Live music is one of my main passions. The buzz of seeing a band or artist that you love perform live is exciting, exhilarating and can leave long lasting memories. In terms of value for money, music festivals are a great way to catch lots of bands play. Whether you are familiar with a band or not, it can be a great opportunity to discover new artists or see bands you love. I’ve recently noticed there has been an upsurge of smaller festivals in the UK, so this year we decided to go and check out the family friendly Deer Shed Festival in North Yorkshire.

I visited my first music festival in 1998 – V98 in Leeds in case you were wondering. Mildly obsessed with Stereophonics at the time, and having watched footage of them at a very muddy Glastonbury that summer, I felt the need to experience a festival. I made a phone call to the ticket line (internet booking wasn’t really a thing back then) and bagged one of the last tickets available. Come August, myself and a friend jumped on a train to Leeds, camped up and saw the likes of The Verve, Charlatans, PJ Harvey, Catatonia and Stereophonics. I was hooked.

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Every summer I get the urge to head to the mountains. There is something about the crisp fresh air, the peace and the dramatic scenery that consistently draws me back in. There’s nowhere better in Europe than the Alps for mountain scenery, so when I was recently offered the opportunity to head to Verbier in the Val De Bagnes region of Switzerland on behalf of fellow travel blogger On the Luce, I jumped at the opportunity. You might be familiar with Verbier as a luxury ski resort, but this stunning mountain resort has plenty to offer it’s summer visitors too. With fabulous views across the Val de Bagnes valley and the surrounding mountain ranges, it is a destination suitable for those who are looking for adventure, fun, culture and relaxation. If you are looking for any of those things, you should definitely consider a Verbier summer holiday.

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What do you look for in a city centre hotel?

I don’t know about you, but I spend far too much time pondering about city break hotel stays. More often than not, you’ll end up with an expensive hotel that doesn’t really offer great value in terms of the room rate. Recently when visiting towns and cities in the UK,  I have opted for the lower budget chain hotels. If it’s for a night or two, I find that a Travelodge is perfectly acceptable. They’ve come a long way in the last few years. The rooms are still fairly functional, but with much improved décor they are now a nice space to spend time in. I guess the whole point of a city break is that you are not going to spend much time in your room? It’s somewhere to sleep, shower and leave your belongings. Every now and again though, you stumble across a little gem in the sea of hotel options on sites like Booking.com. We did that exact thing on a recent visit to Manchester when I booked a two night stay at the Motel One Manchester Royal Exchange.

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