Shop Until You Drop… in Bicester Village. A short guide about visiting and shopping Bicester Village

Posted By : Jimmy Raza/ 51 0

England is definitely a surprising country, with amazing places and posh lifestyle. Great fashion designers, artists, and celebrities have made England’s capital a well-known spot for a high-end atmosphere. Bicester Village is an iconic example of luxurious shops, fancy streets, and exquisite dining. Read our guide below to see what Bicester Village has to offer.

 

What and where?

You might wonder what’s with all the fuss about this village. Well, Bicester Village is an outlet shopping center. It is located in Oxfordshire, England, and it was opened in 1995. This place is considered a hotspot of luxury and the ultimate shopping destination, selling mostly luxury goods and designer clothes. At only 20 minutes away from Oxford, you will find this heaven of British and international luxury brands. The shops all have savings of up to 60% all year round! Yes, you heard well! It’s like sale season 24/7!

Tip: take at least one day to shop in Bicester Village so you have enough time to search for the perfect outfits

The shopping paradise

If you’re a cool hunter, always looking for fashionable items, Bicester Village is the place to be. You will find world-class designer boutiques, such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Dolce & Gabbana, or Burberry. These are just a few of the long list of brands that have their shops in the village. You’ll enjoy spacious boulevards, attentive services, and friendly, relaxed atmosphere while shopping at your maximum. It’s quite a unique experience and it should be on every shopping lover’s bucket list.

Tip: check the website for the entire list of the brand shops available in the village

 

More good news

Above all, this one-of-a-kind village has much more to offer. Besides all the fancy shops, it offers a great variety of services that will help you enjoy your visit even more. Hands-free shopping is a great service if you want to enjoy your shopping session as much as possible. Choose the items from your favorite boutiques and a boutique assistant will pack them for you while you have a cup of coffee and relax. Instant Tax refund and money change, VIP Lounge, Valet Parking, personal shopper, luggage drop, and frequent flyer rewards are some of the other great services that are at your disposal in the village. The multilingual concierge service will help you find all the information you need. There is also free Wi-Fi, free on-site parking, baby changing facilities, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters. All in all, the Bicester Village has anything you need for a great trip and an amazing experience.

Tip: pick up your VIP invitation from the Concierge Desk to get an extra 10% discount for your shopping

 

How to get there

Getting to the Bicester Village is easier than you might think, and you have lots of options suited for every travel style. If you choose to get there by car, from London, it will take you about 60 minutes to reach your destination. By train, it is also an easy option and you can take direct trains from London, Birmingham, or Oxford. A train journey lasts between 14 and 50 minutes, depending on the location of departure. From Oxford, you can also take the bus. At every half an hour, a bus departs from Magdalen Street to Bicester Village. For a comfortable and in-style trip, you can choose a luxury chauffeur-driven service. For timetables and more information, visit the official website.

Tip: you can also choose to travel by taxi; any taxi company will take trips to Bicester Village

Shop, shop, eat… repeat

After all the shopping you will definitely need to rest your feet and feed your soul. Bicester Village has some gorgeous cafes and restaurants that will make your sooth your soul at the end of the day. From indulgent diners to on the go foodie treats, you will find many options to choose from. If you want to taste the Parisian macarons, Laduree is there for you. Enjoy some great meals with a wide range of options to choose from, including vegan dishes, at one of the restaurants and cafes, such as Café Wolseley, Farmshop Restaurant & Café, or Le Pain Quotidien. There are also pop-ups and kiosks if you need a refuel before another shopping session. Find some mouth-watering ice-cream at Snowflake Luxury Gelato, Stecco Natura or at Oliphant & Pomeroy. Lola’s Bakery, R Chocolate, or Crêperie Angélie will offer you the best sweet treats.

Tip: if you’re in a hurry and don’t have enough time for a meal, take some really delicious on to go treats from Manja Street Food or Simply Noodles

Photo credit: www.farmshopbicester.com

 

Let us know your tips on how to enjoy a great experience in Bicester Village by commenting below. You can also contact us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Collect Memories at the Lake District! How to explore UK’s most popular national park

Posted By : Jimmy Raza/ 30 0

The Lake District National Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017, due to its unique hill-farming culture. It is the UK’s most popular national park and it is visited by 15 million travelers every year. If you want to explore a one of a kind natural beauty, this is the place to be. Our article will help you find out more about how to enjoy the Lake District at its best.

 

Get your head in the clouds on Scafell Pike

If you like adventure and enjoy hiking, you’ll find Scafell Pike as an amazing spot. It is also England’s highest mountain with a height of 978 m, it will offer you some jaw-dropping sights from the top. The way up there is quite easy to transit, but proper equipment is necessary. Sneakers and jeans won’t do the trick. If you want to hike the mountain make sure you have hiking boots, a raincoat, backpack with some snacks for the road, water, and a map. The entire trip could take up to six or seven hours, so you should be prepared for a real adventure. If you are lucky for good weather you will get to see some amazing surroundings that will make the trip even more stunning.

Tip: check the weather before you take on this adventure, a bad weather could make the steep trails hard to navigate

Photo credit: www.grizedalesculpture.org

 

Lake trips with Steam Yacht Gondola

A great way to explore the Lake District is to take a trip on the lake with a wonderful and unique steam yacht. This yacht is a mix between a Venetian vaporetto and an English houseboat. It was built in 1859 and then restored in the 1980s. Now it has cushioned saloons and polished wooden seats. You can choose between half-lake tours that last 45 minutes and operate from mid-March to October or full-lake cruises for 105 minutes that run a few times per week. The latter covers the history of Ransome, the Campbells, and Ruskin. Another option would be the Walkers’ Cruise which gives you the opportunity to disembark at one jetty and take a walk to the next one. In the summer you can also have a picnic or a Sunday-afternoon-tea cruise. Since 2008 the steam yacht is eco-friendly, being powered only by waste wood.

Tip: National Trust Members have a 10% discount for any of the cruises

 

Explore Grizedale Forest

A suitable place for both families and thrill seekers is the Grizedale Forest. There are nine walking trails and seven cycling routes to explore. Some of them are easy and can be a good idea for families and kids. On the other hand, there are certain trails for hardcore hikers and cyclists. In the undergrowth, on your way, you will find more than 40 outdoor sculptures that have been created by artists since 1977. It’s a natural field of artistic expressions that will make your experience through the forest extremely exciting. On the official website of the Grizedale sculptures, you can check a useful online guide to find out more about these pieces of art.

Tip: at the visitors’ center you can purchase trail maps, while bikes can be hired from Grizedale Mountain Bikes

Honister Slate Mine

The Lake District has very much to offer and every place you get to visit will make your experience unique. Another interesting and amazing place to check out from your list would be an old slate mine. What used to be a source of slate is now a great place to spend your time by doing all sorts of activities. You’ll get to venture underground into the bowels of the old ‘Edge’ and ‘Kimberly’ mines and see where the slates used to be mined from. You can also trace the route followed by the slate miners. Take a little piece of the mine with you as a souvenir by purchasing new signs, house numbers or a fancy plate from the mine’s shop.

Tip: on Fridays, by request, you can visit the ‘Cathedral’ mine and the group visit must consist of eight persons and costs £25 per person

 

The magic land of Borrowdale

Patchwork of cliffy hills, broad fields, chiming streams, and drystone walls make the side-by-side valleys of Borrowdale and Buttermere a quintessential Lakeland landscape for many visitors of the site. What used to be an important center for mineral mining is now a much appreciated natural jewel of the Lake District. It is considered to be the walkers’ country and it is definitely a great place for those who like to explore and enjoy some works of art sculpted by Mother Nature.

Tip: if you want to experience the small farming villages in times past, you have to get in the heart of Borrowdale and you’ll get to Grange-in-Borrowdale, Rosthwaite, and Stonethwaite

 

What natural gems of the Lake District have you visited or which of those presented in the article is on your list? Let us know your preferences by writing your comment below. You can also contact us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

London, baby! Free places to visit in Britain’s capital city

Posted By : Jimmy Raza/ 42 0

London, baby!

Free places to visit in Britain’s capital city

The city of London has much to offer. From historical places to ultra-modern architecture, astonishing parks and lovely venues, all of them will make your visit an amazing experience that you’ll never forget.

Who said that everything is expensive in London? They clearly haven’t read this article yet. You can feel and experience the British vibe without spending a dime. How can you do that? Well, we have for you some of the best places to visit in London for free. Pour yourself a cup of tea and enjoy your lecture.

For the love of Museums

National Gallery

The world’s greatest painters, such as van Gogh, Renoir, da Vinci, Michelangelo, have their masterpieces on display in this emblematic museum. So if you want to see some of the most famous paintings that the Universe has ever had for free, you should definitely take a free tour to the National Gallery. Every year, over six million visitors from all around the world visit these impressive art collections.

Tip: if you want to avoid a crowded visit, better go during the weekdays

Natural History Museum

Another free of charge museum in London would be the Natural History Museum. You can find there 36 free galleries and admire the great fossil of a T.Rex. From March to November, the museum has a wildlife garden open to the public and in the main hall you can find an enormous skeleton of a blue whale.

Tip: the museum is open every day from 10 am to 5.30 pm

Victoria & Albert Museum

Considered the world’s best decorative arts museum, Victoria & Albert Museum is a must on your list of visits in London. It has been open for over 150 years and displays 4.5 million items, all to be seen for free. Visiting V&A is like stepping into a treasure trove with thousands of years of decorative art and design history. Even the building hosting the galleries is a great example of Victorian architectural design.

Tip: you cannot leave the building without seeing Cecil Beaton’s collection of Royal Portraits, “Trees at Hampstead” by Constable, “Tipoo’s Tiger” or Unicorn Tapestries

Tate Modern

In an old and no-longer-functional Bankside Power Station on the south bank of the Thames, you can find one of the most adored attractions of the city, the Tate Modern. Paintings such as “Flatford Mill” by Constable and Ophelia 1851-2” by Sir John Everett Millais are just two of the masterworks you can enjoy on your visit. The permanent collections which include works by Pollock, Matisse, Warhol, and Picasso are going to make your experience at Tate Modern unique and unforgettable.

Tip: you can find an amazing view at the coffee shop at one of the top floors and enjoy your coffee/tea time at the glass wall for the best view

Lovely parks for some British fresh air

Greenwich Park

Greenwich Park is famous for the hill in the center of the park that gives the tourists the opportunity to have an astonishing view over the city. Go to the top of the hill and enjoy your moments of contemplation over a city that never ceases to amaze. In your image from up there you’ll have the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf, the 17th-century Queen’s House, and the beautiful Thames with its sinuous course.

Tip: it’s an ideal spot for a picnic on a sunny day

Kensington Gardens

Another royal park of London would be the charming Kensington Gardens. Take a walk in the history of London and remember its memorable personalities. Here you will find the Albert Memorial, the statue of Peter Pan, the Serpentine Gallery, the Round Pound, and the Diana Memorial Playground, all free of charge. Walk the tree-lined paths of the park and admire its beauty and its perfect British lawns.

Tip: for a delightful tour of London’s parks continue your visit from Kensington Gardens to some other free-entry lovely parks nearby, such as: Regent’s Park, Hyde Park, Green Park or St. James’s Park

Changing the Guard (Buckingham Palace)

An iconic ceremony that reminds you that you’re visiting the land of the Queen is the Changing of Guard, also known as “Guar Mounting”. It is actually a spectacular moment, which you cannot miss if you really want to feel a royal vibe and see how well organized and trained the British regiment is. Wearing bearskin hats and red tunics, the guardians of the Queen march from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace with musical accompaniment.

Tip: the ceremony takes place on every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 10.30 am

Almost touch the sky for free, at Sky Garden

If you enjoy wonderful views over the city, you need to plan a tour at the Sky Garden in London. It has a spectacular view over Britain’s capital and you can spot the most iconic buildings of the city. Capture the best photos of the view, regardless the weather.

You can find this famous enlarged glass dome, in the heart of London, in a building known to locals as the “walkie talkie”. There you can also have your dream dinner with a view. And what a view, you’ll have!

Tip: visits are free to public, but you need to book your entry ticket in advance on their website

Feel free to enjoy them all!

Besides their tea time, Londoners are big fans of markets. You can find lots of free markets to visit and enjoy a Saturday morning in, while searching for some bargains. If you want to combine a visit to Notting Hill with a vintage market to look for some antiques, you should choose Portobello Road Market.

Another great market for a Sunday treat would be Columbia Road Flower Market. Located on a street in East London, with a Victorian atmosphere, you can enjoy a blooming market with all kinds of flowers and plants.

In 2014 it reached its 1000th anniversary and it’s still an emblematic market for food lovers. The Borough Market offers everything you need or crave for a memorable grab-and-go breakfast or lunch. This gourmet food market could also be a perfect spot for some Instagram shots or a lovely walk.

Tip: check the official websites for each market to find the exact location and see what else can you visit nearby

What free-entry places do you know in London? Share your tips with us and leave your comments below. You can also contact us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.