2015: A Year In Travel

This year has been a much more subdued travel one with no exotic adventures to far off lands but plenty of local travel excursions but there was one big expense ….we bought a house!

Here’s my year in travel review for 2015….

My first trip of the year was over the Ireland and a stay in Dublin for a few days in March while I considered a move there to study. I visited Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Castle on my first day before packing in lots in my second of just two days in Dublin including the excellent Natural History Museum and beautifully stunning Long Library at the Book of Kells.

Trinity College Dublin on my two day visit
Trinity College Dublin on my two day visit

The big news of April was the purchase of our house in Glasgow and now having a lovely place to call home. Though how long I can stay routed in one place is still to be seen as I continue to consider a move to Ireland or possibly elsewhere for work in the next year.

Come May, I had promised to take Andrew away for his birthday, and his location of choice? Alton Towers Theme Park. I’m not into theme parks and rollercoasters but was happy to tag along down to England to let him play on the big rides including the now infamous Smiler which the next month was the site of a horrible crash.

Andrew on the Sonic Spinball Ride at Alton Towers
Andrew on the Sonic Spinball Ride at Alton Towers

Luckily, there were few issues on our one day at Alton Towers but a quite unnerving thought that Andrew had been on what turned out to be an unsafe attraction. If you don’t know what I’m talking about feel free to do a quick google for Alton Towers Smiler crash and I’m sure you’ll find lots of news headlines.

The Italian Gardens at Trentham in Stoke on Trent
The Italian Gardens at Trentham in Stoke on Trent

During our short trip we also stopped at the Lake District on the way down and before heading home we also enjoyed visiting Trentham Gardens which was a lovely spot in the same complex as our hotel and managed to get some nice weather before the rains came.

Loch Voil from the Creag an Tuirc, Balquidder
Loch Voil from the Creag an Tuirc, Balquidder

Our Scottish summer was a total washout which really hampered our chances of long sun filled summer days out but we were determined to get out and explore locally and so planned many day trips and afternoon excursions between August and October including Loch Drunkie, Balquhidder and even Whitelee Wind Farm for something a bit different.

Enjoying the view from the top of Stanage Edge, Peak District
Enjoying the view from the top of Stanage Edge, Peak District

In September we were lucky enough to be invited along to a friends wedding in the South of England and took the opportunity to do a stop for an afternoon in the Peak District on the way down. It was pretty windy weather but we got some lovely views from our trips to Stanage Edge and Mam Tor even if finding them wasn’t too easy.

Belfast Peace Wall Murals
One of the many murals on the the Belfast Peace Walls

Upon my return I also got a chance to experience Belfast in Northern Ireland for a day while visiting for a work related matter. While very short on time, I took a day to explore Belfast and see what it had to offer and learn more about the troubled past and current climate of Belfast. From the beauty of the Stormont Parliament and Queens University buildings to the unexpected Peace Wall curfews I had quite a mixed feelings on the city.

Now almost at the end of 2015, my final excursion of the year was through to Edinburgh to see the Street of Lights event complete with festive lights and music to help add to our Christmas spirit. A nice December outing even if a bit wet and windy, the pretty lights followed by the Christmas Markets in Princes Gardens is a nice way to get ready for Christmas.

Our year has been quite a stressful one and with very little budget for travel but I think we proved that you can have excellent days out and explore really beautiful places right here in Scotland. We’ll be continuing to take local day trips from our new home in Glasgow through 2016 but there is definitely some foreign travel on the horizons and hopefully a lot of nice sunny trips too.

What has been your travel highlights of 2015?  

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