Closer to Home: travelling in my own country

Exploring the world, seeing beautiful places, learning from other cultures is my number 1 joy in life. My focus has been far away dream destinations, but recently I realised how little I know about or have seen on my doorstep here in the UK. Not everyone can travel extensively all the time, but we can all explore closer to home and I haven’t been making the most of this. Its time for some life changes!

I can tell you quite a lot about South America. Its history, languages, un-missable places to see and weird foods to try if you’re lucky enough to visit one day. I could give you some pretty sound suggestions for how to safely navigate the bus system in Central America. I’ve got ‘tails’ of road trips in New Zealand. And I could give you a list of some of the best vegetarian restaurants in Vietnam.

And yet, if you’re visiting the UK and want some advice? I’ve got nothing!

Well, that’s not entirely true – I’m OK on London. I’ve lived there for a good while and done my best to frequent as many areas as possible. But, my round the world trip and adventures that followed have shown me time and time again that I am a nature girl. I love nothing more than to be outside, gazing endlessly at trees, wildlife and fabulous views.

The UK has a lot of this to offer and I’ve barely scratched the surface in 35 years.

I became more aware of this deficit of experience when travelling long term. I met people from around the world who proudly recommended top places for me to see closer to their homes. It seemed important to suggest not to just visit London if they come to the UK, as we have so much more. But there my sentence ended…

New traveller friend: “I’d love to visit the UK. London is a top city on my list”

Me: “Yes do – but there is so much more to see. Scotland is beautiful, it can rival New Zealand for views!”

New traveller friend: “Oh great – I’d love to visit. Where should I see?”

Me: “Ummm… you know – the highlands, I guess, I’ve not really seen… so… tell me more about where you’re from”

…was roughly how it went. Pretty lame really.

I need to make some changes

Without meaning to sound like a broken record – travel can change your life. It has changed me for the better, and it is time I create a life for myself that compliments the person I have become. Allowing more time for wandering, exploring and seeing as much as I can in the time I have!

When I returned from my round the world adventure, I wanted to go straight back abroad. I completed the CELTA and made plans to move to South Korea. But circumstances have kept me here and I am going to make the most of every minute.

Moving home

After 12 years in London, I have made a big move to Chester in the North-West of England. It’s an ideal place to start the exploration of my home country. A beautiful city with a history of it’s own, surrounded by places of outstanding natural beauty in every direction. Not to mention 2 of the UK’s biggest and most exciting cities about an hour away.

I can have the same kind of travel experiences closer to home

I’m so excited to apply my independent budget travel skills in the same way here as I do abroad. Obviously I’m still going to be researching, planning and going to places further afield too because I’m a travel obsessed maniac with an ambition to see at least one new country every year and preferably all of them at some point in my life… BUT you can also expect lots more ‘tails’ of UK based adventures from now on.

Here’s a snippet of what I’ve seen so far to show you why I would leave London for such a place…

Autumn tree walks north wales
Autumn walks
Kayaking river dee
River kayaking
Romantic city wall walks
Chest city wall
Chester city wall
tea and cake english travel food closer to home
Afternoon tea and cake (A classic UK food experience!)
Chester canal steam mill travel closer to home
Canal walks and pubs
Jubilee tower moel famau travel closer to home
The Jublilee Tower at the top of Moel Famau (and a beautiful sky)
Moel Famau views north wales travel closer to home
Eye-watering views
tea at moel famau travel closer to home
No more coffee shops, it’s time for tea on a hill!
Bird of prey falcon hovering
Bird of prey hovering above
berries in autum UK
Autumn colours
sunset carpark
Its a sunset from a carpark… but look at the amazing colourful sky!

Do you travel closer to home? How do you make the most of what is on your doorstep?


This post is part of the Wanderful Wednesday blog hop!

Meet the hosts: Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel ofThe Sunny Side of This and me, Marcella of What a Wonderful World.


Why not join in? Click here to enter your link and read lots more wanderful blog posts!


    1. Thank you!! Going abroad is always so exciting – but as I’m now a part time traveller, making the most of closer to home is seeming like a great option too. I’d love to see more of Croatia though 🙂

  1. It’s funny how some of us don’t seem to travel much in our home country. I haven’t seen very much of Australia – maybe I should change that the next time I go back home.
    Your pictures are beautiful though, and I’ve been to the “highlands” heh, and can attest to their beauty.

    1. It is funny – the unknown is much more appealing – but reading blogs about the UK shows how much others find here too. Australia has so much to see – I hope you get a chance to one day 🙂 It’s embarrassing I’ve never seen the highlands – I’m half Scottish!! 😉 They are high on the list…

  2. It’s so weird. I only realize how much Germany has to offer now that I’ve moved away and see what kind of places other bloggers and expats are exploring. Places I would have put down as boring before my move but which I’d love to see now 😀

    1. Yes 😀 That’s exactly how I feel! Maybe leaving is the best way to see it all in a different way. I would love to see more of Germany too!

  3. I’m so excited for you!! It’s so important (and exciting!!) to make the most of where you live when other circumstances are making you stay still. That’s honestly what life’s all about in my opinion! I’m an expat in the UK, but to me it feels like home as I’m really living here (working, renting, bills, friends, etc)…but I try my best to make the most of the UK when I can. It helps to keep that mindset that you’re a traveler even when you’re “home.” Loved reading your post 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment 😀 It is really exciting and feels a great mindset to be in. I’m so glad your enjoying living here – your blog has given lots more ideas of more places to visit here already!

  4. Such a well written post! I too have focused most of my time traveling abroad, but I think it’s so important to also explore those areas close to you! Especially if you’re short on time. I always get nervous about moving home one day and leaving this crazy expat life of travel behind, but I have to remind myself that no matter where I am there will be amazing places to explore! Good for you for taking advantage of that! 😀

    1. Thanks Lauren – I appreciate that 🙂 and this is so true. It can be hard to go home after any kind of adventure – especially when you’re away a long time – there are ups and downs. But there are always incredible places to see wherever you are 😀

  5. I’m already enamoured enough with the UK just from my experience with London. I live in the countryside, so I generally tend to travel to cities, BUT… I have been dying for an excursion through England’s countryside and lately it has been fueled by tv shows (thanks, Poldark) and documentaries. Looking forward to seeing what else you discover close to home!

    1. Ooo – TV will do that – a lot of my travel inspiration comes from documentaries about beautiful places and wildlife that I can’t get out of my head! Glad to hear you’re enamoured – you’re also a motivation for me then – I can’t wait to share more with you 🙂 Hope you get a chance for your excursion and thanks for popping by my blog.

  6. There is always something epic to do in such a small island! I have been watching British Problems, sort of a like a comedy documentary, and it has me wishing I could visit soon! This is such a great itinerary!

  7. I am HUGE on traveling close to home!! there is usually so much to do right under our noses (or at least close by). I, like everyone else, can get caught up in take big epic trips when amazing things are right in my own city or the city next over.

    1. Yes!! 😀 So glad to hear it. Plus what’s your home could just be my next adventure – so I love reading other people’s closer to home adventures too. I’m really excited to start making the most of it here.

  8. Chester’s not a bad place to be; it’s very picturesque and its surrounds (once you get beyond Buckley and Ellesmere Port) are scenic.

    Interesting (?! YMMV…) story: being from Liverpool, it was a ‘rite of passage’ for us, as schoolkids, to go on a week long ‘camp’ at Colomendy, near the village of Loggerheads – it had been originally built as a countryside retreat for children to escape ‘The Blitz’ in WW2 and the concept kind of stuck. Anyway, one of the points of interest in the area is Moel Famau. Children’s stories being as they are, there’d been stories passed down from generation to generation about this mythical, haunted, bleak hill – none of them true of course but obviously they stuck in the imagination; the most bizarre being that there was a chip shop at the top. Anyway, the weather was particularly bad on the day my group was supposed to go up, so the teachers decided against it. Thus I was one of the few people in Liverpool never to have climbed it, and it became possibly the most unlikely item on my vague ‘bucket list’.

    I did eventually climb it, at the end of September (2016). Lovely clear day, great views almost to Blackpool, though incredibly windy at the top so I didn’t stay up there for long. But on my trek up all I kept thinking was ‘this is a bloody steep climb for a 10 year old to have done’! Was also vaguely disappointed no-one had, in the intervening years, at least stuck a burger van up there!

    1. Thank you – I love this story!! It was very chilly up at the top – but there was a young boy up there when we were there having a great time! I did wonder how he was going to get on getting DOWN the steep hill too though as that is tricky at any age! A beautiful view when you have a good weather though 🙂 (PS. Ha ha – I wouldn’t like to work in a burger van up there, but it would certainly do a good trade! I’m sure Starbucks will find it one day… :-0 )

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