Manchester isn’t that far away from me, it only takes me an hour on the train and if I book tickets in advance then I can get a really cheap fare as well, but I almost never visit! The weekend  before Christmas, Rachel invited me along to the Mercure Piccadilly to visit the Manchester Christmas Markets and explore the city.

In typical Hayley fashion, I’d forgotten a few of the essentials when I was packing for my weekend away, so as soon as I got to Manchester Piccadilly station my first stop was Boots to buy a toothbrush, toothpaste and eyeshadow while I waited for Rachel’s train to get in. We then had quite a bit of time before we were due to meet everyone at the hotel, so we dropped our suitcases off and headed to the Northern Quarter for some food from Almost Famous.

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Whilst we were in Orlando, Kariss and I took two days out of Disney to visit Universal Studios. Honestly, this was the part that I was most excited about because I just couldn’t wait to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that section is going to need its own post though.

We went to Universal Studios on two consecutive days, a Tuesday and a Wednesday. On the Tuesday, we decided to get there for when the parks opened and do Universal Studios first. Our first stop was of course Diagon Alley but like I said, you will have to wait to read all about that! We made sure we did all of the rides that we wanted to do in the park and I must say that I was so impressed with the rides. Compared to Disney, Universal Studios seem to put a lot more effort into the visuals of the rides.

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Although I live relatively close to Birmingham and am there all the time, if I go for a night out then I can’t get home unless I leave before the last train which is at 23:15, which is pretty annoying, especially as I used to be just a 10 minute Uber ride away from the city centre! Luckily, Birmingham has a great selection of hotels in and around the city centre so there’s plenty of choice when I need to pick one to stay in.

Back in December, Rachel came down to Birmingham to see me and we went to the Clothes Show Live and then wanted to spend the evening wandering around the Frankfurt Christmas Market which meant that the best option was to stay in a hotel. We were lucky enough to get a room at one of Birmingham’s newest hotels based at the Mailbox, AC Hotel which is a part of the Marriott group. View Post