Conwy: A Magical Medieval Town

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Hi! I hope you have all been keeping well and looking forward to Christmas. Can you believe its December already?

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Today’s blog is just a collection of photos taken from my trip to Conwy. I’ve been here once before on a minibus daytrip. ( You can read about this trip here ). As it was a scheduled time planned daytrip I didn’t get as much time as I would have liked here. So I decided to come back, this time I went alone and managed to get some amazing shots.

What do you think of Conwy? Have I convinced you to visit Yet?

Thank you for visiting my blog today

Stay turned for more

Stay blessed ❤

New Brighton: A forgotten place

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If your ever in Liverpool maybe consider giving this place a visit. Its only approximately 22mins by car, 33mins by train or 1 hr 15mins if you enjoy a long walk.

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New Brighton

New Brighton is a seaside town located on the edge of the Wirral peninsula on Liverpool’s Bay where the River Mersey is joined with the Irish sea. New Brighton was born in 1826 and has been a busy seaside resort for centuries, attracting a million visitors a year.

A bit about the history

New Brighton come about after a Liverpool merchant by the name of James Atherton purchased 170 acres of Land and wanted to build a seaside resort similar and inspired by Brightons resort, which obviously was where it got its name.

During the later half of the 19th century the area become a popular destination and many of the huge houses in the area were converted into hotels. In the 1860s a pier was added and in the 1890s the promenade was opened. In 1900 there used to be a tower which was the tallest in the country at that time however, it was pulled down in 1921 when it couldn’t be maintained throughout world war I.

A forgotten place

New Brighton used to be the the third largest seaside resort in the UK. It now sits at 66th, like a lot of the old sea side resorts it started to decline when people started to go abroad for holidays. This explains why many people along with myself have never heard of it.

It’s being regenerated

As a result of its decline in visitor numbers over the years many of the old attractions in the area have now gone. Thankfully Dan Davies a local businessman who owns the company Rockpoint Leisure has been regenerating the area since 2018 and has got many more up and coming plans to bring the once beloved destination back to life like its more glorious days.

The things I come across here

Dispite it being one of the less popular destinations there is enough here to see and do. Here is a list of things I found of interest:

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse was first constructed in 1683 and goes by the name Perch Rock Lighthouse. It stands at the staggering height of 94ft tall and is an impressive structure to see, especially if you love lighthouses like myself.

Fort Perch Rock

Fort Perch Rock is a coastal defence battery built to protect the port of Liverpool. It was built in between 1825 and 1829 and was built in the location of an are known as Black Rock. It is now open as a museum and opens at weekends between the hours of 11am to 5pm ( With additional hours throughout the school holidays).

The Black Pearl

The black pearl was a piece of artwork made in 2013 with wood by an artist named Frank Lund, Major Mace and a group of pirates. However, earlier this year in March 2021 waves and strong winds battered the ship and this is all that’s left in the picture above. However, hopefully after an inspiring note to Frank from Johnny Depp telling him to retrieve it, the ship named after the ship in The Pirates Of the Caribbean hopefully might return someday.

Even though this is all that is left I still thought it was lovely to see and is well worth the walk up the promenade.

Marine Point Retail And Leisure Park

Marine point has something for people of all ages such as the light cinema, plenty of bars/restaurants, cafes, bowling etc.

There is also Bubbles world of play, which has the largest innovative play frames in the country.

Also there are various hotels for people wanting to stay near by, such as the Travelodge Hotel that offers incredible views over Liverpool bay.

The colourful Benches

There are around 420 colourful benches dotted around the seafront which adds such a lovely touch. However, whats more touching the story behind the project.

Carl Leckey who used to holiday here as a child wanted to bring back the seafront benches he remembered as a child, after discovering they were all gone. Carl set up a project with some local schools and school children to create the environmentally friendly benches. The children helped to identity the safe materials and design the benches, then presented the project to the local council in which it was accepted.

Now they are memorial benches to loved ones that have been purchased by families. Some of the benches are donated to commemorate organisations such as the NHS workers, hospitals and assistance dogs.

Other things to do here:

I’m sure there are plenty more things to do here, but here are just a few.

The Mermaid Trail

Do the mermaid trail and find the five identical sculptures at:

Victoria Parade, kings parade, marine promenade, seabank road and Atherton street on Victoria road.

The Victorian Quarter

Have a walk arond the Victorian Quarter where you will find more bars, restaurants and cafes along with quirky independent shops. If your into art, you will also find some amazing street art in this creative area.

Have fun at the funfair

New palace and Adventureland features a number of rides such as the teacups, walzers, circus train etc. The rides are are mostly suited to children aged from toddlers to around 13. There is also a soft play area, an arcade and activity centre.

Adventure land is open at weekends and during the school holidays between the hours of 11am to 6pm. Entry is free, but rides are all individually priced.

Watch a show at Floral Pavilion

This is the Wirrals largest theatre, it is located right on the promenade. It hosts a number of shows, pantomimes and has a dog friendly cafe.

Vale Park

If you wanted some quiet time, you could enjoy this lovely Victorian park with views over the River Mersey.

To visit New Brighton and find out more information visit here

Free Parking

There is plenty of free parking in this area near perch rock, near the seafront and around the area.

Thank you ❤

I hope you have enjoyed my post today, stay tuned for more.

Thank you for reading

Stay blessed x

New Brighton: I never knew about this place/ People watching and a strange but wonderful feeling

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A Session of people watching

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One day I was travelling to Liverpool on a train. In front of me was a guy who looked maybe to be in his sixties and two young girls maybe around sixteen or so. One of the girls was a little more reserved, I observed her to be maybe the other girls friend or partner. I say this as they kept kissing on the lips and hugging. The other girl seemed closer with the gentlemen, maybe he was her relative or friend.

The reason so much attention was paid to them is for my love of people watching, but also because I found them to be endearing. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t watch and listen to them the entire time like a complete weirdo, but every now and then.

I found it so sweet they were going on a day out, just them and him. They had a bag full of food and some beach towels and was talking about what their going to do when they arrive in Liverpool. It was also sweet that the girl who seemed more familiar with the guy would pull his nose and make humorous jokes about him and he would make jokes back with her. Although hers were slightly more brutal, but he was able to take them. They chatted for the entire journey and were just really cute.

I also found it adorable that the two girls would openly show their affection for each other as they should be able to if they wish. Whilst I know there have been incredible strides for LGBTQ like many other communities/groups/individuals but, as we know there are still those discriminations against people of LGBTQ as well as other groups. (By the way can I just express how much I dislike categories! And despise having to tick boxes.) Do any of you readers feel the same? Anyway I just like the way the newer generation are even more free, have more confidence to be who they want to be and this just made me smile.

She helped me discover New Brighton

There was a point when the girl started to talk about a place called New Brighton. I’d never heard of it and assumed it was most probably in Brighton. The girl spoke about it in a positive light to the man, and it seemed both she and him had fond memories of this place.

In my mind I said ‘This is a place I should research through lack of knowledge’ When I got home I did exactly that and discovered it was nowhere near Brighton. It looked like quite a nice place, so I booked a train ticket for the following week. I so glad I did!

The most amazing feeling I have ever felt

Have you ever been to a place that made you feel overwhelmed, you actually cried? This place made me do this! I have no idea what happened! I just felt a huge sense of gratitude for being there. It was just an amazing feel good moment, one I have never experienced ever before and one that I crave to have again.

I’m not sure if it had something to do with me being there alone. There was around five people near this side of the beach when I arrived, but they seemed to disappear after a few minutes. As I walked to the end of the sand where the sea met the sky there was not a person in sight. I felt like I was alone on a different planet, like it was the end of the earth. This was when that feeling came over me that I’m not sure I will ever be able to explain. I’d never had a beach to myself. I remember being a bit scared, but not where I would run because there was also a deep excited and happy feeling. So deep I burst in to tears ha. Such an amazing moment!

I will share more about New Brighton in my next post

Thanks for reading 🙂

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Holmfirth: The Picture-Postcard Little Yorkshire Town

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I honestly can not remember for the life of me how I come across this beautiful little town. I remember wanting to visit and looking at pictures of this place for quite some time, but being a little hesitant about visiting. Sometimes I tend to get a little anxious when traveling somewhere new, well, all the time but, especially when I have to take multiple methods of transport to get to a single place. Anyway, I decided I would take the trip spontaneously the night before. I’m so glad I’m did! And luckily my mum accompanied me on this one, this was a nice change as I’m usually solo traveling.

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Holmfirth sits in the Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, in the Holme Valley.

A bit about the history

In the 1770s the first spinning cotton machine known as the spinning jenny was brought onto Holmfirth. By the 1850s textile mills began to pop up, the population started to rise and the town had become a trading centre for the textile industry.

The town is best known for being the filming location of a popular British TV Programme series The Last Of The Summer Wine.

The town is made up of independent shops, cobbled streets, mill cottages, beautiful valleys, sloping woodlands that join on to the Peak District and the River Ribble running through the town.

Last of the summer wine filming locations we visited

Nora Batty’s Cottage

On our arrival the first thing we wanted to do was visit the Nora Batty Cottage one of the filming locations. Nora Batty was one of the characters in the show who became popular due to her wrinkled stockings, hair rollers and her funny personality. The cottage is now a self catering accommodation that can be rented.

The Wrinkled Stocking Tearoom is not connected to the show, but is a place we wanted to experience and its right next door to the cottage. It is a cute little place that offers a range of local foods and has great reviews on TripAdvisor. Although, unfortunately for us, we did not get to go inside as it was closed due to Covid so I just had to make do with a photo instead 😏.

Sid’s Cafe

Sid’s Cafe another filming location of the TV show. We didn’t get to go inside here either as this again was closed too due to the pandemic.

As we were around this area, we spotted a little tour bus that was offering tours around more of the shows filming locations. We decided to hop on board and join the tour. So glad we did because we would have never have got to see half as much by ourselves.

The Last Of The Summer Wine Tour

The tour is a 45 minute journey around all the filming locations which also incorporates the beautiful scenery of the Yorkshire Pennines and residential areas. There is also a full commentary on the history of Holmfirth. The tour is £9 per person and picks up and starts outside Sid’s Cafe every hour although, they only run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. The tour is run by Colin, a man who owned the famous Sids cafe for twenty years and featured in many of the episodes of the show.

Here are just a few pictures from the tour, but there is plenty more to see on this tour.

After our tour we had another little walk around. Below are a few more snaps of this beautiful town.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my short post about Holmfirth today.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie x

Birmingham UK: A bunch of places I come across in this city

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Hi everyone, I hope your all well. It’s been a while since I last wrote on here as I have had a few life changes (All positive)and have needed a bit of space to adjust to them. I will hopefully be able to share this in another blog at some point soon.

Anyway, I have decided to wrap this Birmingham series up with a few places I come across whilst on my trip here.

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Grand Central

Grand Central is an amazing looking shopping centre above New Street railway station that opened in 2015. It is joint with the bullring shopping centre, making it a great place to shop and dine. However, the best thing about it for me was the architecture which is just incredible.

Birmingham’s last surviving court of back to back houses

These houses have been preserved and are the only example left in Birmingham of the thousands of past back to back houses that were built in Britain’s growing industrial area’s. These types of houses had shared courtyards and were considered a health hazard under the Public Health Act 1875 due to overcrowded living. These houses have now been transformed into a museum, where members of the public can now visit and learn about early life in the 19th century of the working classes, visit here for more information. Candies is located on the corner of the back to backs, a 1950s sweet shop where you can experience the old style sweets.

The largest public library in the UK

Not only is this the largest public library in the UK, it is one of the most impressive and unique buildings. It cost over £188.£ million and was part of one of the projects for the city’s redevelopment. It is situated in Centenary Square, a beautiful area in the centre of Birmingham.

Centenary Square

Centenary Square is a nice atmospheric public space In fact, I stopped here to have a lunch break and to do some people watching.

The square was planned out to tribute to the newly built international convention Centre. There is a fountain, several surrounding sculptures and the library amphitheatre. The square is used to hold the cities major events such as the Christmas markets and festivals etc.

Chinese Quarter

The city has a Chinatown, is a cool area with Chinese architectural features. It began to be recognised/known as Chinatown after a number of Chinese Cantonese restaurants and businesses in the 1980s. Its quite an exciting area to walk around, I particularly loved the little supermarkets.

The Arcadian

The arcadian is of unique architecture and is surrounded by glamorous bars and restaurants. Whilst I walked around here I couldn’t help but imagine this was one of the cities social hotspots that would hold a nice unique vibe. Empty as I passed by as it was still morning, however on the way back through later on in the afternoon this place was bustling with people dining outside.

Digbeth

Digbeth is a former industrial area full of creative art work and a stones throw from Birmingham City centre. To be honest, I didn’t really get to explore this area much as I only had 30 – minutes until my coach departure. Most of my time here was spent admiring the incredible art and the quirkiness of this neighbourhood. It has been named the ‘Coolest Neighbourhood’ in Britain by the Sunday Times and I had really wanted to visit, but unfortunately lost track of time. It is home to Custard Factory which has been turned into a unique shopping centre, independent shops and art events etc. I will most definitely be visiting again to explore this exciting area. If you visit Birmingham do try to visit this area, it’s only a 10 minute walk from the cicity centre and offers a very unique experience.

I hope you have enjoyed my Birmingham series. I was only here for half a day and during the time when most places were closed due to covid-19. I’m sure Birmingham has a lot more to offer and hopefully I be able to visit again soon to get an even better insight of the city to share.

Many thanks for reading

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie x

Birmingham: Some of my favourite architecture from this city

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As I mentioned earlier in my last blog, I visited Birmingham around two or three days after a long lockdown so there were still many places closed. With this, I found myself wondering around this unfamiliar city and discovering some of its amazing architecture.

Birmingham City Council House

This is Birmingham City Council House one of the largest buildings in the city, its that large it has its own postcode.

Birmingham town hall and Chamberlain Memorial

The building that looks like the Pantheon in Rome is actually Birmingham’s town hall. The Chamberlain Memorial fountain is a monument to Joseph Chamberlain, a former buissness man, Mayor and member of parliament.

These two sit in Chamberlain square which is in the heart of Birmingham. Dare I say it! It felt like being in a little part of Rome, especially because we actually had some sun this day. The architecture in this square in incredible.

St Martin Parish Church

Both from a different era, but the contrast of the two is strikingly beautiful.

This is St Martin parish Church of the city of Birmingham. The church is a replacement of a 13th century church and was built in 1873.

The great British fudge Company is a family run buisness set up in 2017 that provides a unique fudge experience. They launched the fudge bus in 2018.

Hall of Memory

The hall of memory is a war memorial dedicated to 12, 320 Birmingham citizens who died in world war I

Birmingham uk: A stroll down Gas Street Basin

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It’s weird to think that before April of this year I had never even considered visiting Birmingham before. Like many others, I always thought of Birmingham as being an industrial city that I wasn’t really bothered about visiting. Also I’m a little ashamed to admit, I didn’t even know it was the second largest city in England either🙈. I think it’s fair to say, like many others I also underrated this city.

Nevertheless, it was a case of escaping to anywhere. My city had been on lockdown for six months, and overseas travel was restricted well, forbidden for anyone who was not leaving for buisness. When I seen that I could get here on a £1.80 return ticket with National express I seized the opportunity to visit.

unfortunately I visited two days after lockdown so many things were still closed, but I still managed to find things to share with you.

The Mail Box

My first stop was the Mail box a shopping centre which used to be the royal mails largest sorting office in the country. It has now been transformed into a stylish place for entertainment such as an overnight stay , shopping, dining, pampering or to go and see a film. Not only this, but it also features a rooftop canal side that bings you out onto the canal.

Once you cross over the bridge, which the padlock people have began to padlock, you can walk along the canal and arrive at Gas Street Basin.

Gas Streer Basin

Gas Street Basin is a canal basin that connects the Birmingham and Worcester canals with the BCN Line. Gas Street basin is lined with trendy pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, and where the narrow boats and barges are moored. Its definitely a case of old meets new where its old industrial past is embedded in its new cosmopolitan living.

If you decide to visit Birmingham do give Gas Street Basin a visit. It’s one of the most fundamental features in Birmingham, especially since it was once the nation’s central of the waterway networks, and today now one of the most charming parts of the city.

The Waterbus

Although there’s the option to take a stroll down the canal like myself, there is an option to take a waterbus.

The water bus runs every 30mins between 10.30 and 5pm and stops at most of the waterside locations such as Brindley Place, Sherborne Wharf, Gas Street Basin, King Edwards Wharf and the mailbox. It cost £4 for a 30 minute round trip or £1 per stop.

Thanks for stopping by

Until next time

Natalie x

Birmingham: England’s second largest city

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Hi all, welcome and thank you for coming back to the blog. It’s a new travel location! Over the next few blogs I will be sharing posts from my visit to this pleasantly surprising city. I hope you will enjoy what’s to come.

About Birmingham

Birmingham is situated in the West Midlands in England. It is one of the UK’S major cities and has the nickname of ‘City of a thousand trades’ due to its past central involvement of being one of the most manufacturing places in the world. You can still see some of the old warehouses and factories in and around the city, some which have been renovated into shopping centre’s, apartments and pubs etc.

Birmingham is the second largest city in the United Kingdom after London and is often one of the most overlooked and underrated cities in the UK. In fact, I have on several occasions heard people mistake other cities as being the second city.

It may well be overlooked, but this is a thriving metropolitan city and has a lot to offer such as its spectacular canal networks, parentage of food and cuisine, Art, famous rock music, night-life, cultural intent and more.

Here are some incredible facts about this city

More canals than Venice

Yes that’s right! Myth- Kind of! Birmingham does not have more canals than Venice, but it does have more miles of canals. Birmingham has 35miles of canals while Venice only has 26 miles of canals.

Largest public library in Europe

The library of Birmingham is the largest public library in Europe to date. Not only this, but it has the largest Shakespeare book collection in the world and also has a Victorian Shakespeare room.

Largest Christmas market in the UK

Not only does it have the largest Christmas market in the UK it’s one of the biggest in Europe. The only other two which are larger are Germany and Austria.

The second youngest city in Europe

It is the second youngest city in Europe after Bradford. It has the largest fraction of under 25 year olds whereas Bradford has the largest fraction of under 16 year olds.

Curry capital of the UK

Curry houses started to appear here in the1960s and became considerably popular by the 1970s, it was at this point when the Balti dishes started to appear. It has been considered as the birthplace of the Balti however, it has been hugely debated that the Balti was invented in Pakistan. Either way it is considered as the curry capital of the UK with many curry and Balti houses, and not forgetting their famous Balti Triangle wich consists of over 50 Balti houses.

Inspiration for the popular tv show (Peaky Blinders)

The show tells the stories of the real peaky blinders gang who originated from Birmingham and operated on the streets here. Now there are many inspired peaky blinders themed experiences to enjoy in the city.

Thank you for reading

Until next time

stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie x

Chester England: Along the city walls

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Hi all! Hope everyone is keeping well and staying safe.

I’m proud to finally announce this will be my final blog on Chester, unless I visit again that is. I hope it has been helpful to anyone who has plans to visit here. It really is an incredible city to explore and I’ve enjoyed creating a little space on my blog for it. And to everyone that has stopped by to have a read…Thank you so much for your continued support 🙏🏾

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A bit about the history

Chester boasts the oldest, longest and complete city walls in Britain, some parts date back to to over 2000 years old.

The walls were built to protect the city and started to be built by the Romans between 70 and 80 (CE) when the fortress of Deva Victrix was established.

I really enjoyed walking along the walls because it gave me incredible views over the city whilst also giving me a great insight into the long history of the city. The walls are 2 miles long and took me approximately two hours to walk around, but I’d say they could be walked in less than an hour if you didn’t want to exit at the sights.

Attractions

on route you will get to see many of the cities attractions such as: Chester castle, Eastgate Clock , Chester Roman Gardens , Bonewaldesthorne’s Tower, Water Tower, Pemberton’s Parlour, Phoenix Tower. Bridgegate, Watergate and the famous Chester rows , just to name a few of the incredible attractions.

The medieval shopping rows are two tired black and white half timbered unique buildings used as a shopping arcade.

A view that can be seen standing at Eastgate clock

This tower is allegedly the tower where King Charles watched his troops being defeated in the Battle of Rowton in 1645. However, historians suggest this couldn’t have been possible because the battlefield can not be viewed at this point. They also suggest it is more likely he was stood on a tower of Chester Cathedral and not this one🤷🏿‍♀️. Who Knows! Either way, it’s a cool place to stand for a great view over Chester.

I’ve completely forgotten the name of this tower and I can’t seem to find it in any of my research attempts to find it, but how cool is It?

There are many incredible views from Chester walls, but i won’t give them all a way here😉

Thank you for stopping by

stay blessed

Natalie x

Chester England: This place gave me the shivers

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St John the Baptist Church sits in a beautiful location on top of a cliff overlooking the River dee. It was founded in around the late 7th century by the Anglo Saxons, and used to be the former cathedral of chester in the early middle ages.

Church ruins

it operates today as a fully functioning parish church, but also features a number of ruins which used to be part of the Church which were left in ruin after the dissolution of the monasteries.

The spooky coffin

Engraved in the walls is the most bizarre phenomena your most likely to see here. This coffin bearing the words Dust to Dust!

I tried to find out the story behind this, but kept coming across myth stories such as ‘it’s the coffin of a murdered monk’

As much as we all love a good dramatic story the most believable was: It’s a rare survival of a medieval coffin that was discovered during renovation or grave digging in or around the 1840s.

What is unclear is that no-one seems to know why it has been positioned here. Maybe it’s was to attract tourists or to create some made up mythological stories. Who knows! But what I can say is, this is a bit of a spooky place and the coffin only adds to it. I came here alone and can honestly say it sent shivers down my spine besides this, I thought it was a great place to experience. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go inside the church as it was closed at the time of visiting.

Location

if you would like to visit here you can find it at: Vicars Ln, Chester, CH1 1SN

Thanks for stopping by

Stay blessed

Natalie x