2015: A Year In Travel

This year has been a much more subdued travel one with no exotic adventures to far of 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 Dubin 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 including the excellent Natural History Museum and beautifully stunning Long Library at the Book of Kells.

Trinity College Dublin

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 my other half 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

Luckily there were few issues on our visit but a quite unnerving thought that Andrew had been on what turned out to be an unsafe attraction.

The Italian Gardens at Trentham in Stoke on Trent

During our trip we stopped at the Lake District on the way down and before heading home we also visited 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

Our Scottish summer was a total washout which really hampered our chances to enjoy the summer 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

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 at the Peak District on the way down. 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

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 what Belfast had to offer and see 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.

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