18 places to visit in the UK in 2018
What that should say is '18 Places...that my insta-friends have made me want...To Visit in the UK in 2018', because so much of my…here comes that word…wanderlusting (*rolls eyes*) is down to peepers being peeled back to all the frankly downright spectacular spots across our United Kingdom all thanks to them!
A huge advocate of making the most of where we live, and an avid fan of 'staying local', barely a day goes by when I don’t go all my-spine-is-tingling, melt-into-a-puddle-on-the-floor GAGA over a photograph shared and a tale told about a trip taken to a village, town or city in our fair isles, with my dream 'to-visit’ list as long as my bloody forearm and then some at this point (...so long, in fact, that I might as well scrap it and write ALL OF THE UK).
Instead, I’m going totes Mary-Kate and Ashley throws a dart at a board on you, and highlighting some of the must-visits that I, ahem, must visit over the next 12 months…otherwise I might very well melt into that aforementioned puddle (albeit one full of my own ‘why didn’t I?!’ tears!)..
Anywhere that has rows and rows of colourful houses, sits on the water, has a yearly blooon fiesta, and is home to one of my favouritest humans (that’d be Jess) is A’OK with me to line up for a visit, and Bristol has been top of our ‘come on, what are you waiting for’! list for a while. From its full-of-character streets, and the art that dots it, to stand-out Bristolian landmarks à la the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the (more of a seamark, really) Brunel SS (...plus its close proximity to one of my city faves, Bath), Bristol is prime 'make the most of your home turf'-ness territory!
Isles of Scilly
Speaking of Jess, ever since she took a trip to the Isles of Scilly last spring, and documented her adventures for all of us to swoon something fierce over, I’ve been aching for a trip to the Scillonian shores, picturing myself navigating skies from the comfort of my seat on the island’s Skybus (*pretends not to be terrified at the thought*), running bare foot through the surf/appreciating island views from a backs-onto-the-coast cottage (the latter is always more likely, not sure how I'd do with the running thing), and eating a picnic on a beach only myself and the bf is lucky to frequent...sounds like heaven, amirite?
Not far from our doorstep, Castleton was a spot we first visited back in 2016, parking up to climb Mam Tor (on a most windy day…although, aren’t they all when you’re at the top?), albeit without effort to explore the area. Cursing our silly-sausage-selves ever since, I've been battling with quite the insatiable thirst to return for nearly 2 years, reason evidenced in this beautiful photograph captured by Rachel on a snowy December day!
Another one of those Cornish coastal wonders, Lee’s post after take-my-breath-away post of St Ives never fails to make this marvel-over-the-sea gal itch for a stroll along its shores (and a fish and chips lunch in a nearby pub because, well, you would, wouldn't you?!). With curving coastlines that see St Ives a top 10 European beach destination, colourful fishing boats dotting its working harbour, and plenty of near-the-water cafes to take one's fancy (what did I say about fish and chips?), St Ives is an absolute charm of a need-to-get-me-to-a British seaside spot!
Before you say anything, I know, I know, it’s an absolute bloody farce-and-a-half that I’ve yet to visit the Lakes when they’re under a 2 hour drive away thanks to us now being in-situ in the NW...but, alas, here we are, and here lies the wants of a haven't-quite-got-there Lakes appreciator! Daydreaming of a visit since I was a young ’un thanks to my Beatrix Potter adoring ways, this year I’m keeping everything crossed that I’ll have those Peter Rabbit’s in the region for company (whilst I navigate Hilltop to my gotta-love-me-some-talking-animals heart's content)!
Although I’ve visited London rather a few too many times to count, I’ve not done London ‘as a tourist’ for what feels like (and could actually be) a good handful of years, trips most recently taken for ‘for a reason’ means, rather than 'just to visit ones', thus the idea of taking a trip to do all the touristy things (aka hunt down all the 'not at all hidden' gems, and ‘catch’ us a show) appeals to one's 'yes I know it'll be busy but let's do it anyway' tastes (because, London? We know you've got the goods!).
I’m ashamed to say that, despite visiting Brighton a couple’o times in my youth (which basically means all the years before now, right?), I never ventured beyond a big chain hotel on the seafront (I didn't even really venture to the seafront, if I'm to be toes-curled honest....*gasp*) that hosted the Cheerleading comps I cheered (apt) my cousin on at ('fun' fact - the last time I visited was, I think, before I met the bf, when I was a Nanny, during which I slipped off a huge gym-mat-thing whilst dancing stupidly and twisted the tendons on both sides of my foot, after which I needed crutches...)!
However, in the years since Brighton has been on my radar, want-to-visit urges have been helped along mightily by 'it was really wonderful' stories from visited-friends who have stoked my find-candy-coloured-beach-huts-and-hideaway-coffee-spots embers to the point that I'm now all...'yes, my friends - I really do need me some of that'.
Although I have visited Staithes neighbours Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay (and oh! What national treasures they are!), our mini-tour of the area from Scarborough up to Bamburgh didn't (for some bloody ridiculous reason) include Staithes, and for that I am ever so, what-were-we-even-thinking sorry! A beautiful port-y village (the fishing kind, not the alcohol) with a view from above that knocks one's socks off, I can't wait to get my arse over there and indulge in a couple of fish and chip dinners with this landscape for company!
There's punting, there's Cambridge University buildings (to squeal over at volumes only decipherable by animals), there's the Bridge of Sighs, the view from St Mary's Church, little streets that dish-up sides of wonky buildings and ornate doorways, steamed up cafe windows and...well, you catch my #cambridgelittlegems (a glorious # of Ellie's magical doing) drift...now, when to book my train?!
Hebden Bridge / Heptonstall
Not on my radar before moving to Manchester, the pull of the area between Hebden Bridge and Halifax has been rather a tug–of-war strong one…and the fact the former can be reached by a half an hour train journey for a tenner, well, let’s just say I’ve rather-darn let myself down by not yet bobbing over (especially because what awaits is this can't-take-my-eyes-off-you ruins'd number - the final resting place of Sylvia Plath)!
I’ve had a yearning in my fire-for-wandering belly to visit Giant’s Causeway for 8 years, swept away by the unusual landscape since ‘that’ Harry Potter scene reared its it-really-looks-cold there head in 2010, its some-40,000 interlocking basalt columns the work of volcanic activity during the Tertiary period (/Finn MacCool, the renowned warrior giant) beckoning me over with a don't-step-on-the-cracks, 'come on, you know it'll be good for you' encouragement.
Partial to a swoop or two of red brick, Belfast’s Queen’s University façade has been calling my long-for-you name ever since I started researching universities (as a ‘mature’ undergrad)…that and its magnifent City Hall, botanic gardens, and ‘appeal to the eat-er in me’ shouts of foody greatness! The starting point (or finishing, depending on which way you pootle) of the Causeway Coastal Route, there’s pretty much nothing this city (and region) doesn’t have to offer an eyes-wide, ready-to-take-it-all-in explorer (aka moi)!
Edinburgh / Dean Village
Although rather-darn privileged to have visited Edinburgh for a day whilst travelling Scotland in 2013 (in our then-motorhome - Eric, we miss you), we did so with the budget of month-long travellers (aka it was teeny), wallets not up to 'see it all' expectations. In addition, we managed to rock up, unknowingly, during Fringe, exposing selves to crowds that swell beyond usual numbers (or so we've been told) , and thus I'd love to return to delve deep into the city, indulge in some tourist-y treats, plus visit its Village-y (break me off a piece of that) neighbour, Dean!
Throw an 'Isle' in front of a name and there's something about it that makes that spot-of-choice all the more an enticing one, suggesting 'all to your self'-ness in its 'cut off from the mainland' connotations. With a beaten-by-the-sea's-roar rugged coastline (that boasts one of Scotland's most famous, and reachable-able, lighthouses, Neist Point), and expansive night skies meant for stargazing (with a Dark Sky Park to boot), Isle of Skye screams (or rather, taps politely on one's shoulder) 'it's time for a get-away-from-it-all getaway, you!'.
Partial to a wander in the countryside (and a take-me-vertical one, at that), we've been meaning to tackle Snowdonia since the move oop north, but have told ourselves, for some reason, that we need to tick the Lakes off first (one of those 'pardon?!' things we do as humans, listing stuff in order!)...which means we best get to the Lakes sharpish because oh! Doesn't it look an utterly scrumptious spot in which to stand and gulp-it-in appreciate one's nature-filled surroundings? (the answer is yes, FYI).
And while we're at it, we might as well treat ourselves to some castle time because...guys, I don't think I could ever ever ever put into words how much I love me a castle...whisk me away to somewhere that's all 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair'-y, and I'm happy (plus, throw in a cuppa with a slice of cake? Hells bells, I'd be in heaven!)...plus, Conwy Castle has the benefit of being a mere couple of hours from our front door (and it's a World Heritage site!), so...whose up for a drive?
Llangollen (apologies for the hideous pronunciation!)
Even since reading about Sus' adventure to (the not-that-far-away) Llangollen , I've been all kinds of googley eyes over the thought of finding my own epic, drawn by the idea of visiting a faery festival, climbing a-back a dragon, and witnessing the World Heritage Site beauty of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, plus ticking another NT property off my list. And it being less than an hour and half's drive from ours, well - we could get there and back in a day, couldn't we?! No excuses!
Who could resist the colourful-painted-facades, quaint-European-city-looking ways (and palm trees! Oh, the palm trees!) of Portmeirion - not only a 'grammar's dream come true (one can only imagine the snap-snap-snapping one could do!), but its close proximity to home means it'll no doubt feel like 'getting away on one's holibobs' without the side of boarding-a-plane stress!
Tell me, friends:
Do you have a UK wishlist? What's on it?