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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.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Granny's moving house

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

Since I was four years old my mum has lived in a lovely spot in Hertfordshire, not far from Bishop’s Stortford, but now it’s all change. She plans to move to what seems at first impressions to be a thriving villagey-town, Buntingford, once some work is done on her new home.

We’ve seen the new place twice now, once to admire and now to gawp at what the builders are doing to floors and ceilings. But we also got to clear out the pond weed; paddle with ducks by the river and arrange leaves in artful Andy Goldsworthy-type circles on the lawn. The cottage looks the sort of place that my mum could be very happy and Lola and Nell already have good memories as this is the place where they are able to purchase both mice and mouse supplies. I especially like the fact that there are no planes flying low and noisily over – something her “old” house is blighted by thanks to the seemingly endless expansion of Stansted Airport.

Strangely it is also the town where I first went to nursery school, so we are all coming back home too. I dimly remember Mum dragging my reins to stop me delaying her anymore as I climbed on and off the steps that jut out into the streets from the older houses. I also remember being shy at the nursery school when I looked at the other children (aged maybe three or four) and thought they looked so confident that I didn’t plan to even attempt to play with them.

There are times even now – more than 40 years later – when I feel exactly the same way about groups. You’d have thought I might have learnt to be a bit more skeptical about social glue by now.

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