10 Holiday Destinations we’d all Want to Visit, if only they Existed

Hello hello and happy Tuesday! First post of the week and, as ever, it’s a Top Ten Tuesday promoted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Please enjoy this guidebook narrative of some fictional places I’d want to visit and the reasons I’d die horribly in them!

1. Narnia

From the Chronicles of Narnia
An untouched world full of medieval Knights, magic and trees. Potential threats include wopping great big lions, sinister witches and wolves. More danger is ensured if you take a boat trip with Prince Caspian. Weather is often magically manipulated so seasons are unpredictable.

2. Camp Half-blood

From Percy Jackson
This unusual holiday camp is essential for all demigods. Dress for sun and combat. Health and safety is somewhat laissez-faire so bring a first aid kit.

3. Hogwarts

From Harry Potter
Magical castle where students can learn the delights of levitating, potion making and dueling. Normally very safe but you may be called upon to defeat a dark wizard or two. It’s Scotland so be sure to bring a house scarf.

4. Red London

From A Darker Shade of Magic
Popular tourist destination with its ruby red river, cute markets and visiting pirate ships. Often under attack from other worlds and has a slight crime problem. Tourists from other Londons will not be well received and may struggle with border control.

5. Caravel

From Caravel
A popular yearly attraction that could be literally anywhere. Pack your most elaborate, bow covered dress and prepare for jetlag: the place only comes alive at night. Traders will often rip you off or take more than you bargained for.

6. The Night Circus

From The Night Circus
A beautiful Circus with unusual tents, delicious snacks and impossible displays. Has a slightly sinister undertone and is only open at nights. No preplanning required when visiting the circus because it arrives without warning.

7. Orïsha

From Children of Blood and Bone
Although this tropical paradise is currently under poor management it is an exotic island with a rich display of beauty. The biggest threats currently are the cruel dictator and the lionaires indigenous to this island. Dress for summer.

8. Prague

Ok, this one actually exists so I won’t do a mock guide book impression for you all. But, on an exciting note, I can actually go there! I might not have the money to visit, but hey, this might happen some day people! And of course it’s all because of the romantic descriptions of the old cathedral, pretty streets and cute cafés in Daughter of Smoke and Bone that has me desperate to go.

9. The Hundred Kingdoms

From To Kill a Kingdom
Not to be confused with other similar sounding fantasy destinations, this world offers tourists a plethora of unusual island towns, expanses of sea and gold crafted cities. It is advisable that tourists don’t travel by boat, however, due to the heart snatching siren problem.

10. Miraji

From Rebel of the Sands
Glorious sunshine, glistening sand and a wealth of magic makes this an exciting place to visit. The biggest threats are angry citizens, crazy dictators and slightly clueless rebels. Tourists are advised to bring a bucket and spade for entertainment.

Lets Compare Notes

So there you have this very silly post. My next post will be my scathing review of Alex and Eliza, coming to a device near you on Thursday! Meanwhile, feel free to drop a link to your own list or an opinion in the comments section!

YA Books that are Good to Take on Holiday

Having just come back from Munich (ah it was fab!) I can confirm that A Gathering of Shadows was probably not the best book to take. It’s an excellent book and I’m enjoying reading it but it’s a brick! Tricky to lug around an airport, uses up valuable space and is not that easy to dip in and out of in those few spare minutes you have on holiday. So I decided to make a list of YA books that will work well on holiday!

1. Holes

Might be YA, might be MG, but it is definitely light hearted and fun. Also it’s got such short chapters! Which are great for dipping in and out of when you’ve got so little time on holiday.

2. Caravel

It’s short and light and not too tricky to follow. And by that I mean that if you forget any important plot points while gazing at prancing giraffes in Africa (do they prance?), the bit you forgot was probably wrong anyway.

3. Percy Jackson

Because on holiday you need something fun! Although you may wish you were traveling on Blackjack.

4. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

Because let’s face it, we all know the story anyway. And it’s short and light hearted and pretty heart warming.

5. Throne of Glass

This novel might be full of action but it’s never really sad, which is good since a holiday shouldn’t be sad, and is quite light. It’s only got one narrator and isn’t too complex.

Also if you’re going somewhere to see snowy castles like I did then it’s great for atmosphere.

6. Ace of Shades

As Enie explores a foreign city you can too!

7. The Exact Opposite of Okay

It’s light hearted, funny and full of milkshakes. What could be better while on holiday?

8. City of Bones

Again it’s super funny and easy to read. If I read it while doing my Duke of Edinburgh’s award expedition then I’m sure you can take read it anywhere.

9. The Night Circus

This novel isn’t too tricky to follow given its more description than plot and will definitely make you excited to explore whatever exotic part of world you’re in!

10. To Kill a Kingdom

What could be better than a book all about adventure and exploring the world when that’s exactly what you’re doing?! It’s short, easy to read and perfect for any holiday.

Lets Compare Notes

There you have it! What books have you taken on holiday before? Any recommendations? What did you do your Top Ten Tuesday post on, if you did one? Would be great to hear from you in the comments!

Avebury Henge and Manor

Desperate to try out my new, second hand camera my boyfriend and I laced up our walking boots, pulled on our thermals and drove to our nearest henge to take photos. And yes, we do genuinely have a local Henge. Welcome to the English countryside.

Avebury henge was built 6000 years ago, making the Collesium seem almost modern. The Henge consists of large stones in a circular fashion, made by Pagans and largely left untouched for all these years (with the exception of when someone rudely toppled them over and buried them, luckily still in their original positions). Although the Henge might not have the curving arches or dome shaped walls of the Collesium and may not look quite as impressive, these stone are still a magestic sight.

Although weaving between the old stones and snapping pictures of pretty landscapes and unsuspecting sheep was fun, my real highlight of the trip would be the manor and I’d definitely recommend the visit.

I didn’t manage to snap a picture of the manor, sadly, although it looked very impressive, because at this point in the trip I accidentally switched the camera into a mode that doesn’t take photos. I’m not wholly convinced it’s the most useful mode my new camera has, but oh well. After much playing and googling we did manage to fix the camera in the manor’s garden and snapped some pictures of the back of the house.

The house itself had been recently refurbished in a project to show its history. You could wonder through a different age in every room: the dinning room was Tudor, the sitting room was set in World War Two, the kitchen was 1912, complete with genuine newspapers showing the Titanic sinking. Each room described the manor’s occupants at that time and told the tales of their lives.

My favourite manor occupant was Deborah Moody (originally Dunch). Outliving her husband she moved to the states because of her religious beliefs to start a community where religious freedom would be allowed providing it wasn’t breaking any laws. Having been described as a ‘dangerous woman’ back in the UK she became the first female land owner in the New World. She built a small community called Gravesend which is now apart of Brooklyn, New York. It was very cool reading her story in the bedroom where she grew up, furnished to look like her home.

My second favourite room in the manor would be the kitchen, set in the time of 1912. Here the story of the six ‘live in’ servants was described based on the information provided by a census. At this time their was a tax of 15 shillings on male servants but not women so female servants were preferable. Alongside the couple who owned the manor these six women would live in house and the using the census data and other information gleaned from their jobs, their story was told. It was a lot of fun peering into their lives and really brought the scene to life.

Lets Compare Notes

So there you have it. A small break from books to share with you a small adventure I had this weekend. What did you do this weekend? Have you ever been to a Henge? Did you enjoy my post? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

10 Brilliant Bookshops

Don’t worry, this post is not some bookish rehash of that Christmas song about giving your true love turtle doves and other random things they wouldn’t want in copious numbers. No, it’s way better than that.

It’s a Top Ten Tuesday all about libraries and Bookshops I’d love to visit, which wasn’t too hard for me since I spend half my life trawling through Instagram admiring pretty book hubs.

1. Shakespeare and Company in Paris

Tucked into to the corner of Paris this homely bookshop is the oldest in Paris and still as quant and beautiful as when it was first built.

2. Aqua Alta in Venice

This library in Venice looks amazing. Complete with Gondola, there’s books stacked in every corner and towering up the walls, a dusty, cramped paradise for any book lover.

3. Starfield Library in South Korea

With floor to ceiling length shelves curving round the library, spotlit and organised, what’s not to love about this South Korean masterpiece.

4. Library@Orchard in Singapore

This library depicts a more modern theme with its white, neat shelves, curving round each other in elegant patterns over in Singapore. And yes, I’ve clearly watched too many home design shows.

5. Admont Abbey Library in Austria

Once a monastery, this beautiful building has been stacked high with books tucked between majestic columns, gold detail and all perched under its beautifully painted ceiling.

6. Carousel of Light in Bucharest

Pristine white columns, hard oak floors, a second story weaving it’s way round it’s hollowed out centre- a breathtaking book store in Bucharest that I’d love to visit.

7. Tropisms in Brussels

Having recently visited Brussels I can attest that the city is full of delicate charm and intricate design, so it’s no surprise that this palace like library found its home there.

8. Ler Devager in Portugal

Stacked high with books and sporting that upper floor balcony I’m really starting to appreciate in books shops, this well snapped shop is a real masterpiece.

9. The British Library in London

Just opposite Kings Cross this library must stock one of every book ever traditionally published in the UK. It’s massive, beautifully domed and majestically built in the heart of London. And a firm favourite with my book obsessed historian of a boyfriend.

10. Hachards in London

We’re getting a little less exotic now but I felt should mention this one. Having been in Piccadilly for two centuries this bookshop boasts being the oldest bookshop in the world. It’s bay windows and Square front have stood the test of time, showing just how popular reading is.

Lets Compare Notes

Have you been to any of these shops? Have I missed any key or magestic masterpieces that house books? Care to share your ttt list? Would love to hear from you in the comments!