4 places I don’t want to visit 

Most of us have some serious wanderlust. That ever growing list of places we want to visit, and a pang of envy every time we see a beautiful photo of someone in an amazing place. 

So I thought it might be fun to think about the places we DON’T want to visit. Of course, lots of people love these places and I’m not saying they’re not amazing destinations – they’re just not for me.

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Fun ways to learn a language

When I learnt Spanish at school, technology didn’t play much of a part. Doing listening exercises from CDs and visiting the BBC Bitesize website was as technological as it got.

Fast forward a fair few years and I’m picking up my Spanish again, but this time there are so many creative ways to practise. Here are some of my favourites.

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72 hours in Madrid

Madrid can feel a little overwhelming at times – particularly if, like most people, you’re only there for a few days. But it’s a laid-back place where you can experience a little bit of everything a Spanish city has to offer. Here are my picks of the best ways to experience Madrid like a true Madrileño.

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What to pack for a city break

Do you struggle with what to pack for a city break? I’m going to Madrid in a couple of weeks and I’ve been getting seriously stressed about it. At this time of year the weather is a bit mixed – getting warm during the day but cold at night and earlier in the morning. So, I planned out all of my outfits to give me lots of different options with just 20 items. FYI I’m away for four days and this all fits into a carry on case, with a little room for your non-clothes stuff. Here’s what I went for…

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Brick Wonders

Lego has just been named the world’s most powerful brand, which is lucky for the Harley Gallery as it is currently hosting its second Lego exhibition. This time wonders of the world are getting the colourful brick treatment, whether that be the Great Wall of China or more everyday wonders such as the internet and airports.

Brick Wonders isn’t a huge exhibition, but it’s free to enter and you will definitely leave with a smile on your face. Don’t miss the intricate model of Old London Bridge, packed full of life just like it would have been all those years ago. The biggest model is the airport, where you can see all the hustle and bustle of arrivals and departures in miniature.

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Eating out in Valencia

Eating in Valencia is a delight, and you can get a decent meal for two with a drink for 40 euros. Of course you can spend a lot more too, but the cheap price of wine really helps to keep the cost down.

Unlike lots of places I’ve visited where you’ve really needed a guide book to find good food, there are decent looking restaurants down almost every side street. Here are some places we enjoyed.


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Things to see and do in Valencia

When I told people I was going to Valencia, the response was often “why there?” Spain’s third city is a fantastic place for a city break: less geared towards tourists than Barcelona, it has great weather, is full of life and there’s plenty to see and do. Here are my favourite picks from our trip…

El Cabanyal and the beach/promenade

Part of Valencia’s appeal is the respite from the city provided by its beaches – miles and miles of them. Continue reading

Copenhagen: a design for life

As soon as you walk out on to the hardwood floors of Copenhagen Airport, you know you’re in a city which takes aesthetics very seriously. Design is a way of life for the Danes and is central to Copenhagen’s appeal.

You’ll find a chic cafe on every corner, everything stylish from the minimalist interiors to the neutral clothes of the clientele. It’s a city without superfluous details, where your mug comes without a handle and your sandwich without a top.

A new generation of Danes are reinventing their cuisine, led by the so-called world’s best restaurant, Noma. If your budget is more modest, you can still eat with the locals. Try the coffee at Emmerys and award-winning modern smørrebrød at Aamanns.


A modern take on the traditional smørrebrød at Aamanns

Copenhagen has something for everyone when it comes to sites. There’s a royal palace almost at the end of every street – pack a pair of trainers and you can see them all on foot in a weekend. Culture vultures can indulge in everything from opera to Nordic noir tours (or just power walk around Christiansborg for a bit pretending you’re Birgitte Nyborg).


Make like Birgitte at Christiansborg

As in most European capitals you’ll pay over the odds for everything from your coffee to your hotel room – and the fact you get nearly ten kroner to a pound makes those prices look even more eye watering than they are. But you might find a few days living like the world’s happiest people isn’t a bad investment.