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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.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Take it to the bridge

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

The kittiwakes of Newcastle famously nest on the struts of the Tyne Bridge (see pic). You know you're at the right spot because there's a strong smell of fish and then if you look up, or cross at the wrong point in the road, you are at serious risk of being hit in the eye by a squirty kittiwake poo full of digested sandeel. We put our hoods up to try and stop this happening but Pete still wanted us to look up and admire the bridge saying it reminded him of Sydney Harbour bridge in Australia.
Sandeels are doing very badly - partly over fishing and partly climate change - but clearly the waters of the River Tyne have enough good food to keep a kittiwake & its three chicks powered up.

A few metres along the quayside Nell spotted a cormorant (a big black bird) drying its wings on the Millennium Bridge (known locally as the blinking eye) ignoring all the pedestrians and cyclists crossing to the Gateshead side by the converted Baltic flour mill which is now an art gallery. As it says on the building's giant wall: "YOU CANNOT HELP LOOKING AT THIS".

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