Choo Choo: A weekend on the Severn Valley Railway

I’ve been really enjoying writing more personal posts recently and it’s something I want to continue to incorporate into my blog. I wrote about my smear test, what I got my mum for her birthday and about my birthday day out at Paradise Wildlife Park. I like injecting a bit of my personal life into my blog because I love reading those types of posts too! So today, I want to tell you about a trip away I had in September to the Severn Valley Railway! It was a new experience for me but one that I really enjoyed. 

First of all, it was a spur of the moment decision to go. My boyfriend’s grandparents were supposed to be going but didn’t so there was some spare space so I decided why the heck not! We drove to Bridgnorth from Lincolnshire on Thursday morning for the beginning of the Autumn Steam Gala, which runs along the line from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster and uses various different steam engines – some of which are over 100 years old. I’ve never actually been on a steam train before myself but I quickly found out that they’re really quite nice – a lot like the Hogwarts Express and the scenery along the route is to die for.

Bridgnorth to Kidderminster takes roughly an hour and a quarter on the train so it really was a slow, relaxing holiday. Plenty of time to listen to music, read, chat, think and just look out of the window at the lovely scenery. You’d think it would be boring, spending the majority of 4 days on and off of trains but it really wasn’t, there is so much to look at and so many people to meet that it’s impossible to get bored. The stop off times vary and you can always get off at each individual station and have a look around. They’re super cute and quaint, most of which had little book sales (which I took advantage of) and were plastered with old school advertising posters as they would have been back in the day.

We stopped for dinner each night, my favourite being a pub meal at The Ship Inn and my burger and chips was to die for. The trains also ran throughout the entire night on Friday and Saturday so I stayed on well until it got dark (and until I got too tired) and it’s a whole different experience, being on the trains in the dark. It’s really eerie but I loved it. My boyfriend’s family have taken these holidays his whole life but this was my first one and not something I ever thought I would enjoy. But even if you’re not that interested in trains (like me), it’s definitely not all about that.

Have you ever been on the Severn Valley Railway? Would you like to go? Where’s your favourite staycation destination?

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Preparing for a Staycation

My definition of a staycation is a holiday in which you take in your home country. I’m guessing that’s most people’s definition but I just want to clarify for anyone reading this thinking, “huh?”. I am a huge lover of the staycation. As much as I hate where I live, I adore the United Kingdom as a whole and I think us U.K folk can certainly sometimes forget how beautiful our country is. I’ve posted about a few of my own staycations like when I went to Snowdonia in Wales, The Lake District, boating on the Norfolk Broads and my most recent staycation, Shropshire on the Severn Valley Railway (post coming up soon about that one!). My boyfriend’s family also live in the countryside in Lincolnshire, a good 2 and a half hours drive from us down in Essex so I always highly look forward to staying with them because again, that feels like a mini staycation to me!

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Boating holiday essentials

Having been on a boating holiday a whopping 2 whole times now, I feel qualified to call myself an expert on all things boating (I’m not). For the past 2 years, my boyfriend and I have taken our holiday with Barnes Brinkcraft, a boat hire company in the Norfolk Broads and spent just short of a week chugging up and down the broads on rivers of all shapes and sizes, encountering an array of wildlife and living a very restricted and self-sufficient life in the confines of a small boat. I’m a huge fan of the staycation but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re not leaving the country, your holiday is going to come and go problem free. It won’t.

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Guest Post: 5 Great Tips for Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail

There are many hardcore hikes, trails and climbs in the world, some of them thousands of metres high and made up of narrow wooden platforms attached to cliff faces, but none of them are quite as demanding as the Appalachian Trail.

It could be more accurately called a journey rather than a trail, covering 14 US states and 2,200 miles, beginning in Georgia and ending in Maine. Much of the trail covers mountainous terrain, but unlike a lot of trails it varies dramatically. It’s because of this that this trail demands a huge amount of stamina and dedication, for many it takes between 5 and 7 months to get to the finish line in Maine, but some trips can take a whole year.

If you’re up for the challenge, and ready to potentially take a year out of your life to do it, these are 5 crucial things you really need to know before you even book your flights. Continue reading

How I Prepare for a Short Trip Away

I love taking short breaks away from home – even if it’s just for 1 night. I always find it helps to keep me grounded: a change of scenery and truly be good for the soul I believe. So if I have a chance to go away anyway, I’ll almost always take it. The excitement, the build up and packing fills me with a lot of joy. Long car journeys, checking into hotels or quirky little guest houses and being somewhere completely new that you’ve never seen before – I love it all. But of course, I’m not immune to the stress that sometimes comes with it, so today I wanted to share some ways that I personally prepare for a trip away.

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5 Best Holiday Destinations in Lanzarote

When I was younger, my parents and I used to take a holiday to the Canary Islands every year. With constant beautiful weather, a gorgeous breeze, beaches to die for and the perfect atmosphere it was the ideal place to go on holiday as a family. I have lots of great memories from those holidays and I made lots of friends on each one and I sometimes wonder what they’re doing and where they are now. One of those tragically beautiful islands is Lanzarote – even the name sounds great, doesn’t it? I have fond memories of my holiday to Lanzarote so today I want to talk about 5 places you should visit in Lanzarote! And I might even share a photo from my own holiday there all those years ago!

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Life on the River: My Holiday to the Norfolk Broads

I’m a big fan of holidays in the UK aka. a staycation. The UK is beautiful with so many wonderful places to explore, like Snowdonia National Park and The Lake District. My latest adventure was to Norfolk, on a boating holiday to the Norfolk Broads. I’ve had a weekend away in Great Yarmouth before but never had the chance to see the Broads, so here’s my account of my holiday to Norfolk, where boating is the only way to travel!

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Barnes Brinkcraft River Holiday Company Review

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that at the beginning of April I was away on holiday in the Norfolk Broads on my first ever boating holiday! I had an utterly amazing time – the Broads are beautiful – and I wanted to do a small series of posts about the experience, starting with a review of Barnes Brinkcraft, the company we used for the boat hire.

Barnes Brinkcraft Holiday Review Continue reading

Tips for Going on a Staycation

In May, my boyfriend and I went to Cumbria and The Lake District on holiday. We live in the UK, so some would call this a “staycation”. A vacation but one which takes place in your own country.

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I, for one, am a huge fan of staycations. I live in the South East, just outside of London and I love exploring other parts of the UK I know will be wildly different from my home turf. The UK really is a wonderful place and we really can underestimate it’s beauty.

However, don’t let staycations fool you. Just because you’re not taking a giant suitcase or going on a plane or jetting off to far and distant lands doesn’t mean they’re not stressful and take a lot of planning. They do and here are some tips of things I’ve learnt from various staycations over the years. Continue reading

Travel: Cumbria & The Lake District

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If you follow me on Twitter you’ll be aware that my boyfriend and I have just come back from our holiday in Cumbria. 40 minutes away from the heart of the lakes, our cottage had a view to die for and a fantastic time was had by the both of us. Of course, I took tons of photos of the places we visited and the stunning scenery we saw on our travels which I’ve been dying to write about and share with you are so here’s what we got up to in Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria. Continue reading