Let’s be honest, the only way to combat the January blues is to look forward. And in looking forward I mean planning this year’s getaway.
I only managed a week into Jan before I found myself on Airbnb looking for a 2 person villa on the Amalfi Coast.
So, this year I’ve vowed to stay closer to home. Living on the other side of the world for all this time has definitely instilled a dose of FOMO into me.
So, without further ado here are my top 8 places to visit for this year (here’s hoping I can get to them :p)
Situated on the south-east coast of England, St Ives is a town known for its stunning beaches and art culture. The turquoise water makes it hard to believe this picturesque village lies in Cornwall, just 3.5 hours drive from South Wales. This summer I’m making it my mission to go here for a weekend, take a dip in the sea and maybe, just maybe get a surf lesson or two whilst I’m at it.
On the other end of the spectrum is a more active kind of getaway. You’d be forgiven for thinking Snowdonia is a fictional location from one of the Hobbit books, but it is, in fact, a real-life mountainous terrain situated in the northwest of Wales. What attracts me to this national park is the number of walks that are available to visitors and of course the longest zip line in Europe.
I’ve been once before but was more concerned with bar crawls and a hunt for faggots and peas that I didn’t get to explore the real charm this city has to offer. Things on my list to do? First and foremost a coffee at the Elephant House where the one and only JK Rowling sat to write her Harry Potter novels. Watch the Military Tattoo in Edinburgh Castle (as you do) and walk to the peak of Arthur’s Seat to get that perfect picture of the Edinburgh skyline.
Imagine Hansel and Gretel and you’ve got the Cotswolds. Spanning over nearly 800 square miles the Cotswolds also known as the ‘rolling hills’ is probably one of the prettiest places in the UK. Can I have a cottage for the weekend with an open fire, a Victorian bathtub and a bottle of red, please?
“Yodelay hee hoo”. I’ve only ever seen these stunning views on pictures but what I have seen reminds me so much of New Zealand. On the plus side though I can witness them myself in just 3.5 hours by plane compared to 24 hours. When I visit, I want to do exactly what this picture portrays. A steam train ride around Switzerland’s stunning blue lakes and alpine meadows. Bliss!
Said to make the finest espresso in the world. Need I say more? Ok, I will. Apart from the natives being coffee connoisseurs, Italy’s capital city has a little more to offer. They trump most other European countries with their history being home to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Basilica. It’s an Italian city, so there’s no questioning the food, right? It’s probably out of this world. How have I stayed away for this long?
One of my favourite things about European cities is how much emphasis they put on sustainable transport. Like Amsterdam and Copenhagen, Austria ranks among the most bike-friendly cities in the world. And what a way to get around when you’re discovering a new place. When I go, I’ll be sure to follow this locals guide, because there’s nothing like an insiders knowledge and you’re almost always guaranteed to go somewhere that everyone else has missed out on.
A weekend in a European city can cost you a pretty penny but you don’t have to spend heaps of money when you take a trip away. Anyway, aren’t the best things in life for free? I can imagine the Capital of Denmark being similar to Amsterdam and if it is I’m in for a treat. I might leave this gem for summertime where I can take advantage of the gardens that are free to roam and picnic in.