Cologne was a city I never imagined returning to. I first went for a short city break to the Cologne Christmas markets one December which I really enjoyed, but thought I’d seen the city. More recently, I’ve been on a summer city break to Cologne and had a completely different, but just as enjoyable experience. There are certain sites which will be enjoyable regardless of the time of year, but this guide will also focus on the two different seasons as they have a completely different atmosphere.

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I first came across the concept of surprise trips a few years ago and wasn’t sure what to make of it. Would you ever let someone else plan your holiday? It sounds quite nice to have all the hassle taken out so that you can just turn up and enjoy it. I think most people would sign up for that. But what if you didn’t find out where you were going until you get to the airport? That’s exactly what Wow Trip can arrange and having recently been on a city break with them I’m going to tell you all about it!

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I don’t like having my photo taken. I’m not sure what age this started because as a child it didn’t bother me, but now I’d much rather be out of the camera shot. I feel ridiculous posing or I don’t like how the shot ends up so it all feels like a lot of hassle. However, increasingly I’m finding myself regretting not having a photo in a certain spot, either for my blog or for the memories. After all, anyone can take a picture of a place but only you can be in it. James is much the same and as a result most of the photos we have together aren’t great. They are either ridiculous selfies or we both look really awkward. Recently we both pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and bought a couple’s makeover photo shoot with Clifton Photographic Company. The aim was to try something…

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Whilst we were in New Zealand, James and I were doing a lot of walking and we decided that this was something that we wanted to continue whilst back in the UK. Top of our list was tackling Snowdon, something that I had never done and that James had when he was a lot younger. Combined with a desire to see more of the UK, it wasn’t long until a plan to go on holiday to North Wales was formulating, and that’s where we headed last month. Armed with our trusty AA walks book (which I can definitely recommend!) and some waterproofs, we didn’t have a clear idea of what we would be doing before we arrived and as such our itinerary was a little sporadic and involved a lot more driving than needed. I’ve refined it a little to share it with you here, but we did do everything…

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With the exception of weather, which actually wasn’t that bad, North Wales pretty much ticked all my boxes for a good holiday. It was an opportunity to escape from normal life for a little, to go walking in some beautiful scenery and fit in a little bit of history. What I hadn’t realised was quite how much history we’d be fitting in! There are an abundance of castles in North Wales, and even better, they’re pretty easy to travel between. We didn’t get to them all (got to leave something for next time!) but here’s a quick guide to the ones we did see.

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