Sometimes life just gets too much, I’m sure we’ve all felt it at one time or another? For me, it always seems to happen at this time of the year; maybe it’s the change in the weather or the clocks going back? Whatever it is, when November/December strikes I feel like I just want to curl up in a ball and not do anything until the weather cheers up, which of course is impossible. Life has been particularly hard this year, I won’t bore you with the details as we all have our own stuff going on, but needless to say, on more than one occasion recently I have felt at the end of my tether. Therefore, our annual weekend in the countryside last weekend to do, well, absolutely nothing, came at the perfect time.
Because of my annual early winter slump, we always put a weekend aside around the same time each year to disappear for 72 hours and spend some quality time with each other without the added stresses of the ‘real’ world. No work, no writing, no housework, no alarm, no routine, no plan = no stress. We hire a lodge in rural Northern England, stock the car up with everything we could need for the weekend (did someone say winter ROAD TRIP?!) and head off on Friday evening until Monday morning. We get the cats looked after, leave the laptops at home and we restrict the use of mobile phones in an attempt to go fully off the grid, of course, that never works, but we at least try.
We normally head into the Yorkshire Dales, which are only a couple of hours from where we live and they are beautiful, maybe that’s my bias as I am a Yorkshire lass but seriously they are beautiful. We always ensure the lodge we hire has a hot tub, well because – hot tub, right? There is nothing nicer than getting into a steaming, bubbling hot tub when the weather is cold outside. We also always ensure that we pack enough food, snacks and booze to sink a ship and a boxset to snuggle up on the sofa and binge watch, this year we opted for Narcos, we only got the opportunity to watch around 5 episodes but have already decided that we need to visit Colombia as soon as possible!
Also by having the car with us, it means we can also pack all those extras that you have to restrict or simply can’t pack if you are flying, especially if only with hand luggage. Top things for me are blankets for the aforementioned snuggle/binge fest on the sofa, winter woollies and full-sized toiletries – there is no greater joy for me than being able to take a full-sized conditioner with me and not have to restrict my use to ensure I have enough for a whole trip. Also, as the weather in England can turn on a sixpence I love having the room to pack wellies and waterproofs just in case they are needed.
Luckily for us, our weekend was dry, bright and crisp. Yes, it was cold but once wrapped up against the elements, we were good to go and it gave me the opportunity to wear my lovely new winter items that JD Williams sent me. Having never shopped with them before I really didn’t know what to expect, sizing or quality wise, but I must say both were great and the items were lovely.
Sole Diva Lottie Suedette Chelsea Boots
Even though I am happiest on a beach in my flip-flops, I do love a good pair of winter boots, that are practical, yet fashionable. Therefore I chose these boots. I wouldn’t say I have particularly wide feet but often regular fit shoes and boots do nip, especially around my little toe on my right foot which I broke years ago in a drunken mishap. Therefore, the fact that these boots come in 3 different widths is great, as it means no matter how wide your feet, you can have a pair of must-have Chelsea ankle boots. I opted for tan as every pair of boots I have is black, in fact, most of my wardrobe is black, and I’m glad I did, I think they look great with jeans and priced at only £20, they are a great value and as someone who walks a lot when travelling, I was also pleased to find that they are super comfortable. I wore them for hours on end and did not have one ache or blister.
Embellished Velour Kimono
The second I saw this Kimono, I fell in love with it. Ok, not a winter coat in the traditional sense but perfect as a dressy coverup on the not so chilly winter days. It was perfect for throwing on over a jumper as we headed out for afternoon walks, and I’m looking forward to wearing it over a dress during the upcoming party season. Yes, it’s black, like most things in my wardrobe, but the lovely embroidered autumnal coloured flowers on the sleeves and back really brighten it up and ensures it goes with a lot of outfits. Priced at £65, it is probably more then I would ever pay for a kimono, but this one is super thick, heavy and it feels amazing making it great value for money.
Even though the aim of our annual winter weekend away is to do as little as possible, which for travel bloggers is quite difficult, we always do achieve it to a certain degree. However, we still always like to explore at least one tourist attraction close to where we are staying. This year it was a toss-up between Skipton Castle and the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail and we opted for the latter, which I’ll be honest, was not what we expected.
Instead of a nice amble to a beautiful waterfall, we endured a 10 km hike around the whole trail which was muddy, uneven and slippery in Converse trainers, luckily not my brand spanking new boots as mentioned above. Every single other person we saw on the trail had proper walking gear on and we couldn’t help but notice the amount of side-eye we were getting. Nevertheless, we persisted and were greeted with beautiful views and scenery, however by the time we got back to the car we were dirty and cold and ready for a glass of wine and a soak in the hot tub. Never has there been a time that I wish I had actually researched where we were going before we arrived there.
Another thing we did, which we love and never get the time to do during a normal weekend was take a Sunday afternoon walk. Even after the 10k of the previous day and with achy legs, there was just no way we weren’t getting outside to enjoy the blue skies, something November in England is not notorious for. We headed out to see what we could see and found beautiful green fields, railway lines and cute chocolate box cottages with billowing chimneys making the fact that they had a roaring fire on the go evident.
We found ourselves at the pub where we enjoyed a fantastic 3 course Sunday lunch, our first in over a year, before retiring back to our lodge for yet another evening of hot tubbing, snacking and binge watching. The perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Do you have any travelling traditions? Maybe you visit somewhere every year? We’d love to hear how you unwind when things get on top of you.
- Items received from JD Williams for purpose of review but my love of the products and a weekend of relaxtion is all my own.