Lake District: Epic fail

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I finally made the trip to the Lake District in December, something I had been getting round to for pretty much the whole of 2021.

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I had woken up a little later than usual this morning so spent the morning catching up with my online work, taking a shower and getting ready before booking my train tickets. The earliest train I could make at this point was the 11.01am and the return ticket I chose was 17.08pm, which all seemed quite reasonable at the time of booking. That was until I got to the train station and realized I had to make two changes and not one as I initially thought. This meant I wasn’t going to arrive until 1pm. Still, I felt optimistic that 4 hours in the lake district was a reasonable amount of time.

A cruise to see nothing and the most expensive pee’s ever!

On arrival I discovered I had just missed a bus and had to wait 20-minutes for the next one. Anyway, I was still feeling optimistic as I had a few hours remaining.

I had no real plans so when the bus turned up I just purchased a £8.50 day rider with the idea of jumping off whenever I see anything of interest. We arrived at Bowness Pier it looked beautiful, so this was where I jumped off and at this point I really needed to use the ladies. Luckily enough there where some public toilets to use, but not without charge. £1.50 to have a pee! And the cheeky buggers take card payments too!🤣 This was the most expensive pee ever!

Anyway, Bowness lake was beautiful (shown in above picture), I should have stayed here and explored, but my irrational thinking this day lead to me going on a 45- minute return boat cruise to lakeside.

It was a nice cruise but really didn’t see anything on the cruise apart from a few houses of interest and trees.

When I arrived at Lakeside I asked one of the crew members what time the last boat back was. He explained, that this was the last boat back and it was boarding in 10-minutes. So, basically I paid £14.50 to see nothing! It was my own fault for not checking before hand🤷🏿‍♀️.

I managed to take this shot down a little village lane before having to head back on board for the 45 minute journey back.

By the time I got back to Bowness It was pretty much time to head back to the train station, but not without having another £1.50 pee. I honestly can’t believe the cost to take a pee here! Can you imagine the cost for a family of four! It would cost £6 😮.

Anyway, enough about pee’s. I think it’s fair to say, this trip was a little bit of a failed trip, but it taught me to be more prepared for next time. I did return to the lake district better prepared and had a more successful trip, which I will share with you in my next blog.

Thanks for visiting today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Llandudno: Picture Postcards from Llandudno

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Hi, hope everyone is doing good.

Here’s a collection of photos taken from my trip to Llandudno. You can see and find out more about Llandudno in previous posts here and here

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Have a great week and stay blessed x

Photos shot from the beach

Not sure if the yellow building is a house or hotel. How beautiful does it Look?

One thing I really admire, houses/hotels built on hills and there are plenty here.

Notice all the pastel coloured hotels. This is because when someone purchases a business here they have to choose a pastel colour from a charter.

Views walking towards The Great Orme

Views from the top of The Great Orme

St Tudno’s Church

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

Chester, England: Western Europe’s only portrayal of a Roman goddess

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I can’t believe I stumbled across this while wondering around Chester! Sometimes I love nothing more than getting of the beaten track. I’m so grateful and thankful to have a wondering curious mind and a real zest for life otherwise, I would never stumble across amazing things like this.

At first I thought it was a hobbit house, but it turned out to be the site of Minerva’s shrine, a roman goddess. It is said, that quarrymen carved this shrine to Minerva more than 2000 years ago. The quarrymen would come here to worship and pay respect to the goddess as well as praying for success and safety.

shrines were very common in the ancient world, but many of them have been claimed and this is the only one in its original site in Western Europe, as recorded by Historic England.

The shrine is a little worse for wear, but you can still see the outline figure of her holding a spear.

Location

If you want to visit, it’s located in Edgar’s field. Go across the old Dee Bridge across the river, Edgar’s field is on the right next to a pub called the Ship Inn.

Whilst here enjoy the beautiful surroundings nearby

Chester, England: The second most photographed clock in England

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Just a few steps away from Chester Cathedral, (mentioned in my last post), is the second most visited clock in England after Big Ben.

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Eastgate clock is another one of Chester’s most popular treasures not be missed on a visit here.

The clock is located on the gateway which used to be the entrance of the Roman Fortress of Deva.

The clock was placed here in 1899 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, which had taken place two years earlier.

Thanks for stopping by.

until next time

Natalie x

York England: Sisters take York

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After our two and a half hour tour we were given some free time for lunch and to explore some more.

Sister antics

Whilst everyone gathered around the tour guides to be pointed in the direction of landmarks and sites, we asked to be pointed in the direction of the bars. We were in agreement that it was important we got our priorities right to seek wine🤷🏿‍♀️.

We had been so excited to take this trip together over the last week and having just got out of lockdown, we were admittedly a little animated on this day. We had laughed and giggled at the back of the coach all the way here, turning answers to questions in the tour quiz into our own private little jokes. It wasn’t any different on the tour either. I don’t think either of us had heard much of what the tour guides said in the whole two hours.

Spoilt for choice

I’ve never been anywhere where in my life with so many choices of stunning looking pubs, bars and restaurants. We were well and truly spoilt for choice. In the end we settled with The Old White Swan Pie House because it fit everything we were looking for. A nice old traditional English pub, vegetarian frendly menu and of course nice wine.

We both ordered the Lentil cottage pie and a bottle of their white house wine. Everything was perfect and very well priced

Not only was the food delicious but, the pub is an historic place and is said to be one of York’s oldest pubs. The pub is a collection of ancient buildings with parts dating right back to the 16th century with interesting features. I would highly recommend this place.

We went for a stroll around some of the back streets and less busy areas

we walked by these pretty residential streets

And York Minster Conference and Banqueting Centre

York Minster Conference and Banqueting Centre is the origins of St. Williams College dating back to the 15th century.

Ouse Sightseeing River Cruise

We took a cruise tour down the river. The tour lasted around 45mins and cost £11.95 per adult. We had a great captain/guide who had the worst jokes ever, but he was very knowledgeable and had some interesting information about York.

Quirky Place

We managed to sneak in some more drinks at this quirky pub before heading back to our coach.

Conclusion

I hope my York posts have been helpful to anyone who has plans to visit here. York has by far been my favourite UK city to visit up to date. My only regret is not having a longer visit as one day is certainly not long enough to visit this incredible city. However, I do plan to visit again in the near future.

Thanks for reading 🙂

A place to wash your spirit clean, Snowdonia

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In September I visit North wales. One of the places I stopped off at was Snowdonia National Park, the largest national park in Wales and the proud owner of the highest mountain in both England and Wales. Yes, you probably guessed it, Mount Snowdon. Did I climb mount Snowdon? No I’m far too lazy for that, but I did hike a little into some moutains, after being driven up most of the way that is, Sshhhhhhhh!

Although my face says different, I really was having the time of my life here 🙂

I visited on a minibus shared with eight other travellers. We were taken to the most tranquil place, it literally felt like we had the whole national park to ourselves.

I honestly could not believe how beautiful and relaxing this place was! It was so silent with only the sounds of the waterfalls. It was like stepping into another world where everything stood still. A place where you could forget every worry in the world, a place where you could wash your spirit clean.

If your thinking of visiting North Wales, this is one place not to be missed.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Stay safe x

Zadar Croatia Part 3 Excursion to Kornati Islands

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After booking my trip to Zadar, I did some research and tried to put together an itinerary for my four night stay. This didn’t go to plan, everywhere I wanted to visit seemed rather impossible to get to. Well, not impossible, just a little daunting for me as a solo traveller. For instance, I wanted to visit Plitvice Lakes, to get there it was a 20-minute bus ride to Zadar’s main station, from here 7 buses ran daily covering the route between the hours of 8am and 11pm. According to the information I read the bus ride was between 2 and 3 hours long, depending on which route the bus takes. I’m usually willing to travel but, the low frequency of buses along with the lengthy journeys made it feel quite daunting. Your probably thinking, why didn’t you just book an excursion right? Well, firstly, I like to take public transport to take everything in and get a good feel for the place secondly, the thought of going on an excursion was also daunting to me. You see, there are certain things I’ve had to overcome as a solo traveller such as, travelling alone in the first place, taking public transport alone on foreign soil, eating out at restaurants etc, this for me was just another one of these challenges. I decided not to book anything and thought I’d see how I felt once there. See my last 2 blogs to see what I did once there.

On the second day of my trip a lady approached me in hotel lobby, she was selling excursions to kornati islands. Guess what? I purchased one! I put every negative thought to the back of my mind, telling myself it would be fine.

I was right! I had a fantastic time! Don’t get me wrong, there were the odd moments like being picked up for the excursion with a family of nine and no other people but myself. As we walked the 15-minute walk to the port to catch our boat, I thought, surely it’s not just going to be me and this family? They were a lovely family but, I really felt like the odd one out! Lets me just be clear, I was the odd one out! When we arrived at the port I suddenly felt better learning we would be joined by several others. Once we were on board, I kinda felt a little awkward again, looking around seeing people with their families or partners, I also got the odd couple of looks too. The awkwardness soon disappeared when I was handed a shot of tequila, breakfast and was informed of the free flow of wine for our entire trip 🙏🏾.

Here’s the video of the day trip

Day trip to Kornati Islands

Thanks for reading 🙂

Solo Trip To Zadar, Croatia Part 2

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Day 3 of my trip here was spent wondering around Zadar’s beautiful old town. The journey was around a 15 – minute bus ride from the Donat Hotel where I was staying. The journey cost me 10 kunas which was around £1.15 in sterling pounds or €1.31 in euros at the time of being there.

What the video if you would like to see this beautiful old town. You will also get to see the sea organ, which was definitely the highlight of the day! It was so fascinating!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Solo trip to Zadar, Croatia Part 1

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If you read my last blog you will know I was feeling a little worried about this trip…. Well, there was no reason to worry! I had the most amazing time!

Watch the video below which shows my arrival and first day in croatia. If you want to learn more about where I stayed scroll down to read.

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Where I Stayed

I stayed at the Donat Hotel * Please not this is not a paid review*

I found the hotel basic but clean, the staff were very pleasant and helpful, Although, I do have to admit the restaurant staff were extremely miserable!

The food is buffet style with a fairly good selection every day and is served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, all the drinks are not all-inclusive! Red wine, white wine, beer, juices, sprite, coke, coffee and tea are all included in the package, everything else you are required to pay for. Many people were unhappy with this in the reviews, I for one was fine with this however, I did understand why people were disappointed. Correct me if I’m wrong but, all-inclusive usually includes all drinks but exclude champagne or branded drinks in the package.

The Hotel is located on a huge complex along with other hotels. In fact, the hotel has two separate buildings, one where the restaurant is located and the other where the reception and bar is located, this is the one I stayed in. The beach is pretty much on the door step of this building and is less than a 3-minute walk from the other building.

In the reviews people complain of the hotel being situated in a remote area, which is somewhat true to some extent. The surrounding area is quiet, but is rather enjoyable and not touristy. Outside the complex is a restaurant, gift shop, super market, ice cream shop and the beautiful harbour. Also, right outside the complex is the bus stop where you can take a short bus journey into the centre.

I really had no problem with this hotel and would recommend it as a very good choice to stay in zadar, especially if your looking to stay somewhere cheap and cheerful. It’s incredibly cheap! I paid £243 for the entire trip which included flights and airport transfers! *Please bear in mind this was booked for October and prices will vary*