With Parkrun and Race for Life injecting fresh interest into the gruelling business of running, there’s never been a better time to pound the streets. Already addicted to Parkrun’s Saturday morning community vibe, I had the urge to try something new. Described as the happiest 5K on the planet, the Colour Run had me intrigued. But was it all a cloud of colourful hot air? And more importantly, how would I get the colour out my hair for work the next day?
With our carefree holiday spirit left languishing by the sun loungers, we’re back to the harsh realities of work. Faced with the prospect of performance reviews and back-to-back deadlines, it’s all too easy to become mired in melancholy this autumn. But what if you could regain the holiday feeling at work? These seven uplifting steps won’t bring afternoon cocktails to your desk but will boost your spirits in the run up to your next travel adventure.
With a name like Bohemian Paradise, this national park had a lot to live up to. Promising mythical castles, towering trees and gargantuan sandstone pillars, it sounded just the kind of flamboyant weekend break I craved. Casting off my work suit, I set off to follow in the footsteps of song writers and poets on a gloriously Bohemian Bank holiday get-away to the Czech Republic.
A desert, post-apocalyptic housing and a nuclear power station: Dungeness is guaranteed to be one of the weirdest places you’ll ever encounter. Described as “the end of the world” due to its remote location and barren stretch of coastline, it’s a mecca for nature lovers, photographers and Londoners seeking the ultimate “out there” holiday home location. After a week submerged under the shadow of sky scrapers, I boldly ventured where few bloggers have gone before.
For a lunch break with a view, there are few venues that can top London’s Sky Garden. Offering sweeping panoramas across the great metropolis, the 155-metre bruiser offers a high-rise oasis of calm. Raising you above the stress of office life, you can kick back, relax and gaze loftily at your fellow worker ants scurrying through the City streets.
With bikes now constituting up to half of all road journeys on some central London routes, cycling is taking the capital by storm. And with bike racks now as customary as breakout space, there’s never been a better time to get on your bike. Keen to get a piece of the two-wheel action, I headed down to the City to catch a peek at London Nocturne.
Farming may seem a far cry from office life but with a growing number of city farms springing up, you can now swap the boardroom for the pig pen. With a never-ending cycle of feeding, grooming, exercising, cleaning and cuddling, volunteers from all walks of life are in high demand. Being a country girl at heart, I ditched the stilettos for wellies and got down and dirty with the pigs, goats, hens and rabbits at Stepney City Farm.
“Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones” rang the soundtrack in my head as I visited the infamous Bone Church or “Ossuary” in Kutna Hora, Bohemia. Crammed with the remains of more than 40,000 mortals displayed on walls, ceilings and cherub-topped pyramids, I didn’t know whether to be impressed or repulsed.
With 2016 marking the 90th anniversary of the first Winnie the Pooh book, I needed no better excuse to head off on a day’s hiking to Ashdown Forest: the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood. Spurred on by my recent celebrity-inspired hike to the Chilterns, what better way to relieve corporate stress than with a game of pooh sticks and a honey sandwich or two?
Living in a city that’s home to 270 nationalities, I’m constantly amazed by the different cultures that surround me daily. And with such a range of faith festivals, there’s ample opportunity to learn more about those I regularly rub shoulders with on my daily commute. Intrigued by the brightly coloured turbans that grace our city, I decided to spend an afternoon immersed in Sikh traditions at the Vaisakhi Festival at City Hall.