Day 5.  A cooking competition followed by a walk by the sea 

A MasterChef type outdoor cooking competition was taking place in Narinkkatori square just outside Helsinki's Kamppi shopping centre so we decided to join lots of other inquisitive people and take a look at what was happening.  The event was hosted by Lidl and was the national finals of their Grillimaisteri barbecue competition. It was interesting …

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Day 6.  Viewing the Tall Ships in Kotka 

Having previously enjoyed seeing the Tall Ships in Helsinki in 2013 we were keen to catch up with them again, this time in Kotka.  Located on the south coast of Finland, Kotka's city centre is situated on Kotkansaari island.  Getting from Helsinki was very easy, we booked with Onnibus who have regular daily services between the cities, …

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Day 7.  Leppävaara and Glims Farmstead Museum in Espoo

Leppävaara is located in Espoo and is easily accessible by both bus and train from Helsinki.  Adjacent to the rail and bus station is a modern, attractive shopping centre called Sello which has a wide selection of shops and cafes.  As it was such a warm, sunny day we decided to take a stroll over …

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Day 8.  By waterbus to Pihlajasaari island

It was a sunny morning so we packed up a picnic and decided to take one of the small ferries to the outlying island of Pihlajasaari.  It's a former villa island and is now a popular outdoor recreation area which is located 3 km offshore from the centre of Helsinki.  There are piers in two …

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Day 9.  Visiting Turku and seeing the Tall Ships once more

A second chance to admire the Tall Ships this summer as they sailed from Kotka to Turku in south west Finland.  Getting there was easy, travelling by Onnibus once again and by booking the tickets early it didn't cost very much.  The journey time from Helsinki to Turku was approximately two hours but with comfortable …

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Day 10.  Haukilahti and Matinkylä

Haukilahti is a small coastal town in Espoo located between Westend and Matinkylä.  It's just a 20 minute journey from central Helsinki and is a lovely place to visit on a sunny day.  We decided to take a walk along the waterfront walkway / cycle path which is known as Espoon Rantaraitti and is clearly …

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Day 11.  Villa Elfvik and Laguuni Water Park

Villa Elfvik is located in Espoo close to the centre of Helsinki and it was from there that we started our countryside walk.  It's an art nouveau villa on the edge of the Laajalahti Nature Reserve, inside we found exhibitions relating to the diverse nature of Espoo as well as a children's adventure area 'Badger's …

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Day 12.  Helsinki’s Boulevard & The Museum of Journalism 

Our plan today was to explore Helsinki's Boulevard which starts from Erottaja in central Helsinki.  Strolling along this elegant avenue we admired the beautiful buildings, many of which are now high class shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries.  We passed The Old Church and its garden which always seems a popular venue for young people to …

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Day 13.  Finland’s Lake Tuusula

A day I had been looking forward to, meeting up with my Finnish blogging friend Suvi, author of the lovely blog Destination Everywhere whom I first met on my visit to Finland last year.  This time we planned a day out together exploring Lake Tuusula in Järvenpää, about a 30 minute drive from Helsinki.  Suvi …

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 Day 1.  My Journey to Helsinki

The start of our summer holidays and whilst most Britsh families head south to the Mediterranean we always head north to Finland.  You may find this somewhat strange but actually southern Finland generally enjoys warm sunny weather during the summer months, warm enough for trips to the beach and for swimming in the crystal clear …

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