I didn’t grow up in Kent, but as a large part of my family lives ‘down south’ I’ve spent a fair amount of time there over the years, visiting historic towns such as Canterbury and Hastings, building sandcastles on the beach at Westgate and deer-spotting at Knole Park. Of all the places I’ve seen in this corner of the UK, the picturesque town of Rye has always stuck in my mind – and not just because twelve year old me was partial to a quarter of sherbet lemons from the old-fashioned sweet shop. With sunny weather on the cards for the bank holiday weekend, a trip to the coast was in order. Destination: Rye, with a beach-fix in the form of Camber Sands.
Just as there’s more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, there’s more to London than Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus and Buck House (that’s Buckingham Palace for the uninitiated). Central London is a tourist honeypot, with museums aplenty and monuments on (almost) every street corner. Day in, day out the Tube heaves with commuters and pavements become seas of people flooding the capital. Fortunately, you can escape the hubbub by heading for the fringes of Zone 1 (and beyond) for some much needed peace and tranquillity. / Tout comme il n’y a pas que la Tour Eiffel à Paris, il n’y a pas que le Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus et Buck House (le palais de Buckingham, pour les non-initiés) à Londres. Le centre-ville est un pot de miel touristique, avec des musées en abondance et des monuments à (presque) chaque coin de rue. Jour après jour, le métro est bondé de banlieusards et les trottoirs deviennent des mers humaines inondant la capitale. Heureusement, vous pouvez échapper au brouhaha en vous dirigeant vers les marges du Zone 1 (et encore plus loin) pour retrouver des endroits calmes et paisables.
Doe, a deer, a female deer… Can you see where I’m going with this one? Chances are, if you’re familiar with London’s Royal Parks, you can. Richmond Park is one of my favourite green spaces in London: acres of greenery, trees as far as the eye can see and, of course, deer by the dozen.
Conwy Mountain isn’t really a mountain; it’s more of a hill. But, for one reason or another, the giant mound behind Conwy Marina is known locally as Conwy Mountain. Growing up, I spent lots of summers (and many more weekends) in North Wales, visiting seaside towns such as Caernarfon and Beaumaris, collecting shells and sea glass at the beaches and taking in the splendour of Snowdonia National Park. From Chester, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump down the A55, and I was only too happy to spend a weekend there with my parents over the summer.
Established in 1923, the Kent County Show has been giving visitors a taste of life in the Garden of England for the best part of a century. Featuring over four hundred exhibitors and a (mind-boggling) choice of three hundred-odd activities, there’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do here. Spread over three days in early July, this year’s show conveniently coincided with our short stay at my Grandma’s, so Grandma, Mum and I decided to venture over and make a day of it.
Just a couple of days after flying back to the UK after a year of ups and downs in Lyon, I headed down to London to meet up with Laurence for the day. I caught an early train in an attempt to keep costs down and all was going smoothly until I arrived in Crewe, where things instantaneously went to pot. Virgin Trains were experiencing delays across the whole West Coast Mainline, but to their credit they announced that passengers could hop on any train they liked, so I did that and luckily arrived into London not much later than scheduled.
Just a stone’s throw from the Welsh border, and twenty miles south of Scouseland, lies my beautiful hometown. Chester is a historic walled city, with an eclectic mix of architectural styles, including timber-framed buildings, a medieval castle and many Roman remains. Foreigners and southerners alike often have no concept of where Chester is; I tend to describe it as being ‘halfway between Manchester and Liverpool, but without the Scouse accent’. That explanation doesn’t really do it justice: Chester is more than just a city that happens to be situated midway between two of the UK’s most famous football clubs. It’s a city with almost two thousand years of history; I’ve only been on this planet for 1% of that time. I may no longer live there on a permanent basis, but it will always be my home. Save for a few passing mentions, I haven’t given much attention to Chester on my blog. It’s time to remedy that, and bring you the very best of Chester. Grab the Hobnobs and a cuppa, for this one’s a bit of a long one.