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London Bucket List: Things to Do in London 2017

The Ultimate 2017 London Bucket List

London Bucket List

So I’m certainly not one to sit and let life pass me by, and I started the year with a personal ‘ London Bucket List‘. Whether it be on days off, after work or quick lunchtime visits I’v been working my way through the list to see and experience everything London has to offer!

The ultimate London Bucket List.

I hope the list is useful to others visiting or living in London. I will update the post accordingly as I add, or complete items. Here goes (Drum Rolllll)In no particular order…

#1 British Museum ✓

British Museum 💙

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#2 Tate Gallery ✓

#3 National History Museum ✓

#4 Science Museum

#5 Imperial War Museum ✓

Imperial War Museum 🛩 #londonmuseum

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#6 British Library ✓

#7 Wellcome Collection ✓

#8 Saatchi Gallery ✓

#9 Big Ben ✓

#10 Westminster Abbey ✓

#11 Tower Bridge

#12 Tower of London

#13 London Eye

#14 Climb Monument

#15 St. Pauls

#16 Changing of the Guard

#17 Buckingham Palace tour ✓

#18 Kensington Palace

#19 The Globe Theatre

#20 See a West-End ✓

#21 Comedy Show ✓

#22 Royal Opera House

#23 Bike Tour ✓

#24 Thames Kayaking ✓

#25 Boat on The Thames ✓

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#26 Emirates Cable Car

#27 Up at The O2 ✓

Say cheeseee 📸 #upattheO2

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#28 Swim in a Lido

#29 London Zoo ✓

#30 Primrose Hill ✓

#31 Hampstead Heath ✓

#32 Kew Gardens

#33 Richmond Park ✓

#34 Hackney City Farm

#35 Regents Canal – Little Venice ✓

#36 Hyde Park Pedalos

#37 Leadenhall Market

#38 Camden Market ✓

Camden ✌🏻📸 #camdenlock

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#39 Borough Market ✓

#40 Malby St ✓

#41 Columbia Road Flower Market ✓

#42 Brick Lane Curry ✓

#43 Junk Yard Golf

#44 Bounce

#45 Flight Club

#46 Proud Cabaret Show

#47 Kensington Roof Gardens

#48 Notting Hill ✓

#49 Harrods ✓

#50 Henley Regatta ✓

#51 Royal Ascot ✓

#52 Polo in the Park

#53 Wimbledon Tennis ✓

Before we sprayed it everywhere 🍾#henmanhill

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#54 Sketch

#55 Bob Bob Richard

#56 Lunch at The Ritz ✓

#57 Bottomless Brunch @ BungaBunga ✓

#58 Mr. Foggs Cocktails

#59 Sushi Samba ✓

#60 Burger & Lobster ✓

#61 The Ivy

#62 Sky Garden ✓

Sky Garden London

#63 Peggy Porschen Cakes ✓

#64 Champagne Brunch at The Landmark ✓

#65 The Colour Run ✓

#66 Gordons Wine Bar ✓

#67 Madison’s Rooftop ✓

#68 Winter Wonderland ✓

#69 Greenwich Observatory

#70 The V&A

Sightseeing Saturday ☀️👌🏻

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So there we have my ‘ work in progress’ bucket list.

I’d love to hear you thoughts and suggestions in the comments…

Looking for more info on London. Check out my post for weekend itineraries,  cheap date night ideas or the best round up of free fitness classes.

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5 Places You Must Visit in Myanmar

Top 5 Place To Visit in Myanmar

Myanmar is unlike any other destination I have visited in South East Asia, under developed and bursting with off the beaten track adventures.

I’v recapped the highlights from trip, in the hope it inspires you to visit!

1)Yangon

Marvel at the Shwedagon Pagoda 

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This gigantic gold pagoda is lit up on an evening and the stupa (top of the pagoda) is covered with 4531 diamonds! If time permits, I’d also recommend jumping on the railway loop and take a glimpse at local life. (See Travel Fish review)

2)Bagan 

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A trip to Myanmar would not be complete without visiting the temples! The remains of the temples stretch across the landscape making for unbelievable sunrise and sunset views (and photo opportunities). You can easily hire an E-Bike to navigate between sites – and hopefully you will be a better rider than me. I took a small tumble into a thorn bush and spent the day battling to stay on the bike!

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3)Mandalay 

Sunset at the famous U-Bein Bridge

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4)Hsipaw

Take a truly eye opening railway journey over the Gokteik Viaduct

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A contrast to the Western Standards of plush seats and packaged food. Gone is the trolley cart, replaced with plastic bag noodles.

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5) Kalaw/Inle Lake  

If I had to pick one travel highlight from five months in SEA this would be it! Three days trekking with a local guide from Kalaw across to Inle Lake.trekking.jpg

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(Tip: There’s a cute winery in Inle Lake – you can cycle too, beware of the hill!)

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Places to skip: Nay Pyi Taw, the new capital is a ghost town!

Recommended hostels in Myanmar:

Pickled Tea Yangon

Yoe Yoe Lay Homestay Mandalay 

Golden Kalaw Inn

Looking for more inspiration? Check out my top 10 photos of Southeast Asia

Read more about my trek – Kalaw to Inle Lake

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10 Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Southeast Asia

Must-See Places and Countries in Southeast Asia

I have such fond memories of Southeast Asia, where I spent 5 months travelling through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. Aside from partying and drinking buckets on the beach (for those who haven’t been, I’m referring to sandcastle buckets full of booze). I went on jungle hikes in Chiang Mai, abseiled waterfalls in Da Lat, trekked rice fields in SaPa and went diving in Thailand.

Here are some pictures, that I hope inspire you to visit!

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Sunrise over Bagan, Myanmar
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Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
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Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint, Thailand
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Maya Bay, Thailand
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Sukhothai Historical Park
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Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Kuang Si Falls, Laos
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Inle Lake, Myanmar
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Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
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Ko Nang Yuan, Thailand

 

Questions about Southeast Asia, feel free to ask me!

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The Best Free Fitness Classes in London

Here’s my round up of the best FREE fitness classes in London

London’s Best Free Fitness Classes

If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m a fitness addict! I love exploring London’s latest classes, hitting the trendiest gyms or pounding the pavements. Sadly, this often comes at a (ridiculously high!) cost.

However, staying fit doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

Here’s my round up of the best free fitness classes in London. Whether you’re living in London or simply visiting , there are plenty of free London workouts to keep you in shape.

15 Free Fitness Classes in London

  1. Project Awesome  “Free, fun, badass workouts in your City” Set the 6AM alarm, for an awesome early morning workout.
  2. Never Stop London The North Face hosts challenging group workouts, monthly trail runs and climbing session. Be quick, the spaces fill up fast!Free London Fitness Class
  3. Nike Nike offers a selection of running, strength and mobility classes open to all abilities. Often held in the idyllic London parks, this was my go to when I first moved to London.
  4. Adidas  host a jam packed schedule of free classes. Mixed weekly runs, in addition to  women only  events taking place at their East London studio. Not only are classes free, they often collaborate with top brands to offer free snacks, with sessions led by top athletes and influences. Use Facebook messenger to book.
  5. Lululemon offer in store classes and hold inspiring talks. I was lucky enough to grab a spot on a recent talk that included Clean Eating Alice!
  6. Tribe  Aside from tasty training snacks (Check out the Vegan protein – it’s my go to!). Tribe host a range of fun free events.You can get your first Tribe box for only £1 – with my referral link!
  7. Mile27 Super quirky Coffee shop (/bar!) serving as a hub for runners, and hosting free weekly runs. This is top ↑ of my to do list thumbnail_FullSizeRender
  8. Air Conditioned Check out the views from Primrose Hill ⇑ whilst working up a sweat
  9. Reebok FitHub Check out Reebok’s free in store classes.
  10. Sweatshop  You can join a host a weekly Sweatshop runs across London.
  11. New Balance   One of my favourite sportswear brands, offer a weekly run club from there new(ish) flagship store on Oxford Street.
  12. Sweaty Betty   Sweaty Betty free classes include Circuit Training, Yoga and Barre.
  13. WMNRUN   Weekly runs, open to everyone. Connecting and inspiring women across London ⇓ Free womens running club london
  14.  BMF  Why not give this bootcamp class a try – first class is free
  15.  Arcteryxpiccadilly Hosting runs, workshops and talks.

A quick mention to Eventbrite , you can find listings for pop up fitness events and weekly clubs.

Want more? Find out what’s hot in London this month with Lunges and Lycra 

Interested in reading how my first Marathon – Check it out here!

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Do you know a free fitness class in London? If it’s missing from the list let me know.

Things to Do in London: Girls Weekend Guide

How to Spend a Girls Weekend in London

Looking for ideas on how to spend a girls weekend in London – you’re in the right place!

Here is my sample itinerary to snap the tourist hot spots and have fun filled weekend:

Day One:

Start the morning with a stroll around Camden Market and the quaint shops in Primrose Hill – hit up one of the boutique cafes for brunch or grab a croissant to go.

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The views from the top of Primrose Hill are amazing – Camera at the ready!

Primrose Hill

Passing through Primrose Hill, continue walking to Regents Park. Why not visit London Zoo, or hire a pedalos on the Boating Lake!

Spend the afternoon lost in the museums! A hidden gem is the Wellcome Collection (conveniently located by Euston Station, or a short walk from Regents Park). Jump on the tube across to The V&A and explore the impressive collections of sculptures, painting, jewellery and exhibitions.

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In the evening, I suggest grabbing some last minute tickets for a theatre show! I’v watched Wicked and Matilda, equally a enjoyable.  I love the Today Tix app for buying last minute theatre tickets  (P.S. use my refferal link for £10 off, and I also get £10 credit .

Day Two:

Start your morning with a spot of shopping on Oxford and Regent Street.

Treat yourself to lunch with a view – make a reservation at Aqua Shard or Madison. If Afternoon Tea is more your thing, check out Sanderson for the Mad Hatters Tea Party.

Do you like our Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea as much as us? Don't forget to share your photos using #ImAMadHatter​

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Or jump on this vintage London bus for afternoon tea with a twist.

Late afternoon, make your way to Greenwich to explore the market, and if the sun is shinning check out The Gipsy Moth for a glass of wine overlooking the Cutty Sark.

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In the evening, take a boat cruise departing from Greenwich pier. This two hour cruise, passes under Tower Bridge, and along Westminster (Big Ben) to Battersea, before returning at 9pm. What an excellent way to end the weekend!

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My boat trip was super lucky, and witnessed tower bridge being raised!

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Want more…?

Feeling more active, I’d highly recommend a bike tour! It’s an easy and fun way to take in London sights.

Looking for more ideas, check out my alternative weekend itinerary, evening guide or the ultimate London Bucket List.

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Trekking in Myanmar: Kalaw to Inle Lake

Guide to Trekking Kalaw to Inle Lake

Trekking Guide in Myanmar

Since I mentioned in my previous post that the Kalaw – Inle Lake trek was a huge highlight of my SEA trip, I decided to share more details!

I choose the three day/two night option. We departed from my accommodation in Kalaw (Golden Kalaw Inn) and headed uphill through small villages and tea plantations. We stopped to visit a local school and family.

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If your worried about how difficult the trek is – don’t be! An average level of fitness would be adequate to complete the trek, walking was alternated with frequent breaks and tea stops. Given I had spent several months boozing and binging on Thai pancakes I was far from my fitness peak!

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Our accommodation for the evening was simple but cosy, with our guide preparing a delicious Burmese feast! Washed down of course with a few local Dagon beers.

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trekking

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It’s not often you see a guy riding a buffalo…?! Beat’s a summer tube commute in London!

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The 70km trek ends in Inle lake, where you can witness the unique fishing technique, head to the local hot spring or as I did – cycle to the winery  !

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There is something refreshing about leaving behind fast paced modern life, and going back to basics. Well for a few days at least! Never again will I take a hot shower for granted!

If you had to choose one thing to do in Myanmar – pick this!

Looking for more on Myanmar – check out my top five places!

Or see my photos that will inspire you to visit Southeast Asia

Any questions – just ask!?

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Things To Do in Lisbon: A Weekend Itinerary

How to Spend Two Days in Lisbon. Top Things To Do.

Lisbon is a must visit city – It was a highlight of my summer trip to Europe! Ideal for a weekend break, and I’v shared my suggested Itinerary below:

Day One

Take a free walking tour and explore the best the city has to offer. I took the Sandmans tour, and highly recommend it for insider knowledge of the city. For amazing views of the city check out Sao Jorge Castle.

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In the afternoon, jump on Tram 15 to Belem. Go check out the Belem Tower, Jeronimos Monastery and be sure to try the famous Pasteis de Belem (it’s worth the Que!).

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How cute is this Pink House

Hungry? Check out Timeout Market, for the best selection of food and drink vendors. A great place to start the night, then why not head to Bairro Alto District, your guaranteed a lively night out.

Day Two 

Visit Sintra, this UNESCO World heritage site is full of colourful fairytale castles! Cameras at Ready. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes/trainers, exploring Sintra requires a lot of walking!

To reach Sintra, simply take the train from Lisbon Rossio station for under €5.

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Fancy a trip to the seaside – take a day trip to Cascias.

Looking for somewhere to stay? I stayed at Yes Hostel and loved it. Not only are the dorms well equipped this hostel is super social, if your a solo traveller you’ll make heap of new friends.

If your staying longer in Portugal, I would recommend heading south to surfing hot spot Lagos.

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10 Things I Learnt Running a Marathon

Tips and Advice on Running Your First Marathon

When I was running regularly (currently a distant memory!), I took the plunge and signed up to run a Marathon. I thought I would write a blog post to reflect on the experience and the things I learnt running  crawling those 26.2 Miles.

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Pre Race Smiles

1) Your mind WILL get you the finish. Regardless of how many training miles you put in, ultimately if you’re as strong willed as I am, you will make it to the end.

2) Food is your best friend. I need no excuse to eat extra Harbio, and I certainly ate my way around the marathon. From gels, to mini waffles, sweets to bananas, they all kept my energy levels up and kept me smiling.

3) It’s an emotional roller coaster. One minute you feel on top of the world, with bags of energy, the next your on the verge of tears and fighting to keep moving.

4) The journey is key not the time. Yes we all like to chase numbers, but it really isn’t about the time. It’s about the journey from start to finish, people you meet, things you see and the determination that gets you to the finish line. (3 hours or 30 hours – a marathon is a marathon!)

5) Thighs are made to chaff . Ouch. I should of worn leggings! (was my thought at mile 12). Despite lashings of Body Glide my thighs still managed to chaff.  I had previously tested the anti chaff stick before the big day, but I think the heat and extra distance resulted in painful chaffing. Next time, if there ever is a next time ,I need to carry this with me or wear longer leggings. 

6) I can run without headphones . I only found out just before the race that headphones were banned (due to a road safety) and I instantly went into panic mode. Rather unnecessarily, as I learnt I didn’t need music to keep me motivated. Yes, it would of been a great boost to listen to my beloved dance music, but I learnt I was capable of running without it! Something I would never have believed in previously.

7) It can be painful – I started off great and injury free, but by halfway I had a run in with ITBS making the second half super painful around my knee. This is probably in part my own fault as I left training rather late and had to ramp up the miles over a shorter time frame. To avoid this space out and slowly build training miles. 

8) There is always someone faster/slower/older/younger or worse off. Runners come in all shapes, sizes and ages. Just go at your own pace and (try to) enjoy it.

9) Don’t overthink it. The night before I was worrying about what meal to eat and how it would effect my performance the following day. I opted for the classic pasta dish, but added a glass of wine! Did the wine stop me running the next day – No! Of course be precautious, but the odd tipple of wine or dessert isn’t going to stop you getting to the finish line.

10) You will never want to run again.  I had fallen out of love with running. I had invested so much time in running over the past months that after the marathon I simply didn’t want to run again! I could pursue other sports and interests, and didn’t feel the pressure to run.

However I am slowly feeling the urge to get back running. I would love some advice on how to fall back in love with running.

All comments welcome.

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Obligatory Medal Pic

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