Travelodge double room

What better way to enjoy the sunshine this summer than by heading to a festival that showcases some of your favourite musicians, bands and artistes from around the world? While you could easily head to a field in the middle of nowhere to enjoy the mud-ridden festivals such as Glastonbury or Download, you could alternatively stay in the heart of London and enjoy one (or more) of the London festivals that this vibrant city has to offer. Stay in the city affordably by booking a Travelodge in Covent Garden, right in the heart of the city, and enjoy one of these fantastic festivals that can be found in the city this summer. 

Lovebox – Victoria Park – 18-19th July 

If you’re up for a party and a chance to dance your socks off, Lovebox is it! With plenty of artistes being announced already, including the awesome Chase & Status, attendees will be in for a real treat this July. From live bands to DJs and electronic acts, Lovebox is a melting pot of all things funky, with both underground and mainstream names topping the bill. 

lovebox logo

Wireless – Finsbury Park – 4-6th July 

Having moved home, again, Wireless is back this year at its new digs in Finsbury Park, with a star-studded line-up to suit. From Kanye West to Pharrell Williams, you can guarantee yourself a festival to remember, with some awesome R&B and hip-hop tunes to fill the air. If this is your scene, Wireless is the place to be this July. 

Field Day – Victoria Park – 7-8th June 

It’s the first time that this festival spans an entire weekend, and that change should go down a storm with fans of the event. With a whole host of alternative acts planned, ranging from pop and rock to dance, Field Day is arguably one of the best festivals in the city and it’s certainly one not to be missed. 

Whether you’ve been to the festival before, or you’re willing to try something a little different, Field Day has a whole load of talent ready in the wings this year, including rock giants, Pixies, that’ll be sure to bring in an almighty crowd. 

British Summer Time – Hyde Park

This 10-day stint that gives people the chance to appreciate music of all shapes and sounds is back, with some top names topping the bill throughout the festival. From boy band faves, McBusted (McFly and Busted combined) and Backstreet Boys, to Canadian rocker Neil Young, Hyde Park is in for a treat this summer, and so is anyone who decides to join the party. 

So what if the heavens decide to open and flood the grounds with rain? So what if mud seeps into your shoes as you try and wade through the fields and walkways? Grab your wellies, your shades and your best dance moves and spend a weekend appreciating the festival experience in the heart of London this summer. Festivals don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere, you know! 

 Disclosure: This is a partnered post

canary wharrf

 

 

One of my earlier attempts at great photography and an image I am particularly proud of. I took it at Canary Wharf London one summer when we went up to meet daddy on his lunch break.

It was a sunny day and Canary Wharf was a happy smiley place to be.

I love the way the buildings opposite are reflected in the windows in front of the girls and I also like the way all the powerful glass and steel is counterbalanced with the cuteness of the 3 year old twins swinging on the railings and having fun.

fish alternatives london sealife

 

A great family day out we recently experienced was Sea Life London Aquarium.

At the desk where we collected out tickets we were offered to buy a brochure and an ‘Ocean Explorer’ notebook for £2.50 per child so I got one to see what it was all about and I’m glad I did as although too advanced for my 5 year olds this woud be brilliant for older children. An interactive way to get them to really look hard and read what’s on the signs and walls around them.

The brochure is full of fabulous photos and further information on life found in the oceans and seas of our world

The notebook is a ring binded book that runs through the entire aquarium, asking the kids to look out for certain features, fish and plants as they progress along their Sealife journey .

Each page of the notebook has a ‘Look out for’, Conservation Fact, Sea Life Sea Happy news and a WOW! interesting piece of information.

As each section of the Sea Life aquarium is completed there is also a machine that will stamp your book saying you have passed through. A perfect, economically priced souvenir that keeps the experience and information alive for long after the visit.

The journey is divided into 14 sections, let me take you through it

Sea Life London Aquarium

1. Shark Walk, a 5m by 1.6m glass walkway which takes you inches above the 2.2m brown sharks swimming beneath and trust me it’s scary to walk over as it seems you’re going to fall in.

shark walk london sealife

Then you arrive at the lifts or stairs leading down to

sealife london

2. Atlantic Depths

And here’s a couple of the many tanks you can see in the Atlantic Depths.

Notebook Conservation fact: Common Lobsters can live up to 15 years and grow up to one metre long, however due to overfishing very few of them do.

atlantic depths sealife london

3. Tidal Reach

tidal reach sealife london

and jellyfish central

LOOK OUT! Look through my transparent body; I have no brain, heart, blood or gills.

jellyfish facts sealife london

and the upside down jellyfish

upside down jellyfish london sealife

4. Ray Lagoon

Can you believe this Ray came over to us and looked as if he was waving and smiling at us!

WOW! Rays are closely related to sharks – they evolved from sharks around 150 million years ago!

ray lagoon sealife london

5. Dive discovery

An open tank where a Sea Life expert is on han to tell you all sorts of facts about starfish and even invite you to stroke one. I did and so did the girls

Did you know that if a starfish loses one of it’s legs it can grow another one in its place?

starfish london sealife

6. Ocean Tunnel –  leading through to some fabulous underwater plants

Get Involved – Many sea turtles try to eat plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish and choking on them! Over 100 million sea creatures are killed each year by plastic debris in the ocean.

underwater flora london sealife

7. Pacific Wreck

LOOK OUT! Brown Shark – Can you spot us? We have a streamlined grey body, a square nose and all of our teeth are hidden from sight. We never stop swimming or sit on the bottom.

pacific wreck london sealife

8. Nemo’s Coral Caves

WOW! All Clownfish are born boys. When they get older the biggest, toughest male Clownfish will then turn into girls. So female Clownfish are bigger than male clownfish

nemo sealife london

9. Seahorse Temple

WOW! Male and female seahorses dance with each other. This can involve changing colour, holding each other’s tails whilst swimming and spinning around the same bit of grass. The whole dance can last up to 8 hours!

seahorse london sealife

10. Rainforests of the World

GET INVOLVED! We can help save the Green Puffer Fish’s home by purchasing cold water prawns instead of large tropical species such as tiger prawns, or avoid eating prawns all together.

rainforests london sealife

11. The River Thames Story

River Thames fact 1 sealife london

river thames sealife london

…and this fact …

river thames sealife london

12. Penguins: Ice Adventure

I’m afraid to say I don’t like seeing penguins in captivity, ever since the time we went to Seaworld in Florida :(

penguins sealife london

13. SEA LIFE Sea Happy

And a couple of great photo opportunities if you don’t want to buy the Sea Life ones

london sealife photo opportunity

14. Shark Reef Encounter

sharks sealife london

Disclosure: We, as a family, were invited by Superbreak to visit the London Aquarium in return for this post. All photos and opinions are my own

REgent Street London 60 years coronation

 

Queen Elizabeth 60 year coronation

If there’s one thing I love about being British it’s our sense of patriotism and on the occasion of the Queen’s 60th anniversary as head of state it was no different. This is a view of Regent Street decked out to celebrate Queen Elizabeth in her very special year.

big ben londonI was born in London, Paddington to be precise (the hospital not the station!) and my first few years were spent in Brixton. My grandmother lived in Waterloo and we would see her at the weekends so London really is in my soul. I’d live there now if I

  • didn’t have kids
  • could afford it

but I don’t. I live on the outskirts which means I can get in and out when I choose to do so. I have already taken the girls up on a number of occasions, they’ve been on the London Eye, they’ve been to the theatre, they’ve even walked up Regent Street and Carnaby Street but it’s when they get a little bit older that London really will open up a brand new world to them.

Hop on hop off buses

The beauty of London is there is always something going on somewhere – whatever your interests. When we have people over from out of town we usually opt for the hop on hop off buses. They are quite pricey BUT you get 24 hours, as it says on the tin, hopping on and off at various stops around the capital and you get to see London from the top of a bus. The buses have earphones so you can hear the history and you can select from loads of different languages.

Buckingham Palace

I took Tommy and Meggy to visit Buckingham Palace about 13 years ago and they loved it although Tommy did say at the time ‘A bit too much gold around the place mum.’ Fair enough to the lad, I wonder what he’d say about that now?

Taken from the top of the London Eye

Taken with zoom from the top of the London Eye

The Palace opens their doors to visitors once a year for about 6 weeks (I think) you follow a set trail through rooms and past art that is centuries old. You will not bump into the Queen or any of her family but there are a lot of people en route who can give extra information and prevent you entering rooms that are off limits. Tommy tried that one too! Your tour ends in the garden and there is a fabulous shop to buy souvenirs.

Madame Tussauds

My two really enjoyed Madame Tussauds. Tommy had his photo taken with his hand on Kylie’s bottom – I don’t have that photo anymore, I’m sure he nicked it to show his friends at school at the time. Megan sat next to Simon Cowell and I got close with Brad Pitt. Perfect day out. This attraction is connected to the Planetarium and it is FANTASTIC do add this on to your ticket as you will not regret it.

Tower of London

I love the Tower of London. I love the history, the myths, the Beefeaters. It’s been a long long time since I last visited and I’m really looking forward to taking the girls.

London Eye

Another must, even more so if it’s a beautiful day. The London Eye tour as they call it takes about half an hour and the views are spectacular.

london eye view

I could go on forever and I probably will write more posts on my adored London if you are out of town Holiday check have a great system of searching for accommodation that might be worth checking out?

Disclosure: Sponsored post but the tips are all mine ;)