Sent by Amy Bosley
Berkshire 11/15/2021 4:19:00 PM
Based in Hermitage
Hello, I’m Sally an Independent Travel professional based in Hermitage, West Berkshire. Thank you for taking the time to visit my web page.
I offer a personalised service where I take the time to get to know you, your likes and dislikes, dreams and aspirations enabling me to create experiences perfectly tailored to you, and memories you will keep forever.
Having a trusted travel professional to be with you every step of the way, is now more than ever the most reassuring way to travel. My expertise comes from over 25 years within the travel industry working on the high street within both well-known and independent travel agents. I have and continue to travel extensively myself, whilst having created a vast range of travel experiences with excellent customer service provided always.
Whether you’re a solo traveller, couple, family or group. You may be considering anything from a beach to a city break, multi centre itinerary, adventure or luxury escape – I would love to discuss your travel requirements, we can plan in a time that suits you and begin a travel journey where you have a trusted travel professional with you at every corner, no matter what is thrown at us.
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My own passion to travel, allows me to share first-hand experiences, travel update, news and offers with you. I share many of these through my travel diaries which you can find if you follow me on both Facebook or Instagram or you can read my Personal Travel Blogs here.
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Now that’s enough about me!
Please get in touch if you need some help with your travel plans.
I very much look forward to hearing from you!
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
21 February 2021
What an amazing experience this was! This 5-day taster of a luxurious, unique and intimate way to travel was incredible. The places we visited, the beautiful scenery and the onboard experience has me promising myself a return to the river. Even though I class myself as a very open-minded traveller (being a travel professional and all that jazz!), river cruising did surprise me. I hadn't fully appreciated the variety of destinations and off-board experiences available, plus the high standards and excellent value for money this offered. But because I had my perceptions turned, I thought I would share with you my experience. Whilst this is one of the most popular river itineraries, there are many other options you can book, including France and Portugal as well as those in Egypt, Russia, Vietnam and Cambodia. There are lots of choices so do get in touch if you fancy a chat. Places we visited: Travelling in early October, we joined the ship at Rudesheim, one of Germany’s most revered cultural and historic cities. The ship was docked within walking distance of the centre, and after being shown to our cabin, we were offered a choice of excursions, including independent options. Whilst staying onboard for a wine tasting experience was very appealing, we chose to take the “Gondola” cable car ride to the Germania monument. Gliding above vineyards, it was a pretty grey day; yet we still managed to get a great view of the Rhine below, and the adventure that awaited. We sailed to Miltenberg that night passing Frankfurt during the late evening hours and arrived at Miltenberg around midday. We were on the Main River, also known as the “Crawling Snake”, smaller and cosier than the Rhine. Waving to a family walking along the river, going through locks (a much-upscaled version and luxurious vessel than that of my childhood canal boat lock experiences) and the slower pace of life really hit home. It was such a magical way to reach these towns and cities, not from a road but from the water, through stunning scenery and in such a relaxed style. Miltenberg, “The Pearl on the Main” really is a picture book town and probably one of my favourites. We chose the walk along a 2000-year-old Roman Path through the forest with vineyard views up to Miltenberg castle, overlooking beautiful views. We arrived at our next stop Wurzburg, the capital of “Wine Franconia” the following morning. Surrounded by vine-clad slopes and church steeples, we could either have taken a visit to the palace, visited a local farm or taken a scenic one hour drive to Rothenburg medieval walled city. We chose the latter and it did not disappoint! A gorgeous, cobbled city and the highlight here was most definitely the Christmas shop – a must if you are ever in the vicinity. We cruised the last stretch of the River Main and entered the Main Danube canal. Bamberg a “UNESCO world heritage town”, and Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second-largest city. Both fantastic for history lovers, foodies and of course like all of Germany, many fantastic beer delights to sample. After this the treats of the Danube with Vienna and Budapest still awaited! What was the onboard experience like? We stayed in a beautiful cabin, with both a French and outside balcony. I would highly recommend this option for the panoramic views and fresh air. This ship offered a walking track for outside space with plenty of comfy seating and a heated swimming pool on the sun deck. We travelled in October, so the sun deck seating area was well-equipped with warm blankets as well. Everything was so well thought of and you could ensure that you made full use of the outside areas, soaking up the stunning surroundings and uninterrupted views. It was incredibly peaceful and relaxing. Top tip: There are times when going through locks where the sun deck is all collapsed down, and access to the outside of the ship is restricted, but from the onboard lounges or comfort of your cabin you can still take in the lock experience! And not forgetting – the ship was equipped with its own fleet of onboard bicycles. These can be used on your own or on one of the many guided bike tours at each itinerary stop. There was a fitness room and massage/hair salon also available onboard, with other ships offering onboard cinemas. The Entertainment: Lock hoppers! What are these I hear you ask? The entertainment varies onboard depending on the River Cruise operator: we experienced glass blowing demonstrations, wine-tasting experiences, musical interludes from the onboard musician, and even guest singers. Some of these guests hop on at one lock and hop off at a lock further down the river, hence the name, “Lock Hoppers”. Timing is crucial, as we discovered when we kept one lady guest singer chatting too long, and she had to disappear quite quickly when the crew needed her to hop off! The food: Whichever luxury river cruise ship you experience, the cuisine is exceptional with locally sourced ingredients and specialities, paired with local wines for lunch and dinner. Most offer an all-inclusive option with all meals and drinks included or have the option of adding a drinks package. As you can tell, I loved my experience. Not only would this kind of experience be great for solo travellers and couples, but I would also highly recommend this for groups of friends looking for a boutique-style hotel as well. Whether you are a younger age group or travelling as a family, there are various options that you can tailor your itinerary to and have a truly amazing experience.
06 October 2019
As a child myself, I spent holidays in Cornwall, Wales, the Lake District and Scotland, with great memories. Now as a parent myself over the years we have done many of our own UK family holidays, however never got as far as the Lake District, so I really wanted to make sure that my own children, (aged 14 and 9 years old) had the opportunity to experience more of the beautiful country we live in. The appreciation of what we have on our doorstep is so important (bearing in mind I want to show them the world!) So, with a desire for open space, fresh air, activity and great walks with our dog, off we went for our family holiday in August this year. We stayed directly on Lake Windermere in a 2 bedroom pet-friendly lodge with the added bonus of our own hot tub! You can sit in a hot tub, whatever the weather, and even going in August we were under no illusion of guaranteed sunshine, although we were very lucky and most of the week was beautiful sunshine! We were located directly on Lake Windermere between Troutbeck and Ambleside, very close to the Brockhole Visitor Centre. We had access to onsite facilities such as an indoor pool, restaurant, bar and small shop. This was a great base for a family, the short walk to Brockhole Visitor Centre was excellent and offered an array of things to do, great to keep those little people active or in our case (not so little anymore). Brockhole House with its gardens are set in a beautiful location, offering a Treetop Trek, Treetop Nets, Archery, Adventure Playground, Woodland walks and much more. On the edge of the Lake you can pick up Windermere Lake Cruises and further around the lake we tested out the water sports. Kayaking off into the lake was a great adventure, getting each other very wet and getting excited when a larger boat passed as it created some waves to master – very funny memories made! Top tip: the roads can get very busy around the Lakes in peak season so do allow plenty of time. We visited Ullswater Lake, not only a stunning drive up and over Kingstone Pass to reach here but some great spots on this lake to take a swim, both kids and the dog loved it! Ambleside (about 10 mins ways from us) and Grasmere (about 20 mins) are both lovely, great for a wider choice of shops, cafes, restaurants. Definitely pay a visit to Baldry’s Tearooms in Grasmere, the best Lemon Meringue Pie we have ever had! Bowness and Ambleside both offer boat hire, we hired our boat for a few hours from Bowness. Another great day, armed with a pack lunch, lifejackets and a small crazy dog who now loved water and swimming (We managed to keep him in the boat!) we explored and checked out beautiful scenery, not forgetting stunning properties located along the edge of the lake, very relaxing and interesting. Not happy with all these water activities, we also managed to go horse riding and take in some great walks with the dog. With our last day spent on the other side of the lake, east of Coniston Water in Grizedale forest, here we all completed the Go Ape Treetop Challenge – a few wobbly, high up and hilarious moments, great fun though and more family memories made! We truly only scratched the surface of this stunning part of the country. With something to suit everyone, from families with children of all ages to adults travelling solo, couples or groups, and things to do no matter how fit or unfit you are! You can experience all the scenery and activities from whichever kind of base you prefer, whether it be a self-catering lodge, cottage, B&B, luxury hotel, there is so much choice. Also lots that are dog friendly too. In fact, even though you'd expect it to be a dog friendly area, I was nicely surprised to see how much accommodation advertised this and the number of cafes, shops etc that love to accommodate both you and your four-legged furry friend should you have one with you! So, whether this is a short break, your main holiday or a stop on route somewhere else, please get in touch to find out more and let me help you plan your experience of the Lakes – we will most definitely be going back again!
28 January 2021
For any of you who follow me on my social media, you know how much I love talking about not just future destinations I’m hoping to visit but also places I’ve been to. In this part of my Travel Diaries, we are going to the “Pearl in the Adriatic” - Dubrovnik. I’ve been to Dubrovnik a couple of times, and this blog is about my second visit but I must admit, I cannot wait to go back! My first experience of this gorgeous city was when we stopped here on a family cruise holiday, taking in parts of the stunning eastern Mediterranean. For our cruise, we departed from Venice and discovered the delights of Santorini, Athens, Dubrovnik and Split, followed by an extended stay in Venice. Dubrovnik and Split were absolutely beautiful. Having never visited Croatia before, they stood out to us and put Croatia high up as somewhere we would love to spend more time exploring. One of the great advantages of a cruise is that you get to sample more than one place and a brilliant way to plan future travels. Well, we did revisit Croatia, choosing Dubrovnik for an adult-only weekend away with friends, in the summer month of June. Where to stay This really does depend on the kind of experience you would like to have, whether you are looking for somewhere in the heart of the old town, or outside of the old walls, where you can relax without the crowds. Travelling as two couples, the focus was on being somewhere where we could easily access the old town of Dubrovnik by a short taxi ride or walk, be located somewhere more peaceful with the option to relax (and really enjoy having no children around!), whether by the pool or with a drink over an evening meal. We chose to stay on the Lapad peninsula, just a 10-15 minute taxi ride away and wow what a stunning location it was! The beautiful 5* luxury boutique Hotel More was perfect, with its own pool, a buffet and an a la carte restaurant, and not to be missed - the unique natural cave bar it is well known for. If you were looking to stay here, I would opt for the Seaview rooms here. The view first thing in the morning was simply stunning and so relaxing. Where to go and what to do in Dubrovnik The Old Town of Dubrovnik: For Game of Thrones’ fans, this is a sight to behold. But it is not essential to be one! You will see lots of references to it, as clearly it is one of the reasons for an increase in popularity. But the beauty lies in its paved streets, discovering the side streets, taking a look at the harbour, discovering hidden churches and walking in and out of shops. You absolutely must take in the view from the old city walls, looking over the Terracotta roofs. Stop off for a drink or bite to eat in many of the small restaurants in the main central streets, or find somewhere a little more unique. I will share a unique, no frills spot worth visiting further on in the blog... We had a fantastic time visiting Old Town, properly this time and at our own pace, without unwilling children or the lack of time during our cruise. So, this time we took the opportunity and walked the walls. A prime opportunity and might seem a little daunting in the heat but trust me, it is well worth it! Sea kayaking: Now to really appreciate this walled city, my best tip would be to try and view it from as many angles as you can. We arranged a sea kayaking trip that took us literally from the walls of the old fortress and off out to sea and around the island of Lokrum. With regular stops, and one longer stop for a spot of swimming or snorkelling in the Adriatic Sea, looking back at the fortress walls is a must for anyone that likes to be a little more active. Cable Car & Buggy Safari - A view from above: Whilst it is possible to hike up Mount Srd, this was not an option we chose, the plan was to take the cable car, much faster and you get to look out the windows at the amazing view the whole time. Our experience was slightly different, in that when we got to the top and a bit of adrenaline awaited in the form of an off road buggy safari! This was great fun, a chance to race around the hills above the old town, and the views were simply stunning. Although we did have a moment dicing with some local wildlife that was determined to outrun us on the buggy!! For any history lovers and to better understand the history of Dubrovnik, pay a visit to the Museum of Croatian War of Independence, housed in the Napoleonic Imperial Fort on top of the mountain. Before leaving the top, we enjoyed lunch in the Panorama restaurant, again a beautiful spot and one I would highly recommend as the 360 degree view of Dubrovnik and the surrounding islands are a view to really soak up and enjoy. Not to be missed, beautiful Cavtat: On our last day in Dubrovnik we took a boat trip to Cavtat, a pretty nearby town which can also be reached by road. Full of restaurants and narrow little streets to explore, with a gorgeous harbour and headland you can walk around. Probably one of our slower paced days, and a great resort to stay in should you want to base yourself with no hustle and bustle. What to eat Being surrounded by the sea you can expect fresh seafood on most menus. The Dubrovnik speciality is crni rižot or black rice, which is cuttlefish risotto with black squid ink, a very rich dish with a slight mushroom flavour. Hubby sampled this and really enjoyed it! If you’re more of a meat person, then there are lots of other options, and with lots of side streets in the old town there are the smaller more authentic settings, along with the larger more central options with al fresco dining options, a great atmosphere within the buzz of the city walls. Dubrovnik is also littered with Gelaterias, which we took full advantage of on multiple occasions! And the stop I mentioned earlier for a drink with a view, try Buza Bar. Sat on the cliffs outside the town walls, a no-frills location, no facilities other than the small bar and not great if you have a fear of heights, however perfect for a sit down with a gorgeous view out to sea. Dubrovnik is an ideal getaway for solo travellers, couples and families alike. Either as a port of call on a cruise itinerary, a city break, as part of a Croatian island hopping or multi centre experience, with many sailing opportunities in this area too. If I’ve inspired you to plan a visit, do get in touch. I’ve planned so many different itineraries and am always happy to discuss and create a tailored experience that works for you.
17 December 2019
Mahe, well where do I begin? I already knew this would be an amazing experience, anyone that has ever been here, seen pictures or just spoken to someone that has been – would agree it is a truly beautiful destination. My opportunity to see if this place was for real and not just one of those places you dream of visiting, became a reality in March! We took the direct flight from Heathrow with British Airways which I would totally recommend and a route that has also helped increase the British market to the Seychelles. Great if travelling with children too, 9 hrs 30 minutes and a night flight there makes a big difference, sleep and wake up to paradise! On arrival with a private transfer that took around 40 minutes we were taken to our first hotel, one of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Constance Ephelia Resort, our home for 3 nights. Being greeted with cold flannels and a welcome drink we sat in the tranquil setting of this amazing resort, with hospitality you could not fault, making us feel truly at home in no time at all. What was the weather like, I hear you ask? The Seychelles are located south of the equator in the Indian Ocean and with its tropical climate is a great year-round destination. The hottest months are November to April, travelling here in March it was definitely very hot and humid. The cold flannels on arrival were very welcome! Make sure you pack light weight loose clothing – an absolute must! The restaurant choice here is superb, we ate on our first evening at Adam and Eve, Thai style cuisine with outstanding service, the staff here excelled themselves. For anyone with specific dietary requirements you can be assured that this is taken seriously by each chef and their teams, you will be very well catered for, something that was so great to see throughout our whole experience in the Constance resorts. Restaurants are all located outside and allow you to feel immersed in the beautiful resort and surroundings. The resort is spread between a north and south beach, taking approximately 20 minutes to walk between or you can use one of the many buggies available frequently around the resort. An absolute must is to have dinner at the Cyann restaurant on North Beach, the only supplement payable restaurant, however worth every penny. The restaurant was full when we ate here, yet the layout and ambience meant that you would never have known this, beautiful, romantic in a beautiful setting. Another evening meal was taken at Seselwa, the fish /seafood restaurant located On North Beach, for any seafood lover this was a fabulous experience with a huge choice. Did you know the USPA at the Constance Ephelia is the largest spa in the Indian ocean! Just WOW - this was the best massage I have ever had! The spa is set out in keeping with the natural surroundings and offers a sensational relaxing experience. It was approx. £100 for 45 mins and believe me worth every penny. Whilst relaxing is very easy to do in the Seychelles, you can be more active, the water sports and diving opportunities are amazing, however staying in the resort (although not run by the Constance resort) “zip lining through the treetops” was one of my most memorable experiences from this trip. The view as you walk up to the first zip line is truly stunning and the eight zip line sections that followed this did not disappoint, costing approximately £40, worth every penny! We did leave the luxury of the hotel and explore the island of Mahe, which has a population of 95000 amazingly, the largest of the Seychelles islands with the capital Victoria. Exploring this island is a must, take a camera and you will see beautiful islands such as Turtle Island, great for a trip, beach party or BBQ? Conception Island another island accessible from Mahe. Eden Island as you travel around Mahe cannot be missed, the new purpose-built luxury island with its privately-owned properties, where the rich and famous reside. It's surrounded by other natural islands that in low tide can be walked between. We stopped at the islands tea factory, amazing views from here, and if you like tea a great opportunity to purchase some “Seyte”. For a spot of history then a stop at Venns Town, the Islands first school was built here on a plantation, known as the mission. It was wonderful to understand this island’s history, only ruins are left now however the island protect this very important site. Victoria, the largest capital in the Seychelles. We took in the local market whilst here, where you can buy meat, fish, veg, and souvenirs such as clothing and other small gifts. The locals use this market for all their fresh fish, meat and vegetables. The town has everything you need with some traditional buildings here that make it very interesting to walk around. Our lunch stop in Victoria at a local restaurant named Marie Antoinette cost 400 rupees per person, approx. £20 per person. Beautiful food, a buffet type selection of fish dishes including tuna, red snapper, rice, mango salad, chicken curry and more. A beer plus 2 x sprites came to 250 rupees, around £12-£13. Next stop Praslin…find out more in my Seychelles Part 2 Blog
17 December 2019
Praslin & La Digue After three nights on Mahe we set off for Praslin, the second largest of the Seychelles. I would totally recommend island hopping in the Seychelles, it was very easy to transfer and make the short 20-minute flight to Praslin and what a remarkably beautiful place! The second largest of the Seychelles Islands. We stayed 2 nights at the Hotel Paradise Sun, a great option for those looking for a short stay option, no frills and right on the beach. With a few bars and restaurants within approximately a 10min walk along the beach too, this was a great barefoot on the beach, relaxation spot. Now if I were to pick another experience that will stay with me, it would have to be our island hop to La Digue. Renowned for its iconic picture-perfect beaches and laid-back vibe, this island has no airport, however is easily reached from both Mahe and Praslin. We transferred to the jetty on Praslin and after a 15-minute ferry stepped off onto this wonderful island. Take your snorkelling gear, hire a bike, or take an island tour depending how long you stay here for. We only had the day here, we hired bikes which was great fun, and this was enough time to soak up the atmosphere of La Digue, relax a bit on the beach and we found a great spot for a leisurely lunch, Old Pier Café, where local fish and chips with a few beers came it at about £15. Following La Digue we stayed on Praslin and moved onto another Leading Hotel of the world, The Constance Lemuria for our last few nights. From arrival at this hotel, you feel a part of the natural environment that this hotel has so lovingly captured. The beaches are stunning and protected, with a resident conservation specialist, known as “Robert the turtle man”. He has been here for 10 years and what he doesn’t know or do to protect the turtles was truly fascinating – what an amazing job to have! Along with beautiful spa facilities, water sports and amazing dining options, there is also a superb 18-hole Golf Course here. I am not a golfer; however, we had the opportunity to have a go as the sun set over the course with views out to sea and that was most definitely one of my “#Constance moments”. For those non-golfers there are three beautiful beaches to choose from, a must being Anse Georgette – I could have sat here for hours. Sadly, this amazing Indian Ocean experience had to come to an end, so with a short flight back from Praslin to Mahe, we connected to our direct BA flight home to London. Whether you visit the Seychelles as one destination, island hop or add on after visiting another destination such as a South Africa, I would love to help get this experience right for you. Whilst here I also had the opportunity to visit other hotels on Praslin, so I have much more knowledge to share, there is only so much space in a blog and so much to tell you! Thank-you for reading and if this sounds like it could be for you, please feel free to get in touch……
Berkshire 11/15/2021 4:19:00 PM
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