Bound for Beer (Part 4)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] My final morning in Beer dawned as one of those late spring/early summer days that seemed absolutely perfect, the type you wish would go on forever. The mist of the past few days had completely vanished, leaving blue skies in its wake, and the colours along…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 3)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Rather than the antiquated local museum I was expecting, from the moment you step inside Seaton Jurassic it is clear that time, money, and passion have gone into creating an engaging and educational experience for visitors of all ages. You start off by exploring a Victorian…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 2)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] Arriving in Beer in the evening, MrElaineous and I only had a brief moment to look around before settling into the B&B for the night. What we saw certainly seemed picturesque. There was a stream running along the village’s main road so you were never far…

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BOUND FOR BEER (PART 1)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ][ PART 4 ][ POSTCARDS ] MrElaineous and I are teetotal or, as I like to put it, totally about tea. This means that there was a degree of irony in our recent trip to the Devon village of Beer as we wouldn’t be partaking in the eponymous beverage, but we did…

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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Castle Drogo. The name sounds like something out of an 18th century Gothic novel, perhaps created for a work of fiction by Ann Radcliffe. It is, however, a very real place and one built just a century ago: completed in 1930, it is the last castle constructed in England. The owner was Julius Drewe, a self-made millionaire who developed the Home and…

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AS SEEN ON TV (PART 3)

Croome Court: Expect the unexpected. As far as taglines go, this one is absolutely spot. This National Trust property offers a surprise around every corner with its modern take on a historic building and garden.

The first thing that caught my eye upon arriving at Croome was the property’s tagline: expect the unexpected.

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AS SEEN ON TV (PART 2)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ] From the 16th-century Tudor Brockhampton Manor we journeyed forward in time to the 18th-century Neo-classical Berrington Hall. One of the property’s claims to fame is being the last completed commission of “Capability” Brown. In a remarkable stroke of coincidence for someone who doesn’t watch a lot of television, a few…

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AS SEEN ON TV (PART 1)

[ PART 1 ][ PART 2 ][ PART 3 ] I don’t watch a lot of television. I mean, besides the current series of Back to the Land with Kate Humble. And I just saw Alice Roberts’ Britain’s Most Historic Towns and was pleasantly surprised to discover I have actually been to many of them. And of course I catch…

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FIRST!

I don’t know when or why the tradition began of gracing a website’s comment section with “First”. It’s something that I’ve always found it a bit silly. I mean, it’s not so much a comment as a territorial marker! However, I had my own first moment recently that, while it hasn’t convinced me of the merits of staking a digital…

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CARPE TEMPESTAS

The stereotype of British weather goes something like this: it’s cold, it’s grey, and it rains a lot. There may or may not be fog. And I have to admit the last few weeks have fit that description to a T. Constant drizzle, thunderstorms, and the occasional hailstorm have served to keep me inside, daydreaming of warmer temperatures and drier days. Because of the…

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ANTICIPATE, EXPERIENCE, REFLECT

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen that I’ve been sharing photos from a trip I went on several years ago to Sri Lanka. I confess there was an ulterior motive to this: the plan was to use these photos to build up some followers, encourage them to visit the blog and then perhaps head over to my writing and design pages.…

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TIME + TRAVEL

I can’t remember what initially piqued my interest in Chester. It may have been word of mouth, or perhaps seeing it on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys, but it sounded absolutely perfect for me as a recovering archaeologist. Its origins are Roman, it has a well-preserved medieval wall, and many of the buildings date from the 17th-19th centuries (or at least look like they do,…

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BIRTHDAVERSARY

Forty years ago, my mother made the decision to get married on her birthday. Four years later, I decided that it would be a good date to make my own appearance into the world. When it came time for my fiancé and I to pick a day for our wedding, there was only one obvious choice. It means the chances of either of us…

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THE WONDERS OF SWINDON

I was first introduced to the wonders of Swindon many years ago through Jasper Fforde’s delightful Thursday Next series. There were airships, migrations of mammoths, and kickass literary adventures to be had in this enchanted town off the M4. Having worked in Swindon for over two years, I can say with a great deal of confidence that Mr. Fforde was exercising not only his imagination…

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THERE AND BACK AGAIN

There is something about being away on holiday that makes everything seem so simple. Maybe it’s the break with routine and habit: by getting out of my day-to-day rut, it offers fresh perspectives and new insights. Or perhaps it’s the chance to actually think things through without constant interruptions or attempting to tackle a never-ending to-do list. Or maybe it’s being in a new environment…

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ROUSHAM WALKABOUT

Blenheim Palace. Chatsworth. Stourhead. The honours list of top gardens in Britain seemed obvious. So it was with some surprise that MrElaineous and I watched TV presenter Monty Don award this title to Rousham Gardens, a property we had never heard of, despite it being located in Oxfordshire, just a stone’s throw from the mighty Blenheim.Which, come to think of it, is likely one of the…

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Are you the spider or the fly?  11 lessons after a digital detox

[ Edited January 2019: All Roads Lead to Machynlleth was written at the end of 2016, during a period of my life that I found stressful and overwhelming. Yet looking back, I think it illustrates the power of travel to shake us out of bad habits and routines, and offer new paths to explore. There is no overnight cure for…

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London. Eventually.

While the weather gods may have smiled on us at Shaftesbury and Longleat, we apparently neglected the appropriate offerings to the spirits of the railway. We arrived at Chippenham Station just in time to hear that our train was cancelled. A quick check of the First Great Western app showed that problems were to be expected for the next hour. That was okay, no…

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Lights, Camera, Safari

Just not necessarily in that order. You may have been wondering why Shaftesbury was chosen as the first part of my surprise birthday trip. It wasn’t for Gold Hill, or the stunning views, or the opportunity to solve a Treasure Trail that wound its way through the town (or even the Thanksgiving dinner), although all were a nice way to celebrate. Instead its proximity to…

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MissElaineous Travel Blog: Escape, Explore, Discover, Enjoy