Part 2 Hilbre Islands: A Uninhabited Island Near Liverpool

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After my dramatic failed attempt of reaching this Island, I can happily announce I successfully made it over two weeks later.

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It was a glorious sunny week and about to get even warmer as we approached the weekend. I figured if it was sunny there would be a fair chance of other people taking walks out to Hilbre Islands, so I booked my trains for the very next day.

I was absolutely right! I arrived at West Kirby beach at 10.45am as the tide was coming in much later than last time. I was confident, very well equipped and a lot more organised than last time. Nothing whatsoever was going to stop me. Walking out to sea, I could see other people walking out and I could also see the coast guard’s vehicle sitting on Little Eye Island as I approached. It felt much safer than last time.

I had already experienced Little Eye, so didn’t stop here and headed straight over to Middle Eye.

Middle Eye

Middle Eye is a small Uninhabited tidal island located to the South of Hilbre Island.

Over on this Island there are interesting rock strata, caves and seasonal flowers. Many rock pools to explore with lots of crabs, shrimps and tiny fish to find hiding in the shadows.

The rock formations and the views from this island are just surreal.

….And I finally made it to Hilbre Island!

At last, I finally made it to Hilbre Island after weeks of hesitation, fear of crossing because of the lack of being unable to swim and one failed attempt. Don’t you just love it when you conquer something you were so fearful of? This felt like a victory for me. πŸ˜‚

What’s on the Island, things to see and facilities

Houses

There are a few cute houses here, however as I have mentioned I’m my last blog. Nobody has lived here permanently since 2012. However, some of the houses are privately owned.

The last person to live here permanently was a Wirral Council Warden, but since January 2012 it was announced there will be no permanent residents here. This was after the Wirral Council struggled to find a ranger willing to live without electricity or water supply. The rangers now visit on a daily basis.

Could you live here without energy or water supplies?

The Hilbre Bird Observatory

One of the most interesting buildings here is the bird observatory. This is where birds are monitored for the recordings of a national network of observatories. And as a place of nature reserve, you bet you will spot some of the more unique birds.

The Old life boat station and slip way

The old life boat station was built in 1839 and remained in service until 1939 after being abandoned.

It was built here along with a long slipway so the life boats could be used even if the tide was low. But it was abandoned for the tractor that towed the boats across instead.

Enjoy the panoramic views

Enjoy the panoramic views where you can look out to The River Dee Estuary, the mountains of North Wales and the Wirral Coast line.

The views here are breathtaking! You’ll be glad you took the walk out.

Spot the grey Seals

The island has a colony of grey seals. Apparently the best place to spot then is behind the old life boat station. I didn’t know this until I had left the island and unfortunately didn’t get to see any.

Bird watching

The island is a prime spot for bird watching. There is an array of different birds all throughout the year. They fall into four groups estuary birds, sea birds, migrating birds and breeding birds.

Facilities

There is a little seating area with a shelter on the island as well as two toilets

If you would like to know more advice and tips on visiting the island stay tuned for my next up and coming post.

Thank you for visiting my blog today

Stay blessed β€πŸ™πŸΎ

Manchester,England: The world’s first industrial city, and more interesting facts

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Hi all! Welcome back to my blog. I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend.

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In this blog, I would like to introduce Manchester, my home city. Have any of you ever visited? If so, what did you think? Be sure to leave your comments.

Location

Manchester is one of UK’s most popular cities. It is located in the north West of England and is the fifth largest city in the UK.

Here are a few of my favourite facts about Manchester

The World’s First Industrial City

It was the world’s first industrial city which led the way to transforming people’s lives in the area and across the world.

Due to it’s astounding growth of the cotton industry in the early 19th century it became a major global centre for trading and manufacturing. Textiles was the driving force, but it soon emerged to producing all kinds of products.

Manchester’s Symbol ‘The Worker Bee’

The Bee was adopted from the period when the city first became the global centre and leader in the Industrial Revolution. At the time it had been described as being like a hive for activity due to it’s hard working population, this was the motif behind it. Since this time, the Bee symbol has been the feature of the city and you’ll be sure to spot several symbols in and around the city .

Britain’s first ever black professor worked at Manchester University

Manchester University

Sir W. Arthur Lewis became Britain’s first ever black professor at aged 33, he was a Saint Lucian economist who come to work at Manchester University in 1948. Not only was he a professor, but a Noble prizewinner who was able to persuade and negotiate with world leaders.

He helped post- war Afro-Caribbean people arriving and settling in the areas of Hulme and Moss Side by creating centres of support for them. These centres supported people for socialising and learning at the height of racism and prejudice views. One of the centres still exists today in the moss side area. Sir Arthur wasn’t a Mancunian born, but he will be forever in the heart of manchester for his work and courage, and is commemorated at Manchester University with a building named after him.

The Suffragette Movement was founded here

Emmeline Prankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, known as the Suffragettes Movement in 1903. Emmeline a local Women from Manchester and her members fought to enfranchise women here in the UK, using militant strategies. In 1918 women were given limited rights to vote, and full voting rights in 1928 just before the passing of Emmeline Pankhurst.

One of the first cities in the world to celebrate and commemorate LGBT

Manchester was one of the first cities in the world to commemorate LGBT people by commissioning a local artist to paint the city with rainbow tiles in to flagstones across the city. Manchester Pride is one of the UK’ s leading charities celebrating LGBT and helping individuals to thrive as well as fighting for equality. It has held one of the worlds leading pride festivals since 1985 every year which is centred around the vibrant gay village.

The place where Charles Rolls and Henry Royce first ever met

It was at Manchester’s Midland Hotel where Rolls and Royce first met, and just two years later the pair formed the Rolls Royce company. There is a statue at the hotel dedicated to this meeting.

Hope you enjoyed my blog today. Which was your favourite fact? Do you have a favourite you know of that is not listed here?

I appreciate your visit today

Have a fantastic week

Stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎβ€

The lake district: Pleasant moments with some not so pleasant moments

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One thing I absolutely loved about my trip to The lake district was getting lost. Well, I wasn’t exactly lost, It just felt like it at the time.

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On my way to Hawkshead the bus journey took me around some of the most stunning lake views which inspired me to jump off the bus to visit on the way back. Although, I didn’t quite get off where I had originally intended.

I got of the bus just outside Ambleside centre and walked along what I now know to be Ambleside road.

The road curves right around this huge beautiful lake and these breathtaking views.

I did not expect it

As I’m walking around what feels like heaven, I unexpectedly hear the loudest aircraft noise I have ever heard, then two aircrafts (like the one pictured above) zoom over my head. They were extremely fast, low, twisting, and doing all different types of mamanoeuvres. All whilst staying very closely together. I completely froze! It certainly wasn’t something I was expecting to see. I come to the conclusion of how it most definitely must be a military training session. Though, this thought didn’t seem to have much of an effect. I still found the whole experience unpleasant and they really made me a little nervous for some reason. I think it was the incredibly loud sound of them and how low and fast they were flying. Nonetheless, I just wanted to catch a bus and get a way from them 🀣. The only thing was, I couldn’t actually find a bus stop.

I walked and walked whilst these planes kept coming. There was not a bus stop anywhere, nor a single soul in sight apart from the odd car that went by. This only intensified my nervousness, as I felt more and more isolated with each step I took. But, I come to a hotel and hope I will find someone to ask where the nearest bus stop was. Well, that was my intention, until I was distracted by most beautiful views I had seen from the bus earlier.

As I walk through the hotel gardens and admiring the lake views, wondering if its a private part of the lake for guests and I’m not supposed to be here. Regardless, I continue in the hopes I won’t be asked to leave.

It was so blissful with not a single person around and finally the planes had stopped flying.

For those interested the hotel was named Langdale Chase Hotel, a beautiful country house hotel.

Oh! And I did eventually find a bus stop 🀣

Thanks for stopping by

Stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎ

Natalie ❀

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 πŸ™πŸΎ

Natalie x

York England: York’s Chocolate History

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Chocolate first arrived in Britain in the 17th century in the form of a drink. London was the first place to have a chocolate house in 1657. It was the place where men went to drink chocolate, gamble and chat amongst each other .

The first ever solid chocolate bar produced in Britain was by J.S. Fry & Son’s from the city of Bristol in 1847, followed by Cadbury’s in 1849 then Rowntree’s in 1935.

York’s Chocolate Story

On one of our tour stops we stopped outside York’s Chocolate Story a museum and popular visitor attraction. We didn’t go inside, but had a briefing on the story about the Rowntree’s brand from our tour guide. However, I would most definitely love to pay a visit next time to do the interactive tour and chocolate tastingπŸ˜‹.

Rowntree’s was founded in 1862 in York by Henry Isaac Rowntree. After financial difficulties, he was joined by his brother Joseph Rowntree who turned the company around and the brand become Rowntree & Co.

The Rowntree brand went on to develop some of the UK’s first solid chocolate and most favourable chocolate bars such as Kit Kat, Aero, Smarties, rolo and Quality Street etc.

Rowntree’s was purchased by the global company Nestle in 1988, who have since re-branded many of the products under their own brand name.

I suddenly have a sweet tooth and feel the need to go and raid the kitchen cupboard, so until next time πŸ˜‰

Natalie x

York, England Part 1: Off with their heads!

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York is a historical medieval city in the North of England located between London and Edinburgh. It is often described as one of the UK’s most treasured and loved cities. In fact, some would even regard this as England’s number one city. The city is often voted number one in surveys as the most beautiful cities in the UK.

Not only is it beautiful, it has incredible history dating right back to 8000 and 7000 BC, and this can clearly be seen right throughout the city.

First stop: Micklegate Bar

The first stop we made was to one of the gateway’s to the city. There are four main gateways, Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Micklegate Bar and Walmgate Bar. The gateway we entered through was Micklegate Bar, the most important of the four. For centuries monarchs had stopped here to ask for permission from York’s Lord Mayor to enter into the city.

Dating back to the 12th century Micklegate Bar has seen a gruesome and bloody history. Decapitated heads of traitors and rebels were once displayed on spikes at the top as a warning for anyone entering the city. Some of the victims heads included Sir Henry Purcey and Richard, Duke of York. Richard The Duke Of York was one of the most, if not powerful man in the UK until he literally lost his head.

Ghost Stories

There has been many ghostly encounters reported, mainly from Sarah Brocklebank. Sarah was the young daughter of a man who had been an 18th century gate keeper. Apparently she had lost her father’s keys to Micklegate which resulted in him loosing his job. There have since been several reports of people seeing her inside Micklegate Bar and around the surrounding area.

People have also reported seeing glowing eyes at the top of the Bar 🀀

Until next time.

Natalie x

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct: The river in the sky

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Hi! πŸ™‹πŸ½ Hope your all keeping well.

This will be the last post on North Wales, until I get to revisit again. Just wanted to share this incredible attraction.

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Some of you may have heard of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, for those who haven’t. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is located in Llangollen and one of North Wales biggest attractions. It is built over the River Dee and is the highest Canal Aqueduct in the world.

It was built and designed by Thomas Telford, with the help and advice of William Jessop. It took 19 years to plan and build between the years of 1795 and 1805.

Would you dare walk along here? I did!

The views are absolutely incredible! It feels like your actually flying from up there, it’s mesmerising!

It actually doesn’t look that high on the pictures, it is! If your scared of heights, this could be quite a challenge.

Additional Information

It’s free to walk along the tow path and aqueduct or you can take a 45mins to a 2 hour boat trip, which will take you over the structure. I didn’t do this, but here’s a site with more information Llangollen Wharf

Parking is available nearby

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Stay safe x

Conwy: A little treasure town

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Conwy Castle

Hi there!πŸ™‹πŸ½ It’s been a while, hope your all keeping well and in good health.

This blog is a continuation of my last few blogs from my time in Wales. If you liked the last few places I’ve mentioned, here’s another town which is just minutes away from those places and worth a visit.

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Conwy is a beautiful quaint medieval market town situated in the north coast of Wales. The town is also surrounded by the countryside with an overlooking view of Snowdonia, making it one of the most beautiful and unique places to visit.

I visited here after my visit to Llandudno and the Great Orme and was pleasantly surprised. It was just one of those places I felt immediately excited about.

Here are some interesting facts about Conwy

1 It’s home to the smallest house in Britain

Known as the Quay house of Conwy, this tiny little home measures only 10 feet deep and not even 6 feet wide and is split into two floors. The tenant a local fisherman named Robert Jones who stood at 6-foot-3inch lived here up until 1900. As you can imagine the rooms were too small for him to have been able to stand up fully. As a result of this he was forced to leave the home and the home was declared unfit for human habitation. The home is still owned by his descendents and is now one of the favourite visitor attractions in Conwy at Β£0.50 for adults and Β£1 for adults. Note: It will probably be the quickest you’ve ever spend Β£1 but it’s an interesting 30 seconds πŸ˜‰

2 Medieval Walled Town

Conwy has the most complete and best preserved medieval walls in the UK. The walls can be walked around mostly for free however, there are few sections that require a small fee.

3 Conwy Castle

Conwy castle was built by King Edward l during his conquest of Wales between 1283 and 1289, it was designed by the Master builder, James Of Saint George. This castle is one of the best preserved Castles in North Wales, along with it’s incredible walls and tower this castle has been featured in various photos and paintings.

Note: Some of the outer parts a free to walk around but to go inside theres a small fee ( see prices below)

Adults Β£8.80

Child (under 16) Β£5.40

Family ticket (2 adults & 3 children (under 16) Β£25.10

Senior Citizen Β£7.10

Students Β£5.40 ( Note prices based on 2020 prices)

The first thing I did on arrival was explore the Conwy Castle.
Peeping through the walls of the castle (Look at the countryside in the far distance 😍)

4 Suspension Bridge

This magnificent bridge was design by Thomas Telford a Scottish Civil engineer, architect, road, bridge and canal builder. The bridge is connected to the castle and the two together are just incredibly magical.

After visiting the above attractions it was time for lunch. I found a little traditional place called the cheese room around about 2 minutes walk from the castle.

This shop sells such a wide variety of cheese. I hadn’t even heard of many of them! I wanted to purchase a lunch box and take a selection of cheese home. The staff were so helpful and helped me pick out a great cheese selection, allowing me to sample whilst sharing their knowledge about the cheese. Never had much knowledge about cheese until visiting here.

With just a short time left before moving on to the next destination, I had a little walk around to catch a glimpse of the surrounding area.

The Quay

Until next time, stay safe and thank you for reading

Natalie x

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚ Stay safe x