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10 InstaPics That Will Make You Want To Visit London's Winter Wonderland On Its 10th Anniversary This Christmas

Hey everyone,

So I know we’re still in November, but I have been feeling ever so festive lately, mainly because I took a trip to London’s Winter Wonderland last weekend! I went with my two sisters and two of my cousins and we had a wonderfully festive day out at the Hyde Park Christmas fair. In my opinion, it’s never too early to get in the Christmas spirit, and with the festival’s 10th year anniversary celebrations in full swing, here are 10 of my favourite photos from the day proving why you should visit Winter Wonderland this Christmas!

#1 The Carousel

Winter Wonderland 🌲🎅☃✨

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on Nov 19, 2016 at 9:51am PST

 

Just look at it. The inner child in me is just raring to get on that thing, it’s the ultimate fair ground ride, and there’s a giant Christmas tree right next to it. I. Am. SOLD.

#2 The Sparkly Lights

 

The park looks pretty amazing during the day time, but it looks truly spectacular after dark when the millions of lights are turned on and the park truly glitters in the night sky. Just LOOK at those lights!

#3 The Markets

 

It’s no secret that Winter Wonderland is brimming with Christmas markets selling everything from candles and soaps to handmade jewellery and wood carved ornaments. Wander round the market stalls, soak up the festive atmosphere and bag some unique gifts from these traditional German style wooden huts.

#4 The Rides

 

The rides are just amazing, from tiny spinning tea cups for the kids to giant rollercoasters for the thrill seeking adults and every kind of ride you can think of packed in between, there’s something for every rider and the queues are well worth the wait!

*TIP* To beat the queues go o on a week-day, not a weekend, and ride in the morning/early afternoon instead of the evening.

#5 The Food Stalls

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A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on Nov 20, 2016 at 6:32am PST

 

There are hundreds of food stalls stocking everything from burgers and chips to German Bratwurst (sausage), roasted chestnuts, chocolate waffles and as many pick n mix sweets as you can manage! The Bavarian Village is a great place to escape the cold and relax for an hour, whilst the Carousel Bars (yes, really) are super cool, just be prepared to stand up while you waltz!

#6 The Special Attractions

 

Although entrance to the park is free, there are a number of additional attractions which are charged separately. I’d recommend booking online to guarantee your time slot, especially as the park will get busier in the lead up to December. The attractions include a Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Christmas Circus and a special showing of The Nutcracker on Ice.

#7 The Games Stands

German markets, giant towers and scary rollercoasters… It could only be winter wonderland! 🎅🌲 #London #visitlondon #winterwonderland

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on Nov 20, 2016 at 7:59am PST

 

There may be fairground rides aplenty, but there’s also tonnes of games stands to be found whilst wandering round the park. Try your hand at a game of hook-a-duck, mini-basketball or take on the shooting-gallery to be in with the chance of bagging a special Winter Wonderland prize!

#8 The Ice Rink

 

Is there anything more romantic than gliding across the ice and soaking up the festive atmosphere? I doubt it. But, this only applies if you don’t fall over. And end up looking like a total fool in front of all the ogling spectators. Don’t do it if you can’t skate! Only joking, it’s all good fun, and it’ll warm you up if you’re cold – you will sweat SO FRIKKIN MUCH!

#9 The Ferris Wheel

 

Just like The London Eye, but not as expensive, the ferris wheel at Winter Wonderland is one of the absolute must do’s. You’ll soar high into the sky and rotate slowly, enabling you to take in the most spectacular panoramic views of the park, and the rest of London too. I’d recommend taking your ‘flight’ once the sun goes down, as the park looks sooo much more impressive from above after dark, when everything is lit up!

#10 The Selfie Opportunities

Christmassy little day with my gorgeous family 🎅🌲☃🌟🎡 #winterwonderland #london #girlsgirlsgirls

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on Nov 20, 2016 at 11:21am PST

 

There are SO many places to take great selfies and you’ll be totally spoilt for choice, but we loved this polar bear/ ice cliff/waterfall sculpture and took our favourite photo of the day right in that very spot!

Have YOU visited Winter Wonderland yet? If not, what are you waiting for?! It its totally FREE to enter, and the park is open from 10am-10pm every day until 2nd January 2017. Go go go!

Love Jess x

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR! Top 15 InstaTravel Moments of 2015!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I hope you all had fun partying last night.. I know I did! I thought I’d kick-start the day/year/month with a round up of my Top 15 InstaTravel Moments of 2015! This has been my first EVER year of using Instagram and it has fast become my favourite social media platform! So here are my top moments of the past 12 months…

JANUARY

Spending my birthday in London with an epic walking tour across the city with one of my best friends! We walked from Kensington to Tower Bridge and took in all the major landmarks- what a way to start the year!

FEBRUARY/MARCH

Taking in the beautiful sights of Prague by climbing to the top of the Old Astronomy Tower! This was my first city break of the year with my sister and what a trip we had!

APRIL

Myself and my sisters purchased season tickets for our family to the beautiful Blenheim Palace which is just down the road from us! We’ve had so many lovely days out at this place!

MAY

For my nans 80th birthday celebrations we headed for a family weekend away in the nearby Cotswolds. We had a wonderful weekend and the weather was just perfect!

JUNE

I had a fantastic day out to Royal Ascot this month along with my sisters, cousin, mum and aunty. We got all dressed up, bet on lots of horses and even saw the Queen!

I also headed to London at the end of June for a fantastic day out at Hyde Park’s annual British Summertime Festival. Myself and my close friend had great fun watching Kylie in concert who was incredible live!

We have had the besstttt dayyy!! Roll on next year wooo 😁🎉🐴👑 #ascot #races #family #love #girls #dayout #weloveascot #wesawqueenie

A post shared by Jess Buck|JourneyswithJessica (@jessica16_x) on Jun 17, 2015 at 10:10am PDT

JULY

This month brought our annual family holiday and we headed down to Cornwall to spend a week in our own holiday cottage right in the heart of lively St Ives. The weather was fantastic ALL WEEK and we had the best time with each other making lots of memories and revisiting places from our childhood!

AUGUST

August Bank Holiday weekend brought a fantastic day out filled with music, fun and laughter! I took my sisters to their first ever festival, Fusion Festival near Birmingham, and we had a brilliant day out seeing lots of top artists perform- the highlight was McBusted who were amazing!

SEPTEMBER

This month it was time for my second city break of the year so my sister and I flew to Budapest for a long weekend of sightseeing. We both fell in love with the city; it was beautiful and we had the best time away!

OCTOBER

This month was super busy for me but my highlight was a personal achievement which saw me run a 5k charity fun run for The Pituitary Foundation. I raised over £300 on my Just Giving page and beat my personal best! I had a fantastic day and was so proud of myself. A big THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to this fantastic charity who have supported my since my prolactinoma diagnosis in 2011.

NOVEMBER

I had a jam-packed November but my highlight was getting my first EVER paid job as a freelance travel writer! I was absolutely over the moon and it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet- hopefully I’ll take on more roles which will allow me to become a freelance writer full time!

DECEMBER

The last month of the year was kick-started with a magical trip to the beautiful Disneyland Paris! I went with two of my closest friends for a pre-Christmas treat and we had the most amazing time, it really was beautiful and certainly got us in the festive mood!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my whistle-stop recap of my InstaTravel highlights from 2015! I’d love to hear what your favourite was? I just can’t pick one!

Wishing you every happiness for 2016!

Love Jess x

British Summertime Festival: London

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Hi everyone,

This week we are set for a heatwave here in Britain with temperatures in some parts of the country reaching as high as 33 degrees! I love a good old British summer, with the sun shining gloriously one day and then the skies pouring with rain the next! It looks as though we are in for a good few months of warm weather though so fingers crossed it stays that way. Luckily my family are one of the thousands that have booked a stay-cation and we will be holidaying in the UK this year. We are off to sunny Cornwall at the end of this week so I’ll be posting about that on my return, in the meantime you can check my Instagram account while I’m away to see all my seaside snaps!

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Anyway, back to this post and in line with the GB theme that’s present throughout many of my articles I thought I’d bring you a review of a summers day out I recently had in London. I headed to Hyde Park in the capital on for the annual British Summertime Festival that returned for its second year running. This year the line up was huge, with headline acts including Kylie Minogue, Blur, Taylor Swift & The Who. Spread across two different weekends, the concerts provide a fun filled day out for all the family with plenty of food stalls, bars, kids activity dens and fairground rides. I attended with one of my close friends on Sunday 21st June and our headline act was global superstar Kylie Minogue featuring disco band Chic & Nile Rodgers, pop star Mika, icon Grace Jones and the up and coming Years & Years and Foxes. There was a real festival vibe throughout the venue and it was very chilled, the weather was great and we had a fantastic time!

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General admission was at 1pm so we caught a late morning Oxford Tube from Thornhill Park & Ride direct to Marble Arch – this is a brilliant way of travelling from Oxford to London and our adult return fares were just £14 each! After we were allowed in we checked out the attractions around the park, got our faces painted for free by the Palmolive promo team & had a ride on the fairground. Just be aware that once you’re into the park and your tickets have been scanned you aren’t allowed out again so there’s no chance of popping back to Oxford Street for some last minute shopping!

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We were worried that we’d have so much time to waste before the concert that we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves, but by the time we checked out the surroundings and had something to eat the music was nearly starting and the concert was in full swing! Food-wise I opted for meatballs, chips and garlic bread (£10 with a drink) and my friend had a BBQ pulled pork sandwich with chips and a drink (£13). The food is a little on the pricey side but the portions were a very good size, larger than we expected, and included a drink which was a bonus. There is so much choice with cuisine from all around the world as well as plenty of sweet treat stalls including Spanish churros and Belgian waffles – they were to die for!!

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On to the music which started just before 4pm, with newbies to the pop scene Years and Years performing first on the Great Oak Stage. They were followed shortly by Mika who really got the crowd on their feet with his famous pop tunes. After an interval dance legends Chic and Nile Rodgers took to the stage and added to the party atmosphere getting everyone to sing along to their greatest hits. Over on the Barclaycard stage we watched young Louisa  , also known as Foxes, perform some of her well known songs. Shortly afterwards the iconic Grace Jones performed some of her wacky songs back over on the Great Oak Stage in a choice of rather revealing outfits until it was time for the main event to take place. We had all been waiting for Kylie and Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills provided an entertaining countdown to her set whilst the crowds flocked towards the front of the stage. There was a Barclaycard VIP arena for celebs and people with priority tickets but we were stood in the general admission area with good views of the stage and there were plenty of big screens around aswell.

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Kylie’s set was fantastic and she was certainly the star of the show! unfortunately we had to miss the end as the Oxford Tube’s from Marble Arch finished early but we were actualyl glad to be able to get back and beat the crowds so it all worked out well in the end. We had a fantastic day out at British Summertime Festival and can’t wait to return next year! I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for the 2016 dates and line ups once they’ve been revealed!

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Love Jess x