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These Boots are Made for Walking

Looking for things to do in Leamington Spa recently, we chanced across a wonderful specialist retailer – Lockwoods. A family business that claims their boot fitting service is regarded as the best available in the UK, with their “fit guarantee” giving complete peace of mind.

The amount of walking checking Treasure Trails clues, we do means we need decent boots. My current ones were on their last legs (ha ha). So, not wanting to pass up the opportunity for a proper fitting, I hot footed it over there!

These Boots are Made for Walking - a wide selection of boots availableThe service was an absolute delight and a master class in how to make sure your customer feels important. The young salesman was extremely knowledgeable and had a great balance between giving me enough and too much information.

These Boots are Made for Walking - correct fitting is vitalFirst he measured my feet – from side to side as well as toe to heel. He measured them in the old fashioned way – on a scale on a slope and then again with me standing up so they were weight bearing which he explained could be quite a different size. Turns out my left foot is a whole size bigger than my right! No wonder I have difficulty with shoes and are only really comfortable in flip flops!

These Boots are Made for Walking - these feet have a lot of work to do!He showed me how the foot moves when its walking using a foot that looked like something out of a horror film!  He checked what kind of walking I did – ambling round towns and cities mostly working out new Treasure Trail routes with a bit of country rambling for fun too! Then he produced a pair of boots to try on and he checked the fit with his fingers in the heel (rather than pushing down on the front to work out where my toes were).

I did try on a second pair but really the first pair were just right and felt incredibly comfortable.  I was offered insoles and after a discussion on the technical merits of these £40 extras, I was sold. I love their colour too.  

At no time did I feel under any kind of pressure to buy which was refreshing and I am only sorry that I don’t live close to Leamington Spa because the shop was full of all sorts of other treats that I would have loved to have spent my money on.  They do have a mail order option though so I will go back again virtually and have a browse after the next pay day!

Boots or flip flops? What do you walk in when you are doing a Treasure Trail? And have you done the Leamington Spa Spy Mission?

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18th March 2015

Posted In: Ideas

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Things to do in London for Families

London, like most European capital cities is fun to explore, but it can get very expensive. I recently joined a family from Israel to spend a day in the city and by the time they had paid the train fares to get from St Albans to South Kensington, been ice skating, rampaged round the Science Museum, had ice creams and coffee, lunch, snacks and tea there wasn’t much left over for the rest of their holiday.

Things to do in London for Families - ice skatingThankfully, the next day they were planning to spend the day closer to where they were staying and were all set up to be entertained using the St Albans Treasure Trail

It got me thinking about things to do in London for families.

There is of course a wealth of stuff to do and it all depends what you are interested in, what ages the children are and what the weather is doing!  But good ideas about things to do can be found from any and all of these sources:-

Laura Porter writes about things to do in London and there is a wealth of information on the Go London website. Laura is very helpful if you have specific questions. She seems to be on twitter most of the time too, so you don’t have to wait long for an answer if you send her a tweet

Trip Advisor provides ideas of things to do in London under two separate categories – activities and attractions. And as you would expect there are masses of suggestions and others’ opinions and reviews of those activities and attractions. At the time of writing, the top ranking went to one of my most favourite places in London – the Wallace Collection – I am in good company! The recommendations do change though as people add their thoughts and ideas. 

Another source of information is of course Time Out. The magazine has been around for decades and its on line version is a rich source of inspiration. According to them “Real Londoners never just ‘go for a walk’: that’s for people beyond the green belt with time on their hands. No, we want action-packed urban ambling” which did make me laugh and the phrase action packed urban ambling could easily apply to Treasure Trails don’t you think? 

The press frequently feature things to do in London in various guises but the one that caught my attention was an article in August of last year entitled the 9 worst things to do in London! We will definitely be avoiding all those suggestions! These recommendations might be worth pursuing though.

And then there are the tried and tested tourist information centres. Visit London is the “official” guide to London and whilst it is possible to physically visit them, in this day and age most people will no doubt do at least some research before heading the capital. 

Last, but by no means least there is Days Out with the Kids.  Their list is topped by the National Gallery, which is of course worth seeing, but I am not sure that I ever would have taken my kids there as the number one thing to do in London!

Have you been to London recently? What did you do with your time there? 

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3rd March 2015

Posted In: Ideas

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