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The Peak District

On the top of Mam Tor

The beautiful streets of Castleton

Football by the barn

The camping barn

Amy and I

I made the most of the recent bank holiday weekend and spent all three days in the Peak District with seven of my friends! We stayed in a camping barn near Edale, which was great because the countryside was beautiful and rolling yet civilisation was not too far away. We slept on the floor and cooked on a fire, so it was pretty much like camping, except we avoided the hassle of having to put up and take down tents. Asides from the cold, I think this is the perfect level of camping for me! We spent a lot of time exploring the local town of Castelton. We visited the two most popular caves – “Devils Arse” which is huge, and Speedwell which is an old (and very narrow!) lead mine. We also climbed Mam Tor and did a lot of eating out! If you plan on visiting the area, I highly recommend the Old Nags Head in Edale, it was large and cosy and the food was delicious.

Barbecuing veggie sausages!

Pretty shops in Castleton

James enjoying the view at the top of Mam Tor

The view from Mam Tor

Frisbee by the barn

The first night that we stayed at the barn we had a long lazy barbecue with lots of Henry Westons cider (which I felt in the morning.) Since graduating from uni and moving back home I miss my friends most when it’s a sunny afternoon and we would normally head to the nearest pub garden or park with a picnic blanket. I thoroughly enjoyed lots of long overdue picnic blanket times with my friends at the barn. On the last day, we swam in the heated outdoor lido in Hathersage. The view wasn’t quite as stunning as the Ilkely lido, but whoever thought of heating outdoor pools is a genius! We had sunshine (well, a lack of rain at least) for the whole three days which is pretty unheard of for Derbyshire – thank you camping gods!

Thanks for letting me share with you 🙂 I can’t wait for next year’s annual staycation, I’m putting in a vote for the Isle of Skye!

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Sorrento

Jessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoJessthetics / SorrentoLast week I went on a family holiday to Sorrento, Italy. We chose Sorrento because it’s close to the ancient sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and having been to see an exhibition about Pompeii in the summer we couldn’t wait to have a look around the real thing! Now, I have seen a lot of ruins in my life and I am not usually the biggest fan, unlike the rest of my family who love archeology. Pompeii and Herculaneum were different – they are so complete it’s like being in a Roman theme park! You can walk along the streets of the town, into people’s houses and up their stairs. Because Herculaneum is nearer to Mount Vesuvius, it was buried deeper than Pompeii was when the volcanoe errupted, so even second and even third stories are preserved. The paintings are still on the walls and the Roman pots are still sitting on their original wooden Roman shelves! (See above.) Pompeii is sprawling, and we didn’t manage to walk around it in a day.

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It rained for a lot of the time we spent sightseeing. On our last day, the sun came out and I spent the morning wandering around the pretty streets of Sorrento and eating ice cream! We stayed in this gorgeous yellow villa looking out over the sea, and I would love to experience it again during a warmer part of the year! Sorrento really comes alive in the sunshine, and the steep cliffs are so striking. Have you ever seen Pompeii? Would you like to?

P.s. I’m also guest posting on Of North today, talking about what home means to me. Check it out here!

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Dundee and Holy Island

Jessthetics / DundeeJessthetics / DundeeJessthetics / DundeeMine and James’ last Scottish adventure involved a day in Dundee! We spent the morning in the botanic gardens. We were almost the only people there – it was a chilly day for garden viewing so we spent a lot of time in the rainforest area! It’s a lovely space, but what caught my eye the most was the extremely grand castle-like houses that overlook the gardens. Apparently they were built as mansions for jute barons and are now used as flats and hotels. I wouldn’t mind one of those for myself 🙂 In the afternoon, we wandered around the McManus gallery. It’s a gorgeous building and it had history, old art, new art and natural history exhibitions all in one. I really enjoyed the miss-mash of topics, and I think all museums should be done this way!

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On the way back to Durham, we spent the day in Holy Island. It’s separated from the mainland by the sea half of the time, so you have to make sure the tide is out before you drive across which is fun in a scary kind of way! It was honestly the windiest day I’ve ever experienced, apparently the monks chose this island for its harsh weather conditions. The best sites are the ruined Lindisfarne Abbey and Lindisfarne Castle. The Castle was turned into a holiday home in Edwardian times and it is presented as it was in 1910, so you can sit in the chairs and pretend to be an Edwardian on holiday. Oh, and we bought some mead of course! This is my last post about Scotland, I hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride 🙂

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St Andrews and Pitlochry

Jessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsJessthetics / St AndrewsThe second place that James and I visited in Scotland was St Andrews. We went for a postgrad open day at the University, spent the afternoon with my friend Margaret and had dinner with family friends. I have been to St Andrews before, and I remembered the beautiful coastline and the ruined cathedral, but I didn’t remember just how many grand and quaint old buildings fill the town. The weather was glorious, and we spotted a lot of people writing essays on the beach – I’ve been told it’s not like that all the time!

Jessthetics / PitlochryJessthetics / PitlochryJessthetics / PitlochryOur next stop was Dundee, where we stayed with my Aunt. From Dundee, we drove to Pitlochry to spend the day walking and picnicking. We visited Queens view and wandered around the Allean forest. It was a really lovely trail, and we got to see an old forest “Clachan” (village) and a stone homestead from 1000AD which was pretty impressive. From the forest there were some lovely views of the Loch and some snowy topped mountains. A lot of trees had blown down in the windy weather, so the trail was a bit of an assault course!

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Pitlochry is just at the beginning of the Highlands, and I would love to explore more! I’m hoping to have another staycation in Scotland this summer. I’ve been itching to visit Norway recently, but a lot of the Scottish landscape is similar and a lot closer!

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsIf you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve spent this past week in Scotland with James! Our first stop was Edinburgh, and we spent two days here. On the first day, I had a look around the University and walked around the city. In the evening we had dinner at David Bann followed by drinks and board games at BrewDog. We actually had plans to sample a couple of bars, but it was so cosy and relaxed in BrewDog we decided to stay – there’s such a nice vibe there and I can’t wait to return!

James doesn’t love having his photo taken, so I’ve noticed I have a lot of photos of the back of his head. I do know him, and I’m not stalking him, I promise!

Edinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsEdinburgh / JesstheticsWe spent the second day in the National and Modern Scottish National Galleries. Although they’re a little walk from the town centre, both buildings are really beautiful and they have some nice exhibitions – my favourite was Louise Bourgeois. I think I prefer small art galleries like these because I can take most of it in without feeling overwhelmed. We ate a lot this day (at Hendersons and Hula) and I even tried a deep-fried mars bar, which was delicious! We definitely needed longer to explore the city properly, so hopefully either me or James will be living in Scotland doing a Masters next year. I loved Edinburgh – it’s full of history, beautiful buildings and cool places to eat, drink and shop whilst being a relatively small city!

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What I Wore: Paris Day 6

Tuesday was our last day in Paris. We went back to the Hotel Du Ville to visit the vintage shops that I had missed the first time around, including my favourite Parisian vintage shop, Hippy Market. I bought two pairs of crazy patterned trousers, which will make an appearance on the blog soon! We spent our afternoon visiting the Sacre Coeur, the Place du Tertre and wandering around the small hilly streets of Montmatre. In the evening, we packed up, grabbed a Ghandi pizza from our favourite pizza place and sadly got on the Eurostar back home.

paris 28paris 29paris 30paris 31I bought this dress because I felt like I needed an everyday strappy black dress in my wardrobe. It’s an easy way of feeling dressed up without actually putting in any effort! I’ve had this jacket for a while, and I’m surprised I haven’t featured it before. it has crochet, velvet AND tassels – three of my favourite things in one item of clothing!

paris 32paris 33paris 34paris 35paris 36Outfit details: Dress, ASOS / Jacket, Topshop / Shoes, Ebay / Sunglasses, H&M

This is my last Paris post. Sigh, Paris I miss you! Thank you for letting me share.

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What I Wore: Paris Day 5

We spent our 5th day in Paris wandering around the Louvre. Well, a tiny proportion of The Louvre. That place is huge! By Day 5 we had learnt to pack a picnic instead of buying lunch near the tourist attractions (6 euros for a bottle of water? No thanks) so we had some cheese and baguette in-between art viewing. I’m glad we did – it’s too tiring to see even one exhibition at The Louvre in one go.

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I found this jacket in a Parisian vintage shop. It’s so feathery I like to think it was once worn by a dancer at the cabaret. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be lingerie or not, but it works great as a lightweight jacket. I just love items of clothing that are over the top like this. I tried to keep the rest of my outfit simple, so I wore my trusty black crop top, and this skirt of my mum’s that I found in the attic.

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These furry little guys were everywhere! They were chilling outside The Louvre, and walking down the street next to the Eiffel Tower. When we were walking along The Seine in the evening, we would hear an occasional scream, and know that someone had just tripped over a rat. On Monday evening we went for cocktails at this bar called The Comptoir General. We had to pay an entrance fee which was weird but it’s because it’s part bar, part museum of found objects. There are so many cool and interesting items scattered around this jungley barn. We had “T Punch” without the mixer (they had run out) so it was strong stuff! That evening we took a boat ride along The Seine and then sat on the Ile St Louis with wine and cheesy crisps.

paris 28paris29Outfit details: Jacket, Vintage / Skirt, Stolen from my mum / Top, Ebay / Sunglasses, H&M / Sandals, Tesco

I hope you’re having a fantastic Wednesday 🙂

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What I Wore: Paris Day 4

Those of you paying attention may or may not have noticed that I have skipped out a day of Paris photos. That’s because we spent day 3 in Paris at Rock en Seine! We went because Nine Inch Nails were playing, but also had a blast watching Fauve, La Femme, In the Valley Below and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. All of my photos from day 3 (also known as the day we spent 40 euros each on beer… festival beer is expensive!) look like this:

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On day 4, we had the most amazing falafel lunch and then we went to the Pompidou Center! I love this gallery, it has so much modern and contemporary art. The videos are some of my favourite, although most of them are in french so I have no idea what they’re saying.

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I actually bought this skirt for 5 euros in Paris when we went vintage shopping! I wasn’t sure about it, but now I don’t know why because it’s patterned, blue, and high-waisted enough to wear with crop tops. Everything I look for in a skirt! Autumn this year also makes me want to wear purple lipstick all the time. I’m wearing a Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick, and I love how dark it is although it’s quite high maintenance.

After the Pompidou Center, we had dinner at the Gentle Gourmet Cafe – there aren’t many vegetarian restaurants in Paris but this one makes up for it because it was exceptionally tasty, and the staff were really nice. We then sat at the bottom of the Eiffel tower drinking beer. We didn’t go up it but it was lovely to see it twinkling away. We managed to miss the last metro home (oops) and spent the next two and a half hours walking back – at least Paris is pretty at night!

paris 18paris 19paris21Outfit details: Top, Ebay / Skirt, Vintage / Jacket. Vintage / Shoes, Ebay

Have the best day!

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What I Wore: The British Museum

For my mum’s birthday, my brother and I spent the day with her in London visiting the British Museum and eating yummy food. I love visiting London, but there’s never enough time to do all the things I want to do and see all the people I want to see! For sightseeing, I wore this maxi dress for the first time. I love how 90s the straps are, and although I wasn’t too keen on the shape to start off with, now I love it, it’s so summery.

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At the British Museum, we saw the Pompeii exhibition. It was good, but also very morbid and sad learning about the volcanic eruption. The building of the museum is beautiful, both inside and out, I could stare at the ceiling for ages.

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This floppy hat is one I’ve had for a while, but it’s been serving me well! It’s nice and heavy so it doesn’t lose it’s shape when it gets shoved in my bag when I go inside – I’m not that old-fashioned but it feels so weird to wear a hat indoors! Whilst in London we went for a delicious lunch at a Turkish restaurant, and look at how gorgeous the ceiling was!

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Outfit details: Dress, Ark Vintage / Hat, New Look / Sandals, Tesco

Have a fantastic day, I hope you have that Friday feeling!

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Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Recently I spent a long weekend in Northern Ireland with loads of my family. We were in a seaside town called Newcastle, nestled under the Mourne mountains, and it was really lovely. Even though it was cold, the sun was still shining! Apart from lots of family time, we did lots of walking and lots of eating (Yay! The best part of holidays!) Here are my photos of the beach, the mountain and the town.

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The beach was super long and really interesting. We walked for ages but it didn’t feel like we covered any ground. The sand was covered with these wavy ridges, multi coloured seashells and seeweed that was so brightly green it almost glowed!

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How cute are these swan shaped pedallos? It wasn’t really the weather for pedalloing but next time I’m back I’d love to go for a boat ride on one of these!

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I’ve been to ireland twice this year already, it feels like I’m there all the time! Not that I mind, it is such a beautiful place. Happy Wednesday 🙂