Thursday, 25 April 2013

Wuthering Heights

I'm slightly obsessed with Kate Bush which means I'm slightly obsessed with the book Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Which means I'm slightly obsessed with the Bronte's, anyway you get the idea. So me and some of my friends decided to visit Haworth in Yorkshire where the Bronte family grew up. It's an extremely picturesque village folded into the Yorkshire moors. It feels like quite a barren and desolate place when you get there so one can only imagine what it was like when the Bronte's were living there.

I stayed at the Black Bull pub because I saw it on an episode of the television show Most Haunted. They visited the pub because apparently the ghost of Patrick Bronte, the father of the Bronte sisters and Branwell Bronte the lesser known brother. Firstly I can say the pub is a let down. It's not a very well kept pub and the owners obviously don't want it to be a Homage to the Bronte's. It's tasteless and any ounce of charm that still remains is over shadowed by the loud pop music and quite vulgar clientele. I will say no more.

Luckily Haworth and the surrounding villages are jam packed full of lovely country pubs with warm welcoming log fires. In Haworth you can visit the house which the Bronte's grew up in which is now a museum.  It's about £8 for adults but it's really interesting and well worth it. One of the things I couldn't get over is that they had one of the sisters dresses, I can't remember which, but it look like the clothing of a small child- it was unbelievable!

Getting back to the Wuthering Heights obsession, just a short walk out of Haworth you can visit the Bronte Waterfall and Top Withens. Top Withens is thought to be the inspiration to the farmhouse in Wuthering Heights. However the plaque when you get to the crumbling barn says otherwise which makes me laugh.

Regardless I had a Kate Bush inspired dance around the barn to make the most of my Wuthering Heights trip, I suggest you do the same. If you haven't seen Kate Bush's moves, shame on you.

Monday, 15 April 2013


Barcelona has to be one of my favourite cities in Europe. It's not as busy as Paris so it feels more relaxed and chilled out which I love. It also has the great combination of city and beach, not to mention all the amazing art and architecture the city has to offer. On my last visit I stayed near the University which was close enough to Las Ramblas to still feel in the thick of it but just out of the centre so it was a less touristy come the evening.

Barcelona is world famous for the work of Antoni Gaudi which dominates the street of the city. The Sagrada Familia is probably the most well known of all his work. It rises out of the small streets of Barcelona and dominates the sky line. A great place to view it is from is Park Guell. In the north of the city you can get to it by bus, metro link or my preferred method of walking! A can of Estrella will set you back about 80cents, some nice bread 60cents and some cheese, meat and olives from a local shop will only cost a couple of Euro's. My advice, bag it all up and have a lovely picnic. The Park does get busy but if you walk into the Park a little bit more than stopping at the giant mosaic seat you can find some great picnic spots.

In the centre of Barcelona Las Ramblas is the main road which runs to the beach. It's lined with restaurants, galleries, museums and cathedrals. There is lots to explore and a definite must is the Boqueria Market which will assault all your senses in the best possible way. Take a look for yourself...

The restaurants peppered around the market are brilliant. Sit and have a glass of red wine with a big bowl of muscles. No better way to spend a lazy afternoon. Barcelona is a city that keeps on giving and I will happily go back again and again. I cannot begin to explain and write about all things I experienced on my visits. Don't be put of by the talk of pick pockets and crime, it's no worse than any other city. All you have to do is eat, drink and enjoy.