Archive for Experiences

The Wowcher Guide to Galentine’s Day

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Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Emily-Tye

Valentine’s Day can be pretty special. It’s the day Barack looks at Michelle and declares ‘Michelle, baby, I don’t want to be Obama-self this February 14th, will you be my Valentine?’, the day when Spongebob finally gives into the overwhelming sexual tension and tells Sandy that he’d love to visit her Bikini Bottom, Hermione tells Ron to Slytherin to bed and check out her Chamber of Secrets, and Kanye looks at Kim and tells her that he loves her almost as much as he loves himself. Kanye believe it?

barackobama/Instagram

barackobama/Instagram

But for some of us, February 14th is one of the worst days of the year, serving only to remind us how very single we are. While some of our friends are out being wined and dined and showered in flowers and chocolates, we’re sitting at home in our Bridget Jones pants. In the words of Rachel Green, isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic?

kimkardashian/Instagram

kimkardashian/Instagram

Fear not, fellow singletons! Wowcher’s on hand to show you how you should really be spending the day. Forget Valentine’s Day, this February 14th it’s all about Galentine’s Day…

1) Spa Day & 3 Treatments for 2

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Grab the Tina Fey to your Amy Poehler and head down to one of 30 locations for a spa day courtesy of Activity Superstore, where you’ll be treated to a massage, facial, and eyebrow shape or nail polish each, as well as full use of the facilities. Valentine’s Day, Smalentine’s Day!

2) Meet the Animals Experience for 2

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Try something a little different with a ‘meet the animals’ experience, where you’ll be able to get up close and personal with meerkats, penguins or lemurs. You may even get the chance to wander around the farm, zoo or animal centre afterwards! ‘Look Jessica, isn’t that your ex-boyfriend rolling in his own filth?’ ‘No Jenny, for the last time, that’s a pig.’ ‘Oh, so it is. Easy mistake.’

3) Cocktails, 3-Course Dinner & Cabaret @ Privée, Knightsbridge

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Grab one or three single pringles, and head to Privée for an evening of cabaret entertainment. With a three-course gourmet meal and a Champagne cocktail each, it’s the ultimate girls’ night out, plus you can guarantee that the burlesque dancers will be a lot sexier than your ex-beau Graham, who kept his socks on in bed after performing a clumsy striptease…

4) Paintballing Day, 100 Balls & Lunch for 5 or 10

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Recruit five or ten of your pals and head on down to Blind Fire Paintball, where you can let loose with a paintball gun and 100 paintballs. You’ll fight for survival in a range of fun, challenging warfare scenarios, taking a break for a light lunch. Roses are red, violets are blue, this Wowcher costs less than a fancy dinner for two…

5) Zorb Football for 8 

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Get your squad together for a one-hour zorb football experience, where you’ll climb inside a clear, bouncy ball and then collide, rebound and roll head-over-heels for the win. Probably not the kind of ball play you were imagining this Valentine’s Day, but let’s be honest, this is a hell of a lot more fun.

So there you have it! There’s no shame in riding Han style (solo) on Valentine’s Day, but why settle for a night alone when you’ve got your very own ‘Taylor Swift’s squad ain’t got nothing on us’ crew?

swifttaylorswift/Instagram

taylorswift/Instagram

Please note: All deals featured may not be live.

Things That Made Us Say WOW in January

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Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Emily-Tye

January is probably the most depressing month of the year. Christmas is over, but it’s still cold; the party season has ended, but the booze belly is here to stay; presents have been opened and discarded, but credit card bills are still to be paid; resolutions have been optimistically made but promptly forgotten. However, let’s not dwell on the January blues – after all, we’ve already made it past January 18th, the most depressing day of the year, so things can only get better! Instead, let’s take a look back at the moments that made us say WOW this month, because what else have you got to do? You’re probably doing Dry January, so we know you’re not out at the pub…

1. Justin Bieber dyed his hair purple

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justinbieber/Instagram

That’s right, ladies, Justin Bieber ditched the platinum hair for a look that’s less rebellious rockstar and a little more granny chic. Though we can’t say the blue rinse is our favourite look of the year, if anyone can pull it off, Bieber can. Want to see it in person? Then check out this Wowcher deal to see him live in concert, or copy the look with a full head of colour.

2. Leo was nominated for an Oscar

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E! Online

Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for yet another Oscar for his role in The Revenant, and the question on everyone’s lips is whether or not 2016 will finally be his year. Poor Leo – always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He’s got some stiff competition in the ‘Best Actor’ category, including Walter White himself, Bryan Cranston and last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne, but we’re rooting for Leo. Though we can’t send you to Hollywood to watch the Oscars, we can send you off to get a Hollywood wax. That’s just as good, right?

3. Celebrity Big Brother started

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megan_mckenna_/Instagram via Channel 5

That’s right, it’s back. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you know you’ll end up watching it and throwing Domino’s pizza crusts at your TV when your favourite gets booted out. We’ve already seen some naughty behaviour and busts ups, but our favourite moment was when Megan McKenna went legit crazy because she was #hangry. To further satisfy your reality TV cravings, we’ve got this deal for a diet plan from the queen of TOWIE herself, Sam Faiers.

4. Parliament debated whether to block Donald Trump from UK entry

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realdonaldtrump/Instagram

A petition to block the controversial toupeed American from entering the UK gained over half a million signatures, meaning Parliament had to sit down and debate it, and that’s exactly what happened on January 18th. During the debate, Mr Trump was called a buffoon, a wazzock, a fool and more. So all in all, he got off pretty lightly. Don’t feel bad, Donald – let this hair transplant deal cheer you up!

5. Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes

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rickygervais/Instagram

Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes once again, and he didn’t hold back. He called Sean Penn a snitch after his rendezvous with El Chapo, he took a pop at Caitlyn Jenner’s driving, he introduced Matt Damon as ‘the only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to’ and he even asked Mel Gibson ‘what the f*** sugar tits even means’. Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit, the man has cahoonas! Want more comedy? Check out this deal for pizza, cocktails and comedy for two.

6. Miley Cyrus uploaded this Insta pic

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mileycyrus/Instagram

Miley Cyrus showed that she’s a Kardashian fan with this hilarious edited photo of Khloé Kardashian’s Complex photoshoot. Maybe she wishes she was part of the clan, maybe she wishes she had her curves, or maybe she was just bored. Either way, it was hilarious. Want to be like a Kardashian, too? Then nab yourself their eau de parfum, this contour kit, or this waist trainer!

7. The biggest dinosaur ever was discovered

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If you caught David Attenborough’s most recent interview on The Graham Norton Show, you’ll know that a new species of dinosaur has been discovered, and it was HUGE. In fact, this big boy weighed approximately 70 tons and measured about 20ft from toe to shoulder, making it the largest creature to have ever walked the earth. Wow. Though we can’t send you off to walk with the dinosaurs, we can send you off to chill with the big cats

8. Adele did Carpool Karaoke

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latelateshow/Instagram

James Corden is busy making his mark across the pond with The Late Late Show. One of his segments is ‘Carpool Karaoke’, which essentially involves James singing along to music in his car, accompanied by mega stars such as Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, One Direction and most recently, Adele. During this car ride, she belts out her own hits, sings along to the Spice Girls and even raps to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Monster’. If you haven’t seen it already, watch it here. It’s bloomin’ brilliant! And you can make sure your car’s ready to chauffeur celebs with these Californian car scents.

So there you have it – all the things that made us smile during the bleakest month of the year. Let’s hope February’s got even more WOWs up its sleeve…

Please note: All deals featured may not be live.

Things That Made Us Say WOW in 2015

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Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Anna-Robinson

2015 has been a year of highs and lows, like pretty much every year, but we’re not too concerned with the highs, the in-betweens or the lows at Wowcher. Instead, we’re very much concerned with the WOWs! To celebrate the end of an era and toast to the next, we’re bringing you the top WOWs of 2015 – the moments that made you (genuinely) yell “Wowcher”! In no particular order:

1. Kylie Jenner admits to lip fillers

kyliejenner/Instagram

kyliejenner/Instagram

Kylie, the queen of the pout and a prominent member of one of our favourite families, finally admitted that her majestic mouth was, in fact, not entirely natural. Some of us were shocked, some not surprised, but we all still longed for luscious lips and tried to pucker up. For luscious lips like Kylie, why not try a bit of lip nourishment with Elizabeth Arden Lip Repair Balm?

2. Adele releases 25

adele/Instagram

adele/Instagram

Adele says ‘Hello’ once more to the showbiz world with the release of her sensational album 25 and the record-breaking first single, Hello. We loved her at 19, we loved her at 21, and little did we know she would keep wowing us all at 25. Welcome back, Adele! Get your Adele tickets with Wowcher here.

3. Jeremy Clarkson punched a colleague and then got fired?!

jeremyclarkson1/Instagram

jeremyclarkson1/Instagram

The firing seems fair enough but, boy, was there uproar! To make matters even juicier, the car-crazy threesome from BBC’s hit car TV show have signed up with Amazon to make a new, totally different show. Fancy trying your hand at some motor madness? Check out this 4×4 off road driving experience!

4. One Direction lose One of their Directions

zayn/Instagram

zayn/Instagram

It was the year Zayn Malik broke a million hearts when he announced his departure from the sensational boy band One Direction. We were in shock. Some of us reckon it’ll never bring them down; others insist it doesn’t matter, as long as Harry Styles is still there with his long hair and sexy tattoos. Whatever your opinion, it certainly made history…

Don’t panic, though – One Direction aren’t the only men breaking hearts out there. Let the Dreamboys show you what they’ve got, and maybe you’ll learn to love again!

5. Saint West was born

kimkardashian/Instagram

kimkardashian/Instagram

Some might argue that this was the most important thing that happened in 2015; some might disagree – but we love the whole Kardashian clan, and Kim and Kanye are our favourite. The birth of darling baby Saint West was a long-anticipated sensation, and we cannot wait for more photos!

Why not capture the happy moments in your family with a family photoshoot for up to 12 people?

6. We caught Bieber Fever

justinbieber/Instagram

justinbieber/Instagram

Justin Bieber released his fourth album Purpose, which had us all screaming and asking ourselves: is it okay to genuinely like this? It is. Bieber is cool now, and we’re not Sorry! Just to prove it, we’ve got a deal for Bieber tickets that will make you say WOW…

7. Caitlyn poses for Vanity Fair

caitlynjenner/Instagram

caitlynjenner/Instagram

Following in the footsteps of the Kardashian clan, July brought us one of the biggest WOW moments of 2015. Caitlyn Jenner posed on the front cover of Vanity Fair, revealing her new beautiful body in a cover that blew us all away.

Fancy giving yourself a cover-style makeover? Let us lend a hand with these brilliant bamboo makeup brushes!

8. Nadiya Hussain wins The Great British Bake Off

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BritishBakeOff/Twitter

When GBBO returned to our screen, we weren’t quite ready for the soggy-bottomed, nut-loving, firm-bunned innuendos, or the overflowing tension. One Wowcher lady exclaimed, “Mate, that was an intense GBBO”, and Nadia’s inspirational champion’s speech brought us all to tears. Some more than others.

Consider yourself a baking pro? Put a personalised stamp on your creations with these letter cookie cutters!

9. The Rugby World Cup

SonnyBWilliams/Twitter

SonnyBWilliams/Twitter

It was weeks and weeks of WOWs as the exciting tournament arrived and anticipation of England recreating their 2003 victory built… sadly, the men in white didn’t manage to make it out of the group stages. The country was shocked and disappointed, but the tournament went on, packed full of WOW moments. From Japan’s epic performance to Johnny Sexton’s sex appeal, there were lots to choose from, but we’ve narrowed it down and picked our favourite. New Zealand stormed to victory (which wasn’t shocking), and when celebrations escalated, Sonny Bill Williams gave his medal to a 14-year old fan. Aww!

Don’t miss out on another exciting rugby tournament, the Six Nations in Dublin, with tickets and a hotel stay!

10. Princess Charlotte was born

princess.charlotteofcambridge/Instagram

princess.charlotteofcambridge/Instagram

Saving the best to last, the biggest WOW moment of 2015 happened on 2nd May, when the latest member of the Royal Family was born. Princess Charlotte demonstrated early on that she is a heartbreaker, when her darling mother posted pictures of the angel posing with her teddy bear! Wills and Kate just can’t have a cuter family! If you have your own little princess, why not treat her to a princess-themed photoshoot?

And there you have it, folks. Ten WOW moments of 2015. Here’s to 2016, and may there be many more shockingly brilliant moments this year. We know we’ll certainly have at least one WOW a day here at Wowcher.co.uk…

Please note: All deals featured may not be live.

New Year, New You, New Job (We’re looking at you, José Mourinho…)

Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Emily-Tye

Everyone’s eyes are on José Mourinho right now. Where will he go? Who will he manage? What will happen to Chelsea now he’s gone? Will he beat Wowcher’s CEO Phillip Schofield for the title of sexiest silver fox of 2016? Only time will tell. If, like José, you’re after a change in career this new year, then check out these deals…

mourinho_official/Instagram

Work it, José! A puffa jacket never looked so good. (mourinho_official/Instagram)


Sports Nutrition Course

We don’t generally like to compare men to meat, but boy oh boy, José is one lean piece of steak. Am I right, ladies? But why would he keep all of his nutrition secrets to himself? Isn’t that a little rude? I bet Arsene Wenger wouldn’t do that. With the help of this CPD-accredited online sports nutrition course, he’d still be able to impart his wisdom onto athletes, just in a slightly different way. Sure, this deal has Mourinho written all over it, but if you’ve got a knack for nutrition, it could be perfect for you, too.

Criminology & Profiling Course

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José has already seen his fair share of crimes on the football pitch, so we think he’d take to this career like a duck to water. He can naturally progress from understanding the motivation of his team to understanding the motivations of infamous, hardened criminals. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to, right? Maybe not, but there’s only one way to find out! Of course, this deal isn’t just for ex-Chelsea managers, it could also be perfect for aspiring policeman, investigators, and forensics experts. Did anyone see the latest episode of Silent Witness? You could be the next Dr. Nikki.

Advanced Management Leadership Development Course

So Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck doesn’t think José has what it takes to manage the team. But don’t just sit there, José, prove him wrong with this leadership development course! That’ll show him! Boy, would Buck’s face be red…

Foraging Bushcraft Course

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We’re sure José will land on his feet, but just in case he ends up wandering through the woods looking for berries he hopes aren’t poisonous, we thought we’d recommend this foraging deal. Not only could he learn how to scout edible treats and medicinal plants from the forest floor, but he’d then be able to eat his foraged findings as a regional Masterchef finalist cooks up a delicious lunch. Sound good? Get in on the action and you might even spot a wild Mourinho…

‘Revamp Your Wardrobe’ Course

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How about something completely out of left field, such as this ‘Revamp Your Wardrobe’ course. Don’t you think this deal just screams José? Join him as he throws out his Chelsea gilet and replaces it with a chunky knitted cardigan. Come on, it’s probably about time you threw out your Spice Girls crop top from 1999 anyway…

CV Writing & LinkedIn Masterclass

Just in case you and José aren’t entirely convinced by these career prospects, we’ve even bagged this deal to help you to revamp your CV and LinkedIn profile. What are you waiting for? Say goodbye to your annoying co-workers already and get on the new year, new job train! Choo-choo!

Please note: All deals featured may not be live.

The Wowcher Guide to Travel in 2016!

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You can drink more water, sleep longer, run faster, work harder and eat better, but when it comes to New Year’s Eve, all you’re really going to look back on are the memories you’ve made. Make 2016 the year you see the world with your nearest and dearest – as the famous adage goes, travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer! We’ve compiled a month-by-month itinerary that will help to get you inspired…

January: Dubai

It’s grey outside, dark when you leave the house and dark when you come home. You’re going to be longing for a bit of sun, sand, shopping and style. So escape to the glitzy panoramas, sleek modernity and unparalleled opulence of Dubai for its famous SHOPPING FESTIVAL! With designer deals, fashionable nights out and weather warm enough for sunbathing, get there before the humidity kicks in and treat your inner diva to a taste of the good life.

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February: Iceland

Like it or not, February is synonymous with all things romantic! And what could be dreamier on a little Valentine’s trip than endless snowscapes, quiet nights by the fire and a cracking chance at seeing the Northern Lights! February’s long, dark nights might depress you in the UK, but they’re also perfect for potential Aurora Borealis sightings while you’re snuggled up warm and hand in hand with your favourite plus one! We feel all gooey just thinking about it…

March: Dublin

If you’re not one to turn down a beer or a party, how does three full days of parades, frivolity, costumes, Guinness and music sound? Pretty fantastic, right? Dublin’s 2016 Saint Patrick’s Day parade is intriguingly themed ‘Imagine If…’ and is set to thrill guests from all over the world! Merriment is guaranteed from the world’s experts in good old fashioned craic.

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April: Santorini

Santorini is truly as picture-perfect as Pinterest would have you believe. Whitewash buildings and azure domes flank the rugged coastal cliffs, seafood abounds from local tavernas and wineries foster exquisite grapes that slide down nicely with the world famous sunsets. There are only two possible downsides: scorching heat and frantic crowds. Beat them both and travel in warm April just as the island is starting to bustle… perfect!

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May: Amsterdam

A city-break staple, if you’ve not yet experienced the chilled out culture of Amsterdam in the springtime, make this your year. Pavement cafés spill out onto the banks of the sparkling canals, where happy locals sip coffee al fresco, cyclists breeze past with nonchalant ease and flower markets lend their floral scent and pantone prettiness to the cobbled streets. And we’re sure we don’t even need to mention the infamous nightlife…

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June: Bali

Is there a bad time to visit Bali? Probably not, but if you’re looking for a time when the weather is dry, humidity is low and prices aren’t at their peak, June is a pretty good bet. With average temperatures creeping up to 28°C, you’ll be summertime dreaming and poised to enjoy the spotless beaches, cerulean seas, swaying palm trees, gorgeous sunsets and friendly atmosphere that see Bali topping travel bucket-lists world over.

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July: Las Vegas

There’s no city more over the top, more excessive or more glitzy than incredible Las Vegas! And there’s no American holiday more over the top, more excessive or more glitzy than the Fourth of July. Combine the two for the ultimate spectacle featuring decadent pool parties, world-famous casinos, themed cocktails and hotels competing to put on the biggest, brightest, most breathtaking firework displays! With temperatures hitting the high thirties, dig out a red, white and blue bikini and get ready to indulge, USA-style!

August: Blackpool

We really do like to be beside the seaside! When the summer holidays kick in, there’s nowhere better to be than on a good old-fashioned British holiday. There’s no fighting the summer spirit in Blackpool, the universal box ticker that will leave the kids delighted and you able to get away from the office without spending a fortune. Plus, going in August means you’ll probably get a bit of sun…

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September: Rome

Roasting temperatures are A-OK when all you want to do is sunbathe, read and drink mojitos, and while these are three of Wowcher’s favourite things, when a city’s got as rich a heritage and as venerable a history as Rome, you’re going to want it to be a little cooler. September is perfect Italy weather: warm and sunny but cool enough to spend all day exploring without diving into air-conditioned shops at twenty-minute intervals. Glide through the meandering streets of the city with ease and unearth ‘la dolce vita’ of the Eternal City, sans sweat.

October: Lake District

October gets a pretty bad rap as a *meh* month in old Blighty, with summer long gone, Christmas far away and only the half-holiday of Halloween to raise our spirits. Well, we’ve got two words for you: Fall foliage. The glorious warm hues of the Lake District reflected in its vast pools, crisp walks through the blazing colours of the season, terrific pub lunches and a cosy room to relax in with your fellow adventurer – what could be better?

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November: Tenerife

When the winter blues are kicking in hard and there’s not a drop of sunlight to be found, paradise is only a quick hop, skip and flight away! After the sweltering heat of the summer has cooled and the throngs of holiday tourists have returned to their day jobs, Tenerife still enjoys temperatures in their twenties, swimmable seas and eight hours of gorgeous sunlight every day. With prices dropping after all the schools are back in session, you’re also highly likely to find a smashing deal on Wowcher!

Wowcher-guide-to-travel-in-2016-NewYork

December: New York City
The most wonderful time of the year gets the sparkling VIP treatment in the Big Apple! Visit Santa at the dazzling Santaland at Macy’s, ice skate outside the Rockefeller Centre, gaze in awe at the window displays along Fifth Avenue or live the high life sipping on a decadent festive cocktail at the Plaza. NYC is a magical city year-round and a firm Wowcher favourite, but there is simply no better time to go than holiday season!

 

Please note: All deals featured may not be live, but with fab new deals added daily, make sure you keep checking Wowcher.co.uk!

 

Wowcher Takes on Top Gear

Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Emily-Tye

There’s been no shortage of TV scandals in recent years. The Great British Bake Off had us on the edge of our seats with #bingate, and we sat with mouths agape as a violinist chucked eggs at Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent in 2013. However, no TV scandal had us in more distress than the day the bad boy of the BBC (Jezza Clarkson, of course) got himself fired.

However, after months of patient waiting, we were rewarded with some good news. Much like the Backstreet Boys, the car racing trio will be back (this time on Amazon Prime), while Top Gear will live on with the help of the entertainment pro and petrol head, Chris Evans. Hoorah! As a belated celebration of this momentous news, we’ve decided to bring you a whole array of once in a lifetime Top Gear deals that’ll satisfy any fan’s need for speed. So, what have we got in store?

‘Hot Lap with The Stig Experience

The-Stig-at-the-Top-Gear-Track-ExperienceSome say that he invented December, some say that he can’t tell time. All we know is, he’s called The Stig, and with this deal, you’ll be riding right alongside him. Taking place at the Top Gear track, you will be expertly driven around all the corners you’ve seen on the TV show by the man himself and will even get a photo op with The Stig as well as an epic video of your lap. Fancy getting in the driver’s seat yourself? Then how about this next deal?

‘Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car’ Experience

Be-the-Star-in-the-Reasonably-Priced-Car-at-the-Top-Gear-Track-ExperienceJoin the long list of celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Bob Geldof, who have driven around the Top Gear track in the mighty Kia Cee’d. You’ll speed around the figure-of-eight track whilst being filmed with the on-board camera, just like the celebs! How far up the leaderboard do you reckon you can get? Only one way to find out!

‘Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car’ Short Circuit Experience 

You can also opt for the ‘Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car’ short circuit experience, which will see you whizzing around an edited version of the track that includes the Chicago, Hammerhead and Follow-Through! It starts with a warm-up lap in the Kia Cee’d, followed by three high-speed laps. How fast can you go?

Ariel Atom Track Experience

An-Ariel-Atom-at-the-Top-Gear-Track-ExperienceIf you think windows and car doors are overrated, then speed around the Top Gear track in the famously fast Ariel Atom car, which accelerates from 0-60mph in just 2.6 seconds! You’ll complete approximately seven miles of driving, while your face is rearranged by the wind. You’ll be filmed with an on-board camera, just like the celebs, and will take the footage home with you on a USB stick to laugh at with all your mates!

Off-Roading Experience

Off-roading-at-the-Top-Gear-Track-ExperienceMany momentous Top Gear adventures have been off-road, which is why we’re bringing you this wild deal that replicates Jeremy Clarkson’s attempt to outrun a Challenger tank. You’ll hop behind the wheel of a purpose-built 4 x 4 Land Rover, navigating your way through woodland before hiding behind caravans and over hills as a parked tank takes pot-shots at you. How many times will you get hit?

Under-17s Off-Roading Experience 

If you’re itching to get behind the wheel, but haven’t yet got your licence, then this under 17s off-roading experience is perfect. You’ll take the wheel of an automatic and dual-controlled Range Rover Evoque for approximately 30 minutes, while an expert driving instructor helps you to get to grips with the tricky twists, turns and bends.

‘Hot Lap’ Experience

Take-a-Hot-Lap-with-The-Stig-at-the-Top-Gear-Track-ExperienceOr, if you don’t have a licence but you still want to race over the Top Gear track, then take part in this ‘Hot Lap’ experience, where you sit in the passenger’s seat as an expert driver races around the famous track as fast as possible. Hold onto your hat, you’re in for quite the ride!

If one of these experiences just isn’t enough, then why not opt for a bundle deal? You can combine the ‘Hot Lap with The Stig’ with the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ short circuit experience, the Ariel Atom with the ‘Hot Lap’ experience, the off-roading experience with the ‘Hot Lap’ experience, and last but not least (our personal fave), the ‘Hot Lap with The Stig’ with the off-roading experience.

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But wait, there’s more! Each and every one of the deals listed above also includes two-hour studio access, allowing you to stand in the same spot that Clarkson, Hammond, May and many celebrity guests have previously. Wow!

Please note: All deals featured may not be live, but with fab deals added daily, keep checking Wowcher.co.uk!

If at first you don’t succeed…

Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Anna-Robinson
Stock-imageWhen the Rugby World Cup began a few weeks ago, the country was overwhelmed with excitement. Would England bring home the trophy once more and this time reign in triumph on their home turf? Would Twickenham ring loudly with sounds of ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ as Chris Robshaw lifted the trophy in his (lovely) arms? No. No he wouldn’t. That chariot has sailed.

Where we had hoped to write a blog on England’s domination and the string of glorious tries, we figured the more uplifting focus is the string of glorious thighs, a little rugby (‘cause let’s not forget the other home nations are still in) and pondering the results of this weekend’s rugby madness.

Now that we’re into the quarter finals, what team do you fancy winning? Or what team do you fancy? Let’s have a look at the final eight’s best assets, shall we?

Dragons V Springboks

Wales

In times past people would have argued that Leigh Halfpenny had the most to offer from the Welsh squad but, alas, he is out injured, so what will they do? While Wales may be penniless, they are rich in many other ways. George North is arguably one of the greatest wingers in the game, with his fast pace, his quick feet and his oh-so-lovely face. Just look at that face.

George North and Sam Warburton - Welshrugbyunion/Instagram

George North and Sam Warburton – Welshrugbyunion/Instagram

Welsh Captain Sam Warburton (more like Sam What-a-bottom) is confident for their next game against South Africa, pointing out that in their most recent meeting Wales defeated the Springboks and is bringing with him a Welsh of expertise as well as, ahem, his other good qualities.

South Africa

Let’s face it, not all of us know a lot about rugby, but what we do know is that South Africa are meant to be good, and Japan are meant to be bad. Yet… in the SA v Japan meeting the score would tell a different tale. Will South Africa recover from their embarrassing defeat? Of course they will. The 2007 World Cup Champions have a lot going for them.

Firstly, and our personal favourite, Brian Habana. Holding the record number of tries scored in a World Cup (equalled with All Black legend Jonah Lomu) Habana’s speed and agility make him a serious threat. His incredible experience (playing – and scoring – for the winning SA team who brought the cup home in 2007) is a contribution the team will truly value, ‘cause let’s face it, who doesn’t love a man with experience?

Bryan Habana - prodirectrugby/Instagram

Bryan Habana and The Beast – prodirectrugby/Instagram

South Africa’s other asset (yes that is our favourite pun) is the Beast. *Beeeast*. What other man can inspire a crowd of 80,000 people to chant about his masculinity? Tendai Nihal “Beast” Mtawarira is a 6ft1, 18 stone prop who made his international debut in 2008 against Wales, and will be looking to demonstrate his dominating presence once more during Saturday’s match. Isn’t he manly?

In this battle of the brave, our money is on the Springboks (sorry George).

Bravehearts V Wallabies

Australia

The other team that play in green and the team that crushed England’s dreams. Two weeks ago, as England stepped onto the field against this testosterone-fuelled, adrenaline-powered team of bulldozers, we said ‘all we have to do is win’, but boy, we were kidding ourselves! How could we win against such a strong hold? Scotland have quite a match coming up but it is possible that Australia have some weak spots… right? Or do we just have a weak spot for some of Australia?

Star duo Israel Folau and David Pocock are set to play in the clash against Scotland despite sustaining injuries in the match against Wales (oh, rugby is a dangerous sport, isn’t it?). But we’ll tell you what, if Folau was in need of some tender love and care we’re sure there would be a line as long as Australia itself of caring people offering a hand (or two).

David Pocock and Israel Folau - davidpocock/Instagram

David Pocock and Israel Folau – davidpocock/Instagram

Scotland

Scotland are the little team with the big brave hearts. With many star players putting in fantastic performances so far, it’s hard to pick out our favourites (but boy, did we enjoy trying)! Firstly, and most importantly, is Sean Lamont (Sean La Mount?). Sean won his 100th cap last weekend against Samoa and is now the second most-capped Scotsman of all time. He is unstoppable. No matter how much you want to, you can’t hold him down.

Then we have the ever lovely Sam Hidalgo-Clyne… usually we would argue that scrum halfs are not the most attractive on the team as the generally smaller and slighter, but Sam the man has given us something to think about. With such excellent skills as picking up the ball and throwing it wide, or putting the ball into the scrum Sam really does bring something special to Scotland. We only wish he would use his excellent handling skills elsewhere and bring something special to us…

Sean Lamont sflamont/Instagram

Sean Lamont – sflamont/Instagram

Who do you think will come out on top? We’re hoping for the men in blue and tartan but maybe that’s optimistic…

Le Bleu V All Black

France

No one wants France to win.

New Zealand

The reigning world champions have dominated the world competition for decades – holding the record number of points scored at a staggering 2012, including 272 tries. Wow. The All Blacks may be the favourites to win, but are they also the favourites elsewhere? Yes. The answer is yes. For two reasons:

  1. Sonny Bill Williams. This man literally lights up the room. With a cheeky smile and a badass tattoo sleeve Sonny Bill has it all. He is as hot as the sun and makes the ladies blush so red they look sun burnt… or Sonny burnt. Ouchy!
  2. Dan Carter. Literally the greatest thing that has ever happened to world rugby. And he will leave us soon. The sport, that is. He will remain forever in our hearts.
Sonny Bill Williams and Dan Carter - world.rugby/Instagtram

Sonny Bill Williams and Dan Carter – world.rugby/Instagtram

They’re the world champions for a reason, they strike fear in the hearts of all their opponents, and there is no doubt who will be entering the semi-finals from this match.

The Wolfhounds V The Pumas

While Ireland are suffering the loss of not one, not two but three and potentially four of their first team players, not all hope is lost. After suffering a devastating hamstring injury in last week’s game against France, O’Connell ends his international rugby career as one of Ireland’s longest-serving players, spanning a whopping 13 years and 250 days. As tactic planning and team re-building is happening behind the scenes, tributes to Paul O’Connell have been flooding in. So let’s take a moment to do the same.

Despite the heart-breaking loss of O’Connell and O’Mahony, Ireland (and let’s face it, everybody else) are still holding on to hope that Sexton will be fit to play this weekend. The question is whether his legs are fit enough… what do you think?

Jonny Sexton and Paul O’Connell - world.rugby/Instagram

Jonny Sexton and Paul O’Connell – world.rugby/Instagram

Yup. Definitely fit enough. …maybe just one more look to double check.

Jonny Sexton - world.rugby/Instagram

Jonny Sexton – world.rugby/Instagram

Ireland’s fly-half is pinned as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, in the game at the moment, and resting on those glorious shoulders are the hopes and dreams of Ireland rugby fans. So, ladies and gents, we must pray for a miracle.

Argentina

In the last RWC, Argentina made it to the quarterfinals where they were knocked out by New Zealand. In 2007 they had made it the semi-finals winning the bronze final 34-10 against France. This year’s team will be hoping to repeat that success in the quarters and go all the way. How do you fancy their chances?

Scrum half Tomas Cubelli is the perfect demonstration of Shakespeare’s famous line ‘though [he] be but little [he] is fierce.’ If he can school the All Blacks what can’t he do? (we’d like him to be our teacher).

Tomas Cubelli - world.rugby/Instagram

Tomas Cubelli – world.rugby/Instagram

In the final battle of the brave here at Wowcher, we’re all hoping Ireland will come out winners and we’re finding ourselves prompted to perform a rendition of Ireeeeland, Ireeeland together standing tall. Our money is on the men in green!

So that’s it, folks. With a weekend of tries, thighs, scrums and bums why wouldn’t you spend it down the pub watching rugby? Whether you’re nurturing your grief through pseudo-supporting Wales, or you’re standing shoulder to shoulder with the Ireland fans, or maybe even your money is on the All Blacks, this weekend is sure to be simply divine!

For those of you who didn’t get to see any live legs at the RWC grab tickets for some Rugby Union action at Saracens vs Harlequins with our trymendous deal.

Wowcher Gets Weird @ Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Emily-Tye

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Here at Wowcher, we’re fans of the wonderfully weird, the beautifully bizarre and the just plain peculiar. We can’t wait to head down to Somerset to wander through Banksy’s ‘bemusement park’, we’re desperate to try KFC’s new pink burger buns, and hell, we were even on board with green ketchup. So, as a special end of summer treat, I was sent off to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! (courtesy of Buyagift), the world’s largest Ripley’s museum, to marvel at the very best of the world’s wackiest artefacts and interactive exhibits.

Ripley’s Warehouse complete with a life size woolen Ferrari, because what warehouse is complete without a car made out of your jumper?

Ripley’s Warehouse complete with a life size woolen Ferrari. What warehouse is complete without a car made out of your jumper?

You start on the fifth floor (because starting on the first floor is for losers) where you stroll through Ripley’s Warehouse, a cluttered room filled with everything you can possibly imagine. There’s a suit made out of duct tape, a giant wooden chair, a mechanical dinosaur, a life-size woollen Ferrari, and even (what I hope was a replica of) an eight-legged Siamese calf. One thing’s for sure, if Robert Ripley was born half a century later, he’d definitely be featured on an episode of Hoarders.

Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO, and on that farm he had a roaring mechanical dinosaur and an eight-legged Siamese calf…EIEIO.

Old McDonald had a farm EIEIO, and on that farm he had a roaring mechanical dinosaur and an eight-legged Siamese calf…EIEIO.

As well as being a cartoonist, an entrepreneur and quite possibly a hoarder, Robert Ripley was also an amateur anthropologist, and this is pretty evident when you enter the Hall of Exotica. Other than your run-of-the-mill mummified Egyptian hand and a self-deformed Peruvian skull, you can also find some Amazonian shrunken heads and decorated cannibal skulls…

Would you believe me if I told you this was a really tiny person sitting on a normal sized chair?

Would you believe me if I told you this was a really tiny person sitting on a normal sized chair?

Art is also a big feature, but you won’t find any oil paintings or water colour portraits here! What you can find is a portrait of Michael Jackson made entirely out of candy, and one of Whitney Houston made out of the inside of a cassette tape, because, why not? This was something I found myself saying a lot. ‘What’s this? A coffin shaped like a giant eagle? Yeah, why not?’

Giant eagle coffin. Please note, this is how I want to be buried…

Giant eagle coffin. Please note, this is how I want to be buried…

You don’t merely stare at the artefacts at Ripley’s, there’s plenty for you to touch and get involved with, too. Pop your head and torso through a special table that makes it look like you’ve got no legs, enter into a room that makes it look as though you’ve doubled in size and see if you can make it through the Hall of Mirrors without face-planting your mirror image. The visit ends with a laser race, where you’ve got to get through a room of lasers in the fastest time possible, without touching them and setting off the alarm. I dominated this section. I don’t like to brag, but have you ever seen Entrapment? I was basically Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Getting absolutely legless…

Getting absolutely legless…

If I were to list every single thing I saw, we’d be here for a while, and I’ve got to go catch up on Bake Off, so I’ll leave you with this sentiment: the exhibits at Ripley’s were so extraordinary that, at times, I wasn’t sure if Ripley’s was playing fast and loose with the word ‘genuine’, causing me to suffer a bit of an existential crisis mid-way through my visit (‘Is this a real shrunken head? What is real? Am I real?’). But whether I was looking at the real thing or a replica, the story behind it was true, and this reminded me of one thing that no one can dispute: the world we live in is wonderfully weird and filled with extraordinarily exceptional people, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

For great discounts on tickets to Ripley’s, keep an eye on wowcher.co.uk

Please note – deals featured may not be live.

Wowcher gets high with Virgin at Bristol International Balloon Festival!

Wowcher-Blogger-ID-Bernard-Wheeler

Friday AM Flight - View

Nestled in the rolling Somerset countryside, every year the picturesque Ashton Court plays host to The Bristol International Balloon Festival – Europe’s largest hot air balloon event. And this year, a few Wowcher elves were lucky enough to be among the visitors!

This year’s festival, the 37th annual event, proved to be a record-breaking spectacular, with around 500,000 turning out across four days to see seven mass ascents up into the sun-kissed skyline. We’re told that thanks to the glorious weather, it was in fact the first time in the festival’s history that all seven scheduled flights were able to go ahead. Just goes to show you can always count on the great British summertime – perfect weather conditions at just the 37th time of asking…

But these brave Wowcher elves weren’t just spectators – oh no, this year we got the chance to slip the surly bonds of earth and take to the skies for real! After all, what better way to drink in the breathtaking British countryside than in a hot air balloon?

At first, the thought of being suspended hundreds of feet above the earth in a basket, was, well, a wee bit unnerving. But speaking to our pilot, Virgin Balloon Flights’ very-own Mark Simmons, our, shall we say, anxieties were quickly allayed. A veteran of the skies, having flown all over the world (once with Richard Branson himself), Mark said the event was one of his favourite places to fly. And if he can be trusted to ferry around one of the world’s most beloved billionaires, we knew we must be in pretty good hands.

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With typical Virgin panache, our balloon was of course among the most spectacular sights at the fiesta. Ascending alongside other balloons of all shapes and sizes, the iconic red balloon you’ve likely seen a hundred times gliding across the skyline must have looked pretty cool from down below. Other balloons at the fiesta included none other than a giant Minion (those things are everywhere nowadays) and even the event’s famous Power Ranger balloons. As much as children at the event may have been thrilled to see the Despicable Me franchise’s favourite sidekick ascend, it’s nothing compared to our thrill at seeing some genuine Mighty Morphin’ heroes take to the skies. Naturally, the theme song was stuck in our head for the rest of the day. Not quite the soundtrack to stunning aerial views of the countryside we had in mind at the beginning of the day, but never mind, eh?

View of Bristol

Speaking of children, the fiesta also featured a very special guest – Peppa Pig! Joining the team at the Virgin Balloons exhibitors stand, everybody’s favourite cheeky piggy was on hand for photo opportunities and was even handing out hot air balloon goodie bags to her fans. Speaking to Peppa herself, we enquired if she’d be getting up in an air balloon on the day. She replied “When pigs fly!” much to our confusion. Only kidding, although she did say, “it’s snout my style”. Kidding again. Peppa in fact used to have a fear of flying, she’s cured now though…

Peppa pig

Nothing less than an unforgettable day of high-flying fun and spectacular views, a flight with Virgin Balloons is really something you have to experience first-hand to believe. If you haven’t booked with Wowcher yet, now’s a good time – you don’t want this experience to fly straight over your head!

Wowcher Does TV Presenting @ The TV Training Academy

logoWe sent Hannah to The TV Training Academy to see if she had what it took to step in front of the camera…

Not being an overly confident public speaker, I accepted the challenge of attending a TV presenter taster course at 3 Mills Studios, Bromley-by-Bow, with the vague hope I might discover an unknown talent of being in front of a camera and become the next Holly Willoughby. Sure enough, it wasn’t to be, but what I got from this experience was something altogether different. I left feeling inspired, comfortable in my skin and empowered having enjoyed a full day with some incredible people in one of the most supportive and friendly environments I’ve ever come across. This is how it happened…

The Beginning
Upon arrival at 3 Mills Studios, I was warmly greeted by Helen Sheppard, our host for the day, who gathered together the flock and whisked us off to our workspace. After an introduction to her fantastic career as a children’s TV Director working on well-known programmes such as Playdays and the Tweenies, I relaxed a little knowing that I couldn’t be in better hands. We began by introducing ourselves and why we were there, which gave me a great insight into the breadth and depth of people a course such as this could help. The group comprised musicians and business owners wanting to improve their TV interview skills for appearances, writers wishing to take the leap into the world of video blogging, public speakers looking to create inspirational videos, individuals preparing for a new course and a small few who actually wanted to pursue a career in TV presenting. Basically, whatever you’re after from this course, it’s for you, and the opportunity to network is an added bonus.

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Now, down to the good stuff. We entered into a brief and informal discussion about what makes a good TV presenter, gathering lots of tips and advice from Helen ready for our first shoot. We learned the five golden rules of presenting (ooh!) and that the most important part is not the words themselves but their expression, which is perfect because if you mess up, and all of us pretty much did, it’s fine as long as you recover – phew! Next we readied ourselves for the first shot, and in 5 4 3 2 1… we spoke a little about ourselves remembering all we had learned, maintaining eye contact with the camera and staying well anchored. We then watched these played back on the screen and, yes, we all squirmed a little as we thought ‘do I really sound like that?’ but input from Helen and the rest of the team was vital for improvement.

Quick tip: The most successful people in this section didn’t list everything about themselves from their education to their favourite food, but spoke about a subject that interested them such as their business or their recent travels. Their passion came through and produced great results!

The Middle
After lunch, we got back to work and when entering back into the room the equipment had been moved and the teleprompter (aka Autocue) had been set up. Each of us glanced over the words on the sample guide we had been given, making mental notes of bits to look out for, as our host explained the exercise and how it all would work. Written as a mock TV show competition, we took turns to take the seat and after a practice run filmed our second performance. This exercise for me was easier, as I didn’t have to think about what I was saying, I was able to perform better. This task was great for those who might write a script such as a video blogger or motivational speaker, as it helped them to work on looking natural and thoughtful even when reading or speaking something premeditated. It was an excellent contrast to the morning’s activities, and gave an insight into the diversity of a TV presenter’s skill set.

logoQuick tip: When you glance over the sample on the back of your hand-out think about how these competitions might be done on TV, for example they might say ‘triple two, triple three’ instead of each number individually. Also, be sure to memorise words or phrases that might trip you up.

The end:
Our final task was co-presenting, which I had been dreading the most but was in fact my favourite of the day. We were told to split off into groups of two or three, decide what kind of show we wanted to be and then create an introduction feature which might advertise the show and make people want to tune in. I split off with a couple of other girls in the group and we decided that our show would be a beauty show with different features including ‘dirt cheap product of the week’, a ‘high-end to high street’ comparison of products and a food section talking about great foods for healthy skin. I think our sections were clearly defined, and the most successful ones did have a clear purpose for the different parts of the show such as an interview or cooking section. Again this part of the day was a lot of fun and everyone was noticeably at their best having taken on board constructive criticisms and encouragement throughout the day. Everyone was comfortable, happier to be the focus of attention and individual personalities really shone through. The improvement from the first exercise was very visible and it was great to see how each session enhanced individual performances. The format of the day really worked!

Quick tip: You might want to begin by introducing yourselves with a ‘Hello and welcome to… My name is…’ opening, then follow on with ‘Coming up on today’s show…’ and a list all of the features. Finally, finish off with something like ‘And that’s all coming up on channel X at 9’. This is how this kind of section tends to go so it’s a useful template to follow.

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Cut:
So, the day was over and we all left with smiles on our faces having had a great day! For those looking to purchase a showreel of their pieces, the first exercise was rerecorded to allow the opportunity to use your new found knowledge and experience to improve on your first attempt.

I left feeling that I could happily tackle a presentation or pitch. I even flashed back to my teaching module at university and thought I could tackle a lesson much more assertively now, which just goes to show that everyone can take something valuable from the day. In fact, those who were most out of their comfort zone got the most out of the day. At first it may have been hard but the day definitely helped them grow – some people arrived with virtually no confidence in themselves and left with a new-found quality to their personality that I don’t think anyone ever thought would be achievable in a short space of time. Definitely one to recommend… and that’s a wrap!

Fancy checking out the TV Training Academy Course yourself? Click here for the fantastic Wowcher deal valid at six nationwide locations. Please note – deals featured may not be live.