Tag Archives: holidays

My 2016 ~In Photos.

As is now tradition, I am posting a quick photo round-up of my year. All in all it’s been a pretty good one! I have been slightly more organized than normal and included some post links. Yay!

January.  Woh this seems such a long time ago now. January gave us the only snow of the year. Hugo loved it of course but it only lasted one snow day. 😦 It was still frosty and cold however on our visit to Formby Point where we saw Red squirrels 🙂  And yep thats me with a naked man at Another Place , the Anthony Gormley Art Installation on Crosby Beach.

February.  It was a pretty quiet month in February. We did manage a day out in Manchester however and I had a fun time photographing the Street Art in the Northern Quarter. I also attended my God daughter Mady’s sons christening. I’m not one for holding babies but baby Jason was very chilled. 🙂

March.  Wil and I had a weekend away in Coventry and stopped at the lovely Coombe Abbey Hotel & Country Park. We also visited Coventry itself which had lots of surprises. And later in the month I was in Manchester again , this time for a friends birthday. You can read my post about it here.

April.  Spring arrived at last ( hurrah! ) and I  couldn’t wait to get out and about with my camera and my Ladybird Book Guide To spring. 🙂  A day out at Bolton Abbey in the Easter Holidays was great fun and I treated Wil to a trip on a steam train ( with lots of Real Ale involved 😉  ) on the East Lancs Railway.

May.  The weather was great in May and included a day out in Kirkby Lonsdale with my sister and her family. We even managed a paddle in the river. 🙂 A walk along the banks of Derwent Water in the Lake District was made all the more interesting , when Wil, Hugo and I came across a giant hand sculpture!  Our Holiday Season started in May.:) A camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales , not too far from Fountain Abbey. And a stay in a hotel looking over Haweswater. 🙂

June.  I loved our day out in Malham where we walked up to the Cove and paddled in Janet’s Foss. Think that was Hugo’s favourite part.:) We also went camping in Silverdale and Hugo enjoyed his second ever boat trip, on Lake Windermere.

July.  Clitheroe has had lots of great new eating and drinking venues open in 2016 and the biggest surprise is probably Bowland Beer Hall at Holmes Mill. It’s an amazing space in an old textile mill, host to a listed steam engine and what appears to be England’s longest continuous bar. I attended the opening evening with Wil and some friends in July. I also crossed Llama Trekking off my  Bucket List when myself and some of my family enjoyed a half day with these adorable animals here. Oh and Hugo found himself inside the July edition of The Simple Things Magazine. 🙂

August.  In August there was a holiday at Spring Park  in Cornwall. We stayed in ‘The Duke’ , a beautifully restored Showman’s wagon. On the way down to Cornwall we stopped one night in the spa town of Bath.I would love to return to both places. 🙂 Hugo has been busy bagging lakes all year. Here he is in Grasmere, over the bank holiday.

September. The poor pooch wasn’t quite sure what to think of The The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. as it involved a lot of doggy paddling. I got pretty soaked too!  The new Bridget Jones film turned into a bit of an event for us ladies.:) And if you like cake ( doesn’t everyone) you will like my post about my friend Nicolas Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.. She certainly didn’t scrimp on her baking. 🙂

October. We had an unseasonably dry October so this month’s posts are full of Autumn colours. 🙂 I joined in with #30dayswild, and enjoyed fun days out at Lowther Castle & Gardens   and The Forbidden Corner with family.

November. November is my Birthday month so it was great to get away with Wil and Hugo to a holiday cottage in Scotland . The Afternoon Tea in Portpatrick was a Birthday treat courtesy of Wil and it was also nice to get together with friends. 🙂

December.  This month has been all about meeting up with family. 🙂  I’ve included a piccie of my cat Slinky as she does tend to get overshadowed by a certain Black Labrador. And I took part in Janet’s ‘Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap’ which I will post about separately I’m sure. 

Despite the radical changes in this country and abroad in 2016, I guess the best thing to do is just carry on and LIVE. Life is just to short to get depressed about it. So all the best for 2017 guys ….. and see you soon. X

 

 

 

Holidays with Hugo ~ Our Pet-friendly trips in 2016.

Looking back over 2016, I hadn’t quite realised how many times we have gone away this year. We’ve camped, we’ve stayed in some fab hotels & B & Bs ,  stopped in a beautifully restored Showman’s Wagon in Cornwall and we have cosied up in a lovely cottage in the grounds of a Scottish Castle. And what is the common denominator of all our trips. Our cheeky Black Labrador Hugo, that’s who!   We hadn’t  initially planned to have so many holidays with our pooch ( or indeed so many holidays full-stop ~ oooops) , but it is really handy that dogs are made welcome at such varied types of accommodation, all over the UK.  Check out the following.

Elton Guest House.

A Friendly Guest House In Grange.   If you ever find yourself in the Cumbrian Seaside town of Grange-Over-Sands, like we did when participating in the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk , The Elton Guest House is an ideal base for exploring this lovely part of the Lake District. The Elton is a Victorian limestone building with comfy rooms, a hearty breakfast and a very warm welcome from owners Lynn and Liam. Hugo got lots of fuss and attention and was even given a cooked sausage at breakfast. Lynn sorted out a table  reservation at a pet-friendly restaurant for us in the evening. Oh and did I say we were welcomed with coffee and homemade chocolate muffins on arrival. 🙂 The little touches really made our stay. Double rooms £82 per night, Singles £50, Dogs £8 per stay.

Icehouse Cottage.

A Cosy Cottage In Scotland.  This beautiful property in the grounds of Lochinch Castle in Dumfries & Galloway was our home away from home for a week in November. With a large enclosed rear garden, a wood burning stove and unlimited access to Castle Kennedy Gardens and Lochinch Castle Estate, it is the perfect countryside retreat. Hugo had plenty of walks in the grounds and the wildlife we spotted was amazing. The cottage is gorgeous inside too and bicycles and a barbecue are also provided.  For more photos check out my post here.  4 nights from £229.

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Howgill Lodge Campsite.

A Campsite In The Yorkshire Dales.  We have stopped at Howgill Lodge Campsite  near the picturesque Yorkshire village of Appletreewick, several times over the years. It’s a friendly little site with stunning views over the Dales and nearby riverside walks to  Bolton Abbey and Burnsall kept Hugo happy. Howgill has spacious pitches, each with it’s own picnic bench. There’s a small campsite shop, hot showers, toilets, payphone , laundry room and a dog exercise field. Two great dog-friendly pubs can be found in Appletreewick. Two people & a tent £21 per night. Dogs go free.

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Haweswater Hotel.

A Secluded Lake District Hotel.   The Haweswater Hotel is perched right on the lake in one of the lesser known areas of The Lake District.  It is just 20 minutes from J39 of the M6 , yet feels very remote and is surrounded by the beautiful Haweswater Nature Reserve. We stopped here over the May Bank Holiday and the chef packed us a lunch to take up into the fells. The hotel has an art deco inspired interior and some of the bedrooms look very elegant on the website. Ours was a wee bit pokey and could have been nicer I think, even though we were staying in a dog-friendly room. The staff were lovely however and if you love wildlife and walking, this hotel is for you. Double rooms on average £85 per night. Dogs £15 per stay.

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The Duke at Spring Park.

A  restored Showman’s Wagon in the Cornish Countryside.  Wow I loved  our stay in ‘The Duke’ at  Spring Park  in North Cornwall so so much. The Duke is a lovingly restored vintage Showman’s Wagon. He lords over his own pretty Wildflower Meadow and is equipped with everything you will need for a cosy stay, including a french enamel wood burner, fully equipped kitchen and a wood fueled hot tub. Hugo got plenty of walks in the surrounding countryside and the nearby Springer Spaniel Pub is dog-friendly and does great food. You can read more about our stay and see lots of photos here. 🙂  From £68 per night. Dogs £20 per stay.

Hotel Stays With Pets Pyjamas.   If you really want to treat your dog ( and yourself lol 😉 ) , you would definitely benefit from checking out the Pets Pyjamas  website. Browse their portfolio of pet-friendly cottages, dog-welcoming hotels, Country Houses and B & Bs .Look out for their unique packages which usually include a personalised box of treats for your pooch and even dinner for your dog. My post Hotel stays with Pets Pyjamas. will give you more information.

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Hugo at Jenny Brown’s Point near Silverdale.

Coastal Campsite in Lancashire.  By far the most scenic campsite on the Lancashire Coast Gibraltar Farm  campsite in Silverdale is a traditional working farm with breathtaking views over Morecambe Bay. You can even stay in ancient woodland adjacent to the site or just enjoy the coastal panorama. Gibraltar Farm has the usual campsite facilities and there are walks and beaches as soon as you step outside your tent. The farm even makes its own icecream. Tents from £12 per night. Dogs £1 per night.

So it looks as though we have certainly enjoyed many a dog-friendly holiday with Hugo in 2016. Next year ~ a cosy cottage in Keswick….then we had better get on with that decorating!

Where have you taken your pooch this year?

Links & Likes. ♡

I thought I would do a links and likes post , in no particular order ,and mix it in with a sneek peek of where I’m staying at the moment ,my holiday heaven , Spring Park in Cornwall.

We are stopping in a 1940’s Show Wagon.

Fancy booking a Surprise Getaway?  Surprise Trips

  have over 75 European City Break destinations ,they can send you to. You only find out where your going ,2 hours before your flight!

Need cat cuddles? Manchester has opened its first  Cat Cafe . Kittys and Cake under one roof. Sounds Purrfect.

Why can’t my Instagram account be as gorgeous as this one by Hermione Foxx. I used to work with this girl. She can cook chickens….and style the most beautiful bedroom shot. 🙂

Hugo helping me draw a piccie of our Holiday Home.

Christine has been  Wild Swimming

 again. Where will she be taking a dip next??

Nina found the Best Family Day Out at a gorgeous park near Edinburgh. Way the best blogger ,for finding family friendly places to visit in this beautiful city.

Roots & Toots joined in a Fabulous Foodie Tour of Cambridge.

Thanks Jo for including my Llama Trekking post in your Monday Walks. 🙂

The Duke is full of Vintage Treasures.

I joined Trover ( a travel app that enables you to share photos,tips and info about places you have visited.) and I’ve created a Pet Friendly List of places to take  your 4 legged friend.Speeking of pets, we have recently also used  petspajamas.com to book nights away in dog friendly boutique accomodation in the UK. More info coming up on my blog soon.

 Louise attended Hen Harrier Day in the Peak District. Please sign the petition.

Oh and why not support Team Refugee in the Olympics this year. You can check when they are competing by clicking on the link.:)

Happy days in ‘The Duke’.

Thanks for dropping by. I will post a much more detailed post about my holidays in a gorgeous Showman’s Wagon at the remote Cornishly Quirky Spring Parc on my return up North. 🙂

Sharon.x

 

 

 

 


 

 

November Photo Scavenger Hunt.

My Photo Scavenger Hunt photos have a rather Nautical theme this month. We spent a week in Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast and visited other coastal towns and villages in the area. So my pictures are all from my holiday. Enjoy!

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A Stranger. I am no longer a stranger to Scarborough’s North Shore. Look at the brightly coloured Beach Huts.

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Looking Down. A  walk along the beach at Robin Hood’s Bay  where  we came across this poor dead crab. Quite a big one too.

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Popular Culture.  Whitby is famous for its connections with everyone’s favourite toothy Count, Draculaaaah. I didn’t get chance to go in and experience a one to one with him happily!

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The Weather. We were pretty lucky with the weather but visiting the Victorian town of Saltburn-On-Sea proved a wash out. 😦

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Big. A surprisingly large Lobster in Staithes.

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Sign. I love the names of cottages by the sea. This is one of the more unusual ones.

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Bottle.  A bottle of wine to celebrate my birthday , which just happened to be when I was away.

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Out and About. On the beach at Robin Hoods Bay.

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Hat. The seaside in November gets a bit chilly.

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Hole. Whitby’s Whale Jaw Bone Arch up on the West Cliff. It cleverly frames the Abbey opposite. The original Whale Bone was given to the town in the 1800’s. This replica was donated by Alaska in 2003.

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One. Boat in a field!

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Whatever you want. A couple of Cormorants on a cabin roof in Whitby.

Thanks to  Made With Love for organizing as usual.

Herdy Huts ~ My stay in a Shepherd’s Hut. :)

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Although I LOVE camping I have always been curious about Glamping. Wouldn’t it be great to experience all the outdoorsy fun of camping with some lovely home comforts too. After a little research I found the website for Herdy Huts in the Lake District and was smitten  .I just had to book a long weekend in one of their cute Shepherd’s Huts!

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Shepherd’s Huts apparently have a long history ,dating  as far back as the 1500’s. They were used as their name suggests, by shepherds tending their flocks. They are basically huts on wheels and can be rolled from location to location. The Herdy Huts current location is Hoathwaite Campsite near Coniston. The views are stunning!

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There are three huts available and I booked Gerdy hut !  Each hut is furnished in warm and bright colours with everything you could possibly need. We were surprised at how spacious Gerdy actually is. There is a snug double bed ( with a single bunk above) , a table and seating area, kitchen storage, a gas hob and a wonderful wood burner which is also an oven. A delicious aroma of firewood and fabric softener envelops you as you enter. 🙂

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The huts comfortably fit two adults or two adults and a child. A well behaved dog is welcome too. 🙂

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The Shepherd’s Huts are on a campsite so toilets and showers are shared with the campers. They are basic but this wasn’t a problem as they were kept very clean. The campsite is also part of a working farm so don’t be surprised if you come across a few friendly cows!

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The location is pretty much perfect. A two mile or so lakeside walk to the pretty village of Coniston one way and a shorter walk to Torver the other way. But mostly we just loved hanging out at our hut. 🙂 We were fortunate really that the weather was mixed. When the sun shone we made the most of the bench and brazer outside and when it rained and the wind howled, well we were nice and toasty in Gerdy. I miss Gerdy already!

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A three night weekend break or a four night midweek break in Herdy, Gerdy or Blea costs £260. £10 extra for one well behaved dog.

Have you ever been Glamping?

Five destinations I would love to return to…

I’ve seen this post idea on various blogs, most recently on the excellent Darwin On The Rocks and around the World. and I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the places I would love to revisit. It was hard narrowing it down so I have decided to choose from holidays abroad and all are destinations I would hop on a plane and fly to right this minute if I could.:)

Blue fishing boats in Essaouira.
Blue fishing boats in Essaouira.

Essaouira ~ Morocco.. I have visited Morocco twice and loved the vibrant bustling souks of Marrakech and the long sandy beaches of Agadir. I must admit my favourite place though is less than three hours drive from both of these more better known resorts. The beautiful and windswept coastal town of Essaouira is an ancient fishing port with fortified walls and whitewashed buildings. It has a laid back vibe and I remember the fresh sea breeze ( which is present at all times!) was a welcome respite from the stifling heat inland. The same breeziness means it is a popular base for beach sports such as wind surfing and kite surfing. Its an aspiring photographers dream too of course. Look at those gorgeous blue fishing boats! Seafood, Souks, Sun, Sea and Sand. When we stayed in Essaouira we made our own way from Marrakech on a packed locals bus complete with whole families, chickens and paper fans.;) Easyjet have just started flying twice weekly from Luton Airport. Fancy it?

Moroccan Moggies.
Moroccan Moggies.

Cannes and the French Riviera. The recent Cannes Film Festival made me hanker for that touch of class that is the French Riviera. Quite a few years ago now we found ourselves in the crowds waiting for a certain ‘Brad & Angelina’ to grace the red carpet for the world premier of the film ‘Inglorious’. To cut a long story short we never got to see them. Sob! If only we had waited around that little bit longer. I think Angelina must have been busy getting airbrushed or something. That aside I would love to return to this part of France again. Just wandering round at Festival time was so amazing and glamourous but the area has so much more to offer. Other memorable moments of our holiday included a crossing with two nuns in a little boat from Cannes to the picturesque island of Ile Saint-Honorat and a wander round the ancient mountain village of Eze and its exotic cactus gardens with exceptional views. Can I go back now!

Here we are early morning at the 62nd festival!
Here we are early morning at the 62nd festival!
Cactus garden in Eze.
Cactus garden in Eze.
Inside the Reichstaag.
Inside the Reichstaag.

Berlin. There is never a more fascinating city than Germanys capital. Nine years ago now, Wil and I experienced a city break in Berlin. Its history is so powerful and engulfing that you can’t help but be moved by it. Remnants of the Berlin Wall still exist. Bullet holes in old elegant buildings date back to the second world war. We visited the topography of terror, the holocaust memorial and the Checkpoint Charlie museum for an insight into the lives of everyday people caught up in gigantic events. And we ate out lots……sourkraut with everything. Think thats the national dish! Despite this I would love to go back one day. 😉

A part of the Berlin Wall.
A part of the Berlin Wall.

British Columbia ~ Canada. I have been fortunate enough to visit BC in Canada twice. Luckily for me one of my old school friends lives in the scenic ski resort town of Fernie in the Canadian Rockies. Vast amounts of snow are dumped on the mountains every winter making it a powdery paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. But I would love to relive our fantastic road trip to Vancouver Island if thats possible please? Or get stuck in a bear jam. Or spy a mountain lion ambling into the forest. Or watch whales in the Pacific rim national park….. 🙂

Kayaking, Island lake lodge resort, Fernie.
Kayaking, Island lake lodge resort, Fernie.
Larking about Crystal Cove, Tofino, Vancouver Island.
Larking about Crystal Cove, Tofino, Vancouver Island.

Iceland. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to go to Iceland. And in October last year I finally got to realise my dream when Wil and I stayed for three nights in Reykjavik. Highlights of our trip included the Golden Circle tour where we got to visit the majestic Gullfoss Waterfall and the gushing Strokkur Geysir. We also had a memorable dip in the iconic Blue Lagoon. 🙂

Bathing in the Blue Lagoon.
Bathing in the Blue Lagoon.
Reykjavik Rooftops.
Reykjavik Rooftops.

Although I never got to see the Northern Lights ( it was too cloudy) this is not the reason I would like to return to this beautiful country. I would also like to explore more of the island and as I’m a bit of a nature lover Summer seems the perfect season for a revisit. Well one summer, one day eh!

What would be your favourite destinations to return to? I would love to know! X

Arm chair Travel. :)

It might be just about now that your thinking about booking a foreign holiday, somewhere you can laze in the sun maybe,or take in the sights. Recently I watched one of my fave films ~ Under The Tuscan Sun , which never fails to make me long to explore the rolling hills and vinyards of Tuscany in Italy.  Here are a few movies that inspire me to journey to these places for real. Or just enjoy a spot of armchair travel. 🙂

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Lost In Translation ( 2003 ) ~ A tired actor ( Bill Murray) and a photographer’s young wife ( Scarlett Johanssen) both find themselves in Tokyo and form a close friendship, whilst getting to grips with Japanese culture and figuring out what they want out of life. Love this movie.

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Amelie ( 2001) Charming romantic comedy set in Paris about a young waitress ‘Amelie’ who dishes out good deeds along with her creme brulee.A magical film.English Subtitles.

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The Way (2010) ~Tom an American doctor ( Martin Sheen) travels to France to collect the remains of his estranged son who was killed in an accident in the Pyrenees. He had died walking the Camino de Santiago, also known as ‘The Way of St James’. Tom decides to complete the pilgrimage for him and embarks on the 800Km trek across the top of Spain, meeting other troubled souls along the way. A road movie where the characters walk…..and the journey is also one of self discovery.

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Roman Holiday ( 1953) ~ Why not discover Rome through the eyes of a Royal princess playing truant. Audrey Hepburn plays the princess longing to do normal everyday things in the city….and Gregory Peck is the undercover reporter showing her the sights, looking for a good story and finding himself falling in love. A fairytale romance. 🙂

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Only You ( 1991) ~ To Italy again and Marissa Tomei plays Faith, who travels to Europe in a quest to find her one true love and destiny. A sweet rom com about mistaken identity and dreams coming true , with scenes shot in Venice and Positano and Rome.

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In Bruges ( 2008) ~ Irish hitmen and dwarves in Bruges.This black comedy stars Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as assasins waiting on instruction in the historic Belgium city one Christmas, after a job goes wrong. Darkly funny.

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Midnight in Paris (2011) ~ Discover the Paris of today and the Paris of the 1920s in this time travel romance directed by Woody Allen. A nostalgic writer ( Owen Wilson) finds himself mysteriously going back in time to the days of Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali everyday at Midnight. A homage to the citys artistic history with a love story thrown in too.

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The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) ~ Based on the journals of ‘Che Guevara’ this is the tale of two medical students who travel through South America by motorcycle in the early 1950s. Enjoy the stunning scenery and find out how the Cuban revolutionary got his calling. English subtitles.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) ~ New York is the setting for this iconic Audrey Hepburn movie.She plays madcap socialite ‘ Holly Golightly’ who lives in a Manhatten appartment with her cat with no name. George Peppard is the unknown writer who falls for her charms.One of my favorite films ever!

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Under The Tuscan Sun (2003) ~ Diane Lane plays a writer who whilst holidaying in Tuscany after her marriage breaks down, impulsively buys a crumbling villa. Life changes for her in many unexpected ways.A fabulous little film. 🙂

Which films inspire you to book a holiday?

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

Paris is always a good Idea. :)

When my other half decided we should go to Paris to see the end of a certain bicycle race , who was I to object!  Somehow I had gotten through 40 years without visiting this iconic city. I dreamt of picnicking under the  Eiffel tower and gazing upon the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile. 🙂

We arrived in the French Capital on a very hot and stuffy Friday afternoon, having amazingly managed to master the railway and metro to our bijou studio apartment in the Levallois Perret district of North West Paris. We booked it through airbnb , a really useful site , where people list  rooms and apartments to let all over the world. It cost us £48 per night for four nights , which was very reasonable I thought.

 The nearest famous landmark to us was The Arc de Triomphe , about 25 mins walk away. But mostly we travelled on the metro which was so handy, quick and easy to use.  Here are a few photo’s from our trip. I’m sure I will devote a few more posts to places in Paris we were fortunate enough to visit. There is also much we didn’t get round to seeing. So I need to return!  After all  ~  Paris is always a good idea. 🙂

Inside our cozy and compact basement apartment.
Inside our cozy and compact basement apartment.
Arc De Triomphe.
Arc De Triomphe. We actually paid to climb to the top ~ the views are amazing.
The Eiffel Tower ,from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Eiffel Tower from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
I found a vintage carousel by the Eiffel tower. There is also another just over the river by the avenue de new york.
I found a vintage carousel by the Eiffel tower. There is also another just over the river by the avenue de new york.
Of course I had to have a go.:)
Of course I had to have a go.:)
Ferris wheel in the Jardin de tuileries.
Ferris wheel in the Jardin de tuileries.
Musee de la chasse et de la nature in the Marais district.
Musee de la chasse et de la nature in the Marais district. An interesting visit.
I went all crazy cat lady and dragged Wil to a cat cafe.
I went all crazy cat lady and dragged Wil to a cat cafe. ^^
A very content occupant of Le Cafe des Chats.
A very content occupant of Le Cafe des Chats.
Part of the crazy colourful Caravan of the Tour de France on Sunday.
Part of the crazy colourful Caravan of the Tour de France on Sunday.
The French version of the Red Arrows flew over Paris on the race day.
The French version of the Red Arrows flew over Paris on the race day.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
The tour winner in the yellow jersey ~ Nibali.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. well worth the climb.
Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. well worth the climb.
A delicious lemon tart in a cafe ~ Montmartre.
A delicious lemon tart in a cafe ~ Montmartre.
Love locks on the Pont des arts bridge over the river seine.
Lovelocks on the Pont des arts bridge over the river seine.
I found Tiffanys in Paris. Alas it was shut!
I found Tiffanys in Paris. Alas it was shut!
A beautiful blue door in the Marais.
A beautiful blue door in the Marais.
Pavement art stalls by the river.
Pavement art stalls by the river.

I cannot decide which are my favourite highlights from our trip. Having a picnic in the shade of the Eiffel tower, viewing Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, Enjoying the last stage of the Tour, climbing the steps up to the Sacre Coeur. There are so many. Yet there is still so much I’ve yet to see. Theres only one thing for it, I will have to go back……..Paris really is a good idea. 🙂

This was July’s post for the #take12trips challenge organized by Clare at Need Another Holiday. 🙂

Passport Tales.

Well Dear Passport, its time to trade you in for a shiny new one. Its ten years since I went to the post office and battled with the photo booth for a semi decent passport pic. Ten years since I treated myself to a lime green soft leather passport holder adorned with cities of the world I hoped to visit. I know it will be ten years in August this year because ten years ago in August 2004 I was one of those silly people who found out their then passport was out of date………..at the airport!  Oh the horror, the shame!  I was there in the queaue with three of my best  friends ( we had organized a girls week away in sunny Turkey)  and I was pulled away to one side and gently told I couldn’t board the plane, my passport was out of date by nearly a year. A whole year! 😦  I pleaded it must be a mistake ~ I had only got the offending item six years earlier when I had changed my surname.  It turned out I had presumed when they had updated my name they had automatically given me a full ten years on my new passport. They hadn’t. They had only given me the time I had left on my old one. Off course I should have checked. I should have double checked! My friends jetted off to Bodrum and I made the tearful journey by taxi from Manchester Airport  back to Costa del Clitheroe. The ground could have swallowed me up whole.:(((

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Of course since then I have always been extra vigilent with my passport date checking. My non holiday adventure became the cautionary tale everyone I knew  checked their passports by.  I got a nice new passport in a nice new passport holder and I’ve  even  actually managed to get further than the airport on several occasions. Thank goodness!

Although I have not managed to visit most of the destinations on the cover, In the last ten years I have seen the Berlin Wall, visited the ruins of Pompei, holidayed in Spain with the girls, star spotted in Cannes, covered my ears at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, whale watched in Canada, stayed in a riad in Marakeche and admired ‘The Scream’ in Oslo. Think I’ve made up for my ‘non holiday’ a little bit…

Inside the Reichstag, Berlin.
Inside the Reichstag, Berlin.
Giant Transformer 'Bumblebee' in Cannes.
Giant Transformer ‘Bumblebee’ in Cannes.
Icecream in Amalfi, Italy
Icecream in Amalfi, Italy
Enjoying the sunset, Vancouver Island, Canada
Enjoying the sunset, Vancouver Island, Canada
Beautiful Essaouira, Morocco.
Beautiful Essaouira, Morocco.
Tropical gardens, Eze, South of France.
Tropical gardens, Eze, South of France.

So now I had better get my new passport sorted. We have just recently booked a much anticipated ( By Me!) short break in Iceland for October and we are hoping to go to France this summer. I still haven’t got round to booking anything to Turkey yet though……….

Have you ever had any passport disasters? Just so I know i’m not the only one out there. 😉