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What's this blog all about?

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.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

It's a local beach

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

We have just been treated to two luxury days staying with my cousin, Dermot, and his family who live in the Scottish Borders. Their house is fabulously comfortable and they were really hospitable – but we’d just had four days at a youth hostel where living is very spartan so this seemed an extra treat. They also nursed our various ailments through a combination of super-strength cough medicine, a Duns GP for Pete whose swelling ankle looked as if he had developed gout, plus providing perfect entertainment for the kids – swimming, tennis, a giant doll’s house and two black dogs to cuddle.

After we’d bathed in Jo Malone and caught up on family matters we were ready for a trip to the beach to walk the dogs, Bramble and her daughter Mia. Miranda (my cousin's wife) drove us in a Land-Rover she’d bought off e-Bay (and there was I thinking that jeans were a daring purchase) to a spot that only the locals know.

It was a classic Northumberland beach with huge dunes and then miles of sand. In the distance we could just make out the island before Holy Island. We walked up to the fishermen dealing with his lobster pots and then back again – Miranda pointing out the razor-shells that you can apparently lure out by filling their holes with salt, but cannot dig down into the sand and find.

Afterwards we went to a fish stall selling the Eyemouth catch at a farm shop and bought prawns, slices of lobster tails and wild sea trout. This was a real aberration as Pete and I rarely eat fish – I don’t think I have yet this year, and I didn’t last year – so no wonder it felt like an absolute treat. This has to be the best beach walking morning I’ve ever had.

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