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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, 21 July 2007

Crossing the border

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 whatever the weather. This post is from Nicola (here's Pete in Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland minutes after crossing back from Scotland)

By train you just don't notice the border, but if you go by road from England into Scotland then you are in for a treat. First a warning notice that in a mile you'll hit the border and then at 60mph you can enjoy flashing past the Scottish blue and white flags. You can even park at a border stopping point and take a photo.

But coming back there's far less fan fare and if the van selling styrofoam cups of tea has closed then there aren't even any flags (though they use a Union Jack not the red and white cross of St George). This is a terrible anti-climax, but must be a legacy of history, for the locals reckon you are in Northumberland first, Britain second, England last. And for that reason there are days when you might also snatch a glimpse of the Northumberland flag, which from a distance looks like yellowing teeth in rotting orange gums. Up close it's a great deal more regal - and one you will find on car bumpers and house windows throughout the county.

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