An Evening in Blackpool

Now I’m MEGA late with this post and my boyfriend has been bugging me to put it up for weeks, so here it is in all its seaside glory!

A couple of weeks ago myself and G (my boyfriend) decided to go to see Blackpool’s famous lights! They were due to be switched off on the 5th of November so we needed to get up there quick to see them.
I always thought Blackpool lights were on over Christmas but NOPE, they run from late August to early November every year. Every year the lights are switched on by a celebrity and this year it was Alfie Boe, who is an English opera singer and actor. He was also born in the seaside town and grew up in nearby Fleetwood.

As we only live around an hour away from Blackpool we decided to set off around half 3 to get there for tea-time.

One thing I noticed when driving through Blackpool was that despite it being Halloween there were NO kids out trick or treating. Honestly, we saw NONE! I’m so glad I grew up without social media in my life and all this technology we have now…

We arrived in Blackpool at 5pm and headed straight for something to eat.

We originally wanted to go to Bella Italia but it was all booked up, it was Halloween night after all…

We walked down towards the tower to see what we could find and came across the Harry Ramsden’s there! Perfect, can’t beat a bit of fish and chips at the seaside can you?!

It was mega busy in there and we had about a 20 minute wait to be seated but everything was clean and the staff were nice and friendly.

The chips weren’t that great but the fish was beauuuuuutiful and I actually quite enjoyed it!

After our tea, we went out for a little walk to see the lights but it started to rain so we went back to the car and drove through the lights instead. Next time if we ever come back to see the lights in the future we’ll definitely come earlier in the year, it was bloody feeezing!

Had to get a pic of my fave…

blackpool tower

It was quite a busy night in Blackpool and I think it must’ve took us at least 45 minutes to get through the whole light display! Even though it was cold and rainy, I still enjoyed being with my G and spending precious time together making memories.

 

Liv x

Where Have I Been?!

It’s been a while hasn’t it?
Ugh it’s been a rough couple of months I tell thee! I bet you all thought I’d given up on my blog but alas no, I’m still in love with blogging!

I suppose it all started just before I went away on my cruise really, in late August. I wasn’t well at all but stupid stubborn me didn’t want to admit defeat and go into hospital.
So I went on my cruise (Read about it HERE!) and managed to survive the 4 days away, but when I got home I really wasn’t good at all so decided to go into hospital for antibiotics.

The 2 weeks flew by to be honest, but the last week I was TOTALLY exhausted from people coming in every 10 minutes doing ivs (antibiotics through a tube in my chest which is connected to a vein), asking to do observations, asking what I wanted for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper. Then I had to go to the hospital gym every day or do some form of exercise.
Luckily though, I managed to escape home at the weekends in between treatments and relax with my little doggy.
By the end of the 2 week course, I thankfully reached my optimal lung function and was allowed to go home. If I’m totally honest, I still didn’t feel great but I was so desperate for some rest. I was getting so snappy with nurses and people towards the end of the admission! Plus, I needed to get things ready for G’s birthday!

My boyfriend, G, turned 30 on the 4th of October and I’d organised a couple of surprises for him on the day! He normally manages to get at least one clue out of me so I was so proud I’d managed to keep it all secret.
The first surprise was a guided tour around Goodison Park, the home of Everton Football Club. So I gave him the postcode and he put it into the sat nav, still none the wiser. FAB!
Seeing his reaction when we pulled up to the ground was the BEST thing ever! He was so happy, the happiest I’d seen him in months – it definitely made up for the fact that I was visiting my rivals club (I’m a Liverpool FC fan)!!!

Time for the next surprise…
After I’d treated G to a new EFC top in the Everton shop next to Goodison Park, he got the 3rd kit top in case you were wondering (not), I put in the next postcode…

As G was having a 30th party on the Saturday (his birthday was on the Thursday before) he chose not to go on any mini breaks or holidays this birthday but we did manage to have a night away.

I chose to stay at DoubleTree by Hilton’s Chester hotel as it looked absolutely stunning and in beautiful grounds. It also had a Marco Pierre White restaurant attached to it and my G loves his food so knew he’d enjoy that!
We arrived and checked in about 4ish, received our seriously yummy (and warm) cookies and headed to our gorgeous deluxe room!

hilton hotel

We booked dinner for 7pm that evening and I was really surprised at how busy it was for a Thursday night – that didn’t affect the fantastic service we received though! We didn’t have any long wait for our courses (we chose to order from the set menu they had there as I was lucky enough to receive an upgrade at check-in which was £25 each for a 3 course meal and a glass of wine).

Shepherds Pie and peas for me

Steak, chips and peppercorn sauce for the birthday boy!

Breakfast the next day 😍😍😍

I’m so glad my boyfriend enjoyed his birthday and all my surprises for him, to see him happy really was the best part of the whole occasion.

So yeah, all that happened whilst I’ve been away.
At the moment I’m feeling a bit crappy health-wise. So annoying seeing as I was only in hospital about 3 weeks ago…
I’ve started a course of tablets so fingers crossed they work and I wont have to go into hospital again, cant cope!

I’m really looking forward to catching up with everyone and other blogger’s posts, so if you have a blog post you’d like some love on, link me in the comments below!

Liv x

My Cruise Holiday!

Now, you probably all saw the photos and vids I posted on my Instagram stories whilst I was away but I asked you guys on my Twitter & Instagram if you wanted a proper full blog post of my holiday pics so here it is!

In late August me and my boyfriend went on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Rotterdam and Bruges. It was a 3 day ‘mini cruise’ and it sailed from Southampton. It’s advertised as a ‘taster cruise’ for those who have never cruised before with Royal Caribbean but we just wanted a short cruise this time so it was perfect.
We have sailed with RC before and absolutely loved their style of cruising, their ships design and great fun entertainment so it was a no-brainer to go with them again. Our ship this time was Independence of the Seas, one of the larger ships that RC have in their fleet and even better, it’d just been refurbished a couple of months previously.

We don’t live near Southampton, nowhere near, so we had to book a hotel to stay in the night before because no way was I risking missing the ship if we ran into traffic on the day.


There is a Premier Inn right by Southampton Docks and the cruise terminal we were sailing from so its perfect for those, who like us, need a place to stay the night before going on their cruise.
We stayed here the last time we sailed from Southampton and back then (5 years ago) it was just the hotel there, I don’t remember anything else being around it, buildings or anything else. But now there is a brand new MASSIVE cinema there and some other building across from the hotel. I was so surprised at how much has changed since we’d been there last!

At the back of the Premier Inn (West Quay) they are building a Marriot hotel so there was a bit of noise in the morning when we woke up but nothing major.

Time to board!

Our check in time at the terminal was 12:30-1pm so we checked out of the Premier Inn and headed towards the Shuttle Car Park in Southampton Docks. We parked the car in this big car park and boarded a coach with our luggage and headed down the road to the cruise terminal where the Independence of the Seas was waiting for us!

Check in was so very quick and easy as a few days earlier I did Royal Caribbean’s online check in so we bypassed most of the usual form filling and stuff. We were given our cards to use on the ship (there is no currency used anywhere on board) and made our way on board!

Let the holiday begin!

We got into our cabin at 1pm, dumped our stuff and went to explore the ship and have a few drinks to get our holiday started!
The range of cocktails they have on board is amazing so you’ll always have new drinks to discover and enjoy.

We also had to do an emergency drill before we set sail which every single passenger had to take part in. It took about 45 mins to do and there was a lot of standing around but needs must I suppose!
We had our dinner in the main dining room that evening and the food was exquisite! Annoyingly, I didn’t take any pics of it but take my word for it, it was perfect.

Rotterdam

We arrived in Rotterdam about 10am that morning and OMG I can see why it is the biggest port in Europe, WOW! It just went on forever…

We didn’t have any excursions planned for Rotterdam and to be honest the weather was a bit crappy… So we made the most of what the ship had to offer.

There is SO much to do on board the ship that they deliver a newsletter every day to your cabin informing you of what’s going on. We found it so handy to keep with us throughout the day so we could plan things and make sure we didn’t miss out!

Bruges

We arrived in Bruges at 7am and thank the LORD the weather was good! We had an excursion today to a little village called Damme and a chocolate factory/shop! You just know all I was bothered about was the visit to the chocolate shop…

Whilst travelling through the Bruges countryside I noticed how stylish all the buildings were, every single home I saw, whether it was social housing or owned homes was so modern. It definitely puts our boring houses in the UK to shame!

Chocolate World was absolute heaven! It was massive inside with every kind of chocolate you could imagine! There was a fountain where you could dip marshmallows in and I’m not ashamed to say I went back for thirds! It was just unreal!

After the chocolate shop we went to visit a castle.

I say ‘castle’ but to me, it seemed more of a stately home. It was beautiful though!
Kasteel Van Loppen is a Neo-gothic monument close to Bruges city centre which was built in 1856 by Baron Charles Van Caloen and his wife Countess Savina de Gourcy Serainchamps (what a mouthful!).
The interior is as it was when the Baron and Countess lived there and it was SO interesting to see bits of their family history dotted about.
However I was quite disappointed that we could only see the ground floor of the building and not anything else, I’m not sure whether that’s because the family still live there.


Bruges was an absolutely gorgeous place and I’d definitely love to return one day and spend more time there exploring. 

As it was the last night of the cruise the cruise director Joff, hosted a party on the main promenade of the ship and it was BRILLIANT!!!

It was a 70s theme and the music, singers and dancers were amazing. Truly my favourite part of the holiday!


After the party, me and G headed to the ship’s nightclub, Viking and had a little drink and dance. The DJ played an amaaaaazing set and I wish we’d had longer on the ship to enjoy everything it had to offer. 

Independence of the Seas and Royal Caribbean as a whole had everything me and my boyfriend could ever want and more.
I know that some people think cruises are for old people and where such cruise companies such as Cunard are more for the older generation, I’d say that RC are more for the younger cruiser.

I hope you all enjoyed my mega long post haha! Have you ever been on a cruise, if so, who with and what was it like??

Liv x

A Day Out in Llandudno

The past couple of months have been rubbish for me, what with health problems being the main culprit. So I thought a little change of scene was needed to have an escape from the doom and gloom.
Funny how just a day out can lift your mood and help get you back on track to cope with life’s obstacles, isn’t it?!

Me and my family decided to visit my uncle who lives in Conwy, North Wales and we all then went out together to have a walk around Llandudno which is close by.
It was MEGA busy for a Tuesday afternoon I thought but then again, it is the school holidays and it was a beautiful, hot, sunny day.

I thought I’d share some photos I took of the day, I hope you like ’em!

The only bad thing of the day which really upset me was seeing donkey rides on the beach… I can’t STAND them and just wanted to go on over and have a go at the owner of the donkeys. Really do wish they’d stop exploiting animals in this way.

Would’ve loved to have gone on this boat trip around the Great Orme and to Puffin Island. I’ve been on it before years ago when I was like 10 and it was brilliant!

There were LOADS of little stalls all along the pier. Loads of food; doughnuts, cakes, cheese, fish ‘n’ chips and of course, ice cream!

I mean, you can’t NOT have an ice cream at the seaside can you?

Just before the pier they had a Punch and Judy show. It’s been here for donkeys years, I remember coming here with my cousin and watching it as a young kid. So lovely to see it again and to see a new generation enjoying the show!

On the way back to my uncles house, he decided to take us around the Great Orme and it’s nature reserve.
You pay £3 at a little booth and then you can either drive around the Orme or park up and walk around.

It’s DEFINITELY worth doing as the views are just spectacular!! There’s lots of cute sheep and mountain goats around too.

My uncle made us a lovely roast dinner that evening and it was the perfect end to a perfect day!
Sometimes you forget how beautiful some parts of our country are, I can’t wait to come back here again! Maybe I’ll ride on the Great Orme cable car next time…

Liv x

 

 

Llandudno, Wales

5 National Trust Sites I Want to Visit!

I love a good day out. Dragging that waterproof jacket out of the back of your wardrobe and all the family cramming into the car all excited to see what the day brings.
Said family bickering all of the journey there, generally being annoying and that one person who wants to stop at every motorway service station for the loo.
Yep, I love it all.

If I’m honest, I haven’t visited many National Trust sites in my life but this year I’m planning to change all that. I want more days out and even moreso I want more memories with my family.

There are so many National Trust sites to choose from in Britain it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed with which ones to visit. So I’m going to share the sites on my hit list and maybe I’ll inspire you to visit one of them.

 

Speke Hall, Liverpool

speke hall

This is a local one for me, I’ve always wanted to go but never had the chance. Speke Hall is a Tudor Manor house located on the banks of the River Mersey. It is 400 years old and is steeped in history.
It is surrounded by beautifully kept restored gardens that once you’re in you forget that you’re in the city centre. A little urban oasis.

 

What is there to do there?

There is so much to do at Speke Hall I never even realised! Apart from walking around the beautiful gardens there (either by yourself or with a guide) you can take a tour of the house, sample scouse treats in their restaurant or have a cuppa in their very own tea rooms. In the summer they also have ice cream stands dotted around.
The main thing I want to go to Speke Hall for is the guided tour of the house. I absolutely adore finding out the history of a place. Who lived there and what happened in their lives.
There are a few spooky tales connected with this house and it’s supposed to have its own ghost, the grey lady. Why does every spooky old place have to have its own grey lady?

Speke Hall run lots of events throughout the year and even have talk/lectures there if you’re into that kind of thing.
Check out their National Trust page here 

 

The Workhouse, Southwell

workhouse

This grabbed my attention because it reminds me of a place you’d typically see on Most Haunted haha! I bloody love MH, mostly for the fact they feature old buildings and tell you a bit about their history. The ‘ghosts’, not so much…

This Victorian workhouse is located in Nottinghamshire and is where the most poorest people of the Victorian age had to work in return for food, shelter and medical care.
It was built in 1824 and is the best-preserved workhouse left in the country.

 

What is there to do there?

They have a guided tour at 11am where you can discover some outside areas not seen by the public and then when that finishes, the workhouse itself opens at 12pm. You can chat to room guides and learn about those who lived and worked there.
This place looks massive so there is a café on site that you can pop into and have a drink and a snack.

There is a recreated Victorian vegetable garden where you are welcome to eat your picnic, if you bring one of course. There is also opportunity to buy the garden’s produce too which has been grown by volunteers.

The Workhouse regularly holds events throughout the year, find them here!

 

Hill Top – The home of Beatrix Potter

Hilltop

I thought this would be a lovely place to visit as I ADORED all of Beatrix Potter’s books when I was little. I still love anything with to do with Beatrix Potter to be honest.
Hill Top was bought by Beatrix Potter in 1905 from the proceeds of her first book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ and was the inspiration for many of her books over the years. Each room in the house contains a reference to a picture in one of her books.
The whole house is a step back in time as everything is laid out as if Beatrix had just stepped out for a walk.

Hill Top is only quite a small house so they have a timed-ticket system to avoid overcrowding and to protect the interior. The National Trust website also advises that Hill Top can be a very busy attraction so tourists may have to wait to enter the house.

 

What is there to do there?

Take a tour around Hill Top house guided by one of the knowledgeable National Trust experts and discover all of Beatrix’s trinkets and well loved treasures.
You can also walk around the gardens which are featured in pictures in her books.
If you want something to eat there is conveniently a pub next door called the Tower Bank Arms. The pub is also featured in one of her book too, The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck!

If you want to make a whole day of it, take a trip to the Beatrix Potter Gallery too which showcases all her original artwork.

 

Chirk Castle

Chirk

I chose Chirk Castle as some family members have recently visited and said it was a beautiful, interesting place to visit and I love me a castle!
Chirk castle is a stunning Medieval 14th Century castle found on the Welsh border that is actually still lived in today. It has a beautiful tower and state rooms filled with an eclectic mix of furniture and 700 years worth of treasures.

castle
I love it when I go to a place and it has gruesome elements to it and Chirk castle has them! It has dungeons, medieval toilets and even ‘murder holes’. How fab!

 

What is there to do there?

You can explore the tower, which is in an area of the castle called the West Range – which is where the dungeons and murder holes are.
Walk around the exquisite state rooms that the castle has to offer, the servant halls and working laundries. There’s also a family room where children can play games, try on costumes and explore the history of the castle.
On some days visitors can meet the castle’s very own garrison who is happy to demonstrate weapons and allow you to feel the weight of the armour. They even take younger visitors through a ‘pike drill’ so they can defend the castle.

To find out more about Chirk Castle click HERE

 

Treasurer’s House, York

York

I never got to visit here on my last trip to York last year, so this is definitely on the list for next time I go.
Treasurer’s House is tucked behind York Minster and it was built in 1897 to impress Edward VII during his visit to York.
The house is filled with antiques and grand furniture that the man who built the house collected over the years. The gardens there are award winning and beautifully presented.
The basement of this house is famous for its excavated Roman road that runs directly underneath, you can see this and hear of the ghost story connected…

 

What is there to do there?

Apart from discovering all the artwork, furniture and antiques that the house has to offer, you can check out hidden parts of the house with a guided tour and listen to the stories that the current owner has to share. The tour also includes the attic of the house where you can get a fantastic view of York.

Treasurer’s House also has a café which is located in the servants quarters and serves freshly cooked lunches, cakes and their infamous scones!

 

 

I hope I’ve given you some ideas for days out this summer, I plan to do my best to get through at least 3 of these this year!
The National Trust has 500 sites in the UK so explore their site HERE and see what fun you could have with your family this year!

 

Livvy xx

 

 

 

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