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I’m sitting here on the last day of 2017 and can’t quite believe the year is over and we’re about to start afresh. 2017 was the first full year that we got serious about our financial goals but we still wanted to spend as much time as we could exploring, the wanderlust is still all-consuming!

So to combat the need to travel with saving a bit more, we stayed fairly close to home with our adventures. Apart from one far-flung trip, our holidays have all been spent in Europe and we’ve been exploring the UK more than we ever have before.

Here are our travel and adventure highlights from 2017…

 

February

Lake District Birthday

After spending January in hibernation mode we headed off to the beautiful Lake District in Cumbria in early February for what has become an annual visit for my birthday.

January and February are fairly miserable months in the UK so it’s nice to escape to the Fells to get some much needed fresh air and make the most of the quiet period in one of the busiest tourist hotspots in the country.

We always stay in little cottages in the old mining village of Coniston and it is absolute bliss.

 

Catbells Cumbria The Lake District

Hiking Catbells in the Lake District

March

Newcastle

We kicked off the month with a visit to Newcastle to stay with some friends and finally got to get up close and personal with the Angel of the North.

Since I grew up in Newcastle and Antony Gormley’s beautiful masterpiece has been around since 1998, I’m fairly ashamed it took me this long!

It was a gorgeous day with blue skies and nice to get a good look at the sculpture up close.

 

Angel of The North

The stunning Angel of the North

 

La Palma, Spain

Later in the month, we spent a week on the lovely Canary Island of La Palma. When most people think of the Canaries the images that come to mind are massive hotels and super-resorts with thousands of tourists.

La Palma is a little gem of an island with hardly any tourism but some epic hiking and stunning scenery. I can’t wait to write about our experiences.

 

The Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma

The Caldera de Taburiente, La Palma

 

May

Scotland

For Paul’s 40th birthday we decided to do a road trip through the Highlands of Scotland.

It had been nearly a decade since we’d made it up as far as the Isle of Skye and when you have somewhere as stunning as Scotland within 4-5 hours drive of your own home that is a travesty.

On this trip we visited the Cairngorms National Park and Balmoral, Inverness and the Black Isle, the stunning west coast, Lewis and Harris and the Isle of Skye.

It was a full-on week and in hindsight we planned too much travel, but we still had a wonderful time revisiting old haunts and exploring new sights.

We are so incredibly lucky to have this beautiful place on our doorstep.

 

Luskentyre Beach Isle of Harris Scotland

Luskentyre Beach looking like the tropics, Isle of Harris

 

June

Northumberland Weekend

In June we took Paul’s parents away for what was their Christmas present. They’d always wanted to visit my own favourite National Trust property, Cragside in Northumberland.

The house is famous for being the first hydro-electric powered house in the world and is set in the most magical alpine landscape.

 

Cragside House

Cragside House

 

We thought we’d make the most of a weekend away and stayed at the beautiful Percy Arms in Chatton. Accommodation isn’t normally a priority for us, but since the weekend was a gift we thought we’d push the boat out and it was fantastic!

We spent the Sunday morning at Bamburgh on the hottest day of the year and road tripped down the coast in glorious sunshine – great weekend.

 

Bamburgh Castle Northumberland

Bamburgh Castle on the hottest day of the year

 

August

Balloon Flight

For my birthday in 2016 Paul bought me a hot air balloon flight. We were both incredibly excited until we got to the third cancelled flight!

As you can imagine, hot air ballooning in a country with not so stellar weather means there aren’t a huge amount of days to safely fly.

By the time August 2017 came around we were onto our 7th flight booking and I said that if this one was cancelled we’d just get our money back.

 

Virgin Hot Air Balloon

Our hot air balloon

 

However, on the 13th August (coincidentally our 5th wedding anniversary) we finally took flight and it was magical!

The flight took us over where we live and neighbouring towns and it was a surreal experience seeing it all from above.

 

Hot air balloon silhouette

The fields around Harrogate from above

 

September

USA Road Trip

When we got married in the Finger Lakes of New York State we promised each other that in 5 years we’d come back to the same Inn for our anniversary.

We planned a 2-week holiday around the lovely Springside Inn at Auburn and road tripped through Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

 

Acadia National Park Paul Deaton

Hiking in Acadia National Park

 

It was wonderful to revisit the states we’d been to just after our wedding. This time around we spent a lot longer in Vermont and after a flying visit to Acadia National Park in 2012 we got to fall in love with the area all over again.

 

Portland Head Light Maine

Portland Head Light in beautiful Maine

 

October

Scotland Weekend

One of my oldest friends has recently moved from Edinburgh city into the nearby countryside so we went for a weekend visit to check out her new pad.

We managed to drag ourselves away from the gorgeous views from her new place to head out into the Cairngorms for a bit of hiking.

The weather was atrocious but we got to see a breathtaking glacial bowl in a remote glen, this area in Scotland is beautiful no matter what the weather throws at you.

 

Corrie Fee Scotland

Corrie Fee on a bleak day

 

Thorp Perrow Day Out

Towards the end of the month, we spent a lovely sunny Sunday leaf peeping at Thorp Perrow Arboretum in the Yorkshire Dales.

It was wonderful wandering through 100 acres of various trees, all planted in the 1800s and with their own glorious autumn colours.

 

Thorp Perrow Aboretum

Thorp Perrow in leaf peeping season

 

November

Northumberland Week of Relaxation

For our final week-long trip of the year, we decided to stay in the UK and rented a cottage by the sea in Northumberland.

I can’t remember a time where we’ve had such a relaxed and leisurely holiday and it was just what we both needed.

There are few places in the UK more beautiful than the Northumberland coastline and we can highly recommend a winter break there.

Read about our trip here.

 

Boat sheds Holy Island

Old fishing boats converted into sheds on Holy Island

 

December

Edinburgh Weekend at Christmas

A few years ago we started the tradition of taking a European city break in early December to get into the festive spirit. In previous years we’ve been to Bruges and Copenhagen.

This year Edinburgh was chosen and it really was incredibly magical at Christmas. We got very lucky with the weather and it was clear skies, sunny and absolutely freezing.

The city was decked out in beautiful twinkling lights and the Christmas market was around 10 times the size it was when we last visited in 2007.

 

Dean Village Edinburgh Winter Frost

Dean Village Edinburgh, freezing and covered in frost

 

So that was 2017! What did you get up to in 2017 and what are your plans for the year ahead?

Don’t forget to pin me!

Two for the Road in 2017 - The highlight reel of our travel adventures for the year.

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