The following are four examples of my writing about places I have travelled to: Naples, Derby, Whitby and Newquay.
I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to visit Naples in Italy in 2014, just a week after my sixteenth birthday, with my secondary school. It has been years since I left and I have yet to forget how immensely beautiful it was.
The beauty of South Italy leaves a very dramatic impression on me, the bright blue, clear seas, and rich citrus fragrance that seemed to waft from the trees, to the flavoursome food. I loved being there and have known from the minute our plane landed back at Heathrow that my best friend and I would be returning someday.
Visiting Naples with my history class meant that I had the opportunity to experience a variety of things, in a quick fire tourist experience, being taken to different destinations throughout a four-day visit. It was a great opportunity to become exposed to Italy and its culture.
If you are physically able, I would recommend climbing Mount Versuivious. Managing to ascend to the crater of a volcano leaves a lasting effect on you, and the view from the top is beyond words. You feel like you are so close to the sky, and yet, still so far away. Like if you were to jump, you’d be among the clouds. If you are willing to brave the ascent, I would suggest wearing shoes with a strong grip, as I nearly slipped over several times during the descent from the top.
We also had the chance to briefly explore the ruins of Pompeii on our final day before heading to the airport. In hindsight, I wish we had had more time there as I could have spent all day wandering around and soaking up the history beneath my feet. I had been awed and I would love to go back when I eventually return to Italy.
Going to Italy was an amazing experience and really inspired my future wanderlust. I cannot wait to seize the opportunity to go back.
Derby is a city located in the Midlands. It is well known for its connections to the media industry, but tends to be overlooked when compared to some of its neighbours – Nottingham and Birmingham.
As someone who studied at The University of Derby, I am a huge fan of the city that I called home for three years of my life. There are many aspects of the area which appealed to me, particularly the lark parks and fields, popular with dog walkers, such as Darley Park, located near the city centre, and the Five Lamps Roundabout, and Markeaton Park, which is opposite The University of Derby main campus. These parts are picturesque and beautiful with features such as streams and large trees. I really enjoyed visiting them while I was studying.
Something that captured my heart while in Derby was the arts and how open and welcoming the community is. Throughout the year, Derby’s active spoken word poetry community partake in a variety of events – from their own Poetry Festival to the Thrive Mental Health Festival. The Derby poets are always really welcoming to prospective artists and really supportive of helping other people improve.
Derby’s history and culture are aspects of the area that could be overlooked by the student population. The Pickford’s House Museum is very fun and immersive. I wish I had visited more often.
There are also great transport links to the surrounding towns and cities, via busses and trains!
However, the thing that truly makes Derby a standout place to visit is Backwards Man a local legend and cryptid who only walks backwards – no matter where he goes! If that’s not incentive to visit, just to see it for yourself, then what is?
Whitby is a coastal town located in the north of England, famous for its presence in Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, divided by a bridge between old and new. I have been visiting with my grandparents since I was young, and it was always one of my favourite places to go, so I could buy ornamental fairies and ornaments. I always managed to find whatever I was interested in on the streets of Whitby.
Old Whitby is filled with high-standing buildings with local produce, made by the local people: jewellery made from Whitby jet and glass ducks blown by the shop owners to match the twelve different birthstones. Local businesses thrive due to it being so popular with tourists, and the beautiful wares have been sold in these shops for as long as I can remember.
New Whitby, in contrast is a far crisper and clean, slanted version of a town centre, filled with commonplace chain stores, ideal for fussy eaters or people who would rather depend on convenient and consistent service. The fact that there was a Costa was ideal during my last visit, because my friend and I missed our train back to Middlesbrough.
The most striking aspect of Whitby, in my opinion is the view. The architecture across the entire town is consistently beautiful, old, and all ties together no matter which side of the bridge you stand on. No matter where you turn, there is something beautiful to catch a glimpse of. One of my favourite things to do, is to hike up the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey and watch the town below from the top. It’s a gorgeous view, and you can see all the way out to the water from the top of the steps.
But, if the stunning views, local businesses and gothic history is not enough to sway you, the food should! Whitby’s fish and chips are all made fresh, with catches from the morning. Nothing can top fish and chips from Whitby, whether eaten out in the open or in a restaurant, there is something about the way it is prepared is just fabulous. My personal favourite restaurant is Hadley’s! Their food makes the journey, rain or shine, worthy of the lengths my family and I would go when visiting Whitby.
I visited Newquay, Cornwall in July of 2019 with several friends to celebrate our graduations.
The five of us travelled from central London to Cornwall via National Express coaches – the journey was easy and pleasurable each way, and as we had reserved our seats, we had no issues when getting comfortable and talking together on the way.
Our stay was from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon, and due to us being students / new graduates, we were looking for a laid back holiday filled with new experiences – Newquay provided that tenfold.
Two of my friends managed to optimise on the idea of new experiences and booked onto a surfing lesson for just £45 each, which included wetsuit hire, board hire and a ninety-minute lesson from 10:30am until noon. Afterward, four of the five of us went coasteering, for £45 each. With coasteering, you climb rocks, and jump off cliff sides into the ocean. As a glasses wearer, my inability to see did potentially hinder my experience. This was mostly due to my own idiocy, having failed to consider the idea of wearing an old pair of glasses, where them falling off into the sea was of little concern, instead of wearing my only pair of prescription glasses that I certainly could not lose. If you are dependent on specs to see, if you can see with an old pair, do not risk losing your newest and most up-to-date prescription!
I am still immensely proud of myself for jumping off the cliffs, although I did find myself joking that the reason I was so fearless with jumping was due to not being able to see how deep the water actually was. I was very grateful to the supportive staff for their encouragement throughout the experience, and was glad I was not made to feel like I was holding the group back due to being unsteady on my feet.
Another fantastic thing that my friends and I managed to do on our trip to Newquay was visit the National Trust site of Park Head, which was desolate when we arrive. We travelled via taxi, booking one from the town centre. However, I would suggest using the bathroom before leaving to visit the site, because there are no public restrooms near the site whatsoever, which was astounding. This lead to us having to apologetically knock ion the door of a local resident, begging to use their loo. Which was, embarrassing, to say the least.
The site, however, was breath-taking. It was intimate and the privacy that came from the site being preserved and hard to access meant that we had the opportunity to unwind together without concern of disturbing other people, or them judging us for our behaviour.
The undisturbed natural beauty of Park Head was fantastic to see, and I would love to go back to the site, and Newquay again.