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My Favourite Experiences of 2015

All about the journey. Sitting on Hohe Mut in Obergurgl, Austrian Alps

As promised earlier in the week, and following the trend that is quite unsurprising at this particular time of year, I have been looking through my diary and blog and reminiscing about what I’ve been up to in the last 12 months. I have had a pretty good year, I must say. It’s been jam packed full of experiences that will stick in my happy memory bank for years to come – and as that is my biggest aim in life I think I’ve had a pretty successful year.

This post is definitely an excuse to point you in the direction of a few of my favourite experiences, and therefore blog posts, from the year gone by. So please forgive me if you really don’t like these compilation type posts, but how could I pass on this opportunity to share? Consider this my end-of-series special… just a few of my best bits I wanted to share with you.

Plenty of Time Outdoors

Kinder Scout

A definite highlight of my year was setting up the Outdoor Bloggers network with Jenni and running our first camping and hiking weekend in Edale. On the Saturday we hiked up to Kinder Scout and, despite the bog, had a really excellent time. Read: Outdoor Bloggers Weekend – Camping and Hiking in Edale

Stephen Langton Trail

The Stephen Langton Trail was created earlier this year to celebrate 800 years of Magna Carta, and I walked it after Visit Lincoln contacted me to tell me about it. It was a lovely 16 mile walk into the centre of Lincoln from Langton-by-Wragby. Well worth the effort. Read: Walking the Stephen Langton Trail

Lincoln to Boston

There used to be a railway line along the river between Lincoln and Boston, which covers 33 miles in an easy-to-follow line. I walked it earlier this year to prepare myself for the Lyke Wake Walk, and oh was it a challenge! It was a real test of mental and physical fitness, and actually lead me to doubt myself completely. Read: Walking Along the Water Railway from Lincoln to Boston

Lyke Wake Walk

I did it! I can’t deny that my outdoors highlight of the year was the Lyke Wake Walk. It was a huge challenge but one that was so good – I’m so pleased that Jenni suggested we did it and that Allysse could join us to. Definitely my kind of girlie weekend! Read: Lyke Wake Walk – A Hiking Challenge

Lots of Bucket List Ticks

Track Cycling at Lee Valley

Cycling on a velodrome has been one of my wishes for a long time. I always say that if I had ever been a sportswoman it would be hockey or cycling, thanks to my huge thighs and bum. This was my chance to give track cycling a go. And I loved it! Read: Track Cycling at Lee Valley

Pretending to be James Bond

If you want to see London in a slightly different way I can definitely recommend pretending to be James Bond by “sailing” up and down the River Thames in a RIB. It was fast, a bit wet, but so much fun. Read: Thames RIB Experience

Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

Hot air ballooning was one of the first things to ever go on my bucket list, and this year I was able to tick it off in huge style by floating over the caves and rocks of Cappadocia with a hundred other hot air balloons. Seriously stunning and quite surreal. Read: Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia

A New Watersport – SUP

I can see myself packing up my paddle board up and heading off into the sun on a bright blue ocean. But my first taste of this water sport was actually on the brown and murky lake at Center Parcs in Elveden earlier on this year. Read: A Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Lesson

Open Water Swimming

Ordnance Survey, the mapping company, challenged us all to pledge to do something special/new/challenging outdoors this year, and I got involved by going open water swimming – in water that was 16 degrees Celcius!! Read: My #GetOutside Pledge – Swim in a Lake

Civilised Eating in Harrogate

It’s not all adventure or sporty stuff on my bucket list, not by a long way. We “took” afternoon tea at Bettys in Harrogate, one of the UK’s most famous places to do that. It was utterly delicious and a real treat. Read: Afternoon Tea at Bettys

Some Great Travel Opportunities

The Austrian Alps – Twice

We went to Obergurgl in the Austrian Alps for our first proper Alpine skiing experience back in January, and loved it so much we rode the motorbikes on a return visit in July. I totally fell in love with this particular mountain range, it’s a view that is right there in front of me whenever I close my eyes. Read: Obergurgl: Summer and Winter and Motorbike Tour of Europe – We Rode to Italy and Back

Turkey, especially Cappadocia

I had the absolute pleasure of being invited to join TopDeck on one of their coach tours this year, which enabled me to explore a new-to-me country that taught me so much. Everywhere I visited in Turkey was beautiful and had a great story to tell, nowhere more so than Cappadocia. Read: TopDeck Turkey Diary

Returning to Glencoe

It is no secret that Glencoe is one of my favourite places in the world, and I like to take every opportunity possible to visit. This summer we headed up to Aviemore for a week exploring, and naturally had to detour through Glencoe on the way home. Such a shame about the weather, but you can’t have everything. Read: Exploring Scotland by Motorbike

And Much Randomness!

Exploring Bristol

When I’m working away I like to make sure I find time to explore where I am. I walked miles and miles around Bristol including up to the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge when I was there earlier this year, which meant I definitely earned my pizza! Read: Exploring Bristol – Clifton Suspension Bridge

Three Days Without Chewing

I gave a juice detox a go courtesy of NOSH and felt hunger like never before.  It was an interesting experiment and did prove to me that I don’t need all those things I eat. But it did also confirm that I couldn’t do the fasting thing much!! Read: Three Days Without Chewing. My NOSH Detox Experience

Making Marshmallow

I finally learnt how to make marshmallow, one of my very favourite sweet treats in the whole wide world. I’ve not made it a lot, just a handful of times through the year, but it gets better each time. Read: Home Made Marshmallow

The Staircase to Nowhere

I have been able to make some new friends this year thanks to blogging and my love of getting outdoors. I met Jo from Always Think You Can in Coventry and we came across this staircase ruin that got us both thinking. Read: Always Think You Can and the Staircase to Nowhere

Arrive at an Airport to my Name on a Sign

This was a bucket list tick but one that was also rather amusing as I was left stood next to my sign for quite some time before my driver came to get me. Read: TopDeck Turkey Diary Day 1 | Home to Istanbul

Making American Treats at Home

My most popular post of the year seems to be this recipe post I wrote about funnel cake, an American deep fried treat. So good. I might have to make some for tea. Read: Homemade American Treat – Funnel Cake

Setting up Splodz Blogz TV

This was a pretty random decision for someone in their mid-thirties who is probably too old for all this, but one I’m rather enjoying. After years of believeing YouTube couldn’t possibly be for me, I decide to just take the plunge, set up a channel, and see what happened. A few months on and I’m enjoying filming, editing and sharing a weekly vlog – episode five is available to watch right now if you fancy it! Read: Youtube-ing and Watch: Splodz Blogz TV

 

I think – I know – it’s been a pretty good year, and these edited highlights are just some of the wonderful experiences that I’ve been able to have over the last 12 months. I am so pleased I started blogging as it’s such a good way to look back and remember what went on.

What were your 2015 highlights? Your favourite experiences? I hope you’ve had some great experiences to  Do tell me, and if you have blog posts or vlogs attached feel free to link in the comments below so I can go and take a look.

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