Browsing Category

Trips

England Trips

Do you feel the need to escape too? Blakeney National Reserve

seals

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong to this world? That time goes too fast?! That people are not who you thought they were? Have you ever woke up and had the feeling you want to run away, far from your worries, your troubles and your anguish?!
The only place, I believe, that is free of these is eternity. God promises us a place like that. But what do we do until then? Where do we escape?!

Norfolk does have it all

Norfolk County, the east side of England is abundant in unspoiled nature. Begging at every corner to be admired, asking for your attention. Sandy beaches, woodlands, beautiful houses and gardens, it’s up to you to decide.
As soon as you are getting closer to Fakenham, allow yourself to go in “relax mode”. Yes, you heard me, leave the hustle and bustle of the modern life behind and enjoy this gorgeous woodland area. This place is home to amazing wildlife. We were lucky enough to spot many a deer and these two baby deer having lunch along a stream. No matter where you look, there’s something to catch the corner of your eye. Many species of trees mixed all together makes the view even more surreal.
It’s not summer, still a bit chilly, so we haven’t stopped to explore this area like we wanted to.

It’s still that time of the year where the old, scruffy and jealous Mrs Winter argues with shy Miss Spring, trying to persuade her to cover her natural beauty.

Blakeney  National Nature Reserve

Therefore, we decided to visit Blakeney National Nature Reserve, to see the grey seals in their natural habitat.
We first stopped at Morston Quay, here we got our boat trip tickets from a very welcoming tourist point. They also serve coffee/tea and other refreshments here, which is nice.

From this gorgeous harbour, you can start adventurous coastal walks with your family.  Admire the vastness of the landscape and fall in love with this beautiful little place in our world. You definitely need some wellies, not necessarily for you but at least for the little ones. You don’t want to ruin their pleasure of jumping in puddles, left behind by the low tide.beach
The Beans Boat Trips, the ones we navigate with are really organised and very kind to reveal the story of Blakeney, proved to be an important port between the 15th-16th century. As we start our journey, we spot lots of different birds, this place being famous for having rare birds as it’s acting like a magnet. That’s why it wouldn’t be bad having some binoculars. It is also a heaven for people in love with photography. Blakeney Point Photos

Common and grey seals are living in these waters. Though they look quite clumsy on the sand, they are very good swimmers. Depending on the low or high tide, they got to move so they can reach deep water whenever it’s needed.

Isn’t it wonderful how pure nature makes you contemplate what life is about?

What are your favourite places to escape? What about your oasis of tranquility? I hope you enjoy travelling with me, even if it’s only through my articles.

Surprise

As a little surprise for the fans of Homeland series, I’ve posted a picture with Damian Lewis. If you’re familiar with the show, it was actually Nicholas Brody who was in the boat with us today. I’m sorry, I was too shy to ask for a better photo so I kind of stole that photo from him. Besides that, he looked like he was enjoying some quality time with his beautiful family. It was nice to see him. He left me with a good impression being so modest and well,  normal. Well done Damian! Continue to be an example for other actors that go crazy after getting famous.

boat

As I am looking forward to our new adventure, my mind is filled with silence. The silence of the wilderness.

Trips

Enjoy more trips with less money

Money money money…

Everywhere you go, whatever you do, it’s all about the money. But today I want to challenge you and to make you see it is possible. Yes, it’s possible to enjoy more trips this year without breaking the bank. You don’t have to start making more money, instead just start to travel more and discover more with fewer expenses. It can be done!
We all spend money on something. Whether it is on clothes, gadgets or different treats. The point is, we do have some money. Now, it only matters how we use it to our advantage.

1. Memberships? Yes, please.

In the past few years, we have visited so many castles, historic houses and just some unbelievable places, just by having a membership.
We cannot recommend the National Trust and English Heritage enough. The monthly payment is between £8.75-£10.50 for the whole family. Considering that an average entrance fee is around £25-£30 for a family, you do the maths.

2. Get a picnic basket and go crazy!

I was told…”OK, OK, you get free entrance but you are a long way far from home. You must make a stop at a restaurant or a pub for food.”. No, not necessarily. If we’re on a tight budget, we won’t. Almost everywhere we have been so far, we have found a picnic area, outdoor or indoor.
You should consider getting a picnic basket. Very important, I suggest you buy some vacuum bottles and jars, good quality ones. We got Stanley and they save our meals on every trip. This Stanley bottle gave us 32 hours of hot water. That guarantees you tea and coffee throughout the day when you don’t have a kettle nearby. Also, you might want to pack some soup sachets or noodle pots. Having some powdered milk for young children, milkshake powder or any other instant stuff that you like to give them will help.

3. Make sure you pack enough clothes for the kids

Even if it’s a one day trip, bear this in mind. We’ve ended up having to buy all kinds of clothing because our little one got dirty or wet. Or even worse, one time we have left our waterproof coats, wellies and such at home. Double check you have everything you need before you leave. Make a list and revise it! That is the best way not to spend what you might have saved for tickets and other kinds of entertainment.

4. Have a last minute holiday

You get the chance to visit exotic places by looking out for last minute deals on sites like https://www.thomascook.com/holidays/last-minute/  . Every single travel agent has a list with late deals. So why not take your family somewhere nice and warm for less than £500, all inclusive?!

Also, many travel agents offer you the possibility to pay monthly when you book in advance. As a result, you don’t have to purchase your tickets outright, making it easier to buy.

We’ve done this a few times and for whoever is interested I can suggest you some agents that do work this way. It’s a real possibility for families that don’t have a hard time saving. If you think about it as just another bill that you have to pay, it can work.

And before you know it, the day to go on your holiday comes and you’ll get your reward instantly as you look at your excited, happy little family, ready for another adventure.

5. Use Skyscanner for cheap city breaks.

They search and compare prices on flights, hotels and car hire around the world. You might get a deal for an exciting weekend in Germany, Brussels or France and so many other beautiful cities. Flying with less than £50 per person gives you the possibility to go on such trips more often.

Of course, there is more to life than travelling but what better way to see the world and meet new people? Just open your eyes and discover the wonders God left on Earth for us. He want us to be happy and to enjoy His creation.

England Trips

A cold, magical view from the heart of Devon

I don’t want to write a technical post with “do’s and don’ts ” but instead to make you wonder what a family trip in different places on this beautiful Earth would look like. Let’s go to Devon people!

The inner beauty of Devon

There is so much to say about it but I will try to make a summary of it, though it’s very hard. Because it is still very cold outside I realised it is impossible to get you to see the bright sunny days of Devon. So instead I want to let you discover another side of Devon…the inside.

We have been so many times in this area, it’s a three-hour drive from our home. I remember the first time we’ve been there, it was on a very cold winters day (November) and it really was love at first sight. Of course, you want to get the best out of a trip to Devon. Therefore, I suggest you give yourself a long weekend or quite a few days instead of a one day trip.

A place to stay, please ?!…

There are many beautiful farms in the area, offering bed and breakfast. We had a very pleasant stay at Twitchen Farm. It’s a lovely bed and breakfast located in The Exmoor National Park. It is hosted by two lovely and friendly sisters Helen and Jaye. http://www.twitchen.co.uk/

They were really happy to help us with maps and to direct us on finding different footpaths available in the area. If you want to stay within your budget and if it isn’t raining, there are gorgeous footpaths along the Coast. The famous South West Coast Path and The Tarka Trail. Just let the farmers around know what you want to do and they’ll tell you where to go. The good part is that you won’t be charged for guidance (wink/wink). Breakfast is something that is worthy to mention. The reason being is that they use local and organic produce to make your breakfast. Almost everything on your plate has been carefully grown or reared in the village or nearby… my mouth is watering.

As a plus, children will be delighted to get closer to the animals around the farm, like dogs, sheep and horses.

Have a look at our pictures here.

A lovely Medieval Village

If you believe a walk on the coastline is not really a good idea for your family then welcome to Dunster!  You are stepping into a Medieval Village with well preserved historic buildings. Once you get here, make sure to try one of the loveliest cream teas I ever had. Warm, freshly baked scones, rich clotted cream and delicious tea, cheeseboard with homemade chutneys and local vegetables. https://www.cobblestonesdunster.co.uk/

In Dunster, there is so much to do. You might want to visit the castle, The Dunster Castle. Try and see how much you can fit into one day from 1000 years of history. It has many stories to tell, for both children and adults. Also, they organize all kind of trails for children, all the time. That keeps them busy so you can enjoy the different collections inside.

Even if it’s a bit chilly, don’t miss the subtropical gardens. Especially this time of year, everything is ready to blossom. Also, visit the restored 18th-century working watermill located in the area of the River Gardens. We have even left with wholemeal flour made from organic grain, which is available to buy on your visit.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunster-castle

Devon Doll Museum

Regardless if you have girls or boys, your children will be excited to see one of the largest collections of dolls in the country. There are thousands of dolls from different eras and different cultures. I have even found some from Romania, which is my native country. The museum is on the High Street of Dunster, so it’s close by.

Woolacombe

If your kids still have enough energy after that, get them in the car and take them on the award-winning beach, Woolacombe. The beach is known and recognized for the three-mile-long golden stretch, clear water and beautiful scenery. I found it to be very safe for children. I know, it’s somewhere between winter and springtime, still a bit cold. So we don’t yet use words like “swimming”. But children can have a lot of fun with a pair of binoculars and a magnifying glass, as the place is rich in wildlife. Let them explore! If they’re old enough, they can create their own journey, where they can draw or write about all the things they spot (animals, insects, plants).

Lynton – Lynmouth, inseparable and unique

Another stop on your journey has to be Lynton and Lynmouth. If you don’t like the countryside, you have plenty of classy places where you can stay here. At this time of the year, you might want to check which one of the Guest Houses are opened. As many of them close around this season and reopen in March – April. We enjoyed quality accommodation at Orchard House in Lynmouth. It’s managed by a lovely couple, genuine and friendly. I remember the lady was so kind to our son. So we can enjoy our breakfast after my son had his, the lady took him and played with him. Even gave him a gift, pencils and a colouring book, as we left. We had some beautiful moments there.

Lynton is quite a small village situated on the cliffs above Lynmouth. But, please don’t rush in Lynton & Lynmouth as you might miss a unique experience. In the heart of Exmoor National Park, the twin villages are far from industry and commerce. So, take time to look closer, for Lynton -Lynmouth boasts an impressive history. You get the chance to visit historic houses, to see the red deer and the wild Exmoor ponies.

Make the first step and start planning

Even if it’s hard to believe it sometimes, there are still beautiful places to discover and wonderful people to meet…just get out of the house, they’re waiting for you.

See you in the next post!

England Trips

Cornwall, England – discover a place made for your soul

This article is dedicated to some of my friends who believe that England is not beautiful and you don’t really have things to do. I can prove the opposite. This time, my family and I get to fall in love with this part of England, called Cornwall.

Porthcurno, the pearl of Cornwall

In these cold winter days, I dream about the feeling of an unborn baby staying in the Mother Nature’s womb, that`s what you get at Porthcurno Beach. From the moment you walk on the soft silvery sand to the transparency of the sea where you can actually see through; followed by the beauty of the cliffs surrounding the beach. Porthcurno has all the ingredients it needs to be considered a ” small paradise “.

You would probably think that’s not too much, though being in many places in the last couple of years I can say this area is really worth it. But hey…I got good news, that is not even 1% of what you can do, see and discover in this amazing region.

       Eden Project – rainforest in captivity

Children will love the Eden Project, such a great source of fun. Did I mention it`s educational too?

The Rainforest Biome was a sight to see. There is so much to say about it and I won’t do it all here as you can get more info on their website. What I want to tell you is the impact this trip has had on us. We really left with so much more knowledge on what tropical weather means (heat, humidity etc.). Also, it felt like a trip around the world. The Biome has trees and plants from South Africa, South-East Asia, Tropical Islands and even South America. So, if you ever wondered what a rubber tree looks like or how big is a bunch of bananas, or maybe what vanilla looks like, it’s time for you to pack.

If your children haven’t been in any Mediterranean countries before, now they get the chance to see, smell and feel what an Italian garden looks like, for example. As you step in the Mediterranean biome, you are already transferred to another country.  A beautiful tea garden, surrounded by lemon trees, olive trees and other citrus trees. The herbs garden reminds me of the true Italian taste and reminds me of the time when we lived there.

More info at https://www.edenproject.com/.

By the way, I almost forgot, for stressed fathers( but not limited to) you get one of the longest zip lines in England. This is not included in the Eden Project ticket.

St. Michael’s Mount – Cornwall, a treasure for every age

You also need another day for St. Michael’s Mount. So, plan your trip carefully. It is definitely something you don’t want to miss. Visiting the Mount will meet so many of anyone’s high expectations. That is because you get so much on one island. Coming by foot or by boat to see St. Michael’s Mount it will nothing but enrich your experience there.

This place has everything…Legend, history, a wonderful castle that cannot hide the traces of its past. It is a living community here on the island. They probably still run guided tours of the village. Before planning your trip, I recommend checking their website, which I found it very well structured and helpful.

Check it out at:  https://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk .

 

As I said, people still live here, 30 or so islanders have a home on the Mount. It is a village and a harbour at the same time. The views are amazing from the top of the Mount. We have seen the castle in the summer when the garden has so much to show, it`s basically bursting with colour. I’m sure that springtime is a good season to enjoy just as much.

For any family with children and on a budget, think about organising it in the summer. You can find really good campsites with all the facilities. you might need. You might not be the camping type of person but seeing the children’s joy out here, surrounded by gorgeous nature, you might want to try.

Finally, if you get here, please have a stop at Land’s End, splendid coastline and gorgeous natural landscapes. You’ll thank me later!

Until next time!

Trips Wales

Winter at Powys Castle – gear up – Wales

It’s January and I find it hard to believe that there is much to do outdoors. Suddenly, I remember that I know a place where there’s always something new to see…Powys Castle. My family and I were impressed from the very first visit, more than three years ago. Since then, we’ve been a couple of times and the place has kept its charm over the years.

             The fairy tale of Powys Castle

The medieval Powys Castle, originally built around 1200, used to be a fortress of the Welsh Princes of Powys. The daring Powys Castle is situated on a rock above some beautiful, breathtaking garden terraces.

Powys Castle

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle-and-garden

           Powys Castle has a story to tell indeed. You’ll discover many famous paintings and other fine art pieces to see, many of them brought from India. Though I’m sure you will enjoy visiting Powys Castle, if you have small children it will be quite challenging. In that case, you’d rather stick with the garden, you can make a day out of it alone. Reason being, Powis Castle can only be visited by guided tour only. So, that takes a while. Besides, some of the places to visit inside are quite dark and narrow, like the cellar, which can be a bit uncomfortable for kids.

Today I would like to show you more about the marvellous views across the valley and the deer park that surrounds the castle. Our son loves to be surrounded by nature.  Therefore, today he was amused by spotting different animals living on these hills. It was so amazing, watching the animals live in harmony with each other.

          Take the children outdoor and write your own bedtime story

My husband showed my son how Mr Rabbit was coming back from work, very excited to see if his wife put the kettle on or not. While Mr Peacock was getting ready for a date with Miss Pheasant, stags watching from the top, making sure their community is safe and sound.

I sure hope you’ll love this place as much as we did. On a side note, we were surprised today by the lovely snowdrops making an appearance. Even though spring is just around the corner.

See you soon!