Wicked weekends

I am so thrilled the U.K. has bank holidays, it’s an opportunity for those of us who work full time to take a few days holiday without having to dip into our precious holiday funds from work. Here are my tips on making the most of these times and what you can get up to on our next long weekend!

What did I do?

Friday / Saturday

Over the first of our May bank holidays I literally did not stop. I had my lovely friend Lauren to stay (I met Lauren at University, when we went to watch Downton Abbey in the common room and hit it off!) Friday night which was wonderful. I got to show her our new flat, chill out, have a catch up and then end the night by watching hilarious YouTube videos.

The next day we went exploring the area and ended up in the most adorable, chocolate box / postcard village you have ever imagined in your life! Minster Lovell. We had previously searched places to visit close by and Minster Lovell came up as a suggestion due to its beautiful 15th century ruined Manor House and church.

We loved the little village so much! It reminded us of Cranford / Lark Rise to Candleford (books / BBC drama). When we were there we went to the local pub for a yummy cool drink which was much deserved!

On the way back we went on to Oxford where I accidentally (on purpose) introduced Lauren to the most adorable range of purses. These purses are in the design of bookshelves / books / shops and all sorts! They’re sold in a cute independent store where she treated herself to the cutest purse (I will be returning next payday to get myself one)!

Sunday

On Sunday Jon and I headed off early to Lyme Regis as I had never been and desperately wanted to go fossil hunting! This was a pretty long day as the drive down was a little over two and a half hours (same back), so it is quite a commitment to do, but totally worth it when we live in such a beautiful country.

Due to the hot weather the beach was completely packed, so we ended up clambering across rocks bare foot, squelching through the clay and sand looking for fossils on the way to a secluded section of beach. Totally worth it! We pitched up, had a dip, read some of our books and ate the picnic Jon had made. It was wonderful!

We had a good few hours at the beach before having a little mooch round the town, where Jon of course found a bookshop, then we headed off home and slept soundly till morning when it was (thankfully) BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY!

Monday

This was a great day, as it is usually a day we have to work, so we spent it together exploring Oxfordshire and its nature reserves! We decided to stay closer to home because it isn’t often you find yourself in a situation where you can do anything you want and more often than not people tend to go further afield in search, whereas I love to explore my doorstep!

We went to a nature reserve about 40 minutes drive from us called Foxholes.

Foxholes is a beautiful forest / woodland with fields, a river and little pathways running through it owned by BBOWT.

We did admittedly get lost, but with a compass, maps and Jon we got back to our little blue beetle in no time and went for a lovely late lunch in Burford at the Priory.

Rounding up

When it comes to it I think that it’s vital to make the most of our free time together. People, me included, spend so much time on our phones, computers and watching tv now that we just don’t switch off enough, leading us to feel tired, down and stressed. For this very reason it’s so important that we clock off even if for a day or so and spend it exploring our magical world, reading its books and enjoying its natural beauty!

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Can a place be Hygge?

Hygge is a feeling you can’t fake or make happen. It is those little moments in life you feel entirely at ease and relaxed somewhere. That place could be snuggled under a duvet with friends sipping hot chocolate and gossiping about old times. It could be watching a silly movie with your sister or best friend or spending much treasured time with your parents over dinner. Whatever it is, it is a personal feeling, one that can not be falsified!

Hygge is a wonderful thing, I experience it with my Norwegian friends more than anyone, as they known how to hygge like no other – but more recently us Brits have taken on this Scandinavian word and embraced it into our lives!

So the point of my post is, can a place / city or location be hygge?

I’ve always been nostalgic about Oxford, not just because I went to University there and met my best friends there, but because the city itself offers so much charm, character and comfort. Oxford is a city I smile about, laugh about and feel happy about for thousands of reasons.

One way to think of Oxford is to take all the amazing bits of London and squish them into one little city, there you have it – Oxford!

With more relaxation, bikes and people holding books more so than anywhere else in the country, Oxford is is a little bubble of joy that I think, you just can’t escape! It makes me feel bubbly and warm just like the feeling of hygge!

Things that make me hygge in Oxford:

Coffee shops – The missing bean is the coffee shop centre if Oxford! It’s the cosiest and cutest of the coffee shops overlooking one of Oxford’s famous colleagues. With chai lattes on offer, who could resist?

Museums – There are dozens of museums in Oxford, but for me the Pitt Rivers and NHM have to be my all-time favourite! They’re both in the same building and offer so much in he way of fun and education whilst being polar opposites!

Parks – Oxford is so unbelievably green, every turning leads you to somewhere new! My favourite park is Christ Church Meadow as it offers a river, a glimpse into the botanical gardens and a little tour of all things Oxford. If you have time to kill and fancy learning about the history of the city you can explore the parks, architecture and all things Oxford on a freewalking tour!

Punting and peddle boats – nothing says oxford like a good old punt! You can rent these from a few different places, but the most popular is to the side of Magdalen College where you can get up to all sorts of watery fun!

Cinemas – I used to write reviews for the Phoenix picture house when I studied as a student in Oxford, it is a really cute cinema in the city centre offering a wide range of films from blockbusters to Art house! There is also the classic UPP on Cowley road that offers a classic take on what cinemas used to and still should be!

Cocktail bars and pubs – My goodness where do I start and end with this one? I’ve gotten so used to London prices I couldn’t believe my luck when I went back to Oxford to find you can get a cocktail for £5 in happy hour or £6.95 normally at The House tucked away down an alley in Oxford! With hundreds of bars and pubs on offer I’d also recommend the Turf Tavern, the most hobbit friendly pub I’ve ever been too!

Shopping – This has changed so much since I lived Oxford, there is a new HUGE shopping centre now that reminds me of Westfield in London. So you have no real reason to leave the city anymore! Alongside this, the city is filled with the cutest of shops from independent ones such as Arcadia opposite the Oxford Union to Blackwell’s bookshops dotted all over the place so for me, there is a shop for every occasion, not to mention the Christmas Market every year!

So what do you think? Can a place feel hygge to you? Oxford certainly does to me!