Too often with travel we focus on the good things. Nobody wants to admit to a failed trip, a disappointing visit or a holiday that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. As such, it can sometimes feel as though there is a certain amount of pressure to have enjoyed every minute. If you didn’t find everything wonderful, were you really travelling properly? Well actually, yes. Like all things in life, travel has ups and downs, highs and lows, and sometimes there are places that turn out to be disappointing to visit. I usually try to focus on the highlights of a trip, the bits I would recommend to other people, but sometimes it’s good to share the places that weren’t so great. If anything, it might reassure someone else that it is ok to have a sub-par travel experience.

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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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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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