The Lost Art Of Writing In Books

Think back to your childhood. Do you remember writing your name and the date in the front cover of your favourite book? When I was around eight years old I found the most perfect – albeit battered and falling apart – book on birds for sale in our local library. I loved it so much that I wrote my name, the date and my age inside of it, thus claiming it as mine forever and ever.

I no longer have that book, and I no longer scrawl my name inside of book covers. But to this day, I’m still fascinated by finding secret hidden messages in books.

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Skin and Haircare Products; The Honey Edit

Honey really is a wonder product; it tastes delicious, it smells great and it has lots of health benefits. Brilliant at nourishing skin and hair, honey also contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It’s no wonder then that our market is so saturated with health and beauty buys packed full of honey. Here I share my ultimate favourite honey skin and haircare products.

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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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May Favourites

May has been another super-busy month but not without lots of things to celebrate! This post is a little later than I originally intended, but we went on holiday so I’ve been super busy! Anyway here’s what I have been loving throughout May:

The return of Lucky Dip Club, My Rainbow Life box RRP: £15

I know I mentioned it in my previous April Lust List but this time it’s actually here! May saw the official release of the Lucky Dip Club in its’ new format; My Rainbow Life! The box features one super-cute and functional item that has been collaborated on with an equally cool indie artist plus the much loved subscriber mag ‘Girl Planet’. The great thing about the new format is that you get something you’ll actually use as opposed to lots of little bits and bobs that you might not. This months fun and functional surprise was a little treat tray. The idea behind it is that it can fit two treats (perhaps a hot drink and a yummy snack) and it’s there to remind you to TREAT YO SELF. And let’s be honest, we could all do with treating ourselves a little more. Well, probably not me. I probably treat myself too much but, whatever. Obviously my treat tray is going to be used for one thing and one thing only- hello handy bath time aide! Also, I have a feature in this months mag, just sayin’.

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Montagne Jeunesse Candyfloss Scrub RRP: £1 from Primark

If you’ve been following my blog for a little while you’ll know I love the Montagne Jeunesse face masks. The Candyfloss scrub is for sure one of my favourites. It smells incredible and leaves your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. The perfect sweet treat for tired skin!

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Baby Bee Enamel Pin RRP $12 from Wawe Studio

I absolutely adore enamel pins and have a sizeable collection of my own. This super-cute Baby Bee pin from Wawe Studio combines my two greatest loves; bumble bees and kewpies! I just had to have it. It came packaged really well with some art postcards and a little pom pom – adorable!

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Into The Water Book by Paula Hawkins RRP £10 from Waterstones

Into The Water is the highly anticipated second novel by Paula Hawkins. Following on from the monumental success of The Girl On The Train was obviously going to be no small feat but, I’m actually really impressed with this book.  At first it is a little confusing getting to grips with all the characters as the story is told through multiple viewpoints. After awhile though it wasn’t a problem and I found that the different characters all added something to the story.

Into The Water opens with Nel Abbott’s death in the infamous drowning pool. It follows on to the tell the stories of her sister, her daughter, the policemen and women working on her case and the lives of those around her. It’s an intriguing story to say the least and, whilst it’s nothing at all like The Girl On The Train, I think it’s brilliant in its own right. Definitely worth a read.

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Sonny Angel Sky Colour Series RRP £7.95 from Didi Inspired

When the Sky Colour Series Sonny Angels were announced I have to say, I was super excited! The last set (Easter) were nice enough but nothing special. In all honesty the designs/colours left me feeling a little disappointed (so much so they didn’t even make it in to my monthly favourites?!). So it was a pleasant surprise to have something super-cute to bridge the gap until Halloween rolls around again.  Sky Colour Sonny’s feature cute weather-related hats such as rain, thunder, rainbow etc and they seem to be replacing the usual Summer series which features tanned Sonny Angel in holiday-themed hats and T-Shirts. I much prefer these as they are adorable.

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Fjallraven Kanken Backpack RRP £65 from My Kanken Bag.com

Prior to going on holiday I decided to get a new “travel” bag. One that would be suitable for carrying books, makeup and the essentials. I have wanted a Fjallraven Kanken bag for ages so decided to go with that as I wanted something hardwearing and long lasting; something that could accompany me on many adventures. This bag is super cute, comfortable to wear and really spacious! I got mine in Ochre which is pretty much mustard yellow. I definitely recommend this bag if you travel a lot.

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Space Girl bath bomb from the Lush Kitchen

And last but not least I was really loving the throwback Space Girl bath bomb from the Lush Kitchen. It smells super-sweet and it’s a great all rounder. For more info on it you can catch my haul post here!

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What have you been loving in May?

Life Updates.

It’s been a little while since I wrote a personal blog post and today I thought I would just check in with where I’m at. I like to reflect on what I’m doing every now and then as it’s good to look back and see how far I’ve come and acknowledge what I have achieved. I don’t think I do it often enough!

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Primark Haul May 2017 | Summer Holiday Shop

I’m off on my holidays next week and as ever I pretty much left buying the essentials until the very last minute. Luckily for me Primark is full of wonderful bits and bobs at the moment and it’s all very reasonably priced. Here’s what I got:

Tropical Bikini Top: £8

Tropical High Waisted Bikini Bottoms: £5

I had managed to pick up a couple of cute bikinis/swimsuits a couple months ago but definitely didn’t have as many as I would have liked. This bikini set is super-cheap and cute with a bright tropical print. What I love most about it is that the top is under-wired and features straps (as opposed to strings) so it’s very supportive and flattering. The bottoms are high-waisted too so these are great if you’re a little self conscious about your stomach.

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Black Swimsuit £13

I knew I wanted a swimsuit for the beach, as it gives you a bit of extra coverage which I like. What I quite often find though is that one pieces look quite childish. However, this one combines both comfort and style. It’s a super-flattering piece with gold detailing for a sophisticated finish. And at just £13 it’s a total bargain.

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Flamingo Print Cover Up Dress £4

This dress features a relaxed fit and flared cut making it ideal for lounging on the beach (worn over the top of a bikini) or by the pool. I love the playful flamingo print which gives me serious tropical-vibes.

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Beach Wrap £3

This bright beach wrap can be worn in multiple ways but I think I will wear it tied around my waist. It features a tropical palm tree print and comes in one size. The fabric is super-lightweight and floaty making it ideal for covering up but allowing you to still stay cool.

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Embroidered Floral Tunic Dress £13

This lightweight tunic dress features a relaxed fit, pretty embroidery detailing on the chest and three-quarter length sleeves with frill detailing. I absolutely love the design of this dress and think the embroidery is just beautiful – but I have to admit to not being keen on the sleeves. I’m going to chop them off and hope for the best!

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Ice Cream T-Shirt £5

This tee is probably my favourite purchase. I love the mint colour and ice cream design. It’s a nice soft, knitted T-Shirt that I think is just perfect for Summer!

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Pom Pom Trim Shorts £8

Crafted from a lightweight crepe, these shorts feature a comfortable waistband, embroidery detailing and a fun pom pom trim at the hem. I love the length of these shorts as they are a little longer than most in Primark and are quite flattering.

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Bead Embellished Sandals £10

Crafted from real leather, these sandals feature a vibrant and playful beaded design that I think will be perfect for warm climes.

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Candyfloss Scrub Facemask £1 each

And last but not least I picked up two Candyfloss facemasks. These smell incredible (good enough to eat!) and will be ideal for getting my skin ready for the sun!

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What have you been loving in Primark recently?

 

 

 

Mini Lush Kitchen Haul (plus bonus bits)

I feel like it has been ages since I wrote my last Lush Kitchen Haul. In reality it was just a month ago! I have been so busy with my wonderful trip to Cornwall; time really flies!

Anyway, I haven’t actually been buying that much from the Kitchen lately. There just hasn’t been anything I’ve really fancied (sad times.) That said there were a couple of surprise releases that were particularly special that I felt were worth a mention.

Avowash Shower Gel

If you’ve read my Top Ten Lush post, you’ll know that Avobath bath bomb is one of my all time favourites. I just can’t get enough of that smell! When the Kitchen announced they would be making the shower gel version I knew I had to have it! I purchased two bottles and my boyfriend kindly bought me an extra one meaning I have three bottles of the good green stuff altogether. The scent is a gorgeous citrus, fairly true to the bath bomb. Although I can detect something else that smells a tiiiiiny bit like tea-tree to me. I took a bottle with me to Cornwall to use in the shower each morning and it definitely helped to wake me up, providing an invigorating wash that seemed to help with the muscle pains I was feeling. The next time this pops up I definitely recommend grabbing a bottle or two.

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Sweetie Pie Shower Jelly

Although I have been debating buying a shower jelly for the longest time, I have never gotten round to it. I just haven’t found a scent that I’ve been all that in to if I’m being honest. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this is the first shower jelly I’ve ever owned. At any rate, at least it’s a good place to start! I decided on the shower jelly because everyone said it smelled just like the Comforter. I am a huge fan of the Comforter. In my stash I currently have a big Comforter bubble bar, the shower cream and a solid perfume. I was definitely interested in owning the shower jelly too! When I opened the lid and took a sniff I could definitely recognise the blackberry element of the Comforter in there but somehow it smells even more fruity if possible. For me there is this gorgeous note of cherries that features quite strongly. I adore this scent! It actually smells edible and, what with the jelly-like design, reminds me quite strongly of a pudding! I haven’t used the jelly yet so I can’t say how I feel about it as a product, but it’s one I’m really excited to try.

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Space Girl Bath Bomb

Space Girl Bath Bomb wasn’t announced on the usual Friday menu so I had no idea it would be coming out at all. I had actually been requesting this bath bomb for weeks as prior to it being discontinued it was always a favourite. It’s funny though because even though I knew I loved it, where around three years had elapsed since I last tried it, I had forgotten what the scent was. Anyway, the night before it came in to the Kitchen there was a surprise announcement on Facebook. I couldn’t believe it! The next day I excitedly logged on and bought five. My boyfriend kindly topped that number up by buying another five as a surprise for me. When I found out he had done this I was incredibly grateful but also a little sceptical. Did I really need ten Space Girl bath bombs? When they arrived I opened the box to be greeted by the most magical smell of all. In that moment I knew; hell yes I needed ten! WOW. The smell of Space Girl is just like Palma Violets/sweets and is incredible. The design is also one of my favourites being a cute little planet with glitter. It turns the bath a pale lilac which is so lovely. This has to be my favourite Lush Kitchen purchase to date!

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The last two things I want to talk about are not from the Kitchen but they are exclusive bits that will only be around for a very short while. Plus I have wanted these for so long and am so incredibly excited there was no way I could leave them out!

Lush Botanical Tote Bag RRP £6.95

When I saw this announced on Instagram I lost it. I have been trying (and failing) to get this bag for months! It was originally showcased at the big Summit event which I was unable to attend due to work commitments. Then it popped up in the kitchen for a very limited time. I completely missed it. However I was so desperate for it because A. I use tote bags every single day. I don’t really like handbags and tote bags are such an easy way to carry everyday essentials. B. I love botanical prints. When Lush bought out the botanical designs it reminded me so much of all the lovely illustrations you get in vintage field guides. C. I love Lush! So why wouldn’t I want this amazing bag?! Long story short, they came out whilst I was away in Cornwall, but my lovely mother popped in to our local Lush and picked me up two! I will probably grab a couple more before these leave completely as it’s my favourite bag ever.

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Lush Botanical Knot Wrap RRP £4.50

And last but not least is this amazing knot wrap with the same botanical design! I hadn’t seen these before and didn’t know they would be bringing them out but I love them. I have already been putting mine to good use as a lovely little backdrop for all my Lush photographs! Not sure if I will use for my hair or just as a prop. Either way I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of it.

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What have you been buying in the Lush Kitchen lately?

 

 

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.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

On the day we decided to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan it was positively dreary and had been raining all morning. I hadn’t done my usual research so I wasn’t sure what to expect, I just knew that a bit of drizzle wouldn’t dampen our holiday plans.

Situated in St Austell, Cornwall, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is both historic and mysterious. Described as a ‘genuine secret garden’ because it was lost under overgrowth for decades, the Lost Gardens is set on 200 acres of woodland, ‘jungle’, fields and gardens. Admission is a very reasonable £14.50 per adult.

As soon as we entered the Gardens I started to feel quite excited. Exotic-looking trees loomed ahead and swallows darted around weaving in between the outside cafe tables, chirping noisily.

We decided to walk through the woods first. Upon entering we were greeted by a signpost that read ‘The Giant’s Woodland Adventure’ and a rather large head curiously peeking up from the ground.

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The woods are a truly magical place to walk through at this time of year with the floor carpeted in brilliant bluebells. As we walked we came across the Mud Maiden, a giant sleeping sculpture. She looked so peaceful laying there on the damp, mossy earth, her hair made of daffodils and ivy hugging at her shoulders.

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Eventually we came across a peculiar bee hive. Not a real, functional one but an oversized version with lots of fun facts and images of bees plastered to the walls inside. It felt as if the more we walked through the woods the more interesting and unique things we saw. It truly captured and sparked my imagination. I can’t help but think this would be the most enchanting place to visit for children.

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Finally exiting the woods we were greeted with a narrow, gravelly path, flanked either side by lush green ferns, towering trees and unusual plants.

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We walked down a steep hill, past a murky pond that was framed with flowers and plants. This part of the gardens is known as ‘The Jungle’.

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As I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t done my usual research. So I didn’t realise that the gardens had a rope bridge. Personally I’m not a fan of heights, particularly not ones of the ‘this doesn’t feel safe, my body is actually swaying’ variety. But the rope bridge, stretching across the pond, looked incredibly adventurous. Plus a tiny little child was doing it so I’d have looked pretty pathetic if I backed out. I clung on to the rope with white knuckles, managing to avoid looking down and taking small steps. I have to admit, it was actually pretty fun and made me feel like I was really in a jungle. (Apart from the bit where the man behind me over-zealously swayed the whole bridge with his clumsy steps, causing me to feel sick and the child in front to scream out… that wasn’t so fun.)

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Off of the bridge and back on to solid land we began walking down hill across a wooden path way that weaved in and out between tall trees.

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At the bottom of the hill we came across a curious structure called ‘The Witches Hat’. From here there were several paths we could have taken. We opted for the one that led down to the ponds and Kingfisher Walk as we had been told by employees that Kingfishers were regularly spotted there.

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Peering in to one of the ponds I was delighted to see lots of tiny black tadpoles darting about. Although we sat for awhile in the bird hide we didn’t catch the glossy orange and blue feathers of a kingfisher. Just a lone robin and the calls of crows overhead.

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From the ponds we walked up a treacherously steep hill (Cornwall is just basically a hill it seems) and towards the manicured gardens. The first we stopped at was the Flower Garden which, curiously enough, didn’t seem to have that many flowers in at all. Regardless it was still very picturesque and charming.

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From the gardens we walked to the farm. The strange thing about The Lost Gardens of Heligan is that it almost feels as if you are cramming several days out in to one. Just as you become immersed in woodland you are in the jungle. Just as you are exploring the jungle you are in the gardens. And as soon as you’ve taken in the neat greenhouses and carefully planted trees you’re in the middle of a farm! Yes, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is a curious place and time does feel a little irrelevant there. I think that is certainly part of the fun though.

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On the farm I was pleased to spot more chaffinches. I love these little birds but rarely get the chance to see them up close. In a pen outside we saw chickens and ducks scratching at the ground. In a barn we saw adorable piglets playing and chasing each other, sheep, lambs and cows.

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From the farm we took a dusty path and exited in to what felt like more jungle. Beautiful pink blooms flowered on the trees and it was a real pleasure to walk among them, listening to the bird song as we went.

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We came across unexpected surprises at almost every turn; little trickling water features and incredible plants and flowers like nothing we had ever seen before. This for me was pretty impressive as we have explored many gardens together.

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When we finally reached the end it felt as if we had been in the gardens for an entire day. It was actually closer to three hours. I honestly could have spent more time there though, just wandering around and taking everything in. If I ever have the chance to go again I will most definitely; the Lost Gardens of Heligan was the highlight of our trip for me and the memories of it will last forever.

 

Cornwall Bucket List

I have always wanted to visit Cornwall. Growing up, my mum had shared lots of fond memories of her own childhood holidays there. I wanted to see the sights for myself!

Prior to visiting Cornwall I had made a little ‘bucket list’ of things I wanted to see and do. We have just got back from a wonderful trip and so I thought I would share that list.

Please look out for more blog posts as I should be posting one each day this week. These will go in to more detail about some of the wonderful places we have visited!

Stay in a cottage

Nuthatch is a small and cosy cottage nestled at the top of a very steep hill, surrounded by dense woodland to one side and vast, open farmland to the other. At the heart of Bodmin, this cottage was the perfect location for us to ferry to-and-fro across Cornwall. Plus just look at it, it’s charming!

I loved staying in this little cottage, even if it was impossibly cold in the evenings. Inside were traditional wooden beams, a spacious bedroom, a bath tub and a small but perfectly formed kitchen/living room area. The kitchen window overlooked a field of gentle cows. We would rush to that window every time we heard the metallic calling of a pheasant, who would strut down the lane past the cottage every evening.

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Visit Tintagel

An English Heritage site, Tintagel castle is iconic with its’ links to King Arthur. We visited on the warmest day of our trip, the sky a brilliant blue and the sun beaming down from high up in the sky.

The site itself is absolutely stunning and exceeded all of our expectations. From the stony beach with it’s dark Merlin’s cave and rock pools filled with mysterious creatures to the castle ruins and impressive cliffs- everything was simply wonderful.

There’s lots of walking up steep hills and endless staircases though, so if you’re planning to make the trip I can’t stress that sensible footwear is key.

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Visit The Eden Project

The Eden Project has long since been on my ‘To Do’ list and was one of the major reasons I wanted to go to Cornwall in the first place.

The iconic honeycomb-esque biomes are even more impressive in person than they are on TV or the internet. The vast structures loom up high and are surrounded by tall quarry walls which frame them quite picturesquely. Inside you become immersed in rainforest or mediterranean climes. My personal favourite was the rainforest with it’s curious lizards and partridges lurking in the foliage. The rainforest biome is also home to the Titan Arum which is an absolutely monstrous perennial herb with the largest collection of flowers in the world.

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Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Probably the highlight of our entire trip, the Lost Gardens of Heligan delighted, inspired and sparked my imagination to its fullest.

These historic gardens are set on 200 acres of land and are truly impressive. Personal highlights for me were the incredible giant structures and the swinging rope bridge which had me feeling like a forgotten character in an Indiana Jones film. Seriously though, the Lost Gardens of Heligan is an absolute must if you’re going anywhere near Cornwall.

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Eat a Cornish pasty

Of course you can’t go to Cornwall and not sample a traditional Cornish Pasty! The first one we ate was at The Eden Project where we had to wait a (harder to digest) 40 minutes for it to be served! After that we stuck to the traditional bakeries where pasties and cakes are incredible and seem to (scarily) become a staple part of the holiday diet.

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…and Cornish ice cream!

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Go to the beach

I had heard good things about the beaches in Cornwall but even so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself on one filled with golden sand, not a pebble in sight!

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…and look in rock pools!

I’m not sure why but I have always been fascinated with rock pools and peering in them to see what strange creatures dwell there. Even now at the old age of 27 I still want to stick my nose in them and see what I can find. I definitely spent more time than is probably acceptable just walking from rock pool to rock pool. I had hoped to see a Starfish but unfortunately that was not to be. I did see a lot of other interesting things though!

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Visit fishing villages

We really wanted to explore the fishing villages/villages of Cornwall and get a taste of what life is like on the coast. I think we actually did pretty well as on this trip we managed to see Port Isaac, Padstow, Fowey, Perranporth and Newquay! (Not bad for a Monday-Friday.)

Port Isaac is famously known as being the location for the TV program Doc Martin (although I didn’t personally know this when we went there.) Funnily enough when we visited they where filming a scene for this show and, as we rounded the corner Martin Clunes was just standing there which was pretty surreal. We were ushered to the side whilst filming commenced. Coincidentally Port Isaac is very picturesque.

In Padstow we ate the nicest fish and chips I have ever tasted and managed to locate a lucky pixie for my mum. In Fowey we ate hot pasties from the bakery and shopped in the independent little shops selling quirky mugs and bits and bobs.

It seems to me as if Cornwall is just one gigantic hill! Every village was treacherously steep to climb and certainly a workout for the calves.

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All in all Cornwall is a beautiful part of the world and I throughly enjoyed our little holiday there. I would definitely go back!

The Weald Park Country Show

I have never been to a country show before. I guess I’ve never really lived close enough to the countryside for it to be a thing. When we saw the Weald Dog and Country Show advertised, I wasn’t really sure what it was all about but I thought given the bank holiday weekend it might be nice to spend my Sunday doing something other than napping. (Although I did manage to find the time to do that too.)

I was pleasantly surprised by just how much was going on at Weald. As we entered I saw masses of tents, stalls, food vans and various ‘arenas’ seated out with straw bales. The atmosphere was lively, with lots of excitable dogs running around, people clutching boxes of hog roast and children with fistfuls of ice cream. I’m not usually a fan of overly busy or packed out events but Weald is a really big, open space and this country show was very well organised.

Naturally I wanted to see the cute farm animals first so we headed over to the stalls and pens that were owned by Gemma’s Farm. Honestly, it took all my willpower not to stuff my pockets full with adorable fluffy chicks. The Silkie chicks in particular really melted my heart. I’ve always wanted to own Silkies as they are such friendly balls of fluff.
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We stopped to watch a training exercise hosted by Canine Security. If I wanted a dog before this show it was only compounded further by this and the sheer volume of adorable dogs all around us. I must admit, the smaller ones did look particularly kidnap-able (but don’t worry, I didn’t steal any dogs. This time.)

Sheep racing was another fun event that drew a large crowd of mostly excitable children who were used as obstacles.

I definitely had a soft spot for Bellini who was just five weeks old, rather small and an absolute cutie-pie.

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The Weald Country Show had a really good mix of stalls, activities and events which made for a packed itinerary. We just drifted around however, catching shows as we passed them and sampling the freebies. It was really great to see lots of local businesses selling local produce and I was particularly pleased to see the RSPB stand recruiting members.

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One stall that we found particularly interesting was the Brentwood Model Boat Association. This quirky stall was packed with realistic miniature boats that were impressively detailed. I even spotted a tiny Steve Zissou. One man was driving a model boat on the big lake and it was fascinating to watch!

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We stopped for a bite to eat before watching the Motorbike Stunt Team perform in the main arena. This team consisted of a mother and son duo and although I’m not really in to the whole motorbike thing, I found myself really enjoying the show and cheering them on. This was clearly a crowd-favourite as a huge swarm of people gathered around the sidelines.

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And of course, no country show would be complete without a birds of prey display. Sadly we missed the main World of Wings flying event, however I was pretty happy with just observing the birds. I was particularly fond of the Tawny Owl.

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Another super-fun stall was one selling hats, gloves and accessories all made from Alpaca wool. To the side of this stall was a little pen with three alpacas inside. I have seen alpacas before but none as cute as these guys; I definitely wanted to get in the pen and give them a cuddle.

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On one stall we sampled the most amazing toffee vodka and fruit liqueurs. (I’m happy to report we purchased a couple of bottles.) I was also fascinated by the stall selling Antler cut offs (and I’m kind of regretting not purchasing one now. Not that I have any use for it whatsoever.) And of course, I naturally gravitated to the stall selling bath bombs and products.

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All in all we spent around three hours wandering around the stalls and watching the displays. It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday and, as I mentioned previously, so well organised. I will definitely be looking out for more country shows to attend!