander, as well as traders and market stalls selling all sorts of touristy souvenirs.

Beware though, the sellers are quite persistent in their ‘demands’ for you to look at what they have for sale.

There is a bar/restaurant in the main entrance area and various excursions depart from here on a daily basis.

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The Infamous flip flop
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Seven mile beach
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Rasta carvings

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Busy at work

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The store holders will literally go on at you to come inside and look at their wares and won’t take no for an answer. Others are more concerned with clarifying how old you are and whether you are single!

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Spotted a mermaid!!
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Colourful souvenirs
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Villas and small guest houses dotted all along the strip

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This man said he dives 40ft for his shells – must be how he keeps in such great shape!

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Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Stratford Upon Avon

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The birth place of William Shakespeare 

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A Christmas shop that appears to be open all year round!!

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Medieval Meanderings: Warwick Castle

Built by William the conquerer in 1068 and still standing tall.

The majority of of this attraction has been turned into a theme park for children, but the main tower is where you’ll see historic exhibitions of how things would have looked.

The video below (not great I know, but it might give you an idea of what to expect).

Dungeons, Bird of Prey Show, a maze, and various other attractions will keep you busy if staying for a full day.

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https://www.warwick-castle.com/default-a.aspx?utm_expid=16188219-16.FL4CQQbeQBKPhLIa3PeVcg.1&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2F

The National Gallery: art and history combined

Art galleries are great places to pass time, ponder your own thoughts, and feast the artistic eye.

There is something very calming about art galleries, regardless of whether you find any appreciation in the art.

The National Gallery is oozing with historic pieces.

I am amazed at the beauty and incredible size of some of these paintings, and the frames are a vintage lovers dream, fabulously ornate and probably needing a crane to hang them…

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Interesting conversations can be struck with fellow observers, filling you in on some of the more controversial stories behind some of the pieces; a fountain of interesting knowledge is often stood beside you looking at the same piece, unbeknownst to us at the time.

You are permitted to take photographs throughout the gallery, without a flash.

A towering landmark in Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery offers free admission each day. Charges may apply to some side-line (short term) exhibitions, which will be advertised on their website for your information. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk SAM_1722SAM_1714SAM_1715

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Mosaic flooring in the front entrance

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Gift shop purchase: Book mark and fridge magnet

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Out and About: Open Top Big Bus Tour. Time To Be A Tourist!!

I’ve lived in London for over 15 years and have only just taken the opportunity to go on an open top bus tour, courtesy of Big Bus Tours.

This is a great, value for money thing to do in London – whether you’re a born and bred Londoner or a visiting tourist.

Tickets last 48 hours, giving you plenty of time to hop on and off at whatever stops you wish, and then hop on again to continue. Tickets also include a short River Thames Cruise, which is a great way to give you a taste of it if it’s new to you.

The bus we started off on was an all-English narrated bus – with a live commentator speaking through a mic throughout the entire route. However, if you require another language, there are other buses that offer headsets  – you plug in and select your language of choice (including English) and listen to the pre-recorded narration.

Particularly for those new to London, these buses are a very easy way to get around most of the main tourist attractions in central London, you get to gather a sense of your surroundings and landmarks throughout. Dare I say it  there are a lot of Londoners who don’t get out much and really ought to take advantage of what is on their doorstep so….give it a go!

I took a few pictures but honestly, there is so much to see as you are on the move, you’ll be challenged to capture it all!!

For those of us who are out and about quite a lot, its quite nice to ‘be a tourist’ for a change and just take everything in, rather than being in rush mode all the time.

Any down-sides? Not really, only the fact that (due to traffic) you don’t always get much time for photographs while the bus is moving – understandably, but you can get off or return to stops that interest you.

Tickets were £32, and when you see how much you get for your money, it’s worth every single penny.

Chose a day when the weather forecast is dry, I honestly don’t think you will get much out of this unless you sit on the top deck – open top area, so wrap up warm – it gets a bit chilly up there!!

Very funny cruise guide, jokes all the way!!
Very funny cruise guide, jokes all the way!!

See some of the few buildings to have survived the great fire, like this one on Fleet Street:

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Time for Tea!! The Tea Terrace

Next time you’re in House of Fraser on Oxford Street, pop up to the fifth floor (at the back of the children’s clothes department) to experience a feeling of Alice in Wonderland at a tea party, or dolls house afternoon tea. Well kind of.

This is the second time I’ve had tea and cake at The Tea Terrace and it’s such a quaint little place.

The tea cups, saucers, teapots etc are so pretty and dainty….you’ll feel like a princess (or prince if you sit in one of the ridiculously huge thrones).

See web link: http://www.teaterrace.co.uk for more details.

The pictures on the link are old – the pictures below are the latest look!!, which one do you prefer?

Under The Sea: Sea Life London Aquarium

Given my obsession with fish and aquariums, it will come as no surprise that the London Aquarium is an old favourite of mine.

Does anyone else feel like they’re in one of the ‘Alien’ film spaceships when you walk through Westminster tube station, it looks/feels very space-age-esk!!! Take Exit 1 and turn left- cross at the traffic lights – keep walking straight ahead – you’ll see the aquarium from a distance to your left, over the bridge.

Now it isn’t a thrifty day out, but it’s great value for such a vast and varied aquarium that you can stroll through at your leisure.

It’s a visual feast, and educational too.

Website link: https://www.visitsealife.com/london/ 

Above: ……..and the Oscar for the ability to look like a convincing statue goes to this guy, yes he is real, I saw his eyes move. Actually not sure if it’s a he or a she!!

These fish really stare at you!! Tips for the day:

  • Bring drinks and snacks to keep you going
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • Bring a camera (with back up battery life), you can easily spend 2-3 hours or more exploring and taking it all in. You are also surrounded by a few great River Thames  landmarks outside too, very photo-worthy

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  • If you get irritated by crowds, avoid weekends, and bank holidays, or pick a rainy day when people are less likely to want to venture out  – same tip for going shopping too!! (take a day/afternoon off work if possible).
  • We’re in school holiday season now so the crowd is likely to be a bit busier than usual – however it’s a venue that allows you to take your time – no need to rush if you get there nice and early
  • It’s very warm and humid in the aquarium so be prepared to strip of those layers once you’re down there

I’ve tried to capture a good range of what you can expect to see in the VIDEO BELOW – hope you enjoy it!!

Brighton Day Out

……..a Lovely Day

Train trip from London (get tickets online in advance for  a cheap deal) – easy journey, and then 5 min downhill walk from Brighton Station to the beach.

There is so much to see and do in the summertime (August) I was very surprised indeed. The last time I’d been was on a blustery day – it was very quiet and not much going on (this was still nice though). It’s probably worth making an overnight trip and checking into one of the beach front hotels.  Plus in the evening there are lots of live outdoor bands/singers etc…you might want to stick around and not have to worry about getting home.

Also, children of all ages will absolutely love this place, much of the activity is geared towards kids (including the grown up kind, ha ha).

Walkers – this beach is really really really……(and a few more really’s) long, so perfect for a day of leisurely strolling.

Welcome to Brighton Beach
Beautiful blue Brighton sea
Just relax
After the fire
Everyone’s just chillin out

Lots of quirky arts and craft type gift shops 
On the beach
Great for a lazy day
Live statue
Doughnut pier
Fun and games inside, bumper cars bouncy castles and candyfloss!!

Not for the faint hearted


Trampolining on the beach

Volleyball 

Basketball

Crazy golf


The gorilla that needs a bra!!! 


Pool fun and games 

Market stalls
Shopperholics were not disappointed!!

Outdoor paddling pool for kids

It is quite a steep hill to walk up and down to the beach from the station and back (in case mobility is a struggle/help required).