DESTINATIONS

Isle of Man travel guide: a hidden gem in the British Isles

Isle of Man travel guide | PACK THE SUITCASES

The Isle of Man is a totally underrated little island – like a mini version of mainland Britain, with all of its different landscapes on a small scale. It has a really varied coastline (craggy, sandy, pebbly, shelly – every flavour of beach is available). Also, it has plenty of mountains, forests, cute towns and villages. The Manx scenery rivals that of the Lake District and Scotland but it doesn’t have the volume of tourists, which makes it much better. It’s often even quiet enough for you to get beaches or glens entirely to yourself. And we all know that there is nothing better than being away from other people.

So, in no particular order, here’s our picks of the best places to see and things to do on the Isle of Man…

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DESTINATIONS

A day in Dean Village and Stockbridge, Edinburgh

A day in Dean Village and Stockbridge, Edinburgh | PACK THE SUITCASES

During our latest trip to Edinburgh, we had a day exploring the Dean Village and Stockbridge area. Something I love about Edinburgh is that no matter how many times you’ve been, there’s always something or somewhere fresh to discover. This part of town isn’t exactly new to us, but we managed to uncover things we’ve not seen before.

Here’s some things to do in Stockbridge and Dean Village – and how you could spend a day there…

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DESTINATIONS

North Berwick: a pretty seaside town in Scotland

North Berwick: a pretty seaside town in Scotland | PACK THE SUITCASES

Visiting North Berwick as a day trip from Edinburgh is one of our favourites. It’s only 30 minutes from Edinburgh on the train so is ideal for a day out. But we love this cute seaside town so much that we decided it deserved more than a day trip this time. So this summer, we booked to stay in North Berwick for three nights and really got to know it.

Here’s what there is to see, do and eat in North Berwick for a short break…

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DESTINATIONS

A day at the Treacle Market, Macclesfield

A day at the Treacle Market, Macclesfield | PACK THE SUITCASES

The Treacle Market, Macclesfield, Cheshire, is something we’ve been meaning to go to for ages. It’s a food/craft/vintage market that runs on the last Sunday of every month.

I don’t know why we’ve taken so long to get round to going – it’s only a few stops away from us on the train. Being on a Sunday, it’s perfect for us because we’re always busy with horses or nights out on Saturdays. So we finally got round to going to the one in August and it was brilliant. I do love a market, but it’s hard to find a good’un. Food ones are a bit boring once you’ve actually eaten and they’re often overrun with screaming children, which I am allergic to. Vintage/craft ones are frequently full of old junk and someone’s hideous homemade Celtic jewellery. You end up wandering round and never actually buying anything. The Treacle Market is the opposite of this situation – we came home with loads of actually nice stuff.

And Macclesfield turned out to be lovely. It’s not somewhere we know very well, even though it’s so close to where we live now. It’s really pretty and has lots of good places to eat and drink, so it’s a good place to wander round when you’ve wrung the market dry too. We’ve already planned to go back to try a Scandinavian restaurant we had our eye on and I want to take my mum to the market. That’s how good it was.

So this is what we got up to…

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DESTINATIONS

8 places to visit in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Carrick Bay: a secret beach in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland | PACK THE SUITCASES

There are so many gorgeous places to visit in Dumfries and Galloway, from cute towns and villages to good old National Trust places to stunning beaches.

I may be biased, because all my childhood holidays were there so I know it really well, but Scotland’s most southerly area really is an underrated part of bonny Scotland. Dumfries and Galloway is often overlooked and I don’t know many people who have visited. Yeah, it might not have the dramatic landscape of the Highlands or the bustle of the big Scottish cities, but it has some of the prettiest towns and coastlines I’ve ever seen.

Here’s a few places in Dumfries and Galloway that I reckon you can’t miss.

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