Visit Birmingham – Top 10 reasons

Visit Birmingham

Top 10 reasons to visit Birmingham, UK.

Visit Birmingham
Birmingham city from the air

A lot of people don’t realise that Birmingham is Englands second city. That’s right! Not Manchester or Liverpool – Birmingham! There are so many reasons to visit Birmingham. Whether you are from the UK and looking for a city break or visiting the UK from abroad and wondering where to stop on your road trip. Birmingham is a great place to explore and here are my top 10 reasons why….

1) Shopping.

Birmingham has become one of the best shopping cities in the UK. The famous bullring shopping centre has a wide range of shops for all budgets. Including four fabulous floors in the renowned Selfridges.

For vintage finds and unique boutiques head to the custard factory in the Digbeth area. If you are lucky there will be a vintage fair or show. Excellent for one-off pieces and rare gems.

For the fashion conscious to the bargain hunter. Birmingham has got something for everyone.

Visit Birmingham
Selfridges at Birmingham bullring.

2) Museums and Art galleries.

There are lots of interesting exhibits in and around Birmingham. Perfect for art lovers. The museum and art gallery in Victoria square is home of the Staffordshire hoard. The biggest Anglo-saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found. In addition to this there is a baroque art collection and the history of Birmingham exhibit.

As well as the main museum, there is the Thinktank science museum. This is a great place to take kids for interactive learning and discovery.

A smaller art gallery can be found at Birmingham University. The Barber Institute is home to some spectacular paintings.  Famous artists work including Turner, Van Gough, Monet and Renoir.

Visit Birmingham
Birmingham museum and art gallery Victoria square.

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Top 10 instagram photos of 2014

Kata Beach Instagram top 10

Here are my most liked Top 10 Instagram photographs in 2014!

One of my favourite social media sites, I started my Instagram account in March 2014. Here are my most liked posts since I joined this year! I hope you enjoy them and if you are not following me already find me @travelgeektara

Which is your favourite?

10. St Marks Basilica Venice

Number 10 of my Instagram top 10 posts this year is of St Marks Basilica in Venice. The square here is so open and different to the rest of the winding canals and alleys of Venice.

Instagram top 10
St Marks Basilica Venice

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Dubrovnik Top 10 things to do

Dubrovnik top 10

Dubrovnik Top 10 things to do

 1) Walk the old city walls

Take a walk along the city walls and enjoy the views across the old town and the Mediterranean sea. Go at sunset to enjoy incredible views..

Dubrovnik
Old town City walls at Sunset Dubrovnik

2) Try the Seafood especially the black seafood risotto

The seafood in Dubrovnik is delicious. With many restaurants at and around the harbour you are spoiled for choice. To splash out try Nautika Restaurant.

Dubrovnik top 10
Black seafood risotto Image from Abuelas beach house blog


3) Take a trip over to Lokrum Island

Take the small ferry, a 10 minute ride from the old Dubrovnik harbour. Here you will find an old monastery, wandering peacocks, and a dead sea lake where you can swim and relax.

Dubrovnik
Lokrum Island Dubrovnik

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Top 10 things to do in Berlin

Top 10 things to do in Berlin

1) Visit the Brandenberg Gate

One of the most iconic sights to see in Berlin. Usually top of the list for tourists visiting Berlin.

Brandenberg Gate Berlin
Brandenberg Gate

2) Try curry-wurst

Head to Rosentheler Platz to try this popular German snack. Home to plenty of eateries and un-fussy lunch spots.

Curry-wurst
Curry-wurst image Wikipedia

3) Pay your respects at the Holocaust memorial

A site of 2711 concrete slabs varying in size to form what appears to be a maze. Finished in 2004, this memorial attracts around 10,000 visitors a day.

Holocaust memorial, top 10 things to do in Berlin
Holocaust memorial

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Camping in the UK- 10 reasons to go this summer

10 reasons to go camping in the UK

Camping is for everyone, families, friends, couples and all. There are so many campsites out there that cater for a range of different needs, from full facilities to rugged back to basics. Below are just some of the reasons why you should try camping in the UK this summer.

1) To get away from it all

Leave the smart phones and the computers behind, un-tether yourself from the internet and enjoy the outdoors

2) To cook outdoors

Bacon butties for breakfast and a cup of tea from the camping stove?  And there’s nothing better than a BBQ when the sun is shining  in the evening.  All washed down by a few beers.

3) To enjoy the English countryside

There are so many locations in the UK where the countryside is extensive and unspoiled. The lake district is one of the most popular camping regions known for its beautiful lakes and mountain scenery.

Camping

4) To climb a mountain

The largest mountains in each country are Scarfell Pike in the Lake District, England, Snowdon, in Snowdonia in Wales and of course Ben Nevis in the Scottish Highlands, Scotland.  Camping is available in all of these regions.

5) To sit around a campfire

It’s best to check with your campsite before you book and make sure they allow campfires if you are planning to have one. When it starts to get dark, light the fire and gather around, sing songs, roast marshmallows and talk until the flames dwindle.

6) To discover the wildlife

It’s great when you get a glimpse of animals and birds in their natural environment. Take a walk through quiet woods and you may spot a deer happily wandering through the trees. Look up to the skies and you might see circling birds of prey.

Camping UK
English Countryside

7) To see the stars

If you live in the city you rarely get to experience the star filled skies without light or air pollution in the way.  It’s amazing to lie back and look at the sky, you may even see a shooting star (don’t forget to make a wish)

8) To wake up with the sun

There’s nothing like waking up with the sunrise, un-zipping the tent and taking a deep breath of the fresh morning air. Such a great way to wake up in the morning.

9) To save money and holiday on the cheap!

Camping can become a very cheap holiday for all! With campsites charging from £5 per night, the opportunity to pick and choose  your location, to prepare your own meals  and do as little or as much as you like while you are there!

10) To get back to basics and pass on the skills

Camping as a family means new adventures shared together, from fire-lighting to spotting wildlife. Hiking to outdoor cooking. Skills are being passed on through generations and an appreciation of the life we live! Even the adults can learn a thing or two from time to time!

To find a campsite try UK campsite.co.uk where you can filter the sites by location and facilities

Are you convinced? What do you think about camping? Leave a comment….

 

Top 10 European Beers

My Top 10 European Beers

Drinking beer is a favourite pastime in Europe. From a pint of ale in traditional English pubs to a stein in a German beer hall, Europe is home to some of the best beer in the world. Here are my favourites…

Top 10 European beers
Image from Wikipedia

 1. Pilsner Urquell or Plzeňský Prazdro

Brewed in Pilsen in the Czech republic, the brewery’s main product since 1898. The brewery holds a two-day beer festival ‘Pilsner Fest’ annually in October.

2. Hofbrau original

Brewed by Hofbrauhaus in Munich, this beer is served in the famous Hofbrauhaus beer hall in Munich.  This is definitely worth a visit. See the waitresses in traditional dress, hearty Bavarian menu, and as much singing and glass clinking as you can handle!

 

Top 10 European beers
Tyskie beer Poland image from the brew club

3. Tyskie

A Polish pale beer brewed near Krakow, there are brewery tours which include the brewery museum and beer tasting in the Tyskie Pub.

4. Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Brewed in Rome, this Italian premium lager meaning Peroni ‘blue ribbon’ is enjoyed all over the world.

5. Ozujsku pivo

The leading beer brand in Croatia brewed in the Zagrebačka pivovara brewery in Zagreb.

Top 10 European beers
Staropramen beer image from my bottle shop

 6. Staropramen

Another beer from the Czech Republic, brewed in a district of Prague since 1869. The name Staropramen means ‘old spring’, and is brewed as Lager Beer, Granat Beer and dark beer.

 7. Guinness

Ok, so this is not one of my favourites it’s my husbands. But you can’t go to Ireland without trying a pint of Guinness stout. An original and popular flavour made from unroasted barley and often called a meal in a glass! Take a tour of the Guinness storehouse to get the full experience.

Top 10 European beers
Lowenbrau image from beers around the globe

8. Duvel

A Belgian ‘victory beer’  brewed in the Moortgat Brewery,  Breendonk  in Belgium. Described as ‘a real devil’ due to the high alcohol percentage of 8.5%

9. Lowenbrau

Another beer brewed in Munich in Germany, the name meaning ‘lions brew’ . This Bavarian beer has been served at every Oktoberfest in Munich since 1810.

10. Estrella Damm

The beer to drink in Barcelona, a Pilsner style lager brewed in Catalonia. Estrella meaning ‘star’ is sipped by locals and tourists alike in this laid back city.

 

 What are your favourite European beers? Tell me what you think…….