Guest Post: How to Spend A Healthy Day in Nottingham

Hey, I’m Yaz, a writer and budget health blogger covering everything there is to consider when living on a budget and aiming for a health-conscious lifestyle. When Zanna offered the chance to provide a write up on my own city – Nottingham – I jumped at the chance!

Nottingham isn’t just home to Robin Hood – over the years, it has developed an absolutely thriving creative arts and food scene, with everything from pop-up exhibitions and local food markets to trendy craft-beer bars popping up almost every week. The hub of the East Midlands is easily accessible from anywhere in the country, and makes for the perfect day out for health-conscious food lovers on any budget – just let me show you how…

Get Outdoors

Nottingham is just an hour from the Peak District, which is home to some of the most spectacular countryside views, walks, and scenery you’ll see anywhere in England. Catch the train to Matlock and take in the fresh air as you enjoy some of the best hikes in the country with absolutely breathtaking scenery – finished off with a thoroughly deserved refreshment in one of the many cosy country pubs nearby.

If you’d prefer to stay closer to the city centre, Nottingham’s Wollaton Park makes the perfect location for an early morning run or an afternoon stroll. Be sure to see if you can spot any of the park’s resident deer as you go!

Get Active

Nottingham may be known for it’s bars and restaurants, but it’s not without it’s gyms either. Hit up Virgin Active, which is located inside Nottingham’s old railway station – you’ll never work out in a cooler space!

If you want to mix up your workout routine, there are a huge range of activities on offer. Try out Hotpod Yoga for hot yoga in an awesome inflatable pod, get your ice skates on at the National Ice Centre, or you could even try out some indoor bouldering at the Depot Climbing Centre!

Shop

Every great day out includes a visit to the local shops, and in Nottingham you won’t be lacking for choice. Grab yourself some activewear to suit any budget with offers from TK Maxx, Sweaty Betty, as well as a host of high street shops in the Victoria Centre – the city centre is completely walkable so you won’t miss out on any of the shops nearby.

For those looking for a frugal steal, be sure to check out some of the great vintage shops in the historic Lace Market too to find many gorgeous vintage and second hands clothes for a bargain!

Sightsee

Nottingham is swamped in history, and many a day can be spent getting some fresh air happily bumbling around the city centre taking in it’s tourist attractions. You could simply wander through the Lace Market to see the impressive 19th Century industrial architecture still preserved in many of the creative pop-up cafes and vintage shops that reside there.

Alternatively, drop in on Nottingham Castle and enjoy a drink in the nearby ancient pub Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, which is actually built into the surrounding stone caves! End your day of sightseeing by popping over to the gorgeous Wollaton Hall (you might recognise it as Bruce Wayne’s mansion in The Dark Knight Rises!)

Indulge

A busy day walking around bustling city centre is perfectly offset by some of the many treats Nottingham has to offer. There are more places to eat and drink in Nottingham that you can count, but some I’d thoroughly recommend include:

  • A stop into The Nottingham Doughnut Company is an absolute must, with all kinds of delicious doughnut creations from Apple Pie flavour to Wagon Wheel – do not miss this place!
  • For a savoury treat hit up Thai street food venue Zaap for a delicious dinner surrounded by decor that’s been pulled straight from the streets of Bangkok!
  • Bar Iberico offers authentic tapas dishes for a great price and a guaranteed unforgettable meal.
  • The food at the Peacock pub is completely vegan, offering their own twist on pub classics including “fish”& chips and even a vegan saveloy!

Hit the Town

We all know the key to a healthy lifestyle is balance, and when you’re in the City that boasts more pubs and bars per square mile than any other European city, it would be rude not to experience the local delights, wouldn’t it?

Try a craft beer at the trendy Six Barrel Drafthouse, or if a cheeky cocktail is more your thing, Tilt is one of most popular bars in the City, offering classic cocktails and jazz music every night.

No matter what your budget, tastes and interests are, Nottingham provides an array of things on offer to any health & fitness lover. I hope you found this guide useful and come and check out some of the places mentioned for yourself – it would be a shame to miss out!


Yaz blogs on her site The Wallet Moth, covering everything from health & fitness to travel on an achievable budget. Check out some of her frugal tips to adventurous living now!

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January 30, 2017

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Guest Post: How To Spend A Healthy Day In Leeds

One of the reasons Leeds is so popular with residents and visitors alike, is the fact that although there’s absolutely loads going on in this trendy, cosmopolitan city, it’s also compact enough that you can walk comfortably from one side to the other. In that sense, Leeds is a really healthy place to spend a day or a weekend as you’ll not only find yourself doing a lot more walking, there’s also some amazing places to work up a sweat or a healthy appetite while you’re here.

Enjoy A Stroll At Roundhay Park

As the biggest urban park in the whole of the UK, Roundhay Park regularly hosts food festivals and large sporting events such as the World Series Triathlon. On ordinary days however, it’s a great place to go for a relaxing walk around its beautiful lake. If you’re feeling energetic, you might want to take part in the fitness classes that take place there or do some hill sprints on Hill 60 – so called because of its extremely steep gradient!

Shop And Pamper Smart

A great little find in Leeds is Millie’s health food and organic store on Vicar Lane. You can treat yourself to a refreshing cold pressed juice while you stock up on healthy snacks such as bliss balls and goji berries to give you long-lasting energy throughout the day. They also have an in-store beauty salon and use only natural and organic beauty products in all their treatments. As if you ever needed an excuse to get pampered anyway!

A Spot Of Lunch

After hitting the shops in Victoria Gate and Briggate, which you’ll definitely want to do on a visit to Leeds – you’ll most certainly have worked up an appetite. Luckily there’s tons of independent cafes and restaurants to have a spot of lunch at. Nestled in the totally Instagram-worthy Corn Exchange building is Humpit, which serve up big bowls of freshly made hummus, falafels and pitta bread that are loaded with crunchy salads and salsa. Global Tribe cafe on Swan Street is another deliciously healthy vegetarian restaurant with some really innovative and nutritious options to choose from. If you fancy something with a bit of a spicy kick, head to Pho in the Trinity Centre. They serve a tasty selection of authentic Vietnamese Pho and curries that are equally healthy and delicious.

Meet At The Barre

Barrecore, which has swept the fitness world with its intensely hard fusion of pilates and ballet is of course a city staple here in Leeds. You’ll find the studio on the second floor of the Sweaty Betty store in the Victoria Quarter, but prepare to ache for days afterwards!

Yoga With A View

If you love yoga, you won’t be short of amazing studios to align your chakras in Leeds. From The Yoga Space just outside the city centre, set in a converted church and probably the most tranquil studio you’ll ever visit, to Yoga Hero’s Skyline Sessions on the 11th floor of the Trinity Centre with the most epic view of the city – Yoga is top of the agenda for a lot of the busy city dwellers here and you’ll end your healthy day in Leeds feeling totally revived.

Thanks for reading! I hope you feel inspired to visit Leeds and enjoy a truly healthy day out.

Article by Sylvie from www.sylviessuitcase.com

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January 26, 2017

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Guest Post: How To Spend A Healthy Day In Cardiff

When you’re considering which UK city to head to for a day trip; explore for the long weekend; or even move to permanently, Cardiff often isn’t as immediately obvious as London, Manchester or Edinburgh. But I don’t think this should be the case. Not only is the Welsh capital stunning (think Victorian arcades and Grade 1 listed buildings); cost-efficient (one of Britain’s most affordable cities over here!) and boasting an ever-expanding entertainment scene, often centred on quirky, creative independents, but it’s also the perfect place for the health-conscious human. Here’s the highlights! (NB: They don’t all begin with ‘H’.)

It’s a Walk in the Park

No post on Cardiff health could exclude the parks, enjoyed by the masses, whether for their beauty, as a breather from hectic city life, or to get moving. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find a quiet spot to do your stretches and strolls uninterrupted – Bute Park alone is the size of 75 football pitches! While Bute is deemed ‘the green heart of the city’, it’s far from being the only one worth visiting. Roath Park, complete with a lake peppered with pedalos and charming botanical gardens, is also a hit, but delve a little deeper and you’ll find Canton’s Victoria Park; the Taff Trail snaking between the Bay and Brecon; and Cathays Park next to Cardiff University.

Tuck In

Cardiff is big on breakfast. To be honest, it likes lunch too, and dinner and drinks don’t get neglected either. You might be questioning the link between a city of foodies and a city of fitness fans. But Cardiff’s ability to start the day the right way demonstrates that indulging in good grub doesn’t mean undoing all your healthy efforts. (I make no promises that your purse won’t suffer, however. Cardiff may be cost-efficient, but the vast choice of eateries available makes for another story…) Cardiff is dotted with healthy cafes – Anna-Loka is the city’s first completely vegan, while Pure Kitchen’s views overlooking the Bay aren’t all it has going for it – its Paleo Hash; Balance Boxes and Protein Pancakes speak for themselves. Other highlights include Milgi (100% vegetarian and snazzy cocktails to be enjoyed in a lovely venue featuring a teepee) and Crumbs, a cosy cafe hiding in the Instagram-worthy Morgan Arcade.

Try Something New

A Cardiff perk is its exercise-based uniqueness. While every city has gyms and hopefully space other than the shopping centre in which to stretch your legs, Cardiff goes the extra mile in offering something unexpected. Over in the beautiful Bay, Cardiff International White Water gets the adrenaline pumping. The Olympic-standard centre, at the International Sports Village, lets you try your hand (and feet) at canoeing, Air Trail, indoor surfing, river-boarding and gorge-walking to name a

few. Elsewhere, Boulders is the place to be if you fancy rock-climbing, while the Infinity Trampoline Park is basically where you bop around as if you’re in a club – just without the drinks as a deterrent… Finally, Cardiff International Pool has something for everyone. Competitive swimmers have all 50 metres, used as training for the London 2012 Olympics, while the lazy river and flumes are slightly more relaxing ways to burn the calories yet hardly notice.

Get from A to B

It might not seem particularly inspiring, but we all have to start with small steps… both literally and figuratively. Before long, small steps equate to a whole lot of ground, and Cardiff is ideal for testing the walking boots. (Or even wedges, if that’s more your thing.) Cardiff is a compact, small and well-connected city, meaning you don’t need to rely on the train, bus or in-fact anything other than yourself to get between corners. The city centre may be the tourist’s first port of call, but the suburbs are also full of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered by foot – like the picturesque northern village of Whitchurch, or St Fagans nestled in the west, National History Museum and scenic grounds to boot.

Stretch and Smile

Yoga and Pilates have seen a bit of a boost in recent years. Styled as less intense yet similarly productive alternatives to the traditional sweaty gym sesh or hike over the hills, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular. Cardiff’s abundance of welcoming, quirky studios indicates the city agrees. In the student district of Cathays, Stretchy Suzie’s offers everything from Reggae Yoga to Yin and Thai Massage (it also hosts vegan food pop-ups, but that’s another story!) Meanwhile, Seren Yoga has woken up the city in the form of Hot Yoga, while Cardiff Pilates Studio basically does what it says on the tin – the highest standard of Pilates, using some impressive apparatus. Pilates has improved my core strength, so I’m looking forward to getting back in the game when I return to Cardiff from my uni holidays.

I hope this post provides some ideas on how to work your way around Cardiff’s fitness scene, and that any visitors have a lovely time in this beautiful capital!

Ellie x

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January 19, 2017

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