Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

A week ago, the day after our Wedding, myself, Zack and his Dad (my new Father-in-law!) took a hike up Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh for this and other amazing views over the city. Our apartment rental actually overlooked the mountain and its situation in Holyrood Park – we could not have asked for a better location. image

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

Wanderlust Wednesday: Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Once again I apologize for my shameful lack of posts. This time in two weeks I will be spending my last night as a Holder before becoming a Allnutt. Once the wedding is over regular blog posts will resume. For such a small wedding it is amazing how many things still seem to need doing! Anyway, to this weeks location, two pictures this week!

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Brightons Royal Pavilion is now as much associated with the city as its beach however when some people I know saw photos of me in front of it they asked when I had been to India – no they were not joking but they cannot be blamed, if you do not know of its location then one would well assume it is Indian.

The pavilion was deigned by the Prince Regent who wanted to create a residence more opulent than anything ever known. All the interior decorations and furnishings were oriental in origin and shipped over to England at great expense. After his death Queen Victoria whom is rumored to have disliked Brighton and the pavilion sold it to the city. The building was stripped of its lavish interior and used as assembly rooms. After the second world war the pavilion was restored to its original appearance during its ownership by the Prince.

The pavilion and its parkland is now a very popular attraction and draws in excess of a million visitors every year. When I was there last summer we used the gardens as a place to cool down, it made a lovely setting. The Pavilion is one if Britains most unusual buildings and is a must-see for anyone coming to the city.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Bruges, Belgium

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I have been told there are not enough photos of us on the blog so this week I have used a photo that includes me – eek. The location is one of my favourite cities. Zack and I spent a very enjoyable day wandering around and then we had dinner and wild camped in the big car park just outside the centre in our old camper van. I seem to recall the only money we spent there was on chocolate waffles.

Bruges is a World Heritage Site (I seem to have been to a lot of these) and is famous for its lace and chocolate; I was far more interested in the latter. Having not been to Amsterdam I was amazed at the amount of cyclists around, cars are actually required to give way to them and pedestrians. Bruges literally has interesting sights on over turn and is a must for anyone making a trip to Europe.

Wanderlust Wednesday: Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Firstly an apology for the lack of posts recently, in the last couple of weeks we have been to Wales, Cornwall and visited relatives around the south. At the same time I have been putting last-minute arrangements to our wedding which is now less than a month away. As a result I have had barely enough time to wash my hair let alone post on the blog! Today before we embark on our latest housesit in Leicestershire I actually have some time to myself so here is Wanderlust Wednesday.

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Walking around Castle Combe is like stepping back in time, it is no wonder it has been used as a location for films Stardust and War Horse. The village is full of listed buildings and contains one of the few medieval clocks still in use. It is very easy to take amazing photos here, on the day we went I filled my SD card very quickly as wherever you walked could have been turned into a postcard.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

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The amazing lunch I had at The Nosebag cafe in Oxford. This is vegetable quiche, waldorf salad, noodles and cucumber. I am a really big salad lover so appreciate anywhere that has numerous salads as side options. Highly recommended for vegetarians and vegans – there are even vegan puddings.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

Wanderlust Wednesday: St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall

After the last location being Mont Saint-Michel this time we have the English counterpart.

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Over the centuries the Mount has been a fortress, a priory, a place of worship and finally a family home which it remains today. In 1954 the family went into partnership with the National Trust and the Mount has been open to visitors ever since. It has been used as Dracula’s castle in the 1979 film and has also made appearances in Johnny English and Never Say Never Again. A lot of the fun is getting there, depending on the tides you either can wade over on the causeway or go by boat. When Zack and I visited we were one of the last to leave by walking back, it was a lot of fun even though at one point the water was above our knees.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Whilst visiting Kingston Lacy house in Dorset a couple of years ago I was desperate for shade – I am incredibly pale and thus burn easily. Thankfully there was a very big tree in the grounds which I was able to take refuge under. I was very taken with the details of this trees branches, luckily it was positioned in such a way that I was able to photograph it and the house together. I have always considered this one of my favourite photos and I feel it is perfect for this weeks challenge.

Kingston Lacy was the home of the Bankes family, they previously lived in Corfe Castle (also in Dorset) which was captured during the English Civil War. The house was built between 1663 and 1665. Out of the many National Trust properties I have been too this one has the most rooms open and is incredibly well-run.
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Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Wanderlust Wednesday: Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy

Getting out of England and heading over the channel to France this week.

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Mont Saint-Michel, one of the most visited attractions in France. Long disputed between Brittany and Normandy as to which department it originally was in, the river which has altered course is the stem of their arguments. The Mont and the bay it lies within are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the inspiration for the city of Minas Tirith in The Lord of the Rings. Entry to the Mont itself is free but the car parking charges are astronomical so we parked in a hotel car park about 20 minutes walk down the D976 instead. We visited in August when it was ridiculously hot and crowded, having been before in April I would recommend the latter.

Adventures in a freezing few hours in Bath

Yesterday we accompanied my mum and stepdad to pick up a hedge trimmer they had won on eBay. There was of course more to this trip – we went to nearby Bath afterwards. We probably should have been prepared for how cold it would be but I believe in Yeovil (where we all live) we are slightly more sheltered from the elements. Neverless, due to the weather the city was comparatively quiet so I was able to take some photos without loads of people in my way. Continue reading

How house sitting opened up the world to us

My list of places I wanted to visit in England was rather large, add Europe and it was obscene so I had not even attempted to include further afield. We bought a camper van two years ago with the idea of going round Europe. Being on a tight budget at the time meant we could only afford a 16-year-old LDV (not the best make and no longer being produced). The LDV was the only one out of many we had viewed to have everything we needed for the trip: cooker, 12v electric with leisure battery and a decent bed. Considering how it was completely ready for use and had 10 months MOT the £1900 price seemed quite good. Unfortunately, a week after getting it and the second time I drove the gearbox went and whilst we did replace it and head off to France the van proved way too large for me to drive. Other factors, such as the van having very poorly fitted doors meant we were awoken most nights by other campers. After a month we had to head home as I was exhausted and in danger of causing an accident. The European dream needed a re-think. Continue reading