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Our day trip to Hampton Court Palace came about thanks to our (paid) ambassadorship with Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). Throughout the summer months, we will be using our Historic Royal Palaces membership to gain access to some of the country’s most beautiful palaces; exploring the bedrooms and ballrooms once graced by England’s wayward kings and illustrious queens. To find out more about a HRP membership, please see here. The History of Hampton Court Palace I first visited Hampton Court Palace when I was eight years old. After a hot and no doubt nauseating coach ride, my classmates and I were deposited outside what is declared to be one of England’s finest Tudor structures. I remember feeling a bit confused. The sprawling red brick building in front of me seemed more like a rambling country manor than a palace fit for one of our country’s most famous philandering kings.  Hidden in leafy Richmond Upon Thames, in the small town of Molesey, Hampton Court Palace was the original home of Cardinal Wolsey – Henry VIII’s meddling almoner. However, deciding that this riverside manor – home to fragrant rose gardens and roaming deer – would be ideal for what might be best described […]

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This summer, we are thrilled to be working as ambassadors for Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). An independent charity, HRP look after The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace, and Hillsborough Castle and Gardens; ensuring that these iconic pieces of British history are preserved and enjoyed. Over the coming months, we’ll be making the most of our Historic Royal Palaces Membership (starting at just £53 a year), with unlimited access to all six palaces, regular discounts, access to member-only events and early entry to exhibitions. A summer of royal treatment, it seems, awaits. Kensington Palace: A Brief History Our ambassadorship with Historic Royal Palaces begins with a visit to Kensington Palace and a celebration: the bicentenary of Queen Victoria’s birthday. The two, of course, are linked. It was in this red-bricked palace, hidden beneath the leafy shade of West London, that Queen Victoria lived her young life: growing up surrounded by the Palace’s sunken gardens and tree-lined Serpentine Lake. It was here that she laid eyes on her beloved Prince Albert for the first time and where, one warm summer’s morning, she was declared Queen of England. Equally as important, of course, it was […]

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Before we begin this itinerary for a short break in Jersey, I must clarify one thing. This post is dedicated entirely to the Jersey located between England and France; that small, yet beautifully formed, Channel Island. It is not dedicated to a weekend in New Jersey, USA.  As far as I’m aware, there are no guidos or guidettes in this Jersey, and – I’m fairly sure – no Club Karma. Instead, this Jersey is a place of country lanes and after work surf lessons; a pastel wash of creamy beaches, blue skies and blushing sunsets. For those living in the UK, the island represents an ideal weekend escape; a place to wile away those precious hours between Friday and Sunday inside Michelin-starred restaurants and atop golden sand dunes. Although just fives miles long and nine miles wide, there is a surprising amount to do on Jersey. Food enthusiasts, for example, will find themselves overwhelmed with choice, as seasonal food vans and Michelin-starred restaurants vie for their attention. Alternatively, for those with a penchant for the great outdoors, the island is a haven for both ramblers and hikers alike. If this doesn’t entice you, then Jersey’s compelling history can easily fill […]

The post An Itinerary for a Short Break in Jersey: The Perfect Weekend Getaway appeared first on Twins That Travel.

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You might think I’m a little hasty writing this list of the UK’s best springtime breaks. It’s still only February after all – a month commonly considered the ugly sister of the calendar year. In fact, this time last year, the country was shivering under a blanket of snow and ice – the Beast From The East roaring through our cities. Yet, and a year on, things are a little different. Daffodils are already here; their little yellow faces turned upwards towards the sun. The air smells like freshly cut grass and white airplane trails fill the sky. February has had a make over. With the usual grey, damp air feeling almost springlike, I’ve found myself dreaming of warmer months: planning UK spring breaks filled with snowdrops and bluebells; magnolia blossom and light evenings. Below is the result of this dreaming: a list of five places that (I believe) look their most beautiful when bathed in that sparkling springtime light. From fresh coastal walks, to breaks in Somerset’s rolling hills, I hope this list will inspire you to make the most of the UK as winter fades and the springtime blossom arrives. 5 Of The UK’s Best Springtime Breaks 1. […]

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It was a hot and airless morning when we began our journey; the roads a queue of cars and exhaust fumes. With the windows wound down, I listened as the tyres rolled over the hot tarmac, each rotation making a sticky sort of noise. Up ahead, someone was listening to a call-in about the state of the nation’s bumblebees. After an hour of driving – and just as the dreaming spires of Oxford appeared on the horizon – we turned right, the city falling behind us. We were driving deeper into the Oxfordshire countryside, our luxury Cotswold cottage on the horizon. The first town to greet us was Woodstock: the birthplace of Winston Churchill and neighbour to Blenheim Palace. Colourful bunting criss-crossed the streets and a small crowd gathered around a morning market, each stall hidden under flapping gingham canopies. A man lumbered past holding a box piled high with potatoes, his flat cap perched on their summit. ‘Product of the Cotswolds’, his crate read. Easing out of Woodstock and the roads narrowed, dry stone walls running the length of each lane. They were covered in moss and surrounded by cow’s parsley – the sort of place you might find […]

The post Luxury Cotswold Cottages: A Weekend at Ivy’s Cottage appeared first on Twins That Travel.

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Once dubbed the ‘Athens of the North’, Edinburgh is my kind of city. Steeped in history, philosophy, awe-inspiring architecture and plenty of malt whiskey, it’s the sort of place that welcomes its visitors with crackling fires and fog-shrouded castles. Indeed, I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t like this city – its cobbled streets or Tolkienesque pubs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these are all elements that consequently feature in this itinerary for 2 days in Edinburgh. My own 2 days exploring Edinburgh offered a tantalising taste of what this rugged Scottish city has to offer. Glimpses of its infamous castle framed against a deep blue sky, picture-perfect villages hidden around corners, and plenty of hearty food, all confirmed that Edinburgh is a place that I’ll be returning to again and again. An Itinerary for 2 Days in Edinburgh How to get to Edinburgh from London Getting to Edinburgh from London is a quick and financially painless process. With budget airlines such as easyJet flying for less than £100 return (from London Luton airport), this is an affordable city break. Alternatively, for those looking to travel to the city at a more relaxed pace, simply hop on the train from Kings Cross station (London North Eastern […]

The post An Itinerary for 2 Days in Edinburgh: how to make the most of your stay appeared first on Twins That Travel.

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Stepping out of the car as a cascade of golden leaves fell down, I wrapped my scarf tightly around my neck. The air was thick with the smell of wood smoke and a mist was quickly forming; the Lake District’s famous hills only just visible behind our holiday home. After a four hour journey north (with only Laura’s singing for company) – and our road trip to the Lake District now well underway – I was ready for a strong cup of tea. Grabbing my suitcase – darkness fast drawing in – I headed towards the warm glow of our new home: Summer Hill House. As ‘microadventure’ aficionados and keen champions of the UK road trip, we’ve enjoyed many adventures around our own country. From Northumberland to Margate, Dartmoor to Durham, we’ve explored the UK at every opportunity. After a busy period of long haul travel – including a flying visit to LA – we were therefore thrilled when Europcar invited us to enjoy a road trip to a UK destination that we were yet to explore: the Lake District. Home of Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, the Lakes is an area of untamed beauty that we’ve long hoped to visit. […]

The post The Ultimate Road Trip to the Lake District appeared first on Twins That Travel.

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Stepping out of the car as a cascade of golden leaves fell down, I wrapped my scarf tightly around my neck. The air was thick with the smell of wood smoke and a mist was quickly forming; the Lake District’s famous hills only just visible behind our holiday home. After a four hour journey north (with only Laura’s singing for company) – and our road trip to the Lake District now well underway – I was ready for a strong cup of tea. Grabbing my suitcase – darkness fast drawing in – I headed towards the warm glow of our new home: Summer Hill House. As ‘microadventure’ aficionados and keen champions of the UK road trip, we’ve enjoyed many adventures around our own country. From Northumberland to Margate, Dartmoor to Durham, we’ve explored the UK at every opportunity. After a busy period of long haul travel – including a flying visit to LA – we were therefore thrilled when Europcar invited us to enjoy a road trip to a UK destination that we were yet to explore: the Lake District. Home of Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, the Lakes is an area of untamed beauty that we’ve long hoped to visit. […]

The post A Road Trip to the Lake District with Europcar appeared first on Twins That Travel.

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Bursting into tears wasn’t exactly the reaction I’d hoped for after ushering my friend into her suite at The Grand Hotel & Spa York. Staring in horror as tears slid down her face, I asked her what was wrong. “Nothing is wrong at all”, she said, “this is just overwhelming.”  Collapsing onto the plush sofa that filled the Heritage Suite, she grabbed a glass of champagne before adding: “this might be normal for you two nowadays, but for me this is really special.” Leaping to reassure her that this was certainly not how we usually travelled (anyone remember the night we camped in a yurt in Dartmoor – in February?), Laura and I rallied round. Truth be told, we were equally overwhelmed by the bubble of luxury surrounding us. As Laura’s neighbour in university halls over 13 years ago, Jenny is the friend that dragged us (kicking and screaming) into adulthood. Patiently teaching us to cook; helping us to bury the many hamsters we amassed over the student years; reading our essays and being one of our closest companions ever since, we owe Jen a lot. With her wedding fast approaching, we therefore wanted to plan a special weekend away to say ‘thank you’ […]

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Once dubbed the ‘Athens of the North’, Edinburgh is my kind of city. Steeped in history, philosophy, awe-inspiring architecture and plenty of malt whiskey, it’s the sort of place that welcomes its visitors with crackling fires and fog-shrouded landscapes. Indeed, I’ve not met anyone who doesn’t like Edinburgh – its cobbled streets or Tolkienesque pubs. It’s that sort of city that everyone loves and everyone has visited. Everyone, that is, except for me. I’m not sure why Edinburgh and I have failed to meet, but the fact we haven’t was fast becoming my dirty, travel-blogging little secret. Something had to be done. Consequently, when the opportunity arose to spend 48-hours in the city, I decided the time had come: I would make my inaugural journey to the (apparent) birthplace of my great-grandmother. The city didn’t disappoint. My two days exploring the stony nooks and crannies of Edinburgh offered a tantalising taste of what this rugged Scottish institution has to offer. Glimpses of its infamous castle framed against a deep blue sky, picture-perfect former villages and plenty of hearty food confirmed that this city is one that I’ll continue to return to again and again. For those looking to explore the city […]

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