If you’ve spent any time with me over the past two months you’ll likely have heard me go on about how much I absolutely loved Iceland. It was truly the most surreal, captivating country that I’ve ever visited and, since getting home, I have recommended it to just about anybody that will listen!
You might have caught my post last week with my top tips for travelling to Iceland (if you didn’t, you can go and give it a read here) so today I am rounding up of everything we got up to during our trip into one ultimate four day itinerary.
Call me biased, but I think we nailed it when it came to our itinerary for this trip. Our days were jam-packed and involved plenty of driving, however we still felt like we had time to relax and take everything in.
We spent 4 days travelling the south-western parts of Iceland, so keep reading to see everything that we got up to! I hope it inspires you to plan your own trip to this stunning country.
Having landed in Iceland the day before and spent the evening settling in to our cabin, we woke up on our first day prepared for a busy day of exploring.
We spent our first day doing a version of the Golden Circle route. The Golden Circle is a route which traditionally starts in Reykavik and has three main stops: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall and the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. It is a great route which will show you Iceland’s biggest attractions, although I would recommend adding in a couple of your own stops if you can as there is SO much more to see along the way!
Setting off from Selfoss, our first stop was Kerid crater lake, the remains of a collapsed volcano which, although frozen over when we visited, was incredibly beautiful.
Next on our agenda was the much quieter but incredibly beautiful stop of Faxi waterfall. This is conveniently located on the route of the Golden Circle however it seems to be overlooked by most tourists – when we visited there were only around 4 other people there, which made it lovely and serene. Your are able to get up quite close to Faxi waterfall, making it the perfect stop for any keen photographers out there.
We then visited Gulfoss Waterfall, one of the most popular stops on the Golden Circle but definitely one of the most spectacular! The views you get of Gulfoss are stunning, and if you are visiting in the summer months when it is less icy, you can climb down and get even closer to the waterfall.
Not too far from Gulfoss, our next stops were the geysers Geysir and Strokkur. Although Geysir has laid dormant for years, Strokkur frequently erupts every 6-10 minutes and can reach heights of up to 40 metres!
Our final stop of the day was Bruarfoss waterfall. There is a small car park for Bruarfoss just off the Golden Circle route, however the waterfall itself is a little off the beaten track and requires a walk to reach it. It’s important to note here that the road to Bruarfoss was closed a couple of years ago due to the damage the trespassers were causing to local houses, therefore parking in the official parking and following the 3km hike is your only way of reaching Bruarfoss waterfall. The view you will get at the other end is well worth the hike, however, with breathtaking blue waters and a welcoming sense of calm compared to some of the bigger, more touristy areas. Be sure to stop at Midfoss waterfall along the way, and don’t forget your camera – this stop was one of our favourites.
On our second day, we set of on a mammoth road trip along the south coast of Iceland. There is SO much to see along the south coast and, similar to the golden circle, everything is very easy to find and mostly on the route 1 road. As well as the main stops, you’ll find so many opportunities to pull over along the way – this route is incredibly beautiful and the drive alone is something spectacular.
We started our day with a stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall – a spectacularly tall waterfall which you can even walk behind! Although touristy, it is well worth a visit, and whilst you are there, be sure to take the short walk down to the much lesser-know Gljúfrabúi waterfall. This is a truly stunning waterfall hidden behind a huge rock, and it seemed to be one of the area’s best kept secrets! You will have to wade through a shallow river to get there, however it is definitely worth it to see the waterfall up close. And it goes without saying, wear a waterproof coat and be prepared to get wet!
After drying ourselves off and warming up with a hot chocolate, we headed off for our second stop, Skógafoss, another incredible waterfall just a short drive from Seljalandsfoss. Here, you are also able to walk right up close to the waterfall, as well as being able to climb up a path and view it from above. Another must-see if you are going to Iceland!
Next up, we made a couple of brief (but no less beautiful!) stops – pausing to see the black sand beaches of Vik, and pulling over at Foss á Sidu, a narrow but very tall waterfall which is right on the side of the route 1 road.
Unfortunately, we had to abandon our plans for our next stop, Fjadrargljufur Canyon, which was closed off due to the wintry road conditions. I still wanted to include it in this post however, as it looks like such a beautiful place to see if you are heading to Iceland in the summer months!
Undeterred, we made our way to the next place on our route, Skaftafell Nature Reserve. Skaftafell was incredible and, in total honesty, I think one of our only regrets of the trip was not allowing more time to explore here. There are some truly breathtaking glaciers (which you can take guided tours of, if you wish) and Svartifoss waterfall, which we unfortunately didn’t have time to see.
We discovered one of the most spectacular sights from our trip completely by accident, when we detoured down a small gravel road a few minutes down the route 1 road from Skaftafell Nature Reserve and discovered Svínafellsjökull glacier. The sun was just beginning to set when we arrived here and I can honestly say it was one of the most surreal moments of my life. We spent roughly an hour at Svínafellsjökull and saw no more than four other people up there, making it so serene and peaceful. I can’t recommend this stop enough!
Our final stop of the day was The Diamond Beach. By the time we got here, it was completely dark, and although this wasn’t ideal, it was completely magical to see the crystal blue icebergs glistening in the moonlight.
To give the perfect ending to an incredible day, we were even lucky enough to see the northern lights that night, and we pitched ourselves under a bridge between The Diamond Beach and Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon to watch them dancing overhead.
I feel that it’s important to note that, if you are planning on doing this particular drive, consider booking somewhere to stay the night near to your final stop. We found ourselves exhausted, hungry and 4 hours from our cabin at 10 o’clock at night and we chose to drive the long journey back (through a blizzard, I should add!) rather than stop at a hotel, which we both agreed wasn’t the most sensible idea.
Nonetheless, this day of our trip was truly unforgettable and I wouldn’t hesitate to explore more of the south coast of Iceland!
Day 3, and after a much-needed lie in we were headed for Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.
We made a quick detour on our way there and stopped off in the charming town of Hveragerdi, which is referred to as the hot spring capital of the world due to it being built on a hot spring field! We found this a lovely place to have a wander along the river and see the hot springs for ourselves.
Once we made it to Reykjavik, we stopped for some lunch before having a look around the city. Although it is a quaint place to visit, we didn’t find a huge amount to do in Reykavik and, overall, we felt glad that we hadn’t stayed there for the duration of our stay. Whilst you are there I would recommend paying a visit to Hallgrímskirkja church, one of Iceland’s most prominent landmarks.
We finished up our day with a visit to the famous Blue Lagoon. This is very near to Keflavik airport so, if you can, it is worth seeing if you can tie in your visit with your flight to/from Iceland, and make sure you book in advance because their morning time slots do get booked up! The Blue Lagoon is spectacular, incredibly relaxing (you get a complimentary drink and silica mud mask with your entry fee) and you could easily spend a few hours unwinding in their gorgeous blue waters.
With an evening flight booked, we made the most of our final day in Iceland and headed 2 hours north of Selfoss to the waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafossar.
We took a slight detour on the way there and drove through Thingvellir National Park (a stop on the Golden Circle which we had missed out three days before) which made a beautiful drive, and would definitely be somewhere I would like to explore for longer next time we visit.
With Hruanfossar and Barnafossar waterfalls, it’s safe to say that we saved something special for the end. They are a handful of incredibly beautiful waterfalls right next to one another, and the views you will get of them are truly spectacular. As it’s a little way from Reykavik, Hruanfossar is another waterfall that doesn’t attract a huge amount of tourists, so take your time enjoying the peaceful scenery.
By the end of our trip we were exhausted but completely enamoured with Iceland. The Land of Fire and Ice truly has so much to offer and it’s a place that has to be experienced to be believed. I have recommended it to SO many people since and I would return back in a heartbeat!
2019 has so far been a year of travel and I am LOVING every second of it! In March, Jordan and I took our first big trip of the year and finally visited beautiful Iceland.
If I’m honest, I’d always been put off going on a ‘cold’ holiday, and this trip was definitely more Jordan’s choice than mine. Nonetheless, I was completely proven wrong and I wouldn’t hesitate to get my snow boots back on and visit another cold country soon.
There was something about Iceland that completely captivated me. It is like no country I’ve every visited (on the drive from the airport to our cabin I couldn’t stop squealing “I feel like I’m living in a water bottle label!”) and if you go to the right places, Iceland offers a total sense of serenity that has to be experienced to be believed.
I got TOTALLY carried away writing this post and quickly realised that I was going to have to split it into two posts, so stay tuned for my ultimate 4 day itinerary for a holiday in Iceland, which will be coming soon!
Today however, I’m sharing my top tips for travelling to Iceland, so keep scrolling to read everything I learned about visiting this incredible country.
Currency: Icelandic Króna, however cards are widely accepted.
Language: Icelandic, although you will find that most people speak English. I would usually suggest learning some basic phrases out of courtesy (especially because the locals are so polite and friendly) but Icelandic was exceptionally difficult to read and pronounce, so stick to English if you’re not sure.
Getting there: There is a common misconception that Iceland is far away but you can actually expect to get from London Gatwick to Keflavík (the main airport in Iceland) in just over 3 hours! If you can, fly with Icelandair – we were very impressed by their planes for a short haul flight.
Getting around: Although you will find tours aplenty in Iceland, I would highly recommend hiring a car and finding your own routes around. You’ll find more on this below.
Where to Stay: We stayed in a lovely cabin just outside Selfoss, which suited us perfectly. Again, I’ve included some more details on why we chose Selfoss below.
You will find so many tours and excursions available in Iceland but I would HIGHLY recommend hiring a car and finding your own way around. It will give you so much more freedom and, as you will quickly realise once you’ve visited Iceland, there are SO many photo opportunities available that you won’t be able to resists pulling over to take in the scenery. We hired our car from Geysir and we experienced no problems. Although the main roads are relatively clear, you can expect snowy driving conditions on some of the smaller roads during the winter, so I would recommend hiring a 4×4 if possible, and make sure that your hire car has winter tyres.
This goes without saying for any new country you visit, but do your research! We based our itinerary each day on some of the biggest sights in Iceland, but then spent a generous amount of time googling to find any lesser-know sights to stop at along our route, which ended up being some of the trip highlights for us. Icelanders are very proud to show off the hidden gems of their country, so look for blogs specifically written by Icelanders to find some sights that you might not have considered.
From what I’ve researched, there doesn’t seem to be a bad time of year to visit Iceland, however to be in with the best chance of catching the Northern Lights, visit between September to March. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t see them during your trip (I naively thought they would be much more common to see than they actually were), however the Northern Lights truly were a magical sight to see and I would DEFINITELY recommend that you try to view them at least once in your life.
One of the things you will hear most when you tell people you are visiting Iceland is how expensive this country is, and they’re not wrong – Iceland is relatively pricey compared to most other European countries. Don’t let this put you off, however. Iceland is perfectly doable on a budget, just be prepared to be a little strict with your spending. My biggest recommendation would be to choose accommodation which allows you to self-cater. We cooked for ourselves or packed lunch supplies in the car for almost every meal, which really kept costs down.
Iceland was, for us, the ultimate place for an adventure BUT that shouldn’t stop you from being cautious where necessary. Be respectful of any roads or paths that have been closed off due to dangerous conditions, take care when driving in snow or ice and always have emergency road assistance numbers to hand just in case you need them.
We chose to stay in Selfoss (around 50 minutes outside of Reykjavik) and I think it was one of the best decisions we made for this trip. Although a very pretty city, Reykjavik definitely wasn’t our favourite place that we visited (it is also very expensive) and Selfoss was much more centrally located for the other parts of Iceland that we travelled to. Our cabin was conveniently located close to route 1, the main ring road around Iceland, and it provided a beautiful, secluded and cosy place to relax between our busy days of exploring.
Of all the pairs of shoes that I own, I never thought that it would be a pair of winter snow boots that would steal my heart but I am SO glad that I invested in these before our trip. My snow boots were the only pair of shoes that I packed (this is officially the only holiday we’ve been on where Jordan has taken more pairs of shoes than me!) but they kept my feet warm and dry all holiday so I would definitely recommend!
Oh Italy, with your incredible food, exquisite architecture and undeniable charm, you are undoubtedly one of my favourite countries in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Italy a few times now but in February of last year, to celebrate a big birthday of my mum’s, we travelled to Rome for the first time and it’s safe to say it left an amazing impression on us.
Rome is a bustling yet charming city. We spent two nights there which gave us three days to see all that the city has to offer – and it definitely didn’t take long for it to steal a place in our hearts. Keep reading to hear how we spent 72 hours in Rome!
Currency: Euro – cards are widely accepted, although I would recommend carrying a small amount of cash on you for smaller purchases.
Language: Italian. Learn some basic phrases out of courtesy, but the majority of people will speak good English.
Getting there: To make the most of a long weekend, take the 6.45am flight out of London Gatwick on a Friday, which will land in Rome just after 10am. Return on the 8.55pm flight on Sunday to give you 3 full days of exploring.
Getting around: The roads in Rome are notoriously hectic, but you’ll be grateful not to have a car when you realise how much more you’ll see getting around on foot. Public transport in Rome is also very good – I would recommend taking the train into central Rome from the airport; they also have an easy to follow Metro system.
Where to Stay: We stayed at the 4 star River Palace Hotel, which is conveniently located just a stone’s throw from the enchanting Piazza del Popolo and made the perfect place for us to rest our heads between three busy days of exploring. Oh, and be sure to take advantage of their five (yes, five!) hour long happy hour!
Once you’ve arrived in Rome and dropped off your bags, set off on foot to discover all that the city has to offer. We spent our first day strolling through the charming side streets and stumbling upon some of Rome’s most famous sights.
Sit people-watching on the Spanish Steps, throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, immerse yourself in the history of the Pantheon and enjoy the fountains of the Piazza Navona (with some gelato in hand, of course). All of these sights are within walking distance of one another and you’ll find plenty of little shops and café’s to duck in and out of on your way.
After an afternoon of exploring, meander back along the Tiber River and find the perfect spot for dinner. Italian food and drink is my absolute favourite and, by the time this 3 day trip was over, I pretty much had to be rolled onto the plane after consuming so much pasta, pizza, wine and gelato. And personally, I say embrace the carbs because nowhere else in the world will you find food quite so good!
Of course, no visit to Rome would be complete without a trip to The Vatican City. I would recommend allowing the best part of a day to explore The Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica, which is what we did on our second day in Rome.
You will most likely have to queue during your visit and be prepared for crowds of people, but you will be grateful for the slow moving lines because there is quite literally SO much to see. Learn about the incredible artwork and sculptures, witness Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel and experience the grandeur of St Peter’s Basilica – The Vatican was definitely an unexpected highlight for me and I can’t wait to go back one day.
Oh, and for the best view of Rome, I would definitely recommend climbing the 551 steps of the St Peter’s Basilica Dome. With unparalleled sights of both the inside of the dome and a magical view of the city, it is not to be missed.
Once we’d absorbed all of the art, history and architecture we could manage for one day, we wandered back to Piazza del Popolo and spent a lazy hour or so enjoying a cannoli in the square as the sun went down.
On our final day in Rome we paid a visit to the famous Colosseum. We were met with a cloudy and drizzly day (which had turned into a definite downpour by lunchtime!) but this didn’t spoil our visit one bit – just be prepared to pack a waterproof coat if you’re travelling to Rome in February!
The Colosseum is an incredible sight to see from the outside. Many people visit without going inside, however we booked a tour around the inside which I would really highly recommend. It was so interesting learning about the history of the Colosseum (I also unashamedly had a Lizzie McGuire moment when I first stepped inside!).
Whilst we were in the area, we also visited the Roman Forum, which is located directly opposite the Colosseum. Again, I would recommend booking on to a tour of the Forum because there are so many interesting snippets of information which we wouldn’t have known had we not been told by a local.
We boarded the plane home feeling exhausted, full to the brim with pasta and overloaded with culture but with a new place in our hearts for this beautiful city. Rome is romantic, charming and perfect for history fanatics, art lovers and foodies alike.
Although I could have happily spent weeks exploring this enchanting city, 3 days was definitely long enough to see lots of what Rome has to offer. I hope this post inspires many of you to do the same!
January has hit me HARD this year. With chillier days and darker evenings I can’t help but spend these winter months dreaming about sunnier climes. Which is why I thought I would use this post to rewind to last summer when Jordan and I headed to Croatia for a week of sunshine and exploring.
Croatia has always been one of the top countries on my bucket list, so when it came to booking a last minute holiday at the end of September, we both jumped at the chance to spend a week travelling around this beautiful country. Whether you are planning a European honeymoon, your next summer holiday, or simply looking for some travel inspiration, I’ve condensed everything we learned about travelling to Croatia into this post. I hope it inspires you to plan your own getaway!
Croatia is one of those places where, as soon as you start researching where to go, you will feel well and truly spoilt for choice and will likely find many conflicting opinions on which regions to visit.
We decided to spend the majority of our trip in the northwestern peninsula of Istria, flying in and out of Pula airport. And of course, we couldn’t go to Croatia without paying a visit to the incredible Plitvice Lakes National Park – a real must-see if you are heading to this part of the world!
Our first stop was the coastal town of Opatija on the eastern side of the peninsula. If I’m being completely honest, this was probably our least favourite out of the three places we stayed. Although it wasn’t cold or raining on the two days that we stayed here, we didn’t have the sunny, late summer weather I was hoping for (according to the locals we were just a week too late!) – and the town somewhat lacked the Istrian charm I was hoping to find.
Nonetheless, we had a fun time exploring the area, and we stayed in a beautiful apartment just a short drive from the main town which was the perfect place to relax. I’d recommend taking a meander down the Lungomare Promenade to see the Maiden With the Seagull statue; we also spent a morning at Trsat Castle in nearby Rijeka, which is well worth a visit.
I’ve never visited anywhere quite like Plitvice National Park, it feels worlds away from the Adriatic coast and it’s safe to say it stole a piece of my heart. The park is comprised of 16 crystal clear lakes connected by a series of waterfalls and it truly is incredible.
One thing I feel I should note is that I massively underestimated what the weather would be like. Don’t let that bright blue water and shimmering sunshine fool you – Autumn had well and truly arrived when we visited and it was COLD. When we woke up on our first morning there to find ice on our hire car, I very quickly stowed the pretty playsuit I had planned on wearing that day back into my suitcase and layered up with any warm clothing I could find (which, incidentally, wasn’t anywhere near enough)!
As it turns out, I think early Autumn was the perfect time to visit. Although still very busy, the crowds were significantly less than they appear to be in the busy summer months, and the leaves had just started to turn beautiful shades of orange which made for some truly beautiful photos.
There are two entrances to the Lakes and several routes that you can take around the National Park. It’s definitely possible to see everything in one day, although if you are able to spend two days there I would highly recommend it. We spent our first day exploring the whole park, and on our second day we were able to skip certain parts and go straight back to the areas we wanted to revisit (which predominantly meant beating the crowds there).
Tickets prices vary depending on the time of year you visit, but you can expect to pay between 55-250 Kuna (£6.50-£30) for a one day ticket and 90-400 Kuna for a two day ticket (£10-£50).
I genuinely can’t recommend Plitvice Lakes enough. Not only is it packed with incredible scenery, it offers an indescribable tranquility that’s like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It was without a doubt the highlight of our trip and we both agreed we would return again in a heartbeat.
Take the road less travelled: We hired a car during our trip, which I would highly recommend for getting around. The drive from Istria to Plitvice National Park was around 3 hours, and we purposely avoided the main roads there, which not only avoided tolls, but also forced us to take a stunning route along the Adratic coast and through the mountains. It was the most beautiful road trip I’ve ever taken – we couldn’t resist stopping to take pictures several times!
Get there early: Plitvice Lakes are open between 7am and 8pm and I can’t recommend enough being there as soon as they open. We did on both days that we visited and agreed it was the best decision we made. The Lakes start to get exceptionally busy around 9am so enjoy a couple of hours of unspoilt tranquility before most visitors arrive.
Find the best (secret!) views: Wondering where those epic, postcard-worthy shots of the lakes have been taken from? We happened to stumble upon them by accident but we were SO glad we did! To find the viewpoints, follow signs to ‘Veliki Slap’ (or Big Waterfall), and take the small stepped path up on your left just before you reach the waterfall. There are several viewpoints along the top, the most favourite with photographers being one 200 metres down the road to your right. It’s well worth making a little excursion to get the perfect, uninterrupted view from up high – we only saw around 3 or 4 other people up there.
Be Patient for the Perfect Photo: Plitvice Lakes is PERFECT for any photography fans, but don’t expect to point your camera and immediately get the perfect, tourist-free shot first time. We took our time and were more than happy waiting 5 or even 10 minutes to get some beautiful (people free!) pictures – be patient!
Don’t expect to go swimming: As tempting as it looks to jump in and go for a dip, swimming isn’t permitted in Plitvice Lakes. However, if you are looking for an alternative Croatian waterfall that you can swim in, try Krka National Park – which is definitely on my bucket list after this trip!
Our final stop on the trip was the highly charming town of Rovinj, on the western side of the Istrian peninsula. When we visited in September, it was touristic without losing it’s Croatian authenticity. We were also very fortunate with the weather and had beautiful sunshine for the two days we were staying.
If you’re a big foodie, be sure to taste the Istrian cuisine that you’ll find on offer here. Fresh seafood, olive oils and Istrian truffles are all a must in this area. Or why not make a day of it and go wine tasting or truffle hunting?
There aren’t a huge amount of sights to see in Rovinj; instead, I would recommend losing yourself around the winding cobbled streets of the old town, paying a visit to the bell tower of the Church of St. Euphemia which dominates the town, and be sure to return to the harbour in time to watch the sunset in the evenings – it truly is stunning.
I was scrolling through old photos on my phone a few weeks ago and it made me realise just how much travelling I’ve done in 2018 compared to previous years. I’m a self-confessed homebody, but I do love to explore new places and I definitely want to travel more in 2019.
My job as a wedding planner has taken me to London, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Dorset and Devon this year – which is one of the reasons I love what I do so much. In my personal life I’ve taken several unforgettable trips too, so from holidays abroad to UK weekend breaks, I thought I would round up the top 5 travel destinations I’ve visited in 2018.
My family and I had a weekend break in Rome this February to celebrate a big birthday of my mum’s and it was wonderful! Although I’ve always loved Italy, this was my first time visiting Rome and it didn’t take me long to fall in love with this beautiful city.
Rome is steeped in history and there is incredible architecture around every corner – visit famous sights such as the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon and, if you have time, I would highly recommend a tour of the Vatican Museum. Walk as much as possible and absorb the Italian culture as you wander around the charming streets and ornate piazza’s (whilst of course consuming copious amounts of pizza, pasta, wine and gelato).
We arrived early Friday morning and left late on Sunday afternoon which gave us 3 (almost) full days of exploring and plenty of time to see what Rome has to offer – although once you have fallen for the city’s intensely romantic charm, I wouldn’t blame you if you never wanted to leave.
Anybody who knows me will know just how much I adore New York. I first visited 10 years ago and have been desperate to return ever since, so in April me and my sister jumped on a plane and had the most unforgettable trip.
I find an inexplicable sense of belonging in New York, it’s such a world away from the place I’ve grown up in and yet there is something so special about this vibrant, lively city which completely draws me in. I will have to write a separate post to give all of my recommendations of what to do in New York, but some particular highlights were walking over the Brooklyn Bridge (and demolishing the Grimaldi’s pizza we ate on the other side), afternoon tea at The Plaza and watching The Lion King on Broadway.
We stayed for 3 nights at The Archer Hotel (which I can highly recommend) and we completely packed the time we had there full of things we wanted to do. We returned home exhausted, jet-lagged but buzzing with the most incredible memories from this epic trip.
In July a couple of friends and I decided to head to Bath for a couple of days and it was the perfect place for a girly weekend away!
I’ve visited Bath several times now and it is such a relaxed city, full of historic sights, small independent cafes and pretty little houses. On this occasion we spent the day shopping and enjoying the sunshine, but if you have time I would recommend paying a visit to the Roman Baths.
On our way home, we took a detour into Bradford on Avon, a beautifully quaint town only 8 miles outside of Bath. There are so many amazing places to eat and drink, as well as many independent shops and plenty of Insta-worthy opportunities around the town, so it was easy to lose ourselves in an afternoon spent here.
Croatia has been on my bucket list for years so in September, when Jordan and I decided we wanted to book a last minute summer break, it didn’t take us long to decide where to go.
We spent a week travelling around the Istrian coastline, with a trip inland to Plitvice Lakes midway through our holiday. Croatia as a whole blew us away but it was Plitvice Lakes that well and truly stole our hearts – even though there are lots of tourists around many areas of the lakes, there is a feeling of complete calm and serenity that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. We spent two days at Plitvice (arriving as soon as the gates opened in the morning to avoid the crowds!) and we would return back in a heartbeat.
The Istrian peninsula was completely different once again and has such a charming, relaxed atmosphere. My favourite town that we stayed in was Rovinj – a coastal town with cobbled streets, a strikingly beautiful church tower and a breathtaking view of the sunset. Visiting in late September meant that we mostly missed the tourist season and instead found Rovinj was lively with locals, which only added to it’s charm.
This was definitely the most low-key trip this year but still one of my favourites! At the start of June me and Jordan went for a weekend away just outside the Cotswolds and it was exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries after a busy few months of work.
We did very little aside from curling up and watching movies, strolling into the nearby village and enjoying the long evenings of sunshine with a glass of wine – and that suited us perfectly! It is so important to set aside time together and I am determined to make this a frequent trip.
We stayed in this gorgeous little Airbnb which was like a cosy home away from home, I truly can’t recommend it enough!
London is without a doubt one of my favourite cities in the world and at Christmas it becomes even more magical. I always try to visit at least once each December and absorb some of the festivities that are on offer.
There is so much to do around this time of year, many of which don’t cost a penny, so whether you are travelling to London for a holiday or simply being a tourist in your own city, I’ve listed some of my favourite things to do in the hope that it will inspire a festive day out!
Christmas Markets are a fun, free and festive thing to do at Christmas time and there are so many to choose from in London. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the biggest and there’s fairground rides, family-friendly shows and a choice of TWO Christmas markets to visit, promising a fun day out for all ages.
Be prepared for it to be busy, especially in the weekends leading up to Christmas, but I say embrace the crowds, find yourself a glass of mulled wine and eat, shop, drink and be merry.
Image courtesy of Winter Wonderland
Last month I finally got round to going ice skating at The National History Museum and it was such a wonderful afternoon out. With the stunning building of the museum behind you, a carousel and the magnificent Christmas tree in the centre of the rink, an hour or so here is sure to put you in the festive spirit!
Elsewhere around London there are ice rinks at famous attractions such as Somerset House, The Tower of London and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Or window shop, at the very least! One of my favourite things to do is see the gorgeous Christmas window displays at some of London’s biggest department stores throughout December. Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty London all put on some epic displays that are truly not to be missed.
If you’re ready to face the crowds (these stores will be thriving throughout December) then get some Christmas shopping ticked off the list, treat yourself in the food hall and have a mooch through the Christmas department. And afterwards, be sure to reward yourself with a big mug of hot chocolate!
Technically this one isn’t in London but a train and shuttle bus will get you from London Euston to the Watford Studio Tours in 35 minutes, so it is well worth a day out. Hogwarts is transformed into a snowy wonderland until 27th January and it is truly spectacular!
Take a wander through the original film sets, see costumes and props from the movies and refuel with a glass of butterbeer in the onsite cafe. I visited Hogwarts in the Snow at the end of last month and, even though it was my third time visiting the studio tours (self confessed Potter nerd over here!), none of the magic had been lost. Allow the best part of a day for your visit and enjoy every moment!
Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tours
When in London it is so easy to hop on a tube to get around but without a doubt one of my favourite things to do is just walk around and absorb the sights. Everything in the city is so close together so spend an hour wandering around and I guarantee you will see so much!
See the Christmas lights in places like Carnaby Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, take a stroll along the Southbank or visit the huge Christmas trees in Trafalgar Square or Covent Garden. Christmas time is the perfect excuse to wrap up in your warmest winter coat and lose yourself in the sights of London.
Image: World Of Wanderlust