It is now the year 2022!
We still can’t quite believe Covid is still present, in our 2020 round up I thought we may get back to normal during 2021 but that wasn’t really to happen.
And so the annual round up of the year we’ve just left behind won’t be as adventurous as in years gone by…. But lets have a look at what 2021 brought us.
Now, we could have travelled abroad but to be honest we just didn’t know how safe it would be, and the whole PCR and red list countries and isolating on return etc etc just didn’t excite us, especially with a baby. So we decided to explore a lot of the UK, on days out, short breaks and road trips.
As we are based in Scotland, we took plenty of day trips around, we also had family come visit so we took them to our favourite spots
We bought a pass for Edinburgh Zoo, with unlimited visits for just £96 for two adults and Gigi goes free, we visited many times and although Gigi is young, it didn’t stop her getting excited by the animals, her favourites being the Meerkats, Penguins, Giraffes and Squirrel Monkeys
On St Andrew’s Day there was free entry to Edinburgh Castle (just book online) so we took Shannon's brother and his girlfriend Casey around Edinburgh and to visit the castle
In August we visited the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it was back and the streets were full of street performers and indoor venues too
We once again visited the Museum of Scotland (free entry) whilst being interested in the museum, it is the panoramic views across Edinburgh from the rooftop which is pretty awesome
Edinburgh Christmas Markets - although scaled back in 2021 due to covid restrictions, it is still a magical place to visit
Best places to eat - Umai Sushi and Ramen Kitchen (check out our blog post)
We’ve visited Glasgow a few times, now that we aren’t in Glasgow for work, it is nice just to visit as a tourist. We went in the summer and lazed in the sun at the Botanic Gardens and we’ve went to the newly opened, awesome crazy golf ‘Golf Fang’ (you won’t have seen a crazy golf like it!) We’ve been to the Riverside Museum, and took walks around the University of Glasgow
Best places to eat- Oscars in Shawlands
Paesano for pizza in Great Western Road an Miller Street
Sugo for pasta in Mitchell Street
We’ve taken lots of walks and bike rides in Renfrewshire, the best being -
Gleniffer Braes waterfall (Paisley)
Parkhill Woods (Lochwinnoch)
Boden Boo (Erskine)
Barshaw Park (Paisley)
Best places to eat - The Johnstone Cafe in Johnstone
The Coach House in Bridge of Weir
We visited Lunderston Bay one sunny hot day, theres a lovely beach, with views across the River Clyde to Dunoon and islands
A great short walk is at The Knapps in Kilmacolm, where you can walk amongst cattle, around a lake and into a forested area (check out our blog post)
Each August Largs hosts an annual Viking Festival, where you can visit a Viking settlement, have your runes read, hold an owl and watch an air display. The festival marks the 1263 Battle of Largs, which was the last mainland battle between the Scots and the Norse
A must for any kid big or small, is a visit to Heads of Ayr Farm Park, where there is a huge range of animals to get up close with, as well lots of fun playground activiites
Best places to eat - The Vine in Prestwick (check out our blog post)
Stirlingshire and Perthshire
A great day out is visiting The Helix/ The Kelpies in Falkirk, which is an urban space with narrowboats moored with a backdrop of two massive mystical kelpies
Stirling Castle is a great place to explore and learn all about Mary, Queen of Scots
Bracklinn Falls in Callander is a great walk through woodland to a gorgeous waterfall
Argyll and Bute
We love Loch Lomond and our favourite village is Luss. Further up the water you will find Inveruglas, climb the pyramid structure to get amazing views across the loch
We went on a cruise around Loch Lomond on the 'Celtic Warrior' where we got to sip champagne or a local single malt whisky whilst we sailed around the loch hearing local commentary. Afterwards we enjoyed a seafood platter at The Boat House on the banks of Loch Lomond
Helensburgh is a lovely seaside town where you can stop in one of the seafront cafes for ice cream or get a chippy to takeaway and sit on the promenade and enjoy the view. In December there is a Christmas Market selling local produce and crafts
After Loch Lomond, our second favourite place to visit in Scotland is Glencoe in the Highlands, there are the views with mountains to climb or ski down, but we just enjoy going there for the views, and either head to Oban or Fort William from there. Be sure to stop at The Kings House for food, either a light snack, or lunch
The Channel Islands
We visited Guernsey twice in 2021, there’s so much to see and do in Guernsey, but as we’ve lived there for countless years we’ve ticked most of it off already, so we took it easy, going for cliff walks, enjoying good food and Gigi even popped over to isle of Herm for the day
Best places to eat - The Beach House
Whilst travelling to and from Guernsey we took our time and went on little road trips through England .
On our first trip, we stopped off at some absolutely gorgeous places including Haworth, Harrogate ,Knaresborough, York, Bath and took a stunning drive through the Winnats Pass. (check out our blog post)
Cornwall and Devon
We also spent time in and around Cornwall and Devon, visiting Lyme Regis, Newquay, Port Isaac, Lands End, Penzance and Saint Michaels Mount
On the way back home we also spent some time in Chester where we walked the City Walls, saw the Roman Amphitheatre, visited Chester Cathedral and wandered the streets, Chester was a lovely place to visit
Another trip to Guernsey, this time we spent a few hours exploring Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK. We were very impressed, the building were stunning, the Christmas Markets were in full swing and the city a buzz
We also took a little mini break to the Lake District, our first camping trip with baby (well glamping as it was in a motorhome). We visited Lake Coniston, Ambleside, Bowness-on-Windermere and Ullswater
Best places to eat - Yewdale Inn (Lake Coniston) for pizza
Let It Brew (Ullswater) for cake and coffee
And just because we were passing, we stopped off at Hadrians Wall, we walked along a large section of the wall and just took in our surroundings, such a great place to visit!
We also stopped off in Wales (mainly due to covid restrictions at the time not allowing overnight stays in English hotels) , so we made the most of it by visiting Wrexham, Newport, Barry Island and the capital city Cardiff
Best of the Year
Best travel experience
Road trips to York, Bath, Lyme Regis and Newquay
Best of Scotland
Loch Lomond and Glencoe
Best new destination
Best revisited destination
Best Food - Scotland
The Coach House, Bridge of Weir
Best Food and Drink Abroad (England)
The Yewdale Inn, Coniston
Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist (both World and UK editions)
We bought bikes and got to ride around lanes and hills stopping off to admire farm animals, lochs and scenery
Best of Scotland
Road trip around Loch Lomond and Glencoe
Best of TV Best
England reaching the final of the Euros, Emma Raducanu winning the US Open, Max Verstappen winning the F1
Still love following and watching 'Flying The Nest'
Worst of the year
Max Verstappen winning the F1 (says Shannon, he wanted Hamilton to win), being made redundant whilst on maternity leave and having to find a new job, us all catching Covid, losing dearly loved ones
Looking forward to 2022…
We will try our best to blog more, as we know we haven’t done much in ’21, this was a combination of a newborn baby taking up a lot of time and Shannon working from home also meant the laptop was never free!
We aren’t planning much for the year ahead, rather we will just see where the year takes us.
We wish you all a happy and healthy 2022! See you soon!