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Valentines Day brings romance and joy to people all over the world. For some reason, there is a whole day out of the year dedicated to couples which part of me thinks it’s cute. However, the more rational side of me believes that Valentines day is a big marketing strategy for restaurants and bars to get more money out of people (but that’s a post for another day). That being said, I can speak from experience that when it comes to this time of year, my mind begins to become blank of Valentine date ideas. This will be my second Valentines day with my partner and as we live in central Manchester, there are endless things to do. Sometimes it’s when there are too many options that my mind begins to not function. Do you live in the Manchester area and are lost for ideas of how to spend Valentines day? No worries, dating in Manchester does not need to be difficult – as there are so many things to do. I have compiled a few Valentine Date Ideas in Manchester, U.K.

An Activity of Sorts

If you and your partner consider yourself to be adventurous and love fun activities then there is plenty of things to do on Valentines day in Manchester. Fortunate enough to have the whole day to celebrate Valentines day? The perfect start to the day would be to get stuck in with something fun.

Go Karting

With two perfect locations in Manchester, Go Karting is really accessible to get to. There is a track in both Trafford Park and in Deansgate. Just recently, me and my partner visited the Team Sport Go Karting in Trafford and we had the most amazing time!

Valentines Day in Manchester

If you’re a student and you’re looking for Valentines Day Date Ideas on a budget then look no further. You can Go Kart from just £15 and if you’re not a student, then don’t worry as they also have other offers available.

When you arrive you are given a suit to wear over your clothes and you will have to purchase either a 50p disposable balaclava (to wear under your helmet) or a £3.50 cotton balaclava. Once changed and your bags are packed away in lockers you wait to be called into the briefing room. This is where you will watch a fifteen minute safety video which tells you what all the flags mean. For example, if there is a yellow flag, you need to slow down to a walking pace.

Valentines Date Ideas in Manchester

The whole aim of Go Karting is to try and get the fastest lap time and so if you and your partner are the competitive type, then Go Karting would be the perfect place to spend Valentines Day in Manchester.

Roxy Ball Room

Roxy Ball Room in Deansgate, Manchester will always have a special place in my heart. This was where me and my partner went on one of our first dates and so I just think it’s perfect for Valentines Day.

Inside this bar you can play ping pong and/or pool and I just think it’s the perfect place to go on a date to get to know someone. The music isn’t too loud and if you wanted an activity that wasn’t too expensive then this would be perfect!

Valentines Day Manchester

Inflatanation

Dating in Manchester does not have to be boring when Manchester is home to one of the biggest indoor bouncy castles in the country. That’s right I did say bouncy castle! Call me a big kid but there’s nothing more fun then jousting someone on top of a giant inflatable pillar.

In terms of whether or not this place is suitable for a Valentine’s day date then it will all depend on what you do next. If you plan on heading for a nice meal (that requires you to dress up) afterwards then I wouldn’t recommend going to this place first. You only get an hour on the inflatable park but I promise you after half an hour running around and rock climbing, you will be red in the face and sweating. Take plenty of water!

Places to Drink in Manchester

Peaky Blinders Bar

If you’re a Peaky Blinder’s fan then Manchester is the place to be on Valentine’s day! It has a bar themed around the whole t.v. show. I mean, how cool is that! Although I have never watched Peaky Blinders, I have however visited the bar out of curiosity.

My initial impressions was that it wasn’t that different to an ordinary bar. Yes, it’s beautiful outside and it does have themed drinks and characters from the show plastered on the walls, but a bar is a bar. My impression of the place changed when about fifteen lads came in dressed in waistcoats and tweed caps. This made the place feel really authentic.

So, if you are a Peaky Blinders fan then I would definitely recommend visiting. Having watched the show, you may be able to see more from the experience.

Cloud 23

If you only had one day to spend in Manchester, then I would completely recommend visiting Cloud 23 for a cocktail. With a stunning view over the whole of Manchester, It is a perfect place to sit with your loved one for Valentines day. Or, if you’re looking for date ideas in Manchester in general then I would still recommend this.

Cloud 23 - Valentines Day Date

If you fancy climbing 23 floors for the view, make sure you dress up smart as there is a dress code. Also, remember that because this is a unique bar to drink in in Manchester, the drinks come with a heavy price tag. I think I paid around £12 for a cocktail that fit inside a champagne glass. Oh well, seeing sunset over the city makes it all worth it.

Revolucion De Cuba

With regular entertainment and 2 for 1 cocktails, Revolution De Cuba is one of my favourite bars in Manchester. Having only drank in here, I can only tell you how amazing the cocktails are. However, I have heard from many people that there is a brilliant Vegan menu. So, if you eat a plant based diet I would recommend this restaurant/bar for Valentine’s Day.

Revs De Cuba, Manchester - Date Night in Manchester

Places to Eat in Manchester

Chain Restaurants

Just like in every city, there will be plenty of chain restaurants to choose from and most of these will tend to be fair in price. These will include, but are not limited to: Bella Italia, Ask Italian, Bem Brazil, Nando’s, Chiquitos and many many more. Excluding Bem Brazil these meals tend to not be that expensive, especially if you have a discount code that you found online. However, if you are planning to use a discount code then make sure to check the terms and conditions of the voucher. Many promotions will not be valid on Valentine’s Day.

Gusto

My favourite Italian restaurant in Manchester has to be Gusto. It feels more classy than say Ask Italia and I wouldn’t say it is much more expensive. If you sign up to be a member of their dining club then you can often get up to 50% off your meal on certain days. Again check the terms and conditions as any promotions aren’t likely to be valid on Valentine’s Day.

Gusto Manchester - Valentines Day Date

Surrounded by fairy lights and candles, Gusto is one of the most romantic restaurant to dine at on Valentine’s Day.

Valentines Day 2019 in Manchester

Are you fully prepared for Valentine’s Day?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading plenty of date ideas in the Manchester area. I hope you all have an amazing Valentine’s Day. However, before you go, there is something you should know. This post was a collaboration with 13 other amazing bloggers who have been preparing advice for Valentine’s day. I strongly recommend that follow their blogs so that you can read more valentine’s day advice over the next fortnight. Below is the schedule of posts for the next two weeks, with links to the blogs so you know where to find them!


Day 2 – Deanna is writing about, Valentine’s Day Makeup & Outfit inspiration
Day 3 – Lavrax is writing about, Edible and personalised gift ideas/valentines day baking
Day 4 – Megan is writing about, Valentine’s Day Ideas for Singles
Day 5 – Macey  is writing about, The Origin story of Valentine’s Day
Day 6 – Rach is writing about, Valentine’s Day ideas for the family
Day 7 – Molly has some Valentines cupcake recipes to share with you
Day 8 – Shealea is writing about, Sapphic romances that’ll make your heart soft on Valentine’s Day
Day 9 – Kerry is recommending some Valentines gifts for travellers
Day 10 – Vicky is writing all about Mindful Date Ideas
Day 11 – Divine is writing all about, The Perks of Dating a Mood Reader
Day 12 – Soph is giving advice on, Valentines Day gifts on a budget / for students
Day 13 – Koral is writing all about, Valentines Day and Mental Health
Day 14 – Lastly, Taiwo is writing a piece on, How to enjoy Valentine’s Day alone

After a short but scenic tour of Northern Ireland this past weekend, I thought I would write a review of one of the many things I got up to. Before heading to the airport on our last day in Northern Ireland, we decided to pass through Belfast to visit the Titanic Museum which tells you everything you need to know about the building of the ship and -of course – the sinking of the ship. Visiting the Titanic Museum in Belfast was incredibly interesting and the attraction even includes the opportunity to go aboard the SS. Nomadic – the last surviving White Star Line ship which was a sister ship to Titanic. For me, I have been a huge fan of the movie Titanic for as long as I can remember and I even did a school project on the tragedy at school. So, visiting the titanic museum in Belfast was well suited for me.

Lifeboat on board the Titanic
Replica of a Lifeboat on board the Titanic
Lower Class rooms aboard the Titanic

Cost and travel

Comparing the price to visit the Titanic museum against other museums I have visited, I would say the admission price was average or slightly above average. I purchased a student ticket for £15 however for an adult ticket the price goes up to £18.50. I would not say the ticket was overpriced however, for the price I would have liked the audio guide to have been included – rather than paying an extra £3. I didn’t opt for the audio guide however I wish I had. Having someone speak to you I find is a lot more entertaining that just walking around reading signs with lots of information on them.

In terms of travelling to the Titanic museum in Belfast, I simply got in an Uber from Belfast Lanyon Place train station. This was a lot cheaper than I had thought however Belfast is a city which you can easily walk around and have a little mooch. However, this wasn’t an option for me as I was on a time constraint. I was not sure how long walking round the Titanic Museum would take so I didn’t want to risk it. As a quick and selective reader, it took me around two hours to explore both the Titanic Museum and SS Nomadic.

The History of Titanic

If you love history then you will love the Titanic Museum in Belfast, it’s as simple as that. No detail is left out including but not limited to: the engineering logistics of the ship; the industrial city of Belfast and why the ship was made in this city; the working conditions for the men; and of course, the sinking of the ship. It also has a section on the myths surrounding Titanic and whether the movies were accurate in their depictions -which I found rather entertaining. Did you know that although Jack Dawson was a figment of James Cameron’s imagination, there was actually a passenger aboard the titanic named J. Dawson who unfortunately did not survive.

Although I love history I was expecting the Titanic Museum to revolve more around the sinking of the ship and not the industrial revolution. The museum could have had less information about this stuff and more interactive sections. It has a small ride and an interactive cinema exploring the wreckage on Titanic, however I could imagine children would easily get bored here.

SS Nomadic

SS Nomadic – the last White Star Line

Overall, I found climbing on board the SS Nomadic to be slightly underwhelming. If you weren’t interested in the Titanic Museum but would love to step aboard the ship then I would not recommend paying almost £20 for it. You could just get a nice photo in front of it and see it from the outside. When you step aboard the ship, it is empty and you can not go downstairs to where the men would shovel coal into furnaces. Perhaps this is due to health and safety but there is nothing interactive on the ship. Also, the information you are given by the tour guide on the ship is limited. He/she essentially tells you that the different patterned floor is allocated to different classes and that it was used during ww1.

Where Titanic was built
The huge space where Titanic was built.

Overall thoughts

If you are visiting Belfast then the Titanic Museum is something you should go check out if you are even slightly curious about the history behind the ship. It is an integral part of the history of Belfast. However in terms of how entertaining the Titanic Museum is compared to other Museums I’ve visited, I wouldn’t rank it. Perhaps this is because I didn’t pay extra for the audio tour? If I was a child I would quickly be bored and so there could be a lot more interactive activities about boats and ships in general to occupy children.

If you would like to read more travel related reviews from me, be sure to subscribe to my blog for updates on my new content. There will be more content about my tour of Northern Ireland very soon!

 

Nan and her maid

Welcome back to my new series, “This one time…” If you are new to the series then you can read the first episode here, which is all about the most embarrassing moment of my life that took place at Yosemite National Park, California. In this series, I hope to write as many comical and/or inspirational travel stories as I can. If you are interested in me writing up one of your stories then please, be sure to contact me and I can give you further details on the plans I have for this series.

Today’s story is inspired by my amazing and inspirational nan who – when she was just nineteen – travelled all the way from rainy England to the other side of the world with her husband. She stayed for two years because her husband was in the army and in that time it sounds like she was living the dream. Swimming in the morning and the beach in the afternoon – what more could you ask for?

Back in the day, it was custom that once you had found your man and got married than a baby would usually follow. Pamela was 19 years old living in Paradise, what a better time to ask for a baby? Living in army quarters she had an amazing housewife who took care of everything. The heat was unbearable for an English girl living in George Town and so Pam spent the majority of her time swimming and taking trips to the beach.

The other side of the world from her family, she soon began to become friendly with the maid, whom everyone called Nora although Pam suspect that was an English name they assigned her. Unfortunately, this friendship was challenging due to the fact that Nora’s English was limited and English was the only language that Pam spoke. Pam tried to show her gratitude by attempting to help her with the housework but she was pulled away all too often.

One of the unique quirky behaviours that the maid adopted was that every day she would always hand Pam a banana to eat throughout the day. When this first happened she was amazed at just how tiny the fruit was, they didn’t get them like that back in England. She thought nothing of it, perhaps it was what was grown out here.

In 1966 England won the football World Cup for the first time. It was a joyous occasion and all the Brits living out in Malaysia were over the moon. Everyone had a spring in their step. Not long after this triumph Pam happened to grab her neighbour who spoke both languages to ask her maid why the bananas were so small. It turns out it is an old wives tale for the locals that eating a tiny banana a day will help a woman fall pregnant.

Pam laughed at this and found it the sweetest of gestures. Of course, she was in no rush to have a baby but she was happy regardless. From then on, every time the maid would hand Pam a banana she would express that it was for the baby, usually by rubbing her tummy and articulating ‘baby’.

With no success, Pam left the Borneo jungle with only her husband. She came back to living a life full of housework and little money. Being back in England wasn’t quite the two year holiday like it was in Penang. It was just then, when she was drowning underneath a pile of laundry, that she discovered she was expecting.

“I guess the banana’s worked after all”, she smiled.

My beautiful Nan

 

 

As I approach the end of university, I am surprised as to how I have managed to see the final days of my degree. For some people university is the best years of their life, but for others it can be soul-destroying. I sit firmly in between the two. So, I thought I’d give my top advice on how to survive university. Some of my advice may sound like the most obvious thing you’ve read today, but believe me, when you’re thousands of words behind on an assignment it can be easy to loose sight of the simple ideas.

Gain Perspective

My first piece of advice, to anyone who is wondering how anyone ever survived this nightmare of a degree before you, is to gain perspective. If you fail your degree, get a third, or drop out – you will still have air in your lungs and a life to be lived. I know university can be stressful and everyone wants to do well, however I find that having the perspective that you don’t have to have a degree makes it suddenly less stressful. It’s easy for me to say I guess, I was the first person out of family to attend university and so I’ve never had any academic pressure from my family. But, I do know that if you do have a family that expect you to get a first, there can be a lot of pressure put on you. Just remember that it’s your life – not theirs and being proud of yourself is the only thing that matters anyway.

Most of the time, when I’ve done bad on an assignment, I can almost always put it down to overthinking and stressing before the deadline. This just proves that stressing about something is pretty pointless. I read a quote the other day and it said that if you stress about something you essentially go through it twice. This enlightened me and from now on, I’m going to try and live by this. Although I always find it difficult to follow my own advice.

Get involved

I’m a strong believer that you only get one life and so there is absolutely no point in sitting around doing nothing. Yes, university is hard work. But – if we’re being honest at times it’s not that time consuming and so you can get up and do something productive. Volunteering? Part-time job? Gym? A benefit to all of this is that it will make you stand out on your C.V. after university. There are plenty of people who have a degree, but even less who have a degree and ran a society, for example.

In my experience, I also find that having a job has helped me with my studies. Before, I would procrastinate so much because I was worried about the assignment. Now, I have no time to procrastinate and it just makes me get on with it. I’m also earning money too, which is never a bad thing.

Just do it and worry later

If you’re like me, and you’re a complete stress head who will defend their procrastinating until the day they die, you may struggle the most with starting the essay you’ve been dreading. Once I have a flow of words going on a page I tend to just get on with it, however I always worry that It will not be perfect and so I delay starting the work. Sound like you? The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to just get anything onto the page – even if it’s just a few words. You can always come back to editing it later!

Another thing to remember is that just because you are a poor university student, it doesn’t mean you should put a pause on your personal life. If there’s a big party coming up and you’re worried about getting your work done, just go to the party and worry later. Chances are you would only be procrastinating doing the work anyway. Honestly, when you’re old and you’re looking back on your life I think you’d much prefer having memories than a first class degree.

Anyway, that’s just my advice. I’ve never been the perfect student and so I’ve always struggled. Now, I just do what I can to get by and thats all what matters to me now – seeing the end of it. But if you are struggling with university and it’s all getting a bit too much or you, please contact someone. I did, and it did me the world of good. Contact your university counselling service, your academic advisor or (if you’re in the U.K.) contact the Samaritans. From my own experience, they are brilliant at making me feel a lot better in myself!

 

 

Hello, and welcome to my first ever blogging series called, “This one time”. In this series, I plan to write a collection of posts full of different travel related stories. I promise you these will all be real accounts of my adventures, however, what I can not promise you is that they will be published once a week. It’s me. As extremely sarcastic and annoying I am, I do not hold the talent of being organised, and so, this time next week I’ll probably be munching away at some popcorn at the cinema forgetting I had even starting this series. I promise you I’m a good blogger sometimes.

Anyway, this weeks story is all about this one time I was at Yosemite National Park and I had a close encounter with a bear. That’s right, a bear! My inner Bear Grylls was summoned and if you would like to find out just how much I embarrassed myself then read on…