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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, 14 July 2007

Cosy castle, pretty garden

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

We can't resist castles and Crathes Castle (now Scottish National Trust) http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/crathes/crathescastle/index.html is just down the road. My friend David left saying it was his favourite so we make the trip.

Crathes, the one-time family home of the Burnetts, one of the many Anglo-Norman families that made their defensive homes around here after the Norman conquest in 1066, is exquisite. The house is castle cosy (with big fires and oak masterpieces); there's a framed horn and sash from King Robert the Bruce and a stunning painted ceiling showing the Nine Nobles (three characters from the Ancient World - Hector of Troy, Julius Caesar & Alexander the Great; three from the Old Testament - King David, Joshua and Judas Maccabeus; and three from more recent times - King Arthur, Charlemagne and Godfrey de Bouillon (a crusader not a stock cube).
But Crathes real glory is its gardens which were included in Bloomsbury Groupie Getrude Jekyll's 1904 book, Some English (oops!) Gardens. Jekyll's garden views have had a major impact on how we all garden - the little rooms, the colour co-ordination, the drifts etc - and at Crathes you get all this in splendid grandeur and if you are there on a Saturday you are sure to see a bride being harried by a photographer too...

The Scottish National Trust keeps the gardens very well and also provides a little quiz for children which helped us find a planted trough, a millstone path, a cherub fountain, yew hedges, a woodland garden, a golden garden and a dovecot. In the greenhouses Nell was entranced by the colour variants of fuscia and ended up collecting fallen flower heads to make a potion which she wanted to send to her friend Sammy.

Nell's potion recipe: Collect petals in a hat, take home and put in a clean jam jar. Mix with a little water or olive oil and then send to your friends...

1 comment:

handling olympus said...

hi there! i'm really curious about scotland and GB. i'll be stopping by to read more soon.
God bless.