Last weekend I fulfilled a life-long ambition – I went on holiday abroad for the first time.
With my 30th birthday approaching I decided it was time to start ticking things of that bucket list and so when my other half asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said a holiday abroad. I settled on Copenhagen because so many people had told me it is a great place and also because the flight was quite short and neither of us had flown before at the time we booked the holiday.
Choosing Copenhagen was the best decision I ever made. It is a wonderful city. From the moment we stepped onto the metro I was impressed with how efficient everything is. Finding our way to our hotel was so easy. We stayed at Ibsen’s Hotel, which is located a stone’s throw from Norreport station. It was a lovely boutique hotel, with a cute and cosy room and the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. I highly recommend it!
Continue reading “Copenhagen”
Mini breaks are the best, right? There is nothing quite like getting away for a few days, soaking up the atmosphere and exploring your new surroundings. At the end of last week my other half and I went off to Birmingham for two nights. For me it was a chance to reminisce about my university days and show my boyfriend some of the sights.
One of the places we stopped off at was the Sea Life Centre. We’d visited the one in London and mister was keen to compare the Birmingham one. I was simply excited by the prospect of penguins and otters. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
Our tickets were for 11am but we got there early. The Centre opens at 10am and even within less than an hour it was very busy. Unlike in London, however, we were able to get close to the tanks and see the fishes and animals. Much to my delight, the tour began with the penguins. Needless to say there was quite a crowd gathered around to watch them showing off in the water. One penguin in particular kept doing somersaults much to everyone’s amusement.
Continue reading “National Sea Life Centre Birmingham”
This past week I was lucky enough to have a mini summer holiday in Aberfeldy. We spent four days in a lodge and it was an action-packed trip. Some of the activities we got up to included feeding the resident ducks (they have hard, plasticky beaks but it strangely doesn’t hurt when they eat from your hand), visiting an artisan chocolate shop, touring a whisky distillery, a very competitive game of Cards Against Humanity and kayaking, something I tried for the first time. While all of these were memorable in their own right, the highlight of my holiday was our visit to Highland Safaris.
Located a few miles outside of Aberfeldy, Highland Safaris is a great day out for people of all ages. There are loads of activities ranging from gold panning, land rover safaris, 4×4 off-road driving and meeting red deer. It was the deer experience that most excited us and after paying for our tickets we eagerly waited for our guide to come and collect us. I’ve seen lots of roe deer in the countryside around East Lothian, but I’d never seen a red deer before and I couldn’t wait to get to see them up close.
Our guide, Andy, took us to a little barn where he told us all about the deer. There were lots of antlers on display and he explained how stags grow their antlers for the rutting season and then lose them in the spring. It takes roughly 110 days for antlers to grow, even the big ones! Continue reading “Highland Safaris, Aberfeldy”
I’m just back from a weekend away and it’s taking some adjusting to the real world again. Having previously stayed in hotels when we went away, we decided that because it was Valentine’s weekend we would try self-catering for a more personal and romantic touch. It was the best decision we ever made!
The Cow Shed 2 was once, as its name suggests, a cow barn. It was converted into a holiday home only last year, opening to residents in July 2014. The original Cow Shed is next door and has been a holiday rental for over a year. Both are the brainchild of owner Steve Rawson. With much imagination and determination he has created a beautiful little retreat in the middle of the Perthshire countryside. Continue reading “The Cow Shed 2”
As you know from my last post, I spent much of last week at Aberfeldy. For those of you who are not familiar with Scottish geography, Aberfeldy is a small town to the north-west of Perth. It is a lovely place with some beautiful scenery. We were lucky enough to be staying right next to the Birks of Aberfeldy, a woodland walk that takes you around Moness Falls, immortalised in verse by Robbie Burns.
The braes ascend like lofty wa’s,
The foamy stream deep-roaring fa’s,
O’erhung wi’ fragrant spreading shaws,
The birks of Aberfeldy.
There is actually a statue of Robbie Burns down by the river. He is gazing out across it, pen poised, lost deep in thought. Further up the falls, there is a little cove and a plaque stating that this was the spot where he was inspired to write the poem. Continue reading “The Birks of Aberfeldy”
I’m just back from the most amazing mini break up in Perthshire. We went for two nights as part of my birthday and I can honestly say it was the best vacation I’ve ever taken. Our hotel, Moness Resort, was nestled in a lovely park land and only a short walk from amazing woodland and waterfalls (more about that in a later post). It was a spa hotel and we took full advantage of the pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room. For the first time in ages I felt truly relaxed and pampered and I didn’t want to come home!
As part of our trip we visited The Enchanted Forest at Pitlochry. This has been on my bucket list for years now, so when I found out we were going I was beyond excited. I don’t think either of us were prepared for how busy it would be. Pitlochry itself was teeming with visitors and it took us half an hour to find a parking space. Buses depart from Fishers Hotel and take you out to Faskally Woods where the show is staged. They leave every fifteen minutes and we were taken aback at just how big the queues were. Luckily we didn’t have to wait too long to board and then we were on our way.
It’s a short ride to The Enchanted Forest and from the moment you arrive your senses are assailed. There are so many different colours and music swells as jets of coloured water rise up from the lake. We stood in awe watching it as each column danced in time to the music, changing colour from blue to purple to red to pink to yellow to white. It was utterly mesmerising and we could have stood there all day.
Continue reading “The Enchanted Forest”
I’ve just come back from a wonderful few days on holiday in Pitlochry, a small town near Perth. It was just so good to get away from all the stresses of my normal life. I ended up spending a lot of time outdoors, wandering about the town and the surrounding countryside – a brilliant change to being stuck in the office and the restaurant! We were totally pampered in our beautiful hotel, the Old Mill Inn. Our room was fantastic – so clean, the bed amazingly comfortable and a bath and a shower in the en suite. It was a delightful treat and I really didn’t want to leave.
We did so much while we were there but one of the highlights was visiting Edradour Distillery. This is Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery and it is nestled in a valley just outside of Pitlochry. In typical Annette fashion, we did get lost trying to find the place and ended up trekking 2 and a half miles through the countryside. It was worth it, however, for the stunning views.
The distillery itself was very picturesque. We took part in one of the tours and it was a really fun experience. To be honest I’m not a fan of whisky, but I quite enjoyed the wee whisky tasting. We were offered two different whiskies. The first I had was a whisky cream, a bit like Baileys, but even better. The second whisky was a 12-year-old single malt. It was quite strong and had a smoky burn but with copious amounts of water I was able to drink almost all of it!
The tour was really interesting. I hadn’t realised how intricate the distilling process is and I now have a greater appreciation for whisky. Our tour guide was a wonderful man with a proper Highland burr. I came away with a bottle of whisky cream for myself and a bottle of the 10 year single malt for my dad.
Another highlight was visiting Black Spout Waterfall. It’s quite a steep climb to it, but well worth it. The surrounding woodland is also gorgeous and I was able to snap lots of pictures. I’ll leave them to do the talking, but suffice to say I fell in love with Pitlochry and I will definitely be going back.