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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, 6 November 2013

Wish you were here

This blog is about family travel around the world without leaving the UK. Impossible? No. This post takes a look at how padlocks *there* are taking the place of the wish you were *here* postcard. Words from Nicola Baird (see www.nicolabaird.com for more info about my books and blogs). I also publish an interview every week with people who live or work in Islington at islingtonfacesblog.com - there's a prize for the 100th follower.

This may be a very new trend, or an old one that I've only just spotted.. but looking around London I suddenly noticed there are padlocks collecting on the bridges. At the Wobbly Bridge by St Paul's Cathedral there are zillions (see my arty picture above).

Most of the padlocks have names scratched on them - friends forever, young lovers and families travelling.  Once they are locked on to the rails someone gets to throw away the key into the River Thames below.

in Paris at half term my daughter's friend put one on to a bridge across the Seine. There are even souvenir sellers flogging the love locks.

It's a lovely idea in theory... But a cynic tells me the padlocks end up weighing the bridge down so much that either the bridge collapses... or the men with bolt cutters need to be called in. A piece in the Huffington Post here says that it's turning into a big problem in the cities famous for luring in the lovers - Paris, Cologne and Venice...

Over to you
Perhaps the love locks idea is worth adapting and just adding a travel padlock to places near home that are endlessly drawn back to complete with your unique "having a good time" message. What do you think?