|The steps which lead from the sea up to the Castell Bellver, Palma De Mallorca|
In case anyone hasn't noticed, it's still January (how can that even be, hasn't it been January for 43 days already?) and it's dark, raining and spring still seems too far away to start getting excited about, or is it? While the days are dark and staying under blankets planning my next adventure I've found myself amidst travel brochures, guides and internet articles trying to plan 10 weekend breaks away this year. Whilst it's my year of adventure I'm going to make sure I have at least 10 short breaks away as well as a couple of weeks during school holidays. It's not that hard to achieve as long as I work like a trojan during all of the other times and some of them will come about as a natural consequence to writing about travel. I might just mention that I have a travel assignment next weekend to stay in a luxury cottage in Alnmouth and even though I don't expect it to be tropical temperatures a trip to Alnmouth in Northumberland is always delightful whatever time of year it is.
Here's 10 other trips I want to take this year -
- Barcelona, the beautiful city of Barcelona was where I disembarked from my European cruise on the Norwegian Epic and so all I got to see were the outskirts as we drove from the ship to the airport, it's a city I've read so much about at the climate is generally kind for most of the year, flights are reasonable and quick all year around the promise of so much art, culture and the magnificence of Gaudi's architecture mean I have this as my number 1 destination I want to visit in 2016.
- Rome, similarly this was the place I embarked upon the Norwegian Epic so I didn't get to see any of the city itself. They say no one can quite believe their eyes when they come out of the metro to be confronted with the Colosseum right there in front of them almost in the centre of the historic city, I want to make sure I have some time to live like the Italians do, If Pisa was anything to go off I am sure I will fall head over heels in love with Rome.
- Florence, it's noted as one of the safest cities in Europe which means I won't mind too much if I have to go on my own, on the day I went to Pisa I could have taken a bus to Florence but the temptation of climbing the leaning tower of Pisa was just too much and so I feel I must visit Florence for nowhere on earth is home to quite as much art and beauty as the beloved Italian city of Florence.
- Palma de Mallorca, I've spent just a few hours in this stylish city, the main port of the spanish island of Mallorca, it seems like art and culture were nestled together with sunshine and beaches and stylish marinas, perfect for that weekend getaway with the girls.
- Dorset, it's not all far flung adventures on aeroplanes, there are many destinations I'd love to visit with Holly Bobbins, you know she loves the train, it may take a couple of days to get to one of England's most beautiful counties with Holly in toe but I have a feeling it's a dog walkers paradise. I know when we had holidays in Somerset we nearly made it to Dorset but not quite so I've been meaning to go ever since.
- Brighton, I'm already in the early stages of formulating plans for a road trip to Brighton with my lovely friend Harriet, neither of us have been and it's actually quicker to drive to Brighton than it is to drive to London because it's one straight road and I've always felt that the laid back, cosmopolitan green city by the sea would be somewhere I'd fit in perfectly.
- Bamburgh, just a little further up the coast from Alnmouth is the beautiful little village of Bamburgh, it's the perfect dog friendly place I can get to easily on the bus with Holly during spring or summer thanks to the wonder of the Arriva Max X18 service I can go the scenic coastal route with a beagle at my side and a spring in my step.
- Keswick was once named as Britain's most dog friendly town so I think it's only right that Holly Bobbins go and investigate, there are a wealth of hotels, shops and places to eat where you can take your dog but it's 4 years now since they held the official title so it's time for H.B Bobbins serious travel investigation, and yes there will be Barks out of 10
- Amsterdam, the last time I was in Amsterdam I was young and foolish and 24, lets just say I didn't see as much culture as I would have liked so this year I am on a mission to go back there, especially now that I have been through Schipol and know it's probably the best airport for shopping in Europe! Or, I might even take an Amsterdam mini cruise from North Shields with Abigail, although you don't get a lot of time in this amazing dutch city there's probably enough time to soak up some culture, visit the Anne Frank house and hopefully take a trip on a boat around the canal, you know I love a boat trip.
- Eurodisney, so Looby is 12 now, she still loves Disney (as do I at the age of nearly 42) but I feel that we must do Disney whilst it's still magical and before she becomes a jaded teenager with Kevin the teenager style strops (they've already begun people, take cover), I know it's gaudy and commercialised and it's not the place to visit if you're on a diet but I think Looby and I could have the best weekend ever at Eurodisney and with the Eurostar being cheap if you book in advance I think this Parisian treat is within our grasp and you never know we might even get to see some of Paris whilst we're there.
So there you go, some dog friendly, some child friendly, some full of culture and some you just want to go to if you want a good time, I'd love to hear your top tips for places and you want to visit in the next 12 months, maybe we could even go on an adventure together!