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#143 Go to a drive-in cinema

Cost: £35 for two people

Website: https://thelunacinema.com/

With the country just starting to come out of lockdown, we looked for potential date night options that had things like social distancing in mind. We weren't confident enough to go down the pub as soon as they opened, so we checked over the Bucket List to see if that could inspire us. 

Sure enough, the idea of a drive-in cinema came up. We could stay in the car, not come into contact with anyone, and still have a movie date of some sorts. This cinema was located at Knebworth house, only about 5 minutes from our front door. 

How it worked: We booked our tickets online and got there 15 minutes before the place opened (a lot of people had the same idea). After a little queue, we were given a Bluetooth speaker and then told to park up in the next available slot. To order food and drink, we had to go online and purchase things from the menu. An attendant then scooters along to your allocated bay and gives you the food through your car window. We went to see the greatest film of all time. Jurassic Park, but they show different classics every night.

Pros: It's a good idea for a date night and a new way of seeing your favourite films. The food is good and the staff are all polite and helpful. 

Cons: It rained all night and windscreen wipers can have an impact on the viewing experience. So try to book on a dry night. There are toilets (portaloos) but they are kept illuminated by fog lights. If you're unlucky enough to be parked up by them, it can be quite annoying to have a light shine on your face throughout the movie (luckily we had a sheet in the car to cover it). Despite them being well organised, it does take a while to get set up and get out at the end. So go in expecting to be waiting around both at the start and at the end. 

Overall, it was a fun night out and a nice way of tiptoeing back into reality after lockdown. I would certainly do it again. 

#190 Go to the Ice Bar

Cost: £35 for two people VIP

Website: The one I used permanently closed in 2020

This was a Christmas present from my parents for me and my girlfriend. A VIP ticket to the Ice Bar in London. (Having a Bucket List helps when people ask you what you want for Christmas/birthdays). I didn’t know that outside the Ice Bar is also the Fire Bar where you can warm up afterwards, so that was an extra bonus.

Not many people rate this experience as essentially you just stand in a freezer with a few cocktails for 40 minutes, and most of the stuff is just ice effect, rather than actual ice, but I personally had a fun time. If you do this, don’t expect a life-changing experience, imagine it as a pub with a gimmick.

#240 Go to Crufts

Cost: Free - £12.50

Website: https://www.crufts.org.uk/

I love dogs. So naturally going to the worlds biggest dog show was going to be on my list. When I found out it was only £12.50 a ticket, I got my nan one too! Then I braced myself for a day of cuddles and misery because I wanted to take them all home. I saw Dalmatians, Bloodhounds, French and English Bulldogs, Pugs and pretty much every dog breed you can think of.

 

My one criticism of the event was I did see a lot of sad-looking dogs, left locked in their cages whilst their owners went for a walk – perhaps this is the done thing, but I personally couldn’t leave my dog unattended at such a massive event in a small cage.

#207 Elephant Experience

Cost: £35

Website: https://knysnaelephantpark.co.za/

Like most people, I’m a big animal lover. You can probably tell that from looking at some of the items on my list. When I was younger, I went to Sri Lanka with my family and we visited an Elephant Sanctuary. I was only about 7 at the time, so I wanted to add this to my Bucket list to see if they’d gotten any smaller. They hadn’t!

What they are doing out there in Knysna South Africa to protect these amazing creatures cannot be underestimated. The elephant's health and wellbeing are all taken care of by a dedicated team of volunteers. Sally the matriarch of the group (the one I’m standing next to) was so gentle that she even let me touch behind her ears. Make no mistake though, if she wanted to cut my Bucket list adventure short, she could have. If you’re an animal lover get yourself down to this part of Africa, feed these guys and be sure to visit the gift shop and get yourself some elephant poo!

#287 See the Kelpies

Cost: Free to see but tours cost 

Website: https://www.thehelix.co.uk/kelpies-tour/

Not a lot of people know about these which is a real shame. The Kelpies in Falkirk Scotland are truly amazing to see up close. You don’t really get a sense of how big they are until you're standing underneath one of them.

 

They have a river lock in between them for boats to pass on through and there’s a great visitor centre with a gift and coffee shop. My only regret was I didn’t get to see them at night when they are lit up.

 

So, perhaps when I go back to Scotland I can revisit them at night.

#21 Enter Tough Mudder

Cost: Free - £100

Website: https://toughmudder.co.uk

Tough Mudder is essentially a 5 or 10k run (you decide how long when you sign up), however, every 500m you will be presented with an obstacle course. As the name suggests these courses are more than likely going to get you muddy and be tough. One of them included live electrical wires that you had to avoid, and another involved jumping into a tub of iced water.

My friend and I trained for a few months running once or twice a week and I can safely say that was nowhere near enough preparation because I was totally knackered after the first 250m of the run. It took us well over 4 hours to do the whole thing, but the elation after crossing the finish line is a memory I will cherish forever. God help me, I may even do another one!

If you’re going to do one, train hard but more importantly, get a good team around you, it’s not something I’d recommend tackling solo.

#227 Wear my own T-shirt brand

Cost: £25 (Expensive right?!)

Website: https://www.ljpbucketlist.co.uk/shop

When I created my website, I found the function to create my own online shop, using a custom products design company. I started out making stickers, bean bags and mugs and then tried my hand at t-shirt design. A simple 'work' style design with my logo on my nipple and the website on the back seemed to be an easy place to start.  I've learnt a lot and changed providers since then, and now I'm comfortable saying I have a reliable, good quality supplier.

I have continued to make new merch, but fully appreciate that the only people that will buy them are either me, my supportive family or my close friends. Either way, this is my shirt, my brand, and I'll be ordering more. 

If for some reason you want one, head on over to my shop and place your order!

#194 Walk over Tower Bridge​

Cost: £17

Website: https://www.towerbridge.org.uk/

I live about 20 minutes from London by train, but I’ve hardly ever done the tourist thing. One of these I've always wanted to do is walk over Tower Bridge.

 

The bridge has a glass floor which is a little freaky when you first step out on it. Not only that, but it's also a mini-museum. It may seem a little pricey for what it is, but it's certainly something I would recommend doing if you're looking for an excuse to go to London.

#129 Visit 221B Baker Street

Cost: £15

Website: http://www.sherlock-holmes.co.uk/

I'm a Sherlock fan, so when I found out that there was a Sherlock Museum at 221B Baker Street it had to go on my list. The Museum itself is full of props from Sherlock's adventures and there's a snazzy gift shop.

 

I dragged along my friend so that afterwards we could get a picture in the famous Sherlock and Watson hats. As you can see, he was very impressed.

#23 Get a Tattoo 

Cost: £50-£80 an hour

Website: https://www.facebook.com/alex.b.hynes

My Dad despises tattoos, and to this day I don’t think he’s best pleased with this one. However, I wanted to know for myself how painful it really was.

 

Honestly, it was only bad when he went over a sensitive spot, like a bit of skin close to a bone, otherwise, it was relaxing.

BEWARE it's addictive and I'm planning to have a few more.

#10 Go to Loch Ness

Cost: Free to visit, but travel to Inverness

Website: https://www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/loch-ness/

I've been a fair few places in this world. From the hustle and bustle of a big city like Vegas to the picturesque white sandy beaches of Hawaii, but in all my life I have never been anywhere as peaceful and as beautiful as Loch Ness. I honestly would like to live near there in my old age. 

We drove around as much of it as we could, stopping at some of the vantage points that are dotted up and down. We didn't see Nessie, but you don't really understand the scale of this place until you see it for yourself. Utterly beautiful. 

#269 Go to India

Cost: No idea, it was a business trip!

Website: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/bengaluru-bangalore

I'm fortunate enough to work in an industry where I might be needed to travel to do my job. At the start of 2019, I was assigned a job that required a four day trip to Bangalore, India.

 

I'd never been so far from home alone before, but what an experience it was! Despite only being there for four days, I met some great people, tasted some amazing food and observed some interesting things. Like how Cows are sacred and are allowed to do whatever they like!

I would love to return to India one day, be it through work or as a tourist. Either way, it's something I'll never forget.

#343 Have a Dalmation

Cost: Lots... puppy's range from £750-£3k

There were a lot of things in 2020 that sucked, but quite a few things (mainly thanks to my Bucket List and the Mrs) didn't. One of those things was this little guy joining our family. I've always wanted a Dalmation and visiting Crufts earlier in the year only made me want one even more. 

He's cute, but don't let those eyes fool you - he can be a little devil if left to his own devices. 

We did tons of research before we got him, and we're making sure he will be brought up in the right environment. We've even got him enrolled in puppy training classes. He's only 12 weeks old and he can already sit and stay!

Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and one that I am happy to take on again, especially seeing as most of our time is spent in lockdown at the moment.

© 2020 by Luke James Peach

contact@ljpbucketlist.co.uk

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