First of all, I’d like to say Happy New Year to everyone and thank you all for finding and following my blog and engaging with what I’ve written. I’ve certainly enjoyed the writing!
Since starting my blog in July 2016, I’ve been travelling all over the UK and to various European cities, exploring some great places, visiting several excellent exhibitions and experiencing many fabulous walks.
From 2 trips to Paris at the beginning of the year, littering the summer with numerous UK cities including Glasgow, Cardiff, London, Exeter, Truro, York and Chester; then ending the year with trips to Brussels in October, Amsterdam in November and Munich in December, 2016 has been all about embracing the joy of city breaks!
Other highlights included spending a week self-catering in Southern Cornwall, a week in the Yorkshire Dales based in Leyburn, sheep spotting on the Go Herdwick trails in the Lake District and 4 separate day trips to the North Wales Castles at Conwy, Caernarfon, Beaumaris and Harlech. These make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward I.
Unfortunately I got hit by some health problems in September and then a dreaded virus at the beginning of November, which is still hanging around and took me out of commission for many weeks. As a result the last 3 months of 2016 is light on content on the blog, however I’m hoping this will change now I’m starting to feel better, and as I have plenty to write about, Travel Junkie Girl will post more frequently again now.
Well, after being unwell during the last 6 flights I’ve been on and with several airport delays, I’ve decided I’ve had enough of flying for now. So after the flights that I currently have booked in January and February, I’m staying nearer to home for the rest of the year.
Those flights are taking me to Malta later this month, to discover the historic and beautiful Valletta, a UNESCO World heritage site. Then I’m returning to Dublin at the beginning of February for one night – it’s the perfect destination for a short weekend break with a morning flight out on the Saturday and a mid evening flight back on the Sunday. My first port of call will be to explore Trinity College, something I missed doing the last time I was there.
My last booked trip abroad is to Houston, Texas, primarily to visit friends, but as I’ll be there just after the NFL Superbowl which this year is being held in Houston, I’ll be set to discover what the city has to offer. Having been to Houston twice before, I’m familiar with the city, but there’s so much to see that I have not done yet!
For Christmas I received the Lonely Planet’s Travel List Book, a stunning guide to their top 500 places (ranked) in the world. Most of my bucket list entries are contained in this book and together with the UNESCO guide, I have my travel wishes for 2017 all wrapped up. I’d like to get round all the UK entries between both lists that I am yet to visit which includes places like Canterbury Cathedral and Stonehenge, and I’ll start by writing about all those I have already been to such as Fountains Abbey, York Minster, Bamburgh Castle and the castles of King Edward I in North Wales.
A great wish of mine is to visit all UK cities and in 2017 I’d like to make a good inroad into this list. So far I have visited 31 of the 66 cities on the official list of UK cities. I’d like to add (at the very least) Peterborough, Cambridge, Norwich and St David’s to that list this year. I have visited Birmingham many times for concerts and exhibitions at the NEC, but have never explored the city centre, so I’d like to fit in a long weekend to Birmingham at some point. Also, Hull is grabbing my attention this year as it is the 2017 UK City of Culture, so I will definitely make it a priority to visit East Yorkshire later in the year.
As culture and heritage are my biggest interest, I’d like to write some guides to cultural offerings county by county, particularly for Northern England and Wales, as those are the areas I ultimately want to focus my blog on, being the areas I know and love the best. Likewise after spending lots of time in the Northern National Parks of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, the North Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District, I’d like to produce my own guides of things not to miss in these areas.
Other travel plans for 2017 are to spend a week self catering in Lincolnshire (April), a county I have not spent much time in, outside of Lincoln and Skegness. Here I’ll spend time visiting different towns and villages and the various National Trust and English Heritage Properties in the area. As a member of both charities, I want to visit as many properties as I can this year.
May will see me spending a week in Norfolk, another area of the UK I have never visited before. Here I’d like to visit the city of Norwich, the Bure Valley and spend time exploring the Norfolk Broads, perhaps tagging a night on to the trip in Peterborough en route home.
The summer has plans to explore Anglesey and one final week away will be to Northern Northumberland in September to discover Lindisfarne, Berwick and ensure a return trip to Bamburgh Castle which I loved at first visit 11 years ago. Hopefully I’ll elbow in a foray up to Edinburgh while there as it really isn’t far.
One last thing I’d like to achieve in 2017 is to see more of the county in which I live: Cheshire. We are all guilty of ignoring what’s on our doorsteps in favour of far flung places and as a group, travel bloggers generally don’t write about where they’re from and what’s in their home locality. So, using my well worn Scrabble set, I’m going to pick a tile every month and find somewhere to visit and explore in Cheshire that’s new to me and write a blog about it at the end of each month. So, after getting my husband to pick out this month’s tile, I’ll be looking for somewhere beginning with….T! Any ideas….?
So, that’s my 2017…and I think there’s enough to be going on with there don’t you…?
Where are you going in 2017? Any big bucket list entries you’ll get to tick off?
It was this time last year when I first visited the city of Derby, one…