The truth about British Summer is that the whole year you wait for it with baited breath before losing all interest and lo and behold it happens when you least expect it. The whole of last week, we had sun playing a nasty game of hide and seek. I was convinced it would be a typical washed out weekend but suddenly I woke up to a gloriously shining sun last Saturday. I am definitely an opportunity seeker so without further ado, I coaxed the hubby, dressed the little one and hopped on to the car for a day out at Durdle Door, Dorset.

Druilde Door Reviews

Druilde Door and Lulworth Cove

Durdle Door has been on my travel bucket list ever since hubby visited it few years ago without me but something or the other kept me away till now. I’ve often experienced that when I build up a place too much in my little head it falls extremely short of my expectations in reality. Hence, I was beyond chuffed when we reached this Jurassic Coast after a nice little drive all the way from Hampshire. Durdle Door does not disappoint you no matter what your traveling style is.

Druilde Door and Lulworth Cove

Within a mile or so of the place, you will see the rugged terrain of the mountains juxtaposing beautifully with sparkling azure water of the sea and a horizon that feels like you can almost touch it. This is your cue to Durdle Door.

The actual “door” itself is a nice, long trek away from the car park. There are several tricky pathways giving you a nice view of Dorset while you head towards the beach. Be mindful of the path as it can be slippery and challenging at the same time. After a bit of a walk you reach a plateau with Durdle Door on one hand and the Man of War beach and Lulworth Cove on the other hand. To navigate either side you need to trek downwards a slightly steep slope.

Durdle door, dorset

Durdle Door , Dorset

But once you have done this trek, you will see one of the most gorgeous spots on this earth (I kid you not!). Durdle Door and the Lulworth Cove form part of the Jurassic Coastline. And true to its moniker, the iconic Durdle door even resembles a dinosaur.

Dorset Lulworth Cove

This natural door on the sea along with an expansive pebble beach is definitely one of the jaw-dropping beautiful spots I’ve seen while the beach on the other side with a great view of the sea is something which will stop your senses right away. I recommend you don’t rush but slowly savour the incredible beauty of the place and let it envelop you completely because after all isn’t that what travel is all about—to take you out of the mundane and tease all your senses in one go?

PS: These photos are completely unedited, I wanted to show the place in all its natural glory

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Cornwall is a jaw-dropping beautiful peninsula defined by its spectacular coastline tapering out into the Atlantic Ocean. With its picture postcard harbours, expansive sandy beaches, stunning cliffs and a rich cultural heritage, Cornwall has been a favourite holiday destination for generations. Here, I bring my favourite bits of Cornwall. Cornwall is HUGE and it is impossible to pack in everything in one short holiday. However, that only gives you an excuse to go back.

Polperro:

Cornwall attractions

Situated in the south of Looe is the picture perfect fishing village of Polperro. With narrow cobbled streets lined with pretty granite cottages and colourful homes, Polperro is a great little place if you fancy a nice little walk. Polperro was once notorious for smuggling and you can trace this history at the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing. Unwind yourself by the delightful harbour or have some tea in the cute tea rooms, Polperro’s charm will stay with you for a long, long time.

The Eden Project:

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

Not your run-off-the-mill park, the Eden project which was opened in 2001 is the worlds’s largest greenhouse. Characterised by its two huge “biomes” they give you a taste of the flora and fauna of tropical and Mediterranean regions. The “biomes” are actually are a series of interconnected domes.

Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea (and many find it overpriced), I still would argue for it because to replicate the hot tropical climate (with a Malaysian hut and African totem sculpture made from recycled timber) is definitely a mammoth task. While you are here don’t forget the scrumptious ice-creams from their coffee house. My favourite?Cacao with coconut flavour. As mentioned Eden is expensive with £25 per adult but you can save up to 20 % if you book in advance online.

Land’s End:

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

As the name suggests it is end of the land, intriguing enough for me. It gives you stunning coastal views of the Atlantic Ocean. The undulating landscape dotted with cliffs makes it a great spot for some easy trekking (easy for me). Don’t forget to enjoy a tasty meal at the Land’s End Restaurant after you have thoroughly explored this place.

Minack theatre:

Image from: Wikimedia Commons by Tim Lewy

Image from: Wikimedia Commons by Tim Lewy

Minack theatre is a truly out of this world place that will simply blow your senses. An open-air theatre, carved into a granite diff and set amidst glorious gardens; Minack theatre has to be seen to be believed. Overlooking the spectacular Porthcurno Bay, Minack theatre is exotic and magical. The summer theatre season runs from May to September presenting drama, musicals and opera in this dramatic setting.

Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps:

Cornwall attractions

cornwall attractions

This is a stretch of coastline located on the north Cornish coast between Padstow and Newquay. Another great spot for trekking, characterised by steep steps and dramatic views of this rocky beach. Bedruthan steps gets it’s name from the huge slate outcrops scattered along the beach and not the inordinate number of steps you need to go down to get to the beach. It is said that the outcrops were put there by Bedruthan, a giant, and used as stepping stones. The Carnewas cliffs has several nooks and crannies giving various different views of the Bedruthan Steps.

Beaches:

Cornwall attractions

Cornwall attractions

Being a coastal area, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Cornwall. There are just so many offering a variety of activities. This time around we explored the lovely Lusty Glaze at Newquay. This was right opposite to where we were staying (Kallacliff Hotel). A fantastic beach in the heart of the city, Lusty Glaze is an ideal place for couples (although we enjoyed it as a family too). A somewhat steep stairs take you down the beach (hence cumbersome if you have a buggy) but once you reach there you will treated to vast sandy beach with crystal blue waters. A quiet cove which faces towards west is ideal to catch sunset. During summer, there are numerous kid-friendly activities here. Fistral beach is another family friendly beach that should not be missed.

Surfing:

Cornwall attractions

There are many surfing friendly beaches in Cornwall. Fistral in Newquay is considered to be the most famous surfing beach in Britain. While we could not try surfing due to the weather, this is definitely on my bucket list. If you are a newbie and then head towards Towan Beach (Newquay). Between two grassy cliff tops and azure coloured waters, this beach is considered ideal if you are a beginner as the waves are slightly less challenging. Plus, this is one of the less crowded beaches of Newquay.

Food:

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Tristan Frene

Image from Wikimedia Commons by Tristan Frene

Cornwall has some of the best sea-food restaurants in Britain. It is also the home of the famous Cornish Pasty. If you are looking for a scrumptious sea-food option then don’t forget to check Rick Stein’s restaurants. The fresh fish dishes are to die for and while you will get British classics like Fish & Chips you can also taste Stein influenced far-off dishes like Pad Thai, prawn curry and fish chilli burgers. Yum.

If street food is more of your grub style, then don’t forget to tuck in a Cornish Pasty. Check out for some local options like Philps Pasties, Niles Bakery etc. You will find beef, chicken and vegetarian varieties but be warned they are humungous!

Hope you enjoyed this travel guide post. Thanks for reading and have a great week ahead. Do show me your love with your likes and comments and don’t forget to follow me. 🙂

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Traveling with a baby is definitely not an idea of fun for many. I have in the recent weeks, cancelled plans because I just cannot be bothered packing the nappy bag, arranging for substitute clothes and making sure that every tiny thing is up to speed while we are out. But going out actually is not just wonderful for a growing baby (change of scenery is supposed to stimulate and develop their senses) but it is extremely essential for the parent too who can catch a break. So without further ado, here are some places in and around Hampshire that are baby and pushchair friendly.

Virginia Water, Surrey: 

Baby's day out

Located on the southern edge  of Windsor Great Park near Ascot, Virginia Water Lake Reservoir is a great place to enjoy a scenic and pleasant walk. The lake  forms the heart of the affluent Virginia Water village and was created from a water body that existed in the 17th century. The circuit around the lake is about 4.5 miles or 7.2 kilometers and consists of both paved and natural path, this makes it a perfect place to enjoy a pleasant walk with your baby in a pushchair. What makes the walk interesting is the number of eye-catching features that gives character to this place. You will find a luscious cascade, a 100 foot totem pole, replica of a ruined city which was imported from North Africa (pictured above) and so on. I felt that showing these things to the baby was really making her happy whilst stimulating her senses. The best part of the park? It is free (except for parking charges) and is open from 8AM to 7PM every day.

South Sea Beach, Portsmouth: 

south sea beach. portsmouth

I love the sea side and wanted my little one to get acquainted with it at the earliest. Her first beach stop was the South Sea beach, Portsmouth. Although a shingle beach, it has a very tantalizing affect. The beach is made of many  different types of stones, scattered and littered. There is a paved way just outside which makes it easier to navigate the place with your pushchair. There are two piers–the south parade pier and the Clarence Pier; the sites are now amusement centers. On a nice summary day, you will find people enjoying kite flying, para sailing and BBQ. The South Sea is a perfect place to enjoy a nice picnic with your loved ones. Just make sure to wrap your little bundle of joy with layers as the sea side can get cold and windy even during summer.

Royal Victoria Country Park, Southampton:

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons, Hethurs

Image Source: Wikipedia Commons, Hethurs

I love open spaces and gardens and I have realised that taking the baby out to a garden is a great way to calm her down. The Royal Victoria Country Park located in Southampton is a 200 acres mature woodland and grassy parkland, with a small shingle beach. The Park is an ideal place to enjoy some weekend relaxation and leisure with your family.  The park’s ancient woodlands, large open spaces, boardwalks and ponds makes it a great place to enjoy a stroller friendly walk with your little one. From 1863 until 1966, the site was home to the Royal Victoria Hospital. The Hampshire County Council acquired the place in 1969 and opened the park to the public in 1970. All that remains of the hospital is the chapel, which acts as a heritage centre providing history of the hospital. This park has greenery, expansive open spaces and plenty of eye-catching birds and mammals that makes the visit all the more interesting for your baby.

Hope you enjoyed this travel post. Don’t forget to show me your love with your likes and comments or better still follow me. Have a great week ahead 🙂 

As I mentioned here, Cotswolds is a gentle haven for travelers, wanderers and those looking to connect with themselves. Every village will leave you a bit surprised, happy and relax your weary mind. I have already mentioned about the three popular villages of Bourton on Water, Lower Slaughter and Chipping Campden. Here, I continue with other lovely villages and various attractions we had the pleasure to explore couple of weeks ago.

Stow-on-the-Wold:

Cotswolds attractions

Cotswolds attractions

 

Located on top of an 800 ft hill, Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town and civil parish. This village was once the business centre of Cotswolds as several exquisite fairs were held here which attracted the best of local business. The first annual fair was established in 1330 by King Edward III. It was held for seven days every August but by 1476 was replaced with two five-day fairs.

The aim of these annual fairs was to establish Stow as a place to trade, and to take control of the unpredictable passing trade. These fairs were located in the square, which is still the town centre. Today, this square is filled with a plethora of antique shops, specialty wool shops and indigenous fashion shops. Stow is definitely a paradise for treasure seeks. Unfortunately, by the time we reached here most of the shops were closed which meant that my purse did not get any chance to become light.

Another main attraction of Stow is the St. Edward’s Church (pictured above). I am one of those people who finds an ancient church (and even cemeteries) extremely romantic and this 11th century Church is certainly one of the most romantic Churches I have ever visited. It is intimate, cosy and a strong sense of character to it. Definitely not to be missed.

Blockley:

Cotswolds

 

The village of Blockley was once the centre of silk production with several silk mills burgeoning here since the 18th century. The legacy of its silky past continues with most street signs named as one mill or the other and its collection of golden hued buildings.

blockley church-7

Cotswolds

Aside from the rather enjoyable walk along the beautiful countryside; take a trip down to the charming Norman Church (SS Peter & Paul Church) located at the centre of the village. This Church dates back to 1180 and was featured in last year’s TV series Father Brown. It is again a rather inviting Church with an intimate garden and cemetery which will instantly transport to a bygone era.

Broadway:

broadwaypastures-7

broadway-7

 

Located in the English county of Worcestershire; Broadway is often referred to as, “Jewel of the Cotswold.” Known for its sheer beauty and magnificence, several writers and artists like Oscar Wilde, Claude Monet, English textile designer William Morris and English composer Edward Elgar had made Broadway their home to draw inspiration from its beauty and location.

Broadway is flanked with a mix of Tudor, Stuart and Georgian buildings which lends this place a brilliant charm. Today, it is also another thriving centre of arts and antiques and hence it makes perfect sense to browse through its craft and antique shops for unknown treasures.

When you are here don’t forget the Snowshill Manor, a perfect spot to enjoy the unblemished green marshy plains surrounding this village and losing yourself to the pristine beauty of nature.

Hope you enjoyed this post on Cotswolds. Thanks for reading. As always likes and comments are most welcome. And don’t forget to follow me 😉

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In the jungle, the mighty jungle the Lion sleeps tonight. I saw the Lion (and many other Wild animals) at the Longleat Safari Park. I’ve never understood why we call wild animals beastly. For me, they are mighty and beautiful. 

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If you’re an outdoorsy person and nature lover like me then you should put Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, UK high up in your list. Opened in 1966, it is the first drive-through Safari Park outside Africa. Situated in the grounds of the stately Longleat House, the Park is home to over 500 animals. Spread over 9,000 acres of Wiltshire countryside the Safari Park gives you a great chance to get close (but not too close) with jungle king, queens and an army of other wild animals. The animals roam free whilst you are the caged one (your cars). With its undulating green, velvety roads and a sense of serenity everywhere; the place can calm even the busiest nerves. Longleat Safari Park has something for everyone from the main Park to the historical Longleat House to the unmissable Hedge Maze.

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As our car passed through its various winding roads and I saw many wild animals; the realisation hit me that there can be no greater inspiration than wilderness itself.

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