Where Next? – Chris’s 2018 travel plans in the UK

2017 is nearly over, some great trips, Barbados, Dubai x 2, the Lakes, the Cotswolds, the Algarve, Tuscany and Kenya.


City of Florence

Some of the highlights from 2017

It’s time to start thinking about 2018 and beyond!

So where next?

As well as our annual trip to Barbados and visits to Dubai to see Kate and Josh, 2018 is already looking like a busy year. Some trips are already confirmed and others are in the planning stage. Here a couple of planned trips in the UK, trips further afield will follow soon.

Nearer to home

Destination – Cartmel 


What’s the Story?

Cartmel is situated in Cumbria on the southern edge of the Lake District, only a mile or so from Morecombe Bay. It is very popular with foodies being home to one of the UK’s top restaurant and also where sticky toffee pudding originated from.



It also attracts walkers and racegoers, with a lovely racecourse right in the centre of the village.

Cartmel is also popular with history buffs. Its home to the 800 year old Cartmel Priory and one of Britain’s most magnificent stately homes Holker Hall.

Why Cartmel?

We fell in love with Cartmel on our first visit earlier this year.


This was definitely Cartmel not Dewsbury!


It is certainly a very picturesque village with a great selection of restaurants and dog friendly pubs, so Odie can have a holiday too! For me however I have always wanted to visit L’Enclume the 2 Michelin Star restaurant which is one of the best if not the best restaurant in the UK.


Simon Rogan’s legendary L’Enclume Restaurant


We have already arranged a dog sitter for Odie as unfortunately he’s not allowed in!

The Best Time to Visit

Any time of the year really but I would definitely avoid bank holidays, and unless you are are a racegoer race days.

The Guestbooks Comment: “Definitely the ideal place for food lovers. As well as L’Enclume you have Rogans, its more informal sister restaurant, and a great gastropub the Cavendish Arms. Not forgetting of course the famous original Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding!”


Destination – Conwy


Whats the Story?

Conway is a beautiful harbour town on the North Wales coast. It is a world heritage site dominated by the stunning Conwy Castle built by Edward 1st in the 13th century, its probably the most impressive of all the Welsh castles (IMHO)! A walk on the town walls is definitely a must with great views of the town, castle and harbour.

Views from the town walls

The town attracts many tourists during the summer months, they come to see the castle and the Telford Bridge, one of the first road suspension bridges in the world. Conwy is also a magnet for walkers, lying on the coast but also on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, with loads of walks from the town.

View of the coastline from the top of Conwy Mountain

There is a good selection of accommodation in the town and nearby in the beautiful Conwy Valley. Conwy has plenty of choice for eating and drinking. Alfredo’s Italian restaurant is one of my favourites, it has been a Conwy institution for over 50 years. Make sure you try a takeaway fish and chips and eat them on the harbour front, but watch out for the seagulls!


For many years I had a static caravan in the Conwy Valley and used to spend most weekends up there for 10 months of the year.

The pretty Conwy Valley at Llanrwst

I have many fond memories of time spent up there with family and friends. About 10 years ago Jane and I decided we wanted to do more travelling so sold the caravan, and I have never been back to Conwy other than on work related business. This year we have decided we need to revisit what will always be one of my favourite places in the UK.

The best time to visit.

The summer months attract a large number of day trippers and holidaymakers so the town gets very busy, parking is difficult and pubs and restaurants are full. I recommend you visit during the spring and the autumn. October is a particularly good month when the Conwy Food festival is held in the town.

The stunning Sychnant Pass

The Guestbooks Comment: “If you have a chance definitely visit this lovely town, but also make sure you venture further afield in to the beautiful Conwy Valley and over the Sychnant Pass you won’t be disappointed. Also pay a visit to Edwards the Butchers on the main street, their sausage and pork pies are historic!”


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