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Thursday, 25 July 2019

Location: Florida, Central America

Florida is one of the most widely visited states in America, and for a good reason. The state is home to some of the world’s most famous attractions and landmarks. In fact, in 2018 Florida set a new tourism record for the United States with 126.1 million out-of-state visitors marking the state’s 8th consecutive year holding the title.

The state is particulate popular with families, children and young people. So, what is, are the best things for families to do in Florida?

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort
The Magic Kingdom is located outside Orlando and is often widely referred to as “the happiest place on Earth". It is the main park at the Walt Disney Resort and boasts six themed lands for visitors to explore.

Most famous as the part is the well-know Main Street, USA, where you can eat, shop and take in the stunning buildings. There’s even a mock ‘town hall’ where you can get park information and assistance. Most notable though is the view of the iconic Cinderella’s castle in the distance. Along with Main Street USA, the part has Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrow Land; all sporting their own magical them to make your kids (and any adults) visit to the happiest place on earth one hey will never forget.

Universal Studios
Universal Studios in Florida houses some of the world’s most advanced and adventurous rides in the world. These rides provide the unique experience of allowing park visitors to experience their favo... through interactive experiences.

Visitors can join the fight between Autobots and Decepticons in TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, become a minion helper on Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, spend time with the world’s favourite web-shooting hero on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man or get up close and personal with a T-Rex on the Jurassic Park River Adventure.

If you need a break from experience some of your on-screen favourites in real -life, you could always pay a visit to Volcano Bay -Universal Resorts’ very own water park! The park is situated on the edge of the Universal Studios resort and is open to any visitors who have bought a Volcano Bay ticket.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
While the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is technically part of Universal Studios, we’re including it in this list as a separate attraction as the size and nature of the attraction it warrants a stand-alone viewing.

The world-famous attraction is so large that it is split over to parts, with the iconic Diagon Alley located in Universal, and Hogsmede Village (including the iconic Hogwarts Castle) is in the Islands of Adventure. Given the ever-expanding size of the attraction, you’ll need a multi-park ticket to see all of it, and it will likely be a two-day viewing if you want to see everything.

Fans of the iconic book and film series can visit all their favourite wizarding locations f... and even experience the unique food and drinks from the wizarding world. Step inside Ollivander’s Wand shop and find want, visit Gringott’s Bank or experience Hogwarts itself.

Top Tips
Book your Walt Disney park tickets in advance and consider a fast pass so that you can skip the queues as the waiting times can often be considerable.

Sort you spending money before you go and make sure you take enough in cash. Although most places will accept all major debit and credit cards, there is likely to be a charge for using your card if you aren’t paying with an American card.

Make sure you take care of your health by packing enough sun cream and staying well hydrated as Florida can often experience temperatures of anywhere between 80 and the hig... in Fahrenheit.

Be prepared to wait in queues as the attractions on this list are always highly populated.

Direct flights from London to Florida range from a minimum duration of 9h 15m up to 12h 5m, so make sure you are well prepared for a long-haul flight before you board.

Friday, 05 July 2019

Location: Aberdeen, UK

Aberdeen, a popular tourist destination in the UK, is the third biggest city in Scotland after Glasgow and the capital Edinburgh. Aberdeen, often referred to as the Granite City, has a lot to offer visitors and locals alike. Although famous for many things – its granite architecture to name one of many – there are lots of interesting facts regarding this vibrant city which are lesser known.

The Oldest Newspaper

Did you know Aberdeen is home to the oldest daily newspaper in Scotland? The Press and Journal, formerly known as the Aberdeen Journal, started operation in 1747 and is still going to this day, with many eminent writers having contributed to and editing the articles over the many years.

Inspiration for Dracula

We’ve all heard of the Bram Stoker tome Dracula, but did you know the inspiration for Dracula’s home came from Aberdeenshire? On the coast of Cruden Bay is where you will find the ruins of Slains Castle which was first constructed in 1597. The castle sits on a cliff edge overlooking the North Sea and is said to have inspired the eminent writer Bram Stoker when he visited the area in 1895.

Largest National Park

Aberdeenshire is home to the Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in the UK.  The park is estimated to receive 1.8 million visitors a year with a 5<sup>th</sup> of these people visitors from other countries outside the UK. If you’re a fan of wildlife or climbing Munros then the Cairngorms is the place for you. 5 of the highest mountains can be found in the park, along with some rare wildlife such as the Scottish wildcat and the golden eagle.

Oldest Bridge

Aberdeen is home to Scotland’s oldest bridge, the Brig O’Balgownie near Seaton Park. The bridge is a 13<sup>th</sup> century structure spanning the River Don in Old Aberdeen; the bridge fell into disrepair in the 16<sup>th</sup> century and was completely renovated in 1605.

Beach City

Aberdeen is one of only a handful of cities which has a beach a few miles from the city centre. Aberdeen beach is famous for its golden sand and is a popular spot for dog walkers, wind surfers and runners. In recent years the beach saw an expensive operation to move sand down the beach as it had been lost to the tide and winds.

Largest Amusement Park

Aberdeen is home to Scotland’s largest amusement park. Codona’s Amusement Park was established by the Codona family in 1970 and is still managed by the family to this day. The park sits just off Aberdeen beach on the North Sea coast and has rollercoasters, golf courses and places to eat and drink.

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Many of us count down the days till we head off on our holidays. Days spent in the sun, exploring new cultures, tasting new foods and leaving our troubles behind all make for a great experience. But did you know that travel can also be incredibly beneficial to your overall wellbeing? Here we will look at how your days in the sun not only boost your tan, but your physical and mental wellbeing to boot.

Travel Sharpens the Mind

It’s not for nothing that they say travel broadens the mind. Travel exposes you to new cultures and different ways of living and thinking. These experiences help make us all more open-minded individuals. On top of this, learning new languages and ways of life help to keep the mind sharp, with studies showing that it improves cognitive function and concentration levels.

Travel Boosts Activity Levels

When travelling we tend to be more active due to the fact we are more likely to get involved in activities, go swimming and do lots of walking and exploring. Study after study has proven that exercise is a great way to improve both physical and mental wellbeing. The habits we pick up on holiday can encourage us to stay active when we return, helping to maintain fitness levels and reduce stress hormones

Travels Helps You Refresh

It’s easy for everyday life to become a bit of a bubble, making it hard to take a step back, refocus and refresh. This is why travel is so important. Travel offers an escape from reality, allowing you to leave your worries and concerns behind. Stepping out of your bubble and into a different routine helps you focus on the things that are important and forget the things that aren’t. This means you can then return from your holiday refreshed and ready to get back to reality.

Travel Lets You Focus on Self-Care

When life is hectic with many distractions it can be easy to overlook selfcare. Taking time away from your routine to travel frees you from this and gives you the opportunity to focus on your health and wellbeing. Taking the time to look after yourself and go for regular health check-ups is hugely important. If you are hugely busy, spending a little extra for private health insurance can allow you more freedom to pick and choose the best appointment times for your schedule. Travelling helps you realise how important this and self-care are, and that everything else can wait.

Your Mood Via New Social Connections

One of the best aspects of travel is the new social connections you make. Connecting with new people from different walks of life not only expands your social circle but helps boost feel-good hormones. Studies show that socialising and building strong social connections helps improve mental well being and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Making new friends while travelling not only enriches your experience but enhances your overall health.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Location: UK

Up and down the UK, people are choosing more and more to take weekend breaks away without leaving the country. The United Kingdom boasts some of the best city life in the world, so is it any wonder people are choosing to venture out and explore their own country more?

One of Scotland’s most famous cities and known for its people and culture, Glasgow had to make this list. Glasgow has an eclectic mix of daytime and nighttime activitie... that should suit any visitor. Famous for its shopping scene, why not head down to Glasgow’s Buchanan Street and visit any of the wonderful shops – or one of the two main shopping centers the city has to offer!

If culture is more your thing, the city boasts many icons of Scottish culture to take in, such as the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), George Square and Kelvingrove Museum. Or, why not take in a gig at the SSE Hydro or walk along the River Clyde while you’re there?

For food and drink, the city centre is the place to go. With a host of restaurants serving up dishes from every corner of the world, to suit any budget, the Glasgow food scene is one you don’t want to miss. For those who like a little after dinner drink, you’ve come to the right place. Scotland is well-known for their drinking culture, and the Glasgow offers low-key pubs, packed bars, cocktail bars and beerhouses galore, so there’s guaranteed to be something to suit everyone’s taste.

Arguably the most famous city in the country, this list wouldn’t be complete without London. Perfect for the tourist or the seasoned visitor, this city has a never-ending list of things to keep your busy all weekend.

For tourists, there are internationally recognised landmarks like the London Eye, the West End, Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace to see, and for the locals, why not pop along to Chinatown or Little Venice for some time away?

After it’s amazing transformation, Cardiff has become one of the country’... – and with good reason. The capital of Wales has a host of things to fill your weekend away, with a mix of family-friendly attractions, culture experiences, superb restaurants and some serious nightlife.

Sports fans - make sure you stop by the Millennium Stadium, a sporting amphitheatre to match some of the world’s best. For architecture lovers, Cardiff Bay, boats respected old buildings alongside an array of superb architecture and a waterfront is popular with the locals.

Liverpool is a great city for exploring and for its nightlife. If architecture and history is your thing, Liverpool has it in spades. Why not kick off your visit by checking out Liverpool’s Albert Dock for beautiful architecture and views across the River Mersey. The Tate Gallery, Museum of Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and the International Slavery Museum are all free to enter and would be perfect for any museum buffs out there.

The city also offers great restaurants and a huge host of bars for a night out. With a range of regular, vegetarian and vegan restaurants, there’s something for everyone. There’s no shortage of bars either – everything from cocktail bars in an old church, to a wine bar or beer house.

Why Choose UK City Break?
There are many reasons why a UK city break should be the next trip you book. Staying in the UK for a trip is much more convenient than going abroad as a starting point. If you can drive, you can travel by car up and down the country at your leisure with only the cost of petrol to pay.

<p>You also don’t have to worry about exchange rates or running out of cash, as you can pay with your current account through contactle..., chip and pin or withdraw cash without worrying about being charged a fee. You will have access to ay local NHS service without having to worry about travel insurance or doctor’s bills, and you will be in the same country should an emergency arise at home or at work that requires you to get home fast.

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