The Glittering Court buddy read with The Lilac Linnet | A winding road of cunning, pretty dresses & romance to freedom

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead, a review

My love for the Vampire Academy series rapidly sealed Richelle Mead as an autobuy author for me, and when I heard that The Glittering Court was a mixture of fantasy and boarding school antics, I was all over that pre-order book.

As soon as we heard about The Glittering Court, Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and I decided to do a buddy read, so this post will be a mix of my review and some review questions that both Llinos and I will be answering in our respective blog posts. If you want to read Llinos’ post, you can find it here.

We’re introduced to Adelaide (though, not her real name at the start of the book), a countess struggling to come to terms with the loss of her family’s wealth and trying to find a wealthy suitor who isn’t boring and creepy.

Spying an opportunity, she runs away to join The Glittering Court in the hope of finding a better life, and being able to marry for love rather than business. Of course, being a book an all, it isn’t that simple and she ends up forging her way down a winding road full of cunning, stunning dresses, treachery and romance to try and get freedom for herself and the one she loves.

If the synopsis sounds a little exhausting and all over the place, that’s because it’s exactly what the book is like. Heck, I needed a rest after reading this book. The Glittering Court is definitely more like an adventure novel than a romance novel in that respect, and I love it. Who loves exciting fantasy adventure romance novels? Kel loves orange soda! Wait, that’s something else.

Richelle Mead has done an absolutely cracking job of the world building. Here’s a list of some of the few places we spend time in:

  • The fancy (but not too fancy) home of a countess.
  • A ship on a rough ocean.
  • Cape Triumph; a new city, supposedly full of savages and scary men.
  • A very fancy house in Cape Triumph, full of maids turned ladies eager to be exactly what a rich man is looking for.
  • A shack at the foothill of mountains in the wilderness.

And all of them are so well written that you can feel the wind on your face as you gaze up at mountains, and the hustle and bustle of a port.

The character development is just as thorough also. Adelaide undergoes a lot of transformation throughout the book and even though none of us have been in her position, it’s hard not to relate to her.

  • Who doesn’t want to be free to make their own choices?
  • Who doesn’t want to find someone who is interested in them for more than their looks?

Most of the secondary characters are pretty well developed too. Some of them you fall head over heels in love with, and some of them are creepy and make your skin crawl – nice and diverse, that. I feel that perhaps we could have got to know some of the other girls who are part of The Glittering Court a little more – for example, one girl is quickly painted as a bit malicious and nasty, but I don’t think we ever really see her full potential and I think she could have caused us a lot of stress if we had. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

I mentioned above that the plot is more like an adventure novel; the pace is pretty full-on, there are no dull moments, and it’s full of so many twists and turns. On top of that, the romance is just as exciting – hello, sexual tension.

From looking at Goodreads reviews, I’ve seen some comparisons to The Selection, and I can definitely see where they’re coming from; a group of girls in a house competing to be exactly what men want, and a main character who doesn’t really want to play ball. Also, pretty dresses. That’s kind of where the comparisons to The Selection series end to me.

I know it probably sounds like they’re similar, but when I was reading it I didn’t think about The Selection at all, so it’s not like it’s a rehash of it. For starters, The Glittering Court is a bit darker, more detailed, and pretty much completely different.

I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to spoil it, so let’s move onto the buddy read questions.


Who would you recommend The Glittering Court to?
Anyone who loves adventure novels, main characters who refuse to give up, and the idea of a mash-up of fancy dresses and frontier life.
Who is your favourite character?
My favourite character has to be our main character, Adelaide, because of her refusal to give up and her determination to get the freedom she wants. Whether it’s freedom from an arranged marriage, or the freedom to love the person she wants, she would rather go down in flames than have someone else tell her what to do with her life.
What are your thoughts on the world building and religious aspects of the novel?
The world building was rich and so detailed, without it feeling really heavy handed, which I think takes some serious skill. The same goes for the religious aspects, and it was interesting to read about how people of other religions thought of each other and their practices – I guess a lot of their prejudice and thoughts are relevant in modern line.
What annoyed you about the book?
Hmmm, this one actually took a lot of thinking about because I didn’t really have any qualms. I think that if there was anything that was a teeny bit annoying, it would be the lack of development of the other girls in The Glittering Court. It is a pretty detailed book as it is, but I think that getting to know some more of the girls, aside from passing mention of their name, would have been nice.
What do you think of the novel’s portrayal of women?
The Glittering Court is obviously influenced by Elizabethan times and I think the portrayal of women is definitely in line with what was expected of women, and how they were treated at the time. Women were property to be sold for the highest bidder to further their families wealth; they didn’t get things like freedom or choices.
Are you excited about the rest of the series?
I cannot wait to read the rest of the series, for reasons I will not mention because SPOILERS!
Favourite quote
This was the easiest question, because as soon as I read this line I was like “YES!”. It’s the sweetest and smushiest line I’ve read in a book in a while, and it just feels so me all over. In fact, my expression was kinda like this:
Big Bang Theory Sheldon dominos
 I will take your hand and lie with you in the groves, under the light of the moon. I will build a life with you upon this green earth. I will walk by your side for so long as the sun continues to rise. The Glittering Court.
SEE WHAT I MEAN?! It’s just so…so, so…I don’t even know.
The Lilac Linnet review of The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
Don’t forget, you can read Llinos’ review of The Glittering Court by clicking on the image above.
The Glittering Court review rating - loved it


The Glittering Court Book Cover The Glittering Court
The Glittering Court
Richelle Mead
Romance, young adult, fantasy,

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…


Boscobel House & a royally approved book nook

Boscobel House Boscobel House Boscobel House lodge

If you live in the Midlands, it is pretty much mandatory that you will go on a school trip to Boscobel House.

The hiding place of King Charles II after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, Boscobel House was a safe place for Catholics during a time of religious persecution. I remember learning about that at school and being horrified that people were killed because of their beliefs – and what’s even worse is that hundreds of years later, the world hasn’t learned a thing. 

Boscobel House loft Boscobel House, Royal Oak Tree

After spending a night in an oak tree (the tree above is not the actual oak tree, it’s a descendant), Charles II hid in a priest hole in the beautiful lodge, before making his escape to France.

Boscobel House stables

I remember visiting Boscobel House with school as a kid and imagining what it must have been like to live there; and that’s something that hasn’t changed now. I tend to fall into the trap of thinking it must have been really romantic, but the reality of a working farm in the 1600s was probably most things but romantic. That said, I can’t help but feel that the house must have looked just as beautiful back then.

Can you imagine wandering around the garden and getting to look back on this stunning house? It looks so idyllic – I can’t believe that it wouldn’t have seemed the same way 400 years ago.

Me wearing a silly at at Boscobel HouseBoscobel House dairy kitchenBoscobel House kitchenBoscobel House bookshelf

And the inside was just as perfect. Just look at that bookshelf – you know I’m a sucker for a good bookshelf. Remember how I felt about the library in Drottningholm Palace?

Boscobel House book nook

But perhaps best of all, Boscobel House is home to a dreamworthy book nook. And it’s that ideal a book nook, that even Charles II allegedly spent a few hours reading here. A ROYALLY APPROVED BOOK NOOK!

Can you imagine how nice it must have been on a warm summers day, to sit there and look back towards the house while turning the pages of your book. And in the winter, you’d drag a few blankets up there, a cup of cocoa and wait for snow to coat the garden. Ugh, isn’t that a bookworm’s idea of heaven on earth?

British history is so cool. I’m so lucky to live in a part of the country that has a wealth of buildings and places with interesting stories and roles played in the history of this country. That said, you don’t have to look too far in the UK to find interesting historical things.

Boscobel House, Cockerel Boscobel House lambs

If you’re near the Midlands, I definitely recommend a trip to Boscobel House; rock up, go on a tour and explore the house, have a picnic, wander down to White Ladies Priory, see some sheep (and run away from a cocky looking cockerel…), and explore the lush, green countryside.



5 types of friends who want to borrow your books

5 types of people who want to borrow your books

For bookworms, there are few things more exciting than recommending books to your friends. BUT lending to friends comes with perils because there five types of people who want to borrow your books.

The hogger

This pesky friend will get all excited when you talk to them about a book you love and will declare that they want to read it right away. You will immediately hesitate, squint your eyes at them, and your brain will ask you if you can trust this person with your beloved. Their enthusiasm will convince you that they’ll read it quickly and give it back to you within a couple of weeks, so you’ll tentatively hand over your book.

A week later, you’ll ask how they’re getting on with it and they’ll say something like, “I haven’t got around to reading it yet, but I’m going to make a start this weekend.”

At this point, your brain will go “I told you so” in a singsong voice and you’ll tell it to shut up.

The weeks go by and the same answer keeps coming. Every time you go around their house, you’ll see it sat on the shelf, collecting dust and not looking like it’s next to be read.

Eventually, after a year passes, you’ll go to their house and rescue it. Maybe you’ll say something, or maybe you’ll say nothing and see how long it takes them to notice, while wondering if it’s illegal to steal something back that is yours. Can you steal your own belongings? I know you can get caught cheating for ‘plagiarizing yourself’, so maybe taking your own things back is stealing.

And the evil voice in your brain will get a slight kick out of the thought of them finally realising it’s missing and stressing out – your brain will call that payback for hogging.

I actually did this once when my friend borrowed The Fault In Our Stars. After a year, I’d had enough and rescued it.


The spinebender

You know the one; you’re probably letting out a low growl now just thinking about this.

I like my books to look pristine, even when they’ve been read, and that means not cracking the spine wide open. It’s entirely possible to comfortably read a book without cracking the spine. But the spinebender doesn’t even consider the damage to your bookbabies and will open the book wide open. Maybe they’ll even flatten it out. The horror.


The dogearer

I am not the kind of person who somehow manages to prevent anything in my bag from becoming bent or crinkled (I do have friends like that, and I’m 100% sure they’re superhuman) – until it comes to books; I treat books like they are precious, delicate pottery. This friend, though, will show your books no such courtesy.

Your book will return to you looking like someone played football with it; the cover will be creased and pages will be wrinkled.

They’ll say something like, “I only put it in my bag to read at school.” And your brain will go, “And you were attacked by a pack of hungry trolls at school were you?”


The snacker

We all love a good snack (or three) while we’re reading, but YOU DON’T EAT SNACKS OVER BOOKS!

This friend will return your book with little presents left buried deep between the pages. Just no.


The soulmate

This person seems to be a rarity, and they follow exactly the same rules as you when reading books. They will return your book in the same condition they received them; there’ll be no snacking or dog-eared pages, and you’ll both fangirl or fanboy over it together.  Make a vow to never fall out with this person.

Is there anything you’d add to this list? Tell bookworm horror stories about times you leant books to friends.



How cheaply can I travel to & stay in Banff / Jasper, Canada?


How cheaply can I travel to and stay in the Banff and Jasper region of Canada

I’ve wanted to visit Banff and Jasper for as long as I can remember being aware of their existence, but I was always put off by the idea that it would cost a fortune. BUT, it doesn’t.

Since it’s going to depend what country you’re visiting from, the time of year you’re visiting, and how long you want to stay, this obviously isn’t going to be any kind of concrete figure. I just wanted to show that you can visit the beautiful lakes and mountains of Banff and Jasper without breaking the bank.


Travel to Calgary

Calgary International Airport is the closest airport serving the Banff / Jasper region, though it’s still a good 2 hour drive away.

I’m flying up to Calgary from San Francisco, and managed to get a flight with West Jet for £98, though I will need to spend an extra £15-20 at check-in because you can’t pay for hold baggage in advance for some odd reason. I think that’s a fairly decent price for the length of the flight, and is probably only a little more expensive than what I’d expect to pay for the same length flight in Europe with a low-cost airline.

From the UK, you can get direct return flights to Calgary from London with AirTransat for less than £400 (dates used were 09/09 –> 17/09, but similar prices are available in other months if you do your research). Of course, prices are going to vary depending on the time of year; in the height of summer the area is popular for hiking and outdoor activities, while the winter attracts lovers of snowsport.

After doing a bit of research on Skyscanner, the cheapest months to from the UK appear to be May, June, September, and October. Though, I didn’t think prices during the height of ski-season were that expensive really for an 11 hour flight going direct.

Of course, if you already live in Canada, or the US, driving might be a more cost-effective option.

Totals for transport to Calgary can be done cheapest for in the region of £100 – £500, depending from where you’re starting your journey.


Transport around the region

Chances are, you don’t want to be confined to one area because there are so many beautiful things to see and do in Banff and Jasper National Park, so you’re going to need a way to get around.

There appears to be a pretty good selection of bus services operating in the region, but it depends on what you want. Being on a bus means you can’t just stop and enjoy the scenery whenever you want, but it might work out cheaper than hiring a car depending on your itinerary (especially if you have to pay a young driver surcharge).

Using a bus might also prove limiting depending on:

  • Where you want to stay – does your bus stop anywhere near your accommodation, or are you facing a walk with your baggage? 
  • What you want to do – does the bus stop near what you want to do or see? Where do any activities or tours you want to do start?
  • Is it going to be awkward to get to and from the airport depending on your flight times?

Car rentals are plentiful at Calgary International Airport and in the region. Things to look out for are:

  • Young driver surcharge – if you’re under 25, you will need to pay a surcharge in the region of about $20-$30CAD per day. Make sure you find out if that’s included in the quote, or if you will have to pay extra at pickup.
  • Young drivers – are you covered by loss / collision disclaimer waivers? Some rental companies (Budget are the example I’m talking about here) will include LDW/CDW in your online quote, but you won’t actually be covered by it if you read the terms and conditions.
  • Will you be charged for taking your rental into another province? I can’t say I understand this, but some rental companies will charge you if you drive your car from Alberta into British Columbia (again, Budget, but there are others who do the same). If you don’t tell them, you risk being arrested if you’re stopped by Police as you’ll be driving the car somewhere without permission from the rental company, if the company use GPS you could face a charge when you drop the car off. In my research, I’ve found that both Hertz and Avis do not charge for driving into other provinces.
  • Is your mileage limited? I think I only saw one example of this (and I can’t remember the company), but you’re probably not going to want to be driving on limited mileage. Who knows what wonderful place you’ll hear about and want to discover, only to be limited by your mileage.
  • Do you have a credit card? It seems near impossible to hire a car in Canada without possessing a credit card. It’s pretty annoying because it means I’ve actually got to get one, but it’s probably not a terrible thing when traveling. I didn’t see any companies that would let me hire a car without a credit card (I could pay on debit, but they want a credit card to ‘hold’ money).

For a week in September, renting a car a small car from Calgary airport and returning it to Calgary airport, you’re looking at:

  • Around £170-£180 with Hertz (+ around £100 for young driver surcharge + tax at pickup). That’s probably going to bring it to a little over £300 for drivers 25 and under, and under £200 for drivers over 25 years old.

This isn’t any kind of sponsored post, I just chose Hertz because they seem to be the best at giving you all the costs up front, are young driver friendly, and don’t charge for driving out of province.


Additional transport costs

On top of renting a car and the fuel, you will also need to purchase park passes if you will be stopping off and visiting any of the national parks (Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay). It is a little confusing as you have to display the pass in your car, but it’s actually based on the number of people in your car – Banff and Beyond have a blog post that makes sense of this. The long and short of it is that if you are renting a car, you will need to purchase a park pass.

If you’re taking public transport it will probably be included as part of the price of your ticket.



The fun part! At least, it always is for me (I think I should become a travel agent if a career in science fails).

As with most destinations, accommodation prices can go from one extreme to the other in Banff and Jasper. You can camp, stay in hostels, there’s Air BnB, low price hotels, nice comfy mid-range hotels, or extremely gorgeous and expensive hotels.

What you’re willing to sacrifice for a ‘cheap’ stay is something you need to be honest with yourself about. There are plentiful hostels in the region that have good reviews and you can get a bed for $30CAD / £16 a night in a dorm, but is that something you’d be happy with?

  • And what about hostels where there’s no showers? Is a shower a must-have, or are you happy to splash about on the edge of a river (where it’s safe of course).
  • Could you sleep in a room full of other people? Though, if you’d prefer your own space, some hostels do have private rooms or family rooms, but they will be more expensive. 
  • Do you want a private bathroom?
  • Would you prefer to stay somewhere with a cafeteria or restaurant, or do you want to make your own food?
  • Are you cool with a private room in someone’s house, where you can get to know the locals and put their knowledge to good use?
  • Are you looking for somewhere ‘out in the wild’ where you can pretend to be an explorer, or do you want to be in a town?
  • Do you basically somewhere clean to rest your head after a hard day’s exploring, or do you want something more?

You need to be honest with yourself and really question what you need from accommodation, because there’s no point you booking a hostel but hating it because it’s not you at all when you get there.



Hostelling International Canada has a great website that makes it easy for you to find a hostel in the area you want. They’ve got loads of hostels in Alberta and British Columbia that range from $16CAD / £9 per night up to $161CAD / £89 per night.

They also seem to have a fairly good range of hostels in terms of facilities. For example, the Lake Louise Alpine Centre has a cafeteria, running water and is a bit more like a hotel. While they have a series of Wilderness Hostels, which are much more rustic – but you get a gorgeous view for your sacrifices.

On average, you’re probably looking around $25-$30CAD / £14-£17 per night for a hostel.


Air BnB

There’s a good selection of properties on AirBnb ranging from shared rooms, private rooms, to being able to rent the entire place out. There are some really interesting looking places to stay as well from off-grid cabins, teepees, old RVs, beautiful looking houses; there’s something for everyone.

I think the average rooms on offer on AirBnB were probably within the £60-80 region per night, though you could spend less and you could also spend a lot more.



For the most part, hotels in the Banff / Jasper region aren’t as cheap as you’d probably hope. Sure, you can get cheap hotels, but hotels fill up fast which pushes the prices up, leaving you feel like you’re probably not getting the best value for money. At least, that’s how I felt.

Your best bet for finding decent hotel rates is to use websites like, Kayak, or TripAdvisor, where they try to find the cheapest rates and you might be able to take advantage of special offers. is my favourite because you can reserve a room for free, change your dates (which I had to do because I got dates mixed up) for free and easily, and you can cancel up until a few days before and incur no charge.


I’ve chosen to spend my first two nights in a hotel to help me acclimatise (I’m imagining driving on ‘the other side’ of the road being horrendous and will therefore need my own space), and then I’m spending five nights in three of HI Canada’s hostels.

There are hotel rooms around for less than £100 a night, but you can also get something pretty good for between £100 – £150 a night. Again, you can also spend a lot more.


To conclude

It’s hard to give a tight estimate of what you’re likely to pay to get to and stay in (excluding the cost of food, trips, etc – I’m sure that post will come when I get back) the Banff / Jasper region since it’s so dependent on where you’re starting your trip and what accommodation you’re happy with.

However, I can give you my costs, though they aren’t exactly straight forward.


From San Francisco –> Calgary with WestJet: £98 (excluding baggage fees)

From Calgary –> London Gatwick with WestJet: £189 (excluding baggage fees)

Total: £287



2 x nights in a hotel in Canmore: £153 / $278CAD

5 x nights in three hostels: £82 / $150CAD

Total: £235


Hire car

Not booked yet, but I estimate it will cost about £320


Total: £842.

Of course, I could have reduced my cost by at least £100 by staying in hotels for the entire seven nights, but I know myself and think I’ll need my own space to get over driving abroad for the first time. On top of that, my car hire would have cost £100 less if I wasn’t so darn youthful.

Have you ever wanted to visit Canada?






Let the wanderlust take control | San Francisco & Canada

Looking out of a plane over a sunset

Source: Unsplash

I live in a constant state of wanderlust, and it doesn’t take much to have me researching trips and trawling SkyScanner for cheap flights.

A couple of weekends ago, I was talking to a colleague about the month long trip she’s taking to Australia this summer; that was all it took for me to start researching a trip of my own.

The problem was, I couldn’t choose.

Canada is a place that has been on my travel list for well over 10 years. Between you and me, I first fell in love with Canada when I was 10 years old and became obsessed with Avril Lavigne. Since then, I’ve longed to explore the beautiful lakes, have my breath taken away at the top of a trail, and maybe spot a wild bear (from a very safe distance – I was surprised to discover that ‘bear spray’ is an actual thing).

San Francisco joined my travel list in a geography lesson one day, when we were learning about earthquakes. I’m sure earthquake videos are not how you’re supposed to fall in love with a city, but hey ho. It’s such a stylish looking city, with the painted ladies, the imposing Golden Gate bridge, and the humongous trees, it had me hooked.

With my heart torn in both directions, I simply decided not to choose; to do both.

It took a lot of hours on SkyScanner,, AirBnB, (and some incredible kindness), and I’ve worked out a plan that allows me to see both places for a heck of a lot less money than I expected. (Note to UK travelers: fly into Oakland International – Norwegian Air now do direct flights from Gatwick to Oakland for less than £200 one way, instead of double with a stop off, or triple to go direct with other airlines. Thank you to Cat at Oddly Lovely for letting me know, and generally being wonderful.)

Towards the end of the summer, I’ll be heading off on my own to immerse myself in places I’ve dreamed of visiting for years.

The thought of travelling solo is simultaneously liberating and scary. I won’t be on my own for the entire trip, but the thought of exploring Canada on my own and not meeting anyone is a little daunting for me.  Conversely, the idea of being dependent on myself is exciting.

If you’ve got any suggestions for places to see and do in San Francisco and the Banff / Jasper region of Canada, please let me know.

What’s next on your bucket list?



Vinyl Diaries: Paramore – Riot!

Paramore Riot on VinylParamore Riot on vinyl

It seems like all I do on vinyl diaries is fangirl about Paramore…#SorryNotSorry. Here’s me fangirling about Paramore’s second album, Riot.

If you’ve been reading my vinyl diaries posts for a while, you’ll know I love to talk about what an album reminds me of, and why should Riot be any different?

  • It reminds me of a time when I had hair like this…

Me in New York with Elmo

…That red coat by the way, is “the Elmo coat” I referred to in my Spring wardrobe update

  • It reminds me of the time I had flu and was convinced I’d slept for 26 hours, when it had only been two.
  • Listening to Misery Business on repeat when it was first released.
  • Making new friends.
  • Falling out with a friend over a boy.
  • Finding independence at college.

Paramore Riot on Vinyl inner sleeveParamore Riot on Vinyl lyric sheet

When Paramore announced that they were reissuing Riot on vinyl last year, it went straight on my Christmas list as the cheapest I’d seen originals for was about £80. It’s nice to be able to listen to one of my favourite albums on vinyl after all this time.

Listen to:

What have you been listening to lately?



Off the beaten path in Ironbridge

Waterfall Ironbridge

It’s amazing what you can find just a few metres off the trail.

A couple of weeks ago, on one of my rare days off and while my Mum was off for the Easter holidays, we grabbed our cameras and headed out with the intention of photographing a waterfall. We did a spot of research and found one, only to get there and discover there was no where nearby to park and we’d have to park miles away. (Clearly didn’t do enough research.)

Stumped, we spent a few minutes searching the Sat Nav for something else when we saw Ironbridge. My only memories of Ironbridge are my sister and I being forced to dress up in Victorian clothes and have our photo taken together. I think that was the first time I realised I had resting bitch face. I distinctly remember the photographer asking me to look happier, “I am!” was my response.

We headed off in the direction of Ironbridge and I was delighted at what we discovered; a beautiful little British town, nestled in a valley.

Ironbridge townIronbridge town

Iron Bridge

We had a wander through the town (they have an intriguing bookshop that reminds me of the kind I explored in Paris), walked across the famous Iron Bridge, and slipped onto a trail on the other side of the gorge. Quick history lesson: Built in 1781, Iron Bridge was the first arch bridge to be made from cast iron. (Don’t say I don’t teach you anything.)

I’m a little bit of an engineering nerd. I’m fascinated by how people built things like that without modern machinery. We’ve got life so easy with all the machinery we could possibly need that it seems almost incomprehensible that our ancestors could build such grand things without it. Don’t even get me started on Machu Picchu.

Iron bridge trail Waterfall Iron Bridge

We managed to get a little bit lost; the trail just seemed to disappear and we couldn’t figure out where we should have gone. We ended up in a part of the forest that seemed quite jurassic, and ended up doing a bit of poking about, when we spotted a waterfall between the trees.

As we’d left the house with the intention of photographing a waterfall, it seemed like fate. We scrambled over trees, hopped over a stream, and tried not to lose our footing in mud and found our way to the bottom of the waterfall. And it was worth it.

Waterfall Ironbridge Benthall Edge

Waterfall iron bridge benthall edge

For me, there’s something so relaxing and humbling about the power of water. (Do you guys remember how I felt about Dochart Falls?)

It was just the two of us, stood in this little valley, taking in the waterfall with nothing but the sound of water and birds. Moments like that are the moments I live for.

Those moments where nothing else exists. Modern day isn’t a thing, and your eyes are the first eyes to see what’s in front of you.

I need to explore some more falls, so throw any suggestions my way.