Lake District

Lake District
Lake District


Showing posts with label photo diary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label photo diary. Show all posts

Springtime Walk | Sir Thomas & Lady Dixon's Park, Belfast

I'm back home in Northern Ireland now after what has felt like a very long lent term at university, though at the same time I can't believe my second year at uni is nearly over, I really don't know where the time has gone. 

In the time I've been away in Lancaster this year, my beautiful friend, Ashleigh- part-model, part-spider monkey- has been off all over the world doing some really exciting things on her gap year. So far she's spent three months in Chico in Northern California, three months in South Africa and now, luckily for me, she's back home for a few months before heading off again, so finally we're in the same place at the same time which has meant a long and much-needed catchup. Ashleigh and I have been friends for quite a few years now and in a way we've sort of grown up together. We first met when I was thirteen and she was twelve so we've spent the most part of our formative teenage years figuring life out side by side, which is something that has continued now that we're becoming adults and has been such a pleasure.

The weather turned out to be really nice yesterday so we decided to go for an impromptu visit to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon's Park (or just Lady Dixon's to the locals) which is a huge, green expanse near to where we live on the outskirts of Belfast. It's one of the nicest places in our area so I go there quite often and have done ever since I was really little, and Ashleigh and I have been there quite a lot over the years too so it seemed like an appropriate place for some long-awaited chats.

If you'd like to know a little bit more about Ashleigh you can find here here:
Instagram: @clarityatmidnight
Twitter: @_ashleighsarah


A Day with Mum | Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan

I took a little impromptu break home last weekend. I'd started to feel a little overwhelmed by uni life and felt like a trip back home would just help to clear my head a bit, which it definitely did. Because I was home from uni my mum took last Friday off work and we both set off on a little road trip to Castle Leslie, a stately home in Co. Monaghan, just over the border into the South of Ireland, that also doubles as a hotel and spa. This is one of my mum's and my favourite places to go when we have a free day together because the grounds are just so beautiful. Aside from the castle itself there's a number of stunning outbuildings and even a church, as well as a lake and some gorgeous walks.

We normally start off our visit with some tea or hot chocolate in the restaurant before paying a visit to the horses on the yard at the castle's adjoining equestrian centre- always my favourite part of the day!- and taking a stroll through the grounds. Despite it's appearances, however, would you believe that Castle Leslie is actually said to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland? I've personally never seen a ghost on any of my visits, but the stories surrounding the castle and its history are truly fascinating. I think my personal favourite is that of Norman Leslie who was killed in action during the First World War. Around the time of his death, however, he was spotted walking through the grounds of the castle by a gardener who, assuming Norman had returned from war, hurried off to alert the family of his arrival. Though as the day passed and night fell, Norman did not return to the house. A week later a telegram was delivered to the castle confirming that Norman had met an unfortunate demise charging a German machine gun armed only with a sword. His figure has apparently been seen wandering the castle even in very recent years. Spooky, huh? 

Scenes: South Lakes Safari Zoo

One of the highlights of this year at uni for me has definitely been being a part of the university Equestrian Club. Riding is something I've done for a long time and it's always been a big part of my life, however, over the last few years with the demands of my final years at school it became less and less of a priority to the point where I had to give it up; so it feels great to finally pick it back up again now that I'm at university. As much as I love riding and the horses though, I think my favourite part of equestrian club is getting to spend some time with the girls there. They're a really lovely bunch and I feel so lucky to have gotten to know them this year. 

Recently we went on a social to the South Lakes Safari Zoo which is in Dalton, about an hour and a bit's drive from Lancaster. I'd been there before a few years ago with friends and remember loving it so I was super excited about being able to go again. I didn't take many photos on the day, mostly because of the weird lighting in the winter sun but I'd thought I'd share some of the photos I did take:

I haven't actually been to many zoos in my lifetime, just Belfast and Dublin Zoo and a few different places on holiday, but out of those (apart from a couple of Australian wild life parks) this is certainly the most interactive. As well as the several different species of lemur that roam free around the park, visitors can walk alongside and feed a variety of exotic birds, emus, wallabies and prairie marmots.

I think the emus were some of our group's personal favourites. I don't think I'd ever seen one in real life before, especially so up-close, but they're really fascinating animals. We actually managed to take a selfie with one, which has quickly become one of my favourite pictures ever taken.

The park also has scheduled times where you can go along and hand-feed both the giraffes and penguins! We went to the giraffe feeding twice but didn't make it to the penguin feeding on time to get a good enough spot so we just watched for a little while. Feeding the giraffes was an amazing experience though, I'm not sure there are many zoos that let you get so close.

We ended up spending basically the whole day at the park in the end- as you can imagine, the equestrian club love their animals!- and it was definitely among some of the best experiences I've had at uni so far and it was great to spend some quality time with the girls from the club.

I just wanted to say also, thank you so much to everyone for all the thoughtful comments on my last post. You can't understand how much it means to me that there are so many of you who would take time out of their day to write me such amazing words of support. The blogging community has honestly become one of my most faithful support networks and I'm always so thankful it's something I get to be a part of! I'm hoping to get some time this week to be able to reply to them all properly!

Thanks again for all the love! I hope you've all had a great week.

A Day on Lake Windermere

It's no secret that I absolutely love the Lake District. As a bit of an outdoorsy girl it's been a dream this last year or so to live so nearby and it's an amazing place to bring family whenever they visit. This weekend my mum and sister actually paid an impromtu trip to Lancaster, so as per usual we thought we'd spend Saturday in exploring the Lakes

Since we didn't have a car, Windermere seemed to be the obvious starting point for a visit since it's only 30 minutes away by train from Lancaster. We set off quite early so when we arrived finding somewhere to have breakfast was pretty high on our priority list. We ended up stopping at this place called the Lighthouse where I got the majestic-looking waffle pictured below.

Before we'd set off I'd had a cost-effective plan laid out in my head of how to get where we needed to go onwards from Windermere, but in a moment of spontaneity my mum decided she'd like to go on a boat cruise across Lake Windermere from Bowness to Ambleside which was a bit out of character for her so my sister and I just decided to run with it. 

Despite the fact it was absolutely freeeezing, the boat ride itself was really fun and we got to see some beautiful views. We also met a man from Malta called Tony who my mum ended up randomly having a Maltese mutual friend with. Apparently, because Malta's such a small country, everyone knows each other.

Once we got to Ambleside we stopped for lunch at a hotel by the lake called the Waterside before just taking a wander through the town. We eventually ended up in a beautiful and wintry Rothay Park, which I think was my favourite part of the day, before hopping on the last boat back to Windermere again- we opted to stay downstairs, inside this time!

I feel so lucky to live somewhere where I have the lakes basically right on my doorstep. I love getting out there to clear my head and spend some time away from everything.

What did you get up to this weekend?

A January Instagram Diary | 10% off Waterstones online

1. Cocktail night with my bestie/former housemate, Sam.// 2. That time it snowed for about 30 seconds in Lancaster// 3. My wise words of the week// 4. Cos it's cool to be cosy// 5. Apparently 12th January was National Kiss a Ginger Day. Isn't that fun.// 6. Fab book of short stories I'm currently making my way through.// 7. Cake for breakfast!// 8. I have really hot friends.// 9. From when Buddha used to always get stuck down the back of my bed in my old uni room.

I've been back at uni now for a couple of weeks and so far it's been pretty chilled. My uni hours per week have basically halved this term so now after finishing off the coursework I had due, I've had a lot of free time on my hands which is great, though I'm not sure I've been putting it to much good use so far. I've really just been sleeping a lot and eating and drinking my weight's worth in tea and cake from a coffee shop near my house, and of course, getting in some very long-awaited catchups with friends. 

My main priority for this term will be trying to find a placement for my year abroad in Spain which is a little bit stressful but exciting at the same time. I'm hoping to find an advertising internship somewhere, hopefully in the south of Spain around Seville- but beggars can't be choosers! It'll be nice to spend a bit of time in the sun next year. 

For all my fellow book lovers out there: are currently offering 10% off orders over £25 online at Waterstones! As far as I know you can use this code as many times as you like between now and the offer's expiration on 31st January 2015. So, if you're planning any serious book shopping in the next 11 days or so you can get a bit of a discount here.

Goodbye 2014 | New Years Day on the Coast

Hello folks! First of all, Happy New Year!! I hope you've all had a lovely past few days. I'm so tired at the minute- I go through phases where I don't sleep very well and only got a couple of hours last night- so please excuse me if I ramble or if this post just doesn't make any sense. 

With the coming of the new year, of course, my Bloglovin' feed has been full of new years resolutions and posts reflecting on the year gone by. I thought about writing something similar myself, a little round-up of my experiences in 2014. It seemed like the logical thing to do- obligatory, even- but in the end I've decided not to. 2014 definitely wasn't the worst year I've ever had. In fact, it was a year filled with new friendships, new experiences and an abundance of happy memories. It was also the year I started my blog, which has probably been one of the best decisions I've ever made. At the same time, though, 2014 has been a year fraught with difficulties and enormous challenges, and for that reason I'm really not a bit sad to see it go.

Instead, I look forward to the future. I'm really not sure what 2015 has in store for me but I'm really excited to find out. Ideally, I want it to be a year that changes me for the better, I want it to be a year that grows me, and ultimately, a year where I take really good care of myself because I don't feel like that's something I've been particularly good at in the past.

I spent this New Years at my aunt and uncle's house up in the Antrim coast with the pair of them, my mum, my sister and my two cousins. These are just some photos of a walk we took on the beach at White Park Bay on New Year's Day. We'd spent all that morning playing Mario Kart and eating chocolate cake and then thought it would be a good idea to get out of the house and into the fresh air before it started getting dark. The weather wasn't great, but I almost feel like the rain added to it in a way. I know I look like a little bald gnome- don't laugh at me!

Anyway, I'm going to go and get a bit of sleep now before I go stir-crazy! Sending you all so much love and well wishes for 2015. I really hope it's a great year for all of us.
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