All posts filed under: Travel

The Best Christmas Markets in the UK

I am an overgrown child at the best of times but December makes me giddy with all its festive excitement.  I love everything to do with Christmas: the lights, shopping, presents, meals, grottos, everything.  I’ve not yet been to a Christmas market but I feel like it is somewhere I would really feel at home.  Christmas markets have totally exploded over the past decade and are dotted generously across the UK.  Here is my round up of the best: Edinburgh Where is it?  East Princes Street Gardens When to go:  17th November – 5th January Where to stay:  Fraser Suites Edinburgh offers luxury in the heart of the city. Manchester Where is it?  Albert Square When to go:  November 9th – December 22nd Where to stay:  The Midland Hotel London Where is it?  Alexandra Palace When to go:  until December 16th Where to stay:  Central Park Hotel Bath Where is it?  Bath city centre When to go:  22nd November – 9th December Where to stay:  No.15 Great Pulteney These are just a handful of the many …

Travel Wishlist

My last holiday was at the end of August – a week in France which (and I know I shouldn’t complain, but…) wasn’t the most restful or enjoyable holiday for me.  On day 2, I had an unfortunate run-in with some gravel which not only injured my foot and meant I couldn’t go in the pool all week but also managed to infect me – my foot started to swell at the beginning of our mammoth 24 hour journey home, which was uncomfortable to say the least.  Thanks to this, I feel like I need another holiday already and I have a wishlist rapidly building; a wishlist that I will be unburdening here: I would like to visit America; it has come up in conversation more than once recently.  I’d like to throw some things in a backpack and set off on a US adventure.  I want to stay at Clickstay villas in Orlando with my children, to spend Christmas in New York, to drive from one end to the other and soak up the …

Dreaming of a White Christmas

What is it about snow and Christmas that just belong together so perfectly? For as long as I can remember, as a nation, we have collectively been bursting for it to snow on Christmas Day.  I don’t remember if it has ever happened in my lifetime (other than the odd solitary flake that apparently still counts but is in no way as exciting as a blanket of pure white), in fact it generally doesn’t snow a lot where we live on the south coast.  But I still have that dream of experiencing a snowy Christmas, and it is one that Jasmine appears to have inherited.  For the last couple of years, she has been asking if we can visit Norway for her birthday (which, incidentally, is today), to be snowed in and hopefully catch a glimpse of those elusive Northern Lights.  One day, I hope to make that dream of hers come true. Another way to get that festive flurry fix would be to book a ski holiday.  Mark Warner Christmas ski holidays look particularly …

Five Things to Do in Las Vegas That Have Nothing to Do with the Casinos

When you think about Las Vegas as a tourist destination, the first thing that typically pops into a person’s head is the casinos. Las Vegas is known for its sprawling casinos, each with their own theme and their own experience clustered along Las Vegas Boulevard or The Strip. But what happens if casinos and gambling aren’t really your thing? Does that mean you should cross Las Vegas off your list of destinations to visit? The short answer is no.  The Las Vegas tourist board has been working hard to inform visitors about all the casino attractions, but also make clear the fact that the city is so much more than just a casino destination. Today there are attractions and sights meant to appeal to a wide range of tourists, including families who are looking for that perfect family getaway.   Here we’ll take a look at five entertaining things to do and see in Las Vegas that have absolutely nothing to do with the casino and gambling.  Venture Outside the City to World Famous Landmarks  While …

Blogging and Me: SEO Tips

When I started this little corner of the internet 7 long years ago, I was absolutely clueless when it came to blogging; all I knew was that I wanted to record some memories of my children whilst they were small.  And that I did, though along the way my priorities changed.  After years of writing and reading blog posts, I discovered that you could actually be paid for advertising content and a whole new World opened up to me.  Of course, I still wrote about my children, but my hobby was fast becoming so much more. I quickly realised that I would need to make some changes to my website in order to attract business and my first step was to buy a domain.  I used GoDaddy as it was recommended to me and seemed fairly user-friendly (bearing in mind I was a complete novice) and bought WordPress hosting alongside the domain.  Smiles and Trials in its current format was thus formed. Over the last couple of years, I have continued to learn more about blogging …