Plenty of places make up my lifetime travel bucket list, and I try to tick off at least one every year, but it’s often the unexpected trips, or one off days or even one off events that usually make my top moments through the year. This year was no exception, so here’s my top ten travel moments from 2019.
If I could relive any day again from this year it would be the time we spent in Capri. I was so excited to visit Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Capri after discussing it for about two years. In Capri, I was hoping to get just a glimpse of that dolce vita Italian life and I certainly got it. For that one day of our holiday we didn’t care what we spent, which was probably a good thing.
We wandered down the famous shopping street, Via Camerelle, had overpriced freshly squeezed orange juice with the locals, and got a private boat to La Fontelina beach club where we had an incredible lunch, got drunk on Italian wine and swam in the crystal clear sea.
I loved every minute of it.
Before we went on this holiday, I thought I’d prefer the pastel coloured Positano, like so many others out of all the little towns on the Amalfi Coast, but it was Amalfi that really blew me away much more so. I loved the main square, Piazza del Duomo where we sipped lemon spritz’ in front of the cathedral.
Sailing up to it definitely helped, as a drive along those cliffs just wasn’t for me, but I found the whole town so charming and the traditional shops were incredible. Positano was beautiful, but Amalfi had a lot more to discover.
Read my blog on Amalfi here.
Tivoli in all seasons
I find it hard to get my head around the fact that just two years ago I hadn’t ever been to Copenhagen, and now it feels like I’m there every other month. It’s a great city, and I really love the quaint theme park and gardens of Tivoli.
This year I saw it in Easter, Halloween and Christmas, I loved Christmas because who wouldn’t, with all the lights, but Halloween really surprised me. It was more of an Autumn garden than anything, and the colours were incredible especially in the Japanese Garden.
Glamping in a Shepherd Hut
A staycation trend that has certainly took off this year more than ever, and with so many gorgeous little glamping huts popping up all over the UK I was really chuffed to be invited to Westfield House Farm Shepherd Huts in the summer.
Up in Northumberland, our hut was beautiful, and we spent a really relaxing weekend there, BBQ-ing on an open fire, toasting marshmallows, and enjoying the peace and quiet. I wish I’d had the time to experience it in the run up to Christmas, but I just ran out of time.
Definitely one for 2020 with the log fire burning.
Brimstone Spa and a Langdale Lodge
Being a huge fan of spa breaks the Brimstone Spa in the Langdale Estate of the Lake District has definitely knocked any other spa’s off the top spot. Very pricey, but for an occasion over May bank holiday this year it was such a special treat and completely blew me away.
Having spent many a family holiday here as kids, it was great to go back and stay in one of the lodges for a few days now we are older. Pub meals, Lake District walks and that spa – perfection.
So good we are going back next year, it’s already booked.
A city I don’t think I’d ever get to visit personally, but I got the chance to experience an hour in the capital of Normandy when I was passing through for work in March. The ancient timbered houses, and historical streets were like York times a hundred, and I really loved my wander around.
Sometimes unplanned visits can be the most surprising and this was definitely that. I’m also pleased I got to see the famous giant clock right in the heart of the city. This was also the scene of the best French croissant I’ve ever had.
Read my blog on Rouen here.
Umbrella Sky project in Paris
The umbrella sky project has popped up in a fair few European cities, and I was really pleased when it arrived in Paris in Spring 2019. I was in Paris briefly while it was on so made sure I passed by Le Village Royal to see it. This inner courtyard has long been one of my favourite hidden gems of Paris, and I’ve had many a French breakfast here over the years.
It attracts a lot more people these days with it’s artistic installations, and this one was one of the most popular I’ve ever seen. The canopy of umbrellas looked beautiful.
While I didn’t actually plan to visit Edinburgh over the Fringe festival on purpose, I flew back into Edinburgh from a work trip so made the most of it and Kieran got the train up to spend the August bank holiday with me.
For once in Scotland the weather was perfect, and I thoroughly enjoyed all the free street performers, and Princes Street gardens transforming into a giant summer beer garden. Drinking cider in a hammock with the Edinburgh city view was up there as one of my memorable summer moments.
Oslo in summer
I’ve not actually wrote about this yet but I really need to, because Oslo in summer is a completely different experience to Oslo in winter. The thick snow and skis are gone, and instead replaced with a really vibrant city that only gets four hours of darkness a day.
I explored the up and coming Guernelokka neighbourhood which I loved, as well as the harbour front which was just full of life. Norway is a beautiful country, I wish I could afford to see more of it but it’s just so so expensive.
Staying in the heart of Palma
Another place I had a lot of fond memories of from family holidays, but in July Kieran and I spent four days there and stayed right in the old town. Our boutique hotel was absolutely gorgeous, with a rooftop pool and a private spa.
The hotel wasn’t the only highlight, rediscovering Palma and some of the most incredible restaurants, as well as a day out on the Portixol sea front was the summer break I really needed.
Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast were the big things I ticked off the bucket list this year, and I can honestly say it completely exceeded expectations. There were highlights that didn’t make the top ten but were really surprising – Pompeii for one, and I still have so much to share from that trip. It was the best holiday I’ve ever had.
Paris Christmas market didn’t make the top ten, but again was magical, and ice skating in Amsterdam was something I’d wanted to do for years.
What were your travel highlights of 2019?