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Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog 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. 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, 22 June 2007

Twin peaks


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 Pete.

Two more peaks to write home about. Beinn Achaladair (in Scotland) near Bridge of Orchy begins with a walk from Achaladair Farm, which has its own castle ruin and graveyard. One of the Campbells rested here before heading off for a hard day’s slaying at Glen Coe. I’m climbing with Tony from Duilletter. We discuss what we think about while solo climbing. Tony says girls; I confess that as a happily married man it’s more often grills. We climb up a river valley into a great amphitheatre of shattered rock.

As we climb on the great tongue of rock towards the summit we are buffeted by huge winds. As we approach 3,600 feet our fingers go pink and we don every item of clothing we have. Without gloves I’m unsable to up a zip or shoelace. And this is Scotland in June; but worth it for the views across to Ben Nevis, Rannoch Moor and to the south the endless ridges of mountains as far as Ben Lomond. Amazingly, we’ve climbed all day without seeing another human being.

A week later (in the Lake District) it’s a much easier ascent from Honister Pass in the Lake District to Dale Head. The Honister Rambler bus stops here and the slate mine has been reopened too. You can go underground, put your purchase on the slate and even buy tea and pasties before ascending.

After an hour’s hard climb there are stupendous views across the Newlands valley. Then I take a ridge walk across to the summit of Robinson and a path down steep rocks and then boggy sphagnum moss into Buttermere – which in the sun with its twin pubs and cafĂ© and white cottages looks like something out of a Richard Curtis movie. All topped off by a bus back to Cockermouth and a pint of Three Hares in The Bitter End, a pub with its own micro brewery on the premises. Cheers.

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