A Spa Day At The Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa

I had a warm feeling in my soul while revisiting Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa again.
6 years ago in June I had my Hen Weekend here, where we stayed in the hotel and also used the restaurant, spa and leisure facilities. It was a truly wonderful weekend that we all indulged upon, and so when my mum suggested that I needed some ‘me time’ and time out, due to both some stress at work and difficulties with my health, the first place I thought of going was here.

I will set the scene for you all. In the picturesque Shropshire countryside lies a beautiful old building, it’s an eighteenth century manor house set in gorgeous gardens and grounds, with trees and a lake. The main house is where reception and the main dining area are situated, along with function rooms and a variety of conference suites. Alongside it is the hotel part of the grounds, currently Albrighton Hall has eighty seven contemporary en-suite rooms.

And finally there is the Spa and Leisure section situated off to the left hand side of the grounds. With its own parking area, this has newly been renovated as of 2016, and I looked forward to my visit to take in the changes.

My mum and I decided on a Spa Day, where, for a package price, we received lunch and a hot drink included, with full use of the facilities, plus two spa treatments of our choice from a set list. We were also given complimentary bath robes and slippers to wear during our stay, and towels for the pool area too, so there was very little you required to bring with you.

For lunch we were given a menu to choose from, there was a nice variety, some were cold and some were hot. I decided to be semi healthy and go for a Chicken Caesar with egg (not fish) salad, and an orange juice. As you can see it was well presented, and actually I thought the dish was very tasty for a salad.

The Spa was busy on the day we visited, which meant our lunch was delayed slightly, however staff did apologise, and mum and I were happy to just relax and wait, we were in no rush.


The newly refurbished Spa houses a main room with a salon bar so that Nails and other beauty treatments can be done. In the back there is a selection of rooms where the treatments that require one to lie down are performed. The lighting was very calming, as was the music, and I found the rooms to be clean and well maintained. The Spa was busy, yet all the staff were calm and friendly.


A lovely young lady called Frankie, did my Manicure today. I chose a pearly pink colour, because my Wedding Anniversary was fast approaching.

The nail lacquer that the Spa use is called Orly Beauty, and the colour was called Toast The Couple. The colour was very beautiful, and I liked how smooth it felt once they were fully dry.

I also opted for a Back Massage, to try and relieve some of my stress. Frankie was an excellent masseuse, and did wonders with my shoulders that had previously felt rather knotted. She used an Almond Oil on my skin while massaging, then a Eucalyptus based Oil, followed by a hot towel. The whole treatment made my skin and muscles feel great, and I felt relaxed afterward listening to the calming music in the room also.


Now I hate to criticise, after a lovely experience in the Spa itself, but I feel that the facilities aspect let my visit down. Not due to the choice, but the running of it, let me explain why I was so disappointed.

One thing that didn’t make our day perfect, was that some of the facilities were out of order. However we were not once told this by the staff, we were left to notice the several A4 sheets of paper that were stuck to doors around the building. We were unable to use the steam room or ice room, though we did manage to have a few minutes in the Sauna, but it was rather busy because of the lack of the other rooms available. I only wished this was made aware to us when we booked, which was only a couple of weeks prior. My mum and I would have bought clothing for the gym if we has known that the wet rooms would be unavailable.

Another thing that I hadn’t been aware of before, was that the leisure facilities were open all day for anyone who was a member to use them, but that included children. I have no problem what so ever with children using health and fitness areas, and in fact I was glad in one way to see them here. But what bothered me was that nowhere in booking by phone or online, does it tell you about this.

My mother and I had hoped for a relaxed day, using the facilities at our own pace, and enjoying the package we had paid for, which was all advertised as such online. Except we couldn’t use the pool at all, because when we first changed there were two families in there splashing about with pool floats and pool noodles. Forgive my harshness, but wouldn’t you take your children to a proper sized swimming pool with varying levels of depth in order to teach them how to swim?

We were not the only disgruntled people at the pool side that day wondering if we would get a turn in the water. Mum and I went away and returned later, we had our one turn in the Jacuzzi (groups of people were also waiting to use it as it goes on and off on a timer on the wall). By that time more people had turned up for the pool, this time some teenagers were in the pool, so we sat once again on the loungers. But a while later our time was up and our spa day had ended, I was disappointed not to get a swim in.

I believe that the hotel needs to state online that there are members who use the facilities, and when booking a Spa Day, you can use these facilities, however you may have to wait your turn to do so. This would cover the Spa if it has any future complaints and inquiries from groups about how many other people might be attending.

The Hotel had been catering for a wedding the day and night prior to our visit, which meant generally the hotel and spa were busy. I don’t think I will be booking again if I am made aware of the amount of people staying on the grounds.

Hopefully the next time I visit I can book a quieter day and make sure that mum and I are able to make full use of our spa package and all of the facilities will be available to us.

Overall the Spa Treatments were the best part of our day, and lunch was rather delicious too. However I am still disappointed about the leisure facilities, hopefully when I come again they will be all up and running.

Here are my final review scores for my day the
Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa.

Spa Treatment – Massage 5/5
Spa Treatment – Manicure 4/5
Lunch on the Premises – 4/5
Facilities Available 2/5
Facilities Used 4/5
General Facilities 4/5

Thank you for reading this blog post today, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my experiences.

 Sabrina 

Visiting The Island of Skomer

Skomer Island

The beautiful and unforgiving island that is Skomer is situated 2 miles off the Pembrokeshire coast of South Wales in Great Britain. It is first and foremost a nature reserve, and has been for more than thirty years. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.


During the summer months it can be home to thousands of sea birds. Some of the amazing varieties include Gannets, Puffins, Manx Shearwaters, Owls and Gulls. There are also opportunities (at certain times of the year) to see Dolphins, Porpoises, Atlantic Grey Seals and the unique Skomer Vole, among others.

There is only one way to get on and off Skomer Island, and that is by means of the Dale Sailing boats. The landings only occur from April until September, and only on specific days. Not only that, but weather plays a huge part in whether or not the boat will even run.

(The Boat is Returning to Collect Passengers from Skomer).

Skomer is most famous for its Puffin colonies who are the largest numbers in Southern Britain. This year was a particularly good year for their numbers, and I jumped at the opportunity to explore this island. Because I’m a keen nature and wildlife photographer it was a place that I had always hoped I would get to visit. Unfortunately for me, both the weather (that prevents the boat trips) and my health had previously stopped me from going. That was until June of this year, (hurrah!) when I finally stepped on to this amazing place for the first time!

In this blog post I am going to talk about my experience in detail, I will include some of my photographs, of both the island, the boat, the wildlife and I may even throw in a shot of me ‘in action’… all will become clear! But for those of you, who are intrigued to know more about Skomer then please continue reading. Hopefully by the end of this travel post you will be looking to perhaps visit the island yourself.

(An Oyster Catcher on a Stone Wall on Skomer).

So before we even get anywhere near the island, you have to be prepared for a very early start to your day. There are No Advanced Bookings what so ever, which means if you want a ticket you have to queue up for one. Nature enthusiasts, photographers, walkers, bird watchers, these are all the sorts of people you find who visit Skomer regularly, plus they all know the score. So in order for you to guarantee your place on one of those boat landings, you will need to be parked at the cliff car park (which is National Trust Land) and queue up at seven in the morning.

(View of the Car Park).

The Landing Tickets are issued by the Lockley Lodge which is situated on the hill leading down from the car park towards the sea. They are issued on a first come and first served basis only, so in the height of summer you must be willing to sacrifice a few hours stood and sat about waiting. The ticket office opens around eight to eight thirty in the morning, but the car park and the queue begins building from seven. The boats themselves run at intervals, with only fifty tickets per trip and a maximum person count for the island too, 250 people per day.

The first boat runs at 10am and the first return departs at 3pm. I will put this year’s Sailing information at the bottom of the post. There is a Boat Fee that is payable on the boat itself during sail (I will pop the prices for this year at the end of the post). Lockley Lodge is also a Gift Shop and sells some supplies useful for your day.

(Some of the items we got at the Gift Shop).

What can you do before you go? You can prepare yourself (and any family members) for a long day, ensure they all carry water and snacks, because there are no places to buy anything on the island. You must wear appropriate clothing, footwear and make sure that all persons are clued up on what they day will be like. There is a rather steep climb when you arrive for example, and only one set of toilets on the entire island. These are things to consider if you will have small children or anyone that is classed as elderly in your party. The island has a few rules, and if you cannot stick to them then I suggest you look for another day out. These include, no smoking, taking all rubbish with you, sticking to paths at ALL times and not interacting with the wildlife in a manner that is deemed inappropriate.

(National Trust Car Park at Martin’s Haven).

So as I mentioned earlier, the only way to reach Skomer is by boat, and this is not for the faint hearted. In fact the entire journey there and back can be a little daunting. The fisherman’s boat turned people carrier transports its passengers from the end of the cliffs at Martin’s Haven, just down the road from the village of Marloes. Once again this could be an issue for anyone with height issues, because you must walk along a cliff edge, and step into the boat from a railing and steps carved into the rock face. Once you have traveled on the boat, which is roughly twenty minutes but can depend entirely on the sea and the weather, you arrive to the island, and you will be required to disembark and climb approximately seventy stone and rock steps up to the safety of the flattened island surface.

(Return Boat Docking at Martin’s Haven).

Skomer Island is approximately 2 miles in length and 1.5 miles wide, so it takes a fair time to move around it. Obviously some of the paths do not go close to the cliff edges and this is also due to a safety aspect, for the birds and the visitors.

The best times to visit Skomer Island are when the birds and nesting and breeding. This can be anytime between May and August depending on the type of bird. My family and I were more interested in seeing the Puffin colony than anything else. I had never before seen a Puffin and I was astounded by how sweet and small they were. Would you believe me if I told you that the birds are everywhere? They are walking around, in and out of Burrows. They are flying around you, below on the cliffs edges and over the top of your head. Some are swimming in the sea or even floating upon the surface. But birds are everywhere!

(Farm Houses, Toilet Block and Accommodation on Skomer Island).

I think what I loved most about this island was its unique look, its unusual inhabitants, and also its ability to combine conservation and protection for its wildlife, while still allowing people like myself to visit and take all of it in. Skomer is much underrated in my personal opinion. Of course we don’t want hundreds of people trying to get over there and we certainly don’t want ignorant people who wish to disturb this incredible habitat. What we do need however are nature enthusiasts who don’t mind paying a little money, for an amazing experience, because I assure you that is what you’ll get.

(The Puffins Are Showing Affection).

My Top 5 Tips for a Skomer Trip

1. Ensure you are well prepared with some good footwear. The paths, although neatly laid out, are rather rocky and there are many climbs, wear shoes that have grips, walking shoes are best. You can pick them up reasonably cheap these days at outdoor shops and well stocked shoe shops.

2. Only bring the essentials you will need for half a day, because you will be carrying them with you, but don’t forget all of these very important items or something similar. Waters, Bite Cream, Sun Cream, Thin Waterproof Clothing, Refreshments, Hand Sanitiser, Sweets for Energy, Hydration Tablets if you suffer from Cramps, and finally Tissues. You will also need a carrier bag to take all of your rubbish home with you.

3. Bring a Camera! There will be some awesome opportunities to take photographs of a variety of wildlife and this should not be something that you should pass up on.

4. Think Ahead! If the weather forecast is going to be bad, such as strong winds, high tides and/or torrential rain, then you can almost guarantee that the boats will not be running. Try and decide and make arrangements so that you are prepared for a last minute change of plan. If the boats do run then that’s great, but be prepared for a long and probably wet day on the island. There’s very little shelter on Skomer, when I say that I promise I’m not exaggerating, there’s hardly a tree, and there are only a couple of buildings most of which are reserved mainly for islands staff.

5. Be Realistic On Time. You may underestimate the size of Skomer if you haven’t visited before. It takes time to weave through the paths and enjoy the many views, but you will be given a specific boat time that you must return to the mainland on. Make sure that you take note of what sections of the island you will need. The toilets are situated at the farm buildings in the centre of the island, but the best place to see the Puffin Colony is usually at The Wick.

(A Puffin has Caught Sand Eels).

Finally I’m going to show you some of the photographs that I managed to achieve while on Skomer this June. I wasn’t lucky enough to see the incredible and unique looking Albino Puffin, though someone I know of did manage to photograph this beauty, and they sent me an image so that I could see it, I was so pleased. I will also include an image of myself that my husband took of me while I was photographing.

(A Puffin Stands Proud).

(A Puffin Protects its Burrow).

(Sabrina in Action, Photographing Birds).

Sailing Times and Current Prices for 2017

You can check if boats are running by checking out the Skomer Boat Info on Twitter. Boats only run from Tuesday to Sunday, except Bank Holidays Mondays. The boats also only except cash so make sure you bring sufficient amounts with you by working out the prices for you and your trip mates.
The boats first run at 10am, with that boat returning at 3pm, and so on, until five lots of people have been landed.

Thank you for reading this travel post today, if you visit Skomer after reading my review then please let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts, and I would like to know of anything you may have seen that I did not.

 Sabrina 

How To Make The Most Of A Few Days In London with Travelling and Staying Guide

How To Make The Most Of A Few Days In London

What can I start by telling you about London… I don’t want to state the obvious, but it’s the Capital City of the United Kingdom, as most people know, and it is home to over 8.7 million people right now. But if you haven’t had the pleasure of going here, then this travel post is for you.

I have visited London many times, sometimes only for the day, other occasions for days at a time. But the one thing that I never tire of, is admiring its wonderful history and architecture. Sure, like most modern cities of the world it has incredible new buildings, such as The Shard, but the historic parts are what I adore most.

In this blog post I’m going to be documenting my most recent visit, and explaining all about places that I always like to go to when I come to the capital. There will also be many photographs for you to see that I have taken over the past couple of years that I have visited London.

Travel Guide

There are various ways to travel around London. I can highly recommend the London Underground, it is so efficient even at rush hour times. They have so many stations right near to prime locations as well, which means more sight seeing and less time walking in between them. Buses are always a good idea, however my husband and I prefer to catch a train or to walk.

If you are a keen walker, like myself, you can use a map of London to work out easy routes to walk from one place to another, if you are able. It’s a great way to experience the real London but also you never know what you might see.

Once at Buckingham Palace we saw the guards on formation, it was a wonderful and historic thing to witness. And there are usually things going on through the Spring and Summer months, in the various parks and gardens. Of course we cannot forget the London Marathon, it all depends on what month of the year you wish to visit.

Sight Seeing Must Sees!

My list of must sees are somewhat long, but if you’re going for only a couple of days I suggest you choose up to six places or things that you want to see or achieve, and leave back ups in case you manage to get around them all.

I will put my favourites in order, but you may have buildings you want to see that aren’t on my to do list, this is only a guide. There are also a ton more museums and wartime buildings that those of you with history passions might want to visit.

The London Eye
The Shard
Westminster Abbey
Big Ben
Tower of London
Tower Bridge
London Bridge
Buckingham Palace
Natural History Museum
Trafalgar Square
Piccadilly Circus
Oxford Street
Covent Garden
King’s Cross Station – Platform 9 and 3/4s

Here are some of my photographs from recent visits to London, I will admit I have done a huge amount of the city in my many years of going, but I still haven’t seen or experiences everything myself yet.


Staying Over Guide

When staying in a large city you must consider your travel time between your hotel and the sight seeing you will be undertaking. Picking a hotel can be tricky, the best thing to do is research the area of the city you’ll be doing the most sight seeing, and then work around and out on a map.

My husband and I have stayed in the Docklands and Canary Wharf side of London for the past five years. We have tried six different hotels in that time, all of which were great for different reasons. But we chose this area because of the bars and restaurants for the evenings escapades. It’s also easily accessible with the London Underground stations.

If you have a family, you probably don’t want to stay in such an adult area, and perhaps want to stay closer to some sights so it’s not so far to walk. All of this is simple to work out with a map and a location guide.

As for hotels themselves, I have stayed in Ibis, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Premier Inn, Novotel and Holiday Inn Express. All of which have been excellent. You can browse online for ones with your specific needs such as a Gym or Family Facilities.

I usually book on last minute websites such as Hotwire with only weeks to go before I want to stay. It’s a good way to save money, however once you’ve booked there are no refunds, so you need to be sure that you’ll be going.


Other Things To Consider

If you’re into History or like to attend the Theatre maybe you can consider one of these things to do. London has a variety of awesome Museums and also the London Zoo. There are so many theatres in London to choose a whole library of shows and musicals from. They are a once in a lifetime experience if you can afford to go.


The Tea Terrace on the top floor of House of Fraser on Oxford Street, is a lovely experience to have if you love your tea and cake and don’t mind sitting in a Princess style tea room.


Don’t forget there are bus tours you can take if you can’t walk very far, and a huge array of restaurants and bars you can make your way around if you’re that way inclined.

Finally, and probably one of the most important points for most people. The Shopping!
London has a vast array of shops. Oxford Street is the most famous of course but you also have Covent Garden for more unique and often handmade items.

I always buy a little something while in London, and try to experience the hustle and bustle for myself. Department stores that look as though they can touch the clouds, and quaint little shops that offer homemade goods.

London is honestly unique for this, and even on a budget there is something for everyone.

Sabrina’s Key Holiday Points

So if you’re considering a break away remember my three key things about booking a holiday.

1. Research the Area
2. Know Your Limits – Money and Health Wise
3. Live Within Your Means & Save with Vouchers

1. It’s always a good idea to look up the local area, make sure you book a hotel in an area that is both accessible by the transport you need, and is in a tourist area for health and safety reasons.

2. Know the limits of your health, because even I have to remind myself that I cannot do everything that I used to, but that doesn’t stop me having a great time. And know your bank balance too – don’t get yourself in debt just because you wanted a ride on the London Eye!

3. Finally, always live within your means. You might not be able to do it all and see everything, so pick your top 3 and work out the pricing. Always look for vouchers online too and on various food items such as Cadbury Chocolate Packets and Cereals! You can always find a bargain if you search for it, and I am definitely one for making the most of a two for the price of one deal!

Thank you for joining me for my travel blog post today, I really hoped you liked my photographs of London (I could have shared a hundred more with you but just chose the best of recent).

Have a wonderful day, and thanks for reading!

 Sabrina 

 

How To Make The Most Of A Few Days In Paris

​How To Make The Most Of A Few Days In Paris

When I think about the beautiful city of Paris I have nothing but good memories and fond images in my mind. Not only did I become enchanted by this incredible place when I was a child, but as an adult I have since returned many times, admiring more and more of its architecture, history and splendor. I have taken family, friends and loved ones to Paris, taken them to see the best it has to offer, and I’m always ready for going again when the occasion arises.

Here is a photograph of me standing in front of the Arc de Triomphe on my most recent visit there, in October 2016. The great thing about Paris is that you can visit all year around, you may have to choose more weather appropriate footwear and dress warmly in the Winter, but the city looses none of its charm and magnificence.

In this blog post I’m going to be celebrating my love of Paris, showcasing my photography over the past ten years of visits (because I had a digital camera by this point) and sharing with you, my readers, my top attractions.
This is, How To Make The Most Of A Few Days In Paris.

Let me start with a short overview about this wonderful city and its culture, before I go on to the districts and buildings that I love the most. I will also be posting a map at the end, with suggestions on areas in which to stay close to attractions, and outlining ways you can see the most attractions in the shortest time.

(One of the stunning views from the Arc de Triomphe during my visit in 2012).

Paris is such an amazing city, filled with people from all walks of life, varying careers and nationalities culminate in making this particular capital great. If you have yet to visit this incredible city I hope that my blog post might inspire you to book a visit. And as I will prove, you don’t need much time there to make the most of your sight seeing.

I was just as shocked as the rest of the world when the city was a recent target for terror. I have visited since the attacks and honestly, I feel just as safe as I have always been there. Of course there are the usual pickpockets that you’ll find in any large city across the globe, but I have always felt at home here, and so long as you’re vigilant and careful, you and your belongings will be safe.

 The majority of older architecture in Paris dates back to the 12th century such as the Notre Dame cathedral whose construction was began in 1163, but it was not fully completed until 1250. The beautiful Basilica of Sacre-Coeur was built between 1873 and completed in 1914. Paris’ other marvels such as the Eiffel Tower were finished in 1889 and are somewhat more iconic to the Paris skyline.

Where do I begin on explaining my top things to see in Paris. Of course it will entirely depend on how long you’re staying for, but with the incredibly versatile and affordable metro system, nothing is ever really that far in this city. I often walk routes, occasionally jumping on the metro line to gain distance between sites, but overall most things within central Paris are worth walking between. The gardens between the Egyptian Luxor Obelisk and the Louvre Museum are just one example of when walking becomes sightseeing and not a chore. Be it Spring or Autumn or anywhere in between, there’s always something to see along here.
Another must see of course is the Eiffel Tower, at both daytime and nighttime, but I will get to that in a moment, here are my suggestions and photographs of the best places to see in Paris on what days.

(Tuileries Gardens, October 2016)

Day One – Green

My first suggestion for making the most of Paris will be to walk the section between the Arc de Triomphe at the top end of the Champs ‘Elysees and The Louvre Museum. You can start at either end, and both start and finish near a metro station so you can easily return to your hotel.
My recommendation would be to visit the museum in the morning, take in the fantastic pyramids after lunch, and then walk from The Louvre and through the Tuileries Gardens. You will see gardens and the Luxor Obelisk, culminating with a shopping trip up the Champs ‘Elysees, and then a walk up the Arc de Triomphe with stunning views to end your day.
It will require a great deal of walking, but the sights are definitely worth it. There are places to stop and sit down, and places to stop and pause for something to eat or drink. The section is more or less a long straight road with gardens in between.I will now provide some of my images so you can see some of the things that are available on this particular trip. And I will mark this walk on the map in green.

The Louvre – Inside and Out Luxor Obelisk

The Arc de Triomphe – Base and Views

Facts

The Louvre is a mixture of buildings that were built between 12th and 17th Century. It was established in 1793 after it had been used as both residency for French Kings and in later years as a monument and museum. Its museum first opened on August 10th 1793 and it has grown considerably since that day. It has millions of visitors every year, and with eight different cultural departments it houses more than 35,000 works of art and more than 380,000 objects.

The Luxor Obelisk arrived in France on a specially designed boat in 1833, it came from Egypt and weighs an impressive two hundred and fifty tons. It stands at 23 metres tall and is more than 3000 years old. It once stood outside of the Luxor Temple with its twin obelisk, that one is still in Egypt. In 1836 the obelisk was erected in the center of Place de la Concorde.

The Arc de Triomphe was built from 1806 – 1863 and has some stunning views of Paris from its summit. It stands central to the Champs ‘Elysees and has 12 roadways that extend off from the roundabout it is on. It is a monument that was built in honour of the people who fought and died during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It was built in such a design that was inspired by the Roman ‘Arch of Titus’ in Rome. It stands at 50 metres high (164ft) and 45 metres (148ft) wide, with a depth of 22 metres (72ft).

Day Two – Purple

The Eiffel Tower is a spectacle that has to be witnessed both during the day and the evening. On my most recent trip I took my best friend to it so she could watch the sun setting around the metal lattices and then behold the towers lights getting turned on. I recommend that you go up the tower (unless heights is an issue) to see the amazing and detailed views of the city, but you will need a clear weather day, one with little cloud and no wind, in order to fully appreciate it. You could stick around or revisit the tower later on in the evening to see the lights show, whichever way you decide to see the Eiffel Tower, you must not go all the way to Paris to not see it. It’s not only an incredible fear of engineering for its time, but it’s also pretty beautiful too I think.

If you don’t spend the entire day at Tour Eiffel then you can hop on the Metro, and just a couple of stops away you can have the splendor of the Notre Dame Cathedral, the magnificence of the Pantheon and the beauty of the Luxembourg Gardens to walk around. There are also lots of restaurants and coffee shops in this area of the city, ideal for a pit stop.

This is all highlighted in Purple on your map at the end of the post, including Metro stations in the area too. Here are some of my images to wet your appetite.

Eiffel Tower – Base and Views


Notre Dame Cathedral – Outside and Inside


(2012 and 2016)

Facts

The Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889 after only two years of construction. It is one of the most popular monuments in the world, more than 6 million people ascended it during the year 2015. It is 324 metres tall (1063ft) and its top floor stands at 276 metres (906ft) where people can take in some awe inspiring views of the city.
Many other Paris landmarks can be seen from the Eiffel Tower, such as the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame. The Tower is made from wrought iron lattices, and is a well known icon not just in France but around the World.

Another part of Paris, and perhaps a far more famous one is of course is the district that is home to Notre Dame Cathedral. Known as ‘Ile de la Cite’ and one of the oldest parts of Paris dating back to 52 BC, this is one of the only remaining natural islands in the river Seine. In the 10th century a cathedral was built on the island, this was the predecessor of the now situated French Gothic cathedral that is Notre Dame. This Roman Catholic church is hugely popular with tourists and locals alike. It has had several restorations over its time including 1845 and more recently 1991.
It has 10 bells and boasts many gargoyle statues, the cathedral is still used to date.

Day Three – Red

Sacre Coeur is in an underrated area of Paris, due to it being situated on a hill away from the main central area in the city. On a clear day you can see right across Paris from here and the cathedral itself has some of the most beautiful architecture the city has to offer. Opened in 1914 this white building is a Roman Catholic church. It stands at 83 metres tall (272ft) and 85 metres long (279ft), and is made of Travertine stone (a form of limestone that can be pure white due to high levels of calcium carbonate).

There are several ways to climb up the steps to it, most streets boasting classic Parisian style houses with quaint street lamps and stone staircases. The hundreds of steps are definitely worth it when you eventually reach the summit. This is not somewhere for small children unless you’re willing to carry them, neither is it very accessible to all on foot, but if you want amazing views and architecture it is worth the hike. The nearest Metro station is around a twenty minute walk away situated at either end of the hill at ground level.

Sacre Coeur can be seen from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and from the Eiffel Tower higher levels if you have a good zoom lens camera or some binoculars.

If you have time after your visit I can recommend you see the Eiffel Tower again (as suggested on my map), either to view it during daylight, to ascend it, to see the lights come on at sunset, or to view it during the evening light. It is spectacular at all of these times.

Day Four – Brown

On your fourth day, if you manage to stay this long, you should do whatever you please. I have highlighted on the map some ideas, such as the Gardens, Museums, Theatres, A Boat Trip down the Seine perhaps?
Whatever you decide to do, so long as you have managed to see Paris’ main attractions, it is entirely up to you. Maybe you want to visit an area again you liked it so much.

Paris Tips

I do recommend picking up a map of both attractions and metro when you arrive in the city, this will be helpful if you get tired and need a train to take you anywhere.

If you go to places sometimes you can get a pass to return within a period of time, this is very useful if you plan on going into a place a couple of times during your stay, like the Louvre.

Try and pick a Hotel that is fairly close to a Metro line, for convenience and luggage ease.

When booking your hotel, make sure you are aware of how close you are to central areas of Paris. You want things on your doorstep but you don’t want to be overwhelmed by any noise (such as being right next to a main train station).

Invest in a travel wallet, they are extremely handy, I bought a ‘GO’ one for my last trip. I managed to fit my Passport, Euros and my phone inside. Amazon do them at a reasonable price, and I rate mine 4/5.

Here is my map of my usual routes and walks around the main sights of Paris.

Thank you for reading this travel post today, I hope you’ve liked reading an insight into my travelling and my photography. I also hope that I have inspired you to take a closer look at Paris if you’ve never been, and if you have visited before, well, maybe it’s time to go again?

Sabrina 

Original Map – Google Maps
Map Editing – Sabrina
Photography – Sabrina