Since I became an ‘immigrant’, I was intrigued to find out if any of my ancestors had emigrated/come from anywhere other than Great Britain…has travel always been in my blood…literally!! Ancestry DNA recently had a sale so it seemed like the perfect time to find out!
(Screen grab of my results from ancestry.com)
I’m 100% European! I’m proud of the fact that I’ve travelled to all of the regions that I come from…otherwise I think I’d be booking a flight to explore any remaining regions! So let’s have a look at some of my favourite places in the regions that make up my DNA!
Great Britain 56%
(England, Scotland, Wales)
Off the beaten path – My favourite area of the UK is Devon and Cornwall. I spent a lot of my childhood going on caravan holidays here! We would drive down in the summer but it is possible to reach Newquay by air or rail. I love the coastline, the little seaside towns and proper cream teas with Cornish clotted cream! It was at a campsite in Cornwall where I decided I wanted to work in travel!
The photo below is ‘Broadsands Beach’ in Devon. It can only be reached by walking along a cliff top path, a woodland trail and then taking 230 steps down to the beach! At high tide, most of the beach disappears though!
St Agnes in Cornwall is a tiny village with a tiny beach area. One of my favourite places in St Agnes is a little cafe that overlooks the sea and would serve GIANT scones with their cream teas!
On the beaten path – I love Camden Town in London. I was always a bit of an outcast at school, I liked rock music and Vans shoes and as a teenager I felt like Camden was somewhere that I actually fit in. There’s always live music, the markets are awesome…selling everything from street food to studded belts, the high street has shops with giant models of ‘goth boots’ and dragons stuck on the front and the lock is a nice place to sit on a sunny day and watch the canal boats go by. The area actually has a really interesting history too!
(Norway, Denmark, Sweden)
Denmark – Below is the colourful Nyhavn harbour in Copenhagen, a popular area full of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating! I spent a lot of my time in Copenhagen at the Tivoli Gardens, home of the 2nd oldest rollercoaster in the world! During my visit, the rollercoaster still used a ‘brake man’ that sits in the train and slows it down manually on the hills! The park has been open since 1843. At night, it is lit up with thousands of individual coloured bulbs rather than by neon or LEDS! It’s located right in the city centre, making it really easy to visit!
Iberian Peninsula 12%
Spain – I have NO IDEA why Tibidabo Amusement Park doesn’t appear on more Barcelona itineraries! The park is over 100 years old and has a section that is free to enter with a couple of pay-to-ride attractions. If you don’t mind heights, ‘Talaia’ gives great views of the The Saguaro Cor church and views across the city! The park can be reached by a shuttle bus that leaves from Placa de Catalunya.
I challenge you to go to Barcelona and not fall in love with Antoni Gaudi’s architecture that appears all over the city, such as the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and the Casa Batllo. You can find out more in my 72 Hours in Barcelona, Spain guide.
Portugal – One of my favourite places in Portugal is Cascais, a short train ride from Lisbon! I loved the little beach town feel! I spent the morning at Praia da Rainha beach, a little cove that even had a rock pool area!
I’d love to go back and explore more of Portugal, such as Sintra and Porto!
Europe West 8%
(Belgium, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein)
Considering how close ‘Europe West’ is to the UK, it’s an area that I haven’t actually explored much of! France and Belgium were my 2nd and 3rd countries that I visited, out of my current count of 39, both as part of school trips. Then I spent the day in the Netherlands as the flight runway to runway between London Stansted and Amsterdam Schiphol is only 22 minutes!
Netherlands – Our day trip to Amsterdam included: walking along the canals, climbing on the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign, visiting the Anne Frank House (which then inspired me and my Mum’s trip to Krakow, Poland to visit Auschwitz), seeing the tulips in Vondelpark, peaking at the Red Light District (out of curiosity!), strolling around the floating ‘Bloemenmarkt’ and then playing indoor glow in the dark 3D crazy golf! I’m a huge fan of weekend travel, it’s surprising how much you can actually see!
Dublin – I’ve visited Dublin a couple of times now (this is my guide on how to spend 48 Hours in Dublin!), it also works as a great flight connection base between Chicago and London! I love trying to find things to do in a city that are slightly different or unusual, a highlight from one of my trips was going to Wakedock, a cable wake boarding park! ‘Women’s Day’ coincided with my visit and I won a top that’s actually now one of my all time favourite travel accessories!
Have you ever done an Ancestry DNA test? Have you ever tracked your family tree or know where you originate from? I was surprised that Scandinavia was my 2nd highest ethnicity group, I was expecting it to be more like Europe West!
(Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by Ancestry, I signed up and paid for my own test during their summer sale!)