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Monday, 14 September 2020

Location: Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The stresses and strains of modern urban life have left many of us questioning what the actual benefits are of living in a city. Thanks to many people now working from home in light of recent circumstances, a lot more businesses and companies are open to the idea of their employees’ home working. This has opened the door for those who want to keep their job but perhaps want to enjoy a more rural lifestyle.

The Scottish North East has become an increasingly popular place to move in recent years as people across the country have discovered the beauty that can be found in Aberdeenshire and the surrounding area. This part of Scotland has often been overshadowed by the likes of the Highlands and the Central Belt, but today we will talk about the area and the town of Buckie.

Aberdeenshire Offers Rural Living

One of the most appealing parts of moving to this area of Scotland is the balance between getting off the beaten track and being close to the comforts you would want from a town or city. The area that we are focussing on includes a number of well-sized towns and cities including Aberdeen, Inverness, Montrose, and Peterhead. If you choose to move to any part of Aberdeenshire, you can rest assured knowing that there is a degree of civilisation not too far away.

The Town of Buckie

Right on the Northern coast of Aberdeenshire is the town of Buckie. With a population in excess of 8,000, it is an ideal size for people who are wanting to move away to escape the many of a town or city that might have several hundred thousand people living there. While Buckie is one of the larger towns of the region, it still carries the charm of a village and enjoys stunning coastal views looking out to the North Sea. It has all the amenities you would want from a town and there are some beautiful coastal walks to be found in the surrounding area.

Undertaking Your Research

It is important to have a clear perception and view of a place before you commit to moving there. With a place like Buckie that is a little out of the way, making multiple visits to help you decide might be a little tricky and time consuming. Luckily, there are online resources from local property experts that can help you to find out what you’re interested in knowing. Take advantage of all these guides and articles to help you make an informed decision on how you would make a move to a town like Buckie.

The idea of a rural lifestyle has become increasingly popular for those who have been working in the office-based 9-to-5 routine throughout the course of their careers. Making the move is one that should not be taken lightly, and you should consider all options available to you before you commit to a region or place. For a lot of people for whom this lifestyle appeals, the town of Buckie and the countryside within Aberdeenshire ticks a lot of different boxes.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Location: The West Country, UK

The UK offers such a broad range of experiences and landscapes to enjoy as a holidaymaker. It’s hard to say how our lives will have been permanently changed by the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently sweeping the world, but there will be some changes in the short term that we will need to get used to.

The last few months have been a real challenge for all of us, as lockdown has had wide range consequences. The experts predict that traveling out of the country for a holiday might not be the preferred option as restrictions are lifted. Now is the time to look a little closer to home for the ideal staycation destination.

The West Country

There are some parts of the UK that are consistently popular with tourists and make for the top destinations both domestically and internationally. With the lockdown easing, you would be forgiven for wanting to consider some of the places that won’t be rammed with visitors at the first instance. One part of the country that offers a range of holidays but isn’t plagued by copious amounts of tourists is the West Country.

This part of the UK is a loosely defined area that takes in the South West of England. There is such a broad range of places across a relatively small area. From the countryside beauty of Devon and Cornwall, the coastal towns like St Ives and even towns with their own personality and character for an ideal city break, a weekend away to this area of England might offer more that you’d initially expect.

Countryside Walking

The UK is often referred to the green and pleasant land. If you want to see where this description comes from, look no further than rural Dorset. The travel connections to Exeter are good, but once you leave the town, you’ll see nothing but rolling green hills punctuated by the occasional town for miles and miles in every direction.

Thanks to the stunning rural scenery of this part of the country, the area has unsurprisingly become very popular with tourists who enjoy a walking holiday. If you do some investigation into the expert guides, you will see the range of experiences on offer for people of all ages and abilities. It’s not quite the mountain scaling you’d see in the North of Scotland but is beautiful in its own way.

City Breaks

This part of the country is defined to its connection to rural living and agriculture. There are towns in the area that offer great weekends away on a smaller scale than what you might expect from a place like London or Edinburgh. Places like Bristol have reinvented themselves in recent years to become much more cosmopolitan while still maintaining that small-town feel that makes them popular.

A look at the city guides to Bristol show you how you can have a great weekend away here, but still be close to the countryside that gives this part of England its own distinct character. With so much on offer across the UK, why not look at somewhere like the West Country when researching you’re first holiday after the lockdown restrictions are eased?


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Due to the recent unprecedented pandemic of 2020, new phrases have entered the lexicon, phrases such as ‘social distancing’, ‘flatten the curve’ and ‘self-isolation; with these new terms has come a new way of living. Gone are the days of easy free movement and long-haul travel. Individuals across the globe are now being encouraged to stay indoors and only venture out when necessary and, when they do, stay at least two metres apart. Undoubtedly, these measures have had a hugely negative impact on the hospitality industry and led many to change or completely cancel their travel plans. Here we take a look at what to do about your travel plans and how holidays will change in the coming months.

Cancellation?

Due to the shutdown of most major tourist destinations, people have been scrambling to cancel their flights and accommodation. The good news is that since this is an unprecedented, worldwide problem many companies are taking a more lenient stance and allowing holidaymakers to either cancel or move their bookings. Alternatively, check with your travel insurance provider and see if they will cover you for any last-minute cancellations – most insurers will at least cover the cost of your flights.

Booking Through Travel Agents

Online travel agents act as the middleman between hotels/airlines and the customer, making it a bit more complicated to know what you are entitled to changing and what you can’t. Contact your travel agent first and see if they are willing to help and see if they have issued any guidelines on the matter within the last week or so. If the travel agent is unable to offer answers, contact your accommodation provider and airline directly and see if they will offer a refund or, if not, are willing to move your travel dates to another time.

Booking with AirBnB

Recently AirBnB updated its cancellation policy due to recent events; guests can cancel any booking made for dates between March 14<sup>th</sup> and April 14<sup>th</sup> and will be entitled to a full refund; hosts are also now allowed to cancel on guests who have booked during this period without it negatively impacting their rating.

Looking to Plan Travel?

Currently it is advised that no one makes any travel plans for at least the next month. The course of this pandemic is still uncertain, and the length of time countries will need to spend in lockdown is unknown. However, it is possible that in a few months’ time you will be able to travel again – at least within your own country. If you are planning a journey for later this year, make sure you check government guidelines on this and take out insurance to make sure you are covered in the event it is cancelled.

How to Stay Safe

Whether you are staying home, in lockdown or enjoying the luxury of being able to travel, remember to stay safe and look after your health. While coronavirus is an issue, respect rules around social distancing, wash hands thoroughly and regularly, and if you are sick, stay indoors. It is likely Coronavirus will come in waves, so if we all manage to our bit we should be able to keep it at bay and ‘flatten the curve’.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Location: North East Scotland

The north east of Scotland is one of the most beautiful and green areas in the world. In the north east you will find Scotland’s third largest city Aberdeen, but you will also find some of the lesser known but equally great Scottish towns and villages. Here we have compiled a list of some of the best small towns and villages to visit this 2020:

Stonehaven

Stonehaven, one of the prettiest harbour towns in Aberdeenshire, is best-known for its Hogmanay fireball festival and its proximity to Dunnottar Castle; Dunnottar Castle, which in part inspired the Disney-Pixar movie Brave, is a ruined fortress which sits atop a cliff overlooking the North Sea. The castle has seen many a famous face from history, including William Wallace and Mary, Queen of Scots, pass through its corridors. Other great things to do in the Stonehaven area include a walk by the harbour, a trip to the Tolbooth Museum and birdwatching at the incredible RSPB Fowlsheugh reserve.

Ballater

Famous for its close ties to the Royal Family, Ballater acts as the gateway to the Cairngorms National Park – the largest national park in the UK. Head to the cairngorms to experience the best of Scottish nature and landscapes – during the winter months there are even the options to skiing and snowboarding! Also near to Ballater, and the main reason for its strong royal connections, is Balmoral Castle. The castle was purchased by Prince Albert in the 19<sup>th</sup> century for his wife Queen Victoria and has remained in the possession of the Royal Family ever since. Visitors can explore the grounds of Balmoral Castle between May and Jul, after which time the Queen arrives for her annual visit.

Strichen

The village of Strichen, between New Deer and Fraserburgh, dates back almost 4,000 years and is made up of a mix of beautiful cottages and detached homes. This picturesque village is a great place to go for stunning walks in the bucolic countryside where you can be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife. The area also a few great restaurants which sell typical local food, so be sure to take you and your loved ones for a meal out when nearby.

St Cyrus

The small coastal village of St Cyrus is located between Aberdeen and Dundee, in the south of Aberdeenshire. The village is perhaps best known for its stunning sandy beach which is now part of the St Cyrus National Nature Reserve. The beach is over 3 miles long and is surrounded by impressive towering cliffs.

Braemar

Only about 30 minutes’ drive from Ballater, another entry on this list, is the town Braemar. The beautiful town of Braemar, surrounded by mountains, is also perfect for exploring the Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms National Park. The town is also famed for its annual Highland Games known as the Braemar Gathering, which often attracts members of the Royal Family. All this not enough? The area is also where you will find Braemar Castle which is open to visitors during the summer months, beginning at the start of April.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Location: UK

Although the UK isn’t necessarily the first place that comes to mind when thinking of beach resorts, it does have many great beaches to choose from thanks to the fact it is an island nation. The sunny weather might not always be reliable in the UK, but this doesn’t mean the country’s long stretches of golden sand aren’t worth exploring. Here we have put together a list of just a few of the best beach resorts the UK has to offer.

Porthcurno, Cornwall

Cornwall, the south-westerly tip of the UK, can boast of many idyllic beach locations, including Porthcurno. Porthcurno is an area of incredible natural beauty and as a result has won many an award. During the quieter winter months this is a great place to go for a blustery walk with the dog and just enjoy the beauty of nature; in the summer months, between May 1<sup>st</sup> and September 30<sup>th</sup>, there is a dog ban to allow visitors and tourists to enjoy the area without disruption. The beach is made up of fine white sand surrounded by waters which glow a beautiful turquoise in the sunlight.

Tankerton Beach, Kent

Tankerton beach in Kent is made up of rolling grassy hillside and a long pebble promenade. The area was designed in the 19<sup>th</sup> century as the arrival of the train network brought an influx of holidaymakers; the nearby town of Whitstable – just 20 minutes away – remains one of the busiest seaside towns. Along the beach you will find an array of colourful beach huts which are highly sought after and are a great place to go to unwind and watch the world go by. It’s important to note, if you’re holidaying with your dog, that the beach is dog-free zone during the summer months from May to September.

Bournemouth Beach, Dorset

The vibrant town of Bournemouth boasts of over 7 miles of sandy beaches – which are a popular attraction with visitors from all over the world! The beach can be easily accessed by Cliff Lifts which will transport you down to the beach. One of the biggest attractions in the area is Bournemouth Pier, a great location for couples and families alike. Here you will find arcades, restaurants, cafes and even a zip wire for those looking for a little more adventure. The town of Bournemouth is also packed with things to do such as the Aquarium and the Victorian Gardens, which are the perfect place to relax on a warm summer’s day; in fact, Bournemouth has over 2,000 acres of green spaces.

Blackpool Beach, Lancashire

As one of the most famous beach resorts in the UK, Blackpool beach attracts thousands of visitors every year. The beautiful sandy beach not only boasts of three piers – the only beach to do so in the UK – it also won the much coveted eco Blue Flag award. Along the beach you will find several great attractions for the whole family including the much-loved theme park Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Sea Life Blackpool, Blackpool Tower and Madame Taussauds. An added bonus of visiting this colourful seaside town with the whole family is it is also very affordable with plenty of accommodation choices on offer.


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