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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Travel Diary: Little Parts of Wales

    Nearly a month after going to Wales, I’ve finally got the last lot of photos to share… You may have seen some of these on my instagram but you know, always nice to reminisce about travels right? Might only be Wales, but it was so pretty. Would rather look at these than think about freezing cold Manchester! You can see my New Quay and Old Millers Cottage travel diaries using their respective links! Warning… photo heavy ;)

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Colourful Buildings and Cardigan Castle

    My favourite thing about seaside towns is that they are generally super colourful. The buildings are either pretty pastels or brights, and everything just looks so cute. Cardigan, New Quay, St Dogmaels are exactly that. I just couldn’t get enough of the colourful buildings and the little independent shops. Booksellers, sweet shops, candle makers, bakers… Little old pubs, cafes, and the one chip shop and Chinese takeaway. (Good – but not as good as home!)

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Cardigan Castle isn’t really a castle any more… Only the wall really stands, and the manor house shown below is the main exhibition area. Renovated to make it safe for visitors, the house still holds a lot of the original features inside. Really interesting to see! I don’t really have any photos from inside as they all came out awful. Just look at that vegetable garden though! The vegetables were huge. My dad has decided that we’re going to grow our own next year… We’ll see how that goes.

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Beach Running

    One of my favourite things to do whilst on holiday is run. There’s nothing better than setting out alone and just seeing where your legs take you. We’d already walked down to the beach before I did the first run so I knew it was less than a mile. Easy. Seriously though, there’s nothing better. Luckily I had a bit of sun to run in too! The beach was fairly deserted in the early morning, just myself, a couple running and some dog walkers. I’m really not a fan of sand, yet I really love beaches. There’s just something about them that draws me in. I know, I know, I look a mess. I woke up like that… Oh and this beach was called Poppit Sands. Could it sound even cuter?!

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Wales Photo Diary | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    And that pretty much sums up my visit to Wales!

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Travel Diary: New Quay and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting

    New Quay- not to be confused with Newquay, Cornwall – is a gorgeous little seaside town in Wales. We’d been to New Quay a few years previously, so it was nice to get back and feel familiar with the place.

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    The first thing you notice with New Quay is the hills. I’m not sure how far out New Quay goes, but this little area by the harbour is very compact. The hills are huge, and the roads are narrow. No pavements means people are walking on the road, and with cars parked up on the sides it looked tricky to navigate. I’m sure glad I wasn’t driving! We parked up at the top of the hills and walked down, heading into the hustle and bustle of a touristy seaside town.

    Plenty of touristy shops had their doors open with buckets, sunglasses, swim floats and the like available for those caught short as well as cute trinkets and seaside related keepsakes. It’s all too tempting to just spend, spend, spend in these kinds of shops. Most often I’ll come home with various postcards and prints but I was good this time and saved some money…

    The boat tours are what makes New Quay so popular with tourists, with many offering either dolphin spotting tours or fishing experiences. It’s kind of a given that you have to go on a dolphin spotting tour whilst in New Quay… I mean, why else would you be there?! Well we did it, and it was a lovely little boat trip. Sadly we didn’t see any dolphins but we did see a seal pup. Yep, it’s the white blob near the rocks on the photo below. The two guys doing the tour gave us information about the area and the animals we could see (or not see as in the case of the dolphins…) including the nesting birds. Something nice to do anyway. They do make it clear that these dolphins are wild animals, and obviously unpredictable. Maybe third time lucky for us eh?

    After that, we ate and had the best chippy chips ever. So, so good. Disappointing to not have gravy (because it wasn’t vegetarian friendly) but they were still good nevertheless. Time for dessert! We’d passed a couple of ice cream shops on the way down and knew exactly where we were heading next. I’d originally had my eyes on the butterscotch and honeycomb ice cream (doesn’t that sound heavenly?!) but then I spotted cinnamon toffee waffle and well that was it. I can’t resist anything cinnamon flavoured. It was as good as it sounds.

    On this day we had 26 degree sunshine, so didn’t hang about for long. Instead we made the journey back to Cardigan Bay and made ourselves at home in the swimming pool. It was outside but with a glass covering that was opened up a little to let some sunshine in. Definitely a good way to end the afternoon!

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: New Quay, Wales and Dolphin (or lack of) Spotting | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Ever seen any dolphins in the wild?

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay

    Last week my family and I spent a relaxing five days in Sunny (for the most part…) Wales. Cardigan Bay to be exact – and yes, it is as cute as it sounds! We had our own little cottage and garden, and it was absolutely gorgeous, so here’s a little look at the place itself.

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    We stayed on the Cardigan Bay Holiday Park, and had the Old Millers Cottage for the duration. It was hidden away behind a gate that made you feel like Mary Lennox finding the Secret Garden, even more so when you entered and were greeted by the sight above. Plants growing on a building is supposed to be really bad for the brickwork, but why oh why does it look so good?! I was already in love, just from seeing the outside of this cottage.

    Tall trees surrounding the grounds of the cottage kept it well hidden and secluded, perfect for that quiet break away. The only sounds to be heard included the gentle running water of the stream passing through the garden and the high chirps of all the birds in the trees. If you went into the garden in the early hours of the morning, you’d likely get a glimpse of the family of robins who must have been nesting within close proximity to the cottage. The bravest being the young robin – still with a touch of baby speckled feathers on its head. A Wagtail was spotted dashing across the stream, and Swifts circled overhead one night. Dozens just flying and swooping. Birdsong was something to be heard throughout the day though the chorus at dusk was the loudest, going on for what seemed like hours. It was so relaxing to just be sitting in the hot tub and listening to all the different voices and calls.

    We had a barbecue, we played games, we watched good tv (and bad tv!) and just enjoyed being a family. It has been so long since just the five of us had a break together. Quiz nights are way more entertaining after a drink, and even more so when the kids (my younger brother may be 20, and my older sister 30, but we are still kids at heart!) beat the parents… Then playing a modern style Frustration, and getting beat in both games by each parent. Having a go at mastermind – a game of logic – and my dad being surprised at how little goes it took each of us. Makes a difference when you’re not 10 any more!

    On a clear night, we sat in awe looking at the night sky. Finding the big dipper (or the plough), and wondering if the three bright stars we could see together were actually Orion’s Belt. My dad and I both saw a shooting star, and that was it. We had our chairs on the grass and were sat with aching necks gazing above to see if more appeared. I saw one more, my sister saw two. If you’ve never sat out to watch stars, you really should. It’s something that my sister, dad and I have done a lot actually. Once you’ve seen one shooting star you get greedy. You just want that one more. Just five more minutes. It’s addictive.

    I could have just stayed in this cottage and garden all week without moving, and I would have been happy. We did venture out however, and I’ll share more photos from our trip in different posts. For now, here’s a little look at the magic we experienced in Old Millers Cottage. The photos pretty much speak for themselves.

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Travel Diary: Old Millers Cottage, Cardigan Bay | lifeofkitty.co.uk

    Have you experienced anywhere like this? I’d love to see blog posts!

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    Personal, United Kingdom

    Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour

    In January I visited the Warner Brothers Studio Tour with my sister. We wanted to see Hogwarts in the snow, and it was great despite the travelling mishap… Getting a puncture an hour away from London, being 2 and a half hours late and almost not getting in. Nightmare.

    I am aware that this post is well overdue, but I have the photos and I wanted to share them! I’m still a little gutted that we missed the arrival of the Hogwarts Express, but the Harry Potter world at Christmas time was beautiful. Here are my favourite bits!

    The detail in everything is incredible, and this is one place I could never get bored of. Second time there, and I’m definitely feeling a third! If you’ve visited, what was your favourite bit? I think mine has to be all the models and drawing… Though everything really is amazing.

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Adventure: Try something new.

    This week has been full of new adventures; I’ve tried some new outdoor activities and I really enjoyed it.

    First up was Archery. I’ve always thought it looked fun, but have just never had the opportunity. It was tough on the fingers, and my aim could improve a little, but I was really surprised at how I did. I only missed the target a couple of times, and I almost got the middle!

    Then we did an 820 metre long zip wire. Now I’ve been on those zip wires in the park, relatively short and low to the ground, but those are nothing compared to what we did! 820m down a hill and fields, 20m off the ground. I’ve never really been scared of heights, and I wasn’t nervous about letting go at the top – it was amazing. Such a great rush as you travelled along, held up with just the harness.

    Last but not least, my favourite, was mountain biking. Cycling on roads is nothing compared to cycling through woods, fields and up and down hills. It was tough – really tough – but it was also so much fun. We did a taster route first, and it was a short 4km ride, with a couple of scary bumps and little (but steep!) hills. After that, we decided to go for the easy 11km route. I’ll tell you something, it was not easy! There were so many hills and we did walk up most of them! Our poor thighs were not used to all that work. Afterwards I was sore (and I still am) but all I could think of was the adrenaline rush as I sped down the hills, moving so quickly. There was one really narrow path down a hill, and it was so steep and bumpy I thought I was going to come off. It scared me, but once I was down I was just so pleased with myself hahah. Mountain biking may seem quite normal to some, but as I’d never done it before it was quite an experience!

    As final thoughts on this, I’ve decided that from now on I’m going to attempt to try new things when I can. I want to experience more, and to be able to say ‘Yep, I’ve tried that’. When I get back to university, I’m really hoping to join a sports club/team. It all depends on what they’ve got on offer – I’d love to do running/cycling, but I think there may only be football on offer! If it is only football, I think I’ll still have a go. I played football just before starting high school and loved it back then. Maybe I’ll love it again.

    A new ‘saying’ for the year? Do more.

    Who knows, maybe you’ll see some more adventure posts? I sure hope so!
    Do I have any adventurers out there?

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    Visiting London: The Natural History Museum

    imageThe past weekend was spent wondering around a small area of London, seeing a ton of brilliant photographers/film makers and just generally looking around. I travelled down on the Friday night/Saturday morning (It was 00:30am!) and arrived at London Victoria at 07:10am. Despite having a rough sleep on a packed coach, I was wide awake and excited to be heading off to Wild Photos! I got on the underground to Gloucester Road, and then made my way up to The Royal Geographic Society. I did drop off a big bag at my hostel on the way, which I was super happy at. I didn’t want to be carrying the bag all day so I’m glad they let me leave the bag before I’d checked in!

    Anyway, Wild Photos was fantastic. So many great photographers, and you were just walking around with them all day in the building. The talks were really interesting, and helpful! I did two workshops: Macro and Technical Mastery. Both gave valuable information, and it was great to see the photographers’ own work and have them tell us how they did it. (Alex Hyde and Charlie Hamilton James – amazing!)

    On the Saturday night I nipped into the Natural History Museum for the last hour before it closed. I love it in there. I only really looked at the animal sections, as I didn’t have much time! On Sunday I just took a few photos around the area before retiring to the hostel and packing/relaxing!

    So, here’s some photos from the weekend! (Sadly none from Wild Photos though…)

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    Travel, United Kingdom

    My Week in Wales – Part 4

    On our last full day, we just decided to have a look around the little village that we were staying in. I have to say, there wasn’t much! The nearest coast to us was pretty, but as you can see it is a little bare! This was close to a caravan holiday site, so there may have been more on the coast in that area!

    Walking down into the village we came across a ford, and this bridge led us into a little housing estate that also have a school!

    The lone shop in the village!

    imageOn our way back to the lodge, we managed to get a glimpse of a rabbit darting into the bushes on our side! It was pretty big! Sadly no photo…

    Once we had got back, we had a BBQ and just relaxed for the rest of the day! We also made a new friend… this cat was very friendly, and actually came into our lodge. We had the doors open because it was so hot!

    It kept following my brother around which was pretty funny – despite us having a cat, he’s not really a cat person! Actually, we were relaxing in the hot tub later that night, and the cat appeared, running down the hill with something in it’s mouth.

    Yep, it had caught a mouse! Poor thing! It was desperately trying to show the mouse off to us!

    And here are some photos of the lodge! It really was beautiful!

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