SW Coastal Road Trip Day 4 – St Ives, Lands End & Newquay

We woke up refreshed andready to go for another day of exploring the South West coast!

Waking up In the Hobbit Homes was really cool and very refreshing. You stepped straight outside into the fresh air so it was nice to have a cuppa and enjoy the fresh morning weather! Once we had walked down to the washrooms, had a shower and freshened up check out was at 10 so we got sorted and headed out to explore St Ives! The washrooms were also really clean and fresh. Although it would have been nice to see someone cleaning it straight after we had used it for other guests we also understand in todays climate that might not be possible!

So we jumped in the car and drive the 10 minute drive into the centre of St Ives. The first mistake we made was driving. Parking is really very limited so if possible park at the top of the hill on your way into St Ives. The walk back up might be painful but not as painful as trying to find parking in the centre because it isn’t really plausible on a busy summers day.

St Ives from the off was so beautiful, the blue water and the beautiful beaches and harbour. It was low tide so all the boats were resting on the sand in the harbour as we waded through the masses of people who had finally escaped after the coronavirus lockdown. Admittedly this was the only location out of the many that we visited where I didn’t feel Covid safe walking through the streets. Usually when we were outdoors I’d keep my mask off but when we were walking through I felt incredibly uncomfortable especially being basically shoulder to shoulder and popped my mask on until we had reached the other side of the harbour. All the restaurants were open and it was Ice creams galore! I love all the stone buildings and the cobbled streets. I imagine in winter its the cosiest town of them all.

We wandered across to Smeaton Pier and followed the coastal pathway along the seafront around to the piece of land known as ‘The Island’. To get there we walked past Bamaluz beach and also Porthgwidden beach to finally make our way up to St Ives head, situated on The Island, and also to take a nosey at St Nicholas Chapel too! It was a really lovely walk with beautiful views of St Ives beaches and the harbour. We then finished off with a picture overlooking Porthmeor Beach and a walk back through the cobbled streets of St Ives (trying not to buy even MORE fudge from some of the delicious shops) and up the dreaded hill to the car!

Next up on the agenda was to drive across from St Ives to Lands End! I was really excited for this as I’m from Lowestoft (although no longer residing there now) and Lowestoft holds the landmark on our coast for the Most Easterly Point of the UK! So Complete opposite sides of the country which is pretty fun. So I was very excited when we arrived.

We paid the £7 parking fee which is basically your entry fee and then headed down to the entrance! When you arrive there are so many facilities I really didn’t expect. I was expecting to arrive to the lands end landmark post, the flag and that was really about it. I was shocked to find children’s amusements and also multiple food stalls and places for drinks! There is even a hotel and place for you to stay if you wanted too! It was good as I was hungry so had a portion of nachos for the price of a small London Flat. It was massively overpriced but I guess its the tourist attractions that do that to you!

We wandered past the stalls after some food and headed down to look at the actual Lands End landmark, unfortunately again you had to pay for a picture in front of it. But we didn’t do that and just took a pretty good picture from the other side of the line and our own pictures as we walked down the slope towards the first and last house! It was cool to see the first and last post box and the first and last house, the first and last flagpole and the Lands End viewpoint. I never imaged I’d be that far South West in my entire life. Now all I want to do is go to the most Northern and Southern point! It would have made sense really to go to the most Southern point whilst at Lands End as it was just an hours drive away! Highlight of Lands end was definitely the proposal we saw by the Lands End sign, so nice that even the bad weather didn’t bring the mood down for such a special occasion!

Next location on the adventure for the next two days, the longest we will have spent anywhere on the trip, was Newquay! Now I was so excited to go to Newquay so I could teach Brad how to surf! The drive from Lands End to Newquay was only an hour or so and was really easy.

We arrived at our Airbnb and it was absolutely beautifully decorated and so cosy. We had everything we needed from a coffee machine, bathroom with a shower next door to the room with towels, a TV, a place to put our sandy things from the beach, the COMFIEST double, wardrobe space, Wi-Fi and a TV to relax and watch when we weren’t out exploring. It was like an upside down house, Kylie the host lived upstairs and the room ad bathroom was downstairs. During these Covid times she kept the bathroom sparkling clean also which was amazing. The best part about this Airbnb though? I went to the toilet at 6am and was greeted in an open kitchen door to A HOUSE RABBIT. I must have missed this part on the listing as it definitely states she’s in there but I was so pleasantly surprised, what a great way to wake up! She was super cute!

As we arrived quite late in the evening we decided to walk into Newquay and find some food. Unfortunately at this point the Help out to Eat out scheme had just started and we didn’t even think to book, everywhere was SO busy. We manged to find a table on the main high street at a place called Lost Brewing Co. On a complete whim and reluctantly we went inside and I am so glad we did, it was so good we went back the following day for drinks before our meal elsewhere. Not only do they brew their own beers and sell them here but the food was amazing. I had Halloumi fries, Battered prawns, Chicken strips and some fries as well for finger food as I was just so hungry and couldn’t make my mind up but they are actually super popular for their burgers as well!

All in all another successful day, we headed back to the Airbnb shortly after so we could get some good nights sleep ready for a day full of surfing the next day!

Exploring Paris, A walking tour of our own – Day 2

Day 2 and we were off again walking everywhere!

Before we headed off on this days exploring we had a little lay in and then headed to the supermarket across the road from our Ibis to get Croissant fillings! We got a packet of Pain Au Chocolat at the same time, as well as some crisps and cheese and had our own continental breakfast in our room. Then it was off to the tube station again for another day exploring!

Our first stop? the Arc De Triomphe! One of the most beautifully detailed pieces of architecture we had seen on the trip. The details in the statues and the sculptures is phenomenal. You have to walk underneath the roundabout to access the building and once we had a full look around we realised they were offering for people to go up to the top. NO BRAINER. Instead of standing in the huge queues in the underground pathway ticket office we bought our tickets online straight away for €13 each, perfectly reasonable! We jumped straight into the queue and headed on up. 300 winding in circles steps later, we made it. And the views were something else. Before we headed up to the terrace we entered the main section of the building where you could learn about the history of the Arc Du Triomphe before taking another 10-15 steps up to the terrace! The views were beautiful. You could see all 12 avenues coming from the roundabout of the building, the Eiffel tower, all the taller monuments and statues and especially the commercial sector. The ONLY Sector with skyscrapers!

After doing the 300+ spiralling and dizzying steps down we headed for a walk down the Avenue Des Champs-Elysees! Loads of shops and shopping malls, we even saw some super cars which you could pay to be driven around Paris in. Plenty of designer shops and non designer shops dotted all the way down the Avenue! The only thing I couldn’t shake was the police presence. They were everywhere. Lined up down every street. On every corner in groups of 5. On patrols walking or on horseback. It wasn’t quite intimidating as they all had huge guns and batons. They all appeared smiley enough though.

We dipped into one of the shopping centres to try some Macaroons! Neither me nor Brad had ever tried them before some bought a pack of 3, Vanilla, Chocolate and Caramel. They were AMAZING. I was actually sad it had taken me this long to try them! We both thoroughly enjoyed them and once we had a taste for food we had to go get something tasty. SO I don’t know about you guys. And don’t judge me here. But I will always go to a McDonald’s in another country. BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS HAVE DIFFERENT THINGS! I could’ve got a dessert BURGER. A DESSERT BURGER. Like how sick but also literally sick is that? haha! So we enjoyed a quick Macca’s for lunch and carried on!

We walked past the beautiful Grand Palais – RMN, again we wished we coddle gone in but this wasn’t the case. We did take some glorious pictures outside the beautiful golden gates of the building though. It was an opportunity not to be missed! Once we were done the space was taken by some top bloggers and photographers so we felt we hit a good one with that! We then walked over the Pont Alexandre III bridge. With 4 beautiful golden sculptures, 2 at each end of the bridge, crossing over the river Seine it was lovely. Another piece of beautiful architecture of the list.

We then took a leisurely stroll down to the Musee De L’armee, the Army museum and also home of Napoleons grave. We again would’ve loved to go inside but it was closed once more due to Covid-19, another smart move. So once we enjoyed the beautiful golden gates and cannons outside we headed on our way back to the hotel early ready for our night out in the Latin Quarter!

We arrived at La Defense tube station and as we left we played around on some Lime scooters for a bit! Personally I wish we could’ve used these every day everywhere but i didn’t have the confidence. These motorised scooters were activated by QR code on your phone on the app and charged €1 a minute. Seems quite expensive? NOPE. NOT with how fast these bad boys went. We did get a few looks as we were fucking about in the area but hey, all fun and games. After getting ready at the hotel we then fucked about AGAIN on the scooters before heading back in for dinner!

When we arrived at the latin Quarter we headed for a drink before dinner! We went to Bulls Brothers Paris for beers, the atmosphere was awesome and the pints were decent! We sat in their indoor/outdoor(?) area. We noticed that a lot of the pubs had half in half out areas where you could sit and drink and smoke but also be off the street and in the restaurant/bar. It was really nice and I like their outdoor culture.

We then headed to Rosies smokehouse for the most BOMB dinner. It was honestly amazing, we both got meat platters with 3 different types of meat, a salad and chips, as well as Meaty beans!!! The two of us were in our element. We said we would get more traditional food the next day on Sunday and try some proper French cuisine. We did think that France had been particularly quiet about their Covid-19 actions. Literally as we sat down for dinner our server informed us that from 12am that night every bar and restaurant will be closed for the foreseeable future.

We didn’t mind too much of course. Covid-19 is incredibly serious and they were taking the right precautions. We enjoyed our meal and our drinks and we also made friends with another Irish couple and we had a merry old time in the outdoor area of Rosie’s Smokehouse drinking away! Come 12am the restaurant owners told us we could drink inside as long as they closed the area. A couple of moments after we sat down they started handing us plastic cups saying that the police were doing rounds. With that it was our time to leave with our drinks in tow. It was still a fantastic night, one I won’t forget!

With that being said when we arrived at the hotel we were made aware there would be no food served at the hotel as well. We were lucky to have picked up our own breakfast the day before because the supermarket was also shut.

This lead to us leaving Paris a day early which you can read about in my final post!

Exploring Liverpool with the Galdem

Liverpool was an awesome experience I was so happy to experience with my favourite girls, Mel and Jess! Myself and Mel stayed at Jess’s house for a chilled night in before getting up and heading straight to Liverpool, as driven by Jess!

*Disclamer: This was a few months prior to all Covid-19 restrictions and knowledge.

We had a lovely opportunity to stay at the Hilton at John Lennon airport (all creds to Mel for getting that all organised) we were in a triple room and it was amazing and spacious, enough room for us girls to get ready at the same time for our big night out in Liverpool that evening!

When we arrived in Liverpool we arrived earlier than check in so we headed straight into Liverpool and got all parked up ready to explore. As we came out of the John Lennon car park we were greeted by the Radio City Tower! We had to have an excuse to go back, so as we didn’t go up inside the tower, what better excuse do we need for next time?

Once we had chowed down on our Tortilla naked burritos for lunch it was time to explore! We headed straight to Mathew Street where it is filled with endless Beatles memorabilia, museums and pubs! It was a cool and colourful street with plenty going on through-out the day as the pubs were busy, not forgetting the famous Cavern Club! The most famous bar in Liverpool.

For an entry fee of £2.50 you can head down the multiple sets of stairs to have a drink and a dance in the Cavern Club! With photographs of the Beatles and other famous artists on the walls, the walls are also COVERED in graffiti. Including our own, Mel pulled out a sharpie and before we knew it JMJ was inscribed of the wall of the Cavern Club for the rest of time (or until they covered the walls or someone else wrote over it). There was famous items of clothing and guitars in display units on the wall and a live musician for entertainment, and he was funny, we enjoyed a little groove whilst we drank our drinks!

As we headed out of the Cavern Club and made a lift turn you can’t ignore the Cilla Black memorial statue as well as the ‘Wall of Fame’ and statue of John Lennon leant against the wall. So many famous names written on the wall it was hard to keep track, and they stretched all the way upwards and along. A beautiful piece of memorabilia.

Once we were done with Mathew street we headed down to Albert Dock where we saw the statue of the Beatles! A photo opportunity to have a picture walking with the Beatles was not missed before we continued to walk along the quayside of Albert Dock to a little café called Rubens! This café was cosy and everything we needed for our little pit stop whilst exploring! This café is also right by the Liverpool Tate Museum, we walked past this museum and saw their huge colourful sculpture outside too.

Then we headed to Bold Street for some dinner! We ate at a very aesthetically pleasing restaurant called LEAF, the interior was beautiful, there was a lovely atmosphere and it was SO BUSY. We didn’t book but I would definitely recommend booking a table as we were very lucky we got seated. I had calamari and my GOD, it was the largest portion I have ever had in my entire life, I definitely did not finish the plate but the food was well worth the money as it was SO GOOD.

We then headed back to the hotel (after enjoying the street art) to get ready for JUNKYARD GOLF

Junkyard Golf was really cool, I’d heard all about it but never done it before. We booked the Pablo hole and got some cocktails before we headed off on our Mini golfing journey. In the end it was a great laugh, we played 9 holes and Mel well and truly won with myself coming second and Jess coming third! We then headed to the Alchemist for cocktails, it was such an awesome venue. The music was god, the aesthetic and the smoking cocktails and the barmen showing off, what wasn’t to love?

NEXT UP on our night out we then to the Beatles pub back down Mathew Street! It was SO busy and all the pubs were rammed, they had already been busy around 5pm so the fact that at 10pm they were STILL busy meant that I fell in love with Liverpool.

When then headed to Revolutions which was actually MADNESS. There was a woman in a bikini dancing on the bar with strobe lighting in her hands, we were smashing back shots whilst confetti cannons were going off. THIS WAS IN A REVS. LIVERPOOL MAN, ACTUALLY MAD. Once we were done here we made it to Neighbourhood.

Neighbourhood was the boujiest bar, I loved it. As you walked I there was a saxophone player and a drummer playing along to the music. It was a huge open space and everyone was well dressed, The Neighbourhood written in neon along the back of the bar. I definitely didn’t feel like I was dressed up enough for this, but I loved the cocktails. Security was tight and it was fairly busy, I would happily go back. We went out for a smoke and one of the bouncer told us he could take us to a cool club for free. We took the bait, minus the nice Pornstar martinis’ we wont discuss the empty club itself.

It was an amazing night, we got an Uber back to the hotel and slept like babies. The journey home was painful and I definitely threw up at maccies. I made it home to Cambridge fine though, so I guess that works out well!

All in all, a great trip with my girlies.