Going abroad and having a European city break is always lovely, last year I went to Brussels around Christmas time and it was one of my favourite ever trips. However you do forget how many amazing cities there are right here in the UK. Yes you have to brave the terrible rail network or a dreaded coach, but they’re a little easier than Heathrow and a 2 hour wait. I think once you graduate from university and you have friends all over the country, you get to travel a little more to visit them. Whilst I’m down South, attempting to live the dream in the capital, most of my university friends are up North living a very different dream. This month, I headed to Nottingham (okay, I know that’s the Midlands) to visit one of them.
I lived in a house of 5 girls at university and we all got on so well, I still miss them and living in that group. Luckily we all make a conscious effort to keep in touch and so far just this year we’ve travelled the length of the country to reunite. This weekend it was the turn of Nottingham as my friend had just made the move from home into her own house with her boyfriend. Usually university reunion weekends consist of an evening out in the city we’re visiting, cocktails and dancing, a hungover brunch and then a cosy night in where we all fall asleep at 8pm. This time we decided to do things a little differently and just skip the night out. I know, we must be getting old! We thought it would be nice just to spend the time really catching up, in my friend’s new home with a bottle of wine and a film. Then we’d explore Nottingham via it’s shops the next day. To me, it sounded like the perfect plan.
I arrived late on Friday evening after a nightmare delayed coach journey and a long week at work. I was already so pleased that we’d settled on a relaxing weekend. When I arrived a glass of wine and a Dominoes pizza was waiting for me, my friends know me well! We switched on Burlesque which none of us had seen and proceeded to discuss anything and everything inevitably talking over it. We’d picked something with Christina Aguleira in it, knowing we’d get the gist of the film without really needing to watch it!
The next day we went to explore Nottingham, I love that this is a by-product of meeting up. I get to explore all the UK cities I’d never usually visit. Although it was the worst weather you could possibly imagine, we braved the downpour and walked into town. Mooching round the shops I began to love Nottingham, the red brick buildings with bunting strewn up, the salsa dancing in the streets and the thinner crowds than I usually experience in most city centres. It was a calmer version of Birmingham, I felt, with all the interesting architecture and sites but none of the intense crowds.
Then it was time to catch the train home, it was only a flying visit but it was brilliant to catch up with old friends and explore a new town at the same time. Next on my list is Edinburgh!