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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, 1 September 2007

We're back

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 (pic is of Nell with the first egg laid by our hens after their three months B&Bing at Freightliners Farm)

Even if I've been a bit dreading the end of our trip - and then we all had the terrible down of Pete's dad dying - the girls are thrilled to be home. They've loved travelling but to come home and sleep in their own beds with all their favourite toys was a fantastic excitement for them. And the next will be meeting up with their friends.

But they forgot all this as we got closer to London on the train. It was London herself they were looking forward to seeing again. As early as Broxbourne, which is way out, they went into excitement overdrive impatiently waiting for the suburbs to get denser and the green of the Lea Valley to fade to grey. Nell got very confused when Lola said this was Greater London so we weren't home yet as we lived in Inner London."

"My bit of London is great too," Nell said loyally, even though she hasn't been there for three months.

Without taking her eye away from the window - she was looking for Enfield which we explored in early June on the way to Milann's 9th birthday party - Lola explained, "But in London language Inner means great too," which definitely reassured Nell.

With that cleared up we still had to wait for another 15 minutes after Tottenham Hale before we pulled into Liverpool Street. Sometimes time goes-so-slowly; it seemed to take an age waiting for landmarks to ohh and ahh over. But eventually The Gherkin and Canary Wharf edged on to the skyline and then we were in a tunnel and finally London.

Loaded down as ever (we'd detoured from King's Lynn past Bishop's Stortford to pick up our mice cage, plus food and bedding, homemade jam, new outfits for the kids and a riding hat) we treated ourselves to a taxi home.

London's streets seem so narrow, and our black cab driver - who'd driven past the Queen that morning -told us how Arsenal was being bought by the Russians, etc, etc. Being London it all seems the same and yet in just a few months things are utterly different. Even the colour of our front door - which I'd forgotten I'd painted.

It's good to be home, but I don't think I want to unpack our bags just yet - after all there's a lot more of Britain to see, and we only detoured past 35 other countries which has left us with the sort of travel bug you don't mind having.

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