I’ve tried to incorporate travel and holiday type posts on my blog a lot more recently because holidays, trips and even short weekends away mean an awful lot to me. They leave us with some of the best memories and photos to look back on and by writing about it, I get to reminisce all over again! My most recent trip was a weekend away in Shropshire on the Severn Valley Railway, which I’ve done twice now and thoroughly enjoy and back in March, I also wrote a post about some of my favourite holidays. You’ll see that one of the holidays I included in that post was skiing, which is what I’m chatting about today!
London; you’ve probably been there. If you haven’t been there, you probably want to go there. And if you want to go there, there’s no doubt that you’ll wanna see the sights and famous attractions that London is so well-known for. I live in Essex, approximately 20 minutes on a train from Liverpool Street Station – a hub to get almost anywhere you want in London. As a kid, I was often taken to London on days out with my parents. I saw all the sights and attractions that brochures and websites always tell you to see by the age of about 10! And well into my teen life, I continued to venture into London with friends almost on a weekly basis to explore and just see where the day took us.
You might look at me and think I don’t look like the sort of person who is interested in steam trains. And you’d be 100% correct – I’m not. But last year, I enjoyed my weekend on the Severn Valley Railway during their Autumn Steam Gala in September so much that I knew I wanted to go again this year, for their Spring weekend. Spring it was not as we were inundated with snow and icy temperatures for two of the days but it was a lovely weekend nevertheless. Although the engines are pretty impressive and yes, you feel like you’re on the Hogwarts express, I just think it’s a really nice, relaxing weekend and a chance to get away from the norm.
I’m most certainly not a travel blogger: I don’t go on nowhere near enough holidays or trips for that to be a reality unfortunately. As much as I wish I could book a dozen small getaways a year, that’s not realistic for me… And probably for a lot of other people too. However, over the last few months I have thoroughly enjoyed talking about holiday type things a bit more. I recently wrote a post about what holidays mean to me and I have a post coming up next month about my favourite Disneyland Paris attractions. These are a nice addition to my blog, I absolutely love writing them and it’s always lovely to look back on wonderful holidays you’ve taken. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do today! I’m dipping my toes in the nostalgia pond today and talking about some of my favourite holidays; both near and far.
Also, apologies for the quality of some of these photos. Some were taken way before a decent camera ever entered my hand!
As you may know, I’m not really a traveler in the sense that I’m not planning to up sticks and travel around Asia for the foreseeable future. I admire those that do lead a travelling lifestyle and some of my favourite blogs are written by women who do just that. But personally, I don’t think that would work for me for a variety of reasons.
I’m not a huge traveler in the sense that you probably won’t ever find me backpacking around Thailand or moving to Australia for a year. Firstly, those places are far too hot for my delicate ginger complexion but mostly, it’s just not my sort of thing. I love a holiday – as most of us do – but lengthy travel isn’t for me. However, lately, I’ve discovered that there are plenty of places I would absolutely love to visit. In an ideal world, if I were to win a hefty amount on the lottery, I’d certainly be booking some holidays and short breaks to the places in this list. But in the meantime, I can just dream. Here’s my 2018 travel bucket list (or where I’d go if I won the lottery!)
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?
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!
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.
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