Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam

This museum in Amsterdam is in the house where Rembrandt lived for nearly twenty years from 1639 to 1656. The collection at the house does include some of Rembrandt’s etchings and paintings but the interior is reconstructed rather than original and the belongings in the house are also reconstructions based on what Rembrandt had to auction when he went bankrupt in 1656.

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The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is another place that was on my must visit list (also included in the I amsterdam card) and I ended up visiting it straight after the Van Gogh Museum (they are located very close together). Originally I’d planned to visit the Rijksmuseum later in the day as the museum states that lunchtime is the busiest time of day but seeing as it was very hot but raining buckets I decided to go in at lunchtime anyways so as to be out of the rain and found that I could walk straight in without having to queue after all.

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The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

I headed out to Amsterdam in June for a three night stay and as usual managed to take in a lot of interesting places. All of the museums etc. I visited I did with the I amsterdam city card which I would recommend if you’re the kind of person who likes to fit a lot in when they travel. The Van Gogh Museum was my first stop and was probably my favourite of the museums. (It’s worth noting that even with the I amsterdam City Card you have to book timed tickets in advance and as you get towards the summer months the harder it is to find a good time slot). I went first thing in the morning which worked out very well for me.


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Chester Zoo

We visited Chester Zoo on our way home from Wales as none of us had been there before. We were very impressed. Opened in 1931 it’s one of the UK’s largest zoos and therefore does take a long time to go around and see everything, which is usually our general aim when we visit anything animal related. We saw some old favourites but also animals and birds we’d not seen before. One of my favourites was the jaguar, who just came into view as I was walking around the corner.

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Huttoft, Lincolnshire

I seem to have made quite a few trips to the beach this year. The most recent excersion was to Huttoft in Lincolnshire. We used to come here a fair bit when I was a child and what I remembered most were the concrete ramps down to the beach. These have evidently been done away with and the beach is now level with the free car park, making it much easier to access. There was some mist rolling across the beach when we arrived but it soon brightened up and the sea was lovely and warm. Not too busy or overcrowded it’s still as lovely a place to visit now as when I was a child.

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The Welsh Mountain Zoo

The Welsh Mountain Zoo in North Wales opened on 18 May 1963 and became the National Zoo of Wales in 2008. It was founded by the naturalist Robert Jackson and run by him and after his death by his family until 1983 when it was taken over by the Zoological Society of Wales. One of its more interesting features is its location, as the name suggests, high up a mountain with views of the sea as well as woodlands.

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Beaumaris Castle

Beaumaris Castle on the Isle of Anglesey in North Wales was another castle, like Caernarfon to be built by Edward I. Construction began in 1295 but stopped around 1300 with the castle unfinished.

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Anglesey’s Bridges

Anglesey is the largest island in Wales and connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge. We travelled over both on our way to and from Beaumaris Castle.

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Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path

Part of our Wales trip took in the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path, a route of 125 miles that takes in much of the island’s coastline and is estimated to take around 12 days to complete. As we here visiting Beaumaris Castle (blog post to come) we only got a small taste of the path.

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Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle is a medieval fortress in north-west Wales run by CADW, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service and is a World Heritage site. Edward I had the current castle built in 1283, replacing the previous fortifications on the site. Unusually the towers of the castle are polygonal rather than round and we spent a lot of time walking up and down spiral staircases to take in fabulous views of Caernarfon and the castle itself.

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