One of the thrills that many people gain from travelling, is discovery and an unfamiliar environment. However, it’s not that alone that helps people enjoy it, but nice and pleasant places too fill you with happiness. For instance, we all love the idea of strolling through picturesque streets in various places throughout the world and gazing at beautiful scenes of nature. Popping into local cafes, travelling via public transport you’re not used to using, and simply wandering. To get this amazing experience, we have to pay large sums of money to get and stay in these places. But, what if I told you lots of lovely places may be on your doorstep? Am I saying that going to local places is better than going abroad? Most of the time of course not! But when money or time is limited, visiting places nearer to your home may actually help curb feelings of wanderlust and you may discover new things.

Excuse the gorgeous nightime photography quality an iPhone provides you with…

So recently, I have been to London and Hitchin. Of course, I don’t need to explain about London and what it is like, but I often forget I live 20 minutes by rail away from one of the biggest and simply amazing cities in the world. For the first time in a decade, I had a stroll down the River Thames right by Tower Bridge and it was wonderful. I didn’t spend a penny, I just walked. The lovely views of London and the pleasant weather that night was simply enough to please me. Even abroad I enjoy just strolling about taking in my environment. So after this, I thought, well why not change the scenery whilst spending time with my friends?

The nearest town to me is a market town called Hitchin. For everyone who lives in this area, including myself,  we tend to dismiss it. As we live here we don’t tend to see how lovely it is, however, foreign friends of mine who follow me on Snapchat were telling me how adorable it looked. When for me it just seemed like your typical old town in England. But to be honest they were right. The buildings although old, have character, people watching here is also pretty entertaining and it’s home to many independent shops and cafes – which as basic as I am, I really love. To think again, this was only a few miles away from my house. I discovered a beautiful cafe called Chia which I gave it’s own blog post right here, it was simply wonderful. Not only is a change of scenery entertaining for travellers, but eating food you wouldn’t normally eat also helps you feel as though you are abroad. If any of you live anywhere near North London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire or Cambridgeshire, please give Hitchin a little visit. It’s a cute little destination for a morning or afternoon out and you can probably combine your visit with something else, such as London, Cambridge, or even the Hitchin Lavender fields – which are simply gorgeous, go google them now!

‘Chia Naturally Healthy’ in Hitchin

I think a lot of us need to be more grateful for what we have. Yes, this could get really deep really quickly but it’s true. We get so used to what we have we don’t really appreciate it. But I know so many who would love to live in the area of the UK that I do, even though my town isn’t that of a desirable place to live, its position in the country is pretty good. In addition to what I’ve already explained: I can reach London’s 4 main airports in an hour, I can reach Paris in 3 hours, I can reach Edinburgh in 4.5 hours, I can also see lots of other lovely places in the UK with ease such as Cambridge, Brighton, and Cardiff in under 3 hours. Not to mention that the countryside surrounds my town and I live right next to woods. Yet most of the time I always look at the negatives of where I live and am always trying to get away. Now, I’m pretty sure a lot of you reading this do the same. Sorry to judge, but realistically you’ll never sit on Pinterest looking at beautiful scenes of your local area, will you? So…think about it, what are some of the positives about where you live? What lovely locations and scenery can you reach? If you’re bogged down with the travel bug but don’t have the time or money currently, what local travel can you do? If I can make one of the most ‘boring’ of the home counties seem interesting, I’m sure you can give travelling locally a go!

I hope you enjoyed reading this post, it’s a little different from my usual style. If you’re interested in conversation let me know in the comments about where you live and what you might give a go in your local area <3


  1. Emma Copland
    September 3, 2016 / 4:42 pm

    I love this post! You really don't have to go far to find the hidden gems sometimes! Xheart-autumn.co.uk

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 3, 2016 / 6:45 pm

      Aw thank you I'm glad you do! Yes often they are right in front of us 🙂 Thanks for your nice comment <3

  2. Adele Miner
    September 3, 2016 / 4:44 pm

    I live in Dublin and I completely agree with you, I hope to eventually go on a road trip around Ireland and see what my home land has to offer. Your pictures are so gorgeous too! You have a really wonderful blog, keep up your amazing work gorgeous gal! xadelelydia.blogspot.com

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 3, 2016 / 6:47 pm

      You live in Dublin? That must be lovely, I've never visited but its certainly on my list! There must be lots of lovely places in the city to walk around and discover 🙂 Yes the whole country has so much character and natural beauty I'm sure you could explore road-tripping for a couple of weeks maybe! Also thank you for your lovely comments about my photos and blog, it really means a lot as I'm just starting out <3Thank you so much for your comment 🙂 x

  3. S Jones
    September 3, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    I love finding hidden places that are local to me! I've been to a lot of new places this summer, all a few hours away from my hometown xBlushhx

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 3, 2016 / 6:48 pm

      So do I! It's almost like I wish I had a medal or something for doing it, and ah that's wonderful and not too far by the sounds of it 🙂 I'm glad you enjoy doing it do and in fact already have!Thanks for you lovely comment <3 x

  4. milli-jane
    September 4, 2016 / 6:47 am

    I live 10 mins from Hitchin! It's so true we often overlook the places we live/ work. I work in Cambridge and rarely wander around taking photos anymore. I've been wanting to recently so maybe this is the inspiration I needed 🙂 great post Milli-Jane | TheNorthStarNotebook.blogspot.com

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 5, 2016 / 2:43 pm

      Oh my gosh really?! Wow we really live near each other then :') I also go to Cambridge quite a lot too as that's where I commute for university, it's such a wonderful city. But even last year I forgot to appreciate it as much as I should have. Goal for the two of us: take more photos of Cambridge and explore the heck out of it! <3 Thanks for your nice comment and I'm glad you liked my post 🙂

  5. Toni Tanner
    September 4, 2016 / 9:58 pm

    So ridiculously jealous you live 20 minutes from London! I often forget how lovely my county of Shropshire is and how much it has to offer! Ironbridge has got to be one of the most lovely places on a summers day- if you're up for the journey I would highly recommend it! Toni x

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 5, 2016 / 6:50 pm

      That definitely is a nice quiet area of the country! Yes it must be lovely there with the river there and everything, might have to pay a visit myself!Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂 x

  6. Josselynne BR
    September 5, 2016 / 9:06 pm

    What agreat post and really love the pics!! 🙂

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 6, 2016 / 5:51 pm

      Aw thank you so much! 🙂

  7. Kim Le
    September 24, 2016 / 10:35 am

    Love this post! I'm currently studying in the Netherlands and whenever I tell people I'm from Melbourne, they always marvel at how 'cool' the city is. I guess it really helps you look at your home city in a different light :)http://modernrendezvous.co/

    • sophieannetaylor
      September 25, 2016 / 11:36 am

      Oh wow I'd love to go to Melbourne or even live there! It looks like such a dreamy loveable city! Definitely jealous! 🙁 It definitely helps to look at places in a different light totally! <3Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂 x

  8. Annabelle
    October 5, 2016 / 7:37 pm

    I love this idea! Just going on adventures near you, exploring new places. And it's even better when you don't have to spend a whole lot of money! x Annabelletravelsandtea.com

    • sophieannetaylor
      October 7, 2016 / 2:20 pm

      I totally agree, the money saving is certainly the best part! I hope this idea finds you well then :)Thanks for commenting <3 x

  9. kirsty-rose
    October 15, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    Oh these photos are gorgeous! Where I live is lovely but honestly I have pretty much seen most of it. And I don't have any other towns close by with things worth seeing haha but you seem to so I am super jealous!

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