A weekend on Naoshima art island, Japan

Naoshima art island, Japan | Pack The Suitcases

Naoshima art island, Japan, is an off-the-beaten path destination perfect for a second visit to Japan. Sculptures, installations and modern art galleries are everywhere. It’s thoroughly immersive, completely different and somewhere we will never forget.

We stayed in Naoshima for a long weekend, which felt about right. It was part of our Japan trip that lasted for two weeks in January (#Japanuary). This is the first post in our series on Japan. We’re lucky enough to have friends there so get a local’s unique insight into the country when we go. Hopefully this should make for some good blog posts for (all three of) our readers, too.

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Pack The Suitcases’ 2016 travel roundup

Four days in Reykjavik, Iceland | PACK THE SUITCASES

We thought we’d do a roundup of all our travels in 2016 to finish off the year. This is the first blog post we’ve ever written that isn’t a story of one specific destination. So, not sure how this is going to go down but let’s give it a shot anyway… It’s basically a glorified list and who doesn’t like lists? Read on for the best and worst of our 2016 travel.

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A winter weekend break in Shrewsbury: things to do

A winter weekend break in Shrewsbury | Pack The Suitcases

The town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire is perfect for a winter weekend away or just a day trip around Christmas time. For some reason, people seem to pick Chester or York for a weekend of shopping and eating, overlooking the smaller Shrewsbury, which is exactly the same deal but without the crowds. It has pretty Tudor buildings, a public garden designed by the famous Percy Thrower of Gardener’s World fame, cosy pubs, good restaurants and independent shops. And you can get there easily by train, which means sampling all said cosy pubs is a must.

The Guardian recently featured Shrewsbury in their top 10 UK towns for winter breaks, similar to their top 10 UK towns list that featured our other favourite, Kirkby Lonsdale. There’s obviously a running theme here.

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A day trip from Munich to Landsberg am Lech: a fairytale town in Bavaria

Landsberg am Lech: the prettiest day trip from Munich | PACK THE SUITCASES

We had a fantastic day trip to the fairytale Bavarian town of Landsberg am Lech, which lies between Munich and Augsburg in Germany. It was on another level of quaintness. I don’t know why we were surprised, because Landsberg is on the famous Romantic Road, which takes you round all the prettiest towns in Bavaria. Cobbled streets and rows of pastel-coloured buildings are par for the course.

There’s something extra magical about Bavaria in autumn. After arriving into the train station, our first sight of Landsberg was from across the bridge. Landsberg am Lech is most famous for being the place where Adolf Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, while imprisoned there. The prison still exists, but fortunately Landsberg has more to it than this horrible history.

Here are some of the things we did, saw and ate on our day trip there…

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Munich in October: the best autumn city break

Munich in October: the best autumn break | PACK THE SUITCASES

Munich in October is the best autumn break if you’re after all that cosy autumn goodness. You know the stuff… Golden leaves underfoot. Crisp mornings. Burning candles. Ankle boots. Crackling fires. Pumpkin everything.

When we first visited the beautiful and underrated German city of Munich in autumn 2011, we loved the colours and the gemütlichkeit that the season brought to it. So when we were looking for a short five-day break for October, we decided we’d go back for a second time to see more of Munich and Bavaria.

Oh and if you’re wondering, Munich’s famous Oktoberfest isn’t actually in October. It happens throughout September and finishes on the first Sunday in October, so the crowds will be out of the way by the time October properly kicks off.

Here’s some lovely things to see and do in Munich in October…

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12 things to do in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

Things to do in Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here are some lovely things to do in Kirkby Lonsdale, a beautiful market town in Cumbria, UK. If you like cute cobbled streets, pretty scenery and consuming your own bodyweight in food and beer, read on.

I’ve been going to Kirkby Lonsdale since I was a child so I’d like to say I know it pretty well. I enjoy returning there as an adult too, and my other half Chris is now in love with it as well. So I’ve compiled this list of things to do in Kirkby Lonsdale based on some nice photos and memories from our last summer trip there but also on many years of holidays when I was growing up that were based around eating, drinking and exploring there.

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