A festive day out at Bath Christmas Market

The best part of the festive season, for me, is Christmas Markets. With the smell of mulled spices and caramelised nuts in the air, and stalls adorned with unique Christmas decorations, there’s nothing that captures the spirit of Christmas better for me. My first experience of a ‘proper’ European Christmas market was when I was 12, and I can still remember the feeling of enchantment on my first evening. I get a similar feeling when I go to markets now, although I usually have a better idea of what to expect. Although I have a list of European markets a mile long that I’d like to visit, this year we stuck closer to home and decided to check out what festive delights Bath has to offer.

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An Autumn trip to Westonbirt Arboretum

Autumn is my least favourite season of the year. The days get shorter and darker, it gets colder (and quite often wetter) and people start talking about Christmas far too soon. It doesn’t really live up to the idyllic images of pumpkin patches, hot chocolates and trendy ankle boots which seem to be all over the internet. However, although I’ve never been autumn’s biggest fan, I do enjoy a sunny day when the leaves are on the turn – and Westonbirt Arboretum is the perfect place to go! I’d intended to go last year and ran out of time, so was determined we would make the time this year.

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My Hot Air Balloon Experience with Bristol Balloons

Surprisingly for someone who is scared of heights, hot air balloons have always fascinated me. There’s something just a little bit magical about them, and the fact that they are only spotted on calm, sunny days or in exotic locations only adds to their allure. Going up in a hot air balloon has always been a bucket list experience that someday I wanted to do, but I had always assumed it was something I would do much later in life. I was incredibly lucky when last year I was given a hot air balloon experience for Christmas.

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First Timer’s Guide to New York City

New York is one of those places that pretty much everyone I’ve met wants to visit at some point. It’s a place that seems reserved for special birthdays, honeymoons, proposals and other significant milestones. I’ll be honest, I’d never actually been that bothered about going. It’s just a city, and I much prefer the countryside to cities. However, that was until we were going somewhere within touching distance and suddenly it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. All too soon I was getting very excited about heading to New York for the first time, and when I was there it didn’t disappoint. It can be difficult to know what to expect or where to begin with planning, so here are my tips to any other first-timer’s out there.

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First impressions of the USA

It’s hard to write first impressions of a country that’s so large and varied; I imagine the different states can feel like completely different countries at times. On my recent trip to the USA, I literally scratched the surface. I visited three cities across two different states and know I cannot claim to have ‘seen’ or ‘done’ America now. However, as it was my first trip to the USA I came home with a few reflections and observations that I’d like to share. On of the best parts of travelling is seeing the differences in a new place to what you are used to. Sometimes you come home questioning what you need to or could change as a result of your experience, and other times you come back and are happy to return to your version of normality.

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