Planning and booking a holiday is always exhilarating. Packing, unpacking and repacking your suitcases, although sometimes a little stressful when you realise you have NOTHING TO WEAR, can also leave you with a flutter of excitable anticipation about your upcoming trip. The morning you’re travelling is the only time waking up at 4am is acceptable, and something you’re happy to do without the hint of a moan or a snooze of an alarm. Although I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, I absolutely love to travel. Whether it be in the UK or abroad, I love nothing more than booking a holiday and making list after list of what to pack, what we’ll do, where we’ll go and what we’ll see. Although that sounds very organised (and to some, highly annoying!), I can assure you I’m not. I just love a good list.
The majority of my most recent trips away have been in the UK and to me, nothing beats a staycation. Especially when walking is involved! I’ve hiked up mountains in The Lake District with strangers, walked the sights of Amsterdam with friends, had a romantic staycation in Bude and most recently, headed to The Isle of Wight for a walking weekend with my partner, Hannah.
The first time I visited the Isle of Wight, I must have only been 6 years old. My family - and by family, I mean Mum, Dad, Sister, Auntie, Uncle, two Cousins, Auntie who isn’t an Auntie, but we call her Auntie anyway, friends of the family and whoever else we collected along the way – and I spent a glorious Summer in Shanklin.
Heading back to the island 25 years later, I was pleased to find out I’d be staying in Shanklin for one of the nights, as well as revisiting some of the places I had seen as a little girl. Being so young the last time I was there meant I didn’t remember too much of the famous landmarks, such as The Needles, that I looked forward to seeing this time round. To be honest, all I can really recall from the family holiday, which seems a lifetime ago now, was how happy I was pouring colourful sand into glass bottles at the Needles Landmark Attraction, running around the beaches with my sister and cousins and feeling all grown up when I bought the most elaborate mood ring I could f