Travels with Sam 🌎

Hi @Catgoddess_99 picturesque Padstow is a definite must to visit and easily accessible by public transport. From Bodmin Parkway Station you can take the Line 11 bus which gets you to Padstow in just over an hour for a small fee.

If you are a foodie you will be completely spoilt for choice, in fact I could do a whole article on amazing places to eat in Padstow! Rick Stein has 4 fabulous restaurants in Padstow and they are all excellent, I particularly love his St Petroc’s Bistro. My favourite restaurant in Padstow is Paul Ainsworth at No. 6 but if you decide to dine here be sure to book well in advance as it gets very busy! If it’s coffee or tea & cake you are after then you must visit Cherry Trees Coffee House! :coffee::cake:

From Padstow you can also take a scenic passenger ferry ride across the River Camel to Rock. The pedestrian ferry runs every 20 minutes taking around 5-10 minutes crossing time. Rock has stunning estuary views and beautiful sandy beaches. We love The Mariners Public House in Rock for lunch or dinner and dogs are welcome there too. :dog::slightly_smiling_face:

Just one of the many delicious dishes on offer at The Mariners Public House :yum:


Wow! That all looks so amazing, especially the yummy food.

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@Catgoddess_99 Whitby is very beautiful with lots to see and good local buses


Thank you :blush:

These are travel hacks that might be helpful to you:

  1. Get an Oyster card if you’ll be using the London Underground frequently. They save you money versus individual tickets.
  2. Pre-book entrance tickets online for popular tourist attractions to avoid long queues. Some have timeslots.

I hope these help you sam! Have a safe travel

Hi @Robertag I have compiled some suggestions for you for your trip to Colombia, SA, the only country in South America to have a coastline on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. I shall start in the capital of Bogotá, which has become a vibrant and lively city that no tourist should miss. One of the best ways to start your understanding of the city is to take a free walking tour, a great way to get the lay of the land, see the main sights, and have a local expert answer your questions. One of the companies that offer this service is called BeyondColombia. They also offer a free food tour which is a terrific way to get a taste of some local Colombian dishes.

Visit the old heart of the city, the Plaza Bolívar and here you will find Colombia’s Palace of Justice, the Cathedral of Bogotá, the mayor’s office, and the Capital Building. The buildings date back to the 16th century. The Plaza Bolivar is named after Simón Bolívar who was a Venezuelan soldier and statesman who played a central role in seeking independence from Spanish rule.

If you are there on a Tuesday you might like to take part in a language and cultural exchange at Street 85 No.11-53 on the Promenade del Faro. Here, from 4pm onwards , you can meet with other travellers and locals for a few hours of conversation. Once that is over a street party starts at 8pm and goes on until 3am! Entry is free until 6pm, from 6-8pm there is an admission fee of 10,000 COP and 20,000 COP from 8pm onwards.

Possibly the most interesting museum in the entire country that sees over half a million tourists visit every year, is the Museo del Oro (The Gold Museum). The museum was opened in 1939 and documents the importance and use of gold in pre-Hispanic civilisations in Colombia, and has over 55,000 exhibits.

Bogotá stands at an elevation of 8,000ft above sea level but standing above that is the 9,840ft high Monserrate, which can be seen from pretty much everywhere in the town. It is a popular spot to take in the view of the city and you can walk up yourself in less than an hour or you can take a cable car or funicular to the top. If you do intend to climb up just be aware that you are starting and finishing the climb at high altitude.

Another attraction you might like is Museo de Botero which was created after artist and sculptor Fernando Botero donated hundreds of his works to be displayed in a free museum for everyone to see. In addition to his own pieces, included in the donation were works by Monet, Picasso and other world famous artists. Both the Museo de Botero and the Museo del Oro are located in the neighbourhood of La Candelaria. This is the old part of Bogotá and worth a visit in its own right being filled with narrow cobblestone streets and eclectic architecture.

One of the best known exports from Colombia that I’m sure everyone knows is coffee. Whilst in Bogotá you could take the opportunity to arrange a tour of a coffee plantation and enjoy a cup or two whilst you are there! The plantations are located in area known as the coffee triangle, made up of three departments, Caldas, Quindio, and Risaralda. One of the best known coffee houses that provide such tours is the Hacienda Venecia. It may surprise you to learn that the Amazon Jungle spreads in to the southeast corner of Colombia and whilst in the city you can arrange 1-5 day tours of the Amazon Jungle.

Just outside Bogotá an abandoned, calved out salt mine serves as the setting of the Salt Cathedral of Zipaquira. Much of Colombia’s wealth stems from salt mining and Zipaquira is the salt mining capital of Colombia which is where this beautiful underground Cathedral can be found. During the week, visitors can learn more about the salt industry and the church itself, on Sunday the Cathedral opens its doors to around 3,000 parishioners for traditional Mass.

If you think this Cathedral is mesmerising there is an even more beguiling Cathedral called Santuario de Las Lajas which is considered to be one of the most beautiful works of architecture in South America that lies near Colombia’s border with Ecuador. Santuario de Las Lajas was built into and over a deep river gorge.

Another location you might like to place on your Colombia bucket list is the World Capital of Salsa, Cali. Lying to the southwest of Bogotá in the Valle del Cauca department, Cali is known as the ‘Rumba Capital’ by the rest of Colombia and the ‘Salsa Capital’ by the rest of the world. Something else you might like to visit whilst in Cali is the landmark attraction, Cristo Rey. This is a 26 metre high statue of Jesus Christ that stands on top of the Hill of Crystals. If you like, having visited Cristo Rey, you can reward yourself with some empanadas or snacking on some Pandebono which is a type of Colombian bread made of cassava starch, cheese, eggs and in some regions of the country Guava paste.

Sitting on the Caribbean coast of Colombia is one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements in South America, Cartagena. It is a city rich with culture and history. By the sea is the walled Old Town, founded in the 16th century, with squares, cobblestone streets and colourful colonial buildings. With a tropical climate the city is also a popular beach destination, reachable by boat are Isla de Barú, with white sand beaches and palm trees, and the Islas del Rosario, known for their coral reefs.

If anyone else has any other tips or recommendations for Colombia, SA, please add them to this thread. :slightly_smiling_face:

Also @Robertag it’s great that you have joined in with this thread but just to give you the option, and in case you are unaware, you are more than welcome to start a new thread specifically on Colombia and asking for suggestions for your upcoming trip. If you are unsure how to start a new thread I can do this for you.


When my wife and I were in Dublin, we sought the “pub” experience.

We were not successful because as adamant nonsmokers, we didn’t make it to the door in some pubs we attempt due to the cigarette smoke.

I can Google but would rather community input on this.

Is smoking allowed inside/pubs/ restaurants in the UK/Scotland?

I am not looking for when in Rome replies but rather info that I can use for my trip planning. Tx.

This is incredible. Thank you for taking the time to do this!!


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good (women) and men to do nothing”.
Edmund Burke 1780


I’m surprised no one has mentioned Bath yet! I absolutely love this city. So much to do, very walkable and steeped in history. So many films and shows have pieces filmed here as well!

It’s one of my fave English cities. Hands down.


No it’s not allowed inside. You will however get to walk through a cloud of smoke just outside the entrance to nearly every place.

@anon42826925 got it…:unamused:

yes please start a new thread for me. Thanks

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Hi @Robertag you are very welcome :blush:

Hi @Robertag I have just started a new thread for you as requested. If you need any more help with anything please just let me know. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you @yourace for sharing these great travel hacks for London :blush:

Loved Bath and hope to return!


As promised here are some of our experiences from our recent trip to Northumberland :slightly_smiling_face:

We stayed at The Tempus on the Charlton Hall Estate. The interior decor is quite quirky as it was inspired by the Alice in Wonderland adage, of being ‘entirely bonkers’. They have created the feeling of a wonderland in Northumberland.

The hotel is extremely comfortable and modern with friendly efficient staff. We dined in their restaurant and could not fault it, the food menu was diverse catering for all tastes, the quality and presentation of the dishes was superb with very attentive waiting staff. The breakfast in the morning had a selection of hot dishes and an ample cold buffet which was a great way to start the day! The hotel has a good location for exploring the Northumberland east coast and we took full advantage of this.

One of the most well known features of this part of the Northumberland coast is Holy Island, the home of the village of Lindisfarne with its castle and ancient priory ruins. The island is only accessible by a causeway for a set number of hours twice a day as at other times the sea water rises over the causeway with the two high tides each day making it totally impassable. The times of access are actually published on the Lindisfarne website and on the electronic notice board when you are approaching the causeway from the mainland.

Parking is easy and from the main car park you can then walk out to the castle and priory. Although the castle looks every inch to be a perfect medieval fortress, it is actually a sympathetic 20th century restoration of a Tudor fort. In 1902-03 Edward Hudson, who was the founder of Country Life Magazine, commissioned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens to convert the Elizabethan fort into a mock castle, adapting the garrison quarters into a house, and the Tudor cellars into a cosy suite of living rooms. Unfortunately we did not get to see the interior which is supposedly well worth a visit as the castle does not re-open until Easter.

We did however, get to visit Lindisfarne Priory which was the epicentre of Christianity in Anglo Saxon times. Oswald, King of Northumbria, summoned an Irish monk named Aidan from Iona to be the Bishop of his kingdom. Oswald granted Lindisfarne to Aidan for his monastery. The ruins now visible here are those of a 12th century priory which claimed direct descent from the early monastery. In 1537 the monastery was destroyed during the Reformation, when Henry VIII’s commissioners swept away all vestiges of monastic power.

We also visited the stunning Bamburgh Castle as recommended by @Crookie which was the filming location of The Last Kingdom as seen on Netflix. Bamburgh Castle has stood guard above the spectacular Northumberland coastline for over 1,400 years. It spans over nine acres of land on its rocky plateau and it is one of the largest inhabited castles in the United Kingdom.

Another fabulous restaurant we visited during our time in Northumberland was The Potted Lobster in Bamburgh. The restaurant is not particularly large which is why you must book in advance, but provides a relaxed, comfortable and enjoyable dining experience. As the name would suggest their speciality is seafood but they do also offer other options.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Northumberland and will definitely return to visit again. We highly recommend if you have not yet discovered this part of the UK that you do so at some point in the future. :blush:


Hi @bakindoki @Maggie8K yes Bath is a lovely city.

This is a photo I took looking towards Pulteney Bridge over the River Avon in Bath. It is one of the most photographed examples of Georgian architecture in the city and it is also one of only four bridges in the world to have shops built across its full span on both sides. Well worth a visit. :heart:


Glad you loved Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island Sam, one of our most treasured memories of our 5 month trip ladt year! But now only a month to go until we are back in the UK for more adventures!


Hi @Crookie yay! So exciting and not long to go now.

Whereabouts in the UK will you be exploring this time? :uk::slightly_smiling_face: