There’s no place like York

I lived in York for four years, and it remains my favourite city in the UK. I read recently that “you belong in three places: the place you grew up, the place where you went to college and the place where the person you love is” and so it’s not surprising that York will always be an important place to me. It was the place where I studied, the place where I took my first graduate job, and it was the city where James and I met. However, I still had a nervous sense of anticipation about my recent visit. It was over 18 months since I’d last been to the city and a lot can change in that time. Part of me was worried that going back would feel so much like going home that I’d want to leave Bristol immediately, and a larger part of me was concerned…

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A few thoughts on Dark Tourism

Dark tourism wasn’t something I had ever really given much thought to until I was trying to decide whether or not to visit Auschwitz whilst I was in Poland. It’s a phrase that I have some difficulties with, particularly given the negative coverage that dark tourism often receives in the media, which makes me reluctant to classify myself as a ‘dark tourist’. However when I think back over some of the places that I’ve visited, I have definitely been to some prominent dark tourist sights.

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A short break in Kraków

Kraków isn’t somewhere I’d always dreamed of going to, and it hadn’t been one of my first considerations when I started to think about a Christmas market city break in December. However I noticed a few places were offering deals to go there. Curiosity piqued, I soon realised I could get there myself much cheaper (always look around!), there were direct flights from Bristol, and it came recommended by various friends. Suddenly I had a plan! Recently returned, I feel like I’m recommending the city to everyone I see. It was a great place for a short break, and I’d happily go back (although maybe when the weather’s a bit warmer…). Here’s my guide to a short city break in Kraków.

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Rangitoto Island: Our Final Day in New Zealand

It’s over a year since I left New Zealand and I have no idea where the time has gone. In some respects it feels like only yesterday that we were backpacking around the two islands and seeing some incredible sights, but it also feels like a lifetime ago. There’s still one very special story from my time in New Zealand that I haven’t shared yet, and so here it is just over one year on.

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An Autumn Weekend in Bakewell, The Peak District

Take 12 friends, who all have different jobs, different leave entitlements, who all live in different parts of England (and one currently in France), and try to organise a weekend together. It’s a little bit of a challenge. However, with a bit of discussion it was decided that autumn would be the best time to go. A weekend in October was selected, and then the next challenge was picking a location. It needed to be somewhere that wasn’t too far to drive from Cumbria, the North East, Bristol or London. It needed to have access to a train station, and possibly be near an airport. However we also wanted somewhere reasonably rural so that we could go out for walks in the countryside. Eventually it seemed like the Peak District was the place to go, and Bakewell offered us the opportunity to stay in the beautiful Haddon Villa.

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