Category: Adventure

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, Cambridge

Vintage is quite often seen as the ‘in’ or ‘trendy’ thing these days. It’s become cool to dig through vinyl, re-purpose crazy printed shirts and deck yourself out in accessories from bygone eras.

I myself am a big fan of all things vintage and can easily see why others are so drawn to it. Asides from the ecological/recycle and re-use aspect of it all, vintage items are generally of a better quality and last much longer than their modern counterparts. Additionally, the design/style is better thought out and more unique than what is on the (mass-produced) market these days. After all, who wants a cheap, plastic-smelling bag that’s on every other persons arm when you could own a beautiful handmade number for a fraction of the cost?

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Halloween/Fireworks Night Event

Every year Gareth and I make a special effort to celebrate Halloween. Previous years we have taken a ghost bus tour (dressed as a bat and a vampire) through London at night, gone on a Frightmove house tour (dressed as a pumpkin and a zombie) and have always decorated the house with carved pumpkins, fairy lights, bunting and other spooky goodies.

Some people will inevitably think that Halloween is just another excuse for the big companies and corporations to market yet more junk at us. And I guess it’s true to an extent – but I am a firm believer in celebrating whatever you can, making the most out of life and having fun. So in this house, we celebrate Halloween and we love it.

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Moving House And New Beginnings

In my October Bucket List post I mentioned that Gareth and I are getting ready to move in to our very first house together. Finally, after weeks of uncertainty we have exchanged contracts and have a move in date. As of Friday 13th October, the house will belong to us.

As this is such a huge and important step in our lives I thought now would be a good time to reflect on everything that’s going on. (more…)

Autumn Appreciation Post

Piles of golden, rust and burgundy leaves gently gather on the pavement, lining the street with colour as they fall from the trees.

Sunlight filters through branches laden with chestnuts, acorns and conkers and dances in ripples across the floor, illuminating the fallen leaves like sparks of fire. The air is cold and crisp.

It is October and Autumn is in full swing.

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Mushroom Foraging In Autumn

I am an inquisitive person by nature; I am in complete and utter love with the idea of adventure. As a result of this, I am someone who spends a great deal of time exploring places just for the simple pleasure of discovering something.

In my spare time you will often find me outdoors, in a country park, nature reserve or woodlands. As photography is one of my main hobbies, I love to combine my passion for adventure and nature and take lots of photographs of all the weird and wonderful flora and fauna I happen to stumble across on my forays in to the wild.

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A Trip To The RSPB Lodge

Gareth and I just recently bought our very first home. Located in St Neots, it’s a little further afield than I am accustomed to and, whilst I feel excited to be moving, I am not without apprehension too. To make the transition a little easier Gareth and I have spent a couple of weekends exploring St Neots and the surrounding areas. Where we currently live I am spoiled by lush green country parks and woodland. I spend a great deal of time walking in these spaces, feeding the deer and spotting nature.

Naturally I am quite sad to wave goodbye to my favourite haunts however there is one major draw to our new location; The Lodge. Situated a town over, the Lodge is the RSPB headquarters. We are RSPB members and always enjoy exploring new reserves so we were very keen to check this one out. Last weekend we collected up my younger brother Ben and my mum and we did just that!

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Guest Post: Bournemouth Air Festival

Last weekend my lovely fiancé Gareth took a trip down to Bournemouth to watch the Air Festival. Sadly I was unable to make this trip due to other plans but I gave him my camera and asked him to capture the weekend for me that way. He has very kindly written a guest post for my blog detailing the event. The following words and images are his own. 

Growing up I always had a fondness for aeroplanes, passed on to me by my parents. As a child, we would often take the dog for a walk around the local airport watching the passenger flights come and go, wondering what far-off destination they were bound for and listening closely to the air traffic control tower on the radio. In addition to this, my dad was heavily involved in the Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Training Corps (which I also joined) and this led us to visiting a number of air-shows in my childhood. I still remember the thrill of visiting RAF Mildenhall for the annual air-show, which was the biggest in Europe at the time but sadly ceased after the fears following September 11th 2001. (more…)

A Mini Break To Bourton-on-the-Water & Stratford Upon Avon

Nestled in the Cotswolds, Bourton-on-the-Water is a village in Gloucestershire that is well known for its outstanding beauty. Before we paid this slice of heaven a visit, I honestly had not heard of it (or thought of it as a mini-break kind of destination) but Gareth had been when he was younger, had many fond memories and wanted to go back. And so, we did!

On Saturday 12th August we got in our car and made the three hour trip, blessed with sunshine and blue skies.

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A Trip To Birdland

On the 12th of August (a Saturday), Gareth and I decided to travel up to Bourton-on-the- Water and stay in nearby Cheltenham for the weekend. After everything that’s been going on lately a mini-break was most welcome. Luckily we had some Tesco vouchers to spend on booking a nice little hotel room for the night and some left over for a day trip to Birdland and a meal at Zizzis – result!

In this post I’m going to talk about our trip to Birdland, but keep your eyes peeled for posts on Bourton-on-the-Water and what we got up to over the weekend!

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A Family Day Out

I’m going to be diplomatic here; this wasn’t the best day out we’ve ever had (for reasons that will become clear later on in the post) however it wasn’t the worst. I really hate writing anything that could be construed as negative to a business; I’m not about throwing that negative energy out in to the world, but in the same vein I don’t like to lie/sugar-coat or pretend something was amazing when it wasn’t. So for those reasons I’m going to refrain from mentioning the name of the place we visited and instead focus on what we got up to. So here’s a little family day post for you!

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Menorca Holiday Diary

We have just spent a super-chilled seven days in Menorca and, whilst I don’t have any particular “days out” or “adventure” posts to share, I thought I’d post a few holiday snaps and write a little bit about what we got up to!

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Visiting The Eden Project PT 2

If you haven’t read it, please go back here to read the first part of our visit to the Eden Project. In part one I wrote about the rainforest biome. In part two I will be writing about the Mediterranean biome.

Entering the Mediterranean biome was certainly a different experience from the last. Light and airy it felt much more comfortable and a lot less wild. Created to emulate landscapes of the Mediterranean, South Africa, California and Western Australia and showcase the incredible plants that grow there, the Mediterranean biome is a huge and fascinating space.

Upon entering we were greeted with the strong smell of olives and wafting herbs. At the entrance is a patch where cacti and huge sprouting aloe veras grow. I adore cacti so I was particularly interested in this part of the biome.

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Much like the rainforest biome, there are winding paths that reveal secrets around every single corner. The Mediterranean biome had a huge and varied array of plants and flowers that I had never seen before but were certainly very beautiful.

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The carefully tended flower beds were a riot of colour, with each plant seeming to be in competition with the last. Vibrant petals, unique designs, flowers with fur and fluff and an array of South African proteas; every kind of flower you could think of, the Mediterranean biome had it all.

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Also much like the Rainforest biome, the Mediterranean biome had stone stairways winding up to higher levels to explore. However this biome did not have a tree-top walk or viewing platform at the very top (which suited me just fine.)

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In the vineyard was an assortment of amazing Bacchanalian sculptures and just past those was a large al fresco dining area. The food smelt absolutely delicious but we decided we would eat lunch at the pasty shop we had spotted on the way in so we gave this one a miss.

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We spent perhaps an hour in the Mediterranean biome, wandering around and pointing out the incredible plants to each other. This was a little less time than we had spent in the rainforest. The area seemed to have a little less to explore but in terms of plants and flowers it was more interesting and varied.

Outside we took a walk through the gardens, soaking up the sunshine and admiring the pretty views.

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We stopped for lunch at the pasty shop as I had been desperate to try my first Cornish pasty! My only complaint was that it was a 40 minute wait to be served (eek!) but nonetheless the pasty was delicious. Even the little robins and sparrows were flapping around the tables, eagerly awaiting a peck. For those who don’t fancy waiting though, there are lots of alternative options. The Eden Project has several restaurants serving good quality meals and snacks.

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After our late lunch we meandered through the remainder of the gardens, stopping to take photographs of the little water features and wildflowers.

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Our last port of call was the ‘The Core’ a little visitor centre of sorts with interactive displays.

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Inside was a huge wall of recycled fridge freezers and a ton of alphabet letters. This kept us entertained for a good while as we’re basically just overgrown children at heart.

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The Core is also home to the impressive seed sculpture by Peter Randall-Page. The seed is one of the biggest sculptures in history to be made out of a single rock. The huge granite sculpture started life as a 167-tonne boulder and took more than two years to create. I loved this sculpture because as I think I’ve said before, I really love novelty oversized things.

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All in all we had a wonderful time exploring the Eden Project. I would like to go back again and explore more of the surrounding areas outside of the biomes. I also think depending on what time of year you visit the experience will be completely different so I’d be interested to go back in Autumn!

Visiting the Eden Project PT 1

Visiting the Eden Project has sat gathering dust on my bucket list for years now. I adore spending my free-time in botanical gardens, wandering around and looking at all the amazing plants and flowers. I  have even been known to lurk around a garden centre or two. Luckily for me, Gareth also enjoys spending time outdoors and had also really wanted to visit The Eden Project. Anyway, when we decided to book our holiday, we definitely had it in mind.

Entrance in to The Eden Project is £27.50 per adult, but Gareth’s mum kindly donated her Tesco Clubcard points to us so we got in for free. (Yay!)
As we entered we were greeted by the sight of those iconic biome structures, looming impressively up in to the sky. Shouldered by carved out quarry, lush green trees and nestled in the midst of carefully sculpted flower beds, the Eden Project looked beautiful. Overhead was a zip wire and as we descended the hill towards the biomes we laughed at the brave people whizzing past.

There are two main biomes at The Eden Project. A rainforest biome with tropical trees and plants and the other Mediterranean. For the sake of not overwhelming my post with around 60-odd photos I’m going to split The Eden Project up over two blogs. In this one I will be talking about the rainforest biome.

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As soon as we had stepped in to the biome the the heat hit me in a wave. Unsurprisingly tropical plants require tropical climes. That translates to a very hot and damp atmosphere, one that feels slightly disorientating when stepped in to from the cold. The other thing I immediately noticed was how tall the trees were and how wild it all seemed. Great big tangles of ferns and plants thriving and spreading out creating a very real sensation of being in an actual jungle.

We noticed a small sign that described some of the wildlife that had been introduced in to The Eden Project for the purpose of controlling damaging insects. Small lizards, tree frogs and roul-roul partridges.

I was determined to seek out these unusual creatures, no doubt lurking just below the foliage. It wasn’t long before we spotted the partridges with their funny red mohawks, pecking and scratching at the soil.

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The rainforest biome is home to many exotic species of plants and covers everything from the Tropical Islands, Southeast Asia, West Africa and Tropical South America. As we walked down the damp pathways we were surprised and delighted at every corner. The Malaysian Hut with its’ vegetable plot and paddy field was particularly interesting and looked as if it had been scooped up from a real rainforest.

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I was excited to get up close to the Titan Arum which is the worlds largest perennial herb. This exotic and rare plant looks incredible and when fully open, smells of rotting flesh. Fortunately it wasn’t open when we were there although that could have been quite a unique experience!

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Eventually we came across the canopy walkway; a series of precarious looking rope bridges weaving high above the plants below.  On one of the bridges clouds of steam curled up from below creating an interesting fog effect that everyone wanted to stop and take photographs in.

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At the heart of the rainforest biome is an impressive crashing waterfall, sending spray out across the path and pooling in a little pond below. This pond contained the most enormous lily pads we had ever seen.

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For those who are very brave, there is a swaying metal staircase that leads to a suspended platform right at the very top of the biome, affording impressive views of the entire rainforest. I was not so brave so I let Gareth go ahead without me, armed with my camera whilst I sat and watched a brown lizard crawl across a canopy. Looking at the photos he took I can tell the view was beautiful but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.

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One of the wonderful things (and there are many wonderful things) about The Eden Project and the rainforest biome is the sheer amount of unique and interesting things there is to see. Cacoa  pods hanging from branches, bunches of green bananas growing high above, wild rubber plants and incredible pineapples springing up from the ground. The Eden Project takes the secrets and beauty of the jungle and reveals it to you bit by bit as you make your way around the 240 metre long structure.

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Of the two biomes this was my favourite but honestly I enjoyed exploring both. Keep your eyes peeled for the next post in which I will be talking about the Mediterranean biome!

Visiting Tintagel Castle

The sky was a brilliant blue and the sun shone hotly on the day we decided to visit Tintagel Castle. The perfect weather to be climbing a steep cliff!

So I will admit it. Although Tintagel Castle is surrounded in history and legend, I really wasn’t aware of its’ existence until Gareth decided we were going there. The main lure for me was that it’s an English Heritage site and we get in to those for free. I wasn’t expecting much.

Situated in the picturesque village of Tintagel, the iconic castle is famed for its’ links with King Arthur (Geoffrey Monmouth named it as the place King Arthur was conceived.) The ruins sit high up on a cliff overlooking the sea. There’s a small beach there too, with the famous Merlin’s cave tunnelling in to the rock face.

Gareth laughed at my need to stop for a cappuccino at a homely looking cafe. And for then clutching on to it for dear life as we descended an impossibly steep hill on the footpath to the castle. (Obviously London, he poked fun at me.)

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As we rounded the corner we were greeted with the welcoming site of the sea. Shouldered by rolling hills, the path down to the sea and beach was a very pleasant walk.

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As we reached the ticket office it turned out I had failed to print out the necessary coupons to gain free entry. (I didn’t know this was even a thing.) Luckily entry to the castle is very fair at just £8.50 per adult.

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We decided to explore the small, stony beach first as the tide was out and that meant we would be able to venture in to Merlin’s cave.

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In the cold, damp of Merlin’s cave we heard pigeons cooing overhead, obviously discomfited at our intrusion. We had fun clambering over rocks and stones to peer in to the small rock pool with a dark glossy surface.

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Outside on the beach I marvelled at how blue the sea was (a million miles away from Southend!) and we ambled from rock pool to rock pool. I was so desperate to find a star fish. I’m sad to say I didn’t find one. I did however, come across lots of little fish and curious jelly-like creatures.

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From the beach we began our ascent up the cliff. A winding stair case goes all the way up which makes it easy enough to get to the top. But make no mistakes, your calves will start to feel the burn once you are done with all the stairs.

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At the top, the ruins of the castle are accompanied by little plaques describing what each room is. I found the ruins to be interesting but the thing that really captured my attention was the view which was nothing short of beautiful.

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We sat for awhile just taking in the views (and catching our breaths.) It really was lovely to be up there in the sunshine. I can imagine that if it had been raining it would be quite a different experience.

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All in all we spent 3 exciting hours exploring Tintagel Castle ruins and the beach. I am so pleased we went as it was truly stunning and unlike anything else I have experienced before. I would say this is the least child-friendly of the locations we visited due to the amount of steep hills, stairs and general climbing. (So it’s a good job we don’t have children!) Just something to bear in mind if you’re looking for a family day out.