Happy New Year Everyone! And what an epic year it has been…
First of all I want to THANK ALL OF YOU for the support you have shown me over the last year. Thank you for commenting on and sharing my Blog Posts, thank you for all the compliments you paid my Travel Photography and thank you for encouraging me to Travel Vlog!
2015 has been an incredibly turbulent Year, filled with Tragedies, Violence and Horror. We live in uncertain times. Sometimes I feel as if we are all leaning over the precipice. One push and we will topple over. At the same time 2015 has seen the World stand together to fight for Peace and Equality. This on the other hand fills me with hope.
On a personal level, 2015 has been one of the best Years of my Life. I can only hope that 2016 continues the same way. This year my boyfriend and I made Travel a Priority. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to visit so many places in one year, to have had so many incredible experiences and to have met a whole bunch of interesting people.
Travel opens our Minds! Travel introduces us to other cultures and beliefs. It is essential to our understanding of this World. If more people Travelled, maybe this World would be a better place for us all.
These were my Travel Highlights of 2015:
BEAUTIFULLY TRAVELLED 2015 : AN EPIC YEAR IN REVIEW
01 JANUARY : DEVON
Every year, without fail, my family and I spend New Year in Devon. My personal highlight of January 2015 was a Family Stroll along the Coastline of Devon. Croyde and Saunton Sands are located on the North Coast of Devon, in the South West of England. This stretch of coast is lined with sandy beaches and quaint little villages. There are three beautiful beaches that are definitely worth a visit: Saunton Sands, Woolacombe and Croyde Bay.
Don’t hesitate to read more about this surprisingly sunny afternoon on of Devon’s most beautiful beaches by following the link.
02 MARCH: WALES
Back in March, Gary (my boyfriend) and I decided to escape the city and head into the countryside. It had been a while since we went on a proper holiday. So we spoilt ourselves with a weekend trip to Wales. Because Wales is located a fair distance away from London, we spent the night near Cardiff.
The hotel we booked was a lucky find and an absolute stunner. Saint Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club is a Luxury Hotel with it’s very own Castle, set in the rolling Hills of South Wales, on 400 Acres of Land.
Feel free to read more about our Welsh exploits and the amazing Hotel that hosted our stay by following the link.
03 MARCH: BRIGHTON
As soon as we spotted the first rays of Sun, Gary and I headed straight to the beach. Our first destination: Brighton. Neither of us had been before and Brighton exceeded our expectations. I am not usually a fan of fairgrounds and especially gambling halls along the seashore. But somehow Brighton Pier sits very comfortably were it is. We had a wonderful day out on the British Coastline.
04 APRIL: BOTANY BAY
2015 has been a year spent exploring the southern coastline of England. Botany Bay is a beautiful beach located in the proximity of Broadstairs in the wonderful county of Kent. It features chalk cliffs and is a popular tourist location. It is particularly famous for it’s large variety of flora and fauna.
05 JUNE: HOLLAND PARK
It goes without saying that we spent a lot of time exploring London. This was Gary’s first year as a resident of London and his curiosity for the city was illimitable. London is a beautiful city and you could spend an eternity exploring every nook and cranny. One of my highlights of 2015 has to be visiting Holland Park, in the famous borough Notting Hill.
06 APRIL: STONEHENGE
Our first long Weekend away was spent in Hampshire, in close proximity to Stonehenge. Of course we had to stop by this amazing structure and walk in the footsteps of your Neolithic ancestor. The visitor centre for Stonehenge has recently been rebuilt. It is now located several kilometers away from Stonehenge. I must admit I’m not entirely sure how wise this move was, but the extended themed museum is definitely worth seeing.
07 JUNE: POOL, SOUTHAMPTON AND BOURNEMOUTH
Whilst in Hampshire, we also took the opportunity to explore Salisbury, Pool, Southampton and Bournemouth. Once again my opinion about Bournemouth was confirmed. It isn’t the first place I would recommend for a visit. On the other hand Pool is gorgeous and somehow strikes me a little similar to Los Angeles. This is where the rich come to play.
08 MAY: SISSINGHURST
For a long time, I have been keen to visit Sissinghurst Castle and Garden near Cranbook and Wales. Being an avid gardener myself, no wonder this incredible famous garden was on my Bucketlist. Sissinghurst’s garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. The garden itself is designed as a series of ‘rooms’, each with a different character of colour and/or theme, the walls being high clipped hedges and many pink brick walls. The rooms and ‘doors’ are so arranged that, as one enjoys the beauty in a given room, one suddenly discovers a new vista into another part of the garden, making a walk a series of discoveries that keeps leading one into yet another area of the garden. Nicolson spent his efforts coming up with interesting new interconnections, while Sackville-West focused on making the flowers in the interior of each room exciting.
09 MAY: CAMBRIDGE
10 JULY: WELFORD
Gary and I took a stroll through the countryside back in June and I took the plunge and filmed the whole thing. Our first destination was Market Harborough, a small town in Leicestershire, about 2 hours drive from East London. Market Harborough is particularly famous for it’s iconic Old Grammar School, a timber building that dates back to 1614 and was recently restored to commemorate it’s 400th birthday. It has even become the symbol of the town. The School is located on the First Floor and propped up on columns over the Ground Floor Market Area. It is a picturesque building and well worth visiting, but I was a little disappointed by it’s size, having imagined something much more grand in scale. Next to the Old Grammar School sits the St Dionysus Parish Church, a magnificent Church with a very towering steeple. Whilst in Market Harborough you might consider visiting the Harborough Museum and the Symington Building, an old Victorian Corset Factory. We had Lunch at Wildwood before continuing on our journey.
You might want to head to my Youtube Channel to watch our Very British Countryside Walk.
11 JULY: CAMBRIDGE
In July Gary and I drove down once again to Cambridge, one of our favorite locations in the UK. This time the weather gods indulged us and we hat an incredibly sunny and hot day. The occasion: the opening of the Fellow’s Garden. Clare College only opens this very special private garden to the Public once a year. All the proceedings are then given to the Red Cross. The garden was packed but it was definitely worth the visit.
13 AUGUST: DEVON AND CORNWALL
My grandparents have been a little unwell this year so we decided to visit them down in Devon. I usually spend Christmas and New Year down in that part of the country. I only very rarely see it in Summer. What a mistake. The coastlines of Devon and Cornwall are absolutely stunning in Summer. We stayed in a little B&B in Paignton and then visited the local areas. A must-see: the Eden Project, as well as as the Lost Garden of Helagon!
14 SEPTEMBER: JAPAN
A Trip to Japan has always ranked fairly high on my Bucket-List. Our recent Holiday certainly wasn’t disappointing. Japan must be one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, with a unique Culture and an incredible Heritage of Traditions. Our Holiday also turned out to be a lot easier and cheaper than we had anticipated. We had somewhat of a whirlwind trip. Every day was packed, but I believe we managed to see many of Honshu’s main sites.
Read all about our Two Week Itinerary for Japan by following the link.
15 NOVEMBER: PRAGUE
To celebrate Gary’s Birthday we flew to Prague for an extended Weekend. What an incredibly beautiful city! Steeped in History, Prague tells the story of a grand past with an unhappy ending. Prague looks like it materialized out of a storybook. In a city that dates from the ninth century and is a mixture of all kinds of architectural styles, the buildings are different around almost every corner. The pavements are amazingly intricate. Unfortunately a lot of the city hasn’t been properly maintained. A little like a beautiful woman, now past her prime. I would suggest that winter is one of the best times to visit the City.
16 DECEMBER: PARIS
Like every year that came before, Christmas was spent in Paris. This year we celebrated our patchwork family. Incredibly the family Drama was kept to a minimum. I also really enjoyed rediscovering the routes and revisiting Paris. Now that I have lived in London for 2 and a half years, Paris appears somewhat different in my minds eye.
.17 JANUARY: DEVON
And coming full circle, I celebrated New Year in Barnstaple with my Gandparents, Dad and Sister.
BEAUTIFULLY TRAVELLE: AN EPIC YEAR TO COME
This month A Life Beautifully Travelled celebrates it’s very first Birthday! Remember that very first post I published on the 3ed of January 2015?
Back then I wasn’t entirely sure where this Blog was heading. Since then a lot of things have changed.
One of my main Goals this year is to develop this Blog into a professional Website. I hope that within the next year this Blog will become a helpful resource to the Travel Community.
I hope to be able to post on a more regular basis and shower you with useful tips and advice.
I am also aiming to get my Youtube channel up and running. I filmed a lot of last years exploits and am hard at work editing the material.
So stay tuned! There is lots more to come!