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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog begun in 2012 about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.

I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps.

Around 2018 I tried a new way of writing my family's and my own UK travel adventures. Britain is a brilliant place for a staycation, mini-break and day trips. It's also a fantastic place to explore so I've begun to write up reports of places that are easy to reach by public transport. And when they are not that easy to reach I'll offer some tips on how to get there.

See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Five miles ticked off

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell want to travel the world with a difference. We hope to get a taste of many countries without adding to climate change (with needless emissions from aeroplanes) or having to waste hours of holiday time in airport terminals. We hope our adventures inspire you to take a Grand Tour of your neighbourhood. This post is from Nicola (pic explanation below)

Just managed to pound the easy-to-follow route of Hadrian's Wall from its start to the Millennium Bridge opposite the Baltic art gallery in central Newcastle. We must all be a lot fitter as we knocked off five miles with no problems whatsoever, helped only by jelly babies (Dr Who's favourite sweet).

Lola was disappointed that we saw a small chunk of original wall at the start - and the rest turned out to be hypothetical. It's so real in our minds we're almost tripping over it though...

Luckily we were able to distract her by raving about the route along the Tyne. It is an amazing industrial journey. We saw cormorants by chemical factories, joy riders by old flour mills, kittiwakes near sand depots; helicopters above anglers catching eels and crab; and Friday-nighters downing their year's alcohol units near the electric bus that circles along the Quay and up to the Metro. It made us all realise that there's so much space in Newcastle rhere to be used - or at least there is if you have a bike, two good legs or enough cash to feed the coins-only ticket machines at the Metro. I couldn't resist snapping this name-and-shame poster. So far we've been to six Metro stations and there's not a ticket seller or member of staff in sight - and definitely nothing as useful as an Oyster card or a ticket machine that accepts notes and cards. I think this pleasure in names is a regional thing - at the start of Hadrian's Wall there's even a plaque with some of the names of the men who designed the wall (engineers not foot soldiers).

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