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.
Continue reading “Travelling to Cornwall by sleeper train”
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.
Continue reading “Sustaining the wonderful island of Sark”
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.
Continue reading “Loving London’s lidos in winter”
If you Google ‘Bedgebury’ you’ll see that this is the National Pinetum and has been the UK’s finest collection of conifers since 1925. Which is gorgeous, but not if you are my teenage boys, who sort of lost me at ‘pinetum’. If you research a little more deeply, however, and this is the point where my lads zoned back in again, you’ll find a load of cool videos of skilled mountain bikers taking on the singletrack trails of one of South-East England’s most exciting forest enterprises. Cycling at Bedgebury Forest is a superb day trip from London and a regular family day out from London for us now.
Continue reading “Cycling at Bedgebury Forest, UK”