0
£0.00 0 items

No products in the cart.

Things to do in the city of dreaming spires/Christmas Markets | Oxford at Christmas | Urban Illustration 

 

 

Introduction  

The festive season is fast approaching, and you might be wondering, where is the best city for your Christmas shopping? Well, a great and underrated shopping destination is Oxford! No, not Oxford street but the actual city of Oxford. It’s the ideal location for unique gifts from small businesses. In fact, Oxford has not only one Christmas market but two! With lovely stalls by small local businesses selling their Christmas goodies, there is something special for everyone. In this blog, we will provide you with all the things you need to know about Oxford’s sparkling Christmas markets.  

 

 

 

 

Christmas Markets  

Oxford Christmas Market  

Oxford is well known for its famous colleges such as the University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University. But what a lot of people don’t know is that it is home to great Christmas Markets and the Oxford Christmas Market is one of them. It is very traditional and cosy and is filled with Christmas spirit.  

 

Oxford Christmas Market

 

This year’s festivities will return with a bang from Saturday the 12th of November 2022 until Thursday the 22nd of December 2022. The Oxford Christmas Market will take place on Broad Street, in Oxford City Centre and will be open daily from 10 am to 6:30 pm except on Thursday – Saturday it will be open until 8 pm.  

As one of the best Christmas Markets in the country, the Oxford Christmas Market offers an unrivalled selection of festival events and attractions to keep winter visitors busy. The Christmas Markets are made up of wonderful stalls run by small local businesses including crafts, clothes, jewellery and toys and many more. 

 You can view all the stallholders here   

Moreover, there will be live performances by local bands and artists such as the Oxford Gospel Choir, Rock Choir and City of Oxford Silver Band. The full performance program can be viewed here  

The annual Christmas markets can be easily accessed via different forms of transpiration including bicycles, trains from the Oxford railway station, buses etc more details can be found on the website 

 

 

Blenheim Palace Christmas Market 2022 

 

This year, the iconic Blenheim Palace Christmas market returns better than ever! Christmas Markets at a historic site? What else could you ask for? The Christmas markets will take place on 18 November 2022 and 2 January 2023.  

 

The Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Oxfordshire and is the birthplace of Winston Churchill. It is surrounded by walled picture-perfect gardens and a mystical maze! At this year’s Christmas markets, talented independent street food vendors offer mouth-watering Christmas treats, including delicious hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. Furthermore, there will be stalls, organised by the ‘Living Crafts events’ which promote top handmade British arts and design through their shows and events across the South of England for nearly 50 years. They have been providing high-quality events and retail opportunities for small craft businesses from across the UK. This is the best place to find the perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler for your loved ones.  www.livingcrafts.co.uk    

This year Blenheim Palace’s spectacular State Rooms have been transformed into a fairy-tale fantasy focusing on the enchanting story of “ The Kingdom of the Snow Queen”. Walking through these rooms will be like walking through a real-life snow-fairy land. This is an absolute treat for both children and adults.  

 

Moreover, there will be an Illuminated festive trail hosted in the estate’s parkland and gardens. This includes diamond blue lights, glittering tunnels of light, and light-up mirrored classes. A truly spectacular experience that should not be missed.  

 

 

More information here 

 

Tickets and parking tickets can be purchased here

 

 

Conclusion  

 

We hope this blog has convinced you to add Oxford to your list of Christmas destinations. The picturesque and historic city of Oxford has two festive Christmas markets to choose from for all the family to enjoy!  

 

Make sure you follow us on Instagram to see our new Oxford range!  

Tokyo is not only the capital of Japan but also the capital of Kawaii culture. Kawaii means cute and adorable in Japanese and refers to Japanese pop culture. It extensively covers a range of categories, including colourful pastel cafes, fashionable clothing, popular anime characters, lovely animal mascots and so on. In recent years, the Japanese government has officially adopted it as a tourism strategy to attract more international tourists to Japan.       

Want to explore the Kawaii culture in Tokyo but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered with this list of the top 5 kawaii things to do in Tokyo, Japan.  

kawaii cat

1. Visit the Sanrio Puroland Tokyo

A kawaii hotspot in Tokyo is Sanrio Puroland, a beautiful kawaii-themed amusement park with Sanrio characters, such as Hello Kitty, My Melody, Gudetame, Cinnamoroll, and many more! This is a fun day out for all ages. This popular theme park is visited by approximately 1.5 million visitors every year. There’s so much you can do! Visitors can meet the adorable Sanrio characters and take pictures as well as play themed games and visit kawaii-style attractions. Moreover, visitors can enjoy live shows, parades, themed food and beverages and shop limited merchandise.

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Blippo Kawaii Shop (@blippo)

 

 2. Tokyo Kawaii Instagrammable cafes  

Tokyo is full of colourful cafés that are ideal to get the perfect Instagram shot. In this blog, we will explore three top-rated kawaii cafes in Tokyo.   

 Pokémon Café 

If you are a fan of Pokémon then this is the café for you! This Japanese-style café welcomes visitors with cute Pokémon characters with whom they can take pictures with. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy Pokémon-themed food and drinks which are very colourful. You might even see Pikachu and its friends performing live. At Pokemon café, you can also find original Pokémon merchandise such as cute mugs and cutlery. Reservation will be required before visiting.    

Moomin Cafe  

Moomins is a much-loved cartoon in Tokyo, that’s why there are two Moomin cafes! One is in Tokyo Dome City and the other is in Soramachi, an iconic shopping complex at Tokyo Skytree. This is a great place to try nordic dishes in a cosy room full of Moomin decorations. This café is also known as the anti-loneliness café since the staff brings you a big Moomin plush to keep you company! No one is ever truly alone at Moomin café.  

Kawaii Monster café Tokyo 

The Monster café is located in the centre of Tokyo’s youth culture in the region of Harajuku. It has been named the most “crazy and unusual” café in Tokyo! It is very colourful with neon lights and can get quite loud. Different rooms look like movie sets. Regarding food, there are rainbow-coloured mountains of cotton candy, and ridiculous crêpes filled with everything from strawberries and Nutella to sweet bean paste to pudding.  

An important thing to note about kawaii monster cafe Tokyo is that there is a minimum order. Everyone must order at least one drink and one item from the food menu. We recommend getting something small/light as reviews show the food isn’t the best.  

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Linda&Carmine ✈ TravelCouple 💕 (@girandolinda_travel)

 

 

3. Watch short anime films at Studio Ghibli Museum 

The Studio Ghibli Museum was Co-founded by the director Hayao Miyazaki who made animated films such as “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke,” “Spirited Away,” and “Ponyo.” The Ghibli Museum is the animation and art museum of Miyazaki Hayao's Studio Ghibli, one of Japan's most famous animation studios, with exhibition areas and behind-the-scenes animations. For this reason, the museum is extremely popular and tickets are limited. At the museum, visitors can see the famous movie characters, a life-sized robot from "Castle in the Sky" in the rooftop garden, and watch short movies by Studio Ghibli that are exclusive to the museum. A must-see location for any kawaii fan!  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by monica kim 🦋 (@monicakim.jpg)

 

 4. Tokyo’s Famous Arcades 

Tokyo is home to the best arcades in the country! There are many arcades across the capital and most of them are kawaii-themed. In Tokyo, video game arcades are continuously preserved, and gracefully infused with new technology. If you are visiting the city and like video games, these are the arcades you must check out. These include; Club Sega, Super Potato, and Game Bar A – Button.  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Roland @ Arcade Tokyo (@arcade.tokyo)

 

 

5. Shop till you drop in Kawaii Tokyo stores 

You can’t leave Tokyo without some Kawaii merchandise or souvenirs. At Kawaii-themed shops you can find a plethora of products with your favourite characters including stationery, costumes, crazy gadgets and many more. One of the top-recommended shops is Kiddyland. The main Harajuku store has six floors packed full of cuteness. Make sure you also visit character street, which is a whole area in the basement of Tokyo Station and has plenty of kawaii shops. Other options include Loft, Yamashiroya and Hapin. Happy Kawaii shopping!  

 

kawaii shop

 

Conclusion

That’s a wrap! The complete guide to kawaii things to do in Tokyo, Japan. From kawaii theme parks to kawaii cafes we’ve covered all the must-do things a true kawaii fan should do while visiting Tokyo, Japan to become an official member of the Tokyo kawaii club.

Don’t forget to head over to our Instagram page to see how the Urban Illustration team re-imaged the city of Tokyo with our popular geometrical map designs! Our Tokyo design can be printed on a variety of products such as cushion covers, tote bags, mugs and many more. For more information, please contact Parkwood Springs.

 

The Stockholm Open in Sweeden is one of the most popular Nordic tennis tournaments in the region. The most famous tennis players across the globe have participated in this tournament, which is why the event attracts so many visitors. This year’s Stockholm Open tennis tournaments will take place on the 15-23 October 2022. Already confirmed to play is world number three Alexander Zverev. However, if you are in the region and haven’t secured any tickets for the Stockholm ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals), worry no more! We have carefully selected the best bars in Stockholm, Sweden to enjoy the Stockholm open tennis tournaments.

But first, let’s explain what exactly the Stockholm Open is and why it is significant.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Stockholm Open (@sthlmopen)

 

What is the Stockholm Open?  

The Stockholm Open is an indoor tennis event, which is part of the ATP Tour played at the Kungliga tennishallen in Stockholm, Sweden. The tournament is owned by The Royal Lawn Tennis Club of Stockholm, SALK (Stockholm Public Lawn Tennis Club) and Tennis Stockholm. The Stockholm Open was first held in the Royal Tennis Hall in 1969. Since then, the tournament has been the highlight of the year for Sweden's many tennis enthusiasts. Throughout the years, the tournament has attracted world stars including Andy Murray, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roger Federer and many more. The prize money for the Stockholm Open is approximately €711,275 (2019) 

 The tickets for the Stockholm Open 2022 have been released. The ticket prices start from as low as €10. Making it the perfect opportunity to get to see world-class players at a more affordable price.  

However, just in case, you do not secure tickets for all your favourite matches, we have rounded up the top bars in Stockholm to see the tournaments.  

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Stockholm Open (@sthlmopen)

 

O’Learys Hötorget  

At the top of our list, of course, we have O'Leary's, the hotspot for Stockholm’s sports fans. Located in central Stockholm, the atrium-style bar at O'Leary's has an extensive seating area. The venue is best known for its large TV set, which is as big as a cinema screen.  

At O’Leary’s, you can also play Foosball and Shuffleboard with friends. Here you can find, a great selection of food ranging from traditional American, Mexican and British food. Ranging from burgers, pizzas, steaks and quesadillas. In addition to this, they have a lovely dessert menu.  It is important to note that, they have a 20-year age limit every day from 6 pm. Visitors under the age of 18 are welcome in the company of a guardian. This place is a no-brainer to enjoy the Stockholm Open!   

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by O’Learys Hötorget (@olearyshotorget)

 

El Amir  

Next up, we have the stylish bar El Amir bar, nested at Galma Brogatan Stockholm. This venue is divided into two spaces, the bar area and the restaurant/lounge area. The bar area has a large TV where you can watch the ATP Stockholm Open. El Amir specialises in Middle Easter cuisine with its signature dish being couscous If you are searching for a more elegant and quiet place to watch the Stockholm Open Tennis Championships this is the place to go! (photo from Yelp) 

 

Bar08  

Another great sports bar to watch in the Stockholm Open 2022 is Bar08. Located in the Fridhemsplan region, Bar08 is very spacious and great for large groups of people.

This all-day sports bar stays open until 3 am and serves both drinks and food for lunch and dinner. The kitchen makes classic dishes such as hamburgers, pasta and pyttipanna (meat and potato hash browns). Additionally, Bar08 has a beer garden to enjoy a drink and the lovely weather. A great location to watch the ATP Stockholm Open Tennis games.(image from thatsuplondon)

 

Bar 08 – Sports bar – Kungsholmen, Stockholm

 

Eagle1 American Bar 

Last but not least, Eagle1 sports bar is located in Norrmalm, Stockholm. An authentic American sports bar, that offers delicious American food, including burgers, Philly cheesecake and milkshakes. Eagle1 has a great atmosphere and is the ideal place for a drink. The bar has plenty of screens to enjoy the Tennis Stockholm Open.   (image from Yelp) 

EAGLE1 - American (Traditional) - Drottninggatan 67, Stockholm, Sweden - Hours - Phone Number - Yelp

Conclusion  

 

That was our list of the best bars in Stockholm to watch the ATP Stockholm Tennis Open 2022.  

If you would like to stock our map-design products in your store, please contact Parkwood Springs.  

Don’t forget to head over to our Instagram to see Stockholm reimagined by Urban Illustration.  

 

Introduction  

Oslo, the capital of Norway, is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. Skyscrapers, colourful houses, art parks, magical fjords, marinas and ships coming and going, tons of green spaces, museums, food halls and restaurants. Oslo has it all! Not to mention, the great cultural history focusing on Vikings.  

A beautifully sustainable city, with a great public transportation system, to help both locals and tourists to get around the city quickly and easily. Oslo is also a very walkable city as all the major tourist attractions are close to each other.  It’s the ideal city for a short city break. That's why, in this blog, we will explore the best things you can do in 24 hours in Oslo, Norway.  

Read on for Urban Illustration’s guide for 24 hours in Oslo! 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by HV Travel (@hvtravelgroup)

Take a trip to the past and live like a Viking  

When you think of Norway the second thing that comes to mind after the fjords are Vikings. The Oslo region was a very important area during the Viking Age, which occurred from 800 to 1050 A.D. The Vikings were one of the world’s greatest civilizations, and they were major contributors to the age of discovery. 

A great place to find out more about the Viking’s history Is the Viking Ship Museum on the Bygdoy Peninsula, a residential and cultural neighbourhood with museums and hiking trails. The museum hosts some of the world’s best-preserved Viking ships and displays archaeological finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. This includes furniture, horse carts, weapons and many more. Definitely, one of the top things to do in Oslo 

 If you are looking for something a bit more interactive, then we suggest visiting the ‘Viking Planet’  which demonstrates the impact the Vikings had on Norwegian and world culture via holograms, cinematic experiences, virtual reality, and more. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Scandinavia Standard (@scandinaviastandard)

 

Check out Oslo's Art scene  

Oslo is home to some magnificent pieces of art and sculptors. If you are an art lover, then we recommend you visit the Norwegian National Gallery. The gallery is best known for showcasing world-famous paintings created by the popular artist Munch such as ‘The Scream’ and the ‘Madonna’. In addition to this, the National Gallery’s collection has Renaissance and Baroque pieces by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and El Greco as well as 19th and 20th-century art by masters like Monet and Picasso.  

Another great location to view some impressive Norwegian art is the Frognerparken. A beautiful park which features several sculptures designed by iconic Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland focusing on human emotions. The park is free to enter and features 212 sculptures in total, in bronze and granite from Iddefjord. The main attraction is the Monolith: a totem-like pole depicting naked people in all stages of life.  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Samantha Foster (@sammiebackontour)

 

 

Visit a Fjord 

You cannot leave Oslo without visiting a fjord! A fjord is a narrow, deep inlet of the sea surrounded by towering cliffs, which are typically formed when a glacier retreats and the sea floods the resulting valley floor. Norway is one of the best places in the world to experience fjords. The perfect place to enjoy the lovely weather in Oslo and fresh fjord air.  

Oslofjord is closest fjord to Oslo. It is about 60 miles long and peppered with many tiny islands that are graced with their own histories. There are several ways to explore this waterway: island-hopping with an Oslo Pass or on a sightseeing fjord cruise. Oslofjord is a popular place to go swimming, kayaking, hiking, and fishing.  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Zayed (@zyd.8970)

 

 

Eat in renowned restaurants  and food halls 

The Norwegian dining scene is so unique and diverse, it is definitely worth a try! The first place you should visit is the Mathallen, Oslo’s food hall. This indoor colourful and energetic food market offers local food products from Norwegian producers and speciality shops. Here you will find a wide selection of cuisines from across the globe.  

Moreover, Vippa is also an amazing food hall nested inside an old industrial building. The various stalls serve a mixture of affordable, international cuisine, and have a relaxed atmosphere with superb sea views.

If you are looking for something a bit more quiet and traditional Norwegian cuisine, then we suggest you visit Engebret Cafe, the oldest enduring restaurant in Oslo, which has been in operation since 1857. Their speciality is reindeer meat, which is very popular amongst the locals.  

For drinks, you should head to Himkok the cocktail bar which was voted one of the world’s 50 best bars. This lively bar is also a distillery where they make their spirits — usually gin, vodka, and Norwegian aquavit. A great location to end your Oslo day trip!  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Mathallen Oslo (@mathallenoslo)

 

Conclusion  

There you have the best things to do in Oslo, Norway. The Norwegian capital has a laid-back vibe that few capitals can replicate, and you are only ever a public transport ride away from outstanding nature experiences.  

We highly recommend you buy an Oslo City Pass for free entrance to 30 museums, free public transportation, outdoor swimming pools and discounts on restaurants! 

Check out our Instagram to see our exclusive Oslo map design and collection!  

 

Top things to do in Oslo, Norway in 24 hours  

Blessed with areas of outstanding natural beauty, and lots of family-friendly activities, Great Yarmouth makes for a classic weekend break in the UK.  Right on the gorgeous coastline of Norfolk, Great Yarmouth has been a popular seaside spot for hundreds of years. 

Handpicked for you, here you'll find a list of the best seaside hotels in Great Yarmouth. From small and budget-friendly to large and elegant, we've got it covered. 

 

 

Premier Inn  

The ultimate budget-friendly hotel at a fantastic beach-front location, making it one of the top-searched hotels in the region.  This hotel is hidden away from the bustling city centre of Great Yarmouth and is a 5-minute drive from Marine Parade. The city centre of Great Yarmouth can be reached in 15 minutes on foot.  This five-Storey hotel offers dreamy sea views in most of its rooms. In addition, there is also a Beefeater restaurant, on the ground floor level of the hotel. There is also a beautiful beach-side terrace with outside seating, to enjoy the sea’s light breeze. This sea-front Premier Inn is crowned one of the best hotels in Great Yarmouth, UK.  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Magnus PR (@magnuspr18)

The Cliff hotel  

The Cliff Hotel offers you the best of both worlds, located overlooking the award-winning Gorleston beach and the perfect base for exploring the majestic coastline. A seaside hotel, which offers luxurious rooms with king-size beds to guarantee the most comfortable and relaxed stay. Thus, making it one of the top hotels in Great Yarmouth. The coastal hotel includes sea view rooms that feature panoramic views of Gorleston beach and harbour. With regards to dining, there is The Cliff Bar, which offers a variety of delicious meals that are freshly prepared and locally sourced, which you can enjoy at the garden terrace while gazing at the lovely view of Gorleston’s sandy beach. The hotel is also child-friendly as it has a children's menu, board games and a playground. All the rooms come with free toiletries and dressing gowns and the double room features a spacious living area with a table and a couch. Additionally, the hotel has free private parking for guests and is only a 10-minute drive from the Norfolk Broads.  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by The Cliff Hotel (@thecliffhotel)

 

Furzedown Hotel 

The Furzedown Hotel is a charming seaside hotel, which has been owned by the Garrod family for over 50 years. If you like your accommodation to be standard, comfortable and low-cost, then this is the beachfront hotel for you. The hotel is small, with only 20 beautifully furnished comfortable bedrooms. At Furzedown Hotel you will find a gorgeous garden and a bar. After visiting the outdoor tennis courts for a workout, you can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant that offers an a la carte menu or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Likewise, guests can enjoy a continental breakfast in the bar.  Other facilities offered include a ticket service, luggage storage and an ironing service. Dogs are charged at a rate of £5 per night. The Furzedown hotel is less than 1 mile from Sea Life Great Yarmouth and just over 5 miles from Burgh Castle.  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Garrods bar and restaurant (@garrods_restaurant)

 

Hotel Ocean   

One of the top-reviewed hotels in the region, Hotel Ocean, is the ultimate modern and luxurious hotel for the best summer getaway.  Located on the beachfront in Great Yarmouth, Hotel Ocean has a Cafe & Coffee shop as well as a shared lounge decorated with elegant furniture and a beautiful terrace with sea views. Likewise, a Full English/Irish breakfast is available each morning at Hotel Ocean. All the rooms are very stylish and a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom, bed linen and towels. The rooms will provide guests with a wardrobe and a kettle. Popular points of interest near the accommodation include Great Yarmouth Pier Beach, Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier and Sea Life Great Yarmouth. The most modern and elegant seaside hotels to enjoy the Great Yarmouth weather.  

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Hotel, Restaurant and Café Ocean 🌊 (@hoteloceangy)

 

Pier Hotel 

Next up, we have the Pier hotel. A small hotel, with only 25 rooms coined with blissful sea views. With a beautiful location and magnificent views overlooking Gorleston Beach and the River Yare. The Pier Hotel offers relaxed surroundings, good, home-cooked food, great wines and friendly service. Likewise, the hotel can also host functions and special events. Also, the accommodation features a lounge bar and restaurant with a  varied menu, including fresh fish, grill and vegetarian options.  Free private parking is available for guests. At the Pier hotel, you are just around the corner from the Pavilion Theatre, Gorleston Golf Club, and Gorleston beach. what more could you ask for with a seafront hotel?   

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Claire Walker (@clairefairyphotography)

 

Conclusion  

There’s an unrivalled number of gorgeous seaside hotels in Great Yarmouth. Whether you are searching for a more budget-friendly hotel or you are treating yourself to something a bit more elegant, well Great Yarmouth has it all.  

 

Don’t forget to check our exclusive Great Yarmouth Urban illustration collection.  

Our products can be personalized with the map design of the city of your choice. Celebrate your city with Urban illustration.  

The Commonwealth Games is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, which celebrates all the greatest athletic talent across the Commonwealth.  This year, the Commonwealth Games will be held here in the UK in Birmingham. It will be the first time the Games have been hosted in England since 2002. This is the biggest event the city and the region have ever hosted. The Commonwealth Games will take place from July 28 to August 8.  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22)

Brief History of the Commonwealth Games  

The Commonwealth Games is a multi-sporting event, involving Commonwealth nations. This international event takes place every four years in a Commonwealth country. In the past, the games were held in Australia’s Gold Coast, Glasgow, Scotland, and Delhi, India. The first event games took place in 1930, in Hamilton, Canada. The Commonwealth Games was not always the official name of the games. To be more specific, from 1930 to 1950 they were known as the British Empire Games, later they became the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and after that British Commonwealth Games. Finally, the games were officially named The Commonwealth Games in 1974.  

Another fact about the Commonwealth Games is that it is the first fully inclusive international multi-sport event as athletes with a disability are included as full members of their national teams. Likewise, the Games are the only global multi-sport event to feature an equal number of men's and women's medal events. The Games have a global television audience of up to 1.5 billion.  

Throughout the years there have been some new additions to the Games, such as the  Commonwealth Winter Games, the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games for commonwealth athletes with a disability, and the Commonwealth Youth Games. The Commonwealth Games are overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), which also controls the programme and selects the host cities. 

Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 

Birmingham is the official host of this year’s Commonwealth Games. Public investment of £778 million has gone into staging the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The metropolitan city of the Midlands has a plethora of sports venues, arenas and conference halls that will be utilized during the Games. Overall, 17 thrilling sports will take place over 11 days including archery, cycling, swimming, basketball, and many others. All the sporting events will occur in Birmingham City and different areas of the region.  

The mascot of this year’s Games is Perry the Bull. The colourful mascot is covered in patchwork, which symbolizes the diversity and vibrancy of the Midlands. A young girl called Emma-Lou won a competition which meant that her mascot design was to be used for the games.
 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22)

Sustainability  

The first-ever carbon-neutral Commonwealth Games. The Birmingham Commonwealth committee strives to establish a Carbon Neutral Legacy for future Games to come. They are taking responsibility for the Game's climate impact in a credible, transparent, and holistic manner.  They also aim to eliminate carbon emissions and are also working with the University of Birmingham to understand the impact of the Games on air quality. They have developed circular economic principles in order to minimize waste, such as, reducing the use of single-use plastics through several initiatives and working with our partners and the voluntary sector to explore ways to recycle assets post games. 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Birmingham 2022 (@birminghamcg22)

For more information, please visit www.birmingham2022.com 

  

Buy tickets for the Commonwealth Games 2022 tickets here https://tickets.birmingham2022.com/ 

 

Join the Commonwealth Games celebrations by purchasing our exclusive Birmingham range.  

Check our Instagram page to see our new Birmingham map design and product range.  

Jersey; the ideal island for the perfect romantic gateways. The sea, port, castles, what else do you need?  No wonders it has been named ‘honeymoon island’. From walking hand in hand across deserted sands to a cosy dinner in a lovely restaurant there is something here to suit every couple. There are jersey holiday packages online, but make sure you double-check the jersey travel restrictions before you plan your trip. The beautiful island of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands at nine miles by five. It is extremely small yet it is packed with natural beauty, fun activities, and relaxing activities to refresh yourself! 

We have put together a list of some fun activities you can do on the island of Jersey. 

 

 

Visit one of the Castles  

 The biggest Castle in Jersey is called Castle Elizabeth, which is nestled on a little island, which is accessible on foot when the tide is low or by the Castle Ferry, which will transport you across the bay to and from the Castle.  The 17th-century castle is named after Elizabeth the first and it’s the perfect place to spend a day exploring Jersey’s history. On-site, you will be able to 
climb the battlements, explore the turrets and bunkers and discover the Hermitage where Saint Helier lived around 550 A.D. Fun fact! You can even stay in Elizabeth Castle for £317 per night. Now that’s what we call living like royalty.  

Mont Orgueil is the oldest castle on the island which is located on the east side of Jersey. To reach the castle you’ll need to climb almost 200 steps to the highest turrets and enjoy breath-taking views of the French coast. Moreover, the castle has been a landmark of the island for over 800 years and was the island’s forefront of defence. Notably, the castle protected Jersey against the French invasion over 600 years ago. However, when Elizabeth castle was built in the 16th century, Mont Orgueil castle became a prison. Explore this extraordinary building full of history by visiting secret rooms to discover hidden treasures. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVv3WDoNgV4/

Fun activities on the beach  

If you and your partner want to do some fun seaside activities, then we have various options for you to choose from. First of all, you can book a voyage with Jersey Seafaris and enjoy an exhilarating high-speed journey to a deserted off-shore sandbank surrounded by crystal clear waters and teeming with bird and marine life. In addition to this, you can go kayaking, Paddleboarding, SUP Board Yoga, Scuba Diving, Coasteering and Water Skiing! The perfect fun day out.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/CW0aekmL9p-/

Go for a walk at the beach 

The island of Jersey has some of the nicest beaches to enjoy a blissful walk. One of the most beautiful beaches is Ouaisne Bay, which can be found on the southwest coast of the island. The Bay has safe swimming waters and during low tides, visitors enjoy walking across to St Brelade’s Bay, making the perfect day out exploring two bays in one! Another golden bay, for the most romantic beach walk, is Plemont Bay, which is located on the northwest coast of Jersey. The bay is hidden away between large sea cliffs and is not easily accessible with a long stairway down the cliffside. During a low tide, you can visit the magical rock pools and caves.  

Lastly, the Corbière Lighthouse is a must-visit location. From here you can experience the most breathtaking views of the island. Closer to the lighthouse, you will find rock pools galore filled with the island’s unique sea life. While you are there you can also visit Corbière Phare Restaurant, where you and your partner can enjoy fresh fish, pasta and a selection of dishes made with local ingredients. Did we mention, the restaurant is right next to the sea? A wonderful restaurant for a romantic and unforgettable meal. Well, we don’t know about you, but we have already been searching for flights to Jersey.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVU2eIiLp3s/

 

Go back in time to the Jersey Museum and Gallery 

In Jersey, like most places in the UK, there is always the possibility the rainy weather can ruin your plans. So why not have a plan b to visit the Jersey Museum and Gallery? This unique museum presents history from 250,000 years ago when the first people arrived in Jersey and continues through the centuries to explore the factors that have shaped the island and its people. At one of the island’s most popular attractions, you will find out how Jersey stayed loyal to Great Britain, despite being closer to France, as well as finding out about the island’s Ice Age history and meeting Barbu, the resident Neanderthal. Additionally, you can learn about the Island's traditional farming industry and watch fascinating archive footage of the early years of tourism. On the top floor, you can visit the seasonal paid exhibitions and on the lower floor a cute little café.  

https://www.instagram.com/p/CVClZmHMB2O/

We hope our tips convinced you to start the new year by planning a lovely romantic weekend getaway, or even a honeymoon in Jersey.  Grab a short flight or even a ferry and you’ll be in an Island paradise! Who knew the UK had so many hidden gems!

 

Most romantic things to do in Jersey for a romantic getaway:

Beautiful, clean, and sustainable. Words that are used to describe Copenhagen, one of the most sustainable cities in Europe.

Copenhagen has taken the lead as one of the most environmentally friendly cities in Europe. Sustainability is seen all around, with gardens and parks scattered all around the city meaning you are never far from a green oasis, great transport links, and world-class green certified hotels and restaurants. It is no wonder it has been ranked as the world’s most popular city and is an unmatched tourist destination for the green traveller.

Stroll through nature’s urban gardens and green spaces

The city is surrounded by water and has integrated green and urban spaces around the city, one-fourth of the city is made up of green spaces.

Kings Garden is one of Denmark’s oldest Royal Gardens, also known as Rosenborg Garden. You are welcomed by three beautiful entrances, tree-lined paths, rose-bound arches and Pavillion and the statute of Hans Christian Andersen. Kings Garden is home to herbaceous borders, rose arches and several fountains. Escape in the beauty of nature.

Source 

Green Bike Tours

Take a 3-hour bike tour around the city, exploring the natural sites, bike bridges, solar installations green roofs, harbour pools, green architecture, energy-efficient buildings, and wind turbines. A Copenhagen bike tour is a perfect way into the green city and explores beautiful nature in a different way.

Bee-sustain

Bybi’s honey factory is a place where rich urban nature and shared communal society come together. Bybi is one of Europe’s largest urban beekeeping projects. With the support of businesses, social projects and local communities, millions of bees can thrive by living in hives on rooftops and yards across the city. In addition, green cities are a sustainable part of natural living not just for us but for the bees.

Take a dip in the clean waters

In Copenhagen, you are never far from beaches, during the summer you can also go swimming in many centrally located harbour baths. Sandkaj Harbour bath is an official bathing zone, it is open all year round and is a short walk from Copenhagen City Centre. Arguably, summer is the best time for a Copenhagen city break especially if you sun lounging, swimming and cosmopolitan eateries.

Source

Visit CopenHill

A clean power plant topped with a rooftop ski slope, CopenHill is a feat of engineering and is worth a visit even if you don’t want to ski. Located on the industrial waterfront, there are opportunities to explore the exciting green landscape via hiking, climbing or simply picnicking! Moreover, CopenHill shows how buildings can be multi-use by providing for the communities in more than one way.

Source 

In conclusion, Copenhagen is a city of green nature, sustainable living, and innovative practices. Constantly maintaining a greener city that works with nature, not against it. For a sustainable city break that shows how nature and city life can work together choose Copenhagen.

Sustainability doesn't stop there. Shop sustainably here.

Walking through, the centre of Madrid is like walking through architectural history. As a tourist in Madrid, you will come across gorgeous 18th-century palaces sitting alongside imposing 19th-century buildings, Art Deco skyscrapers, concrete Modernist blocks and 21st-century glass-and-steel interventions.  

However, in the last decades, Madrid has been investing heavily in contemporary architecture. Architects like César Pelli, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Rafael Moneo, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have transformed the city, with their contemporary buildings.  In Madrid, visitors can find an amazing fusion of aesthetic and innovative architecture. 

Below is our guide to the MUST-SEE Contemporary Architecture in Madrid for any tourist.  

Torres Blancas 

 One of the finest examples of Brutalist Architecture is the Torres Blancas. A tall residential tower designed by the Modernist architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza. Built-in 1969, this cylindrical tower was one of the most complicated and innovative concrete structures of its time. It includes semi-circular balconies and a large circular roof, which houses a communal rooftop pool. The building was designed to resemble a tree and rises to a height of 80 metres, creating a cluster of circular shapes that are sure to grab your attention. Likewise, it is known as one of the best examples of organic architecture. For this reason, it was the winner of the first COAM prize, awarded by Madrid’s Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos, and also won the European Excellence Award.

Museo ABC 

In the heart of Madrid, this 1900 building, that used to be home to the Mahou brewery, is now home to a hip cultural space. The building was refurbished by Aranguren & Gallegos in 2011. The six-storey building features an exterior wall of asymmetric glass and steel tiles, which also cover the courtyard, where they serve as skylights to the underground exhibition space. Its interior is clean and minimalist. Museo ABC showcases illustrations, comics and cartoons encompassing more than 100 years of Spanish history from Spain’s oldest existing newspaper, ABC. The museum showcases nearly 200,000 works from all around the country. This museum is truly a great example of Madrid’s contemporary architecture.   

Santa Ana church 

Spain is a dominantly Catholic country, hence there are many churches in each region, especially in the capital, Madrid. One church that stands out the most for its contemporary architecture is the Santa Ana church. This modern church was designed by Miguel Fisac who was one of the boldest Spanish Modernist architects and experimented with concrete at Santa Ana, creating curved organic shapes and a cave-like feel.  The complex is made up of two independent buildings: the church, and the daily chapel. Moreover, the ribbed concrete roof mirrors, which allow the natural light to fall on the church’s altar and illuminate the space. It is one of the most modern churches we have ever come across as it is a very contemporary building.   

CaixaForum Madrid Museum 

CaixaForum Madrid is a museum and cultural center in Paseo del Prado 36, Madrid. It is sponsored by Caixa Bank. It was an old power station called Central Del Mediodía, from 1900 transformed into a beautiful museum. It was designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and built by Ferrovial between 2001 and 2007. The building is most known, for its avant-garde Vertical Garden outside the museum, which is made up of 15,000 plants and brings a sense of freshness and naturalism to the urban city. The interior of the building is very minimalist with wide white spaces and staircases. Hence, making it a beautiful location to enjoy contemporary architecture in Madrid. The CaixaForum Madrid Museum regularly hosts various exhibitions ranging from Greek mythology to music festivals.  

 Mirador Sanchinarro 

The Mirador Building is a postmodern architecture building that can be found in the Sanchinarro neighbourhood, in the north of the city of Madrid. Sanchinarro is a residential suburb on the northeast edge of Madrid. Surrounded by highways, with views towards the Guadarrama Mountains. Mirador is a collection of mini neighbourhoods stacked vertically, with a striking orange exterior.  Furthermore, it encompasses It includes 156 homes an outdoor space and community garden for the residents of the building and has breathtaking views of the city and the Guadarrama Mountains beyond   The building was developed by the Dutch architecture studio MVRDV in collaboration with the Madrid-based architect Blanca Lleó, and completed in 2005.  A truly amazing piece of modern architecture in Madrid.  

Conclusion  

Madrid is full of remarkable inspiring architectural sites, from Roman ruins to edgy modern designs. In the capital of Spain, there is a vast number of architectural styles that make up the city’s urban landscape, buildings and monuments from different eras that coexist in harmony.  

Visit our page:

URBAN ILLUSTRATION

 

Rome is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe.  Ancient landmarks, colourful neighbourhoods, elegant fountains, beautiful architectural buildings are just some of the best Rome Instagram spots to take the best shots. 

When you’re visiting the Eternal City to shoot, the last thing you want to do is miss out on one of these magical Instagrammable locations. That’s why our guide to the most Instagrammable places in Rome is here to inspire and help you map out your visit. 

 

The view from San Gianicolo Hill  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ROME Travel | Tours | Photos (@noidiroma)

 

Gianicolo Hill offers a breathtaking scenic view of Central Rome. It is located outside the ancient city and is very close to historic places like the Vatican. This is a perfect place for sight lovers as well as for history lovers. It is one of the highest hills in Rome and includes many famous historic centres such as the Dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral, Borghese Villa, and Galleria Borghese.  The hill is also known for its defence against French troops. Thus, every day at noon, a cannon goes off from here to proclaim the time of day. This has happened every single day for the past 165 years, only having been interrupted once! The hill lies just behind the characteristic Trastevere neighbourhood. Therefore, it is one of the most Instagrammable places in Rome. You can spend a lovely evening in this area, enjoying the sunset over St Peter’s Basilica, then heading down the hill to one of the many restaurants and bars to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine. Visit the San Gianicolo Hill to get that panoramic Instagram picture checked off your list.  

 

Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by HABITUS (@habitus_architettura)

The most imposing and symbolic building in the developed and modernized district of Rome is without doubt the Palazzo Della Civilta Italiana, which is also known as the “Square Colosseum”. This building was commissioned by Benito Mussolini. Hence, the building remains a symbol of Italian Fascist architecture. In addition to this, Mussolini wanted this building to remind people of the ancient Colosseum and give them the impression that fascism would last forever. Furthermore, each side of the building consists of six rows of nine arches, rising to a height of 50m. Likewise, these numbers are a homage to the project’s fascist patron, with the six rows reflecting the six letters of Benito and the nine arches the nine letters of Mussolini. Most recently, the Fendi fashion house purchased and renovated the building where they established the global headquarters. Furthermore, occasional contemporary-art exhibitions are staged on the ground floor. A very elegant and high-fashion location to get the perfect Instagram picture to spice up your feed.  

Piramide di Caio Cestio (Pyramid of Cestius), Via Raffaele Persichetti 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Italy - Ciao a tutti! (@italyexperience_)

If someone told you that they had visited a pyramid while visiting Rome, would you have believed him? Now you have a chance to see it yourself. The Pyramid of Cestius is a monumental pyramid, built over 2,000 years ago by a Roman nobleman Gaius Cestius. It was made accessible to the public for the first time ever in 2015. Located on the outskirts of Rome, it is one of the best-preserved ancient buildings in the Italian capital. This pyramid is 37 metres tall and nearly 30 square metres large. Fun fact; the pyramid used to be covered in marble. Now, that is impressive! Thanks to the great state of preservation of the pyramid, visitors can even enter the burial chamber, which is concealed inside, still boasting beautiful ancient decor and frescos. WOW, your Instagram followers, with a picture of this hidden gem!  

Trastevere 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by NFT | ART INSPIRATION (@wownfts)

Perhaps the most charming neighbourhood in all Rome is Trastevere. A  beautiful and vibrant area full of authentic Roman trattorias and cafes. From romantic winding alleyways and cobblestone streets to majestic churches and splendid piazzas, there's plenty to keep tourists busy. This atmospheric neighbourhood with the great nightlife is located on the west bank of the Tiber. One of the true beauties of Trastevere is Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere, with the picture-perfect Basilica alongside the golden mosaics and external fountain. The Basilica is one of the oldest churches in Rome and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Trastevere is very quiet during the day, pleasantly removed from the crowds and hustle and bustle of the city, yet conveniently located within walking distance from the Historic Center, the Vatican City and Spanish Steps. Hence, it is one of the top things to do when in Rome. It is truly the ideal location for a lovely stroll to see the true colours of Bella Rome and the best photo to brighten up your Instagram feed. 

 

Quartiere Coppedè  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by FRANCESCA | Travel inspo 🌍 (@_seraluna_)

Quartiere Coppedè is an unexpected and extraordinary area within the Trieste district in Rome, Italy. Its architecture incorporates a mix of Ancient Greek, Medieval, Mannerist, Roman Baroque, and Art Nouveau styles. For this reason, it is also known as Rome’s “Fairytale” district. The architect of this gorgeous district is the Florentine architect Gino Coppedè, who was working on the quarter from 1913 until he died in 1927. It is a unique location; you will probably not find it in tourist guides. No two buildings look the same. Likewise, all the buildings have beautiful murals painted onto the exterior. Additionally, the wonderful ‘frog fountain’ is a great location to take your memorable Instagram photo. Moreover, Coppedè’s fantasy style buildings have attracted several filmmakers over the years. This novel setting was seen on the big screen in movies such as The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974), Inferno (1980) and  The Omen (1976). 

 

Conclusion:  

Rome is a beautiful timeless city and the most Instagrammable places are scattered all around it! Realistically, you’d need at least a few days if not longer to photograph all these locations. I’d recommend picking the ones that really stand out and then photographing others nearby so that you don’t miss your favourite shots. 

Don’t forget to check out our Rome collection and get them one of our unique and colourful Rome themed products. See our full range via our brochure