UK Travel

UK Travel

Autumn in the New Forest

Autumn here in the New Forest is an assault on the senses. Visually there's pretty much every colour in the orange / yellow / brown spectrum. Underfoot, depending on the weather, there's crunchy or slippy leaves (you are either striding with glee or walking carefully with the fear). Cute animals galore mooch about 'doing their thing' as they can do here - pigs and piglets snuffling in the leaves, ponies, cows, deer, sheep.

UK Travel

Dunnet Head, Caithness

I can't quite believe that it's been over a year since we enjoyed a few days away in Caithness with my first husband Iain and his parents - and I wanted to get down my memories on this day before I forget.  One of my favourite places in the country, we managed to get some beach time in, not to mention a climb. 

UK Travel

An afternoon in Wells, Somerset

Wells is just the prettiest place to visit, and admire, be you a keen photographer or general fan of all things quintessentially English. Mentally I moved into around 85% of the houses we ambled past and literally spent the entire time giving excitable squeaks (rather disconcerting for passers by but ho hum!)

I spent a good 2 minutes staring at this next scene, thinking it looked oh-so-familiar, when Kitty pointed out that it's the setting for the film Hot Fuzz. Yarp!

UK Travel

Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher

Hell Bay Hotel is a hotel (the only hotel in fact) on the small island of Bryher, the smallest of the inhabited islands of the Isles of Scilly. Bryher has a diversity of flora and birds to enjoy. Never before have I walked past a hedgerow and heard so much chirruping! There's gorgeous beaches and cliff paths that offer up breath-taking views. Bryher may only be a mile and half long by half a mile wide but it offers so much. Exploring the white sandy shores, looking out onto the crystal blue sea whilst keeping an eye out for the seal family is the perfect way to unwind. 

UK Travel

Flying from Land's End to Scilly with Skybus

 Skybus, aerial view of Isles of Scilly

Recently we travelled to the Isles of Scilly. You can sail over to Scilly or you can fly, we chose to fly, from Land's End, a short 15 minute flight.

Lands End Airport

Parking is £6.50 per day if you pre-book, £7.50 per day if you pay on arrival. The airport is easy to find, we used our satnav. The airport itself is comfortable with good amenities and excellent free wifi. Before you board your flight you are required to watch a short 5 minute information & safety video. 

The Flight

We travelled on the Skybus, on the Twin Otter which seats 19. This is the smallest plane that we've flown in and knowing it's size I'd pre-warned my children that it wasn't going to be like the 'big planes' we've travelled overseas in before. I'd explained that it would be smaller, the sound louder and that we would be flying lower than they are used to - which would mean we'd be able to see a lot more. 

The flight itself is only 15 minutes long which, pardon the pun, flies by. The children enjoyed spotting boats in the sea followed by excitable squeals as the islands came into view. The cockpit area is open to the rest of the plane so you can see what's going on 'up front' - really cool!

Our outbound trip was on cloudy and windy day and there was a little turbulence. In a smaller plane you are going to feel the effects of adverse weather, but personally I found that flying lower than a 'big plane' made me less nervous about turbulence. Our inbound trip was on a glorious sunny day and there was naturally no turbulence.

Tips for travelling on Skybus

Sit at the front or the back for the best views.

If you have a nervous passenger with you (my daughter is always apprehensive about flying), sit at the front of the plane and then you can distract them by watching what's going on in the cockpit.

Take your camera on in hand luggage - the views are smashing!

Outbound photos:

Inbound photos:

Arriving at St Mary's Airport

Just like Land's End Airport, St. Mary's Airport is small with good amenieties. Collecting our luggage from the conveyor was quick and simple. We had a transfer to our hotel arranged already, a minibus picked up passengers to take them down the the Quay to board the boats on to the islands they were staying at.

Jetboat

We caught a jetboat with Tresco Boat Services to Bryher. Oscar and I chose to sit out on the deck, whilst Kitty opted for the shelter of the cabin. She sat chatting to a local gentleman who we shared the flight with. One of the (many) lovely things about the Isle of Scilly is how friendly and chatty everyone you meet is!

UK Travel

National Trust, Killerton House

National Trust, Killerton House

Whilst planning our route to Land's End this week I looked into National Trust places to stop at, breaking up the journey at the halfway mark. After all no one likes 5 hours of driving in the car, especially not children. After a quick cross-reference between the National Trust website and Google Maps, I settled on Killerton House, near Exeter.

Glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland, fine 18th-century Georgian family house with a colourful history.

The grounds are stunning at this time of year, magnolia trees, daffodils, bluebells all add a much needed splash of colour to this time of the year. 

Favourite parts:

The Bear Hut - in the grounds the Bear Hut is a gem to discover. Originally built as a summerhouse it was then used to house a pet black bear brought back from Canada by Gilbert, the Acland families grandson in the 1860's.

The Rainbow Room - walk through the rainbow door and discover a room of rainbow coloured dressing up for children.

The library - hosting thousands of books donated by the public, the library is the perfect place to sit back and relax and escape the sunshine of summer days. There's a lovely section of children's books too.