Suitcases at the airport

PACKING TIPS & TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

We’ve all been there. You’ve known about the holiday for months. You’ve pinned your way in to a ‘Holiday Outfits’ Pinterest board frenzy and now you’ve got to actually fit all of your inspired outfits into one suitcase. Along with the comfy denim shorts and flip-flops you’ll inevitably end up wearing once the vogue play suits and heeled sandals chafe. Oh – and did I mention – the flight leaves tomorrow at 6 am?! This scenario is me every time I travel. My most memorable instance of ‘the panic pack’ happened before one of my best friends and I travelled to the Ukraine. The night before our early morning flight, both my friend and I decided a pre-holiday tipple was in order in my London local. Needless to say, a wobbly walk home later and a hasty pack of the ‘floordrobe’ whilst under the influence, and I arrived in Kiev without one single piece of underwear. Bras, knickers – all forgotten. Now I’m not sure of your Eastern European shopping experience – but have you ever tried to underwear shop in a small Ukrainian town, 5 hours from the capital where nobody speaks English? Clearly my charades performance was misleading because four underwear sets later I returned from […]

Girls getting ready together

COUNTDOWN TO AUCKLAND

In June of 2010 I was on a high. I’d finished my degree at King’s College London, had embarked on a fantastic opportunity with Virgin Media and lived in a beautiful flat, two rows back from the Thames in Putney, London. By November of the same year the trajectory had changed. My paternal grandfather fell seriously unwell, the Virgin Media company was sold – its employees made redundant – and through a six-month break clause in the contract, I suddenly found myself with the prospect of nowhere to live. For a fleeting moment, my London bubble had burst and, much like when a normal bubble bursts, it had splattered itself over everything in the nearby vicinity. Suddenly friendships, routines – even my morning commutes – were monstrously changed and I saw an unfamiliar side of London – one of the struggle for employment and finances, combined with the exhaustion and expense of finding rented accommodation.   Would I change a thing now? Nope.   For those who believe that things happen for a reason, in the case of this series of sh*tty events, they may have briefly shaken my stability, finances and waist line (for the better) but they handsomely replaced […]

View of Wineglass Bay, Tasmania, Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania, Australia

WINEGLASS BAY

As I sit in the office on a bleak British morning, the wind and rain howling at the windows, it’s hard not to let your mind wander back to times of sunshine and summer past. All it took was a ‘Tassie tweet’ on my twitter this morning and instantly I was transported back to memories of sunshine and sea, turquoise blues and lush greens and the sweet smells of the forest mixed with the more human smells of sweat and ‘sauce sandwiches’, all of the senses engaged in a daydream. Located on the Freycinet peninsula in Tasmania – the green, heart-shaped isle off of the southern coast of Australia – Wineglass Bay is the crowning jewel in an island of unspoiled habitats and unique and visually stunning ecosystems. Unlike the mainland of Australia with its colour schema of burnt reds and yellows, Tasmania’s location means that it’s landscape seems foreign in comparison, it’s landscape a colour palette of rich greens and dark blues.     Unlike most of mainland Australia, Tasmania is often neglected by those looking for the ultimate ‘Australian experience’ and in that sense I have to agree. After working in the capital of Hobart for a year, […]

Quokka stealing crisps, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

ROTTNEST ISLAND

Having family and friends spread out across the globe as we do, we have many special places dear to the Kiwi and I. Places not even known to us yet! It’s only 4 weeks until I travel to New Zealand (first time ever – I know, bad Kiwi loving girlfriend right?!) but I know that Auckland, where the Kiwi grew up, his father still lives and now the home of my best friend, is going to be special to me. Auckland, I can’t wait to meet you! But there’s one place that cemented itself as pretty special to us quite early on…Rottnest Island. Trust me, it’s prettier than it sounds. Most people travelling to Western Australia, which is less than you think when you consider the pull of the East Coast for those budget concious travellers, will tend to stick around the popular (mainland) pulls. Perth city, Margaret River and Fremantle to name but a few.     …Far less will make it to Rottnest however. This small island located 18km west of Fremantle, is a bicycle-riding only, snake and quokka infested gem, located within a teaming and healthy section of A class reserve. For only a short ferry ride […]

Rockpool portrait Feature

CHRISTMAS, ROUND 2

The Kiwi didn’t get much of a Christmas. Whilst the day we spent together with my family was wonderful, that was all he got. One day. As I spent the rest of my festive holiday horizontal, reclined on my parents couch, draining the dregs of the chocolate selection boxes (and girl-crushing on Aidan Turner in ‘towel-gate’), he was out running around a cold, muddy field in shorts. So this weekend, one where the Kiwi isn’t working being a rare one, we decided to head up the coast to Polperro, to fashion ourselves a little post-Christmas break at my parent’s holiday cottage. For fear of repeating myself – Polperro is one of my favourite spots in winter. The cold brings out the charm of this little crooked town and if you’re brave enough to leave the warmth of your cottage for the cliffs outside, I can promise you, it’s worth every goose bump.  We drove up in the rain on the Friday but woke to the sun in the morning. January diets abandoned to the wind outside, a hearty breakfast of avocado and salmon bagels stuffed on the inside, we headed to the cliffs beyond the harbour wall. Just the ticket in […]

Polperro harbour in winter

A WINTER GUIDE TO POLPERRO

Scrolling through our previous posts and the KIK Instagram feed, it’s hard not to be aware of a dominating colour theme shared from one image to the next. The deep blues of Porthgwarra sea shots are sandwiched nicely between the golden photos of sun-bleached sand and glowing BBQ coals – the colour palette of an uncharacteristically British summer. Unfortunately, the reality in November is sadly a little more black and grey. And involves a heavier TOG duvet. Summer memories are now only accessible by scrolling through the photo albums on my phone, typically whilst I’m sandwiched between the bed sheets, one limb stuck out in the morning temperature adjustment routine, battling starting another working morning in the dark. But whilst my week days may have been shortened, the weekends have become my playground. Forgive my blasphemy, but I actually sort-of like the autumn and winter months. I know I’m not alone in a subsection of (windswept) British society who enjoy sunny crisp mornings and have a penchant for wool. The thing is, Cornwall does the colder months well. If you can let your imagination be transported to a Dickensian time of weather worn people hiding out in log fire warmed pubs, […]

Nanijizal

NANJIZAL

This weekend my parents came to stay. For some, the arrival of the generation above might bring out a cold sweat and a serious case of tidying-those-places-that-no-normal-human-being-would-ever-clean-but-your-parents-will-definitely-notice-if-you-don’t. For me however, the arrival of these two wonderful people who inspired a love of the Cornish coast in their offspring, forecasts a fantastic time of walking, exploring (and eating) and this weekend’s daughter-parent outing to Nanjizal did by no means disappoint. Even if I did have to bust out the duster. The beach of Nanjizal isn’t well known to most visitors to Cornwall. Or even to many locals in fact. The name doesn’t overpopulate the pages of any guidebooks, there is no road to the beach and, despite its beauty, the Cornish highlights reel that is the BBC Poldark series hasn’t filmed there. (Yet). Despite these things, the beach of Nanjizal has been heralded by some visitors and publications, as one of the best beaches of the Penwith Peninsula. Now, when you consider that the other competitors in this class are the famous beaches of Porthcurno, Sennen and Porthgwarra, you realise what a feat even a mere comparison to these others is. Let alone being considered superior. It is for that reason that […]

Rocky gullies in the surf, Dollar Cove, Cornwall FEATURE

GUNWALLOE: DOLLAR COVE & CHURCH COVE

Despite a foggy head and a slight loss of sensation in my limbs (a leftover from the Crantock bale push the night before), last Saturday we headed over to the intriguingly named Dollar Cove and Church Cove on the Lizard Coast. Since learning the history of this particular stretch of coastline, both the Gunwalloe coves – Dollar Cove and Church Cove – have always featured high up on our list of must-visit places. Situated on the dramatically beautiful Lizard peninsula, until now our visits had always been thwarted by the allure of the coves’ more famous neighbours, Kynance and Poldhu. By no means the ugly sister of the three, the Gunwalloe coast is comparatively less well known and lacks the guide book coverage that it’s show-time neighbours have received. What it lacks in tourist exposure however, it more than makes up for in its rich and plentiful history. In particular it’s shipwrecks.  Treasure shipwrecks.   As I parked up at the National Trust car park, the weather was perfect. A week of strong offshore winds and stormy weather was just breaking up, leaving behind a coastline battered and bruised by incoming set after incoming set of powerful, slate grey waves. As the clouds chased each […]

Crantock Bale Push

THE CRANTOCK BALE PUSH

Once a year towards the end of summer, the streets of the idyllic, thatched village of Crantock take a slight departure from their regular peaceful setting and are taken over by an evening of this: Having grown up in the West Country, I’m used to the odd welly wang, cheese-roll and other such feats of agricultural athleticism. I can’t say however, that I’ve ever pushed a 5ft round bale of hay around a village course. In the pouring rain. The Crantock bale push has been going since the early 2000’s and was started up as a fundraising attempt to raise money for a new village hall. Move forward to 2016 and the much loved annual event has now raised over £50,000 for charities close to the village’s heart. All for a good cause. That’s what I keep reminding myself when I struggle to get dressed and raise my aching arms above my head. The conversation about entering a team was broached by my friend Sammy at work a couple of weeks ago. Being one of these agricultural athlete types (record breaking Welly Wanger, Year 8, Hugh Sexey’s Middle School) I of course blindly signed up without first doing any research on […]

Beth Woolway swims through beautiful blue water at Porthgwarra, Cornwall

FISHING IN PORTHGWARRA

It’s only been a few weeks since we stumbled upon the beautiful cove of Porthgwarra on the west Cornwall coast. This sheltered little cove, with no beach at high tide and an entry road that requires both you and your car to be about 2 tonnes skinnier, soon won us over with its charm and beautiful ‘Corribbean’ waters and has since become our favourite place on the coast – even in comparison to its award winning neighbours – Porthcurno and Sennen. Back then, armed with nothing but a headache and a dire need for an English breakfast, we’d realised the area’s fishing potential but had been unable to act upon it. Today however, we came armed with kayak, rods and snorkeling kit. Now, it’s been mentioned a few times before that our vehicle, our road beast of choice, is a ’54 plate red KA. Whilst we have seen spectacular triumphs in what we have been able to get inside the car (1 washing machine + 2 humans/1 mountain bike + 2 humans/4 large rugby humans and 1 squashed driver), we now had to get an XL fishing kayak on to the roof of one. Oh – and we didn’t own […]