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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.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Italy in Wales (via Portmeirion)

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. This post takes a look at the joys of pretending to be in Italy from an Italianate village in Wales....  Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs).

Portmeirion offers Italian views and
rabbits... (a Welsh reminder).

Oh how lovely Wales is when the weather is good. But even on a wet day Portmeirion - the extraordinary Italian village built by eccentric Clough Wiliams-Ellis makes you feel you might have been teleported an Italian seaside hillside. See here.

My mum and Nell consider
 different options for birthday
presents: would you want a
fountain or a lion statue?
What's so Italian about Portmeirion?
Well, it's got arches, frescoes, bell towers, strong colours, italian restaurants and cafes, public sculpture, seaviews, a (concrete) ship, and even those tall thin green fir trees that scream "Italy" (not literally!).

All that's missing is a load of skinny cats.

I love the way you can visit, picnic or play. There are lots of walks and if the tide is out lots of beach too. You can also stay at Portmeirion - there are 17 self-catering cottages, plus a hotel. Years ago my mum did this and said the visitors to the cottages were brought breakfast in a wheelbarrow...

Plus breakfast service...
Once at Portmeirion you can take home their lovely botanical china. Or you can get into the 1960s TV spirit by being a "prisoner". This is such a cult activity that there's now an annual Festival No 6. In 2013 it's from 13-15 September.

We also enjoyed surprises on walks around the grounds. Nell was thrilled by the money tree stump (above) and plans to make one at home (should we ever have a tree we chop down).

Even in the rain my mum was inspired to paint a quick sketch. There's definitely something fabulouso - excuse my Italian - about the place...


Emma said...

I thought some of your readers might find our latest blog post useful.

Nicola Baird said...

This is a reply to Emma - really hope the Portmeirion festival goes well! Thanks for sharing your blog post too. Nicola at aroundbritainnoplane.blogspot.com