Travelling is one of my favourite things to do. I love exploring new places, taking in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of new cities and countries.
In 2017, we probably spent no longer than two full weeks out of the country, but we did enjoy an amazing British road trip featuring lots of lovely hotel stays. This year we visited six countries, took six flights, many mountain gondolas, a few buses, drove two cars, took one steamboat trip and adventured down the river Avon in a canal boat.
Here’s 2017: Our year in travel:
Les Menuires, France – We started the year with snowy scenes in the French Alps, where I embarked upon my first ever skiing adventure. Alongside our days on the slopes, we enjoyed the traditional dish – tartiflette, fireworks and watching the night skiers.
Alton Lavender Fields, Hampshire – The gentle buzz of bees over rows and rows of delicate purple blooms, I’d always wanted to visit a lavender farm in full bloom and this year I was in luck. A sunny day taking to the meadows, the aroma was beautiful.
New Park Manor, Brockenhurst, Hampshire – This year for our third anniversary we didn’t take to the skies and fly to a far-off land, we visited a hotel less than an hour from home. Surrounded by the New Forest, it was the perfect way to relax and celebrate in style.
Bath, Bristol and The River Avon – For Pete’s grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary, we took a family trip to a beautiful manor house near Bath, heading into the city for celebratory cocktails before taking our very own canal boat trip up the river Avon.
Clifton and Bristol – Following on from our Somerset adventures, we headed to the colourful streets of Clifton on the edge of Bristol to stay at the beautiful Number 38 Clifton, enjoying some fresh food dining at the River Cottage Canteen. A trip to Bristol is not complete without a visit to the ever popular Papersmiths.
Rowsley, The Peak District – A place close to my hometown, Rowsley, set on the edge of the Peak District is a beautiful little village, home to the stunning, historic Peacock Hotel with fine dining restaurant.
Windermere, The Lake District – A tour of Britain would not be complete without a visit to the Lake District. Admiring the natural wonders; mountains, lakes and waterfalls, we stayed lakeside at the Lakeside Hotel.
Scotland – Beautiful Scotland. A country frequented in my childhood more times than I could count. Staying at Big Sky Lodges, near the Black Isle, we drove to many of my favourite scenic spots; a pilgrimage of reminiscing.
Romantic York – Travelling home from Scotland we stopped for a two-night stay in historic York, enjoying the exquisite rooms of the ever romantic Principal Hotel, where we enjoyed dinner and drinks. Wandering the cobbled lanes and exploring the independent shops makes for an enjoyable York stay.
Salzburg, Austria – In collaboration with Southampton Airport and BMI Regional, we flew into Munich for Oktoberfest but first decided to take our hire car for a whizz into Austria. Salzburg is a beautiful city, but we were sad to see it coated in cloud and thick drizzle (not ideal for the photographer in me). However, the rain didn’t stop us from enjoying the impressive Hangar 7 on the outskirts of the city.
The Bavarian Alps, Germany – Sunshine, winding mountain roads and a convertible; the perfect trio. We drove across the Austrian border into Germany for some scenic lakeside and mountain views before heading to Munich and the wild Oktoberfest festival.
Longleat Festival of Light – A final adventure to end the year, we went to Longleat Safari Park’s Festival of Light, a beautiful wintertime treat for a cold and dark night.
In 2018 we’re heading to Norway to see it in the deepest days of winter, then heading to Cornwall for half term with the family, then saving up time and money before we head on another big adventure down under, with six weeks in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore before heading home for Christmas… Watch this space!