List 9: Happy Places
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I have way too many to list but as most of my 'happy places' relate to being outside near hills or lakes I thought I would just mention my favourites which have given me happy memories :)
Reading In Bed
A luxury for me as I'm usually to busy to stop and relax before bedtime.
I love Edinburgh. I have visited both during down time and during the Fringe. Regardless of what is going on, there is a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere to the city that makes me feel at home. I love exploring the underground vaults and the narrow winding alleyways. Quirky but beautiful.
Redkirk is part of the Solway coast in the South West of Scotland. The name means Red Church and it is literally 3 or 4 miles away from my mum's house. I love to go to there during the Summer to sit and watch the sea. There really is nothing else there; you follow a bumpy narrow track down towards the sea all you can see is fields, 'beach' and sea. The most unusual thing about it for me it that there are a large number of boulders built up in one corner of the beach. When the tide comes in you can sit at the top of the boulders and be completely surround by the sea (apart from behind you, you can escape by stepping up into a field.) Its a very freeing experience, especially as you are usually alone there.
In the Lake District in the north west of England. Another childhood place, but excellent for a day out, be it hiking or sight-seeing.
At my mums
I love being home, surrounded by my family and by all that nature. Strange as it sounds, I miss the sea. I think once you have grown up near water it becomes part of you. I feel a little land-locked living in Cheshire.
In my car
I love going for a little drive, even if I don't get out of the car.
The Cornerhouse is an independent cinema in Manchester. It regularly shows foreign films and films generally not screened at commercial cinemas. It's so full of culture that it also holds space for an art gallery, a book shop, a bar and a coffee house. It must be the only place you can have a cup of coffee and a cupcake at 11pm! Love it.
A man-made lake situated between Brampton and Carlisle in the north west of England, it became a regular haunt for while I was studying and living in Carlisle. I still visit occasionally but it seems to have become a bit more commercial since my first trips there. It's still a beautiful area though, another place where you can sit alone and think without looking a bit weird.
The Trossachs is a National Park in Scotland, just a bit north of Glasgow. It includes Loch Lomond amongst it's many beautiful sights. It was here that I hiked up my first ever 'proper' hill, Ben Narnairn, with my brother and his girlfriend when I went to stay with them in Glasgow. Even though it started to pour down it was a great day, especially when we finally touched ground level and could relax and warm up in the pub with a nice beer and basket of chips. Good times :)
Café Nero @ The Triangle
This isn't because I have a die-hard love for Café Nero as such, but it's the location of this particular one that draws me back to it time and time again. It is right in the centre of Manchester in a small (but sadly unsuccessful) 'shopping centre' called the Triangle. The Triangle sits right in the shadow of the better, bigger and more popular Arndale Centre and as a result it has practically gone out of business, the few shops still there look out to a central-built structure that houses Cafe Nero. It's sad news that the place is so empty, but it's ideal for me. Those who know me know that I HATE shopping with a passion. Manchester City Centre at the weekend is my idea of hell (though the Trafford Centre far surpasses that) and this Cafe Nero is a little slice of heaven to me whenever I go into the city. A cup of coffee, a deep breath, ready to fight my way through the crowds again.