Posts

Chatsworth Christmas Markets

Image
Christmas is possibly my favourite time of year. For me it all kicks off around mid-November with a visit to the Chatsworth Christmas Markets.
We all pile into a car (including the dogs) and take the scenic route into the Peak District. 

If you love period dramas as much as I do you'll probably recognise the house... 
It's perhaps most famous for playing 'Pemberley' in the film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (starring Keira Knightley)

We always start our day out either touring the house or exploring the estate. The house is themed differently each Christmas and this year's theme is Great Expectations
However, on the day we visited the weather was too glorious to spend the morning indoors so we ventured out onto the estate...

Where we attempted to tire this little rascal out...


We climbed up the hill through the ever changing Autumn colours until we reached the folly...

Where we stopped for a while to enjoy the view.


Jacket: New Look Jeans: Marks and Spencer B…

Sullivan's Island & Shem Creek

Image
This is the last of the posts from my American Road Trip. I'm sad not to have an excuse to relive the memories but I'm excited to plan some fresh content!
For the final day of our trip we decided to unwind on Sullivan's Island, and do one of my favourite activities: Brunch! (A much bigger deal in America - but thankfully it's catching on over here.)
Charleston is a cyclists city and thankfully our hotel included bicycle hire in our resort fee (most places do this but it's still a good idea to check). So we borrowed a couple and headed out to the coast. We passed by the picturesque Shem Creek en the way and were drawn back here for a last meal before heading for the airport.




Charleston's Charm

Image
I am just going to say it... I think Charleston is possibly the prettiest city I have ever visited. Not to mention the most warm and welcoming. It really showed us some amazing southern hospitality.
We only stayed a couple of nights, but I could easily live here. 


On our first evening we arrived starving after a long, long drive. I had heard wonderful things about Magnolias but sadly they couldn't squeeze us in. So here is my hot tip: head next door to it's sister restaurant Blossom. Which is every bit as good and much less crowded. 



For shopping; you can't beat King Street, but the market hall was fun to wander through and we also found a fun farmers market on the square (held once a month).


Mostly though, I spent my time in Charleston drooling over dream houses and other pretty places.








Oh, and if you want to splash out on a fancy dinner - try this place. I celebrated by birthday with a Bison steak which I am still talking about now.

The Smoky Mountains: Part 2

Image
We hadn't made any firm plans (except for horse riding) for our time in the Smokies so on the second day we headed out to explore with no real destination in mind. 

Taking the scenic (and somewhat slippy) route down the mountain. I'd have been a bit less nervous on this road with a driver who spent a bit less time admiring the view...

...but then again it was pretty spectacular so who can blame him?

When we reached the valley floor we were greeted by this handsome chap. 

Elk don't usually appear during the daytime (we were very lucky!) but they can somtimes be seen on the meadows at sunset/sunrise.

After bidding adieu to the Elk we made our way to the Boogerman trail (thanks to the advice of a friendly mountain ranger we met en route). 


Walking the Boogerman trail is a pretty magical experience - with all the different coloured butterflies dancing on the breeze you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a Disney movie.
Our walk was cut short a few miles in (one of the…

The Smoky Mountains: Part 1

Image
I've been dreaming of visiting the Smoky Mountains ever since I first heard Dolly sing "In my Tennessee mountain home..." but none of the songs really do justice to their scale or beauty.

We picked up our rental car and wound our way into the mountains.



We headed to the highest point: Clingman's Dome

It felt a little like standing on top of the world.

When I could finally tear myself away from that view, we headed back down the mountain and made our way to the edge of the Smokies - to Maggie Valley and Cataloochee Ranch.

When we arrived at the ranch, our lovely hosts fed us enough to put us into a food coma.  We awoke the next day to this beautiful view.


After another feast for breakfast, we decide to spend the morning exploring Mingo Falls.

I have been lucky enough to visit some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world on my travels, and while these didn't quite match the scale of others, they were by far the prettiest.






After soaking up the beauty of the…