Sometimes in life you just need to step back from everything. When work is busy, your diary is overflowing with things to do and places to see, and you just can’t quite turn off. It’s at times like this that I find it can be really soothing to spend some time outdoors and just relax. Our trip to Kielder came at exactly the right time, and was the perfect place to recharge my batteries.
One of the benefits of living in the country is looking up and being able to see the stars at night. Despite the fact that I can see much more than I would ever be able to see living in a city, I can still tell the difference when I go somewhere which is even more remote. James loves star-gazing, so for his birthday it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to go to the Kielder Observatory which is situated within a dark skies area.
One of the best things about booking just a room in a hotel, rather than bed and breakfast, means that it gives you the opportunity to go out for breakfast. I love going out for breakfast or brunch, although I usually find my appetite is three times the size of what it would be if I was just having breakfast at home. Anyway, given the fact that breakfast wasn’t included in our room tariff, and the time of our trains, it made sense for me and James to go out for brunch when we were in Birmingham and following a recommendation from a blog we headed to York’s Café.
Birmingham is not somewhere I had ever really imagined going for a weekend away. Admittedly my only experience had really been changing trains at New Street Station, but it seemed large, overcrowded, noisy and the sort of place that I would usually try to avoid. However, it is a useful midway point between the north and south of the country, so a weekend in Birmingham was on the cards. A trip to Cadbury World was top of my list of things to do, but I hadn’t realised the abundance of other things that could easily fill a weekend.
I love food. I’m not quite sure when it all started because as a child I was quite a fussy eater, but I really enjoy food. When exploring somewhere new, or even somewhere familiar, one of my favourite things to do is look up places to eat out. Reading restaurant menus is great fun and if I’ve planned where I’m going in advance I’ll often know what I’m going to eat before I set foot in the restaurant. So much for spontaneity… Anyway, when it was decided that James and I would be heading to Birmingham for the weekend, I just couldn’t help but do some research which led to us booking a table at The Lost & Found.
As a lover of chocolate, a trip to Cadbury World sounds like a dream. It is somewhere I have wanted to go for a long time. I had actually been before a long time ago (so long I don’t remember anything about it), but my parents had never been particularly positive about the trip. I also wasn’t in a desperate rush to visit Birmingham, and so it had seemed unlikely that I would get to Cadbury World any time soon. However, as Birmingham is a useful midway point between the north and south (who knew?!) it became a natural meeting point for me and James, meaning that Cadbury World was very much on the agenda last weekend.
You might remember a little while ago I blogged about the Cologne Christmas markets which I visited back in December. The markets were fantastic and if you are considering visiting Cologne, I would recommend going when they are on. However, there is still plenty more to do in the city. Believe it or not Chloe and I didn’t spend all day eating food at the markets…
The city of Bath is beautiful and is the sort of place you could very happily spend several hours wandering round without having anything in particular planned. There are plenty of shops (independent retailers and high street chains) and tea rooms that you could easily pass the time in. There are also a multitude of different attractions which could be seen as part of a day trip, or make up the bulk of a long weekend. Here are some of the ones I’ve enjoyed (and some that I have on my list for next time!).
When you’ve lived somewhere for several years, and have fallen in love with the city and the experiences you had there, it is very hard to let go. This is why I still spend an awful lot of time thinking about York, reminiscing with other people about York, and wondering when I can next go and visit York. Whilst I was staying with James over New Year, we started discussing the range of great restaurants in York, including The Yak and Yeti which had been one of our favourites. I haven’t seen a Nepalese restaurant since. However, when I was researching somewhere to eat in Bath after our trip to the Thermae Bath Spa, I stumbled across Yak Yeti Yak and there was suddenly no question about where we would be going.
There are some people who regularly go to the spa. Whether it is for a spa weekend, a day of relaxation, or simply to treat themselves to one of the many treatments available, for some people spas are an important part of their life. I’d never really understood what the fuss was about. Spending a full day not really doing anything – surely I’d get bored?! Yet there was something about them that made me curious and want to understand the appeal. When James treated me to a trip to the Thermae Bath Spa for Christmas I was very excited, and part of that was because I’d finally get to see what all the fuss was about…