The travel stories that don’t get shared

Just over a year ago I wrote a post on places which are disappointing to visit and it ended up being one of my most viewed blog posts of the year, as well as sparking quite a bit of conversation on Twitter. It made me realise that there’s an appetite out there for sharing the less than perfect experiences that most of us have whilst travelling. I’ve been lucky that I’ve not come to any serious harm or danger whilst travelling, but I’ve still had some experiences which I don’t really talk about. At the time they might have been stressful and I didn’t want to worry anyone, or the anecdotes might not have fit with the rest of the tales I had to share from my trip.

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A long weekend in Funchal, Madeira

Madeira is an island that I knew virtually nothing about when we were invited to go on holiday with James’ family. It’s not somewhere I would have chosen to visit or that had ever really made it onto my list of places to see, but I was happy to go and explore somewhere new and different to where I’ve been before. The thought of getting some sun and warmth in the winter was also appealing! It’s a good location to go for a long weekend but like many places will also work for a slightly longer break if you planned to get out and explore the rest of the island.

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Travelling whilst fear of Coronavirus takes over

I’ve recently come back from a long weekend in Madeira and in many ways the entire trip was overshadowed by Coronavirus despite us having no issues on our trip. This post isn’t about how to travel whilst there’s a global pandemic, but is just to share some of my personal experiences in what has become a very strange time for many of us. Our trip was booked back in 2019, well before the virus had spread worldwide and it had been deemed a pandemic. It was only in the week before we flew that I imagined we might have any problems at all. Italy had closed down, more countries were closing borders and there was widespread criticism of the UK’s approach. However I knew we were travelling to somewhere with no confirmed cases, nobody I was travelling with was displaying any symptoms and there wasn’t anything at the airport (other…

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New Year on the Isle of Bute

I am very lucky to have a friend who has a cottage on the Isle of Bute. In fact, it’s the highest cottage on the island which means that when it’s clear you can see some fabulous views. My friends had been encouraging James and I to visit for a while and at New Year we decided it was the perfect time. The island that had cast my friends under its spell did the same to us, and I definitely think we’ll be back again some day.

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Christmas at Stourhead

Christmas illuminations seem to have been particularly popular this year. Just in the area around Bristol I’ve seen adverts for illuminations at Westonbirt Arboretum, Longleat and Stourhead. I think I first received an email about the Christmas at Stourhead illuminations back in June – long before I’d begun to even start thinking about Christmas. However, it was instantly something I was interested in. I’d never been to a light installation before and it sounded like it would be a fun thing to do so we found a free weekend and booked our tickets.

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