Perspective; Ouse Valley Viaduct Views

Finding new places and exploring local gems has become one of my favourite past times since travelling abroad has been off the cards over the past few months. I suppose being curious and adventurous is a given when travelling, however this time back home in the UK has forced me to discover some truly awesome spots right on my doorstep.

Edit 6The secret to finding these mysterious locations is through Instagram on which you can utilise the explore location tool. It’s a competitive market on the world of Insta for professionals to produce high quality content, so people are always going that extra mile to get the most epic shots.

Edit 5My most recent adventure with my partner in crime was Ouse Valley Viaduct Bridge in Sussex just past Gatwick. This was another hidden gem my boyfriend had tracked down via Instagram and we were both keen to get some unique golden hour snaps.

Edit 10Described as the most elegant viaduct in Britain, construction of the bridge commenced back in the 1830s and has continued to stand the test of time as a functioning railway bridge. Built through the undulations of the valley, the resulting view through that tunnel of 37 arches is spectacular.

Edit 1Composed of red bricks shipped all the way from the Netherlands along with smooth limestone, sunset hues cast stunning shadows through the viaduct at dusk. A playground for photographers, this bridge is truly unique for capturing different angles on symmetry and perspective.

Edit 4A final thought from me on Perspective; Stay in your own lane, comparison kills creativity and joy. 

Studland Bay Sundowners

With some glorious weather heading our way a few weeks ago, it felt like summer already here in the UK and we were only in the month of May! Thankfully lockdown measures had slightly loosened their grip and we were finally allowed to drive to outdoor areas and even sit at distance from others in public spaces.

Edit00010As our favourite beach at West Wittering was closed, we still wanted to make the most of this mini heatwave and decided to head down south to a different beach instead. Studland Bay located in Dorset is a vast area of sandy beaches and heathland, overlooking the natural coastland rock formation of Old Harry Rocks.

Edit00004It was no surprise that everyone had the same idea to soak up the sun at the beach that week, especially with lots of people still not working. So it wasn’t until later in the day when the crowds slowly cleared that we were able to find ourselves a quiet, undisturbed view for sunset.

Edit00002It was perfectly serene over the bay as the sun showered golden hues over the water before slowly dipping below the horizon. Whilst we did have a few tinnies of G&T and crisps to nibble on, annoyingly cafes were still not open and there were no nearby shops to grab more food. A takeaway pizza or portable BBQ would’ve been the finishing touch to this idyllic setup.

Edit00007It was a truly picture perfect sundown at Studland Bay as we played some chilled background tunes and watched on at the mesmerising colour show across the sky, all created by the natural wonder that is the sun going to sleep.

Silent Pool Deep Blue Dreams

Nestled in the North Downs of Surrey you will find the natural wonder that is Silent Pool. This old chalk quarry fed by underground springs boasts stunning turquoise blue water surrounded by evergreen box trees, making for an ethereal atmosphere as you overlook the picture perfect lagoon.

Edit00005Being local to the area, it’s somewhere I’d heard a lot of great things about and been meaning to visit for a long time. There is of course the Silent Pool gin distillery based here too with its exquisitely designed floral blue bottle inspired by this luscious landscape.

Edit00008I’ve never seen such truly turquoise water in a naturally occurring pool like this before and the plush green trees overhanging the water create the most incredible reflections.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALegend has it that King John rode on his horse to the pool and abducted a woodcutter’s daughter, who he forced into the deep water and drowned. This folklore dates back to a book by Martin Tupper written in 1858 and it’s even rumoured that the maiden’s ghost can be seen by the pool at midnight.

Edit00002Given its otherworldly beauty and serene stillness, Silent Pool has been linked back to numerous historical stories like this and is even considered by some as a sacred site.

Edit00003I too felt very peaceful and calm by the harmonious elegance of the lagoon as we walked along the narrow paths enveloped in luscious greenery. A top tip would be to take a blanket and a little picnic to sit by the waterside and soak up the tranquility of such splendid surroundings.

Edit00004Next time I would be intrigued to take a tour of the gin distillery next door and have a proper insight into the history and background of Silent Pool. And if you’re looking for somewhere a little different to take a stroll or have a picnic with your partner or family, this is a truly unique spot which feels like heaven on earth ❤

If Bluebells were Blue

With travelling and going abroad off the cards at the moment, me and my boyfriend have been exploring our local area and finding hidden gems right on our doorstep.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALiving in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, we really are spoilt with some of the most picturesque surroundings which we usually take for granted.

Screenshot00004Hopping on the bikes and taking a new route each time we venture out, we’ve been lucky enough to discover some awesome new locations. So when we found this bluebell woods in full bloom we couldn’t wait to do a shoot!

Screenshot00003 The ideal time to capture such dense woodland is at sunset when the light is peaking through the trees and showering those golden hour hues. It’s always fun to just experiment in order to capture those more natural action shots.

Screenshot00006So whilst we may have to wait to go out in the world and travel foreign lands again, I’m thankful to be chasing such picturesque sunsets back in my home country; it’s time to rediscover the natural beauty of our homelands ❤

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Travel Reflection; Learn, Laugh, Live

For me, the essence of travelling is to live freely, learn knew skills, broaden knowledge of our world and meet knew people from all walks of life. Doing this with your best friend by your side is even more of a unique privilege as you can nudge each other out of your comfort zones and share the beautiful memories which unfold.

Edit 3Having previously made the move to Aus solo, it was a different experience to be holidaying with my buddy. As two outgoing, confident individuals, as a pair we had no trouble making friends and weren’t afraid to explore new places and try new things. Of course you can’t take yourself too seriously and it’s so important to be able to maintain humour particularly at yourself.

Edit 4I would definitely recommend travelling with one or two very close friends to have that someone to share your experience with, laugh alongside and to have one another’s backs no matter what. That’s not to say travelling alone isn’t doable, as I did so myself, it’s just so awesome to have someone to do things with and reminisce on the moments shared.

Edit00012One of the lessons I learnt early on in my travels was that ‘if you dare to remove yourself, the true you will follow.’ I know that taking myself away from the safety of home when I originally moved to Aus, was a huge learning curve and proved that I am capable of achieving so many things on my own. The same applies when you’re travelling even with a partner, as you are both out of your comfort zones and have to adapt to the spontaneity of the adventure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADon’t be afraid to dive into the unknown wonders of travel which will uncover the essence and core values of you as a person<3 

My 25th Birthday Down Under

Having stayed an extra few days in Bali to chill out and relax following our blow out week exploring Canggu, it was time to fly back over to Aus for my final week down under. It was a special opportunity to go back to Sydney whilst on the other side of the world and celebrate another birthday with my Aussie friends and family.

Edit 1Being my 3rd year in a row celebrating in Aus, it’s always a big one as coincidently my birthday falls on Australia Day – the anniversary of when the first fleet of British ships arrived on the shores of Australia. Although a controversial national holiday given the impact white man had on the indigenous Aboriginal people of the land, it’s an excuse to get out the BBQ and join together with friends to soak up the peak of summertime.

Edit 2This year I found myself back down in the Southern Highlands with my closest friends from my time in Aus. It was also another friend’s birthday that weekend, so the guys pulled out all the stops for a fantastic party including delicious food, good old Aussie garden games and even a coffee cocktail cart!

Edit 7One of my old housemates comes from a Portuguese family of foodies, so produce is super fresh and nothing done in half measures. I was very happy with the array of cocktails on offer, including my favourite Espresso Martinis made with the best Australian roasted coffee. The night previous I also got involved prepping homemade hummus and even fermenting sauerkraut and kimchi. However the star of the show was the Hog Roast which got going on the spit from 9am to be ready for the afternoon.

Edit 6After such a feast and plenty of beers down, we spent the arvo basking in the sunshine and listening to Triple J Radio top 100, before going out into the field at sundown for an obligatory game of Cricket. It just wouldn’t be an Australia Day if we didn’t play Cricket and it’s become a tradition to do so on my birthday… along with the need for VB Beers to keep me smiling of course!

Edit 5As golden hour glowed and the sunset, I was so happy to have spent another fabulous birthday in the land down under. I’m very lucky to have made such special friends during my time living in Sydney and I don’t doubt we will be partying together again in the very near future. Cheers for the beers and awesome times Straya!

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Parting ways with Wifey

And so the time came to say farewell to my travel buddy, wifey for lifey and soul sister. Having been best friends since infant school we get on like siblings, making for the perfect partner to have by my side for this adventure.

Edit00001It was Cara’s first real travel experience so it was my pleasure to show her the ropes of Aus and discover the wonders of Bali together. Being in each others pockets for a month proved our unbreakable friendship; from laughing til our bellies hurt and tearing up the club dance floors arm in arm, to opening up over a glass of wine and making sure we gave each other space when we needed it, a true friend is there in a heartbeat no matter what.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can honestly tell this girl anything and I’m never scared to be totally myself around her – I hope she would say the same for me. So when she had to leave for England to get back home for work whilst I was going back to Sydney for another week, I felt like I had a limb missing! I even woke up one day back in Aus and started searching the flat for her for a good 15 minutes before I realised she wasn’t there.

Edit00005Our month travelling together has only made our friendship stronger and I couldn’t wish for a more awesome, caring, funny, loveable bestie. I don’t doubt we will be planning our next trip together again very soon to add to our many special memories shared over the years ❤

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Echo Beach Sundowners

As we as a world find ourselves in these strange and uncertain times, I can’t help but look back on these wonderful travel moments and feel incredibly blessed for the memories made. Whilst this all seems a long way away now, I don’t doubt that we will all enjoy the luxury of travelling abroad again before we know it.

Edit00004This was our last evening together on Echo Beach with my travel buddy, a special time which I will cherish forever. Life doesn’t get much better than watching a sunset on the beach with beers and your best friend by your side.

Edit00002As we sipped our beers and watched on as the sun dipped below the horizon, I had an overwhelming feeling of content and happiness. Life can get on top of us all at the best of times, but in taking myself out of my comfort zone and exploring new places over the past few years, I have gained a more worldly perspective on my privileged life.

Edit00001Little did we know that our time in Bali together was to end on such a high as following these sundown drinks, we had another spontaneous night out partying. After meeting more great Aussie guys who ended up being our companions for the evening, we found ourselves dancing on the beach at Sand Bar again until 3am!

Edit00003I thought Bali was good for my soul in so many ways; from the stunning beaches lined with palm trees and awesome clubs open at any hour, to the laid back lifestyle of friendly locals and their outstanding health food scene, I’m hooked on the place. Bali, I will be back for more wonderfully wild times again soon ❤

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La Brisa Nights

Take one of the most iconic surf beaches in the world with stunning sunsets on repeat every evening, and you have the perfect location to build a truly awesome beach club. Whilst there are a number of beach bars lining Echo beach and its neighbouring Batu Bolong beach, La Brisa sits right on the water’s edge and spills out onto the sand with its boho white umbrellas and loungers.

Edit00002La Brisa really is an oasis by the sea encapsulating the essence of boho chic Bali style. Built amongst the palm trees upon a natural decent towards the beach, it’s like a wonderful maze walking amongst the different areas to discover the hidden bars and pools.

Edit00005Whether you just want a sundown drink and good tunes, or fancy renting your own daybed complete with cute nautical style decor, this place is a sanctuary for metropolitan and nomadic travellers alike.

Edit00063Being just a 5 minute walk from our hotel, we couldn’t help but wonder down to catch sunset with a few drinks at La Brisa most evenings!

Edit00006With treehouse inspired architecture and enchanting decor made from hundreds of reclaimed Balinese fisher boats, La Brisa is an otherworldly escape amongst the madness and beauty of Bali.

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Bali Eats; Health Food Heaven

When it comes to cafe culture and healthy eating, you can’t go wrong in Bali. I found it hard to go a day without trying another stunning smoothie bowl abundant with local fresh fruits and delicious toppings, perfect brekky in such a hot climate. Being next door to Nalu Bowls we treated ourselves to one or two of these irresistible bowls of goodness.

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With such a huge choice of recommended cafes and restaurants to try, it was a challenge to choose where to go to next! Thank fully we’d done our research and had a number of places in mind where we definitely wanted to check out. Arriving in the middle of the night, our first meal was actually in our hotel the next morning. Included in our room was a complimentary breakfast from the hotel’s Green Spot cafe serving up a variety of healthy brekky and lunch options. Day one I was drawn to the dragonfruit bowl beautifully presented with banana coins, fresh mango and crunchy coconut on top.

Edit00001One of the places high on my list to try in Canggu was Give Cafe, sister to the famous Kynd Cafe in Ubud. This colourful little eatery with its pretty interiors gives all of its profits to charity, so at the end of your visit you pop your token into one of the charity boxes that they support to choose where your money goes. A fully vegan menu includes local dishes such as the Balinese curry which I opted for, as well as nutritious salad bowls and meat free alternatives which could be mistaken for the real thing – those satay skewers were just like chicken!

Edit00004Another awesome cafe we were keen to hit up was Cinta Cafe which overlooks a rice paddy. This makes for a picture perfect lunch setting in the heart of Bali, especially when enjoyed sitting back and sipping on a coconut.

Edit00008Next we tried Shady Shack for dinner as we’d heard great things about this hidden gem nestled in the trees just off the main drag in Canggu. Sat on wooden benches amongst the foliage glistening with fairy lights, it makes for an intimate dinner setting with friends or a partner. I was overwhelmed with the extensive choice of salad bowls and vegan dishes, but finally settled on the green bowl including zucchini noodles, broccoli heads and lettuce drizzled in a creamy peanut sauce and topped with a sweet almond brittle. Everything was so fresh and portions were certainly generous without compromise on flavour; this was my favourite dinner spot as I can’t resist a loaded salad bowl.

Edit00013Back to brekky, I had my eye on the acai bowls I’d seen on Instagram from The Loft. A little on the pricier side given its reputation, I couldn’t fault the presentation of this perfectly formed bowl which even came with a cute pineapple gold spoon for me to scrape every last bit from the coconut. Located on one of the main strips in Canggu, I sat out on the terrace and savoured by sweet acai bowl whilst watching the madness of Bali scooters racing by.

Edit00015Given our short trip, we weren’t in Bali long enough to sample all of the fabulous places I’ve seen scrolling through Instagram. We did however cover a lot of Canggu and on the most part everywhere was reasonable and eating out was relatively cheap, with the total cost of dinner and drinks typically about half what you’d pay in England! Whilst I didn’t manage to photograph every place we went – I was enjoying myself too much 😉 – below is a list of some of the best cafes, restaurants and bars we did visit and would highly recommend trying for yourself:

  • La Brisa
  • Cinta Cafe
  • Deus Ex Machina
  • Give Cafe
  • Krate Cafe
  • The Lawn
  • The Loft
  • Luigi’s Pizza
  • Mason
  • Nalu Bowls
  • Old Man’s
  • Penny Lane
  • Pretty Poison
  • Sand Bar
  • Shady Shack

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