Travel. Books. Expat Living.


Recent Posts

Pilgrimage In India: Night Train From Delhi To Katra

Pilgrimage In India: Night Train From Delhi To Katra

The heat seemed to have a sound of its own. It hissed and sighed, pricking at my skin with razor teeth as we made our way across the scorched parking lot where yellow autos crouched like enormous beetles—their drivers waiting out the heat of the […]

Morning to Night: Drinking Culture in Italy

Morning to Night: Drinking Culture in Italy

Before visiting Italy for the first time I’d heard plenty of whispering/rumours about how important drinking culture is to the overall Italian way of life. The moment I landed in Milan, I started to notice evidence everywhere that this is true! Whether seeing people head […]

Hikes Near London: The Mole Gap Trail

Hikes Near London: The Mole Gap Trail

Summer is back in London and that means it’s time to start getting outdoors again. One of my favorite summer activities in the UK is doing small weekend hikes. The weather usually doesn’t get too hot and it’s a fun way to explore a little outside the big city.

The Mole Gap Trail is a 10-mile walk that follows the River Mole through some pretty stunning UK countryside and villages. What’s the best part? Besides being able to pop into a pub at the end of your hike, you’ll also find one of the UK’s largest vineyards along your walk! Wine and hikes? Who could say no to that!

 

Where to start

1

You’ll start your hike in Leatherhead, but it’s useful to note that this isn’t a circular hike, so you’ll need to buy return tickets from Dorking. There’s direct trains leaving from both Waterloo and Victoria pretty frequently and the ride is only around 45 minutes. The train is small and kind of quaint and tends to be empty, so it’s a very enjoyable ride!

 

Beginning the walk

6

Once you reach Leatherhead, exit the station and take a right. This is where the fun begins! You should find a park at the end of the block and you’ll want to cross the park, angling left. You should see a sort of sculpture/work of art directly in your path. It looks like this:

5

At the foot of the sculpture is your first silver arrow! These dot the town, pointing you in the direction you should be going in order to hit the Mole Gap Trail. Some of these are a bit hard to find, but it was a lot of fun searching for them as it made me feel like I was on a scavenger hunt!

4

 

Things to know

8

Like I said, keep an eye out for silver arrows in odd places. They might be on the ground, or on a wall, partially hidden by plants. Once you get onto the trail, the arrows will stop and it’s pretty much a straight shot from there. The Mole Gap Trail is very easy to do, so it’s perfect for beginners. Make sure to wear lots of sunscreen as there are some long swaths of the walk where there isn’t any shade.

11

You’ll also reach a point in the hike where the trail breaks off to the right into a woody area, or goes left past some farms and horse corrals. We went left as that was the direction towards the pub we wanted to visit. It was also a shorter walk to Dorking.

 

Drink recommendations

9

Once you get nearer to Dorking you should make a detour to The Running Horses pub. It’s a popular place, but it serves great food (both vegetarian and non), and has a varied selection of local beers on tap. It’s also a relaxing joint for getting out of the sun and celebrating the near-completion of your hike!

2

If you continue down the road a little past The Running Horses, you should find the entrance to Denbies Wine Estate. Entry is free, so go ahead and wander in past the rows of grapevines and inside-where you can sample and buy some local wine. Denbies is famous for its white wine as, an employee explained to me, the local weather isn’t good for red. You’re pretty close to Dorking station at this point, so go ahead and buy a bottle before continuing on your way!

 

Finishing the trail

3

The entire trail took us roughly 5 hours to complete, but we had to backtrack quite a bit at the start because we kept missing the silver arrows. Hopefully my photos will make it a little easier for you to find them so you don’t lose time! We also spent time at the wine estate and pub, and a little time walking around Leatherhead, so all in all our timing wasn’t bad. It’s a beautiful part of the country and definitely worth exploring!

 

Have you hiked any fun or easy trails near London lately? Share which ones you liked most!

A Beginner’s Guide To Visiting Oman

A Beginner’s Guide To Visiting Oman

I can’t remember exactly when I first decided to add Oman to my travel bucket list. I do remember watching this amazing Marko Roth video about Oman (seriously though, all his travel videos are incredible) and feeling inspired to travel to this small nation in […]

7-Day Spain Itinerary

7-Day Spain Itinerary

It’s impossible to see all of Spain in a single week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a memorable vacation! Spain is incredibly well-connected and you can easily rely on Renfe to get you where you need to go. Read on for a great […]


5 Romantic Cities to Visit in 2017

5 Romantic Cities to Visit in 2017

Valentine’s Day has just passed (I hope you all had a fantastic one), but I’m a true believer in keeping the romance going all year long. So, in that spirit, let’s take a look at some of the most romantic cities in the world that you should be visiting in 2017:

2. Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon

If the old-fashioned charm and friendly people don’t capture your heart, the colorful buildings and quaint trams certainly will! Visiting Lisbon is the perfect way to show yourself a little love—and that’s the best kind, isn’t it?

lisbon2

 

2. Kyoto, Japan

kyoto2

There are few places in the world as magical as Kyoto, and it is one city I would definitely return to in a heartbeat. The peaceful serenity and gorgeous nature will give you plenty of time to reflect on how much you love that special someone.

kyoto

 

3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

amsterdam

It’s not hard to pinpoint what makes Amsterdam such a romantic city. Those dreamy canals, whimsical markets, and fanciful lanes and byways pretty much say it all!

amsterdam2

 

4. Cappadocia, Turkey

cappadocia

Cappadocia seems to be all about romance and whimsy. You can take hikes among the fairy chimneys, go on a hot air balloon ride, or get lost in your thoughts while smoking a hookah and drinking Turkish tea. You’ll most definitely fall in love with this cute little town.

cappadocia2

 

5. Ubud, Bali

bali

Nothing quite says romance like a little taste of island life. Bali is an incredible place to visit, both solo or with someone you love. The tropical panoramas and friendly people will surely kindle a spark of passion in you for this beautiful island! Who knows? Maybe you’ll fall in love.

bali2

 

What do you think are some of the most romantic cities in the world? Share your travel experiences!