Places to Stay in Dorset, Somerset & Cornwall!

Brad and I went off on a week long South West coast UK road trip and it absolutely did not disappoint. But, with planning the road trip also came finding places to stay and all things considered? We did really well between the two of us. We looked mainly at Airbnb and 2/3 places we stayed were booked through Airbnb! We also used Booking.com for our final night, I’m quite apprehensive when it comes to Booking.com as someone who works with reservations and hotels they can be sometimes quite unreliable. But, it surprised me and it was the most beautiful accomodation.

In total between us we paid roughly £200 each, £400 in total for 4 different airbnbs and hotels. And for what we got and where we stayed? Absolutely brilliant on price! So below is a list of recommendations of where we stayed. I highly rate them all as does my boyfriend as they were perfect for our trip! Also we are students fresh out of uni with not a whole load of money so our standards aren’t exactly high but we expect comfort and what is shown on the photos. We definitely were not disappointed at any point.

Location 1: Winton, Bournemouth, Dorset

Link: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/44549362?source_impression_id=p3_1600185846_ltzd7EsjWbt2D50Q

Price we paid: £38 for 1 night and x2 guests, The room itself is no longer available but alternative accommodation on the same premises is available at a great price, see the link!


Now this Airbnb above is out the back of the house that we stayed in. Our lovely host Ana was at the time renting out one of her double bedrooms and we stayed inside the main house. This is no longer available on Ana’s profile but this little gem in her back garden certainly surprised us! We didn’t even know it was there until we were enjoying our breakfast (which was included). It was booked out the night we stayed but the next morning she had already refreshed this studio with a porch so we got to have a look inside!

It was huge and spacious with an en suite, kitchen and very modern inside with a lovely outdoor decking area to sit if you wanted. The area itself in Winton is really lovely and only a 10 minute Uber away from Bournemouth beach and the centre which worked out really well for us as we didn’t want to spend too much on cabs/Ubers.

Ana’s Studio I’ve linked above for 1 night is £51 which is really cheap especially with the quality of the studio. When we stayed in one of the bedrooms in the house it was £38 for the night but Ana was also having her kitchen renovated at the time, hence why this room may not be available currently! There is also on street parking for free.

Location 2: St Ives Glamping, Cornwall

Link: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/5367297?source_impression_id=p3_1600186424_NTFRJiv5ts2U1OvQ

Price we Paid: £111.09 for one night, x2 guests.


Once we jumped in the car again on our road trip we were off to our Hobbit Home! Yes you read that right, A Coastal Hobbit Home! It was so cool. The lane to the location once we arrived was small, narrow and windy and if anything a little bit dangerous but fine once you’re parked up on the field (which is free for guests!). Once we arrived we grabbed our wheelbarrows, popped our luggage in the barrows and trekked our way across the field to our hobbit home.

The Hobbit Homes themselves were super cosy. There was a double bed and inside was a hamper with blankets inside if we needed them for around the fire. There were fake candles which were cute and fairy lights all around the cabin which gave it such a homely feel and there was plenty of room for our bags and belongings.

We had our own hammock outside and a log fire too for us to prepare which accompanied an honestly box at the entrance where we could pick up a bag of wood. £5 down later and cracking fire we absolute could not complain. That same evening we used the communal kitchen and living space to cook up an easy meal of tortellini. The shared kitchen was amazing, wonderfully decorated and literally had everything you could ever need. The only things we brought was our food! Really resourceful. There was also perfectly clean and functioning toilets and showers but if you didn’t want to do the trek from your hobbit home or cabin up to the communal areas you had the option of a compost toilet. Personally, I chose the communal area toilets because the smell of the compost one nearly knocked me clean out. You also have to supply/bring your own towels.

Location 3: Far Horizons, Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall UK

Link: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/20025693?source_impression_id=p3_1600187206_Y2fNCfnikmNfa7gH

Price we paid: £162.54 for x2 nights for x2 guests.


This Airbnb was without a doubt the most beautiful Airbnb I have ever stayed in, not only was our host Kylie so so welcoming and lovely but the room was immaculate as well as the bathroom, there was a tea and coffee station in the room, a coffee machine and kettle, glasses and bowls and the decor was all matching and it was just so nice and cosy. The bed was SO comfortable. Wifi and towels were provided which was another bonus.

My favourite part about this stay was not only were we 5 minutes away from Fistral Beach where we were surfing, but one morning I woke up at 6am to nip to the toilet and there was a small ball of fluff by the open kitchen door. THEY HAD A RABBIT. It was SO cute and it was the best thing to wake up too! (This is stated on the listing I just missed it but it was absolutely no stress to us at all). There is a self check in option also when you arrive so you have your own key as well for when you’re nipping in and out which was really handy and when you leave you simply post the key through the letter box or put it back in the outdoor lock box.

I thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk into Newquay for dinner and breakfast, the location was ideal and there is also on street parking as well for free. The best thing was after 5 long hours of surfing coming back to a lovely room, a cosy bed and being able to relax and watch TV and feel at home. I was really really impressed and it was absolutely worth the money for 2 nights, I completely understand why Kylie is a Superhost and I absolutely will stay again given the chance!

Location 4: Broad Street Townhouse, Bath, UK, Somerset

Link: https://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/broad-street-townhouse.en-gb.html?aid=304142

Price we paid: £85 Bed & Breakfast.


This B&B room was right in Central Bath and absolutely beautiful. Not only was the location amazing but the room decor was the most beautiful. With lovely different shades of green and the huge big windows and ceilings to let in plenty of light this spacious and modern room had everything I could have ever wished for especially for our last night on our road trip. It had your usual amenities, TV, coffee machine, towels, kettle and tea facilities as well as a large wardrobe. My favourite part of the room was all the beautiful plants!

We were within walking distance of basically everything central to the City. We walked out of the front door and immediately hit the Cathedral, turn left and there is Pulteny Bridge. We walked to our dinner and it was even better exploring the next day. It also had breakfast included in the pub which is attached to the property and my lord was it delicious, we both had a Full English and it was so tasty! Totally worth the money.

No parking facilities but thats to be expected right in the centre. There is a long stay car park literally a 10 minute walk from the B&B, really easy to find and get too plus plenty of parking spaces!

The Blog Brew Collaboration – Christmas: Scrapbooking Gift Guide

I LOVE to scrapbook. Its one of my favourite hobbies, I’d say I’ve been doing it since 2014 and since then I’ve filled nearly 3 books. I like to call myself a memory hoarder because of this. I save everything from photobooth pictures, plane and train tickets, I might even pinch a menu from a restaurant for my scrapbook if its a memorable enough moment!

So for this months Blog Brew we are offering gift guides as its very appropriate before Christmas! (I’m hoping the girls posts will help me out as well!). I’ve decided on scrapbooking essentials you need for Christmas presents. Even if you are just starting out on your scrapbooking journey I will ensure that I cover all the bases!

Scrapbooking & Crafts to help you with your scrapbook for Christmas;

A scrapbook!

If you’re new to the scrapbooking world then of course, you need a scrapbook to start with! Now you can get some really really nice ones on Amazon but I personally feel that the best place to get scrapbooks are from Paperchase! Both places vary in prices depending on the size of the scrapbook you want but you don’t have to pay an extortionate amount. For a hardback cover you’re looking at an amount of £10-15 but these are so worth it as they last longer and are a lot more durable so they are the type of scrapbook I would recommend! Mine are all hardbacks as you can see in the photos!

Stickers

THE BEST thing to come from scrapbooking. There are stickers for quite literally everything and anything. You’ve been camping in the woods? There are stickers for it. Travelled on a train? Stickers. Been snorkelling or scuba diving? Stickers for that too. Want to give a gold star? EASY have at least 7 sheets in one packet. The list goes on and on and they can be really cheap as well! Unless you want a specific texture or size, that’s when it starts to get interesting and a little more expensive. Again Paperchase, WHSmith’s, Etsy, Amazon, all these places sell good quality stickers but make sure to check there isn’t a small sticker business out there that you know of that might need your help this Christmas!

Washi Tape

Again this is an absolute Scrapbook marvel. You can get Washi tape with basically anything on it if you search for it. My favourite one I own is a blue tape with a smiling hot dog on it. Like stickers, there is also washi tape for everything. Again definitely make sure you head to Etsy or someone with an independent craft shop or brand before you head to Amazon! I would say you can get x3 rolls of washi tap ranging from 50p to £5 depending on quality. I got a small 5 pack for £4.50 and they are brilliant and textured so I really feel it all depends on what you’re after!

A subscription to Free Prints

This for me is Hella important because you get 45 free pictures a month from this app available on android and iPhone and only have to pay for postage. You can also get a free matte finish on your pictures and a white boarder around the edges for free too (which I have been converted too and now only print my pictures with the white boarders on). For example with Lockdown 2 I knew I’d want to catch up and complete my scrapbook for everything I’ve managed to do recently so I’ve ordered some prints so they come before or just as we go into lockdown as I need pictures to go in the scrapbook! Of course though, putting the pictures in a word document and printing them also does just find and is also cheaper for you too!

Glue and Scissors

This is an essential unless you’re dealing with sticky stickers and washi tape. Glue for all your photos and tickets and everything else that belongs on those pages and scissors to cut them to shapes that you want them in! Big, small, love hearts, all of the above, To cut the washi tape from the reel, you need glue and scissors for your scrapbook. NEED. I would probably put this up there with having the scrapbook itself. These you can get from literally anywhere, supermarkets, craft shops, standard shops, literally, everywhere.

Craft papers (Inclu. Tissue Paper)

Sometimes you might want cute backgrounds for your pages so definitely get some patterned craft paper or tissue paper which you can stick on your pages first! I love all the different themed and coloured papers you can get online as well, so much to choose from! So many options! Again make sure you hit up Etsy and those independent shops before you head to Amazon as well!

Some good marker pens and pencils

If you’re going to write about your experiences instead of just putting pictures in then you definitely need a good set of marker pens or thin lined pens to write with, especially if your pages or cardboard or textured you may need something a little thicker. Normal biro is absolutely fine but you DEFINITELY wanna get some colour in there! Pencils also as well, especially if you’re artsy and want to colour on pages, do your own art in the book (which would look AMAZING). I only write in different colours. Sticking to one colour is boring for me! Again supermarkets and high street shops, independent shops and art shops can supply you with these!

Page protectors

I Don’t find these as essential, I personally have never used them but if you feel you’ve created a masterpiece and need to preserve it then these are really useful. As I’ve never had to purchase these or felt the need I’m sure independent brands and high street shops will be able to supply you with these and as a last resort, Amazon!

Paint

I’ve only ever used paint in my scrapbook once and that was for a memorial page for when we lost a family member and that was a really nice touch. It made the page really special. Of course the only downside with using paint is that you need to leave it to dry. But it is another really lovely way to express yourself and your art in your scrapbook! Doesn’t have to be just paint of course, oil colours, oil paints, paint by numbers (which is the paint I used!). I’m sure once again you can get these paints from supermarkets, art shops, high street and independent brands BEFORE you head to Amazon!

Day 1 – Lucy over at Perselem

Day 2- Beth over at thoughtsofarealredhead

Day 3- Jessie (ME) over at Wandererandtraveller

Day 4- Rhiannon over at mrssleejones

Day 5- Haley over at introvertedcreativity

Day 6- Karalee over at talesofbelle

Day 7- Kim over at chimmyville

Day 8- Kirsty over at kirstymarie

Day 9- Adebola over at mybreakingviews

Keeping Positive: Some of my Favourite Positivity Quotes

Staying Positive, especially with everything that is happening at the moment, is seriously important. When I wake up in the morning I like to post positivity quotes on my Instagram every day so that you see a nice reminder of something happy or different to think about, just incase you’re having a shitty/down day, including myself.

I feel like with the end of Lockdown and isolation in sight but COVID sticking around for the long run, sometimes things can get scary and overwhelming. I struggled with anxiety and lockdown hasn’t been the easiest, but it has been a lot easier than I thought it would be which is one positive! Trying to start the day with positivity is something I hold quite important. My happy mornings start with a cuppa tea and a book! I feel I’m ready for the day afterwards. Do what makes you feel better and best, There is nothing better than a self care morning / afternoon / day.

I wake up ad usually scroll on my IG Feed as it is all such good vibes. I like sharing those vibes so its not just me hopefully feeling a little bit better. With everything happening right now I felt a dose of positivity was needed!

Here are some of my favourite positive and happy quotes, I hope you like them too.

Sri Lanka – My First Exposure to Modern Day Slavery & The Devastating Reality

The Tea Plantation

We headed in our busloads to a small tea plantation based about 40 minutes outside of Kandy.

It was certainly an experience I don’t think a lot of us were ready for. As we arrived we were lead down a set of stairs over to a populated area where we were then brought up another set of stairs where houses started to emerge between the trees. Once we had arrived we walked through rows of small houses with washing hung up outside, baby goats roaming around everywhere, the surfaces were all uneven and it was muddy. There was one water tap we came across as we arrived in the area that we saw, and the toilets were a hole in the ground and a bucket of water to wash it down.

This was first hand modern day slavery and living quarters for those who worked at the tea plantation we were visiting.

To be allowed access to these small housing buildings that sleep up to 8 people, have minimal kitchen facilities and lounge area, and a single toilet between 60-80 people living on the plantation, you must have a minimal amount of 2 family members working on the tea plantation to access these luxuries.

Minimum wage for working their 12 hour days picking tea leaves is £2.50 per person, for the day. This is only just enough to feed the families that live on the plantation. Just about enough for those with children to buy rice and the bare minimal.

The housing is also owned by the managers at the plantation. This means that those living in these houses can be removed at any moment with no explanation by the managers at the plantation. It was a really difficult situation to be in and see how they lived under such poor conditions. We brought them sweets and chocolate and a few of us, including myself, got very upset about the situation.

It’s definitely some food for thought when you’re drinking your next cup of tea, I am not saying don’t drink your tea because it potentially funds their lives. But it’s still a little passing thought for you.

They were the most humble people, a few had TV’s in their homes or a laptop so they still had access to things, but majority slept on the floor, there is one bed in each home and to sleep 8 is quite a push. They couldn’t understand why a few of us were upset and crying, they wished us well upon us leaving. Although, I found a few of us removed ourselves from the area before we were due to leave as it left us very heavy hearted. I also refused to take my go-pro out whilst there, I filmed the entirety of my trip, but not this part.

Just prior I bought 2 large containers full of loose tea leaves to bring back to the UK with me. They’re delicious. But I will always think about those families whenever I pull it out of my beautifully white painted cupboard in my perfectly good home, where they have none of this, and cherish how lucky we really are.

 Licence To Grill Bar & Restauarant

Once our visit to the plantation was over we visited Licence to Grill, a burger and grill restaurant on the 5th floor of a building! The journey up the stairs was colourful as there was beautiful wall art all the way up the walls and the ceilings.

The FOOD was amazing, grilled chicken to burgers and much more all on an open rooftop terrace. They also agreed to host our leaving party even though they can’t serve alcohol past a certain time, but that was no bother for them.

Yet even whilst we were eating, the thought of the plantation workers was still quite prominent in a lot of our minds.

We also came back here for lunch one day whilst it was raining, we sat under the terrace and had some food watching the rain come and go, it was really peaceful and lovely especially as we were tired this day. After lunch Myself, Mel and El headed off to get some Henna!

More beautiful artwork, but on ourselves this time!

Sri Lanka – DISCOVERING KANDY

So today is a free half day, with some scheduled excursions first followed by a free afternoon! And wow did we do some exploring, I urge you to watch the YouTube footage because it was all so beautiful and amazing.

We woke up and headed over to our usual breakfast spot located directly across the road from the mission called Kandayan King!

Just getting across the road was a mission itself. Although there is a zebra crossing you are lucky if they stop for you! You have to wait for solid lul in the traffic to get across. Then once you’re halfway they’ll stop for you! But only if!

Here we had our typical breakfast of Toast, spreads, fresh fruits and omelettes. Ready for a day full of tea, spices, gem factories, amazing street markets and Buddha views!

Gurunanda Tea Factory!

We arrive at the tea factory in our busload and were taken around the factory itself to see how tea bags and loose leaf tea is made! It was amazing to see.

We saw where the tea leaves are dried and then where they are placed in machines to be sieved and it is incredible how fast it can go from harvesting tea to drinking the tea itself! It was a very nice and fast insight into how the tea is made in the factory.

Once we had seen all the machines and learnt how everyone was processed we were brought upstairs to a nice dining area where we were able to try some fresh tea, it was so lovely and I LOVE a brew so I was over the moon.

Afterwards I brought an entire tub of loose leaf Jasmine Tea and Vanilla Tea to bring home with me. They are without a doubt the nicest flavoured teas I have ever purchased or had and taste amazing.

The Spice Gardens

Once we were done with drinking tea we headed over to a Spice Garden!

Once we arrived we were ushered down a pathway where we were given fresh coconut water straight from a coconut! We watched him hack the top off and pop in a straw! It was so lovely and fresh. There was also the most beautiful puppy, so naturally we were all crowding around the fussing the little furball.

Once the puppy and coconut excitement had passed we were given a full tour of the area where they grew pineapples (which I learnt in my 21 years of life are grown from the ground? I was absolutely astonished). We also saw where all the other herbs and spices are grown, cinnamon, garlic, aloe etc. It was really interesting especially when they grind and blend these herbs into herbal remedies.

We were then seated and had a lesson on how these remedies were made and what they could assist with medical wise and then were given the best shoulder and neck massage with their homemade Aloe Vera. Man it was amazing I could’ve quite honestly gone to sleep afterwards I felt so relaxed.

Then we were shown to their store full of herbal remedies, where everything was massively overpriced so I bought nothing. I enjoyed the massage though and cuddled the puppy instead of browsing their shop, a great alternative.

Gem Factory

Our next stop was the gem factory.

Here we learnt about the mining of diamonds and the process in which is taken to get these diamonds into our jewellery and just as they are! We arrived and were taken down a fake underground mining area where it showed how the miner would dig these stones out from these shafts and bring them up with them.

The gem industry is huge, we then watched a 15 minute video on how these gems were brought to manufacturers and how they are made. We were shown how these gentleman within the building were cleaning these precious stones and shaping them ready to be placed in jewellery or sold as they are. We were taken into a small viewing room where there were all different types of diamonds and gemstones dotted around with explanation of their origins and where they were found. 

It was really fascinating to see the process and afterwards were lead downstairs to their gem shop. My favourite gems being the Topaz gem stones, a beautiful pure blue gem which was only £17! It makes you wonder how much of the gem trade is a real hoax.

LUNCH? DOMINOS M8

We were dropped off back at the mission with a mission to find FOOD. And we had seen on the bus through our journey in Kandy that there was a Dominos not far from the mission. You best believe we found that Dominos and ATE our body weight in pizza. It was SO tasty and everything we needed ready for our free afternoon!

TEMPLE OF TOOTH

So the first place us group of girls headed was Kandy’s sacred Temple of Tooth. A beautiful temple where you could visit at a price. We headed into the ground and enjoyed the building for what it was but we did not pay to go inside as it was very busy and you can only go inside at certain parts of the day.

I personally enjoyed putting on our sarongs, we all had such beautiful and colourful clothing options as you cannot bare skin so shoulders and legs must be covered due to be it being a place of worship. It was also located next to the Kandy lake, or Bogambara lake, and was just such a beautiful setting for a beautiful building.

The Temple of Tooth is named this due to housing the sacred relic of the canine tooth of the Buddha and was erected in 1595. The building itself is all white on the outside and is known to be very calming even though it does get very busy, it is recommended to take flowers as offerings for the Buddha! There are stalls located outside of the temple where they are lined with the most beautiful of flowers to offer to the Buddha!

MARKETS (& UNDERGROUND MARKET) OF KANDY

Next up was the markets!

We walked over to the markets that were inside a large white building with rows and rows of tuk tuts outside! It was SO Busy, these stalls included fresh meat and fish, little trinkets and souvenirs, endless hareem pants, sarongs and general items of clothing! It was really interesting to see how this is where the people of Kandy would do a lot of their shopping. We even saw red bananas!?

The market itself was two stories high, we headed into a small shop that offered lots of incense sticks that smelt heavenly and we all collectively brought half the shop. I love burning incense.

There was also an underground market which was centred in a roundabout! There was amazing street art and it was so cool knowing that this hustle and bustle of the market was going on underneath a busy road and roundabout!

we split off into two groups and then re-conveined afterwards by the entrance where all the Tuk Tuks were for the next and BEST part of the day!

BAHIRAWAKANDA VIHARA BUDDHA STATUE

We jumped in 2 separate tuk tuks and it was amazing! We were heading straight for the Bihirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue at the top of the mountain in central Kandy!

They tuk tuk drivers agreed a price for all of us and also agreed to wait for us whilst we explored and also drive us back down the mountain! it certainly was a rickety journey and terrifyingly tight at some points with the cars and trucks zooming past as as we made our way up! We were even holding hands between tuk tuks!

Check the video here!

The views were stunning and the Buddha itself was beautiful. We covered ourselves up and headed up the stairs where we were given a piece of paper of instructions and rules and then said a small price as donation. We had a photoshoot on the stairs up to the buddha because it was an absolute must, and then headed upwards to explore!

The top of the Buddha was closed but that didn’t stop Shaista and I from climbing as high up on the Buddha as we could! It was late afternoon and the sunset was just phenomenal. It was so beautiful and serene, Me, Mel, Shannon and some of the other girls bought flowers as inside the Buddha itself you could give the buddha offerings!

It was a really beautiful experience and I was so happy to share it with the most amazing girls!

We got the tuk tuk down the mountain once more and headed back to the mission. All in all a very successful day!

Stay tuned for the final few excursions and days of the trip!