Sustainable travel gear and sheer quality from Millican

I first wrote about Millican, a UK company specialising in sustainable travel gear and backpacks in 2012, when I was lucky enough to get one of their canvas backpacks, which I have now passed down to my son and which goes to college with him every day. This is a company that moves with the times, however, and now only sells backpacks made from recycled plastic. As they say themselves, ‘Out on the open road, change is the only constant’, and their change of direction is a wise and wonderful one.

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Travelling to Cornwall by sleeper train

Sleeper train from London to Cornwall

Catherine marks a milestone by taking the sleeper train to Penzance, Cornwall, and wipes the sleep out her eyes at Jubilee Lido, followed by a blissful weekend based at Chapel House boutique hotel.

And suddenly there it was. The empty nest. Given that there is no Hallmark card to mark this maternal milestone when our children finally take flight, I decided to mark it myself by taking a trip I had planned to do years ago, but never managed to get together. Taking the sleeper train to Cornwall, do some hiking and Hepworth, swimming and spacing out and, basically having a weekend all to myself.

It was September, of course, that time of year when so many young ones head off into the world, and so the Great Western Railway (GWR) Night Riviera had cabins free, and my name all over one of them.

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Sustaining the wonderful island of Sark

Sark, one of the car-free Channel Islands

If there is one place I could go back to this mid summer, it would have to be Sark. One of the Channel Islands, it takes a good while to get there but it is so worth it. Sark is a car-free and sustainable Channel Island lying 11 km east of Guernsey and about 40 km west of the Cherbourg Peninsula of France. I discovered it on a trip to (also gorgeous, but not quite so special) Jersey a few years ago, which I was heading to by ferry from the south of England. I got chatting to a crowd of cool young ones, who told me they were en route to Sark. They come every year around midsummer to gaze at the stars, because Sark is not only car free, but it is totally free of street lights and so an astronomical Arcadia.

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Loving London’s lidos in winter

Lido love is a summer romance for most people in London. A fling with urban adventure when the heat is on. Then you have the die hards who swim all year round in ten degrees of heart stopping H20, because the majority of London’s lidos, which hark back to Victorian times, are minimally heated. But thankfully there are exceptions for water wimps like me who fall between these two stools and for whom breaking the ice is never nice. Whose hearts soar at the sight of beckoning blue tiles and shimmering waters, who love to swim outdoors, the elements always assured to elevate the spirits. ¬†And, most importantly, who crave Celcius readings over the 25 degree mark, no matter what the season. And for those of us who love to travel, finding this on a winter city break turns the fling into a lifelong affair.

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