How To Spend A Cheap Family Weekend In London

London is a great city with loads to do, so it’s perfect for a family weekend away. But once you’ve done all of the usual touristy stuff, it’s a bit boring the second time around. But don’t write it off just yet, it’s a big city and there are plenty more things that you haven’t discovered yet, a lot of them perfect for the family. The only problem is, London is an incredibly expensive city which puts a lot of people off. But there is still a lot of fun stuff for the whole family that won’t break the bank. Just follow this guide to a cheap family weekend in London.


Where To Stay

Accommodation is going to be one of your biggest expenses when you’re staying in London. If you’re staying in a hotel somewhere near the centre you’ll have to get a couple of rooms, one for you and one for the kids, and it’ll be expensive. It’s often better to get an apartment that you can all stay in. Visit to see what’s on offer. Staying in an apartment of your own is often better than a hotel when you’re with the family because you can all stay together and it’s a lot more comfortable.

What To Eat

Eating out in London is another huge expense, but if you’re staying in an apartment you’ll have your own kitchen. You can still go out and enjoy some nice restaurants, you are on holiday after all. But you can save a good amount of money by cooking your own breakfast and lunch back at the apartment, rather than spending upwards of £10 each on something to eat every time.

Where To Go

A lot of the attractions in London are expensive but there are plenty of free ones too. You wouldn’t expect to find farm animals around London but if you head over to Hackney, there’s a great city farm there. The petting zoo is sure to be a hit with the kids.

If you’re there in the summer, why not spend a day in one of the many parks around the city. You can take a picnic down there and just relax in the sun for a day while the kids play.

There are also loads of great free museums around if you want to make the trip educational as well as fun. The British Museum is absolutely huge with so many great exhibitions on ancient Egypt and Rome and some interactive exhibitions where the kids can pick up some of the artefacts. You can easily spend an entire day in there and you still won’t see it all. Visit to see what’s on at the moment.

The Natural History Museum is another brilliant one, housing some interesting exhibitions on Earth science. If you’re interested in the history of the city itself, head over to the Museum of London. It takes you through the entire history of the city up to present day and you’ll learn so much interesting stuff that you never knew about our capital.

It’s true that London is expensive but if you know what you’re doing, you can have a great weekend there without spending that much at all.


Turn Your Garden into a New ‘Room’


We tend to think of our homes as being within the confines of our walls but the garden is just as important a room as any other. It might not have a ceiling but with the right ideas, this can be seen as a huge advantage!

The British weather is not really known for being fabulous for longer than about 5 minutes, but, if you are willing to try out a few small experiments, you can enjoy your garden all year round, drizzle and all. Here are a few ideas worth looking into.

Create a Fire Pit to Sit Around

The central focal point of the living room, kitchen and even bedroom in years gone by was the fire. Whether it was ornate with a fabulously carved mantel or just a simple coal-filled grate, man and fire go back thousands of years. In fact, we are now scrabbling around for focal points for our modern, radiator-filled homes.

Firepits are very easy to construct and as long as you have a good supply of wood and a few eco firelighters to hand, it won’t be long before you are toasting marshmallows either. Add a few seats and bring out some cushions when it is clear and you have the perfect entertaining space.

Build a Patio with a Shelter

Having somewhere to sit is always at the top of the list for a room and creating a space for that in your garden is a good plan. A patio reaching out from your door is a great idea, especially if you use the same flooring inside as out to give the illusion that the room just keeps on going.

Even in a small garden, adding some shelter will tempt you out in spite of the weather. Seating is also easy to arrange, and you can either choose an outdoor sofa or make your own by recycling some old pallets. This is a cheap but effective way to build some seating and you can make exactly what you want to fit.

Use Tall Plants to Stop the Wind

Though you might think that a small garden can’t take tall plants, used in the right way, they also provide a bit of protection from the wind as well as provide screening for privacy. Do consider the size of the leaves when choosing the right plant, though as larger leaves will look better on a larger scale than smaller ones. Proportion is everything in gardening.

Putting tall plants around the perimeter is the most common way to create screens but you can also segment your garden too. Tall grasses work really well in trough-style tubs and will wave in the breeze, not quite blocking the view down the garden.

With a bit of planning and careful design, you can create an all-year garden to enjoy. Fire and shelter were all our ancestors needed and with a few rugs and a mug of tea, it can be all you need in the garden too.  

Say “I Do” To A Personalised Wedding

Planning a wedding

When it comes to planning a wedding, you will no doubt be met by a few cliches. That’s because there are so many traditions surrounding weddings and marriage that most people end up having the same kind of day as everyone else. You know the kind of thing – church ceremony, a nice meal at the reception, and then an evening party.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with your wedding following these very traditional lines, but it can be nice to add your very own personal touches wherever and whenever possible so that you can help your whole day stand out from all the other weddings out there.

Wondering what you can personalise? Here are some fun ideas.


Why start with the wedding itself when you could personalise it before it has even begun?! The way to do that is to send out some personalised invitations to all your guests. There are now lots of firms, like Paper Themes, that give you the chance to add some personal touches to the cards and invites you buy. Alternatively, you might want to have a go at making your own invitations. That way, they can be as personalised as you want!

Wedding Favours

The wedding favours are the small treats and gifts that are placed at each setting on the tables at the reception. These are often small presents that the bride and groom buy all their guests as a thank you for joining them on their special day. These lend themselves to being personalised. For instance, you might want to gift each guest a personalised bag of sweets or a tin of mints. Whatever you get them, I’m sure you could add their name onto it somewhere!

The Wedding Cake

You may not think that a cake would be easy to personalise, but it actually is! Of course, it won’t be the cake itself that gets personalised – but you can add some unique touches to the topper that sits on top of it. For instance, it’s now possible to buy wedding cake toppers that are brides and grooms made out of icing that look exactly like you and your partner. You might need to find a specialist bakery or cake topper company that provides this service, but it will certainly be worth it!


Lots of breweries and specialist drinks companies now offer you the chance to create your own drink with them for special occasions, and many couples are now taking advantage of this for their wedding. For instance, your local brewery might be able to brew a one-off beer for your big day. You will get to name it and design the label for the bottles. It can then be served to all your guests at the reception and evening party.

These are just a handful of ways you might want to personalise your wedding. There are so many more; I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great inspiration for fun personalisation!

All the best for your wedding day!

You’ve Tried Everything To Lighten Your Dark Living Room, But We Bet You Haven’t Tried This

Dark rooms are never desirable. No matter where you are in your house, a dark space can feel claustrophobic and restricting. Never is this more of an issue than when your living room is at fault. This is the place where you spend most of your time at home. It’s where you come to chill out and kick back. It’s where you head to, quite literally, lighten your load. Only, none of those things are possible in a room with oppresses you as soon as you enter it.

Sadly, if your living room isn’t blessed with natural light, this is likely the reality you face. As such, there’s every chance you’ve tried all the tricks in the book. It may be that you’ve painted the walls white, or done everything you can imagine to get your lighting just right. Still, you can’t achieve the level of brightness you’re after.

It may seem, then, that you’ve come to the end of the road. Your attempts have failed, and there’s nothing else for you try. Or, is there? In truth, there are many more steps you can take to brighten that all important space. All you need to do is think outside the box to achieve them. Or, you could carry on reading and find out that way!

Where are the windows?


It’s likely you’ve been trying to avoid any significant renovation work during your attempts. After all, no one wants to embark on a voluntary building project at home. But, by installing more windows in that dark space, you can renovate with little work. This could mean getting skylights installed in that sloping roof, or expanding the windows you have. You could even join two windows, and install sliding patio doors which can bring more light than you would ever imagine. Once these additions are in place, keep them clean to enjoy a brightness you’d never achieve otherwise.

Shining surfaces

It’s also worth making use of shining surfaces within the room. You might have tried the mirror trick without success, but it’s time to take things up a notch. Reflective surfaces are fantastic for creating the illusion of both brightness and space, each of which is sure to help your cause. You could go all out with metallic wallpaper on a feature wall. Or, you could invest in a coffee table with a reflective surface which will do the job just as well.


Take it outside

During your attempts, it’s likely that you’ve focused on your living room interior. And, that makes complete sense. After all, the room itself is the problem. But, by taking your efforts outside, it’s possible that you’ll have more success in brightening things up. Cutting back trees outside your windows can work here, as can focusing on those further away. While you don’t want to get rid of your garden wonders, you do want to make sure they aren’t impacting your light quality. So, don’t be afraid to prune branches which are getting in the way.

What To Do When Your House Breaks Down On You

No one looks forward to a house breaking down, but there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to the structure you’re living inside and the systems that keep it functional. Lights can flicker, there can be a water shortage, and your bath might just tipple over and start leaking into the rooms below. And because something is going wrong inside your own personal haven, you’re going to feel terrible about it. But don’t worry, this post is here to help!

Even if you know your home has a lot of value to it, there’s always a chance something is going to stop working, or blow up in your face, or fall through the ceiling when you least expect it to. Not to mention how ill prepared you’re going to be to deal with these events! So when it comes to working on your house because of something that’s broken and severely impacted your quality of life because of it, you’re going to need some tips.


When You Find Damp

Damp can strike anyone at any time, and it always looks incredibly ugly on an otherwise nice landscape of the rooms you’ve decorated yourself. Not only that, but it can completely remove the effectiveness of any plaster, making the house weaker and colder at the same time. So we can immediately understand finding damp around your house is going to be one of the worst things for your health.

Try to get a dehumidifier in your rooms to make sure any excess condensation is out of your house, and open windows whenever you can. Similarly, make sure you don’t overfill any baths or take too long showers. Until you can get the problem actually solved, these methods will stop it from getting any worse.

When the Radiators Stop Working

If the central heating in your house has stopped working, you’re immediately going to be able to notice because of how much shivering you’re going to be doing when the nighttime rolls around.

If you’re living in a home you don’t own, contact the landlord or council services who do own the house to try and get someone out to solve the problem. You can’t go on with no heat in your house when we live in such a mild climate! Even the water won’t be the same. If you do own your house, always contact your provider to see if the problem can be repaired by them or if anything has changed on their end. For example, you can ring up customer services for British Gas and keep asking for a supervisor or details of your contract until you get the information you came for. Or you can hire out a private service, although this might be a bit more pricey.

There’s a lot of common problems that can happen around the house, and the above are the most likely to happen to you. Don’t worry, they can be resolved simply, and you don’t have to suffer long.