Tour Your Hometown:
Kiara of Gallop Around The Globe
1. For starters, where is your current hometown and how long have you lived there?
My hometown is Shrewsbury, in the UK. It’s a medieval market town with over 660 listed buildings, and is also the birthplace of Charles Darwin. I moved to Shrewsbury from Cambridge when I was just 11 years old, and have lived here on and off ever since.
2. For many people, travel is not always feasible or desirable all year round. How do you make the most of your hometown when you are not traveling?
Although I am passionate about travel and photography and would love to travel full-time, I haven’t yet figured out a way to make enough money from my blog to make this possible, so currently I am working full time in an administrative capacity for a local government organisation. This means that I only get 23 days paid annual leave per year, which does restrict my travel somewhat.
However, I have the advantage of living in the county town of beautiful, rural Shropshire. Not only are there a lot of art, music and cultural events happening in Shrewsbury itself (despite its size – Shrewsbury has a population of around 72,000 – there is a LOT going on in this town), Shrewsbury is also surrounded by some beautiful countryside, picturesque walks, and historic architecture.
I always try to keep up to date with local art, culture and music publications, so that I know what events are happening and where, and at the weekends (subject to me being up-to-date with any outstanding assignments for my blog), my boyfriend and I try to put one day aside to explore somewhere new in the Shropshire Countryside, or re-visit a place we particularly love.
3. What is the most creative technique you use to save up for your travels while you are at home?
Although I’m not a materialistic kind of girl, I do seem to have accumulated a lot of ‘stuff’ over the years, so I’m gradually trying to reduce the quantity of items I own by selling on Ebay and Amazon. I also complete surveys online in exchange for money or vouchers for food shopping. Even little things like making my lunch every day instead of buying it on my way to work, all help. I also use cash back sites every time I make purchases for travel and accommodation, or essentials such as utilities and insurance.
4. What is the best part of your hometown that other visitors should know about?
The best part of my hometown is the history, and the thriving arts, music, and restaurant scene. It’s a great mix of the ancient and modern. There are so many timber-framed listed buildings dotted around the town centre, lots of little hidden alleyways, and stories connected to each and every one. We also have a castle, a theatre, an abbey and a multitude of churches, museums, and art galleries.
The river Severn loops almost entirely around my town, which means you’re never far from water. There are some lovely walks alongside the river, and a park and enclosed flower garden, which are perfect for relaxing in the summer. Several pubs (and we have many traditional watering holes, as well as more upmarket, trendy bars) host open mic nights as well as showcasing local musicians. Look up Fight the Bear, and Blues Boy Dan, both successful musicians from the Shropshire area who play regularly in Shrewsbury.
5. Finally, we can’t forget about the food! Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown and why?
There’s so many good restaurants in Shrewsbury, some long-standing candidates and some newer, increasingly popular offerings. My favourite of the newer offerings is Japanese Raman Noodle Bar and Restaurant, Momo-No-Ki, which opened on 10 July 2014 and is situated opposite the historic Abbey, The successful head chef Chris Burt (who’s also published a book entitled “Momo-No-Ki”) cooks up a tasty and authentic selection of noodle dishes, sushi and sashimi. For daytime dining I also love Optimum Joy, a small whole food cafe situated at the top of historic Wyle Cop, serving up delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes, and a selection of speciality teas.
The Peach Tree (situated next to Momo-No-Ki) is also another one of my favourite restaurants, along with the Mytton and Mermaid, which holds a beautiful riverside location on the outskirts of town, and seafood chain Loch Fyne. Lastly, although not in Shrewsbury itself, it’s very much worth the short drive from town. The King and Thai in the nearby village of Broseley serves up some of the best Thai food I’ve tasted outside of Thailand.
Hi, I’m Kiara, the blogger behind Gallop Around The Globe, which is a travel and photography site focussing on all my favourite things – beautiful landscapes and architecture, hiking, cycling, art, culture, music and food. I’ve got a penchant for the quirky and unusual, an unhealthy obsession with cacti, and a weakness for monkeys, reptiles and cats. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Google+ 🙂