Spring has officially sprung, which means it's time for us t start taking more and more outdoor adventures. Starting off with a trip to Nottingham castle and their underground cave tour.

Entering the main gate, we purchased our ticket for £10.00. This allowed us to explore inside the castle and museum, but it also covered a tour of the caves situated below Nottingham castle.

Guided by the fair Maid Marion (I kid you not - sometimes you get Robin Hood) you are taken down the side of the castle and begin with looking into the story of Mortimer's hole. From here, the gate is unlocked and you begin your descent into the ancient sandstone caves. 

I love the fact that as we walked through the caves, weaving in and out of day light, we were told old stories about how people tried to invade them and take over the castle. 

As we made our way to the end we found ourselves at the very bottom of the castle. It was hard to believe that we had travelled all of that way.

But conviently we had ended up outside Trip to Jerusalem - the oldest pub in England and perfect excuse for a keeping ale. It's the way Friar Tuck would have wanted it! Find out more on Nottingham Castle at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/article/22175/Nottingham-Castle
I'm writing this post with a proper cup of Yorkshire tea in hand, my feet up on a comfy sofa and looking out onto the idyllic Yorkshire moors. Life doesn't get much better than this. 

Where am I staying you ask? Well, this weekend we decided to make a take a road trip to the Yorkshire coast of Scarborough and visit the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel - a stunning country house with over 17 acres of countryside and gardens.

I was invited here by the wonderful owners, who have asked me to share their hidden gem with you as we indulge in a little luxury for the weekend. 

Located 2 miles from Scarborough, this boutique style country house offers so much to choose from. Country walks to picturesque weddings, the overall setting is absolutely incredible. 

When arriving at the hotel, the staff gave us a warm and friendly Yorkshire welcome, asking us what time we'd like dinner and showing us to our room. 

Our Room:

Ox Pasture offers a range of standard to luxury suites to suit all needs and budgets. We stayed in one of the luxury suites, which came with a beautiful living area (where I am actually sat now) filled with tea and coffee facilities, a TV and stereo system. 

A giant king size bed, which would have easily slept 2 more people and was one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in - especially after a bottle of their superb Chilean red wine.

Can I just say, the bathroom had to be our favourite thing about the room. Walking in to the bright and modern bathroom with spotted the huge bath and shower - plus the best taps in the world! (Simple things, I know)

Exploring the grounds:

As I previously mentioned, this place is surrounded by 17 acres of pure beauty. Whilst walking down the adjoining country road, we noticed that there was an endless amount of country walks to take. It was also so lovely to see the first hint of summer with flowers blooming around the hotel and the sunshine gleaming high in the sky.  

The Food:

After making the two hour journey, we had worked up a pretty good appetite and so we decided to indulge in a little luxury of afternoon tea. Baked fresh each day, we tucked into homemade scones, clotted cream and jam. 

Note: I'll be writing a full afternoon tea post, next week.

Later on that evening we made our way to the intimate and rustic Courtyard RestaurantStarting off with a glass of fizz, we were served a little cup of homemade carrot soup and cheese bread - which was yummy!   

Browsing through the British-style menu, there was so much to choose from. To drink, we went with a wonderful Chilean red wine. Food wise, I opted for the duck liver parfait and Gaz opted for a fresh crab risotto. 

After this we were served a refreshing mango sorbet to cleanse our pallets, before tucking into homemade steak pie and sea bass. I have to say I'm not always a huge fan of pie, but I am so glad I ordered this as it was incredible - the pastry was perfection and it was stuffed with soft and succulent steak. It was all just enough. 

As if all this indulgent food and drink wasn't enough, we then decided to take a look at the dessert menu... 

Warm apple and pear crumble served up with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream was Gazs dessert of choice. I wasn't up for anything sweet and so I opted for a selection of fine cheeses. 

After our epic three course meal, we decided to take a little stroll around the grounds (mainly to try and walk off our epic meal) before going to bed. 

The next morning, we woke up (after a great nights sleep) and made our way to breakfast before checking out at 11:00am. Breakfast is service as a full "Yorkshire" or continental choice. 

As we made our way to the reception to check out, the staff gave us a final friendly farewell. With our bags back in the car we made our way down the country lane and back to our little city home in Nottingham. 
Recently me and my fiancée decided to take a little dinner and cinema date to kick start our weekend.

After deliberating whether or not to go to our favourite handful or restuarants, we decided to go somewhere new and check out Bunk - an underground bar located on Stoney Street in Nottingham. 

Walking down into the bar, you're greeted by neon lights, exposed bricks and the smell of chicken wings.

Sitting down we ordered two beers that were served up in quirky jam jars - as we browsed the 2-4-1 chicken wing list. 

You can choose your own seasons from BBQ to hot and spicy wings, that can be ordered in portions of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 50. 

We opted for 10 pieces of the boneless wings marinated in the BBQ sauce with a side of curly fries. 

Costing us £15 for everything, this was the perfect pre-cinema date meal. 
The nights are getting lighter and the days are getting longer - which means that my daily style is now going to get a little brighter and less "wooly". Gone are those chunky knits and warm winter boots - and now comes the beautiful pastel colours and light, lacey fabrics. In short, spring.

So I have created a wanderlust fashion board based on all the things I will be buying or have recently bought for the spring months.

Spring Essentials on ETL

Loose Curls and Easy Hair:
I currently love watching YouTube videos on quick and easy hair styles. I have previously written about how to achieve this when travelling, but in truth I look out for this kind of thing everyday. Sometimes with my hair,  I find the less I do, the better it can look.

Topshops New Season:
Whilst out and about with IntheFrow in London, I purchased my first pair of ripped jeans from Topshop since I was a teenager and I now love them.

Lace and plain tees - simple and effective, I love trying out simple Parisian-esque styles. My friend Charlotte  lives by the book "how to be Parisian" and after showing Victoria, they both loved the idea.

Pastel blazers and flats - adding a pastel blazer to your favourite jeans is a great way to add a pop of spring colour into your daily style without having to completely replace your wardrobe. And can I just say - how cute are these flats.

L'Oreal and Chanel: 
I'm currently obsessed with the L'Oreal skin and beauty range. Their skin perfector is almost like a very light tinted moisturiser and leaves you with an instant glow. Next up I add the true match foundation, which is also a very light liquid that's gives a flawless coverage throughout the day.

Chanel lipstick: 
Whether matt or sheen - Chanel lipsticks are my all time favourite. I tend to use these as my everyday lipsticks, as they stay on all day. For spring I love to add coral and orange colours to a simple eye. 
Whether I'm off on a long haul flight or weeks holiday, I always love to take a good book with me.

Personally, I'm not a big or fast reader, but I like the idea of having a paper book than an e-reader. 

So, whilst travelling around on my adventures, here's a list of my favourite reads.

1. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce

"When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else's life."

From rectifying past mistakes to helping out old friends, this  book is heartfelt and inspiring as an elderly gentleman takes an adventure throughout the UK. 

2. Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer

"In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself."

Happiness is only real when shared - word's to live by in this iconic novel. I read this just before travelling to Thailand and it made me realise that all travel adventures should be shared with new and old people. 

3. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson 

"It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not...Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway." 

A little similar to the Unlikely Pilgrim of Harrod Fry, the 100 year old I am still to complete this epic novel, but from the first half that I have read - it's pretty awesome. 

 As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty," the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

Before deciding that we wanted to travel around America, I read the infamous tail of Sal Paradise and his adventures. Safe to say, booking my cross country adventure 5 weeks later, left me pretty exited! 

"From perfectly formed potatoes to adulterous US presidents, and from domestic upsets to millennial fever, Bill Bryson just cannot resist airing his opinions and standing up for his (mostly) law-abiding fellow American citizens."

We read this book as we travelled around America, which was rather fitting as we noticed how accurate so much for it was to the way of American life.
Whilst travelling around Central America, I met a number of fellow travelers who were exploring two or three countries over a three week period. For them, this was the perfect way to see the world in short 'travel' periods of time, without quitting their jobs or home life. Plus for a number of working people, three weeks is an accepted amount of time to take off.

Image: We Heart It
As we continue to build our life with buying our first home and eventually having a family, we will no doubt become this type of short term traveller. And to be honest, I kind of like to. I get to keep my home and see the world, it's kind of a win-win.

With so many destinations yet to explore, the best way to explore handful of long-haul destinations would be to fly from one place to the other. For instance, New York > Washington > Miami was one of the routes we booked with Flight Centre* to cover off a large part of the east coast.

With that in mind, here are a few long haul destinations that you can visit in three weeks.

Australia: Cairns > Sydney > Melbourne 

From my experience of travelling Australia, these would be the key locations that I would recommend when visiting on a three week window. 

However, it is all dependent on what you enjoy doing when travelling, I'd also highly suggest a visit to Brisbane, Fraser Island and the Whitsundays. Gap Year have a great article on 3 weeks in Australia which you can read here.

Image Source: www.gallivantingoz.com.au

Thailand: Bangkok > Koh Samui > Krabi

Thailand is such an eclectic travel destination - from idyllic beaches to the bustling Bangkok - the people are so friendly and welcoming in all of the must-see destinations I have suggested above.

However, if you'd like to experience more remote islands or more secluded tourist destination then Lonely Planet offer up some great itinerary ideas based on 2-3 weeks in Thailand, which you can read here.

USA: LA > San Francisco > Las Vegas

This is such a tough route for me to pick for three weeks, as there is so many great options. But if I go for 3 weeks to america, I would opt for either a west or east coast (and seeing as I kind of gave you an east coast one above) I'm choose this California/Nevada trip. 

However, the idea of chilling in Cali-forn-I-A doesn't float your boat, then the Guardian Travel have written a great article on four classic America road trips to take, you can check them out here.

So, there you have it. My top three long-haul destinations to travel around in three weeks. I'd love to hear your perfect three week trips. Please feel free to send me a tweet @EatTravelLove.