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So I guess Halloween is going to be a little different this year eh? No fancy dress parties, no trick or treaters begging for sweeties, and you'll only be able to watch scary movies with 6 of your closest friends - or less depending on where you live! Well fear not! (or do, it is spooky season after all) because I have popped together a list of ways you can enjoy Halloween at home! Just remember to check local restrictions before planning any activities with your pals.


Grace is sitting on her bed reading a book titled 'ghost stories'. She is wearing a black jumper with a skeleton on it and beside her is a carved pumpkin.


How to have a spooktacular Halloween at home...


Pumpkin carving


Pumpkin carving - best best, and one of the messiest Halloween traditions is pumpkin carving! It's an affordable way to let your creativity run wild and create some cute decorations in the process. But don't let all that perfectly good pumpkin go to waste once you've carved it up! You can make a tonne of things with those innards, from pumpkin pie to pumpkin risotto and even pumpkin body scrub!


Read scary stories


Treat yourself to a book of creepy stories or just head online to see what the internet has to offer! There are loads of websites dedicated to publishing the best scary stories, and even places like reddit often feature people's own spooky experiences!


Watch scary movies


If reading isn't your thing, why not whack on a horror film to see in all hallows eve! Nothing beats ordering a takeaway and settling down for the evening with a scary movie right? 

Some of my all time favourite horror films:

  • Insidious (make a night of it and watch all 4!)
  • The Babadook
  • The Nun


And if you're not feeling in the seriously spooky mood one not chose one of these :

  • Hocus Pocus
  • Phantom of the Opera (It's a little bit creepy right?)
  • Nightmare Before Christmas (is it a an xmas film, is it a halloween film? IDC) 


Pamper Evening


There is always a reason to have a pamper night and Halloween is no different. Stick on a charcoal facemask, run yourself a hot bubble bath, and chill out. You could even treat yourself to some Halloween themed goodies! Lush have a tonne of Spooky treats right now and Asos even have a range of Star Wars and animal themed sheet masks which I guess could count as dressing up right?


Grace is holding the ghost stories book open. In the background th pumpkin and a lit candle can be seen.



Tell spooky stories around the campfire


I believe in some areas of the UK you are still allowed up to 6 people in your garden so why not build a bonfire (or use a wood burner) and tell ghost stories! I mean really is there anything better than sitting in the dark of the night scaring the life out of each other with the creepiest stories you can remember?


Do some halloween baking


If pumpkin pie really isn't for you why not bake some sweet treats instead! You'll find a whole host of Halloween themed recipes online to make this Halloween the tastiest yet! You really are spoilt for choice with spooky baking inspiration right now, however my favourite recipes are Sarah's Autumn Cake, Lucy's Meringue ghost lollies and Jenny's Halloween spider brownies!


So that's it! Those are my ideas for making your Halloween at home extra spooky! What will you be doing this Halloween?


Thanks for reading!


If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!




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Two images. The top image is of Grace sitting on her bed reading a book. The second image is on the book help open. Between the two images text reads "How to have a spooktacular Halloween at home"


Birmingham, UK

HOW TO HAVE A SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN AT HOME

With half-term fast approaching, many of us will be looking to book last minute trips. While the likes of Spain or Turkey might usually be high on our lists, this year more of us are hoping to holiday right here in the UK. But make no mistake, holidays at home are no runner up prize, from beautiful beaches to incredible mountain ranges, and big bustling cities, the UK breaks have it all. Us Brits are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to potential staycation locations, but where is the best place to visit?


Well, I asked a tonne of UK bloggers for their favourite UK staycation spots and my god did they deliver...


A shingle beach leading into beautiful blue sea on the english channel


... Here are the top 10 places to staycation in the UK according to the bloggers!



10. The Peak District


The Peak District, which can be found in the heart of England, is home to the first the of UK's national parks. The area features 1,600 miles of public rights of way so it's no surprise that the majority of tourists flocking to the Peak District intend to do some form of walking. Of those rights of way mentioned, 64 miles are accessible to disabled people, making it a good choice for anyone looking for a more easy-going staycation. Along with incredible scenery, The Peak District also offers some great historic houses such as Chatsworth, and even Caves which are open to the public!


Molly (Girl About Derbyshire) has written a great itinerary of things to do in The Peak District in just 48 hours, which will be an ideal read if you're looking to visit the area for a weekend staycation.


Looking down at cable cars crossing the rolls hills of the Peak District in the UK
The Heights Of Abraham, Matlock Bath


9. Bath


Bath is famous for its beautiful golden architecture and ancient Roman Baths, of which it takes its name. It is the largest city in Somerset which is ideal as it welcomes nearly 4 million visitors each year. The city which became a world heritage site in 1987, was home to Jane Austin and at least two of her novels were set here, which is why you'll find several tourist attractions based on her life and works in the area.


Tracy (Enjoy England For Less) has a fantastic blog post which covers all aspects of visiting beautiful Bath, including a whole list of free things to do in the city!



8. Norfolk


Norfolk is a county in the East of England which holds the record for the highest concentration of medieval churches in the world. Dripping with history, and full to the brim with listed buildings, Norfolk really is a treat for history nerds, but if that's not your thing the beach surely is! The Norfolk coastline runs for almost 100 miles. Here you will find golden beaches, plenty of piers, and even the UK's largest Seal colony! 


Looking for luxury accommodation in Norfolk? Why not check out Sophie's (Soph Hearts) review of Congham Hall Hotel & Spa.



7. Yorkshire


Yorkshire, the UK's largest county and one absolutely jam packed with things to do. Famed for its natural beauty, rich history, and of course everyone's favourite pudding, a staycation in Yorkshire really has it all. Alongside being home to many historic towns such as York and Harrogate, 3 of the UK's national parks also fall within Yorkshire's boundaries making it a great area for walking holidays. 


If chasing waterfalls is your kinda thing Danny (Danny Explores) has put together a cracking guide on the Ingleton Waterfall trail which he claims are the best waterfalls in Yorkshire. And if you're looking for an accessible break, Pippa (Life Of Pippa) has it covered with her post on Yorks wheelchair accessible indie coffee shops and cafes.



6. Brighton


Brighton often finds itself rated amongst some of the best seaside towns across the world, and for a good reason. The town, often fondly referred to as 'London by the sea', is home to both Britain's oldest cinema and the world's oldest aquarium, among other attractions. You'll also find plenty of beautiful listed buildings, a crazy amount of pubs, and even a nudist beach within walking distance of the Brighton City Centre - I guess it has something for everyone!


Looking for a seafront hotel? Look no further, Chloe (Wanderlust Chloe) has rounded up some of the best seaside hotels in Brighton!


Looking across the shingle beach over to Brighton Pier.
Brighton Pier

5. London


London town, the busiest of the UK's cities, and in my experience also the dustiest. England's capital city is home to a whole host of tourist attractions which is why it's so popular with both our own population and that of the world. From the first-ever Hard Rock Cafe to the Queen's house, London has a tonne of famous places to visit and thanks to the Tube it's easy enough to see them all! If you do use the underground, however, beware of the mosquitos! A special breed of mosquito has specifically evolved to live in the dark of the London underground, though I don't think I've ever personally come across one!


Thinking of having a little beverage or two on your London staycation? Della (Della Loves Nutella) has handpicked the best cocktail bars around Covent Garden so you'll never be short of options!


Taken from the top of the Tate Modern gallery in London. The London skyline is in full view with noticeable buildings such as St Pauls down below.
The London skyline



4. The Cotswolds


The Cotswolds cover a large area of west England and are most famous for their numerous picturesque towns and villages. The area, which actually lies within 6 counties (Wiltshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset) is home to historic houses, wildlife parks, and miles of glorious countryside. In the winter months, you will see Christmas markets and celebrations in most Cotswold towns and in the summer months, you'll find flower and lavender fields in bloom.


Don't forget to check out Kitti's (Kitti Around The World) list of 8 Cotswold towns you must visit, and if you're in need of a dog-friendly hotel, Danielle (It's A Danielle Life) has you covered with her review of The Fish Hotel in Broadway.


Grace is wearing a short white dress. She is standing in a field full of cotswold lavender
Cotswold Lavender, Broadway


3. Devon


Devon is home to a number of pretty seaside towns along two coastlines. These charming social centres are the main reason for the flock of tourists which flood the county each year and for a good reason. Not only do visitors have the choice of two separate coasts to choose from (something no other English county has) they also have a range of activities to do once they arrive. From surfing to sightseeing and even fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast, you'll never have a dull staycation here.


If you're looking for inspiration, why not check out Charlotte's (A Fashion Oddity) post on the top places to visit in South Devon!



2. Cornwall


When thinking of Cornwall it's likely that your mind wanders to memories of childhood holidays and warm pasties on the beach - Cornwall is the home of the traditional Cornish pasty we all know and love after all. But this British county has so much more to offer than savoury treats. Museums, beaches, theme parks, and even giant greenhouses, Cornwall has something for absolutely everyone which is why it's no surprise that 4 million people visit the area each year.


For a pretty complete guide to Falmouth check out Samantha's (Cocobutter Blog) post which gives a detailed run down of what she got up to in the Cornish town. If seafood is your thing, Charlotte (Charlotte Rick) has reviewed her favourite restaurant in Cornwall - The Fish House.



1. The Lake District


Over 15 million people visit the Lake District year each and it's clear to see why. The area holds vast forests, a number of waterfalls, and of course multiple picturesque lakes. The scenery is the main reason tourists swarm the Lake District, however visitors to the area don't have to simply admire the views, they can get up close and personal by hiking the mountains and sailing the lakes.


Why not check out my guide to the most beautiful locations in the Lake District before you head up there? Believe me, you won't want to miss out! And if you fancy trying your hand at hiking but your skills are lacking Emmalene (A Brummie Home And Abroad) has a great post on hiking for non-hikers which you might find handy!


Looking across Derwentwater lake in the Lake District
Looking out over Derwentwater in the Lake District


Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who voted for their favourite place to staycation in the UK! Almost 100 of you lovely bunch contributed to this post which wouldn't have been possible without your votes and knowledge! 


So now you know which locations the bloggers love, where are your top places to staycation in the UK?



Thanks for reading!


If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!




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The top image shows Derwent water in the Lake District UK. The bottom image shows Brighton beach sloping into the sea. Text between the images reads "The top 10 places to staycation in the UK according to bloggers"


Birmingham, UK

TOP 10 PLACES TO STAYCATION IN THE UK ACCORDING TO BLOGGERS

As someone who has been blogging since their late teens, I often get A LOT of questions from people hoping to start a blog of their own! From friends in real life to strangers on the internet, I never go long without someone asking, "how do I start my own blog?". Well, I'm no expert, but I'd like to think I've learnt a few things about blogging that might help you on your way!


So how do you start your first blog post, and what should it be about?


Grace is sitting to her desk scrolling on her laptop


I'll let you into a little secret, there is no right or wrong way to start your first blog post! Yep, that's right, you literally can't go wrong with this first creation! Okay sure if you're starting a blog for your business or you're going for a more professional angle instead of a personal blog you probably won't want to swear your head off, but this is your new baby so it's down to you how you plan to do it!


But don't worry, I won't leave you to figure it out yourself, here are my tips...


Just start it!


Stop overthinking it. Chances are your first blog post won't be a work of art. This is a brand new thing to you, you can't expect to be 'good' at it straight away! The longer you stress and rewrite your first blog post, the longer it will take you to launch your blog properly, and let's be honest you want to get this off the ground sooner rather than later right?


Brainstorm


If you're really stuck for ideas - get brainstorming! What is your blog going to be about? What do you want to tell people who click on your site for the first time? Maybe you want to introduce yourself, or maybe you just want to give the reader a run down of what they will find here in the future? Scribble down your ideas and get cracking!


Stick to the golden blogging rules... or don't!


Once you have an idea of what you're going to write about, get stuck in! Now in the blogging world, there are some rules to make your posts the best they can be. These rules help your blog posts appear in google searches and they are super important if you want to drive traffic to your blog. However, I don't think they matter too much when you are just starting out! It's your first post at the end of the day - you should have fun writing it, not worrying about making it SEO perfect!


Oh you're a sucker for the rules eh? Okay, I'll tell you a few of the basics to see you on your way:


  • Try to write over 500 words, but definitely no less than 300
  • Insert at least 1 relevant photo
  • Keep your title short, ideally no more than 60 characters


The longer you blog, the more rules you'll learn to live by but for now just enjoy your new creative outlet!


Grace is sitting away from her desk. She is holding her laptop and looking down at it.


What photos should I use?


Again this is completely up to you! If you're introducing yourself, maybe a nice inviting selfie would be a good idea, or if your blog post is going to be about beauty, a photo of your favourite beauty products would be great. Just try to make sure the photo is good quality and belongs to you. You don't want to use photographs you don't have the rights to as you might find yourself with a surprise bill if the owner catches you using it!


I've written the post but it just doesn't look good?


Don't beat yourself up too much if your first blog post doesn't look the way you expected it to. Learning to style up blog posts takes a lot of time and patience. Have a play around with the fonts, font sizes, headings, and even colours until you're happy with how the blog post looks. In time you can purchase blog themes which will give your site and blog posts and more unique uniform look, but for now, just have fun!


Starting a blog can be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding modern hobbies, but just like anything else, you won't master blogging straight away. Some of the biggest bloggers with the most beautiful platforms have been doing this for 10 years, and believe me their blogs DID NOT look that pretty when they first started! So get cracking, go write your first post, and most importantly enjoy putting your new creation together!


If you're after a few more tips on setting up your blog check out my ultimate guide to starting a blog for everything you need know about getting going. I also really love Sarah's post about her 5 step blogging checklist and Jenny's blogging Q&A post is also sure to help you on your way!


And if you're still super stuck on what your first blog post could be about, I've rounded up a few easy ideas below:


  • Introduce yourself
  • A run down of what your blog is going to be about
  • The creators who inspired you to start a blog
  • 50 facts about yourself
  • Why you're starting a blog
  • A round up of your favourite blog posts
  • a Q&A or a FAQ


Good luck starting everything up, I'm sure your brand new blog is going to be AMAZING!


Thanks for reading!


If you liked this post don't forget to click here to follow me on Bloglovin!



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Grace is sat to her desk. She is looking down at her laptop. Text below her reads "How to start your first blog post & first blog post ideas"


Birmingham, UK

HOW TO START YOUR FIRST BLOG POST & FIRST BLOG POST IDEAS

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