How to Relocate the Easy Way

Are you considering relocating? Perhaps you’ve been offered a promotion that needs you to relocate. Regardless of why you choose to move, it may be a difficult time for everyone concerned. However, with the correct planning and guidance, the shift can be relatively stress-free. This is a guide on how to relocate the easy way!

Packing

Packing, let’s face it, is a headache. Unfortunately, there is no magical method to make it fun or have the boxes mysteriously pack themselves. You have two options here: pack your belongings yourself or hire a moving company to do everything for you.

The advantage of doing your own packing is that you can name each box and have a rough idea of which boxes your goods are in. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that you’ve packed your belongings carefully and that nothing has been broken as a result of recklessness.

Having a packing service come in and do it for you has a number of advantages, the most important of which is that you won’t have to lift a finger. These companies frequently provide services such as moving your stuff to your new house and unpacking at the other end. While this is a pricey option, if you’re looking to avoid stress, it may be worth it.

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Moving

If you don’t hire a moving company to assist you with your move, you’ll probably need all hands on deck to transfer your possessions to your new location. Before moving day, here are a few things to think about:

  • Getting a man with a van. Alternatively, you could look at van hire for a few days to transfer considerable amounts of belongings at once.
  • You can take the help from relatives and friends to help you with your move. Even if it’s just a few people on either end helping with the transfer of boxes from the van to the building, it will make a huge impact.
  • Even if your children are distracted on moving day, ensuring that they have seen their new rooms will help with their adjustment. You might want to start by unpacking their bedrooms so that they feel as relaxed as possible.

Distraction

Moving is stressful for everyone, not just the grownups who have to organise everything. Teenagers and children can also be stressed by it. It can be a difficult transition for people to be uprooted and forced to reconstruct their lives.

Why not plan for your children to go somewhere fun in the days preceding up to your moving date, and on the day of your move, while you finish off the last details? It will provide them with much-needed distraction from the move, and it will also allow you to focus on finishing your move without constantly worrying about the rest of the family. Perhaps you have family and friends who would be prepared to look after your children for the day. It’s something to think about if you want to make your journey less stressful.

Consider these important themes while planning your relocation or next move, and you’ll notice a significant reduction in stress! Best of luck with your relocation!

Thanks for reading my blog, Aimee

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How I Take the Stress out of Travelling

Travelling is supposed to be fun. It gives you a chance to learn more about the world around you, connect with your partner, and leave your everyday stress behind. But at times you may ask yourself – why is planning a trip so stressful?

Well, we’ll let you in on a little secret. It doesn’t have to be. With proper planning, time and consideration, it’s easier than ever to pull off a successful trip without the stress – even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to take the stress out of travelling. 

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Plan far in advance

While you may have run out of ways to stay occupied when you can’t travel and may be pleased to hear about eased travel restrictions currently in place – you can take the stress out of travel by not rushing the process. Booking in advance also gives you a chance to save money and book any necessary time off work so you can travel for longer. 

Sort out your paperwork

Travelling always comes with some form of paperwork. For example, if you are heading to America, you will need to obtain some form of VISA or an official ESTA visa waiver (if you are eligible). This is an important step that you cannot ignore if you want to enter the country, meaning it’s important that you get this paperwork together sooner rather than later. 

Learn to manage your fear of flying

If you get a little anxious whenever you are boarding a flight, you aren’t alone. In fact, a recent study found that 40% of adults are scared of flying. However, you should not let this anxiety stop you from seeing your world – especially if you desire to travel and experience new things. Thankfully, there are various steps you can take to manage this fear. For example, you may benefit from speaking to a therapist or trying out meditation techniques. 

Keep all of your important documents together

Whenever you travel, you’ll likely need to keep many important documents (as mentioned above) close by so that you have them to hand when you need them. In addition to VISAs, this also includes passports, Identification cards, insurance details, travel tickets and booking information. While much of this information can be stored digitally on your phone (reducing the chances of it getting lost), you should also ensure that you have a paper copy with you to refer to if necessary. However, you should also make sure that you keep all of these documents together in a single folder so that you know exactly where everything is (and don’t have to keep emptying your suitcase to look for them).

Write down a list before you start packing

While packing for a holiday can be exciting as it means your travels are just around the corner, it’s also rather time-consuming and monotonous. This also means that it’s easy to forget something important. As a result, you may find it easier to pack if you write down a list of everything you need ahead of time – and then you can simply work your way through the list piece by piece. 

Thanks for reading my blog, Aimee

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Best Long Weekend Ideas for Couples

The task of finding cheap travel destinations is not easy, and for many people, the one solution is to have a long weekend. For couples who are looking to get away from the monotony of everyday life, but also don’t have the finances for an epic two week holiday, if you are looking for a long weekend, there are many city breaks. Let’s show you some of our favorites. 

Lisbon

Lisbon is one of those cities that has a very simple charm, and if you are both looking to traverse the nightlife or spend time apart there are many options. For the guys that are looking at playing golf in Lisbon, there are plenty of golf courses but also, for couples that just want to relax the weather is always pleasant and the food is always worth writing home about! 

couples on beach at sunset
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Rome

One of the biggest draws for people looking for a mild and Mediterranean climate, but for people looking to get their fill of quirky shops, and eat their weight in aperitivo while also experiencing culture, when you venture to Rome you are hard-pressed to decide what you should leave out of your itinerary! A long weekend in Rome is not enough, but if you are looking for downtime, the Testaccio neighbourhood is very closely associated with food and you can find traditional home-style cookery around every corner, as well as upmarket and upscale dining experiences. 

Barcelona

The great thing about the Spanish city is that it is a feast for all the senses. There are great pieces of architecture, but there are also opportunities for people to relax on one of the city’s seven beaches before venturing into one of the Michelin starred restaurants or opting for the downscale humble and tasty tapas bars. The great thing about Barcelona is that it doesn’t have a city-like pace. 

Marseille

The oldest city in France, it is an amazing choice for those looking for a hefty dose of culture. There are many museums in Marseille to choose from, but there are also beautiful sights to be seen, and as it has a history of trade, you can see the impacts of this, with magnificent sights of the rocks along the coast. 

Amsterdam

When people think of the Netherlands, they don’t think of blustering cityscapes. Amsterdam city has the buzz of a thriving city but without the typical drawbacks associated with big city living. In fact, it feels more like a village than anything, and while the canals provide architecture and infrastructure to appeal to the senses, you can enjoy downtime in one of the many cafes. Or if you want to experience your fair share of culture, Amsterdam is home to some of the greatest art museums in the world. 

If you are after an amazing long weekend with your significant other, you do not have far to look! Where are you looking for somewhere to relax and rejuvenate or are desperate for some new culture, you are spoiled for choice.

Thanks for reading my blog, Aimee

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A Guide To Help You Make The Most Out Of Your Travel

Going on a trip should result in your coming home feeling on top of the world and satisfied. If you go away and come home feeling the same as you went, did you make the effort to make the most out of your trip? If not, then you should utilise this advice to ensure that you get the most out of your travel. 

Partake in an activity out of your comfort zone

Everyone can get too comfortable on trips sometimes. We often go away wanting to do more yet stick to doing the same things. However, if you want to get the most out of your travel experiences, then you should go out of your comfort zone and experience something new. 

Whether that means considering cycling holidays in italy or skiing holidays in France, you can try something new and may even find yourself a new favourite hobby. The trips where you do something different will be those that stick in your memory. 

Ask for local advice

There is nothing more rewarding and fulfilling than speaking to locals in the country that you are visiting. Not only will you broaden your knowledge of the local culture, but they can become your local guide for the best places to eat, see, and stay. 

Speaking to locals will ensure that you get honest and essential advice. The locals will tell you the ways of the area and how to stay and get the most out of where you are visiting.

Book early 

If you want to maximise your budget and get the most for your money, then you will want to book early. Booking as early as possible will ensure that you get the best deals and get first dibs on the accommodation, transportation, and activities. If you leave it too late, what you wanted to book might get taken and you won’t be able to fully satisfy your needs from the trip. 

Take pictures (but not too many)

To capture your memories, it helps to take a camera along with you. You can capture memories that you may otherwise forget about. 

However, it is important to use your eyes to soak up your surroundings too. Spending too much time taking photos might hinder your experience. Therefore, remember your camera to capture memories but make sure to look up and around you at all times. You will get to soak up the surroundings and make sure to be able to take those memories home with you.

Take your time

Going away isn’t about rushing. We do enough of that at home. Therefore, to get the most out of your trip (and to not miss anything) it is essential that you take that time. Should that mean that you do less or need to extend your trip, so be it. 

The slower you take things, the more you can soak up and enjoy yourself. Plus, you can relax a lot more and go home feeling energised and refreshed.

Thanks for reading my blog, Aimee x

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13 of the Best Things To Do in Rye East Sussex

Rye is one of my favorite towns in East Sussex if not all of England, it’s full of historic stone buildings, winding cobbled streets and plenty of fun things to do! In fact, I have to be honest I first visited Rye to get some photos of famed Mermaid Street but quickly fell in love with the rest of the town. We visited Rye from the quirky seaside town of Brighton (where my husband is from) – about 2 hours away by train!

Some of my favorite things to do in Rye include having my favorite hot chocolate from Knoops, hopping on a wine tour to nearby East Sussex and Kent and catching the sunset at Camber Sands beach. For families there’s loads of fantastically unique activities – there’s a School of Wizards and Witches (big Harry Potter vibes) and a Detective Mystery Trail, which requires some serious problem-solving skills!

In this blog, I list 13 of the very best things to do in Rye East Sussex!

What are the Best Things to do in Rye East Sussex?

  1. Cast some spells and become a a Witch or Wizard at the interactive School of Witches and Wizards
  2. Spy some rare British birds at Rye Harbour Coastal Reserve
  3. Visit Camber Castle – Henry VIII’s former home
  4. Go on a boutique wine tour through East Sussex and Kent
  5. Be a detective for the day on the Rye Detective Mystery Trail
  6. Join in the celebrations at Bonfire Night, held in November
  7. Climb the Bell Tower at St Mary’s Church for the best view of Rye
  8. Try some yummy hot chocolate at Knoops
  9. Spend the night at the historic (and haunted?) Mermaid Inn
  10. Test your speed at Lydd Karting
  11. Satisfy your inner photographer at pretty Mermaid Street
  12. Go for a walk on the golden sands of Camber Sand Beach
  13. Pay a visit to Lamb House – the former home of writer Henry James

Most popular Things to do in Rye with Children

sunset mermaid street rye
Sunset on Mermaid Street – how pretty!

There’s loads of kid-friendly activities in Rye – the best things to do with children include becoming a Witch or Wizard at the School of Wizards and Witches where kids will learn spells and solve a magical mystery. Also, a lot of fun for the whole family is the Detective Mystery Tour a self-guided tour in which you will have to solve a smuggling case. Of course, Knoops Hot Chocolate is always a treat and a firm favorite with kids.

1. Become a Witch or a Wizard at the School of Wizards and Witches

school of wizards and witches rye
The School of Wizards and Witches!

The School of Wizards and Witches is a theater experience where your little ones will be taught how to make spells and all the other ins and outs of being a magical Witch or Wizard! As a group (typically group sizes of 12) the children will be tasked with solving a bunch of magical mysteries to save the magical world. On their quest the children will come across dark forests, dungeons and castles. This unique experience is led by actors and all the masks, puppets and scenes used have been created by professional movie and prop makers. Of course this exoerience isn’t just for kids – adults can join in the fun too.

The School of Witches and Wizards is located at The World of Legend, 55 The Mint. You can book your magical experience here. Please note this experience may be closed due to Covid restrictions, please check before booking!

2. See rare British birds at Rye Harbour Coastal Reserve

rye harbor east sussex
Rye Harbor on a sunny day (photo via Canva)

At the Rye Harbour Coastal Reserve spot amazing wildlife like the Marsh Frog and more unique species like the Spangled Button Beetle and the Medicinal Leech along this long coastal path which also has five bird hides where you can truly get up close to the native birds. The most common birds seen here are Terns (Little, Common & Sandwich),, Oystercatchers, Redshank, Lapwing and many more.This area is known to be one of the most important nature reserves in the country and is home to  approximately 4,355 species of plants and animals including 300 that are rare or endangered.The walk begins from the Discovery Center, which also contains a shop and Cafe with fabulous views.

3. Visit Camber Castle

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Camber Castle on a hazy Summer day! (photo via Canva)

Camber Castle once the home of Henry VIII is one of the most important historic sites in Rye. It lies within the nature reserve between Rye and Winchelsea. It is an unaltered artillery fort which was built in 1539 to protect Rye Harbur. You can’t drive to the Castle, instead it is reachable only by a mile-long footpath from Rye.

Did you know – Camber means safe haven (you could safely anchor a vessel behind the castle). The word is derived from the French word ‘chambre’, which means bedroom.

The Castle was abandoned in 1637 and is now managed by English Heritage who have made updates to the structural work of the Castle. You can visit the outside of the Castle any day of the week – here’s where the walk to the Castle starts but guided tours of the Castle’s interior usually occur on the first Saturday of the month in Summer. On a tour of Camber Castle you can expect to see the flower like shapes on the curtain wall and the brick-vaulted tunnels.

4. Go on a Wine Tour

A wine tour may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of England but believe me this full-day wine tour is worth booking. On the tour you will get to visit two small wineries set among the glorious East Sussex countryside. Here, you will learn all about the wine-making process |(in this unique climate for wine-growing) and of course get to taste the wines. Towards the end of the tour you will visit a local brewery and try some craft beer and cider

Pick up and drop off for this tour is available from Rye Train Station.

Book the wine tour here

P.S. another very popular tour in the East Sussex area is this Seven Sisters and South Downs Tour which departs from Brighton! The tour is approximately 6.5 hours in duration.

5. Become a Detective for the day on the Rye Detective Mystery Trail

On this self-guided Detective Mystery Trail you will be searching high and low through historic cobbled streets for clues. It looks as though smuggling is still rife in Rye and the latest crimes have baffled local police – they can’t find the offender but think that the crimes are related to a well-known gang of 18th century smugglers! Can you help the police to find their culprit?

The self-guided tour starts at the Heritage Center and is great fun for the whole family (believe me, this will test your thinking skills). You will also learn loads about the history of Rye along the way.

Book the Rye Detective Mystery Trail here

6. Have fun at the Bonfire Night Celebrations in November

The Annual Bonfire Night Celebrations in Rye are typically held around the 13th of November. Part of this event is the naming of the year’s Rye Fawkes (a play on Guy Fawkes whom Bonfire Night in England is in commemoration of). The title of Rye Fawkes is awarded to the highest bidder and has been since 2009 prior to that it was given to a range of Celebrites including Spike Milligan and Vic Reeves.

On the night – huge crowds of people will process through Rye with flaming torches, drum bands and floats eventually ending at the Salts where an enormous bonfire is lit, followed by a spectacular firework display.

Other popular annual events in Rye include the Bay Scallop Week held in February and the New Mayor Making Ceremony held in May.

7. Climb the Bell Tower for the best view of Rye

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An aerial view shot of Rye town! (photo via Canva)

The bell tower is located at St Mary’s Church in Church Square and it offers the best view in all of Rye. In fact, I’ve been told it’s a very popular spot for marriage proposals – the views are that stunning! On the way up you will see the 8 church bells, which weigh a shopping combined weight of 5 tons. These are not the original church bells, these ones were re-cast in 1775. The original bells were in fact stolen in 1377 by French invaders and brought to France – thankfully they were recovered the next year.

There is a small fee to access the bell tower.

8. Have the best hot chocolate in East Sussex at Knoops

knnops hot chocolate rye
Knoops Hot Chocolate – it’s delicious!

If you see a large queue snaking down Tower Forge you’ve found Knoops. One of the best chocolate shops in the country.

The Knoops concept is based on a carefully curated percentage menu which offers chocolates to suit every taste and mood. In store, try out the different % chocolates and flavours in a process the staff call ‘Knoopology’. This process is simple; choose your chocolate %, milk, and extra flavours like sea salt, orange zest or chilli to be made into a hot chocolate, milkshake or iced chocolate. Delicous!

There are now 6 Knoops Stores in the country – one in Brighton and several dotted throughout London. You can buy your own Knoops chocolate in store to bring home and try to make yourself.

For your coffee fix visit – Cafe des Fleurs on Station Road,

9. Stay at the historic Mermaid Inn – a former Smugglers pub

The view from outside Mermaid Inn of Mermaid Street!

Seeing as there’s so much to do in Rye why not extend your stay there with an overnight stay at the 600 year old Mermaid Inn. The rooms here have sloping ceilings, creaky floorboards and the hallways in the hotel have several winding staircases – all adding to the unique-factor! It is also believed the hotel is haunted – so keep an eye out for ghosts or other supernatural occurrences! Some people love that sort of thing and traveler specifically book into the Mermaid Inn in the hope of seeing a ghost! The Mermaid Inn is extremely popular and tends to sell-out quick so book early!

Not only is this a hotel it’s also a very popular Restaurant and Bar. One of the best seats in the house is at the Giant’s Fireplace Bar – it’s full of history as a local gang of Smugglers in the 1730’s frequented the bar.

There’s a secret passageway into the bar – can you spot it?

Book your stay at The Mermaid Inn here, rooms start from  £130 per night

The owner offers Guided Tours through the 600 year old Mermiad Inn, providing a walk through time. These tours are held on the last Sunday of each month, commencing at 4pm and 5pm. Book the tour on the website.

10. Try go-karting at Lydd Karting

A 20 minute drive from Rye is Lydd Karting, the ideal activity for the petrol-head in your life! The 1040 meter circuit here is the fastest in the region and one of the fastest in the country.

The hire kart fleet here ranges from Bambino karts through to senior twin engined prokarts. And prices start at just £20 for 15 minutes. You can choose from a 15 minute; 30 minute; 45 minute and 60 minute session. All safety equipment is provided and the activity is suitable for children from the age of 6.

Lydd Karting also hosts many National Karting Events like the F100uk and RetroRacer 

11. Take a stroll along Camber Sands beach

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Enjoying a bright orange sunset at Camber Sands!

A 3 km walk from the center of Rye will take you to one of the best golden-sand beaches in the country. Camber Sands is 5 miles long and can get quite windy, so, it’s very popular for wind surfers and kite surfers. The Western End of the beach next to River Rother is the most popular section of the beach with locals and is especially pretty! It’s safe to swim at Camber Sands but beware of fast-moving tides that can drag you out to the deep very quickly.

If you can catch a sunset here even better, the sky sure did put on a show for us when we visited last in October.

12. Take lots of photos of pretty Mermaid Street

mermaid street Rye
How beautiful is Mermaid Street!

The poster child for Rye is Mermaid Street with its storybook charm. Mermaid Street is a winding cobbled street with great views and slightly wonky stone & timber houses. Sort of Harry Potter-ish if you’re into that sort of thing. The best spot for a photo on Mermaid Street is to stand in the middle of the cobbled street just outside The Mermaid Inn (like I have done in the photo below). The best time of day to photograph Mermaid Street is at dusk – because little lights light up the houses down the street making it seem very magical (and a little like Diagonal Alley from the Harry Potter movies). It’s also quieter at this time of the evening, beware it does get very busy here during the day and is especially busy at weekends.

Be sure to pop in to the cosiest pub in prime position on the street – The Mermaid Inn for a pint or some afternoon tea.

13. Visit Lamb House the former home of writer Henry James

LAMB HOUSE RYE
The Lamb House in Rye!

Once home to writer Henry James as well as E.F Benson – Lamb House is now owned by the National Trust. And is a must visit for any literature fans. To the rear of the house is one of the largest gardens in Rye – filled with lillies and roses and even contains the graves of Henry James’ dogs. Inside the house there’s a varied collection of unique art works and sculptures. When visiting Lamb House you will learn all about its history as well as its famous past occupants.

It costs £8 to visit Lamb House and is open Friday – Tuesday every week, 11am-5pm. 

How to get to Rye East Sussex

Getting to Rye from London – Rye is located 76 miles (122 kms) southeast of central London. The easiest way to get to Rye is to drive the A21 road which passes Royal Tunbridge Wells. There are also regular trains that head to Rye from Charing Cross in London – you will need to change trains at Ashford International Station. I highly advise spending a couple nights in London before coming to Rye – there’s loads of amazing things to do in London!

Getting to Rye from Brighton – it’s quite a long distance from Brighton to Rye so we recommend driving if you can. The quickest way via public transport takes about 2 hours – catch the train from Brighton to Hastings & change here for the train to Rye.

Getting to Rye from Hastings – Hastings is the largest closest town to Rye at just a 30 minute drive away. You can drive the 12.5 miles via the A259 or catch the train direct which takes 20 minutes.

Where to Stay in Rye

  • Of course the historic (and haunted?) Mermaid Inn is top of the list with its quirky rooms – book this one early!
  • With river views, a large patio and a central location (just a few minutes walk from Camber Castle) the Heart of Rye is a stylish three-bedroom house ideal for families
  • Extraordinary Huts is a quirky hut-style accommodation that still has all the features of a comfortable hotel room. This is one of the most unique properties in Rye!
  • A Grade II listed building in the center of Rye – Whitehouse Rye is top of my list for a luxurious stay in Rye. There’s a restaurant and award-winning bakery onsite.
  • Just 4 miles from the center of town this large Grade II Georgian building is one of the biggest properties in the area. Flackley Ash Hotel has a spa, restaurant, heated indoor swimming pool, sauna and more!

There’s over 100 accommodation options in Rye and surrounding area, you can check them all out here!

Is Rye worth visiting?

In short yes, Rye is definitely worth visiting! Not only is it undeniably pretty and photogenic – just look at Mermaid Street but there’s lots of unique family-friendly things to do like the School of Witches and Wizards; go-karting in nearby Lydd and a self-guided detective tour. There’s also lots of free things to do in Rye too – like walking the golden sands of Camber Sands beach, exploring Mermaid Street and Rye Harbor Coastal Reserve to see some native birds. I recommend spending at least a couple hours in Rye, ideally spend the night at one of the many great hotels in Rye to truly get a feel for this fairytale-like town!

Thanks for reading my blog, Aimee x

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Rye is one of my favorite towns in England, it's full of historic stone buildings, winding cobbles streets and plenty of fun things to do!