Browsing Category


See the world through these 5 Instagram accounts

By 13 March 2015 Travel

Nowadays I’m an armchair traveller. I wish I could jet off to new and exciting places whenever I want. One day!

I have to make do with seeing the world through others’ eyes at the moment and one of the best ways to do this is through Instagram. So whether you’re stuck in Blighty or planning a big trip, here are five of my favourite travel Instagram accounts to follow for inspiration.

Jodi Ettenberg aka Legal Nomads

Liz Carlson aka Young Adventuress

Kash Bhattacharya aka Budget Traveller

Andrea Petroni aka VoloGratis

Fjällbacka – Sweden

A photo posted by Andrea Petroni (@vologratis) on

Lonely Planet

I’m always looking for new accounts to follow on Instagram. Who are your favourite Instagrammers to follow for travel inspiration? Let me know in the comments below.

You Might Also Like

5 Cheap Getaways for 2015

By 15 February 2015 Travel

The fab thing about low cost airlines is that it makes a cheap getaway somewhere exciting within reach of most of us. Jump on a plane on a Friday and be back to work Monday morning. Wouldn’t those ‘how was your weekend?’ conversations much more interesting?

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you flying away for longer. Each of these destinations offers enough to keep your attention for some time.

So, these are five new routes for 2015. With more of the world being opened up by low cost flights, where will you go next?


Essaouira, Morocco (8141909225).jpg
Essaouira, Morocco (8141909225)” by yeowatzup from Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany – Essaouira, Morocco
Uploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This year, easyJet is becoming the first UK airline to fly to the bohemian Moroccan city of Essaouira. This port city, according to Lonely Planet pronounced ‘essa-weera’, is the perfect place to escape from the dreary British winter. It might be 8 degrees today in Kent, but it’s 18 degrees in Essaouira.

Jet away to Essaouira from Luton from just £40.99 each way with easyJet.

Ponta Delgada (Azores)

Açores (7776709530).jpg
Açores (7776709530)” by Abspires40 from Cape Town, South Africa – IMG_9486
Uploaded by tm. Licenced under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

If you’re more of an outdoors girl, then the Azores could be the perfect getaway. Just 4 hours from the UK, this volcanic archipelago offers a mild climate all year round and a ridiculous amount of outdoor activities to keep you busy. You’ve got hiking, canyoning, kayaking and paragliding if you’re feeling energetic, or if you prefer to chill out on your island paradise, why not go whale watching, enjoy a spa treatment or laze on one of the dark sand beaches. The whole thing sounds pretty idyllic.

Fly to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel from Stansted from £44.99 each way with Ryanair.


Pláž 4.jpg
Pláž 4“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

From May, Monarch is adding Rhodes to its list of destinations. For long sun-drenched days this summer, head out to Greece where temperatures are usually in the high 30s. Spend your days reading next to the pool or swimming in the crystal blue waters while in the evenings you can explore the white-washed villages and hilltop acropolis.

With flights starting at £39.99 each way, you can jet off to Rhodes from Gatwick or Manchester.


South view from Clérigos Tower-2.jpeg
South view from Clérigos Tower-2” by User:WafryOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The colourful and romantic city of Porto nestles on the steep bank of the Rio Douro. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can explore to your heart’s content. Wine lovers can disappear into the world’s oldest demarcated vineyards for tastings. Porto is becoming a popular weekend break destination because of the low cost flights. Go there now before it gets too busy!

Fly from Luton to Porto with easyJet from £36.99 each way.


7409vik Wawel. Foto Barbara Maliszewska.jpg
7409vik Wawel. Foto Barbara Maliszewska” by Barbara MaliszewskaOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 pl via Wikimedia Commons.

Once the royal capital of Poland, Krakow is now a lively city with as much nightlife as there is history. Be the queen of culture during the day and then party the night away. Don’t forget to visit Wawel Castle, the Renaissance palace that was the political and cultural hub of Poland until the end of the 16th century.

British Airways are flying to Krakow from Heathrow from a super £72 return. Bargain!

Share your thoughts – if you could fly anywhere for next weekend, where would it be? Leave a comment!

You Might Also Like

2015 Travel Plans

By 13 January 2015 Life, Lifestyle, Travel
Travel plans 2015

This year, I’m actually going to travel abroad. My poor passport didn’t see any action in 2014. I’m sure it’s feeling a little neglected.


Yes I realise this isn’t abroad, but I’m going to include my weekend in this royal borough in my travel plans because I intend to make the most of it. I’m going to the Traverse 15 travel blogger conference. Yes, these meagre travel plans mean I’m not exactly a top travel blogger, but travel is my passion and I’m sure that what I’ll learn will be transferable.

I’m determined to travel more. In fact, I read a great article by Monica of The Travel Hack about saving money for travel and I intend to take on board her advice. This year, these few plans are all I can muster but I intend to get my finances in order during the year so that from next year on I can travel a whole lot more.


Pontivy panorama

My parents live in Brittany. You’d think that would mean regular trips over to see them but unfortunately, finances dictate otherwise. The last time we went over there was Christmas 2013.  I was determined to visit during the summer though as it’s been quite chilly during our last couple of trips.

I’m going alone to France in June. I’ve picked up a £50 flight from Ryanair and timed it over a weekend so that I can spend 6 days there but only take 4 days holiday.  I only get 20 days annual leave per year so every day is precious.


I’ve booked two weeks off in October to coincide with my birthday and I’m determined to spend it on a beach somewhere. Unfortunately I can’t afford the Caribbean or somewhere else exotic or tropical but we can hopefully stretch to ten nights on the Algarve.

I’ve seen some pretty amazing deals where we can get 10 nights self catering for about £500. I’m definitely going to be exploring lots of options. We’ll hopefully be spending lots of time out and about so the accommodation doesn’t matter too much, but I’d like decent self catering facilities as we won’t be able to afford to eat out every night, and a swimming pool is also a must. Somehow it doesn’t feel like a holiday unless there’s swimming involved!

If anyone has any recommendations for places to stay, things to do, etc on the Algarve please let me know!

I’ll probably buy a guide book. I’m trying to do my bit to keep the travel book publishers in business! 😉 Or perhaps I’m just old-school.

guidebook collection

So that’s about it for my 2015 travel plans.

Where are you off to this year? Let me know in the comments.

Rachel x

You Might Also Like

Exploring Blair Castle and Killiecrankie, Perthshire

By 17 October 2014 Life, Lifestyle, Scotland, Travel
Blair Castle through the trees

I decided that it couldn’t possibly by right to visit Scotland without going to a castle. The nearest to where we were staying was Blair Castle.

Blair Castle, Perthshire

Situated outside the village of Blair Atholl, near Pitlochry, stands the pretty white castle with a history that spans 700 years. The current castle is Victorian and the east wing is still home to the family of the Duke of Atholl.

We arrived at Blair Castle just in time for the piper.

Piper at Blair Castle

The rooms accessible to the public are beautifully decorated and take you back in time. There’s something a bit voyeuristic about peeking into the lives of others but, perhaps because I’m extremely nosy, I love it! Just like Through the Keyhole or the fabulous home tours on The Everygirl! (By the way, if you want to see how young, professional women live in America, you should definitely check out The Everygirl!)

No photography was permitted inside the castle, except in the ballroom but that was one of the least interesting rooms. The main stairway was adorned with weapons and there were stag heads lining the corridors. This was most definitely home to some serious hunters. But then hunting is one of those country pursuits that is still very much enjoyed in this part of the world. Deer stalking is carried out between July and February to both bring money into the estate and to keep the deer population under control.

After we ate our lunch sitting on a wet bench (picnics and Scotland in September don’t really mix!), we got to exploring the grounds a little. Close to the castle itself is the Hercules Garden. This walled, ornamental garden is gorgeous. It’s full of bright flowers, fruit trees, topiary and sculptures, all surrounding a huge pond.

I love photographing flowers. The colours always come out so well.

Flowers at Blair Castle

Blair Castle is sat within the expansive Atholl Estates. We walked just one short path that took us through ancient woodland, alongside a gorge of a river and inside a Victorian folly.

River in the woods Blair Castle

We just about spotted a red squirrel before it scuttled back up the tree. This meant spending a long time with our necks craned trying to find more squirrels but to no avail. We did meet a friendly German Shepherd though!

View Atholl Estates

Having spent a few hours at Blair Castle, we continued down the road towards Pitlochry and visited the famous Killiecrankie. Here at ‘Soldier’s Leap’ a fleeing Jacobite soldier evaded the enemy by leaping from one side of the gorge to the other. I think it was about 17 feet! Aside from being a place of historical significance, the Pass of Killiecrankie is a pretty stunning location.


Pass of Killiecrankie

Soldier's Leap, Killiecrankie

Before heading back to our cosy cottage, we did pop by Pitlochry but the shops were closed and it was starting to get late so we didn’t stop long.

Pitlochry main street, Perthshire

We loved our holiday in Scotland. This is just one of the days out we enjoyed. Have you been to Scotland? Where did you visit?

If you like castles, you might also want to read about Dover Castle in Kent.

Rachel x

You Might Also Like

Autumn in the Scottish Highlands

By 4 October 2014 Outdoors, Photography, Scotland, Travel, United Kingdom
Autumn in the Scottish Highlands

This time last week I was driving home from South Yorkshire where we spent an overnight to break up the long journey from Scotland. That’s one of the downsides of living right in the south east corner of the UK; everywhere else in the country is a long way away!

We spent an awesome week in the Highlands, that followed a fantastic 6 nights camping in Cumbria. This holiday felt like it had taken an age to come around. Aside from a few days away here and there, we’ve not been on holiday since our honeymoon in May 2013. Having two weeks off work has been bliss and it meant returning feeling refreshed and raring to go.

Neither of us had been to Cumbria or the Highlands before and I think we chose the right time of year. Scotland was stunning and we were in awe of the view at every turn.

Woods at Blair Castle estate
When we left Kent, it was still late summer. Autumn seemed to happen in front of our eyes during our holiday. Now the fall is well and truly here. These woods at Blair Castle are home to red squirrels. We were lucky enough to just about spot one as it scrambled up a tree.

Ferns  at Rothiemurchus
Our rented cottage was about half an hour or so from Aviemore. Just down the road is the Rothiemurchus estate. We parked for FREE (a shock to system after forking out a fortune in parking charges everywhere in the Lake District) in the woodland car park and took a delightful stroll through this Highland estate. The dying ferns were turning brown, the purple heather was full of glistening spiders’ webs and the leaves were literally falling around us.

Woods on Rothiemurchus estate near Aviemore
Rothiemurchus is obviously a popular place on a Sunday and we were by no means the only people out enjoying the unseasonable warm weather. I managed to avoid getting anyone else in my photos though, so we can always pretend we were the only ones there!

Outside the Clachaig Inn Glencoe
Glencoe was simply awe inspiring. Having arrived to the area late, we didn’t really get to explore but we stopped for a beer in the Clachaig Inn, which is right in the heart of the glen with insane views from the car park!

Streetlight on bridge at Boat of Garten, Speyside
On our last day, we went for a drive around Speyside. Having driven through Boat of Garten, we continued over a bridge over the river Spey. Hubby had to pull over on the side of the road so I could get out and take some pictures!

River Spey Boat of Garten
The river was shimmering in the early evening sunshine. This area of Scotland is the home of whiskey production. There are a huge number of distilleries in the area, with some famous names including Glenfiddich, Aberlour and Glenlivet. Since neither of us particularly like the spirit we didn’t stop for a wee dram.

Padlock on gate at the Highland Wildlife Park
Sister to Edinburgh Zoo, the Highland Wildlife Park has to be in one of the most picturesque settings for a zoo. Hubby thought I’d gone mad taking a photo of this locked gate but I knew the colours would match that of the landscape!

Sun through the clouds out car window
I took far too many photos out of the car windows this holiday. Don’t get me wrong, Kent is a beautiful part of the world but it’s mostly rolling hills, flat marsh and farmland. Both the Lake District and Scotland had us driving around open-mouthed for the majority of the time. The most uttered words in the car were ‘wow, look at that view’!

We fell in love with the Scottish Highlands. So much so that we might live there one day! Have you ever been to the Highlands? What did you think?

Rachel x

You Might Also Like