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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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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Waiheke Island 

If you’re going to Auckland for any length of time, break up your time in the city with a trip to Waiheke Island. It’s only a half hour ferry ride away so makes for a very easy day trip, but we stayed overnight and fell in love with this little island paradise. The ferry ride over is a great way to see Auckland from a distance and we stopped off at Davenport on the way which had much more colonial style buildings. We also passed Rangitoto, a volcano which you can walk up and apparently has fantastic views from the top.

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