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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.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Nicola & Pete plus daughters Lola, now 9 and Nell, now 7, spent last year exploring Britain in a carbon-light manner. Our spring 2008 challenge is to give up waste from 24 March to 24 April. Most posts are by Nicola (as it was her silly idea). This is how it’s going:

From 10am-7pm at 42 Amwell Street in Mrs Lloyd’s old dairy shop – all brown wood and gleaming mirrors Catherine runs the unpackaged empire. It’s here that I expect to find myself visiting and revisiting this month (and hopefully for much longer) thanks to it being one of the few places that sells food stuff without packaging. In fact it’s better than that: you get 50p off your bill for every container you bring in to fill up with ingredients. That compares well with the 5p docked off your total bill when you provide your own bag at Fresh & Wild (Whole Earth).

Unpackaged is a shop that clearly suits the islington locals - loads of cheery people with and without kids came in. It’s also a shop that you need to plan to use. For my first visit I’d had to hunt down eight Tupperware containers, but you can also buy small and big clear, zip-lock bags (that can be reused 20 times) to pop oats, risotto rice, lentils, dried apricots or whatever it is you need (see pic for my haul which included fudge, cheese and mixed nuts). I notice that Unpackaged also refills Ecover products (v useful) and stocks Mooncups – one of the few shops in Islington to do so.

Verdict: delicious bread and as another draw – at last I’ve found a place to buy fresh apple juice, wash out the bottle and get a refill.

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