Are you planning a trip to Dublin? Make sure you don’t miss out on a beautiful little corner of Ireland called Howth!
Who knew this little hideaway is only 30 minutes away from the city?
Not only does Larry Mullen have a house in Howth overlooking the beach (He’s the drummer from U2, pretty cool huh!?) It is also home to some of the best Fish and Chips in Dublin, Leo Burdocks is pretty famous for its crispy bits! What more could you want?!
I found it really easy to get to Howth from Dublin City centre, I caught the DART train from Connolly Station, O’Connell Street to Howth for €20. It is super easy to find the right train & it only takes 30 minutes!
Whilst on the train I passed through Sutton, which is so pretty I nearly jumped off the train early! It’s only one stop before Howth along the coast and the journey between the two stations is absolutely beautiful.
When I arrived in Howth I went straight to the pier where I sat and watched the fishermen along the bay, eating an Ice cream watching the world go by, it’s totally different to the city centre, yet so close!
Howth is so quiet and peaceful, it has the best views of Ireland’s Eye (a beautiful island that’s just a 15-minute boat ride away) and lovely views of the harbour and the lighthouse. There are lots of lovely restaurants with amazing fresh seafood.
It wouldn’t truly be a trip to Ireland without a traditional pub to visit. ‘The Dog House’ pub and tea rooms are conveniently located right next to the train station!
Howth Markets are also on every weekend. I was there on a Thursday so there were only a few stalls open. If you’re travelling over a weekend I’d definitely go and have a look! www.howthmarket.ie
I spotted a Seal bobbing its head in and out of the water too, but I was far too slow to get a picture. Although my lovely friend Veruska managed to snap this little beauty sunbathing the following day! How cute is he!
No.4 Benissa is the perfect little boutique residence located in the heart of the Costa Blanca.
The hotel has been built and created by Charles & Aleks, Fashion Designers & Architects from London & Poland. Their passion for interiors and design is reflected throughout this totally unique hidden beauty – It really is one of a kind. I have never seen anything like it!
Charles kindly arranged to pick me up from Alicante Airport and we arrived at No.4 Benissa within the hour, as soon as I arrived I was completely blown away by the design and the decor in the reception area. How many hotels can you say you have been too, where you are greeted by two bronzed tigers!?
They really have created this boutique residence perfectly. From the luxurious marble staircase to the beautiful laid-back patio area to enjoy a coffee in the morning, they have it all just right.
There are 4 rooms here; The Blue Room, The Patio Room, The Arabesque Room & The Moroccan Suite. I stayed in the Moroccan Suite for 2 nights. It is so beautiful, it has such a romantic and cosy feel, I didn’t want to leave the room! I was travelling alone on this trip so having the entire Moroccan Suite (with the comfiest king size bed!) to myself has certainly spoilt me.
The Moroccan Suite is super spacious, with an impressive bathroom featuring authentic Spanish tiles, walk in wet room, his and hers sinks and an incredible view overlooking Benissa’s quirky streets.
Charles is also an aspiring chef, meaning the breakfast offerings here are perfect! They have choices for everyone.
If you would like something cooked a certain way, Charles & Aleks will do everything they can for you! They source everything fresh and locally and they also make as much as they can by hand.
They offer a traditional Benissa breakfast; including tomato, salsa, manchego cheese, serrano ham, olive oil and roasted garlic paste. Alternatively, if you are feeling sweet you can opt for freshly baked mini pastries with homemade jam and local honey. I opted for the granola & yoghurt on my first morning and fresh avocado, feta cheese with onion chutney on my second morning. Both were so full of flavour and absolutely delicious! Who knew avocado and onion chutney would taste so good!
No.4 Benissa is in a really good location. Benissa is a traditional Spanish town oozing charm, it will keep you entertained for a few hours for sure, especially if there is a fiesta in town! I spent a couple of hours walking around exploring the narrow streets and turning corners to find beautifully decorated balconies and chalk drawings along the pavements. They have a real sense of community here, I totally fell in love with the place!
I would certainly recommend hiring a car as it means you can explore quickly and is much better value than local taxis. There are so many beaches to explore but also the mountains if you are more adventurous, all within an hour’s drive away!
I had 24 hours to explore as much of the surrounding area as I could and I think I did pretty well! Firstly, I took a taxi to Calpe (17 Euros, 20 minutes) which is a pretty little beach area with a nice walk way to explore. There are some lovely spots for some tapas and of course a rioja!
Close to Calpe you can also explore Cala Fuestera Beach which is a little quieter and less touristy, I also went to Moraira Beach and to Denia Town to have a look around – I managed to squeeze quite a bit in!
I would love to go back and take a trip to Valencia, which is only around an hour away too!
Have you ever been to Calpe, Moraira, Denia, Alicante or Benissa? Do you live close to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, would you love to travel here? Say Hello if so! Let me know what you think, I would love to hear from you!
Relaxing? An Airport? Surely not?….Flying from Doncaster Sheffield Airport is exactly that!
They really do take the hassle out of travelling, the entire airport experience is an absolute travellers dream!
They have everything just right, from start to finish.
Why choose Doncaster Sheffield Airport
1. Great Location
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is easy to reach from the UK’s major motorways including the M1, A1 & M62. The new motorway link road from junction 3 of the M18 means it is now super easy & quick to get to.
This isn’t the most glamorous subject, but they really do have it just right! The car parks are SO close to the terminal, it is literally a 60 second walk to the terminal building. How perfect is that?! You can choose from Short Stay, Long Stay, Premium Parking or Meet & Greet. I opted for Meet & Greet and I am so pleased I did, it is worth every penny! I was greeted by a really friendly staff member who directed me to the terminal. My favourite thing was upon return, I was greeted by the same staff member who welcomed me with a big smile on his face and a chirpy ‘Hello Miss Denton, how was your flight?’….Now that is personalised service! I was blown away! Not only that, my car was ready and waiting for me to jump in and drive home straight away, which is exactly what you want after a flight. Read more here: http://flydsa.co.uk/car-parking/car-park-options/
3. Quick & Easy Check in
Doncaster Sheffield Airport certainly win the award for the smoothest and quickest check-in experience! I used the self-check in machines in the terminal and then went straight to departures and through security. All within 5 minutes – I used the fast track service too, which is included in the price of the premium lounge.
4. Premium Lounge
Oh wow, now this is airport perfection! I was so chilled in here. I instantly felt at home and set myself up near the plug sockets (always a winner!) They offer complimentary drinks and snacks, along with breakfast, brunch and lunch options. I had a beautiful tuna salad, although I have heard the Fish Finger sandwich is a huge hit…Some even say it is the best in Yorkshire 😉 They have so many different drink options too, you can order Spirits, wines, beers and also a large range of ciders. It is totally worth it, especially to be able to benefit from the fast track service too! Read more here: http://flydsa.co.uk/at-the-airport/premium-lounge/
5. Friendly Staff
I have mentioned this a few times, but it is something I feel really strongly about! The staff are amazing in the airport, whether you speak to the team on check in, or the staff in the departure terminal, everyone has a smile on their face and are always happy to help. As Walt Disney would say…‘You can design, create and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it takes people to make the dream a reality’
The world is your oyster flying from Doncaster Sheffield Airport. You can choose from various destinations in Spain, Ireland, France, Poland, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Latvia, Portugal, Turkey & Long Haul destinations too!
Preikestolen (the Pulpit Rock) has been named one of the most famous hikes in Norway & after completing the hike in April, I can completely see why…
It towers a whopping 604 metres above the beautiful Lysefjord, making the views absolutely INCREDIBLE!
I vlogged the entire hike & edited it down to a 3 minute video! See Preikestolen for yourself here: https://youtu.be/K8bgNgluwIg (it is my first vlog, be nice to me ha ha!)
Preikestolen, Lysefjord Norway:
In some ways we picked a great time to visit however in other ways we would have been much better visiting in the Summer. The positives were how quiet everything was, meaning we booked our ferry to Preikestolen on the same day, at the port without experiencing any difficulty with availabilty. It also meant the hike was extremely quiet, which made it so enjoyable! When we reached the top of Pulpit Rock there were only around 40 people already there. We were lucky enough to capture some great shots without other tourists in view.
On the other hand, traveling to Stavanger in the ‘winter’ months meant we were unable to reach Fløri 4444, Kjerag or Trolls Tongue easily. We were relying on public transport on a Saturday & Sunday which was impossible to get there in a short duration (we travelled Friday – Monday). The ferries don’t run as often in the winter months, therefore I would be sure to check the schedules before you book anything if these are the hikes you would like to do. (we were gutted we couldn’t make it to Fløri 4444, the view from the steps look incredible http://bit.ly/2p4LNHH!)
Whilst we were there, we looked at loads of different timetables/websites and it seemed June – September is the best time to go for ease of public transport around the hikes, although I am sure that will also mean it will be super busy! If you are thinking of just hiking Preikestolen, I would definitely recommend late April.
We used a company called ‘Tide’ to book our Ferry & Bus tickets together, they were 350 NOK each when booking at the terminal on the same day. I have since looked online and it is displaying at 320 NOK each, therefore it is cheaper to pre-book! Another bonus, is their website is really clear unlike alot of the other Norwegian websites > http://bit.ly/2qISkF2 <
We would definitely use Tide again, they offer some great tours in the summer, including trips to Troll’s Tongue & Kjerag.
We caught the 11:15am ferry from Stavanger which meant we arrived at the bottom of Preikestolen around 12:30pm. It took 1.5 hours to reach the top of Preikestolen and boy, was the hike worth it! It was a moderate hike, the start was pretty steep however after the first 10 minutes it flattened off slightly and became much easier. I would recommend having good quality walking boots and lots of layers. We were cold at the bottom, hot in the middle and freezing at the top! It was also extremely windy at the top therefore bring a woolly hat and gloves to keep warm – I forgot my gloves and couldn’t feel my fingers! Saying that, we saw lots of people walking their dogs along the way and we even saw someone wearing a suit and brogues, they were sliding everywhere on the ice, but it shows it can be done in casual gear!
We were so suprised how quiet it was at the top, We spent around 40 minutes taking photos and then started to hike back down to escape the wind. There are some lovely little spots along the route too, which are perfect for a picnic.
In total, we were 3 hours 40 minutes. We started to hike at 12:30pm, reached the top in 1 hour 30 minutes and then we got back down to the bottom at 4:10pm, our bus left at 5pm – We made it in good timing!
We also did a cruise along the Lysefjord the next day, can you believe this is Pulpit Rock from down below? You can hardly believe that tiny little ledge is so famous!
Stavanger itself is really pretty too. We spent lots of our time in Ovre Holmegate, which is the most colourful street in the city centre. There are loads of cute little bars and restaurants, our personal favourite was Boker og Borst, it was so cosy! They had an entire bookshelf full of games and books….We were entertained for hours whilst we waited for our flight!
We stayed for 3 nights in the Thon Hotel Stavanger, which was great as it is so central. They included breakfast and also an evening meal, which was really helpful as Norway isn’t the cheapest country I have ever been too!