Thursday, 25 May 2017

An Afternoon at the Glasgow Botanic Gardens

I've visited Glasgow several times now and been to many of the museums in the city (I've selected six of my favourite ones in the city, you can read about it here.) So when I was back visiting Glasgow in April, I wasn't really planning on hitting up any cultural institutions, then my friend suggested heading over to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens and I realized, the city still has so much more to offer that I haven't experienced yet. Good news for both potential future trips planned to Scotland and for the following day's activities. 

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

200 years ago Thomas Hopkirk founded the Botanic Gardens and established an eight acre garden at the western end of Sauchiehall Street, before it relocated to the West End of the city along the River Kelvin in 1842.

There are several glass structures on the premises that house flora and fauna from various regions around the globe, many of the plants and seeds which had been collected in the 19th century. The Kibble Palace is the most notable of the glass buildings and went under a major restoration in 2003 opening again in 2006.

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

We visited on a sunny day in early April and although things were still mostly dormant and dull outside, thankfully things inside the glass houses were lush, green and fragrant.

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Hidden away in a corner of the gardens is the Botanic Gardens railway station built in 1896 to link Strathclyde Junction with Stobcross on the Glasgow Central Railway. In 1917 the station was closed temporarily due to the war, opening again in 1919, only to close again permanently in 1939.

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

A day out to a cultural centre just isn't the same without a visit to 'museum' cafe. The Botanic Gardens Tearooms are located in the old curator's house near the Kibble Palace with both indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy a breakfast, light lunch, refreshments or a proper afternoon tea. The setting was beautiful and the food super delicious. 

{Erin Out and About} Glasgow Botanic Gardens

Visiting the Glasgow Botanic Gardens has reminded me just how enjoyable botanic gardens can be and I am eager to visit my local ones this summer. Stay tuned!

Which are your favourite botanic gardens?

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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday Wanderings

Blue Lobster at the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada


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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

7 Unusual Things to do in London

London is an exciting city and it's not hard to find a plethora of great things to do at any time of day or season. 

Having lived in London, I have checked off many of the major touristy attractions from my bucket list and still there are so many more tempting and fun things to occupy and entertain me for days. 

Here's my list of some of the more quirky and different kinds of things on offer in the Big Smoke. 


1. An Opera in King’s Head Theatre
Located in a back room of the King's Head Pub is the King's Head Theatre. With a rotating list of productions in a variety of genres, it is possible to see an opera in a pub. I saw a rendition of Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, set in an American high school and it was super brilliant! Check out the theatre's listings and you too can see an opera in a pub.

2. Goat Race at Spitalfields City Farm
Easter weekend is not only an important holiday in the Christian calendar, it is also the weekend where the rowing clubs of Cambridge and Oxford Universities go head to head on the River Thames in a race that's been taking place annually since 1859. Now you could go watch that on the river side with the throngs of other people OR you can pre-book your tickets and head down to Spitalfields City Farm for the Goat Race taking place at the same time! If you like puns and farm animals, this is really where you should be on this particular weekend.

3. God’s Own Junkyard at Walthamstow Central
I knew what to expect when I headed to 'God's Own Junkyard' thanks to the many Instagrams out there already, but despite that I was blown away by this warehouse in Walthamstow Central. The warm glow of the numerous neon lights was like nothing I'd experienced before and I would highly recommend checking it out for yourself. Not enough of an incentive to head into E17, there's a licensed cafe inside and a brewery next door.

4. Secret Cinema 
A super immersive experience of your favourite films. Imagine this. A whole 1950's Hill Valley has been built, everyone is in costume and there are scenes from Back to the Future taking place all around you. Each year, the organization picks a different iconic movie and go whole hog. Tickets can be a bit pricey, but really it's totally worth it. Shhhhh! Remember, it's a secret.

5. Cave Drinking in Gordon’s Wine Bar
London has some amazing pubs and restaurants. Some boast a successfully done theme like Cahoots, others have an interesting history or unique atmos. Gordon's Wine Bar is believed to be London's oldest wine bar, established in 1890. It's rickety tables dot the cavernous room and you have to duck down to avoid hitting into the stone walled cellar. There's a massive selection of excellent wine and perfect, little, intimate corners to enjoy it in.

6. Camden Beach
London is not really known for it's beaches, particularly in Camden. But last summer Camden Beach was the hottest ticket around. North Londoners, Camdenites, and regular punters could be found here with their toes in the white sands, lounging on deck chairs, schmoozing in rented beach huts and enjoying a summery cocktail and bbq'd foods. It's an urban beach that pops up each summer and I hope it never goes away.

7. Niche Museums
I'm a self confessed museum junkie. London is just the place for a person like me. Once I had seen all the national museums (more than once) I set my sights on seeking out more niche museums. I'm a huge fan of the Transport Museum and the Geffrye Museum. The Fan Museum is on my bucket list for my next visit. A day spent in a museum is a great day in my books.

Did I miss your favourite quirky thing to do in London? Tell me in the comments below.


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