What a year! We’ve had an amazing year that has been jam packed full of adventures and travels. Whilst we haven’t had as many European vacations as last year we’ve spent a lot of the year exploring more of the UK in more depth and also had a month long trip home to Australia! We’re looking forward to some pretty big and exciting adventures in 2016 but before that here is our top 10 travel experiences from this year.
1. Bringing in the New Year in London
We brought in the New Year in London watching the most amazing Fireworks of our lives! It was an amazing way to spend New Years Eve celebrating in one of the most exciting cities in the world with Dan and my friend Liz who was visiting from Australia!
Anyone who follows us on Instagram will know that we absolutely FELL IN LOVE with Switzerland and Grindelwald, the most picture perfect alpine village on our recent visit! We visited Switzerland for our two year anniversary and from the moment we checked into the stunning and luxurious Hotel Belvedere we knew we were in heaven! Grindelwald is the most magical village located high in the Swiss Alps and literally looks like it is from a Christmas Card and our stay in Grindelwald was absolutely magical. We loved it so much that we have already planned to come back in April to explore it in Spring and cannot wait!
3. Discovering our Favourite place in the UK: Cornwall.
Early in the year we discovered our favourite place in the UK, Cornwall! On our first visit we camped and spent our time hiking along the Coast which is certainly the best way to experience the dramatic and beautiful coastline. We loved it so much that we headed back in summer and had the most amazing time where we had our first (and certainly not last) experience Glamping, we also Learnt to Surf at Fistral Beach which is the home of British Surfing and had the most luxurious stay at beachfront, iconic Headland Hotel. In addition to its natural beauty and stunning sandy beaches, we fell in love with Cornish food! From cream teas, to Cornish cider and endless fresh, delicious produce!
4. Rediscovering the beauty of my hometown, Port Macquarie.
On our trip to Australia this year, I loved showing Dan around my beautiful hometown of Port Macquarie. Despite all the places we’ve both visited in the world our favourite place is Port Macquarie! For water babies like us it is the ideal place to visit (or live) with no shortage of stunning beaches and waterways. I fell back in love with Port and was so happy that Dan absolutely loved it too! We also decided on the place where we are going to get married in a few years time, a gorgeous place called Harry’s Lookout.
For my birthday in March we visited Snowdonia in North Wales and stayed at Beudy Mawr Cottage, a gorgeous cottage with the most stunning views of the Welsh Countryside and the Snowdonia Mountains. During our stay we decided to Hike Mt Snowdon, the tallest mountain in England & Wales. Being the middle of winter there was less then favourable weather conditions predicted and so we really weren’t sure how far we’d actually make it up the mountain but we made it to the top & it was such a sense of achievement and the view from the top was absolutely incredible!
6. The Journey to the Top of Europe.
One of the highlights of our trip to Switzerland was visiting the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe! We took an incredible train journey from Grindelwald all the way to the highest railway station in Europe which is located 3,454 metres above sea level! It was a beautiful, scenic train ride and an incredible experience to be standing at the highest point in Europe that most people ever get to visit!
7. Exploring Ireland with my Parents.
In May we visited Ireland with my parents who were visiting from Australia. We Hired a Car and spent our days exploring Dublin, Galway, the Wild Atlantic Way, Cliffs of Moher and loved driving through this stunning of this part of the world admiring the rugged and naturally beautiful scenery. We fell in love with the Emerald Isle, the land of Guinness and Leprechauns! It was such a wonderful experience to explore a new country with Dan and my parents, and they certainly bonded over a few Guinnesses!
8. Exploring the Isle of Wight.
The Isle of Wight is a small island off the South of England, just a short ferry ride from Portsmouth. We spent a weekend driving around the entire island, exploring its stunning beaches, forests, vineyards, castles and fell in love with its beauty. I literally couldn’t believe we were still in England. The Isle of Wight has such lovely beaches & natural beauty that I felt as if we could have been in the Mediterranean (though the water temperature quickly reminded us that we were still in the UK)!
9. A Visit Home to Australia
We made the long trip home to Australia in August/September for a month long visit. The main reason for our visit was for my brother Sam’s wedding at the Gold Coast. It was such a beautiful wedding, amazing to catch up with all my family and I gained a sister in Brooke who was the most beautiful bride! I loved showing Australia off to Dan and we spent most of our days at the beach, exploring Sydney, the Gold Coast and the Port Macquarie region. Going back made me realise how much I miss it and how excited I am to start exploring more of my own country when we move back next year! It was an amazing holiday and it was very hard to get back on the plane to England when our time ran out!
10. Experiencing the Festive Season in the Northern Hemisphere.
Christmas for me has always been spent by the beach and in 30 – 40°C weather. Being an Aussie Expat in the UK means that the festive season on this side of the world is much different! I’ve absolutely loved experiencing a cold Christmas, and despite the unnaturally warm weather for this time of the year I am still keeping my fingers crossed for a white Christmas! We started our festive season off with trips to London to see Elf the Musical, to experience Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and to Warners Brothers Studios for the Harry Potter Studio Tour to see Hogwarts in the Snow! London is so beautiful this time of the year covered in lights and decorations! Our Visit to Switzerland also coincided with the first heavy snowfall of the season which was an incredible experience and made me crave a white Christmas even more!