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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.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Waiting rooms

Pete, Nicola, Lola, 9, and Nell, 6, spent three happy months during summer of 2007 traveling around Britain. Now we’re home, but the travel bug is still there. Join us for the occasional sightseeing plus tips on how to shrink your carbon footprint. This post is from Nicola

I hate waiting normally, but it's different at Cambridge station waiting for a train in the mock (c1945) panelled room by AMT's 100 per cent fair traded cafe. There's ethical ice tea for starters, but better still an atmosphere (thanks to a few framed photos) that almost transport you to Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard's famously Brief Encounter at Carnforth station. There's the endless announcements for journeys half-remembered, never taken, anticipated.

Lola, Nell and I have to spend an hour here waiting for Pete to drop something off. By the time he's ready to catch our train home we reckon the AMT franchise needs to cordon off a floor sitting space for kids to flop on; add some shelves of books and open the windows. I'd also like an area to dress in glamorous tweeds, so I can take a snap of myself with lipstick and a big engine backdrop which can be emailed/texted off to friends. Or maybe these waiting rooms could be filled with manuals - how to change a tyre, how to stop stockings running, tips for using up leftover fruit and bread, or atlases so you can mug up on pub quiz questions/holiday geography?

Our ideas were for simple stuff that doesn't involve eating... and enables the people who just can't relax to spend every waiting moment on a learning curve rather than an anxious gap between rush hours.

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