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 πŸ™‚

Stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎ

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 Β£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 πŸ™‚

Stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎ

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: 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

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 River Dee, A Bouncy Bridge and a Roman Park

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The River Dee

As I exited the bottom of the Roman gardens I come to the River Dee. I had originally planned to buy a ticket at the quayside for a half an hour cruise along the river, but got distracted when I noticed the beautiful Queens park suspension bridge. Instead, I headed towards the bridge. I know it’s a suspension bridge, but I didn’t quite expect it to be as bouncy as it was to walk along. In-fact, I almost lost my footing on it! Anyway, it was well worth the the distraction, especially at the stop and stare moment mid way. The views are stunning!

Queens park suspension bridge

I did plan to take my cruise after exploring this bridge, but again was distracted when I seen people walking into an entrance. I wondered where the entrance led to, so decided to have a nosey. The entrance turned out to be the entrance to Grosvenor Park.

Grosvenor Park

Grosvenor Park dates back to 1867 and is one of the UK’s most perfect and most beautiful examples of a victorian Park.

The park is touched up with neatly lined trees along with ornaments, statues, flower beds and a number of grade II listed features.

It also features a miniature railway and playground area. It costs Β£1.50 for adults, Β£1 for children, or Β£3.50 for two adults and three children.

Other features include a cafe which offers drinks and light snacks along with toilets.

All three of the places mentioned are within walking distance of the city centre, so definitely worth visiting.

I never did end up going back to the boat trip. I ended up being distracted again by something else ha. I’ll save that for my next blog.

Thanks for reading stay blessed πŸ™πŸΎ

Chester, England: The largest amphitheatre in Britain

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I didn’t know it was an amphitheatre

I was surprised to learn that Chester had an amphitheatre whilst researching places to go before my trip. The funny thing is, I actually realised I’d seen it before on a previous trip a few years earlier but, I didn’t know it was an amphitheatre. It didn’t look like the amphitheatres I’m used to seeing. Having said this, I think that’s what makes it quite unique.

A bit about the history

It’s dated right back to the 1st century AD and is the largest amphitheatre to be discovered in Britain. It was used for gladiatorial combat, cockfighting and bull baiting in front of a large crowd of up to 8,000 people. It was first discovered underground in the 1970s.

The complications

you’ll have noticed it doesn’t look that big in the picture. That’s because only two fifths of it are visible, the rest is under a brick wall. Archaeologists were unable to excavate the rest of it due to other buildings that have been built over it. Some of these buildings are important in their own right such as Dee House, an 18th century house which sits over most of the covered site. Authorities won’t give permission for it’s removal and have actually protected Dee House. It’s such a shame, especially since Dee House has been empty since 1993. Either way I’d say it’s still impressive and worth a visit and you’ll be able to say you have visited Britain’s largest discovered amphitheatre to dateπŸ‘πŸΎ.

It’s free to visit and you can find it at Little St John Street, CH1 1RE

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

stay safe

Natalie x

Chester, England: A Roman garden

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Chester’s Roman Garden is located just outside the city walls. It’s a place I would highly recommend visiting. Its made up of finely sculptured building pieces from the Roman legionary Of Deva, collected and unearthed from around the city. Some of the pieces are from important military establishments, including part of a Roman bath from a former main baths building, which had been of great importance of the Chester Fortress.

Address

The garden is located at Pepper St, Chester CH1 1QQ and is free to enter.