Normally when I’m gifting Mo with a surprise trip away, I save them as birthday treats. Mainly because I am absolutely RUBBISH at remembering any other special occasion. Over the seven years we’ve been together there have been maaany times where I’ve woken up in a morning and Mo has left me a beautiful card and present causing my eyes to pop out of my head as I realised I had yet again completely forgotten about a special day!
So last year, I was so pleased with myself as I had planned a gift for our wedding anniversary that was sure to shock him. I finally put together our wedding photo album (something I had been promising to do since year 1 of marriage).
I bought a beautiful personalised leather album from Atlas & I and spent weeks choosing photographs and arranging them. Then, just days before our anniversary, I left it out on a table.
Mo was away so the catastrophe wasn’t that he sussed out the surprise. The catastrophe was the sun had BLEACHED and ruined the cover.
Epic fail on the one year I remembered 🙁
Ok, so this year, I’ve decided that again I was going to pull out all the stops on our anniversary, but this time I found something that was less work and also a treat for me as well as Mo (it’s my anniversary too and I’m also a bit selfish like that).
UK mini break time!
In my mind, going on holiday isn’t just about jumping on a plane. I define it more as anywhere that requires a bag to be packed. Whether its for the week, overnight or even just the afternoon any place that takes me outside of my home gets me excited.
Over the years amongst the amazing trips to far away places like Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, Zimbabwe… Mo and I have always balanced our time abroad with plenty of mini UK breaks. This year has been no exception.
When you live in a city like Manchester people are always so quick to blurt out ‘ooh it’s so cold’ or ‘how do you live with all that rain’ and I often find myself whingeing about those issues on a regular basis. However, truth be told, I actually don’t mind the rain! Don’t get me wrong I would always choose sunshine if I could, but there’s something quite special about a rainy day or rainy night. Sometimes you want a grey sky and cool breeze for an outdoor adventure.
For someone like me who loves telling a good story, some of my favourites have always occurred when the weather has been at its most challenging.
My favourite UK breaks so far:
Weekend in Fort William
The start of the Ben Nevis weekenders, this was our first full family weekend away. We had such a good time, yearly UK breaks have now become a family tradition. On this particular trip, some of us donned our coats and boots to scale the majestic Ben Nevis. This was one of those famous times where the weather well and truly tested us. On the climb up we experienced a variety of conditions: sun; wind; rain; ice and lots of snow. It made it interesting, tough but definitely ended with us all feeling very satisfied with our achievement.
Traverse weekend in Cardiff
After learning and enjoying the previous years conference so much, I was excited to return to explore another new city. After the learning part was over and done with, I had an absolute blast exploring the sights on Sunday, waking up extra early to be the first in the castle and then joining other bloggers on a day trip out to the Brecon Beacon national park – a place that is firmly on my list of places to return to.
Lake District trip with friends
Catchup with friends
Another yearly tradition that we’ve tried to keep up with, our first friends weekend away was probably my favourite. We stayed at a beautiful cottage up high in the Lake District. The adventure started before any of us arrived as we all experienced a dangerous drive in the dark just to reach our lodgings. All worth it in the end as we awoke to the most picturesque views in the morning (I was of course up early hours) and we enjoyed a weekend of fun and merriment in the great British sunshine.
Manchester, Playing tourist in my home town
Last November, Mo and I randomly decided to spend a weekend in the city, courtesy of the Mercure Picadilly hotel, where we had a fantastic stay. It was a hotel we’d never looked twice at in a city we called home. Turns out, that made a perfect Christmas weekend break as we enjoyed a fab dinner and relaxed stay right in the heart of our favourite city! We love shopping in Manchester at Christmas time and this was a great excuse to spend the whole weekend doing just that.
I have a feeling this next one is going to be another good one to add to my list…
We’re headed to the spa town of the Midlands, Malvern for a much needed TLC break at The Malvern Spa hotel.
I can’t think of a better place to celebrate our anniversary. We got married at a beautiful hotel in the Forest of Bowland, an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). There are only 33 AONB places in the whole of England and the Malvern Hills is another one of them.
I am also a stickler for spas – if I could, I would go every week – they are the ultimate luxury experience for anyone needing time to wind down and relax.
The last spa break we had was back in 2014, where we returned to one of our favourites, the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel in Chester.
Something tells me we’re in for one better this weekend though… my favourite part of any spa break is always the fact that we’re treated to pool access and the one at The Malvern Spa hotel looks like a haven for relaxation.
As well as spending time indulging in the hotels facilities, I’ve planned for us to take to the great outdoors Sunday morning. I’ve been swooning over these landscape views all weekend and I can’t wait to see them for myself – whatever the weather 🙂
What’s your favourite UK city break? Have you been to Malvern? Any tips?