European city inspiration for a Christmas break

Christmas this year is going to be very different for us in England.  There are talks of Christmas bubbles and travel permitted on certain dates, but with stricter tiers being enforced across pretty much the entire country, who knows what will actually happen over the festive period.

For the past two years we went away near to Christmas on short breaks.  It was the first two years we ever went away over Christmas and we really enjoyed it.  Last year we went to London on a budget and also Bluestone for a few days.  The year before we went to Bluestone Holiday Resort too.

It gave us something extra to look forward to at Christmas and meant we could spend some real quality time together as a family.  Not that we don’t enjoy seeing family and friends, but the years before this, Ben was always working full time and only had a few days off work – a week max some years. We’d spend his time off going here and there, travelling to different friends and family houses every day he was off and never feeling like he got to relax or we spent much time just to ourselves enjoying family time.

That’s why I really wanted to go away at Christmas, and although we haven’t been away for the day itself yet, it’s something I am tempted to do!  I’d love a beach holiday and real break away at Christmas!  Bah-humbug perhaps, but I’m not one for the cold and get SAD each year, so a week or two in the sun would really be amazing!

European city inspiration for a Christmas break

We’re not religious so we could celebrate Christmas a weekend before, or after!

Anyway, not going away at Christmas at all this year is such a shame.  Whilst we weren’t planning on going abroad for a beach holiday, I was planning on a UK staycation to Cornwall or Devon.  A little cottage or holiday home for a few days and some coastal walks.

I haven’t bothered to book anything as everything is so up in the air.  The only weekend away we did have to Wales has already been rebooked three times and now delayed until next year, so I couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of booking something just to keep cancelling it or rearranging it again, especially for a Christmas break.

Nonetheless, it hasn’t stopped me thinking about travel plans for next year and the amazing Christmas destinations we could visit.

Surely things will be back to normal next Christmas, yes?  Lockdowns done and dusted and a sense of normality once again?  Travel back to normal?

I really hope so!

Whilst a sunny break is a dream for me at Christmas, I’m not sure if the kids and Ben would agree!  Instead they may want something a little more festive full of Christmas cheer!

With that in mind, here are some of the cities in Europe that look great to visit for a Christmas adventure:

Continue reading “European city inspiration for a Christmas break”

Painswick church 99 trees

I’ve always lived in Gloucestershire, living in Cheltenham until I was 26 years old and then moving to Gloucester. Now I live in Brockworth right on the edge of Gloucester, bordering both Cheltenham and Stroud.

No matter whether I lived in Cheltenham, or now Brockworth, we always take the same route to Stroud passing through the picturesque Cotswold village of Painswick.

As a child I’d occasionally go to Stratford Park in Stroud. That was pretty much my Stroud experience as a child and every time we went, I’d remember my mum pointing out the 99 trees in Painswick as we drove past them.

We were always slightly fascinated by them and the story of how there came to be only 99…

Continue reading “Painswick church 99 trees”

Ystradfellte waterfalls: Brecon Beacons National Park four waterfalls walk

On Sunday we did the iconic four waterfalls walk in Ystradfellte, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. It was the farthest I’d been from my home since the whole coronavirus pandemic began in March!

The drive was two hours from our house and it was my birthday day out!

9 years ago, just before we had children, Ben had surprised me with a night away in the Brecon Beacons and we did the this very same Ystradfellte waterfalls walk.

It was great to return with the kids and show them this amazing place, make some memories and capture them too in the below photos. Continue reading “Ystradfellte waterfalls: Brecon Beacons National Park four waterfalls walk”

9 amazing places to visit in the UK for couples

According to the Office for National Statistics International Passenger Survey, there were 40.9 million visits to the UK in 2019.  In both 2018 and 2019 the UK was ranked as the world’s 10th biggest tourist destination!

From the rolling hills of the English Cotswolds and rugged Welsh Mountains to the hustle and bustle of city life in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and beyond, the UK has a lot to offer tourists and couples looking for a romantic break or kid-free adventure.

It may appear to be a small island, but it’s packed with a diverse range of scenery, architecture, museums, history and culture.

With the coronavirus lockdown severely impacting and restricting everyone’s travel plans, I am now keener than ever to have a weekend away with my husband.  To see something other than my local neighbourhood and begin to scratch that travel itch!

Not from the UK?  If you are travelling from abroad then make sure you check the UK visa requirements and latest travel advice to ensure a smooth journey.  If you’re in the UK then a staycation is a great idea.  The UK has so much to offer for couples and families alike.

See some of my favourite recommendations below. Continue reading “9 amazing places to visit in the UK for couples”

Does vegan paella exist in Valencia Spain?

Today I have a fabulous collaborative post all about paella and whether paella can be vegan and found in the home of paella, Valencia in Spain!

Spain is famous for many things, not least being able to boast about a delicious traditional cuisine. One of the dishes that usually sparks the most recognition is paella.

Traditionally a staple dish, created out of necessity with what you had on hand, alongside the essential rice that makes up one of the most important ingredients.

Even though most would argue that there needs to be seafood or sausage in paella, it is possible to find great vegan alternatives as well.  We cooked our very own vegan paella at home recently for the first time and it was delicious!

Is vegan paella then considered to be authentic paella? Continue reading “Does vegan paella exist in Valencia Spain?”

24 hours exploring Mumbles, Gower, kid-free!

Earlier this year I asked my mum if she’d have Bella and Reuben overnight for the last weekend of February.  It’s the month of mine and Ben’s anniversary and we’ve now been together nine years.  I wanted to go away for one night and explore somewhere new together.  I wasn’t sure where, but as we only had around 30 hours in total kid-free, it couldn’t be too far.

We’ve been to the Gower in Wales two times before kid-free and love it there.  We’ve previously been to Rhossili Bay and Oxwich Bay.  We decided to go again as it’s not too long a drive, around two hours.  This time we decided to visit Mumbles!

Read on to discover what we got up to in Mumbles and where we found lots of yummy vegan food!

Continue reading “24 hours exploring Mumbles, Gower, kid-free!”