Manchester City FC Stadium Tour Staff Review

 

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As a Liverpool fan, a trip to Manchester is usually filled with hope and expectation. The trip back – full of disappointment and what might have been. That, of course, is if you’re heading to the red half of Manchester. So when I was invited to the blue half by our partners at the Etihad stadium, I had no such reservations. My enemy’s enemy and all that.

The overwhelming first impression upon approach is that the Etihad is more of a small town than a stadium; it’s a seriously impressive complex. Originally constructed as part of the 2002 commonwealth games bid, the Sportcity complex itself houses the football stadium, Manchester Velodrome, the National Squash Centre and the National BMX arena.

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We met in the City Store surrounded by City souvenirs and merchandise; sky blue everywhere. The check in process (first floor, upstairs) was easy and the staff were all very helpful and happy. If it was an act it was a convincing one as everyone seemed genuinely happy to be part of the club! Our guide soon arrived and took a quick register confirming that everyone was in attendance; we then headed back out into the biting Manchester air and headed across to the stadium.

Our guide first introduced himself and quickly asked each member of the group where they had come from and any reasons behind the visit. The group included tourists from Australia, Dubai and Ireland as well as some more local fans. Conscious of the temperature our guide quickly ushered us into the main entrance and upstairs to the opulent Chairman’s Club.Manchester City Stadium Tour 3

The Chairman’s club is THE place to watch a game if money is no object. It’s here that the players and directors meet after games to unwind. Continuing the theme of City being a fan-centric club, the new owners tore down barriers inside the suite to make sure that paying fans mingle with the directors of both clubs.

Heading out into the stands via the Chairman’s Club private exit, you’re greeted with the best view in the stadium. Right on the half way line, high in the stand with heated seats – this is the way to watch a game of football if you can afford it.

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We headed back inside and wound our way down through the innards of the stadium past the Mica Richards Youth Development wall (a permanent pictorial fixture showing his progress from youth academy to Premier League winner) and into the press area to take part in a simulated press conference in front of the sponsors boards, just like on match day. Here we learnt about the hierarchy of the various media outlets as well as some of the more bizarre sponsors demands on Champions League nights (no non sponsor logos are allowed anywhere – including the brand name on the TV sets on the wall).

On to the dressing rooms, away team first. Away changing rooms tend to be designed to give subtle (or not so subtle – http://bit.ly/20viNRN ) advantages to the home team. No such obvious signs in this away dressing room, everything seems to be functional with plenty of room for the opponents to prepare. The only distinct ploy, or the only one admitted, is that the changing rooms sit right underneath the loudest section of the home fans – the constant chants to remind them exactly where they are.

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Onwards to the home dressing room, past a room dedicated to the 2011-2012 title winning season, complete with a replica Premier League trophy.  Instead of hard wooden benches, there is soft car racing seats for each player. A tactics board with video to allow half time reviews of key incidents, first class medical facilities and lots of sky blue make the home dressing room a much more comfortable place to be. Individual lockers also help protect the players’ valuables from Mario Balotelli (apparently there was no need before the enigmatic Italian arrived).

The tour finale arrives as we took the players route from dressing room through the tunnel and out onto the pitch. Or, at least to pitch-side, since the turf is protected like hallowed ground before match days. A final reminder of the fan focused message of the team sees fan names line the sides of the tunnel to inspire the team.

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The Manchester City tour of the Etihad is a must for any Sky Blue fan, or for football fans in general. It’s a great insight into the inner workings of a football club and stadium. The tour itself is just about the right length to keep it interesting and our guide made it all the more entertaining.

You can also give an extra special tour to your loved ones, with an extra special guide! Check out our Manchester City Stadium Legend Tour for the ultimate Manchester City Stadium Tour experience.

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London Bridge Food Tour Staff Review

London Bridge Food Tour 1

When it comes to exploring the various culinary delights the UK has to offer, a Food Tour of London Bridge is a great way to discover the best food on offer, as well as enjoy the surrounding London landmarks.

A few weeks ago, we were lucky enough to take part in the guided food tour of London Bridge! It was a fantastic experience where we had fun picking up a wealth of local foodie knowledge, learning about traditional dining customs and testing the latest gastronomic trends that London offers. We feasted on a huge selection of traditional British foods, from Cumberland sausages, battered fish and chips and various cheeses to lovely cakes, desserts and the humble doughnut. Tours are run for small numbers of participants, ensuring everyone receives a friendly and personal experience.

My tour, and I call it my tour as our guide, Raj, really went that extra mile to make the tour feel personal and ensure I had the best experience possible! He made a point to explain each of the foods on offer and the culture and history behind them, making our experience extremely enjoyable and educational. The tour itself lasted for about 3 hours, during which we made a total of eight tasting stops.

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The first guided stop of the day was to the vast and diverse Borough Market. During our time here, we learnt about the history of London’s most renowned food market, whilst also devouring our first food of the day – a delicious original recipe, Cumberland sausage.

We then progressed further into Borough Market where we spent around about 20 minutes wandering through the array of food stalls, sampling the different foods on offer and purchasing gifts.

One of the highlights for me during our visit was the chance to indulge in various flavours of English fudge. My personal favourite had to be the peanut butter rocky road made with milk chocolate fudge!

For me, a firm second ‘must try’ on the London Bridge Food Tour is the “fish!Kitchen<”. They produce the best fish and chips in town by using only fresh fish and triple cooking their chips.

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After visiting Borough Market, the next part of the tour was spent viewing the impressive Shard. Raj was full of interesting facts about the the tallest building in the European Union, including it’s design faults and how these issues had been resolved. Following this, we were given the chance to visit Southwark Cathedral. Here, we viewed the Cathedral’s stunning architecture and learnt about it’s history. We learnt of Doorkins, a cat who has made the cathedral his home and has become a bit of a celebrity and myth amongst the locals. We were even lucky enough to actually spot him roaming around during our visit!

The tour then continued on to a historic pub situated by London Bridge. Here, we tried the best of British cheeses served with grapes, fig cake, chutney and crackers. To wash down the cheeses, we sampled a real London ale and a cider (non-alcoholic options were available).

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We then moved on to Hay’s Galleria where we were given the much anticipated ‘Secret Dish’. So as not to spoil the secret I won’t give much information away here – other than that it was delicious! We were then taken to view the world famous London Bridge and Tower Bridge.  Here we could see and appreciate the London city skyline with views of “The Gherkin”, “The Walkie Talkie” and “The Cheese Grater” – all iconic buildings in the London skyline.

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For the last part of the London Bridge Food Tour, we enjoyed a quintessentially British dish, a traditional cream tea. This rounded off the whole experience wonderfully!

This is a fantastic sightseeing experience, perfect for any lover of food. It’s a great way to explore the London Bridge area and witness all the famous sights, whilst indulging in a huge variety of delicious treats. Purchase a gift voucher here.

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Expert Interview with The Spice Angel

 

Indian Cookery Class in Surrey 1

This week we’ve  been incredibly lucky to speak with Rani Pathare, owner of awesome cookery school; The Spice Angel. Rani appeared on Master Chef in 2014, making it to the quarter finals by showing off her authentic Indian cookery. And now you can learn to cook like Rani by taking a class at her cookery school in Surrey! Have a read to find out more about Rani’s story.

Please could you tell us a bit about the history of The Spice Angel and why you started offering these cookery classes?

TheSpice Angel cookery classes were founded in the summer of 2014. I was a Subject Librarian with a teaching background and had always enjoyed teaching. I’d been wanting to launch the cookery classes for a long time.

Taking part in MasterChef 2014 and being a quarter-finalist gave me the confidence to finally make my dream into a reality. My father was a fantastic cook, The Spice Angel is a tribute to him and the wonderful way he instilled a love of cooking and using fresh ingredients.

What encouraged your passion for Indian cookery?

I was born and raised in Mumbai; the spice capital of India! I come from a foodie family where food was always prepared from scratch every day. I have cooked all my life, having learned a great deal about food from my parents. I love to cook and feed people. It gives me tremendous joy to see people appreciate the real flavours of Indian cooking.

My approach to food was to create simple, nutritious and delicious recipes. Real Indian cooking is not over spiced and greasy like found in most restaurants. I wanted to show people how to create healthy and rightly spiced curries at your home, so I thought of spreading the curry love by the way of The Spice Angel.

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What would you say is the best thing about the experiences you offer?

The students have an added benefit of having a private teacher just for themselves. Our prices are also better value for money than other independent cookery classes.  I cater for all dietary experiences and the students are made to feel at ease instantly. It is as much about learning to cook authentic Indian food as much as having fun and laughter at the same time. They leave my classes with a feeling of accomplishment and a new found confidence in cooking great tasting Indian food.

What makes your cooking experiences different to others?

The class size is limited to only two. I personally provide the tuition, so the participants have plenty of time to ask questions, unlike other classes. We taste the food as we go along and at the end participants take some for their family and friends to try.  They get the opportunity to have a personalised experience unlike other cookery classes where there are confined workspaces with too many participants, which might make the experience less enjoyable. It is often difficult to ask questions in a group situation due to time restraints and fewer allocated staff, but this is not the case with my classes.

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Are the experiences suitable for everyone?

Yes, I take meticulous care in designing the classes for all levels. Once a booking confirmation is received, I then send a booking form to complete, which allows me to understand the level of knowledge and expectations. Accordingly, I then create the class as per their requirements.

Have you got any new exciting news to share with us?

I am constantly devising ways to improve my classes so that the participants will get 100% enjoyment and satisfaction. Due to popular demand, I will be creating some more Indian street food and classic dessert classes soon.

Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to add?

If you are a lover of Indian food wanting to learn the traditional cooking techniques, then look no further and learn a skill for life. The Spice Angel will let you accomplish your dream of creating a restaurant style, healthy curry in the comfort of your own home. Our classes are perfect as a special occasion or Christmas gift for your spice lover friends and relatives.

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us Rani! Your cookery classes sound fantastic. What a great skill to learn.

Buy a gift voucher for one of Rani’s cookery classes buy following the links below:

Exclusive Indian Cooking Class Surrey

Introduction to Curry Cooking Surrey

Restaurant Style Indian Cooking Class Surrey

Vegetarian Curry Class Surrey

Vegetarian Indian Street Food Class Surrey

 

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London Bridge Ghost Tour Staff Review

London Bridge Ghost Tour 1

London hides many a dark secret and gruesome tale in its winding streets. With the rich history that surrounds the capital, it’s no surprise that tales and rumours of the undead and ghostly spectres are frequently whispered amongst the locals…

On a dark and stormy Saturday night not so long ago, we were very excited to be given the opportunity to take part in a ghost tour of London Bridge, and check out some of these ghostly stories ourselves!

After arriving at London Bridge station and taking in the spectacular views of the Shard that dominate the skyline, we met Jennifer, our host for the evening. Jennifer gave us and the rest of the group a brief introduction to the tour. She spoke of the rather unsavoury history of London Bridge, giving us some ideas as to why it is known for supernatural occurrences.

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We then set off on our ghostly adventure. First stop was London Bridge itself! Jennifer explained how in medieval times, the bridge was a bustling, traffic ridden structure that acted as the only crossing over the Thames for the whole city of London. And… how it was made of wood. Inevitably, fire broke out in the area and crept onto the bridge, causing a huge amount of Londoners to perish, trapped in the flames or by drowning in the depths of the river. This catastrophe explains why, to this very day, locals have reported hearing ghostly screams echoing from the murky depths of the Thames below the bridge.

Suitably on edge after the first of many chilling stories of the evening, we headed into the depths of Borough Market, stopping to hear about the hauntings of Southwark Cathedral. Next came chilling tales of pirate souls sold to the Devil and of ghouls named the “Winchester Geese.” These were not, as I first thought, ghostly feathered ghouls. But, the ghosts of former ladies of the night who masked their medieval smell by carrying posies of strong smelling flowers. These spectres presence have been reported by the faint waft of lavender lingering in the air…

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Our next stop was The Anchor, a pub on the riverside that was the favourite watering hole of the sea fairing fellows that had docked in for the night. We were told tales of a ghostly canine that had saved his masters life after pirates had attempted kidnap and slavery! We popped into the pub for a quick drink and a sit down, enjoying the bubbly atmosphere of a busy London pub on a Saturday night, whilst all the time looking out for the phantom dog. Then it was time to get back to the river side and continue on our ghost trail.

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Our final stops included a burial ground, the final resting place to many a wayward soul. This was probably the most heart wrenching stop of the tour, as Jennifer explained that this gated, shared graveyard was the final resting ground of the homeless and the unidentifiable. Back in medieval London, there was no way of knowing the names of the dead, unless identified by families. So records of the homeless often just read ‘An Infant’ or ‘A Chimney Sweep’.

To show respect for these lost souls, the locals have left a beautiful, if haunting, tribute to the dead that rest here. Ribbons with the names of the deceased written upon them and other mementos were tied to the gates in memory of these nameless bodies…

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Feeling thoroughly spooked, the tour came to an end back at London Bridge. We had learnt a huge amount about the history of London Bridge and heard more than enough chilling tales and ghost stories that haunt the area. It was a fantastic way to explore London Bridge by night and a great evening activity with a difference!

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Mother’s Day Giveaway!

Zalando Mothers Day Competition

WIN one of FIVE £100 Zalando vouchers!

In honour of Mother’s Day and all the lovely Mums out there, we’ve teamed up with Zalando and have FIVE £100 gift vouchers just waiting to be given away!

To be in with a chance to win, just head to our Facebook page, give us a like, and tell us what you would most like to buy from Zalando’s awesome range of jewellery, shoes, clothes and accessories.

It really is as simple as that!

Zalando offer clothing and jewellery from top brands including Banana Republic, GAP and Whistles. Just imagine the gems you could find with £100 to spend!

The five lucky winners will be announced Monday the 7th March and the competition will close on at 7pm on Mother’s day, the 6th March. Good luck!

Terms and Conditions:

  • Minimum spend of £50
  • Voucher code is one time use only and can be redeemed on step 2 of 3 of the secure payment process.
  • If under £100 is spent the remaining amount will not be left on the Zalando account
  • For UK shop only
  • Valid until September 15, 2016

 

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Lesley Waters Cookery School Staff Review

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When it comes to cookery classes in the UK, there are few that can match the level of professionalism, dedication, and quality of the Lesley Waters Cookery School in Dorset. Rosie and I were honoured to be invited to a hands on cookery class back in January. The theme of the class would be “Cooler Than Chillies,” involving cookery with all manner of spices and fragrant herbs, making delicious dishes from around the world!

The venue was easy to find, and boasted stunning views of the countryside on either side. As we parked up Lesley was straight out the door to meet us, offering hot drinks and making us feel right at home – the first indication that this was going to be a day where our every need was catered for! Once we’d met everyone taking part in the class (five in total) and had an introduction talk from Lesley, it was off to the kitchen to start cooking.

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First order of the day was cracked black pepper and fig bread. As we were kneading and rolling the dough, Lesley and her partner Jackie talked us through the multiple benefits of black pepper, and the best ways to prepare it and cook with it. This was a recurring theme of the day; we weren’t just making food and learning the recipes, we were constantly receiving useful tips and advice on cooking with the various ingredients, so there was plenty of knowledge to go away with at the end.

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Whilst the bread was proving we whipped up a quick and easy chutney using tamarind, ale, pears and dates, then served that with ‘dirty eggs’ and ginger lemongrass tea. Dirty eggs are a Spanish dish that consists of baked potato wedges, chorizo, black pudding, cracked eggs over the top and lashings of oregano – perfect for a mid-morning brunch! We ate these with cheese and charcuterie, plus some date bread that Lesley had prepared beforehand. Even though we were pretty stuffed, we knew there was plenty more food to come, so we put our forks down and headed back to the warmth of the kitchen…

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Once we’d digested the delicious brunch, it was time to roll up our sleeves and get started on the hearty main courses. Up first was a spicy and fragrant Thai green curry with deep fried noodles and smoked chicken – utterly delicious and extremely easy to make! This was our second meal of the day, which we enjoyed with an indulgent glass of Champagne, before moving right onto the next few recipes.

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Back at the worktops we whipped up a rich coconut beef madras using a curry paste we blended ourselves, and let that cook in the oven whilst making a poussin and saffron baked rice dish. To accompany the mains we made a banana, lime and chilli relish, and an onion, orange and coriander salsa (don’t knock it ’til you try it!). The flavours and spices were so simple and easily found in any supermarket, but the recipes and the preparation techniques made it taste like Michelin-star food!

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While the main courses baked we got to work on a nutmeg and banana tarte tatin (because spices aren’t just for savoury dishes), then gathered in the dining room for meal number 3; the madras and poussin risotto. By now the fig bread had finished baking, so we had an enormous feast of beef curry, saffron rice, warm fresh bread, banana relish, orange salsa, and yoghurt, which was simply one of the best things I’d ever eaten.

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If you can believe it, there was even more food to come in the form of sticky coconut rice, grilled ginger pineapple and fresh mango, as well as the warm tarte tatin right from the oven. With a glass of wine in one hand and a fork in the other, we ploughed through the final course of delicious sweet treats. It’s a hard life!

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After a friendly chat with Lesley over coffee, we packed up the leftovers and said our sad goodbyes. But what a day it had been! We were absolutely stuffed with delicious food, but also with culinary knowledge and useful tips we can use again and again at home. I can’t recommend this class enough for people looking to improve their skills in a certain discipline, and want to do so in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. An absolute delight for any food enthusiast!

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Massive thanks to Lesley for inviting us along to enjoy this wonderful day. Check out our video review, and if you’d like to book your own course, please follow the links below:

Dorset Cookery Class

Dorset Cookery Workshop

Demonstration Day

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London Archery Lesson Staff Review

London Archery Lesson Experience 1

I’ve tried archery a few times over the last 6 months and I can definitely say it’s become one of my favourite experiences. So, when Ruscha and I were invited to try out one of our newest Archery experiences in London, I was really looking forward to an evening of bows, arrows and all-round archery fun!

We hopped on a train to London Bridge and made our way to Greenwich, just a quick and easy 10 minute train ride away. After a brief check on Google Maps and a five minute stroll along the high street, we easily found our destination – Archery Fit. As we entered through the security gate and into the foyer, we were immediately struck by how light and colourful the venue was! Lovely, inviting beanbags were dotted around the open-plan room and archery-themed paper flowers brightened every corner.

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We were greeted by the incredibly friendly receptionists and offered tea and biscuits while we waited. These sweet treats were welcomed with open arms (we were very cold after our journey through London on a chilly January evening!) and it was a lovely way to start our experience.

Shortly after (having signed the safety ‘rules and regs’ agreement), we were greeted by Roman and Kate – the founders of this awesome archery school. Roman kicked things off with an interesting talk about the history of Archery. We learnt about the different bows used in this ancient sport, including the Long Bow, the Olympic Recurve and the Compound.

Kate would be our instructor for the night. With an impressive 15 years as a pro archer, 10 years as an instructor, and Russian National Champion of 2003 award under her belt, it didn’t take us long to realise that this was probably not going to be your average archery experience!

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She informed us that we would be trying out the Olympic Recurve and the Compound Bow during the session. This was VERY exciting! Ruscha and I had only tried Archery with Olympic Recurves in the past, so to be given the chance to try these very professional looking bows was fantastic…if a little nerve-wracking!

Being taught by an archer of Kate’s standard was an incredible experience. We started off with a warm up to loosen the relevant muscles, before moving on to the Compound Bow. Kate carefully instructed us on how to hold and handle these powerful weapons. We were kitted out with all the safety equipment needed – we even had a quiver to hold our arrows, this made us feel like true Archery professionals! Then, the shooting commenced…

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The first time I released the arrow from my Compound Bow was a real shock – the sheer power of the bow was incredible and the aftershock ricocheted through my entire body, it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before! Kate was on hand throughout the whole process – from helping us to aim accurately through the sight, stand with correct posture, through to the final release. With her expert guidance, we both managed to hit the bulls-eye (well, near enough anyway!).

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We then moved onto the Olympic Recurve. Kate helped us set up and get used to holding the bow with an added stabiliser and sight. Then it was time to take aim! It’s safe to say that Ruscha and I didn’t have quite as much luck with this Bow as the Compound. These classic wooden bows were definitely a little trickier to aim! Kate assured that this was perfectly normal, as Compound Bows are specifically designed for accuracy, whilst the Olympic is more about consistency, which made us feel a little bit better about our wildly off target shots…

After an hour and a half of shooting and testing out these awesome bows and arrows, our experience came to an end. Roman and Kate answered all our questions and were the perfect archery teachers. Kate’s incredible instruction had really helped us improve, and we both achieved much more than we expected. We left feeling pretty impressed with ourselves and this incredible archery experience…and will undoubtedly be returning for round two in the not too distant future.

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Set in a state of the art, purpose-built facility, this is a great archery experience and is perfect for anyone looking to get to grips with this awesome sport. Based on your previous shooting experience and ability, your bow will be selected for you, and your tuition tailored to your needs. You can purchase an experience gift voucher here…don’t miss out!

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Expert Interview: Hiking Equipment Reviews

Expert InterviewThis week we have been catching up with Ian Cooper, a hiking instructor from one of our newest experience providers – Hiking Equipment Reviews.

Having walked and scrambled the Snowdonia region at least twice a week for the past 10 years, Ian is something of an expert and is keen to spread the word about this beloved region of Wales. Check out our interview to learn more about the range of unique guided hiking tours and mountain navigation skills workshops they have to offer.

Snowdonia Hiking SkillsHi Ian, could you explain a little about the history of Hiking Equipment Reviews as a company? Where did an interest in the industry stem from?
I started the business in 2015 after realising that there is a market for the type of things that I enjoy doing. I have been walking the hills and mountains of Snowdonia for many years, and never get tired of the place I love. I thought ‘why not give other people the opportunity to see some of the amazing sights that the place has to offer?’ I am self-employed and the owner of the company, and hope to make it the place where people will come to see what they have been missing out on.

How has the company developed?
About 6 months ago, I started being asked by friends and family if I could take them on walks and up the mountains of Snowdonia. Then they brought friends along too. I then realised that there could be a business opportunity to take people up the hills. After a bit of research, and with the help of social media, the word soon spread and I am now getting regular bookings. My family were originally from a place called Bethesda, a small town in the heart of Snowdonia, so maybe it’s in my blood!

Port Dinorwic hiking experienceWhat can customers expect from a navigation skills class or guided hike with you?
Customers can expect to leave a navigation skills class run by UK Hiking with more confidence in themselves and their map and compass abilities. They will learn how to safely move around mountainous areas using a map and compass more effectively and efficiently, reducing time spent looking at a map, and therefore giving them more time to soak up the fantastic surroundings you could find yourself in.

On a UK Hiking guided walk you can explore some of Britain’s finest wild and mountainous areas, under the watchful eye of a professional mountain leader – all of whom are qualified and first aid trained, holding public liability insurance. All safety aspects and route planning is down to the mountain leader, leaving customers free to fully embrace the day and the magical environment in which they may find themselves!

12314614_442477219276713_8200179740815865604_oWhat makes your tours unique and special for customers?
The passion our leaders have is second to none. They all have a deep desire and love for the great outdoors and they will to share their personal passion with customers – hoping to influence people’s lives. They also have a very solid knowledge of the mountainous regions of the UK and the flora and fauna which can be found on the highland areas. Most of our leaders are multi-activity instructors in a variety of sports ranging from water sports, mountain biking, bushcraft and survival living, to foraging for wild edibles. To that end, if anything of interest presents itself on one of our days, the leaders will be sure to share with and educate the group.

Nantlle - SnowdoniaWhat’s the biggest perk of your job?
Being out in the great outdoors with plentiful fresh air and witnessing some of the finest views the UK can offer. Taking people out and showing them some of the sights that we see every day. The feedback we get off the customers is also second to none. You can tell just by looking at them that they have had the most amazing time and are sometimes quite taken aback by some of the amazing views.

What’s your most frequently asked question from customers…and could you share the answer with us?
We get asked a lot of questions while out on the walks, mostly about the different mountains that can be seen. Questions such as: ‘What’s the name of that one?’ or ‘How difficult is it if we decided to go up there?’ We also get asked about the flora and fauna of the area and the geology and history of the Snowdonia.

Hiking SkillsDo you have any exclusive information you can share with us?
We are running a charity event in aid of the numerous Mountain Rescue organisations around Snowdonia, North Wales in 2016 – The Welsh 3000 for MRT. Summiting all 15 major summits over 3000ft in 24 hours. We also have Coast to Coast events running this year which is a superb long distance walk crossing the breadth of England – 192 miles in total. Events and ideas will spring up throughout the year so it is best to keep an eye on the page.

Anything else you’d like to add?
To put it all in a nutshell: we offer guided walks in some of the most beautiful parts of Wales. People sometimes can’t believe what they have on their doorstep. We find great pleasure in being able to share our knowledge and understanding of the environment.

If you’d like to book a guided hike with Ian and his team, please check out the experiences on offer, here – the opportunities are almost endless!

Thanks for taking the time to share your passion and enthusiasm with us, Ian!

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Expert Interview: Manchester City FC Stadium Tours

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This week, we’ve been lucky enough to speak with Kelly from Manchester City’s Stadium Tours! They offer the ultimate experience for any MCFC fan; a personal and fully guided tour of the Etihad Stadium. Have a read to find out more about these incredible experiences… 

Please could you tell us a bit about the history of your stadium tour experiences and how they began?

When we first moved to the Etihad Stadium (or City of Manchester Stadium as it was named previously) in 2003, we began conducting tours of the stadium for Manchester City fans who wanted to get a behind-the-scenes look at our fantastic new home.

However, as proud as we are of the stadium, we’re also incredibly proud of our history, our future plans, the work we do in the community, and our youth development. It was for this reason that we launched the Stadium & Club Tour in 2012 to provide visitors with an all-encompassing experience showcasing all aspects of the Club.

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What encouraged your passion for these tours?

Football fans want to feel a part of their Club and to feel valued. This Club is incredibly passionate about giving fans an experience that they’ll never forget. Despite our recent success on the pitch, it is important to continue the family-friendly rapport that we have always had with our supporters.

What would you say is the best thing about the experience you offer?

It’s incredibly rewarding for us that visitors of all ages, fans of every Club, and even non-football fans can have a fantastic experience with us!

Manchester City Stadium tourWhat makes your tours different to other stadium tours?

For many guests, it may be their first visit to the Etihad Stadium. So it’s vital to ensure they’re left with a positive first impression of Manchester City Football Club. Similarly, for City fans it’s equally important to make them feel a part of their Club. It’s encouraging to see all our guests leaving the stadium visibly pleased at the conclusion of their experience.

We cover all aspects of the Club on the Stadium & Club Tour. The team are successful on the pitch, but with outstanding community work and world-leading academy facilities, it’s important to focus on all aspects of the Club. We share not just our past and present with visitors, but also our future.

Our Tour Guides are also extremely personable. They provide a warm welcome, interesting facts, humour and anecdotes to ensure that all visitors leave the stadium with an experience they will never forget.

Are the stadium tours suitable for everyone?

We’re proud to say that our tour is suitable for all ages. All areas of the stadium are fully accessible for every visitor, with lift access to all points on the tour. We also have a Club wheelchair, which users may borrow for the duration of the tour.  Assistance dogs are welcome and we have an induction loop available on request.

Even if you aren’t a Manchester City supporter or a fan of football in general, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy your visit to the Etihad Stadium! With insights into the Club’s community work, youth development, seeing some significant pieces of silverware in-person in addition to an insight into hospitality, media and player areas – our Stadium & Club Tour is an all-encompassing experience for all.

Manchester City FC Stadium Tour 4

Have you got any new exciting news to share with us?

The recent growth of the Club has been extraordinary, and the City Football Academy is a facility that fans have been eager to see since it opened in 2014. There may be an opportunity to take visitors around the facility in the future, so watch this space!

Lastly, is there anything else you’d like to add?

We offer a variety of packages in addition to our Stadium & Club Tour. We also offer visitors the opportunity to experience our Legends Stadium & Club Tour, involving a tour with an ex-City player, a Q&A session with the legend and a three-course meal in one of our Platinum boxes.

It’s also great to see families choosing our Stadium & Club Tour as an ideal birthday gift. We have now taken that a step further, with our new City Kids Birthday Parties. You can enhance your experience with optional extras including the presence of Club mascots Moonchester and Moonbeam, City party bags, personalised home, away or third shirt or a first team coach ride to and from the Etihad Stadium.

Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us!

Also available…

Legend Stadium Tour

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New Year Resolutions: Learn To…

So 2015 is officially over, meaning it’s time to say hello to 2016! We’re wishing you a Happy New Year from all of us at Experience Days HQ.
Now we know how gloomy January can be with the awful weather and Christmas being over way too soon – but never fear, we are here with some unique and fun ways to liven up your year with some adventurous new hobbies to try. We know many of you have probably made similar New Year resolutions such as losing weight, keeping fit or even experiencing new things. Well, you can make those New Year resolutions a reality with this list of exciting experiences to try this year! Read on for our ‘learn-to’ guide for 2016.

Cook
If you’re looking to try a new hobby, you could learn a new culinary skill by taking part in a Cookery Class in Hampshire. You can choose from a wide range of classes and cuisines to brush up on your current culinary aids or learn whole new ones! You will have a chance to watch demonstrations, taste dishes and practise techniques. You will gain so much insight into your chosen cuisine, this class will leave you feeling like the next Jamie Oliver!

Hampshire Cooking Lesson

Brew your own beer
Try something totally unique with the Brew Your Own Beer Experience. This experience will give you the chance to learn all there is to know about brewing your own traditional ales, including all the techniques used to perfect your homemade artisan beer, such as sparging, mashing and boiling. This is a great experience for those of you that wish to try out a new skill and face a challenge. You will also be able to use these new techniques and skills at home for your friends or family to enjoy!

Brew your own beer experience

Ski
Is 2016 the year to try something new or step out of your comfort zone? If it is then why not try skiing? If you’ve been dreaming of that cosy ski holiday but don’t have the ski experience, this Fast Track Ski Experience is the perfect thing to get you prepared for a possible holiday on the slopes this year. This experience will give you expert tuition on real snow and a variety of slopes to ensure you are prepared for those challenging outdoor terrains.

Skiing Lesson

Ride a Horse
Horse riding is the perfect experience for those of you that would like a fun and adventurous hobby. This Horse Riding Beginner Lesson is just the thing to get you started in this wonderful outdoor adventure activity. This beginner’s lesson will teach you not only techniques when riding the horse, but also the grooming and tacking of these beautiful animals. This experience will even let you practise on a state of the art mechanical horse before moving on to the real thing! Horse riding is a great way to keep fit whilst trying something new – perfect New Year motivations!

Horse riding lesson in Hampshire

Scuba Dive
Have a holiday booked for summer ’16 already? Then try scuba diving for a kick start at water sports before your annual summer holiday. This Scuba Diving Lesson for Two gives you a chance to learn the techniques including hand signals and maintaining your equipment under water whilst feeling ultimate weightlessness. Scuba diving is one of the ultimate adventure sports out there so who wouldn’t want to give it a go?!

Scuba Diving Lesson

Practise Yoga
Try out the latest yoga craze with an Anti-Gravity Yoga Class in London. This novel exercise focuses on stretching, strengthening and relaxing. By using the material to help you balance and practise a variety of different moves, you will be working all different parts of your body, especially those abs! This is a great opportunity to get you started in a fun and unique style of exercising. It is also great for socialising so bring a friend along as well. Who knows, by the end of 2016, you could be a fully-fledged yoga professional!

Anti Gravity Yoga Class in London

Eat Fire
If you’re not one for intense exercise or adrenaline sports but still want to try your hand at something unique and challenging, then try this Fire Eating Lesson in London. This is a great experience for fun-loving individuals with a sense of adventure. Taking part in this lesson will not only allow you to experience something truly unique, you will feel the magic and mystery behind Fakir and fire manipulation.

Fire Eating in London

These are just a few ideas of some adventurous new challenges you can take on this year, but there are plenty more online that might tickle your fancy! Take a look at hundreds more exciting thrills that we offer here.

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