Oh Iona, you beauty

Today’s adventure took us to the Isle of Iona. We caught the first ferry from Fionnphort which was at 9:55am. It cost £3.50 for a return to Iona and took 10 mins. Don’t think that’s bad when you pay £10 to get to Hull from Driffield, return.

On the ferry!

The views on Iona were just breathtaking. Abbey and nunnery ruins, white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and Highland Cow’s were amongst the beautiful scenes of the Isle of Iona and all on one road.

Iona Abbey cost £9 to get in. We decided not to go in, but to just walk around a little chapel at the side of the Abbey for free. You could get some incredible pictures from outside of the Abbey so personally, we didn’t feel the need to go in.

The ruins of the Nunnery
Iona Abbey

We continued to walk up the road and we noticed a remote beach to the right of us. We automatically headed there straight away.

We wondered on to this untouched beach. The sand had no footprints in and all you could see were Oystercatchers looking for food. This was a moment which I won’t forget in a while. All you could hear were the waves crashing against the rocks. The water was so unbelievably clear.

Oystercatcher feeding their young

We saw an other white sandy beach in the distance so we aimed to walk there to have our picnic. Turns out you can’t get there without swimming 400m… So we had to settle for this beach…

We sat on this beach for a couple of hours, just taking in the silence and secluded beach. Families and people started arriving so we started to depart to find more beautiful beaches. I’d recommend going early as the later it got, the busier it got.

We definitely succeeded in finding more beautiful beaches.

I honestly can’t believe how beautiful this place is. I couldn’t believe this is in Scotland. Iona has to be one of my favourite places I’ve visited because of the remoteness and beautiful beaches.

Thank you for reading!

Emily x

‘Mull of surprises’

I’m currently writing this while laid in my tent. On a beach. Listening to the wind hit my tent and the waves rolling along the shore.

Helen had mentioned that she was planning a trip to the Isle of Mull and Iona on Saturday. Today is Monday and I am currently in Mull, grateful for Helen driving 9 hours to Oban yesterday, then another couple of hours to get to our destination – Fidden Farm.

The journey to Oban was incredible. Passing lochs, castles and bridges. We couldn’t resist stopping to take pictures.

Inveraray – Stop and see

Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe

We were scouting places to camp on the way home. Fingers crossed, this will be one of the places!

No idea where..

We arrived in Oban at 6:00pm. During our drive up to Faislane to drop Conor (Jack’s brother/Helen’s son) off, Helen and I decided to see if there are any hostels to stay in. We were supposed to be camping in Oban, but it rained and rained for nearly the whole 9 hour journey. The last thing that was wanted was to put a tent up in the rain. So, I googled hostels in Oban and luckily there were 3 beds left. We booked immediately.

It was Helen’s first time staying in a hostel. It was my first time staying in a hostel in an 8 bed dorm which was mixed sex. Helen is walking the Camino de Santiago in September and one of the main ways of accommodation is in hostels. So, this was a great opportunity to stay in one in the UK with a familiar face before being out on her own for 5 weeks staying in Albergues.

Sunset in Oban

After taking sunset pics, we headed back to the hostel – nervous and tired. Neither of us slept very well because we were conscious of moving and snoring. I was especially nervous of farting.

So on approx. 4 hours sleep, we set off to the Oban ferry terminal.

But before that, we were intrigued by the colosseum looking tower. This was called McCaig’s Tower.

The views were absolutely incredible of Oban from up high. There was a moving moment when got to the tower as we heard bagpipes playing. It was a very Scottish moment.

The ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull took around an hour. The views were amazing on the crossing. Passing many sailing boats, castles and mountains.

On the windy ferry
McCaig’s Tower and Oban

Destination: Mull

We arrived on Mull and straight away were in awe of the scenery. The place just looked fresh and so green.

The dramatic scenery in Mull were too good to miss. We pulled in nearly every layby to take pictures! We finally saw some true Highland Cow’s in their natural habitat! I absolutely love Highland Cow’s! They’re fluffy and full of character. We were absolutely gobsmacked when we saw the cows in a loch! This place is full of surprises!

Camping and wild swimming at Fidden Farm

We set up camp at the campsite Fidden Farm. This campsite is unique in the fact that you can camp right next to the beach. The campsite is close to the ferry port to Iona, it’s around 1 mile away.

I’ve always wanted to go wild swimming. It’s been on my bucket list for a while now and I thought Scotland would give me a great opportunity to tick it off.

In order to get myself into the sea, I had to run in. Don’t think. Just do. I walked in until it got to my hips. I stopped and turned around. A lady we got talking to said ‘you’re not coming out until your shoulders have been in’. In that, I dunked myself in. It was initially cold, but got warmer the more i was in. I’ll definitely do it again! But maybe in a wetsuit not a bikini!!

Not too sure..

There will be more to come from our adventure! Emily x

Running: The literal high and lows

I’ve now been going out for running since April 1st and it is true to say that running and I have a love, hate relationship.

Since the 1st April, I have been trying to go out for runs at least 3/4 times a week, with no aim distance, or time in my head but to just do what I can do to the best of my ability. Running has helped me learn so much about myself.

The first ‘run’

I went out for my first ‘run’ and Jesus, I actually don’t think I could class it as a run. It was actually horrific, and I look back at my Strava information and I think walking is a quicker pace. Nevertheless, I persevered and did what I could do. I had an idea of how far I wanted to run, and it was very demotivating to not reach my goal. I had biddy’s were running past me 😂 That was demoralising as F but this was the best of my ability at that moment. My problem is my head – my head tells me that I can’t do, or I can’t be arsed for this. So when I think that, I instantly stop. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I need to believe in myself but not my negative thoughts.

I got back to the flat and I was absolutely shattered. I had done 3.9 km and my legs were like jelly! I went into uni for 3 hours, i had seized up in my chair and I was tired – tired from running and of hearing how shit the next couple of months were going to be.

The next push

Even though I wasn’t as enthused as I’d hoped to go out running, I got up a couple of days later and went out for my second run of the week. I decided to go on a different route, I went through the Joseph Rowntree Park. It was an absolutely beautiful place to go running. Running next to the pond, looking at the reflections of the trees and buildings on the water was beautiful.

Even though I did find it difficult, I started to think that there are perks to getting up earlier to go for a run.

1) I had this park to myself. There were probably around 5 people in the park and no one was to judge how sweaty, out of breath and red I was.

2) There was a sense of a peaceful atmosphere in the park. I’ve seen this place on summer evenings and it can be so busy. Jack, Bella and I went to the park during Easter holidays and I have never seen it so busy! I was glad I was not running then!

3) I get to see so much of the country, running around my favourite city and running around my home. Going on different routes allows me to explore more of York and the Yorkshire Wolds.

The highs are flowing

I came back home and went for a run around the old faithful football fields, just to see how I could do. I did about 3.5km and I thought, this is getting a little bit easier. I was less out of breath and had kind of fallen into a rhythm of running. So, I kept going. I ran 5k, the first 5k I had ran in a long time. The buzz was unreal. I was so overwhelmed and proud that I’d actually broken through my mind telling me to stop. This got be motivated to keep going!

So, I went back to York with Bella and I set out on another new route. We took a left down the Riverside, leading us to a dead end. So we turned back around and went over the Millennium Bridge and headed down the opposite side of the River Ouse. We past so many boats and small yachts docked into the side of the river. It was a lovely run and there was a beautiful big house at the end. We came to a gate that we had to climb over, but I decided not to go over it as I didn’t want to over do it. 8.3k later – thanks to Bella and 80s music!

You know what is next. We had to climb over the gate to see what was there. This was the most beautiful but toughest run. I really struggled. I couldn’t catch my breath. I was stopping every two minutes to catch my breath. My pace had dropped by 2 minutes for my average km ran. This felt like the hardest run I’d ever done. I had my first low point of running. I just wanted to walk home. But, I had to keep going. We ran past the wall and it was so nice! There were deer, steps down to the river, rowers going past! It was distracting, thank god. It took my mind off the pain! Another tough 8k later, i decided to do something I will probably later regret!

The next challenge

I decided to challenge myself. I LOVE a challenge. I signed up for the British Heart Foundation Marathon Month in May, Doncaster Half Marathon in June, and the York 10k in order of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal in August with Jack’s mum, Helen.

Puffins at RSPB Bempton Cliffs!

“Get lost in nature and you will find yourself”

It was a glorious Sunday afternoon and I had finished work early, which is a rarity, so we headed to the coast. We pondered where to go and we were heading to Hornsea, and I just mentioned to Jack ‘we should have gone to Bempton Cliffs’. With that he turned the car around we started heading to Bempton.

We arrived at 4:45pm and we paid £5.00 each at the centre to enter the reserve. It is free to access after 5pm through an ‘Out of hours access gate’ which is easily accessible. The only thing after 5 is there’s no access to the centre or toilets, but complete access to the cliffs and the public footpath walk to Flamborough or Speeton.

There are so many different types of birds up at Bempton, but the ones that the majority travel for is the beautiful puffin.

Puffins are often known as ‘sea parrots’ or ‘clowns of the sea’ due to their bright coloured beak. I had never seen a puffin until this day, and when I saw my first – I couldn’t believe how little it was! It is said that puffins are only 25cm’s tall! But, they’re nifty little things as they can fly at up to 88km/hour!

Birds, birds and more birds!

There are other birds such as gannets, razorbills, guillemots, herring gulls and kittiwakes. All such intriguing birds with their features.

Gannets are large white birds with a yellow-ish coloured head and incredibly blue eyes. They live at Bempton between January and October, and head to the West of Africa, North Sea and the Bay of Biscay.

Razorbills are black with a white tummy, but distinctly have white horizontal and vertical lines on their face unlike the guillemot. Razorbills live at Bempton Cliffs from March to Mid July but are mysterious are they don’t know where they go from July back to March!

Guillemot birds only come on to the land to breed but they come in huge numbers. They’re at Bempton from mid-November until July, but the last sightings are from March to July. I don’t think we saw any on Sunday so this explains it – we could have seen them but I wouldn’t know because all the birds fly so quickly! Plus, Guillemots and Razorbills look so similar! Guillemots have a pointier beak and no white lines on their face.

I couldn’t believe the sound, the smell and the sight of so many birds in one place! It was like a multi-storey hotel for a diverse number of birds!

RSPB

The RSPB are a UK wildlife charity that look to working alongside nature and to improve the quality of life that wildlife have. With the world we live in today, we really need to work with nature and do our best to protect wild spaces and habitats. Members of staff and volunteers do a wonderful job for conserving and looking after the many reserves in the UK.

Bempton Cliffs is the nearest one to where I live and I would be a member if there were more nearby, and I could drive. One day! While we were at the Cliffs, an RSPCA officer was there to release an injured Razorbill. You could see how proud the RSPB worker was to release the recovered bird into the wild.

I really love going up to Bempton Cliffs, to watch the birds in their natural habitat and also for the beautiful coastline that Yorkshire has to offer. There is a lovely walk to Flamborough Head which is around 3 miles long. The views there are breathtaking, especially on a sunny day!

I really recommend going to Bempton Cliffs if you have the opportunity! Sooner rather than later, if you want to see the puffins!

Thank you for reading,

Emily x

Angry Cows on the Yorkshire Wolds Way

I hadn’t seen one of my best friends from home for what seemed like months. So I text her to say I was home, and as she knows me so well. Her response was – ‘shall we go for a walk?’ Eh, hell yeah Kel!

So, after contemplating where to go in the Wolds; we decided to head to Wharram Percy and do the 8 mile walk to Thixendale.

We parked up at the Wharram Percy car park and headed down the grassed path towards one of England’s most famous deserted medieval village. The car park was full today, it must be with it being a Saturday. The car park is only small with around 15 spaces, if some parked on the green, but it is free (always a bonus).

We past through a couple of gates, heading down hill and arrived to the gate with a sign from English Heritage with information regarding the deserted village. So, we entered through the gates and were immediately greeted by some angry looking cows.

FYI: Bella and Bailey, Kelly’s dog, were both on leads. Bailey is a fox red Labrador and is an absolute dopey, beautiful beast, and he decided to wonder towards the cows. Probably thinking ‘oooh new friend’ 😂. Then, the worst thing happened. The absolute brutes of cows started running towards us. We ran as quick as our feet could go. We have never been so scared for our lives and the doggos lives.

I decided to see if we could turn right up this huge hill and go around the angry cows. So me and Bella went up the hill. I get to the top of the hill. Here before us lay around approximately 20 cows. I thought SHIT, get out of here. I then bloody stood in cow shit, more like diarrhoea. Honestly it was disgusting and it was seeping into my trainer🤮. This day was getting worse 😭. I shouted Kelly to call Bella, and I let Bella go because I couldn’t run down hill with Bella pulling me. So, I let Bella off. She is usually good with recall. Usually being the main word. Bella headed towards Kelly, looked at Kel and looked at the cows. And yep, you guessed it. She ran straight to the mardy cows. They then charged at her, I was screaming. Kelly was screaming. Luckily, just in time she headed back to me up the hill along with two massive cows. I grabbed her harness and we ran down the hill, cows chasing us out of the gate. Bella was currently walking on her hind legs because I’d grabbed her harness. Looking back now, it was funny and it was the fact that the dogs were oblivious. They wanted new friends. Kelly and I, we were having heart palpitations.

So, after an eventful 15 minutes which felt like a lifetime. We headed back towards the car to figure out where to go next. So, as this walk was on the Yorkshire Wold’s Way – we headed left out of the car park and followed the sign.

We weren’t sure where this path led us to so we asked a couple who were walking sections of the Wold’s Way. They told us the path lead to the small village of Wharram le Street. So, we proceeded to head there to see where we could go from there.

We headed left down the chalk track. We were surrounded by beautiful yellow, rapeseed fields and you could see for miles. The views were so beautiful and scenic. You could see the cows in the distance which were on the hill. Instantly, we kind of got a shiver down our spines 😂.

We headed through Wharram le Street and found the next path heading right for the next section of the Yorkshire Wolds Way. Wharram le Street is a lovely little village but there wasn’t much to see. It was really close to the road so not completely peaceful. If we’d have kept walking up the way, I’m sure it would get more peaceful.

Bailey

We didn’t go very far up this path as the dogs were lagging and tbh, Kelly and I were still a bit traumatised from before 😂. So we headed back after a 5 miler – going through every emotion available in our body😂. We will hopefully one day complete the walk to Thixendale! But, please god – I pray that we have no more cow incidents🙏🙏

You never truly love something, until you appreciate it.

I was born in Scarborough but raised in Driffield. Driffield is the Capital of the Wolds in East Yorkshire. The Wolds are full of peaceful scenery, rolling hills and lots of wildlife.

Growing up in Driffield was boring. During my teenage years I would do anything to get on the train or bus and go to the city. The nearest cities are Hull and York. They’re around 30-40 miles away from Driff and I would only go there for one purpose, SHOPPING. In Driffield, the shops consist of charity shops, shit loads of barbers and more charity shops. There was nothing interesting here as a teenager and I frankly could not wait to leave. I hated living here.

However, now is a different story. Linking with the title, once you’ve got true appreciation for your surroundings – you will learn to love where you are.

Take this Sunday morning for example.

Jack set his alarm for 3:30am to watch the Joshua fight. This woke me up and I could not get back to sleep for the life of me. I was mardy, sleepy and annoyed. But, what I didn’t know was that I would later be thanking Jack for keeping me awake.
It was 4:45am. I knew sunrise would be lingering so I put on my walking gear and the dogs harnesses on too. I grabbed my camera and headed towards the fields.

I cannot believe how beautiful the Wolds are. The scenery is divine. The morning fog had come in and I could see it disappearing infront of me.

The endless hills with multicoloured fields. The birds singing their morning song. The hares running in the fields just made my morning so perfect. Not to mention Bella and Sydney having a great time on their walk through the fields.

The wildlife is incredible in the Wolds. This morning was the first time that I have ever been able to capture an owl! I have always wished for a wise owl to be posing for me to take a picture. Today, my luck was in hand. I could not believe it! Here is what is known as a Little Owl.

There were also around 10 hares in the fields, either chasing eachother or laid down trying to stay hidden (not successfully with their big ears)😂. I have never seen so many hares at once. They’re such handsome animals.

Bella and Sydney thoroughly enjoyed this morning’s 5 mile walk, as well as me! I really don’t know how Sydney gets so wet yet Bella looks dry!! He’s an absolute fruit loop.

I could not imagine living anywhere else, other than in the countryside. I really miss the country when I am living in York for uni. I always try to go for a walk either along the river or in the museum gardens to try and feel better!

I really appreciate living in Driffield, for it’s pure beauty of the countryside and many walks available in the surrounding villages!

Thank you for reading!

Keep walking, Emily. X

Commute to the Peak District – Mam Tor circular walk

Having been stuck in my flat for the last few weeks; writing my dissertation and another assignment – the hills were calling. But there was only one problem, I can’t drive yet 😭 I know, twenty-one and can’t drive – tragic. I am learning but I had to stop whilst I was on teaching practice, after I cried when I couldn’t pull into a space due to some person parked awkwardly. It was definitely a sign to stop and just focus on placement.

Anyway, I digress… So, one option of getting to the Peak District was by train. So Jack and I left the house at 6:50am and got the 7:26am train from York to Edale, changing trains at Sheffield. Jack and I looked a little bit out of place on the train amongst all of the businessmen&women heading to work. Plus, omg how infuriating is it when you pay for a train ticket but you’re either sat on the floor or the conductors don’t check!! Grinds my gears!! Nevertheless, stood up or sat down – we finally arrived in Edale at 9:00am.

Edale Train Station to Mam Tor

It was such a beautiful morning in the Peak District. The sun was shining, birds were singing and Edale was just awakening. We headed south from the train station and turned right at the end of the junction, where the red telephone box is leading down Edale Road.

We walked about 200 metres down the road and took the left past Hardenclough Farm. It is signposted with a National Trust sign. I can tell you now, what a beautiful place to live! The home-owners are very lucky!

Hardenclough Farm sign

To the left of the path

To the right of the path

We followed this path with beautiful scenery until we reached a farm/gate which says ‘Private’. Luckily, to the left there were two gates. The path to Mam Tor is right through the gate. Thankfully, it is signposted but very faintly!

The next part of our walk was quite steep, so my advice to those on the route would be to go easy and take regular water breaks! Especially, if you’re lucky enough to be walking in the glorious sunshine! But also, don’t forget to stop and admire how far you’ve already come! Even though we’d only been walking around 20 minutes, we had walked quite far!

You pass a lovely lone tree! Too good to miss this photo opportunity!

Jack and a tree😛

The view behind!

We kept ascending up the path until we reached a second gate. We had a road to the right of us and a little path that hair-pinned round and up. This was the last push to get to summit of Mam Tor.

There is a little track off to the right of the path which takes you up to Mam Tor. We kept on going as we didn’t realise but this only added around 5 minutes on. The view was breathtaking 😍

Here is the view of Back Tor with a brave paraglider! This is one incredible hobby! You have to be so ballsy to do this! Hats off to you, up in the sky!! When this is the first thing we see after we’ve been climbing for an hour, I was taken back. Just so much beauty.

Mam Tor trig point

View of Castleton in the distance

Bracing the wind😬

Perfect place for a cookie and a brew! – not as good as the guy in the video!!

Mam Tor to Back Tor

From the trig point, we headed back down the path we had climbed to go further on to walk Back Tor. Once again, I was in awe of the views. Jack said to me ‘you’re loving this, aren’t you?’ – YES! It was exactly what I needed after having been really stressed with university. I needed to get out into the mountains. There’s just something about being in the hills that makes me feel calm, relaxed and happy! And you, reading this… I hope you are able to do what makes YOU happy💚 Anyhow, I’ve digressed again… Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I literally can 1) talk for England and 2) get easily distracted. So, tbh I’ll be very surprised if you’re still reading this blog with all my rambing😂

The path from Mam Tor to Back Tor

A very beautiful gate😅

Our legs, by this point were starting to ache. By our legs, I mean mine😂 I’d been out for a run and played cricket for two hours the day before going out walking. I couldn’t move as it was and maybe hill-walking wasn’t what I needed physically, but I needed it mentally. Jack’s just got a job as a postman so is out walking a lot every day, lucky boy!

The path to Back Tor is fairly uneven and stoney, so watch your step in. Don’t do what I did, try and take in the views and walk – it doesn’t mix well – #didyouhaveanicetrip?

Double lone tree

The lovely lone tree on Back Tor

Different perspective

Just love a lone tree picture!!

We had reached Back Tor after another steep climb! We sat for a moment to take in the views. After a little break, we then headed back down and turned right at the gate to head towards Back Tor Bridge.

It’s great to see the scale of the hill with the little people on there

Another lovely gate pic

We took a left after walking down hill a little bit after going through this gate, which was the wrong way. We realised this just after we had gone some more up hill😭 This was so not what we wanted!! So we walked back and headed right, which was luckily the right way.

We past Back Tor farm and got to see some more lovely countryside views, lots of little lambs and some beautiful butterflies.

After passing the Back Tor Bridge, we walked a little more on a narrow road which led to Edale road. This is the main road back into Edale. We didn’t really know where we were going, so we stuck to the main road. This took us back round to the red telephone box, so we had done a circular walk of Mam Tor and Back Tor to Edale.

We will definitely be going back and more open to explore a different route back to Edale.

Wildflowers

This hairdresser needs firing!

A rest at the Rambler’s Inn

Oh weren’t we happy to see this place! A nice, cold drink had our names written all over it! And why not treat yourself to some grub! It was well deserved after that 550m ascent up Mam Tor and the hike along Back Tor and back to Edale.

A very well placed pub!

A worthy steak and ale pie 😍

I would highly recommend this walk. Whether you get there by train or car, it is a great walk. You walk through such beautiful scenery. I will definitely be going back to explore more of the Peak District.

Thanks for reading,

Emily x

A morning at Beningbrough Hall and Gardens

The weather is absolutely shite at the moment, but I NEEDED to get out of my flat into the fresh air of the countryside so today’s trip was to Beningbrough Hall and Gardens, North Yorkshire.

Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall is located 8 miles away from the beautiful city of York and is surrounded by such breathtaking grounds and gardens.

The brief history of Beningbrough

The Hall was completed in 1716 after the estate was first inherited by Ralph Bourchier in 1556. The first building on the estate was the Bourchier family home, which they lived in for around 150 years. John Bourchier inherited the estate and took a two year tour around Europe. Inspired by the architecture he saw in Italy, he planned and built the hall that stands today. The grounds were left Rev William Dawnay, after the last of the Bourchier family lost both of her sons in wars. In 1890, the hall was inherited by Lewis Dawnay and transformed by adding electricity for his family. In 1916, Beningbrough was sold to Lord and Lady Chesterfield where she lived until her death in 1957. Today, it is run by the National Trust and is a very popular Yorkshire attraction to people of all ages.

We arrived at 10:45, as the grounds opened at 10:30 and we firstly did the most important thing – check out the cafe 😍

The café was minimal but had a variety of cakes and scones to offer! They also offered a small selection of hot, hearty meals which we didn’t get to see as we were there in the morning. If we go off the cake, I can imagine the meals being very nice!

The hall itself didn’t open until 11:30 so we headed around the grounds. I love this time of year, with the bluebells out in full bloom. These woodlands would look so beautiful in any season, I will definitely be visiting again in summer.

The grounds of Beningborough Hall covers so much land. There is a circular walk which you can do which takes you along the River Ouse and around more of the lovely grounds. I will walk this route one day, so that will be another blog!

We walked around the side of the hall, and there was an old laundry room which had such an eery feel about it!! They had the old machines there along with explanations of what happened in the laundry room.

We headed into the grand house. This hall is such a beautiful and tall building with great interiors. It was like no other stately home I’ve been in before. There were so many portraits of different people in the rooms. It was definitely more like a gallery than a hall. You could see the history in the design, but unlike other houses, it didn’t really seem to have a story. Nevertheless, it is a very grand house.

On the first floor of the hall, there is a Yorkshire expedition which had sculptures, portraits and paintings of well known Yorkshire folk. There were Barbara Hepworth sculptures, a David Hockney painting and a portrait of the great Michael Parkinson.

We headed back out of the hall to the gardens. The blossom trees were so stunning! You couldn’t see the floor for the fallen, pink blossom! I love these trees and think they brighten up any rainy or dull day.

There is no doubt that the grounds team work so hard! The grounds were in such brilliant conditions and the gardens had so many beautiful flowers!

I would definitely visit Beningbrough Hall and Gardens again. I will hopefully return shortly as the weather gets better, to walk the circular walk and in the bluebell woods before they disappear!

Day trip to Slovenia’s capital city – Ljubljana

While we were staying at Lake Bled, we had to visit Slovenia’s capital and largest city – Ljubljana. The city with colour, culture and lots of cafés.

We arrived at Ljubljana in the morning, after about 45 minutes on a coach. God bless the tour guide, she’s there talking away about the history and culture of Slovenia and one by one we could see people turning their speakers off on the coach. Not many were listening. I turned around to the people behind and they were asleep. To be a tour guide, surely there has to be a specification – this one must have been to have a monotonous voice. I’m sure she’s lovely and retired by now but bless her, she tried her hardest to keep us entertained.

We arrived at Preseren Square. This is the central square of Ljubljana and is known to be the main meeting point of Ljubljana. When we visited, in 2017, there was a weather system built in which rained when it was scorching weather. (One thing we did learn from the tour guide). However, as the weather was crap that day, it didn’t need anymore rain!

Preseren – the poet of romance

We got the option to stay with the tour guide or go off on our own, we jumped at the chance to explore at our own leisure (we are so mean). So, we headed around the streets of this beautiful capital. I’m not a fan of graffiti really, it’s each to their own but this city did have so much graffiti down streets and alleyways. Some may say it is art, some say vandalism but let’s keep things nice and sweet here. Moving on!

As we explored the streets of Ljubljana, we past a unique bridge going over the river. Butcher’s Bridge or the Bridge of Love. This is where tourists attach padlocks on to the bridge as a promise of eternal love to each other. Inspired by Paris’ Pont des Arts. I’d love to know the percentage of couples still together now 😂 God, how horrible am I?!

Surrounding this bridge were interesting and intriguing sculptures. These sculptures do not have faces, resembling a part human part animal like statue. You’ll know what I mean.


After walking over Butcher’s Bridge, we headed towards the markets. The sun was coming out through the clouds, finally and it allowed the colours of the buildings to shine. The smell, the colours of fresh flowers were incredible!

We got told by our hotel owner to go up Neboticnik, which is Ljubljana’s own Empire State Building. It is 70m high and gives the best views of Ljubljana and the mountains (and their hot chocolate was pretty good). I’d highly recommend this place to visit! There’s a lift which takes you up to the top floor. You have to climb about 20 steps to reach the bar and view point. I love the colour of the buildings aswell here, well so many places in Europe!

Finally, before we meet our lovely tour guide back at Preseren Square. We walked along the side of the River Ljubljanica. It is a beauty. With history, architecture, beautiful bridges – where else would you want a stag do?! This was the last thing i expected to see floating down the River Ljubljanica. Where else could you body board in a swimming costume, on a main river flowing through a capital city?

Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful, colourful cities in Europe and I could not sing its praises enough. It is for all the family, with lots of history in castles, museums, bridges, squares and architecture.