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Last week I travelled northwards up the UK again. This time my little mini-trip was more of a whistle stop tour of the major cities in the North West of England and the first stop was Chester. This happened to be the hometown of my friend and travel buddy, so I was privileged enough to have my own personal tour guide.

Chester is one of my favourite kinds of towns that manages to combine keeping things good and modern, but encompassing it with the history of the place. Call me a geek, but any place that has a few ruins, a couple of historic buildings AND an H&M is likely to be a winner for me. It’s the history graduate in me that will always look for a bit of the past in the middle of the present.

Being a good couple of hundred miles North of where I normally reside meant that the temperate dropped a few degrees, hence being super chilly in Chester. We took a brisk walk around the old Roman city walls which provided another of my favourite things; a lovely view. This wasn’t my first trip to Chester but normally it’s a flying visit, just passing through, so it made a very nice change to stick around, even if it was just for two days!

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View 2

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City Loving

After my previous day trip to Paris it’s safe to say I was very keen to head back over the English Channel to see what else the city had to offer me. This time I made sure it was longer than a daytrip, not by much, but we sure packed a lot into those few days. Being a Londoner I like to think that I adapt quite well to new city surroundings fairly well and we hopped on and off the metro like true Parisians.

The weather could not have been more opposite to the brilliant sunshine that greeted us back in May, which is why all of my photos have a slightly soggy look to them. I’m an absolute sucker for a good view so another trip up the Eiffel tower was necessary, which we climbed up again, but I like to think I beat my time from before!

Paris (apart from the rain!) was lovely in December and like many European cities was host to a Christmas market. It was ideally located on the Champs-Elysees and full of Christmas-y trinkets. The Arc de Triomphe was on our list of things to see and was typically a prime spot for everybody to take a selfie or two! You’d think that we got our fill of all things Christmas-y, but in our two days we also managed to squeeze in some crepes and mulled wine (of course!) and window shopping the fab displays at La Galeries Lafayette.

Paris is definitely a city that has wormed its way into my heart and I feel like there’s still so much to see and do! It doesn’t help that one of my favourite bloggers parisinfourmonths.com is a constant source of beautiful images that fuel my travel bug!

Champs-Elysees

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Room with a view

The view from our apartment!

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Living in the city, I sometimes forget how beautiful it is out in the countryside. Although I love Bristol and living right in the thick of it, I also get a lot of enjoyment out of visiting friends and family who live a lot more rurally than I do. Nothing can beat putting on your wellies and marching through the woods, invincible to the all mud and puddles!

My latest trip was out to Wales in early December, only this time there wasn’t so much walking through the woods, as racing through on segways! Up at the beautiful Chirk Castle, which is run by the National Trust you can not only walk through the 460 acres of grounds, but Segtrek offer a pretty damn cool experience for you too. It’s safe to say I fully enjoyed having a little break from busy city life!

I’ve always been a southern girl at heart, but every time I visit the north of England it charms me just a little bit more. In a few weeks time I’m taking another little trip up north, and maybe there will be a few photos to share.

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What’s with the sea and feeling free?

Last month I took a trip to East Sussex, mainly to visit my Gran but also because my cravings for the Coast had been making themselves known! I just don’t know what it is about the Coast that makes me feel so good, so free and so calm. I think it has something to do when the never ending space stretching before you.

 

Just 30 minutes along from the great city of Brighton is the tranquil town of Seaford. The residents may be aged 60+ but the beach is half as busy and perfect for a little thinking time. The final photo of the post is my favourite and I’m so glad I caught them moment in a picture.


I happened to take a wander down there as the sun was setting and it just confirmed all my thoughts about living by the sea. It was just stunning! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be a resident of Seaford. I might have to wait a few years before I’m in the average age range though!

 

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This second post about my Barcelona experience covers something that the Spaniards are famous for: a fiesta! Whilst we spent most of our days discovering new parts of the city, taking in the sights and basking in the sunshine, our evenings however, they followed a very similar pattern of small bars, many mojitos, chatting and finding out about each others lives. Of course, this was a very pleasant way to spend warm summer evenings, but I was excited when we were told that an annual fiesta was taking place during our last week in the city, and right in the neighbourhood we were staying; La Gracia.

This fiesta, La Festa de Gracia, takes place in August every year, during which the surrounding streets and squares are fully decorated, workshops and events take place each day whilst music and dancing follow every night. It was incredibly busy every evening and was lovely to see everybody out and enjoying such a wonderful local event. We were lucky enough to be able to help out with a bit of decorating, and since I’m never one to turn down a bit of crafting I dived straight for the Paper Mache! This was no light task though, the participants take the decorating very seriously (Well, it is a competition after all) and planning commences for the next year as soon as the fiesta has ended. Generally, all the decorations are made using recycled materials and the displays that are created are really incredible. There wasn’t a bit of bunting in sight!

This is the last summer post for a while now. I have more travel snaps to share though, but the next posts will have a bit more of a winter-y feel to them!

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