The end of the year always gets me thinking. How did it all go? How does 2016 compare to the years that proceeded it? It was a year of mountainous highs and bottom-of-the-ocean lows. Like most people, I find it a lot easier to remember the negative. But the year that brought us the horrors of Brexit, also gave me a lot to smile about.
To spread a bit of 2016-positivity, I thought I’d share some of my top moments of the year. When I think about it, this year was actually a cracker.
The festive season is in full swing so I couldn’t let a weekend pass by without doing something Christmassy. I last went to Windsor in May and bought a ticket to the castle. As well as granting a day inside the castle walls, it offers free return entry for up to five days over the next 12 months. I haven’t been back since, so it seemed like the perfect time to get my full money’s worth while also getting to see all of the royal Christmas decorations.
I had to battle train delays and a trek across the entire capital city on the premiere shopping day of the year, but eventually I made it into the town. The gorgeous atmosphere and quaint streets meant that I couldn’t resist digging out my camera. I filmed a few bits throughout the afternoon.
As I mentioned in the video, no photos are allowed in the State Rooms. It’s such a shame as there are some truly beautiful rooms. So, instead of my photos, here’s one that I’ve borrowed from British Heritage. It’s beautiful, right? This year, the red bows were substituted with miniature crowns and there was an adorable Corgi toy sat at the bottom.
The best part was that the Queen was actually in residence. The Royal Standard was fluttering high above the ramparts – or hanging might be a better word as there wasn’t a breath of wind. We probably wouldn’t have noticed if we hadn’t overheard one of the staff members talking about how the Queen had arrived the previous evening. We spotted lights coming from a few of the rooms that weren’t open to the public, where we decided that the Queen must be. Plus, a Rolls Royce was parked up outside. Surely only a few people would be important enough for a ride.
After the castle closed, we went for a wander in the town centre as the market stalls were starting to pack away for the evening. They seemed to stay for as long as the light did, so we swapped the independent retailers for the bright lights of Zara and Topshop for a bit of retail therapy.
It was definitely a short and sweet visit, but it was definitely worth the trip to get to see the decorations and to experience the magic of Windsor Castle again. If you’re ever in the area, I definitely recommend a visit, particularly around Christmas.
Have you been to Windsor? What did you think? Do you know any similar places that I can visit next? I always love suggestions!
Oh, to be a student. Long deadlines, two lectures a week and freedom to plan your own time. I didn’t realise how good I’d got it when I was studying in Sheffield. Now that I’ve entered the world of work, with a 40-hour contract and a 45 minute commute, I dream of those lazy days. To try and relive the glory, I went back to my university city for the weekend with the girls that I lived with for all three of my years in the city. It was fleeting, but we had a lot of fun.
Rather aptly, we spent most of the time in my friend’s bedroom watching TV. Does it get more university-style than that?
When we were convinced to leave the comfort of her house, we headed to some of our favourite haunts.
The day had finally arrived! I really enjoyed our stay at Universal and I was surprised by how much I loved our hotel, Cabana Bay. All good things come to an end, though, and this one led to something even better: Disney World.
After a morning finishing off at Islands of Adventure, we got an Uber over to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and started the second half of the holiday. Watch the vlog and then come back for my top tips and behind-the-scenes.
I love to travel, though funds and home commitments mean that I can’t be jetting around the globe every week. As disappointing as that is, all the time that I spend at home means that I can spend more time dreaming of my many trips abroad in the future. Top of my list is a road trip through Canada, though I don’t think I’ve quite got my head around how expansive the country is and quite how many hours I’ll have to spend in a car!
Today, a cultural hub in Indonesia has caught my eye. It’s not a part of the world that I’ve visited before, but South East Asia is on nearly every bucket list.
Even though I can barely pronounce the name, Yogyakarta definitely looks like it will be worth a visit one day. Here’s what I’d love to see and do when I get there.