Ireland!

I absolutely love Ireland. My ancestors were from Ireland and I always feel like I have come home even though I am from Wales. We have had many long weekend trips to Ireland, usually around Christmas. I find the people so friendly and the country is absolutely beautiful.Ireland 14 dec 2014 (68)

I love Dublin but prefer the countryside especially the Wicklow mountains. We have spent many times driving up the old military road, through Sally Gap and visiting places such as Glendalough with its monastic site. Then driving toward the coast following the map from Dun Laoire to Greystones

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Powerscourt Gardens near Enniskerry is beautiful and the grounds are absolutely stunning. If you are ever nearby please visit as it is worthy to be included in your itinerary.

Some of the Irish countryside views are the most beautiful I have ever seen. I am sure It will not be long before I return to the land of my ancestors, until then I have fond memories.

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Lively Lisbon

Lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of the many winding streets in Lisbon, perhaps take a ride on Tram 28 (if you can be patient to queue!) Or take a tuk tuk ride!

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One thing is for sure as with all big cities watch your purse & wallet! Keep your wits about you and use common sense.

The streets are filled with bars, restaurants and quaint cafes. Make sure you take time out to stop and people watch.

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I recently enjoyed meandering around the streets of Lisbon, then when too tired to walk I took a ride on a tuk tuk. This was far better than the Tram 28 option which is a tourist go to stop. The queue for this tram was down the street and the people looked mightily squashed into each other’s armpits on the tram! Now I am sure the tram is great and I did want to go on it but no no I don’t think, so off on a tuk tuk I went!!

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The tuk tuk tour took me around all the major tourist stops. There was an opportunity to get off the tuk tuk for 10 minutes at a time to go inside churches or view the beautiful vista of Lisbon from Alfama. The driver was so informative and humorous giving information, history and guidance on Lisbon. It was very much worth the money we paid and it was great fun and certainly one of the highlights of my time in Portugal.

The hill tram – Ascensor da Gloria is worthy of a trip. You can walk it but it’s a good experience  (it is located across the road and more or less opposite from the Hard Rock Cafe) I found the return tickets good value for a family of four (best to have the right amount when boarding). There is always a queue to go up, but not so much going back down.  At the top you will be met by a scenic view of Lisbon. 

Here you will pass legal graffiti artists showing their art work. The street vibe and feel for the city is very much evident.

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I love the country and peace a quiet but even I was taken with Lisbon and will certainly make a return journey there.

Kensington London England UK

London is a fantastic place to visit but I particularly like Kensington. If you get the chance visit Kensington Palace go! The palace is really interesting and you get to see how the other half live! We saved money too as Kensington Palace accepted Tesco vouchers, so happy days!

Within the palace are items from Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. I am an architecture and history lover so a trip like this is wonderful. The great thing about Kensington Palace grounds is the green area. London can feel claustrophobic at times and the grounds surrounding the palace I find calming. It is a definite must do when in London.

Lincoln England Lincolnshire UK

We love to have regular mini trips in random places, some little villages and then some city breaks. One place I love is Lincoln in England. A beautiful city in the English East Midlands.  There are some lovely hotels and also good budget hotels around. Plenty of good old fashioned ‘pub grub’ (pub food) and beautiful buildings. If you have a few days and you are in the area go and visit, you will not be disappointed!