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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.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Half term walks

In 2007 Pete, Nicola, Lola and Nell spent three months travelling around Britian in a low carbon way. We're back home now, but we still like days out - and sometimes share ideas here on this blog.



It's half term and I've already taken my kids to see Granny and their cousins over in Hertfordshire. Parking the Car Club car bumped into Dr Dave who has three small children who he likes taking on trips. Like me he's a fan of Adventure Walks for Families by Becky Jones and Clare Lewis (Frances Lincoln, £8.99), but I just read it in bed because it very much assumes users have their own vehicle.



Are we nearly there yet?
Dr Dave spent a good 10 minutes praising the trips that led him and his family to see the amazing red kites (birds on Christmas Common, Oxon); following in the footsteps of Alice in Wonderland (Port Meadow, Oxford) and BFG and other pursuits in ~Roald Dahl country (Little Missenden, Bucks).



So good we made up our own trip
Inspired by Adventure Walks Dr Dave then spent the last wet Saturday at Cadbury World, Birmingham. Not only do you get plenty of tastes of chocolates (chocolate buttons, curly wurly, chocolate bar, etc, etc) you also see a factory at work, better visualise Charlie's temptations (from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and learn about the founding of Bournville and how to be a truly good Quaker. Mind you he warns that you may regret the colour purple during the trip, and fail to learn anything about new owners Kraft.

I found Dr Dave's retellings of his family outings a joy to hear. Kids need love, of course, but stretching their mind with simple themed walks with plenty of opportunities to look out for Oompa Lumpas, or big red raptors, or a bottle labelled 'drink me' - or perhaps more practically a pub selling packets of crisps - is a lovely way to spend half term. You all get to know the UK better, and stop clogging up the sky with multi mini-break flights.

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