Saturday, 27 February 2016

5 Places to Visit in the North West

5 Places to visit in the North West Liverpool Chester Blackpool Knowsley
Having moved to Liverpool last August, I didn't really know what kind of things were to do around the area. Now I've been here a few months, I have realised some of the great places to visit in the North West and thought I'd share them to make day's out easier to plan.

Chester Zoo

I've been here so many times in the past from when I was much younger and travelled over with my parents. I'd say this is the best zoo that I've ever visited, as it has so much to see and do and you wouldn't get bored spending the whole day here. I think one of the great things about Chester Zoo is that it's suitable for all ages, whether you wanted to take the kids out or fancied an adult day spotting some animals. There is a large food area so you don't have to worry when you get peckish during the day. 

The zoo has both indoor and outdoor enclosures which is great in case you get caught in the rather wet weather that the North West is unfortunately prone to. There is also a monorail that runs throughout the park and gives you a unique view of the enclosures, and will give you a welcome sit down if you have been there all day, but you can still see the animals rather than having to be stuck on a bench.

Knowsley Safari Park

Another animal based one here but it lets you see the animals in a different situation. You get to drive through the park which in itself is one big enclosure so you can see the animals when they come up close to your car. There are also a few parts you can walk to see including giraffes, elephants, meerkats and sea lions. They have a few different sections to the park, as some of the animals are seperated from other such as the lions in one and monkeys in another.

One point to make with regards to the monkeys is that you can either take the safe route and drive along the fence just outside the enclosure, or actually head into the enclosure and get a much more personal view to say the least. Be warned, if you value windscreen wipers or anything else that can easily pulled off the outside of your car, it might be worth sticking to the 'safe' route. Lets just say my car came out of the monkey enclosure a few parts lighter! If you want to see what its like around the park and the mischevious monkeys, have a look at my post here

Liverpool Albert Dock

The docks area has a number of different things you can look around to keep you busy including multiple museums, little shops and even The Wheel of Liverpool which gives you great views across the city. 

For a start the Museum of Liverpool has at least 10 different galleries that showcase a variety of historical and cultural parts of Liverpool. I went here recently and spent a good two hours going round the different exhibitions. Don't worry if you think there is nothing here for the kids, as they have a Little Liverpool area which lets you take them in for some hands on sessions to play around and learn about Liverpool. They have a decent sized cafe so don't worry if you go over a meal time. 

The Maritime Museum, located 5 minutes from the Museum of Liverpool, includes exhibitions for The Border Agency, Slavery and Shipping history including the Titanic. Again there is plenty to see at this museum, and it includes a shop and a cafe. Both of these museums are free to visit but you can make donations if you feel you want to. 

The Beatles Story is unique museum to visit and showcases the history of The Beatles and how they rose to fame. If you like The Beatles then this would be a great thing to look around. You do have to pay to visit, however if you are looking to dive into anything and everything The Beatles, it would be worth it. 

Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester

I remember going here with school a few years ago and really enjoyed. I was interested in science at school and this museum provided a great extension to what I had been learning about. I think it's something that would be suitable for all ages and gives you a chance to learn about new things, and another bonus is that it's free. The museum has numerous displays including transport, power, communications, computing and more, which gives a good selection of topics to keep you interested. 

I would say that there is plenty to keep you busy all day if you wanted to look around everything that's there, which would of course include a pit stop at the restaurant or cafe. 

Blackpool

This is a great place to visit if you want plenty of things to do as you could easily spend a weekend here so you don't have to worry about running out of things to see and do. The Blackpool Tower is packed with attractions that you could spend a while looking around in itself. These include a circus, ballroom, dungeon as well as the Tower Eye, which has a 4D cinema and panoramic views across the beach. 

You will no doubt of heard of the Pleasure Beach, which is an amusement park with loads of roller coasters and rides. It will be quite an experience being able to go on the big rides with a great view across the beach. It's suitable for all ages with rides to suit everyone's taste which makes it an ideal family attraction. 

Fancy something a bit different to whizzing round on a roller coaster, then head to Madame Tussaud's and check out the wax figures of celebrities. It's a great opportunity to see some of the amazing wax works without having to travel down to London. 

Even if you fancy something a bit more chilled out to do, then wandering along the sea front and onto the pier to enjoy the scenery. There are always some amusements on the pier of you do get tempted. 

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Monday, 22 February 2016

TV Shows I'm Currently Watching


Sherlock

I was never really part of thee hype when Sherlock was released on the BBC even though I heard a lot of good things about it. In search of a new show to watch, I came across all of the seasons on Netflix and thought I'd give it a try. Needless to say I was hooked within a few episodes. It gives a twist to the normal format of crime shows with the 'quirky' lead character. The one thing that did suprise me was the format of the seasons, with only three 1.5 hour long episodes per season and only 3 seasons have been released. Don't let this put you off though, as it's great to watch and has been renewed by the BBC for future episodes!

Brooklyn 99

This is great for something funny and easy to watch that you could re-watch over and over. I had seen it when it came out on E4 a while ago, but has since gone through the first two seasons on Netflix again and I'm now watching the third season on E4 as it gets released. They are only short episodes, which makes it very easy to binge watch, although there is nothing wrong with doing that!


Making a Murderer

This documentary about the wrongful conviction of Steven Avery, a man in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, has had a lot of attention in the media since it's release. You may have already heard what happens at the end of the trial, but don't think this has ruined the documentary. It's very interesting to see all the details about this case and how it pans out over the years, and can become strangely addictive to watch. There may well be further developments in the case since the show was released.


Luther

I loved the first three seasons of this when I watched them on Netflix, and season 4 recently came out with new episodes. What I like about Luther is that it's based around a British cop who is set of bringing criminals to justice, sometimes using some unorthodox methods. I find this show much more down to earth with no over the top effects etc. which is a welcome break from some unbelievable plots that you get in other crime shows. Season four only had two episodes, but these were intense and gripping to watch. 


Homeland

I first discovered Homeland when it came to Netflix, and soon became my favourite shows to watch. The story starts out with a marine who finally gets released from capture in Iraq after eight years, and returns to the US. Carrie, a CIA intelligence officer soon suspects he may have been turned and the season explodes from this point. Homeland now has five seasons with more to come, and is very intense and full of twists and turns, and I would say is one of my favourite shows I have ever watched!

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Photographic Walk Around Calderstones Park, Liverpool

Seen as we had some nice weather in Liverpool the other day, it seemed like a good time to head out on a little photography mission. Calderstones Park is a decent size park in South Liverpool and was the location for the little photography outing. I tried to get some different shots of the park and thought I'd share them. If you are from Liverpool or ever come to visit, it worth dropping by the park for a wander around.



These two photos above proved a little more difficult to get that I first thought as they liked to move around a lot just as I had the photo lined up.




These flower photos were my attempt at a bit more of an arty photo and I really like picking a focus point of the photo and blurring out the background.


These next two photos were taken with my GoPro and I love the wide angle perspective it gives to capture everything. 

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Sunday, 14 February 2016

Kitsound Arcade Bluetooth Headphones Review



I've had numerous sets of headphones over the past few years, but had never owned a set of wireless ones. I bought these headphones a few months ago for £25 and thought I'd give my review. Seen as I don't use headphones all the time, I didn't want to spend a fortune on my first set of wireless ones. 

Even though these are on the cheaper end of the market, they are still packed full of features. Easy pairing with your device means that you wil be listening to music in no time. The bluetooth range is around 10m which gives you the freedom to roam around while still listening to your music. They claim to have up to a 6 hour battery life which seems to be pretty accurate from using them. 

The sound that these pump out is impressive with a decent bass and clarity. They are more than loud enough whenever I have used them, and they are comfortable to wear compared to ones I've had in the past. They are on-ear headphones so the sit on rather than around your ears, but still block out a lot of external noise.

Another neat little feature which comes in useful is that you can use these as wired headphones with the supplied 3.5mm aux cable, so if you have a device without bluetooth connectivity you won't have to reach for another set of headphones. 

They also have a set of controls on the right hand headphone so you can either play/pause the music, or alter the track and volume. This come in handy when i'm playing music from my laptop while doing something else, as it means you don't have to go back over the laptop every time you want to one of the settings. 

Overall, these are a great set of headphones by Kitsound, packed with neat little features for a very reasonable price. If you want a set of wireless headphones without breaking the bank, you can't go far wrong with these!

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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Travel Ideas - My Preferences & Yours


What type of holiday would you prefer: Relaxing Beach, Busy City or Travel & Explore?
It's quite a hard one to answer as all of these holiday destinations have their appeals. Being able to chill on a beach lets me have a complete change of scenery and enjoy the hot weather. Going around a city gives you loads of stuff to see and you can get a great feel for the area. As much as I do enjoy doing these, I would have to choose Travel & Explore as my preferred holiday. I love gaining new experiences and I think travelling around numerous places is a great way to do this. I definitely want to do a road-trip at some point as this lets you see so many new things.
I was expecting quite a mixed reaction from this question, but it looks like there is a slight preference to those sunny beach holidays! 

If you were to visit America, would you rather: Tour Different Areas or Stay in One City?
Every city has so much to offer there will be plenty to keep you entertained but with my preference to travel and explore I would have to go for touring different areas. There is something about either renting a car and driving around the country, stopping off at numerous places, or renting a camper-van and doing the same is so exciting.
I think as much as the cities themselves can provide plenty of things to do, the experience of travelling around America appeals to many of you like it does me.

If you went to Australia would you rather visit: Cities, The Outback or Both?
Going to Australia is another thing that has to be on my bucket list. There are so many great places to visit and I feel like I'd need months over there to see everything I'd want to. I think for this one I'd have to combine the two options, and visit some of the main cities and then go for some exploring in the outback. The cities have some iconic landmarks and there is some great wildlife to see in the outback.
I was actually quite surprised at the result of this one, thinking more people would rather just stay in the cities, but it seems there are quite a few adventurous people out there. 

Spending a week away to relax & get away from everything: Cabin up in the countryside or Sunny Beach?
As I mentioned earlier, a beach holiday would give a complete change of scenery and gives you something you don't normally have access to. As much as this gives you a relaxing break, I'd much rather spend time completely away from normal life, which would even include a break from technology. I think being in a cabin would stop you thinking about the latest updates on social media and where the nearest WiFi spot is.  
Again, I was expecting a different result from this one, but it seems you be more inclined to stay in a cabin to have a proper break away from life.  

Do you like to have a holiday fully planned or go with the flow when you get there?
I think this might depend on what time of holiday you are going on as some won't really require that much planning if you intend to be chilling by the pool all day. I think for those trips where you are likely to be doing more things, I'd much rather plan it out. When I go to visit somewhere I'd like to make the most of my time there, so making a plan can make sure I can see and do everything I want to while away. 
Having things planned seems to be the most popular option here, but I think the type of holiday people go on will change whether they want it all set out.

Writing this post and getting all of your opinions on things has given me major wanderlust and I can't wait to go travelling now!
  
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