Anglesey- A beautiful Welsh gem

 

11693923_848380588613239_8950680401307146916_n

Last weekend I went to Anglesey, which is an island in the North of Wales. I went for three days, and it was lovely. I always had it in my head that Anglesey was a much smaller place than it actually is. I don’t think a lot of people realise that it’s kinda big. Rich’s family own a cottage in Treaddur Bay, right near the beach, and it’s so beautiful. The above picture is a sunset taken on the beach there. We drove down from Manchester on Thursday night after work. We were expecting it to take around two and a half hours, but it actually only took about one and a half, which was pretty good going.

13892291_1019688664815763_2443789431086203863_n

On our first day, we went up to Chemlyn bay which is on the north of the island. It’s absolutely breathtaking. There’s pebbled beaches, blue sea, and it feels like there’s nothing for miles around. We spent hours just wandering on the beach, taking pictures of the views, and just enjoying being somewhere so relaxing.

14040141_1022194431231853_5731118752594647365_n

On the second day, we went to Beaumaris, which on the east of the island, right near the Menai bridge. It was such a lovely little town. We spent a few hours going round the little independent shops. Rich bought me a gorgeous handbag for Christmas (I know it’s a while off but you can never start too early), and we also visited lots of galleries, a Chilli shop, and shops full of trinkets. After a few hours of shopping, we went to an amazing fish and chip shop and had a walk down the pier, and walked along the sea front which had views of the Snowdonia national park.

13912444_1020785198039443_6658673826864453122_n (1)

13900274_1022194504565179_4638450287496857831_n

On the last day we were there, we went to Newborough which is on the south of the island. If you’ve ever been to Formby Beach in Merseyside, it’s quite similar to that. There’s a massive pine forest which borders the beach, and there’s also an island called Llanddwyn Island which is stunning. It has a little lighthouse, a ruined church and lots of little coves. I wish it had been slightly sunnier on the day we went as it would have been perfect for a picnic. It’s quite a walk so you need to take your walking shoes, but it’s definitely worth it.

14034939_1022194804565149_4040697289858910143_n

14037458_1025375584247071_1823415944_o.jpg

14012579_1025375547580408_1791654394_o.jpg

13939470_1022194867898476_1986187784787012755_n

It was a fabulous weekend, and I can’t wait to visit again. If you need somewhere relaxing to charge your batteries, then definitely check out Anglesey, as it’s full of hidden gems! How many of you have been to Anglesey before?

 

Advertisements

Verona- Stepping into a fairytale

11010974_788924447892187_9043961744495634308_n

11666032_788924647892167_6931747424332464962_n

11403096_788924557892176_5939558844802391514_n

As you wander through the sunbaked streets of Verona, it’s as if you’re relishing in the history of the city through the eyes of a star crossed lover, soaking it up through shades of pink and red. Ever since I saw the film Letters to Juliet I’ve been mesmerised by the idea of visiting the beautiful city of Verona. There’s something so romantic about it and enchanting, as if you’re in a fairytale, a million miles away from the twenty first century. This city is what makes you fall in love with the Italian culture, it’s so real, and visual, and is exactly what you expect when you conjure up an image of Italy.  This beautiful place has something to see on every corner, whether it’s something as simple as a garden of eden like balcony, or the jaw dropping roman arena, and it makes you feel as if you live there, that you’re a part of it, and not just another tourist simply passing through.  The river is a deep azure blue, so clear the city can see itself at all times, doubling its beauty and dominating both land and water. It’s timelessly still, peaceful, and seems so open but not in a way that makes you feel overwhelmed. Verona allows you to get lost in your hopes and dreams, it lets you fall in love, and lets you slip into a fantasy, and it’s something special that everyone needs to experience at some point in their lives.

Destination: Manchester

man

Growing up only about forty minutes outside of Manchester, I feel that I know it pretty well. Now I live on the outskirts, I feel like I’m getting to know it even better. After having a love-hate relationship with the city for quite some time, I’m finally starting to just love it, and it’s starting to feel more like home.

What I love the most about Manchester is how close everything is. I can leave my flat, hop on a tram, and within twenty minutes be weaving my way through the crowds of people in the middle of Piccadilly gardens. I can walk around the corner and find a lovely little coffee shop, and I can walk down the road at sunset and find the canal, perfect for an evening stroll. I love Serendipitea in Sale which does an amazing cooked breakfast, and also Blue Daisy Cafe in the Northern Quarter of the city centre.

Manchester prides itself on being the capital of the north, a city of culture and of rich industrial history, and this is evident around every corner as you see the old and the new mixed together. Perhaps my favourite building is City library, which looks like something from another time, and looks quirky and unique in contrast to the nearby Manchester Central and passing trams. You can spend an afternoon here soaking up the history, or having some quiet time with a good book. The MOSI museum is good, and always extremely busy, but I prefer Manchester Art Gallery, which contains an abundance of beautiful paintings which tell a history; it’s perfect for any couples out there wanting more of a cultured afternoon.

In Manchester, you’re also never too far away from the countryside with the Peak district and the Cheshire plain almost on your doorstep. I love Lyme Park with it’s romantic setting and it being the backdrop of my favourite version of Pride and Prejudice. Dunham Massey, near Altrincham, is also lovely for taking a stroll in when the sun’s shining on a cold and crisp day. If you like long walks with dramatic backdrops then Dovestone Reservoir is ideal, and you can walk all around the outside in around two hours. I’d recommend taking a bit of a picnic if it’s a nice day.

In terms of shopping, I’ve found you’re spoiled for choice, as is evident from my now overflowing wardrobes. The Trafford Centre’s worth a trip to, particularly if it’s a rainy day, and if you’re wanting an array of choice for food after all that shopping; I’d recommend Coast to Coast, which I visited a few weeks ago for the first time. I also like shopping in the centre of Manchester, not just in the Arndale, but also in the surrounding streets. Of course the giant Primark is a must, but be warned that you will be in there for a long time- enter at your own risk! But if you like vintage shops, and second hand book shops and charity shops galore, explore the backstreets of Manchester. Check out Ancoats and the Northern Quarter. Altrincham, which is close to where I live, is great if you’re a fan of charity shop shopping like myself, and I’ve found a tonne of good finds by spending a Saturday morning on the lookout. There’s also a fab tearoom in the old post rooms which is a must for afternoon tea.

As for nightlife, again you’re spoiled for choice. Being the type of person who prefers meals and cocktails, I’m a big fan of Deansgate Locks. It’s also right next to the tram station which means I can get home quickly, ideal after a few too many. Lola Lo’s, with it’s coconut theme aroma, and Revolution, cheap with your student card, are the best bet. If you want a night of dancing then Revolucion de Cuba is pretty good.

Where are your favourite places in Manchester?

 

VENICE- THE CITY THAT TIME FORGOT

italy 23

I recently travelled to the city of Venice, crested as one of the most romantic and breathtaking cities in the world. Venice is situated in the North East of Italy and is made up of one hundred small islands in the middle of a lagoon. Its most popular attractions include St Marks Square, the Basilica, the Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal which winds its way through the main island.

Upon arriving in Venice, after travelling across the  lagoon on a small boat, seeing as the only transport to the island is boats, due to the fact that there are no roads, we were met with a city guide, who was to take us on a tour around the city showing us its hidden gems alongside all of the famous sites that you expect to see in Venice. To do this, he decided to show us what he called the ‘real Venice’, which consisted of a walk around the dark backstreets which winded and turned in what felt like every direction. After arriving at midday in the baking heat, the backstreets were a welcoming oasis of shade and serenity after the business of the landing port on the front facing side of the island where the boat dropped us off. It was quiet, alarmingly quiet, however charming at the same time, as we meandered around the small alley walls, discovering a treasure strove of tiny shops selling everything from deliciously expensive leather handbags to tacky souvenirs. Upon this walk, I noticed the deterioration of some of the buildings which seemed to tower over the tiny walkways, the sun kissed walls starting to tarnish, starting to grime with the dirt of the city, and windowpanes seeming to be clouded by a dust of a time long since passed. And this was when the tour guide told us the sad truth about this beautiful and unique timely city- Venice was becoming a museum. Over recent years, more and more of the Venetians have moved away from what was once a paradise for the rich. We were told of how the workers lived on the islands nearby, or from towns on the edge of the lagoon, where it was cheaper and a higher quality of life was available. Away from Venice there was more to do for the young people, higher paid jobs, and larger houses with gardens for family.

As dusk started to fall over the city, the sky became streaked with a kaleidoscope of orange and pink and the waters of the Grand Canal became still, nostalgic for the earlier paths of the gondolas and watertaxis, which provided such pleasure for the tourists who visited in the day and left Venice untouched by nightfall. The old opera house sleeps in the slumbers of the city’s labyrinths, whilst the Rialto bridge stands proud over the canal, remembering days of when it was used by the locals both day and night.

It seems that once the old generations of Venetians fade, so will the city, which will leave in its wake, a museum of memories of what once was.

10 Places I’d like to see before I die…

places to see before you die

1) CROATIA

I saw Croatia on the programme Escape to the Continent, and thought it looked absolutely beautiful! It’s situated in the East of Europe, and contains such gorgeous landscapes of beaches, lakes, greenery, and quaint little towns and villages. Furthermore, the city of Dubrovnik and its coastlines are used as one of the locations for Game of Thrones, and seeing as it’s one of my favourite shows, Croatia is definitely a must on my list of places. The music festival, Croatia Rocks, also adds to the appeal!

dubrovnik

2) ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

Ever since watching the OC, I’ve really wanted to travel to this part of California, to pay homage to Newport Beach, and also to see Laguna Beach, another show I’m a fan of. I’d love to watch a sunset out there, give surfing a try, or simply to drive down the Pacific Coast highway.

The OC

3) NEW YORK CITY

Who doesn’t want to visit the Big Apple? I’d love to visit at Christmas time, so I could iceskate outdoors in Central Park, and shop in Bloomingdales or Macy’s on Christmas Eve. I’d also really like to visit a lot of the locations of the programme Gossip Girl, which is another of my favourite shows, maybe see a Broadway show and visit the top of the iconic empire state building.nyc

4) MACHU PICHU, PERU

I’ve wanted to walk the Inca trail to Machu Pichu ever since I was younger, as the scenery is stunning and I think it would be fascinating to see the Inca ruins. Think I’d have to prepare myself for a LOT of walking when I do this one!

mahu pichu

5) HAWAII

I would love, love, love to take a trip to Hawaii, and to soak up the culture, sun and amazing beaches. I recently saw Hawaii on the film Forgetting Sara Marshall, and it made me want to visit there even more! I’m not sure which island I’d like to go to, though I don’t think I’d complain whichever one I end up on. I’d love to try surfing here, and also visit a volcano.

hawaii

6) SYDNEY

I think a trip up on the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge would be breathtaking, even though I’m terrified of heights! It’d be so cool to be able to see views of the Sydney Opera House and the Blue Mountains. Apparently it’s best to go to the top just before twilight. 

sydney

7) NEW ZEALAND

All I have to say, is MIDDLE EARTH. 

middle earth

8) SANTORINI, GREECE

Maybe a little cliched, but the sunset in Santorini is so romantically pretty.

santorini

9) ROME

After my trip to Italy, I completely fell in love with it, and have now decided that a romantic trip to the city of Rome is in order to see the sights of the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain. 

rome

10) CANADA
I’d love to visit places such as the Banff National Park to stargaze, or Peyto Lake, where the waters are some of the bluest that you can see. 

canada

Catching the travel bug…

italy 24 

ITALY

I recently got back from one of the most amazing trips of my life. I was lucky enough to travel to the Venetian Riviera, where I spent a week sightseeing around the cities of Venice and Verona, and also making a trip to the beautiful Lake Garda. The weather was lovely and warm, and the sights were awesome, so I thought I’d share a few pictures from my trip.

Italy 1Lake Gardaitaly 3italy 4italy 5italy 5italy 7italy 8italy 9italy 18italy 7italy 23italy 21 St Marks SquareJuliet's balconyitaly 22