Salomon XA Pro Review

These are my second pair of Salomons, the first I wore down on the fells in the Lake District. Is there such thing as too much running? In this case apparently so! As time went on and the ice started to appear I had to replace my bright green shoes with another pair, of green shoes. Apparently green is my colour… I have worn these out running and hiking, mainly in the Chilterns, so nothing too strenuous! They are by far the comfiest trail shoe I have worn.

They have good grip, I wear them as general everyday shoes and it hasn’t worn down at all, so much better than my previous Speedcross 3. They are lightweight and quick drying so everything you are looking for in a shoe. These are not the Gortex version as I brought them as my summer trainers. Not to say a pair of Gortex Salomon’s wouldn’t hurt! Their next adventure we will be leaving the Chilterns and heading to … The Lake District.

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The Norfolk Coast Article

A trip to the Norfolk coastline will never let you down, whether the sun is shining or the thick ominous clouds are present, it always seems beautiful.

Summer at Holkham
Summer at Holkham

A lot of this coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are various Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation that pass through and protect a variety of flora and fauna, so dogs are meant to be kept on leads.

A Sandy Holkham Scene
A Sandy Holkham Scene

 Holkham is one of my favourite beaches in the whole of England and I believe many others voted it as Best British Beach last year. It must be the perfect mix of golden sandy beaches and the dunes with the protection of a pinewood forest.

Footpaths on Beach
Footpaths on Beach

 This coastal area has two long distance footpaths, they are the Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path, both originating from old Roman roads. I am yet to walk them but maybe this summer.

Off shore wind farms
Off shore wind farms

 Off shore windmills are becoming ever more popular and in my opinion I don’t think they are an eye sore at all. It’s just one step closer to green technology and I don’t think they damage the aquatic ecosystem too much. Not as much as other energy sources to say the least.

River and wetlands
River and wetlands

 As the path winds from the harbour down to the beach, it weaves through fields and these are the fields that provide the perfect hunting ground for a variety of birds and you will always spot bird watchers perched up along the way.

Sunset at Brancaster
Sunset at Brancaster

 When the day comes to an end there is nothing better than sitting on the beach with a sandy bum, some fish and chips, locally caught of course and watching the sunset behind the horizon.

.holly.

Exploring Northern Norway Article

Tromsø in northern Norway is about 400km within the Arctic Circle and most definitely one of the most remarkable places that should be on everyone’s travel list. The lodgings vary from large, contemporary hotels to the rather small Sami tents.

Sami Tent
Sami Tent

The days are surprisingly bright even though the sun isn’t present for most of the year. The midnight, crystal clear winter sky does provide the most stunning scenery whether you are expecting the northern lights or not.

Crystal Clear Winter Sky
Crystal Clear Winter Sky

There are many activities that embrace the climate found in northern Norway, one not to miss is a dog sledding expedition. The dogs are specifically bred for the minus conditions and enjoy every minute they are running.

Arctic Dog Sledding
Arctic Dog Sledding

The dogs’ high protein, high fat diet is important as they start training around 8 months to maintain fitness up to the age of 13. The silence is broken as soon as they can sense they are about to get harnessed up.

Alaskan Husky
Alaskan Husky

There are many myths about the aurora borealis dating back from the very first arctic explorers who would have never seen or heard of anything like this before. Even though there are many photos available today, there is nothing like seeing them with the naked eye.

aurora borealis
aurora borealis

For many this will be a once in a lifetime experience and even though the temperature might not be above -21°c being cold shouldn’t be an excuse to go indoors when watching the aurora borealis.

aurora borealis over the sea
aurora borealis over the sea

There is nothing more magical than to be wrapped up in merino wool and down filled jackets, not forgetting a thickly knitted hat watching the silent movements of the northern lights.

.holly.

The Suffolk Countryside Article

Constable country is definitely one to visit when exploring the countryside in England. Suffolk is a county that I have known all my life and it never ceases to amaze me.

The Lonely Heston Bale
The Lonely Heston Bale

Harvest is an important time of year in all of England, but especially in Suffolk. The nutrient rich soil provides a perfect base for a variety of crops. The fields look spectacular with all the heston bales lined up neatly, even if one does get left on his own.

Footpaths in Suffolk
Footpaths in Suffolk

I have spent my time growing up in this county, being on farms and learning the rules of the road, well footpaths… and many footpaths in Suffolk resemble the muddy tracks that once upon a time used to be main roads for horse and cart traffic.

Southwold Beach Huts
Southwold Beach Huts

Tourists mainly flock to the Suffolk coast where beauty can be found in the variety of buildings placed in the landscape. Even if the weather is moody and the sea harsh against the shore it can still provide vivid experiences for all ages.

The Aldeburgh Shell
The Aldeburgh Shell

There are many artists who have been inspired to draw, paint and create all types of sculptures in Suffolk and Maggi Hambling was one who created this iconic shell on the beach of Aldeburgh.

Higham Church
Higham Church

Away from the shores there are many meadows and pasture lands for grazing animals. The church remains the main feature as the centre of many villages all over the county and the hedgerows grow high and mighty sustaining the hamlet lifestyle for the wildlife as well as the village people.

Dusk over Meadows
Dusk over Meadows

Being British, we all have the fail-safe conversation starter about the weather. Even in the east of England we have similar talk, however we also most probably have some of the best weather that England has seen and I hope I have inspired many of you to come and visit it for yourself.

 

.holly.