Hilbre Islands Part1: A beautiful Uninhabited Island near Liverpool

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Travelling to Liverpool? You may want to take an adventure over to these cool islands located between England and Wales.

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The Hilbre Islands are an archipelago made up of three Islands: Little Eye, Middle Eye and the largest of the three, Hilbre. They are located at the edge of the estuary of the River Dee, at the border of England and Wales. The Islands can be reached by foot during low tide from West Kirby on the Wirral peninsula, Merseyside and can take anywhere between around 50 – mins to an hour and a half to get to all three, depending on your own pace.

Once you arrive, it offers amazing photo opportunities of beautiful beach houses, panoramic sea views, and wildlife. If your lucky you may even spot some grey Seals!

Most Challenging trip of my year so far

This adventure has been my favourite adventure so far this year, but it has been my most challenging of the year so far.

I first made the discovery of the Islands back in February. I was super excited so couldn’t wait to do the adventure. Although, I hesitated for around two weeks before booking the trip.

The thought of crossing over was causing me to feel a little nervous. I kept reading about how the tide comes in so quickly and about people who had to be rescued after getting caught in the tide. Also, I was a little confused about the safest times to cross over. I understood it to have a safe journey. You must cross 3 hours after high tide and be back on the mainland at least 3 hours before the tide comes in. The times of low and high tide are stated clearly on the few websites I visited, but the times stated for low and high tide were always six hours apart, which didn’t make sense. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if these were the times I should head out and come back, or wait three hours after the times shown 🤔. I eventually found some really helpful websites that put my mind at ease ,which I’m so grateful I did as the ones shown on the beach were confusing. ( I will share these websites along with other advice and information in a later blog)

It was a little frightening

I eventually booked the trip in the first week of March. I arrived at the beach around 8.45am and started to walk out, but got cold feet when realising no one else was walking out to sea. I headed back and asked a kind man with a dog if I was heading in the right direction. Looking quite worried about my wellbeing, he said “Yes, but have you checked the tide times? Be careful the tide comes in quickly”. His reaction made me want to check to see if a coastal guard was around, but there didn’t seem to be any around. I spotted a lady working near by the lake, so asked her if it was a good time to walk out. She, like the man earlier, had the same reaction. She explained to go immediately, but to not hang around for too long once there. She also told me the safest way to reach all the islands. Well, I am definitely a lot more nervous now. Regardless, I started to head out there.

The further out I got, the more my fears grew to the point of wanting to turn back. It was an incredibly frightening experience for someone who can not swim. 🤣 Nonetheless, I would not allow myself to turn back with the promise to myself of being allowed to turn back after reaching the first tiny little island.

I had tortured myself enough, Therefore, I didn’t want to force myself to reach the other two. Well, not this day anyway, but definitely next time.

Once there, I felt better, but still didn’t feel brave enough to attempt the other two Islands. However, was really proud of myself for facing this challenge.

On Little Eye are the remains of a brick and concrete moorings a long with a substantial iron bolt remaining in place. The island is mostly made up of red bunter sandstone and grass.

I must admit it felt great heading back to the mainland having not been swept out to sea 🤣.

My return journey was much more successful. I will share that in the next blog.

Thanks for reading

Stay blessed 🙏🏾❤

Manchester: A new love for an old place

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Nowdays I often think of how incredibly fortunate I am to be from one of the best cities here in the UK. But, I must admit I have not always felt this way. Instead, its been a kind of love hate relationship thing. Loving the place for all my connections such as family and friends, but hating how incredibly tired and bored I had become of it, truly believing the next cities were much better.

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It wasn’t until Covid came along that I found this new revitalised love for my city.

As challenging as covid has been it has left many of us with silver linings such as teaching us to love harder, to be kind, to appreciate and have gratitude for all we have been taking for granted. Reconnecting with my city has been one of my many silver linings.

Coming up on Nattytravels…

As part of my new reconnected love and appreciation for Manchester, it will now have a well deserved spot on my blog. The blogs will consist of places I have been to revist and new discoveries in the city.

Also in the next up and coming months I’m excited to announce I will be starting to travel abroad again after three very long years 🙌🏾. So you’ll be seeing more blogs on places abroad.

For all those who have been enjoying the UK blogs, I will still be continuing to travel the UK, therefore there will be plenty more👍🏾.

Thank you for all your support

And on this note I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your continued support here at Nattytravels, regardless of all the incorrect typo’s 🤣.

I really do appreciate it.

Thank you ❤🙏🏾

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 🙏🏾❤

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 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

The lake district: Hawkshead Village/Cumbria

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Hi all! Welcome back to my blog. It’s been a while since I posted about my failed trip to the Lake district, but I’m back today with a post of the more successful visit.

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Unlike the organised trip last time, this trip was carefully planned out. Well, I say carefully planned out, but due to my train being two- minutes late on arrival, I missed the bus to Hawkshead, then had to wait an hour for the next one🤦🏽‍♀️. Nonetheless, it turned out to be one of my favourite trips of 2021.

Location

Hawkshead is a beautiful market village made up of white stone houses, arches and cute tearooms. It is located in Cumbria, England in the South Lakeland area.

Some fun facts about Hawkshead

It was established by the monks of Furness Abbey (The wealthiest and largest monastery in North England) as the main centre for the wool trade.

Beatrix Potter lived only two miles away from here in her Hill top house in a village called Near Sawrey. Her husband William Heelis, a solicitor from Hawkshead worked in the building which is now the Beatrix Potter Museum in Hawkshead. Beatrix also spent many family holidays here in Hawkshead.

Most of the buildings here were built in and between the 17th and 18th centuries.

William Wordsworth schooled here at the Hawkshead Grammer School, he came here in 1779 after his mother passed away. He and his brother Richard stayed here and lived with a local widow named Ann Tyson. His experience of the nature here during his adolescent years inspired his poetry writing.

How I spent my time here

In all honesty, I didn’t spent a great deal of time here, due to me missing the bus. I only spent around 50mims here as I had to take the very next bus back to Windermere. Although, to be fair I think this was sufficient time since there wasn’t many places open due to Covid.

I Strolled around the streets, alleyways and residential areas admiring the beautiful stoned white buildings and houses.

I visited St Michael and All Angels Church

This church and church yard sits on a hill looking over the village, with views of Esthwaite Water, Helvellyn and the Langsdales, aswell as Claife Heights.

It was also the place where William Wordsworth liked to sit and I could see why.

As I mentioned earlier most of the places were closed, but if your thinking of putting this place on your bucket list I have listed a few suggestions of places to visit here.

Places to visit here in Hawkshead

Beatrix Potter Museum

Minstrels Gallery

St Michael and All Angels Church

The Little Ice Cream Shop

The Old Grammar School

Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top House

Hawkshead Courthouse

The Chocolate factory

Tips and Advice for travelling to Hawkshead

Car

Travelling by car – Please be aware the centre of Hawkshead is closed to cars as it is a car free zone. There is a car park just on the outskirts, see here for more information and price details.

Public Transport

Travelling by bus or train – Take the train to Windermere train station, get on the 505 at the bus stop directly outside the train station.

Purchase a Hop on and off day ticket for £8.50, this can take you all around the lake district. Check here for more ticket options including tickets for children, families and groups.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog today, please feel free to share with anyone you feel it may benefit.

Many thanks for reading

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

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 ❤

Stoke-On-trent: Trentham Estate

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Stoke-on-Trent is another one of our cities, it is situated in the centre of England, Staffordshire. It is often referred to as simply ‘Stoke’ and is the biggest settlement in Staffordshire. It is known for it’s pottery industry and has a number of art galleries and museums dedicated to this.

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It was just after another lockdown when I visited here. Needless to say, there were many places still closed and the city was incredibly quiet. I knew this would be the case before I arrived, but I had just found a fantastic £2 return train ticket deal with Northern. It was an offer I couldn’t resist.

After researching and discovering many places were still closed, I discovered Trentham Estate.

Trentham Estate

The Trentham Estate is in the village of Trentham on the edge of Stoke city. It occupies 725 acres of nature and one of its main attractions is the award-winning gardens.

Trentham Gardens

This historic garden is one of the best in the UK. It offers a vast contemporary perennial of plantings and is absoulety stunning to walk around.

The garden has been designed in an Italian style garden, in the framework of Sir Barry’s 19th century Italianate garden.

At the back of the gardens stands the remains of Trentham hall. The parts of the remains date back to 1833-42.

It was a bit eerie

It was a little eerie here, I’m not really sure how to describe the feeling. Nothing really happened, but I had the strangest feeling I was being watched and suddenly felt a bit spooked out. I mean, I feel like I should make a disclaimer here, so please consider this as a disclaimer. It was a rainy day and I suddenly found that everyone had disappeared, therefore I was here alone for a short while. I was enjoying my time and everything was fine until I stood at the hall taking my pictures, this was when I got the strange eerie feeling. But who knows maybe a just got spooked out because I was alone in such a huge unfamiliar space🤷🏿‍♀️.

Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Its such a beautiful tranquil place.

The Lake

The lake here is at the centre of the gardens, it is actually the first place you arrive at as you go through the entrance, so immediately your surrounded by the natural beauty. The walk around the lake gives views of the River Trent and leads to the woodlands and the wildflower meadows.

Other things to do here

There are lots more things to do here at Trentham gardens such as the fairy trail, the children’s playground, boat trips, the tree top adventures, the monkey forest and trentham shopping village. See here to discover more about The Trentham Estate.

Thank you for visiting my blog today

Stay blessed 🙏🏾

Natalie ❤

Yorkshire Dales National Park: Malham Cove

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Yorkshire Dales National Park is an area that covers most of the Yorkshire dales, England.

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It is filled with hay valleys, waterfalls, beautiful woodlands and greenery, dry stone walls, scattered remains of the past industries and is home to over 1,000 farms. It is by far one of the most beautiful landmarks of the country, so its hardly surprising it was named ‘The best National Park in Europe on the TripAdvisor website.

There are so many places to visit here such as Ingleton Waterfalls Trail, Hardraw Force Waterfall, Whernside Moutains and the white Scar Cave but one of its most popular sites is Malham Cove.

Malham Cove

Malham Cove is a huge cliff formation of limescale rock that stands around 80 meters high and 300 meters wide.

The top of it is of deep groved eroded limescale slabs of pavement, that I must add is incredibly slippy on a rainy day if your wearing the wrong footwear like I did 🙄.

Harry Potter

The top of Malham Cove (pictured above) is also featured in the movie Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. So if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this would be an more fantastic experience.

The surrounding area is so serene with the beautiful sounds of water running through the streams.

Thanks for stopping by today

I hope you enjoyed my short blog on Malham Cove. I didn’t get to visit any of the other attractions, but hopefully I will revisit soon and share with .

Stay blessed

Natalie ❤

Haworth: A Brontë Adventure

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Hi everyone! Hope you’re all enjoying the holidays and it’s been filled with love, joy and valuable time with your loved ones. Happy New Year! Wishing you all the very best for 2022! 🎊🎊

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This blog is a continuation from my previous blog post, only this time I want to take you through the Brontë Adventure. As I mentioned previously in my last blog, this was home to the Brontë sisters . The novelists lived here from 1820 to 1855 and the place was a source of inspiration for some of their writings.

Haworth has become one of the favourite UK tourist attractions due to its beauty and connection with the Brontë sisters. You can see all the monuments and connections to the family around this little village and ‘The Brontë Country’

Things to do for a Brontë Adventure

See The Brontë Country

‘The Brontë Country’ is a name given to an area including Haworth in the South Pennine hills in West Bradford.

Do The Brontë Falls and Top Withens Walk

Brontë Falls is a colourful area with beautiful waterfalls and Top Withens is an old ruined farmhouse which is a feature in Emily Brontë’s book Wuthering Heights.

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway

One of the most unique ways to see the Brontë Country is on a steam train from The Keighley and Worth Valley railway.

If you want to make it a full day trip, it is recommended to purchase the Rover day tickets. These tickets allow you unlimited travel for the full day. With these tickets you have the freedom to hop on and off all the stops along the line, they also include free entry into the Museum of Rail Travel and The Bahamas Locomotive Society Exhibition. In addition to this Return tickets and single tickets are available to purchase. For more information visit here

Visit The Haworth Parish Church

The Michael and All Angels Church is the third reconstructed Church on the site. The church was built between 1879 and 1881, though some parts including the tower survived earlier times. The church has historic ties with the Brontë family as Patrick Brontë (The father of the sisters) served as a minister here between 1820 and 1861.

The Old School Room

The Old School Room is located right next to the church and is one of the most historical buildings tied to the family. The School was built in 1832 by Patrick Brontë and all of his famous daughters taught here. For more information about the history visit here

Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum

This is the home where the Brontë sisters grew up and wrote their famous books. It has been kept mostly the same since they lived here displaying many of their personal possessions. You can learn a lot about the sisters here from the artifacts and exhibitions. For more information you can visit here

Other things to visit

The Main Street

Haworth’s main street is a cute cobbled Street filled with independent shops, cafés, pubs and features some of those cute houses I featured in my last post.

Central Park, Haworth

The park is a lovely green space and has some beautiful views over the village, pretty flower beds and a children’s play are.

Hope you enjoyed my post today

Thank you for visiting

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