Why I Love Caving

I find it very hard to describe why I love caving. Ever since my first attempt at it I know I love it, and so does Ellie. One of the more obvious reasons is that the bigger the challenge the bigger the sense of adventure. CAVING IS PRIMAL Moreover, I like that caving feels primal. Our ancestors were cavemen and women. You can’t get much closer to nature than literally immersing yourself into Mother Earth. WHY I LOVE CAVING: IT COMBINES MANY DIFFERENT SPORTS I love that caving combines so many different sports and techniques. Climbing and caving are heavily interlinked. Not just in that caving does usually include a fair bit of climbing. Both sports involve scrambling and vertical work using ropes. The founder of the world’s premier climbing gear brand Petzl, for instance, Fernand Petzl, was a famous caver. OFTEN IT IS LIKE UNDERGROUND CANYONING Caving can be […]

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Gliding around at Canary Wharf Ice Rink

Ellie and I recently visited Canary Wharf Ice Rink for the first time. It’s now closed, but is due to open again from October 2023 to February 2024. This makes it the London ice rink with the by far longest skating season. Some other rinks only open for 4 or 5 weeks. COSY ATMOSPHERE, BEAUTIFUL SKYLINE AT CANARY WHARF ICE RINK We absolutely loved the experience. Canary Wharf Ice Rink is so cosy, under its glass roof. No wind. No rain. And then, of course, there is the beautiful skyline.     NOT TOO CROWDED When we visited, there were hardly any other people on the ice. Presumably this was unusual. However, I can see how perhaps many office workers don’t want to engage in physical exercise while wearing their expensive business attire. It kind of also makes sense that Canary Wharf is not a place that is known to […]

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Doing a few jumps, spins, and turns at GLIDE Ice Rink Battersea

Ellie & I recently visited GLIDE Ice Rink at Battersea Power Station. We immediately decided that this was going to be one of our top London ice rinks, maybe behind Somerset House and Hampton Court. THE SAME TEAM THAT RAN THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM ICE RINK IS NOW RUNNING THE GLIDE ICE RINK, BATTERSEA The team that run the ice rink, also used to run another one of our favourite London venues: the Natural History Museum ice rink. Funny, because while that ice rink has now gone to ice rink heaven, I still vividly remember how uncomfortable the ice skating boots there were.    GLIDE’s boots are the same make (possibly the very same boots, I don’t know). That said, as long as you bring two very thick pairs of socks, you’ll be fine.     A WIDE PRICE RANGE FOR TICKETS Depending on the time of the day and […]

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Two Nights at the Famous Swan Hotel, Wells

Ellie & I recently stayed at the four-star Swan Hotel, in Wells, Somerset. I was doing some caving with a buddy of mine in the Mendips. My wife decided to join me for some above-ground sightseeing, so we needed a place to stay. This hotel is where constable Nicholas Angel stays in the 2007 film Hot Fuzz with Simon Pegg. THE SWAN HOTEL, WELLS – PERFECT LOCATION The location could not be any better. From the rooms located at the front of the building, you have views of the magnificent front of Wells Cathedral. The market square, the Bishop’s Palace, and High Street with plenty of traditional pubs and quirky shops, are all just a minute’s walk away. PARKING THE CAR WAS A CHALLENGE Service was very helpful and friendly from the moment we arrived. After a lengthy car ride from London in at least partially difficult icy conditions, driving […]

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Doing some Skating at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Ice Rink

Officially called “Lidl on Ice”, in reference to its sponsor, the discount supermarket chain, Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is the UK’s biggest outdoor rink. It is located in London’s magnificent Hyde Park and forms part of the Winter Wonderland fun fair. REINDEER ROAST AND PIGS IN BLANKETS AT WINTER WONDERLAND ICE RINK It is the second time Ellie & I enjoyed some winter fun with Lidl. In 2014 Lidl had run a X-mas themed pop-up ‘fine dining’ budget restaurant in Shoreditch serving a remarkable reindeer roast. At Winter Wonderland you can get Lidl’s award-winning pigs in blankets with festive sauce for £3.     LOCATION The venue is at the southeast corner of the fun fair. This means that the closest entrance is Blue Gate (what3words address: ///open.limit.gold). The closest tube station by far is Hyde Park Corner. Green Park and Knightsbridge are each around 15 minutes’ walk. Victoria is […]

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