I honestly can’t believe 2018 is coming to a close. As always, I’ve put together a little highlights blogpost mainly focusing on where I’ve been on my travels. After my big USA trip in 2017, I was expecting to have quite a quiet year but I managed to sneak in a few amazing trips. This year, I was also really lucky to explore a lot more of the UK and I hope to do that further in 2019. It’s so good to look back on your year and see how much you have achieved and done. However, I’m rather looking forward to 2019 – I think it’s going to be an excellent year ahead.
January always seems to be a very quiet month for me. Looking back on past highlights posts, I always seem to be recovering from the Christmas period and settling into the new year. 2018 was no different (especially after 10 weeks in America), I had the pleasure of visiting the Dakota Deluxe in Leeds but I think that was my only little getaway of the month.
In February, My Boyfriend and I had booked our first holiday to Barcelona for a few days. Although the weather was a little nippy, it was a lovely relaxing break in one of my favourite cities. We stayed at the H10 Marina Barcelona which had a spa and I couldn’t recommend enough.
As the Beast from the East hit the UK, my Mum and I jetted off to Berlin where it was -15 degrees! It was my first time to Berlin, whilst I loved exploring the city and seeing some of the famous sights, it’s not somewhere I’d really want to rush back to. We stayed in a couple of hotels whilst we were there but I really loved the 25Hours Hotel which we had a hammock in the room overlooking Berlin Zoo.
April was another quiet month but we ended the month by visiting North Star Club which is in Sancton around an hour away from where I live. I was ever so excited about this visit as I’d read so much online about North Star Club which is a luxury glamping retreat with gorgeous rustic cabins. There’s no TV’s, Wi-Fi or Phone Signal but it was quite lovely to take a break from technology and cook some good food on the BBQ!
May was a busy month with a few destinations. I decided to make a big trip out of visiting friends and also attending Traverse. The first stop was Amsterdam for a few days to visit my friend from Trek America. I worked with Marco Polo Guides on how to spend three days in Amsterdam. However, a HUGE city guide will be coming soon. Traverse in 2018 was held in Rotterdam so I got the train from Amsterdam and met Jessica before attending three days of seminars and parties. I wish I had more time to explore Rotterdam as it was such an incredible and vibrant city – Definitely underrated!
My final destination for May was Zurich, Switzerland to visit another friend who I met on Trek America. It was my first time in Switzerland and I was utterly blown away with how beautiful it is. I spent around 4 days in Zurich and also went on a day trip to Lucerne on a train. I was warned beforehand that it’s a very expensive country, but it was a lot pricier than I anticipated. I’d love to visit Switzerland again and actually go up a mountain next time but I’ll have to certainly save up my pennies.
Read more: Amsterdam Food Diary
At the beginning of June, I revealed that I was one of the Brand Ambassadors for Studio.co.uk and would be working on content with them for the rest of the year. I was lucky enough to visit their offices in the North West and go behind the scenes – It was all rather exciting.
Later that month, I was invited on a press trip to explore Aberdeenshire on a Road Trip of the North East 250 Route. It was an incredible trip which we packed so much in to just a few days. A definite highlight of the trip was visiting Balmoral Castle which was so beautiful but there’s actually over 260 castles in Aberdeenshire! In 2019, I’m definitely going to be returning to Scotland!
The Summer was definitely all about exploring different places in the UK. One of my favourite destinations to visit is the Lake District, we spent a couple of days exploring the Lakes. We stayed at Hipping Hall which is located on the edge of the Lakes in Kirkby Longdale, the dining experience here was just out of this world. We experienced the eight course tasting menu created by head chef Oli Martin. The weather was slightly hit and miss for us in the Lake District but we did manage to get out on Lake Windermere on a boat!
August was actually slightly crazy, I visited Newcastle, Manchester and Litchfield before going on another little road trip for my Birthday to York, Chester and Liverpool. There really is so much to see in the UK and sometimes a Staycation is a great option. Chester had been high up on my list of places I’d wanted to visit in the UK so it was great to be able to spend my Birthday there and also visit Chester Zoo. Whilst in Chester we stayed at Oddfellows which is the most incredible hotel and they really made my Birthday rather special.
It wouldn’t be a Travel Round-Up on this blog without me mentioning a trip to Disney Parks. Of course, we had to sneak in a little trip to Disneyland Paris. My Mum and I had already planned a little visit to London but we managed to snag an absolute bargain on the Eurostar and couldn’t resist popping over to see Mickey Mouse. We also spent some time in Paris which was lovely but the weather was an absolute dream – I’d really recommend September as an ideal time to visit Disneyland Paris.
Read More: Exploring Covent Garden with Hotels.com
October started with another trip up to Newcastle where I finally experience the crazy Freakshakes at The Great British Cupcakery. They are insane. I also returned to the Dakota Deluxe in Leeds to try out their Festive Menu and it was delicious. The Dakota is definitely somewhere you need to visit if you’re in Leeds, the hotel is not only so lovely but the restaurant is on point too. In October, I also spent a week in London visiting my friends and just exploring the city. It’s so nice to just wander around London without any plans. I visited Greenwich and Kensington Palace which I’ve not been to either before.
My final overseas trip of the year was back to Amsterdam for a week with my boyfriend. It was his first time in Amsterdam so we did a lot of the tourist-y things but it was also a really laidback relaxing trip. The weather was amazing for November so we had gotten really lucky. As i mentioned before there’s a big Amsterdam guide coming soon so keep your eyes peeled for that.
As the Christmas season crept up on us, I took a little trip to Manchester to see You Me at Six and also visit the Christmas Markets. I also popped over to Leeds for an amazing Yurt Party at the Allerton Moor Golf Club with YurtBar and MacComms. I’ve had quite a quiet Christmas as I got poorly last week – Typical! I’ll be ending the 2018 how I started it by spending New Years Eve in Newcastle!
I probably will do a proper 2019 travel wish list post but I thought I’d mention a couple of goals I have for 2019. I’m really excited to make plans for the next year, it should be an amazing one!
- Visit 5 New Countries
- Go back to America
- Learn to Drive (or at least have some lessons!)
- Make plans to visit Asia
- Go on a Road Trip round Scotland
- Actually finish my 2017 USA Travel Diary posts – they are coming!
How was your 2018? What are your goals for 2019?
Happy New Year!
Don’t forget there’s still time to enter my 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!