Reasons I fell in love with Sydney

With not one, but two highly-recognisable landmarks, Sydney Harbour is one of the most famous sights in the world and you can (and I did!) spend hours just admiring these two icons.

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However, there’s more to Sydney and here’s my pick of some of the other attractions.

  1. Beaches – everyone has heard of Bondi, of course. However, when I clapped eyes on it, I couldn’t help but be put in mind of Bournemouth and wondered why it’s internationally famous when there’s so much stunning coastline in this area.

We stayed near Maroubra beach and paid for a disastrous surfing lesson that must have been pretty entertaining for anyone that saw it. In between watching us inhale seawater and sand in equal quantities, our instructor assured us that Maroubra was, in fact, better than Bondi as it’s longer, its waves are more consistent and it’s quieter. Other top picks include Manly (although I was distracted by the opportunity that business names such as “Manly Nails” presented; plus Coogee and Clovelly.

 

 

Bondi

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2. Coastal walks

There’s an incredible walk from Maroubra along the coast, past beautiful beach houses, gorgeous beaches all the way to Bondi, passing Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Indeed, even the Virgin Mary is said to be a fan of Coogee, having made a miraculous appearance here in 2003.

Every turn of the path provides a jawdropping view and the five-mile walk just flies by in a blur of stunning rock formations, sea views and joggers.

 

 

3. North Sydney Olympic Pool

Swimming in this fantastic 50m pool is to immerse yourself in history itself. At $7.80, it’s cheaper than my local pool, and offers the most fabulous view of the harbour bridge and next door Luna Park. There’s also a children’s pool and an indoor pool, but the outdoor pool is fantastic and offers the chance to rub shoulders with Australian swimmers who are the best in the world.

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When it was first built in 1936, it was actually longer, but was shortened in 1964 to fit in with international standards. Between the 1950s and 1970s, 86 world records were set here. I might have set one for the slowest lap ever – but to be fair, I was distracted by the view and also the salty taste of the water, plus the organised way in which people doing breast stroke were made to swim in a different lane from the front crawlers. I thought the pool was incredible and loved the historic feel of the changing rooms, but apparently it needs upgrading and views are currently being sought on its future.

4. Rake

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I’m late to the party, but thoroughly enjoying this Sydney-based series recommended by my newly-Antipodean friend Pauline. It’s definitely one for the over 18s and is clever, hilarious and fast-moving. Richard Roxborough plays Cleaver Greene, a colourful, sleazy, complicated barrister who thrives both in the courtroom and bedroom. The writing is hilarious and the character is apparently based on a real person.

 

 

Silence

 

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#colournewbury

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Well, after a fantastic evening on Friday which saw Newbury paint the town red, blue, pink and all manner of vibrant colours, there’s another free outdoor event on its way.

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Taking place in the Market Place at 9pm on Sunday/Monday 28 and 29 August at 9pm, Silence is a mix of physical theatre, fire and puppetry. Expect an interactive experience linking music, war, fences and the dream of escape.

The Corn Exchange’s Outdoor Programme is supported by Greenham Common Trust and Arts Council England.

The colour of time

Newbury peeps can look forward to the latest outdoor event when the Corn Exchange brings the Colour of Time to town on Friday (22nd) at 7pm.

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Starting at the Methodist Church, participants will be invited by French outdoor theatre company Artonik to take part in a colourful parade incorporating elements of the Indian festival Holi in which people  throw coloured powder in the air to celebrate loved ones.

The event will incorporate dance and theatre before culminating in a finale in the Market Place.

The event is funded by Greenham Common Trust and the Arts Council for England. Organisers recommend that contact lens users wear glasses and that you wear old clothes that you don’t  mind getting stained.  You can follow the fun on social media with the hashtag #colournewbury

Autumn

Coming soon –  Families can enjoy Scamp Theatre’s award-winning adaptation of Stick Man (Sat 17 – Mon 19 Sep), one of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved books and perfect for ages 3+; Michael Morpurgo’s An Elephant in the Garden (Thu 20 & Fri 21 Oct) is brought to life, in this inspiring tale of a little girl, her mother and an elephant called Marlene as they flee the Allied bombings of 1945 Germany. Big Wooden Horse treat families with little ones aged 2 – 7 years to a sack full of festive cheer as they tell charming story of The Night Before Christmas (Wed 14 – Sun 18 Dec).

-ENDS-