Category Archives: #take12trips

Why not try a blogging challenge..

It’s the New Year …….so why not try a new blogging challenge!  I’ve been looking back on a few challenges I’ve tried in the past couple of years and also eyeing up a few that I may get round to having a go at. It’s time to make a list methinks. 🙂

Sunday Sevens ~  Natalie from ‘Threads and Bobbins’ posts 7 photo’s of her week every Sunday and I’m sure she would love you to join in too. Link to posts  right here.

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Blue Lagoon. #take12trips

Take 12 Trips  ~  Here’s One I joined in with in 2014. The aim is to blog once a month about a trip ( whether it be a local day out or a weekend away or a week in the sun) for twelve months. This challenge really made me get out and about and I discovered some fab new blogs too.  Check out  Need Another Holiday  for details.

Jo’s Monday Walks  ~  If you enjoy a stroll in the country or a saunter through the city, then why not link up with  Restless Jo. She does an ever growing roundup of folks walks and takes you along to some interesting places.

Photo Scavenger Hunt  ~   I love love love joining in with Jills  Scavenger Hunt  when I can . She compiles an excellent list of prompts every month and it’s lots of fun interpreting them with photos. 🙂

Photo an Hour  ~  And here’s another photo challenge I love to take part in. Simply take a photo every hour of how you are spending your day. You can join in on Instagram, Twitter or your blog. Or all three!  Janey from  Is That You Darling  will be setting February’s date.

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Foodie Pen pal goodies ready to send. 🙂

Foodie Penpals  ~   Ooooooh I love this one!  If you would like to send and receive a parcel of foodie goodies every month ( and make some new pals) then check out  Foodie Penpals . You get to sample goodies from other parts of the UK or abroad. Who doesn’t love parcels of treats! 

Alphabet Dating  ~  This looks like good fun. 🙂  If you are in a relationship why not take it in turns to organize a date together , alphabetically.  You arrange an outing beginning with A ( Afternoon Tea maybe ;0)  ) then your partner sets up the next date beginning with B ( Bingo,Boat trip,Band night) etc etc. Work your way through the alphabet like   Erase and Rewind  and blog about it. X

If you can recommend any other blogging challenges let me know……..

 

 

2014 in Photos.

Another year has come to an end once again. How time flies! As is now tradition on my little blog( a new tradition of two years!) here is a quick roundup of my year….in pictures.

We are Family!
We are Family!

January had its ups and downs. We lost our beautiful old labrador Jake which hit us hard. And my family’s farm came out of the family when my Uncle retired. So a pretty emotional month. I did get chance to go for a fun family meal with my lovely sister and cousins.

Newton!
Newton!
Teacup Candles galore.
Teacup Candles galore.

In February Wil and I managed a night away in Leeds and saw one of our fave singers ‘Newton Falkner’. I also started making teacup candles again after a month off.I like to sell them at craft fairs.

Slinky Chillaxing. ^^
Slinky Chillaxing. ^^

March was the first month I joined in with Janeys Photo an Hour Challenge and Slinky the cat appeared in it of course. 🙂

Morecambe Bay.
Morecambe Bay.
Girly day out. :)
Girly day out. 🙂

Easter Monday fell in April and the sun was shining so we had a day out at the seaside. 🙂 Morecambe Bay is a gorgeous area to visit if you’re ever in Lancashire. I also spent the day in Manchester with some of my besties.

Waiting for a romantic getaway. :)
Waiting for a romantic getaway. 🙂
Remote and beautiful martindale.
Remote and beautiful martindale.

In May I purchased a beautiful vintage suitcase from a craft fair friend. Its covered in postage stamps from all over the world. 🙂 And I spent a few days at my Mums in the lovely Lakes.

Happy Campers. :)
Happy Campers. 🙂

We had our first camping trip of the year in June at Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales.

Bonjour Buttertubs!
Bonjour Buttertubs!
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
a carousel and Eiffel Tower. :)
a carousel and Eiffel Tower. 🙂

July was a pretty special month! Not only were we lucky enough to watch the beginning of the ‘Tour de France’ in Yorkshire, we saw the end too in Paris. Both experiences were fantastic and although not a huge cycling fan, I enjoyed myself very much. We spent four nights in Paris and it was my first time there and was as wonderful as I imagined it would be.

Beach Hut day.
Beach Hut day.
Red Bank Farm from the lane.
Red Bank Farm from the lane.

August was all about the seaside.:) My friend Jo booked a beach hut day in St Annes for our mate Maz’s birthday.We made a day of it and despite the blustery weather, had a fab
time.Also went camping with Wil on the coast at a great little site ‘Red Bank Farm’ near Morecambe.

Cocktails :)
Cocktails 🙂

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In September I enjoyed taking some pics at the ‘Ribble Valley Mod Weekender’ and helped celebrate a friends birthday with cocktails in the clouds ~ well almost, Cloud23 in Manchester.

Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. :)
Four kids, two Bedlington terriers and a few of the grown ups. 🙂
Solfar Sculpture, Reykjavik.
Solfar Sculpture, Reykjavik.
Baby Hugo and his duck. The duck and its replacement didn't last long!
Baby Hugo and his duck. The duck and its replacement didn’t last long!

Exciting times too in October with a lifetime ambition to visit Iceland achieved! An otherworldly destination I would love to return to. 🙂 There was also a fun and interesting walk with friends and family along the Pendle Sculpture trail ….and we welcomed a new edition to the family. Hugo!

Hugo's first outing.
Hugo’s first outing.
Afternoon tea at Northcote Manor.
Afternoon tea at Northcote Manor.

November meant Hugo was old enough to take out on his first walks. 🙂 And Wil treated me to Afternoon tea at a posh restaurant for my birthday.

And its now December ! Looking back at my year it looks like I have certainly got out and about a bit. The Take12trips challenge I participated in certainly inspired me in that I think. Might be something I could go back to next year. Mostly though 2014 has been a great one spent with the people I love. Aw. 🙂 Heres to a fab 2015!

Take 12 Trips ~ A Round Up. :)

For the past twelve months I have been participating in the #take12trips challenge. Clare from Need Another Holiday thought up the great idea of taking a trip every month for twelve months….and blogging about where you went. The cool thing is the trips can be local ( I blogged about an afternoon exploring the Castle Museum in my hometown), days out, overnight stays or holidays here or abroad. I’ve really enjoyed the experience of getting out and about somewhere new every month ~ this challenge has been the perfect excuse to visit those nearby places I’ve always meant to have a nosy at ! And I’ve discovered a few new day trip ideas too. 🙂

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Days at the seaside are wonderful whatever the weather. In August I really enjoyed a Beach Hut day in St Annes with some friends.

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Back in January I sampled yummy cake at a a quirky tea rooms in Manchester. Tea Room trips are the best!

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Mays trip was a few days spent in Cumbria with family, so I blogged about some of the places I visited in the North Lakes area.

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In July I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in Paris. . Of course it was as wonderful as I imagined it would be!

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Last November I got taken away for the night to Manchester for my birthday. I was one lucky girl, being treated to a pre theatre meal, a musical and the city’s famous Christmas markets. 🙂

Swan in the reeds.
Swan in the reeds.

A winters walk round Brockholes Nature Reserve was the perfect place to blow away those Christmas Cobwebs in December.

Happy Campers. :)
Happy Campers. 🙂

Its always good to get away camping and where else but the beautiful Yorkshire dales in June.

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The most interesting and amazing destination I travelled too over the past twelve months was Reykjavik in Iceland. The Golden Circle was brilliant. 🙂

And of course there were other trips too. One for every month of the year! So bloggers if your looking for a new challenge , why not mosy on down to Clare’s site and have a go at the #take12trips challenge too. As you can see I really enjoyed participating.

Sharon. X

Iceland day three~ The Blue Lagoon & Reykjavik.

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Day Three in Iceland and our last full day here. We had already fallen in love with the place and Reykjavik itself is a small city that makes you feel so much at home. In the morning we had booked a trip to The Blue Lagoon which turned out to be as amazing as it looks. I guess the Blue Lagoon is the Ultimate Spa! The Lagoon is about 40 minutes drive from the city and only 10 minutes drive from Keflavik International Airport, so some tourists go for a relaxing dip before catching their flights home. Surrounded by lava fields and close to a geothermal power station , the location is not the most scenic , but is certainly interesting. The warm waters are a toasty 40 degrees celsius so there is nothing nicer than swimming around in them, even on the coldest days. And they contain minerals that are good for the skin.:)
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There are various entry packages for the Blue lagoon. We chose the comfort package which includes a towel, bathrobe, a drink at the swim to bar and a mini spa treatment. These set us back about £50 each but we totally appreciated the towels and robes when getting out of the hot water into the cold air. Everyone wears wrist bands which cleverly operate the changing room lockers and they are scanned at the bar too ,when paying for drinks.

We spent a good five hours in the resort and found plenty to occupy us. The pool area has hot tubs, a steam room and sauna and a massaging waterfall. There are pots of silica mud to put on your face (see above photo :)) and the whole experience is amazing and surreal. It even started snowing a little! We had our lunch in the cafe and also had time for a walk round the lava fields afterwards. The lava fields location certainly gives the Blue Lagoon an otherworldly feel. 🙂

Wil on our lava field walk where there are more geothermal waters.
Wil on our lava field walk where there are more geothermal waters.
Lava fields surround the Blue Lagoon.
Lava fields surround the Blue Lagoon.

We headed back to Reykjavik late afternoon and the weather had gotten colder and very windy. Look how choppy the sea was at the harbour. Had a bit of a wander round, a nosy in a Christmas shop 🙂 and then located to the Bunk Bar on Laugavegi ( the main shopping street) , which by an amazing stroke of luck had a Happy Hour on. 🙂

Choppy seas.
Choppy seas.
Colourful house in the old harbour area.
Colourful house in the old harbour area.
Longboat on a roof !
Longboat on a roof !
Inside one of Reykjaviks Christmas shops.
Inside one of Reykjaviks Christmas shops.
Theres also a shop devoted to puffins.
Theres also a shop devoted to puffins.
A beer and a rhubarb, vodka and aniseed cocktail in the Bunk Bar.
A beer and a rhubarb, vodka and aniseed cocktail in the Bunk Bar.

So there you have it, my last Iceland post…..for now anyway. Now that I have seen a tiny part of the country, I would love to see more. Maybe one day hey. 🙂

Have you ever been to Iceland and what was your favourite part of your trip?

Iceland day Two ~ Reykjavik and the Golden Circle.

Hofoi  House.
Hofoi House.
On Day Two of our trip to Iceland , we did the touristy thing and went on a couple of sightseeing tours. I had booked them before we came away, using Grey Line , a reputable excursion company with an office in Reykjavik, not far from the harbour.

In the morning we did their City Sights Tour and our guide was interesting and informative. A mini bus picked us up from our hotel and we were on our way. This is a bit of a whistle stop tour of the city with a few hop on and off photo opportunities. Places we saw included the Hofoi House where the Presidents of the US and Russia ended the Cold War in 1986, Icelands President’s residence on the coast ( unfortunately obscured by fog), the glass domed Perlan which has great views over the city and a revolving restaurant & also the massive Hallgrimskirkja, which we had taken a look at the day before.

Pretty church looking out onto a fog obscured sea.
Pretty church looking out onto a fog obscured sea.
The Perlan.
The Perlan.
View of Hallgrimskirkja from the Perlan.
View of Hallgrimskirkja from the Perlan.
Hallgrimskirkja Church, a focal point of the city.
Hallgrimskirkja Church, a focal point of the city.

There was time at the end of the mornings tour to go in search for lunch and so we found Gamla/Old Island on Laugavegi 72, which is the main shopping street in Reykjavik. We both had warming Salt Fish au gratin followed by Icelandic pancakes served with whipped cream and rhubarb jam. Delicious!

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In the afternoon we did the Golden Circle excursion , which I would say is probably a must if you visit this part of Iceland. The Golden Circle is a 190-mile round trip from Reykjavik which takes in some of the most important historical and geological sites in Iceland. Included was Pingvellir national park( the site of Iceland’s original parliament), Gullfoss Waterfall with its awesome flow and the Geysir area which was my favourite part of the day. The original Geysir unfortunately rarely spouts anymore but luckily Strokkur nearby still has the ability to make you jump out of your skin every five minutes or so. 🙂

Pingvellir National Park.
Pingvellir National Park.
Gullfoss - The Golden Falls.
Gullfoss – The Golden Falls.
Gullfoss from the top.
Gullfoss from the top.
Strokkur Geysir.
Strokkur Geysir.
Engulfed in the steam.
Engulfed in the steam.
Walking around the geysir area.
Walking around the geysir area.

It was great to get out of the city into the countryside. I had imagined Iceland to be a bare and barren place once you get away from the coast, but the National Park area was actually really scenic with moss covered lava fields, grassy meadows, mountains ( every one is a volcano) , farmsteads with colourful buildings and planted forests dotted here and there. Saw lots of beautiful hardy looking Icelandic ponies, sheep, flying geese and grouse as the coach made its way back to the city in the early evening.

Once back in Reykjavik we had a few drinks in town and went to Icelandic Fish & Chips at Tryggvagata 11 and had just that. 🙂

Fish and Chips. :)
Fish and Chips. 🙂

This post is my last one for #take12trips. Look out for my Day three post featuring The Blue Lagoon very soon.

A day out in Lancaster.

If you have been reading my recent posts, you will know that we had a few days away camping on the coast at Bolton le sands.Oneday we decided to get the bus into nearby Lancaster. If you have ever been to this Lancashire town, you will know it is great for shopping and nights out. It is also worth exploring for its fascinating history ~ so I am including our visit for my #take12trips entry for September.

The first thing we did when we arrived was actually head out of the centre to Williamson Park. This beautiful parkland is home to an edwardian butterfly house and the imposing Ashton Memorial, which dominates Lancasters skyline.

Beautiful hydrangea.
Beautiful hydrangea.
The Ashton Memorial.
The Ashton Memorial.

This magnificent white stone folly was built by a wealthy baron for his late wife in the early 1900’s. It commands spectacular views of Morecambe bay….which I totally forgot to photograph. Sorry folks! Think I was in to much of a hurry to visit the tropical Butterfly House. 🙂

The Ashton memorial reminded me of the Sacre Coeur or even the Taj Mahal.
The Ashton memorial reminded me of the Sacre Coeur or even the Taj Mahal.

I must admit I did love the butterfly house. Could have spent hours in there chasing the butterflies round for photographs. Several species such as Swallowtail and Owl butterflies fluttered in between the palm trees , delighting the visitors, even landing on us ~ well Wil anyway.
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As well as the Butterfly house there is also a mini beast house, aviary with free flying birds, animal garden and cafe and gift shop , all situated near the memorial. I wish we had explored the grounds a little more as the park has woodland walks,trails, monuments and ponds.
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For lunch we headed back into the city and enjoyed some good traditional pub grub in the Penny Bank Pub on Penny street, washed down with real ales and cider. Then we had a look in the Assembly Rooms for vintage treasures.

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red bank fm lancaster 054

In the heart of the city stands the deceptively Harry Potter like castle with its dark history that includes the Pendle Witch Trials and time spent as a prison. We didn’t do the tour which I regret now, as it is the only way to see inside this grade 1 listed building.

Lancaster Castle.
Lancaster Castle.

Instead we decided to visit the nearby Judge’s Lodgings which houses The Museum of Childhood. I think I like to release my inner child…and drag Wil along with me. 🙂 This grand house is worth a look anyway with its many rooms decked out as they would have been many years ago. The top floor is devoted to the childhood museum.

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It was fun looking out for things that reminded us of our own childhoods. I loved the womble! All in all we had a perfect day of sightseeing, shopping and drinking in the odd pub. 🙂

Beach Hut Day. :)

I have long coveted the seaside tradition of hiring a beautiful beach hut for the day. 🙂 When my friend Jo did just that, for a girly get together by the sea, I was a very happy bunny indeed. ❤

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The newly built huts are proving very popular at lovely St Annes on the Lancashire coast.  Jo booked through their website St Annes Beach Huts  ~ and between four of us it cost around £20 each for the day. The day starts at 10am and you can stay until Midnight.

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Each hut is decorated in a pretty nautical style and the space inside is very practical too. Most have electricity and facilities include the all important fridge, kettle & microwave. There is a bench inside which can be brought out onto the front decking area on a sunny day and all huts are equipped with crockery & cutlery.

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The time we spent at St Annes was typically British weather wise ! A spot of drizzle and very windy. Our beach hut was a cozy base from which to enjoy our day by the sea. As it was also our friend Marian’s birthday weekend we celebrated with a little afternoon tea spread, a birthday cake and glasses of prosecco. 🙂

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The kids loved their experience here too. They were able to make sandcastles on the beach, scooter along the prom, ride on the little steam train located behind the huts and play on the various rides and attractions nearby.

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We noticed other families and groups here celebrating special occasions or just enjoying the summer holidays. And the huts are also dog friendly . Plenty of bouncy dogs and their owners were enjoying the bracing sea air. We all had such a fabulous time and I think it is one of those memories we will remember for years to come. I for one could go back tommorrow. :))

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This is my August entry for #take12trips organized by Claire over at Need Another Holiday.