First trip to Ireland // Dublin 

 

Earlier in November I took my first ever trip to Dublin with a group of my friends. 

We decided to take the cheaper option and get the ferry over from Holyhead. This takes about three and a half hours and is a great laugh as long as you don’t get bad weather. Clearly mother nature wasn’t on our side as the sea was rough. But this was ok as we had all stocked up on antisickness tables. 

*warning* if the packet says take one, don’t take two because they are small and you think they “wont do much” as you will suffer the consequences. The result of taking two tablets was drowsiness and sleeping for about two and a half hours, meaning I missed some serious bar time… But in my defence I wasn’t sick, success!

Upon arrival we got the bus into the town centre and checked into the beautiful ‘Trinity hotel’. We only had the weekend therefore we decided to hit the Christmas markets and grab some food before heading back into the town centre.

It was then time to start tactically planning that nights antics which didn’t really take long as everyone had the same idea… Find the nearest bar! 

Shortly after we headed back to our hotel, got changed and went straight to temple bar. I can honestly say Dublin night life has an amazing atmosphere and such a buzz! I would definitely recommend it and would love to go back again.

Odd moment- The next morning while walking around the city centre we happened to pass the Mrs Browns Boys camera crew filming Rory in a pink tutu putting the star on top of the tree. Make of this what you will…

 

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The “not a mile walk” up Moel fammau 

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What I learnt from walking up Moel fammau.

  1. It’s most definitely not a mile like the website says, it’s  way further 
  2. It’s steeper than it looks 
  3. You need appropriate footware 
  4. There are multiple walking routes so go back down the same way you came up (you will get lost)
  5. It isn’t uncommon that some of the routes look empty and like a scene from the walking dead- minus the walkers (when we were there atleast)
  6. The views are amazing 

We finally took the plunge and decided to walk up Moel fammau. The weather looked dry, meaning it hopefully shouldn’t rain and it wouldn’t be too hot.

After parking up, putting our jackets on and deciding on our route we started the “Mile walk”. Once we had been walking for about ten minutes we stopped to take a few photos, like the one below.

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We carried on with the walk but realise how unprofessional we looked due me me wearing a pair of boots and Garry wearing a pair of vans. 

The route continued to change direction quite a few times so after half an hour of walking we saw the path go right and automatically assumed we were near the top… We could not have been more wrong. At this point we had only reached the bottom of what I would describe as a hill!

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This point seemed to be about only half way, meaning, in principle we had to get to the top. 

We powered on through and after one rest, cursing and a mini run when we were a few feet from the top we finally made it! 

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The next challenge was the walk down. 
After thinking our route up was rather steep we though it would be a good idea to use a different one on the way down. This was picked because 1) it was going in the right direction to the car and 2)because other people were using it. What could go wrong? In our case everything! This route was way steeper than the one on the way up and to make it worse it was covered in small stones which made you slide, some may say it was our inappropriate footware, others would say it was just bad look. Yet again, we found ourself at the bottom of another hill but this time with two paths going in different directions. we selected the path that went right as it was the direction where the car was. 

It hit a point where we had been walking for a while and had seen no other people, it felt like a scene from the walking dead before a heard of walkers would attack. We continued walking In the same direction and eventually bumped into and man and his dog so this reassured us that there was a way out somewhere. 

Gladly we were right! Half an hour later, with a few drops of rain we finally made it back to the car and decided to never go back! 

Things I have learnt from Boating on the broads 

So, a group of us decided to rent a boat for a week and go around the Norfork Broads and we have ended up with this! I know right, cool! 

  

After driving around for the past two days we have already learnt a few important tips. 

  • When mooring (parking for an evening) make sure you do it between 4-5pm otherwise you won’t find a spot.
  • If you have a boat higher than seven meters make sure you read the hand book for tide times as you may not fit under certain bridges. 
  • Listen the the guy teaching you how to tie all the different types of knots, you will need to know them!
  • Even if the weather is good take jackets as you will be cold when on top of the boat. 
  • Open a window in each bedroom at night otherwise condensation will collect on the ceiling and fall on your face while you are sleeping! Trust me this happens. 
  • Follow the speed limits as there is a £1,000 fine (luckily we haven’t been fined, just something useful to know).
  • If your boyfriend is tall like mine make sure you have first dibs on bedrooms as beds aren’t that big. 
  • Stop and connect your water cable daily as you don’t want to run out of water.
  • Make sure someone has a general idea on how to read a map!

Most importantly, make sure you have enough alcohol! 

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My return to Barmouth 

For the past few months I have been going on and on about a place in ‘Wales’ I had once visited, but could never seem to fine after deciding I wanted to revisit. I explained to my boyfriend what the location was like and what shops were based there but every time we search I just couldn’t find it.

After a long discussion one morning we took to google (again) to try and find the location, for the final time. I mentioned how me and my friend had previously gotten a train into Porthmadog from the unknown location, so we start by looking at the different train routes that went to Porthmadog. Luckily for us this wasn’t major stopping point for many trains so it only had one route which made things a lot easier. We both started googling images of each town that came up on this route and low and behold I finally found my ‘place in Wales’, it was a small town known as Barmouth. 
After the success of finally finding Barmouth we obviously had to take a trip there that day so I could make my long overdue return! 
We set off from my boyfriend’s house in Flint midmorning and arrived in time to witness sun shining down on the local beech (unfortunately the image below doesn’t show that).

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We started off walking along the sea front and stopped off at Knickerbockers for ice cream. The shop is pretty hard to miss as it’s bright pink. There are so many different flavours of ice cream which all look incredible, so it really was a struggle to pick (I would recommend the coconut and cookie cream, it was by far the best).
We continued walking around the town and ended up in the local arcade, which obviously meant we had to have half an hour playing on the 2p machines. I can gladly say we won three keyring that we will probably never use and a packet of haribo that didn’t last long, so all in all a major success.
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After the excitement of winning we continued our walked round the rest of the town, which lead to me talking my boyfriend’s ear off, as he had the pleasure of me giving him a running commentary about all the shops and what I had done while there on my last visit, luckily he found it funny and laughed. Before heading home we made our final visit to the local fudge shop Fudgeridoo (which smell amazing by the way!), the fudge they sell is perfect and they have so many different flavours to choose from, so you will be umming and arring for quite a while.

Day out to Tatton Park 

Due to it being a bank holiday weekend, not to mention the one and only nice day we appear to have had this year where I haven’t been in work, it was time to get in the car and join the rest of the country on the motorway. 

The plan was originally to go to Beaumaris, but due to the rest of England having that idea we had to settle for something else. After taking to trip advisor and looking for an outdoors day to make the most of the weather we settled on Tatton Hall/ Park.  

 We purchased the ‘Totally Tatton’ ticket which gave you admission to all attractions, this included a tour around the mansion (stately home), animal farm and also the gardens. 

We decided to start off with the mansion as we were closest too it and the queue didn’t look too long. The house was sectioned off into different routes starting with the ground floor which displayed different rooms such as the main entrance, library, sitting room and music room. After the ground floor we headed upstairs which displayed bedrooms from different periods and a special exhibit about the families who have lived in the house. After the splendour of the residents quarters it was time to visit the basement and cellar where the servants would’ve lived and worked. Each room told a different story and provided a glimps of what life would have been like for both the families and servants that had lived in the house over the course of the past couple of hundred years.  

 After completing the tour of the house we walked down to the farm. Upon entering we were welcomed by red poll cattle, who were surrounded by really excited children pointing and copying the sounds of the cows. 

There were two different routes to take, one which lead to horses stables and workers cottages, one of which was originally the caretakers house. The caretakers house was in a typical state similar if not exactly how the family living there would’ve had it. 

The second route lead to the rest of the farm which contained animals such as sheep, chickens, raindeer, ducks, cows and one of my personal favourites donkeys.

 
The farm also included activities for children to take part in such as milking a fake cow, feeding the animals and visiting the duck pond. All the animals were very friendly and active so if anyone is interested in visiting I can guarantee you won’t be bored.

After leaving the farm it was time to finished off our trip at the gardens, which by the way are huge! There were so many different sights to see so we decided to go and visit the Japanese gardens as it is the latest attraction.  

Unfortunately once we arrived at the garden we realised we had just missed the 3:30 tour, which meant that we weren’t able to enter the garden itself but we could wonder around the outside and look in.

On the way to the garden exit we decided to take the route through the rose garden which contained rose bushes and flowers, along with a wishing pond. Walking past the pond there was a cute castle themed building which I just had to have a photo of! 

 

Take me back to the big city / NYC

   
I love having the Timehop app on my phone, it brings up so many memories from over the past few years that you have either forgotten about or haven’t come across in a while. 

Today’s update has done exactly that, as this time last year I was finally visiting New York with one of my best friends. It was an amazing few days full of excitement; ranging from tourist attractions, eating at lots of different food and even getting lost along the way.

Take me back New York! 

Beautiful views of Llandegla 

What did I learn this weekend? Not to go to Wales on a Saturday especially if it’s sunny or in the midst of the summer holidays.

 After looking for another dog friendly location Llandegla seemed like the perfect place, walking trails, lovely views and a lake for the dog to swim in. Shortly after setting off we were quickly stopped by traffic heading into North Wales, which wasn’t the best start. After a quick change on the Sat Nav, we rerouted and took the long way round through the Cheshire countryside which ended up taking us over 2 hours, not the best way to complete a journey that should have taken us about an hour.

 On arrival we took a look at all the routes available around Llandegla which were a mixture of walking and biking routes. Due to having no idea which way was best we attempted to follow the route that looked like it went straight to the lake, which somehow we actually managed to do without getting lost. After wandering around and taking lots of photos we eventually removed the dog from the lake and set off home to roads with no traffic.