7 days in Iceland

Iceland. The country EVERYONE seems to be visiting right now (if they haven’t been already – tourist numbers have apparently skyrocketed in the last few years, bumped up by Game of Thrones fans). This trip had been near the top of my travel hitlist for a while so I planned a trip to coincide with my boyfriend’s birthday. We hired a car and spent 7 days exploring Reykjavik, the ‘golden circle’ and the Southern ring road, driving as far east as Höfn.

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Out and About: Christmas shopping in Bath

Yes, we were crazy enough to go shopping in Bath on the Saturday after Black Friday, and yes, it was BUSY. But that’s what happens when your uni mate comes to visit and you happen to live just outside the town you went to uni in. Here’s a few snaps from my weekend, featuring Bath’s Christmas market (wintry sun, mulled wine, shopping…) and my friends’ little dog Ella (who looks like a cross between a fox and a baby deer).

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How to Spend a Sunny Weekend in Exeter

Last weekend I had booked in a long-overdue catch up with two of my closest uni friends – time to motor down the M5 to Exeter, Devon for a chilled weekend involving sun, sea, sand and icecream!

Saturday started with a quick visit to  The Donkey Sanctury, Sidmouth. It’s great to read about (and support!) the rescue activities and see the donkeys in a happy environment. I’m particularly fond of the fluffy ones! Here’s a selection of my many donkey pictures….

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Next up was Seaton Bay, where we hired a couple of kayaks (from these guys) and braved the choppy waters for a mini sea adventure! I have to admit that we didn’t get very far (we spent too much time laughing and bumping into each other). I tried stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding recently as well – if only I lived nearer a lake or the sea…

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Back in Exeter, we headed to the quay for dinner. I love this area – the old industrial buildings give it lots of character and it’s especially popular on a sunny Saturday evening.Thanks to my friend J’s blagging skills we managed to get a table outside On the Waterfront – the perfect spot for cider and pizza in the evening sun! J and I went half and half with different toppings on one of their 16″ pizzas. So good, but finishing it was an Olympic effort – we saved a few cheeky slices for evening munchies!

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Next up was an open air cinema event, held in Exeter’s Northernhay Gardens. We watched The Martian (definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it!). We were armed with blankets and snacks but I still wasn’t really prepared for 2 and a half hours lying outside. It wasn’t the most comfortable of film experiences! Some couples in front of us had the right idea with a full pillows and duvet setup going on…

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Sunday was chill-time. We spent the day on the beach at Exmouth. I love a day on a good ol’ British beach, even if by the afternoon I had to take shelter under my beach towel to avoid getting sunburnt..

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Unfortunately, this weekend is not so sunny. I should be cycling…but it’s so wet and windy! Time for some DIY instead, while I dream of last weekend’s beach time…

H x

Out and About: Cabot Tower, Hidden Gem of Bristol

Last week I finally visited Cabot Tower. This landmark is only a few minutes walk from my flat but until recently I had no idea it existed – I had never even knowingly seen it, despite the fact that it’s a huge tower on top of a hill! It is largely hidden behind the buildings of Park Street.

I dragged my boyfriend out in an attempt to find it – we turned up several wrong streets before spotting the steep steps onto the hill. It was quite exciting – it really does feel a bit off the beaten track. I don’t remember seeing any signposts. A few steps up the hill and we left the hustle and bustle of Park Street behind.

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A cheeky little squirrel!

The tower is set in a peaceful little park area called Brandon Hill. We went straight over to the tower and raced up the narrow, twisty staircase. We were rewarded with an absolutely stunning view over Bristol.

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Looking South: The harbourside and over to Southville and Bedminster

 

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Looking East: Will’s Tower and Park Street

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Looking West

We have now moved out of the flat and I am so glad that I took the time to take in this wonderful view while it was so accessible to me. I’m a little sad to be leaving the city centre but, fingers crossed, better things are to come soon – and lively Bristol will only be a short drive away 🙂

H x

Out and About: Lively Bristol

Bit of a gap between posts – every evening this week has been spent rather frantically researching houses to view, mortgages and solicitors. It’s mad. These photos are a week old now but I wanted to put them up for posterity and this was a day I really enjoyed!

Bank Holiday Sunday was gorgeously sunny and the streets had a a definite festival vibe to them. Just down the road from my flat was the ‘Park and Slide’ event – a temporary water slide built on Park Street, one of Bristol’s steeper main streets. It was such a fun idea which I think really encapsulates the sort of culture in Bristol. Thousands of people (including me) applied for tickets to go down the slide but only a few hundred were selected in the ballot.

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Park Street – closed for the event and very crowded!

The slide itself was a little shorter than I expected but it was obviously a tricky event to pull off and had been very hyped up.

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The slide was made from hay bales and tarpaulin… sorry for the wonky shot!

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Crowded Park Street, looking back up at the slide.

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Part of the Bristol Food Connections event on College Green

Heading down Park Street and onto College Green there was some pretty mouthwatering food on offer in various marquees. There were a few related foodie events going on as part of the Bristol Food Connections festival.

The afternoon was spent exploring the different areas looking for some tasty treats before it progressed into a bit of a pub crawl around the waterfront with some friends. As evening fell we visited the Old Duke and Small Bar on historic Kings Street before getting last minute tickets to a gig at Thekla, Bristol’s venue on a boat! These are some of my favourite places in Bristol so maybe I’ll do a separate post on them at a later date.

Hope everyone’s having a good weekend. I went to a Eurovision party last night so I’m pretty tired now and trying to ignore the fact that tomorrow is Monday…

H x