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A Weekend Wander in Wye

By 4 June 2014 Kent, Life, Lifestyle, Travel, United Kingdom
Weekend wander in Wye

Apologies, posts have been a bit sporadic lately. After doing Blog Every Day in May for three and a half weeks, I felt like having a little bit of a rest. Posting everyday is pretty demanding! From BEDM, I learnt that it’s great to have a schedule and the topic prompts really gave me something to work with.

So I’m going to start working out a plan to keep me in posts for weeks to come. Not sure when though since it’s the Folkestone Airshow this weekend and hubby’s taking me out for Sunday lunch!

How gorgeous was the weather last weekend?

Last weekend, we took advantage of the lovely weather and went for a little jaunt over to a very pretty village not too far from us. Wye is about 4 miles outside of Ashford in Kent and it’s so lovely. I’d never been there before but I’ve always had this feeling that I’d want to live there. And I do! As soon as we got there I felt instantly at home.

We parked the car in the main street and went for a little wander around the village. Not forgetting to visit the pub of course, which is called The Tickled Trout! It’s not the only pub in the village, there are another two, but this is the only one that’s situated right next to the river with a gorgeous beer garden where you can enjoy a drink with the river flowing by.

The Tickled Trout, Wye

Pub beer garden at The Tickled Trout

This photo makes it look like we had the pub beer garden to ourselves. That was definitely not the case!

Marc at the pub

Hubby doing the honours opening the nuts!

The village is lined with gorgeous cottages and matching cottage gardens bursting with colour. How I’d love to transform our patch of pavement at the front of our house, which is home to the wheelie bins and a lonely, straggly dandelion, into a quaint cottage garden. Not likely!

Critically acclaimed village

Apparently, it’s quite normal that I should want to live there. Wye was named third best place to live in the UK by the Sunday Times in 2013, or something along those lines according to the 100% accurate source of information that is Wikipedia.

Pretty cottages in Wye

Wye church

There’s even a primary school (not needed just yet but handy to plan ahead) and one of those much-debated ‘free schools’ for secondary aged kids. The main street houses a butchers, post office, bakery and other little independent shops.

Strolling down the streets late on a Saturday afternoon we hardly saw another soul and traffic was minimal. It was pure bliss. Worlds away from our house with the trains running past, cars revving, and sirens blaring down the main road.

Pretending I can move house, just another average day…

Sitting in the pub garden (which seemed to be where everyone was hiding) we even checked Rightmove to choose a house! Turns out we might be able to afford to live there one day – only renting mind. £200,000 for an ickle two-bed cottage. But we’ve pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact that we won’t be able to afford to buy a house for the foreseeable future. Now which political party were talking about rent control?…

As I mentioned above, this weekend heralds the return of the Folkestone Airshow. It used to be an annual event until about 2001, 2002? Not sure. Anyhoo, they cancelled it until 2012 when it came back with a vengeance. The town was rammed. They tried to organise another one for 2013 but couldn’t get the funding sorted in time but we still got the Red Arrows. Seems like they’re non-refundable. A bit like knickers from Primark!

So we won’t dare move the car on Saturday as someone will nick our spot and we won’t be able to park in the town let alone outside our house! Fingers crossed it doesn’t rain and we can take our folding chairs down to The Leas to watch the action.

What are you planning for this weekend?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Bank Holiday Weekend in the New Forest

By 29 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle, New Forest, Travel, United Kingdom
Foal getting up

So it turns out I couldn’t get any phone signal in the New Forest, so I couldn’t post over the weekend. The break over the weekend spoilt my Blog Every Day in May run and I’ve not got back into the swing of things at all.

Having said that, I think 23 days straight of writing a post every day is pretty good going. I know that posting every day isn’t going to work for me because I don’t have enough time to do the other things that go hand-in-hand with blogging, such as promoting the posts on social media and reading other people’s blogs. Plus, I think I’d rather spend longer on each post rather than rushing something out to meet a deadline.

So, back to the weekend…

Look at this cutie!
Cute foal in the New Forest
I must be daft or something but I seriously had no idea how many horses there are in the New Forest. I thought that there were small numbers that lived out in the wilds and you’d be lucky to see them. That idea very quickly went out the window as soon as we walked out of the cottage and up through the village. There were horses everywhere!

I don’t know if ponies have a ‘mating season’, either that or there’s something in the water, because they were a lot of foals around. And they are adorable. I love how their tails are fluffy.
Mother and baby heading towards me.
This lady looks ready to pop!
Very pregnant donkey
On Sunday, we drove to Burley, mainly because my sister wanted to visit the cider shop! The village centre is pretty and bustling. Happily, we stumbled across a food fair and I chose a particularly yummy scotch egg made with pork and chorizo. It was delicious. I’ve had a real thing for scotch eggs recently. I need to try making them some time.
Burley Stores, New Forest
In Burley, there’s a field just on the edge of the village that is not only used as a car park but is home to a herd of deer! We were going to go on a tractor-drawn trailer ride to spot deer but unfortunately, the tours aren’t running at the moment because a poacher shot one of the stags. But they didn’t kill the deer, instead it bolted, fell into the river and drowned. Sad as this is, I’m not sure how the two correlate.
Deer in the field - Burley, New Forest
Instead, we went on a shire horse wagon ride. This is one of the beautiful steeds, Digger.
Shire horse
All weekend I kept spotting gorgeous cottages that I’d love to live in. How about this lovely rose-covered cottage? Unfortunately, something like this would set you back a cool half a mil. Mmmm…only in my dreams!
Pretty rose covered cottage in the New Forest
In the delightful village of Beaulieu, whose main street is lined with gorgeous independent shops, there’s a garden centre. In this garden centre is a cafe where you can get a cream tea with the biggest scone ever! These pretty flowers adorned one of the tables in the cafe.
Lovely flowers in the garden centre cafe in Beaulieu

All in all, it was a lovely weekend. It’s a shame hubby was working so couldn’t come but it gave me the chance to catch up with my family. The cottage we stayed in was spacious and had a wonderful wood burner that smelled divine. I love the smell of wood smoke, it reminds me of camp fires. It also made me excited for our holiday later this year; the cottage we’ve booked in the Cairngorms has a wood burning stove.

If you haven’t been to the New Forest, I would recommend it. I had less than 3 days there so would definitely like to go back but not during the school holidays and not over a bank holiday! It was pretty hectic traffic-wise.

How was your bank holiday weekend?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Off Topic

By 23 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle, Travel, United Kingdom
Tree stump. I'm off to the New Forest for the weekend!

Today’s prompt is ‘Date Night’ but I’m going off topic. Tomorrow I’m going to the New Forest for the weekend. My grandparents are renting a cottage with my auntie and cousin, and they invited us to go down.

Hubby’s working tomorrow so I’m going by myself. My sister’s going for the whole week, and my parents are coming over from France Sunday to Wednesday so it’s going to be proper little family reunion! I’ve not seen my parents since Christmas so I’m really looking forward to it, even if the weather’s going to be rubbish.

This evening I’ve had to pack and get ready for the weekend, which’ll start at 5am tomorrow because I have to get up for the 6am train! Because I can only go for the long weekend, I want to make the most of it. That train will get me to the New Forest at 9.30am, giving me the whole day with my family.

I don’t know what we’re going to be doing. I’ve packed for all eventualities. All in my 35l rucksack. I really don’t know how people take that size of rucksack backpacking long-term. Although, my walking boots do take up nearly half the pack and I wouldn’t take those backpacking.

My only trouble is I don’t know if I’m going to be able to take my laptop. So I’m going to have to try blogging from my phone. So apologies now if you don’t hear from me for a while!

Hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend. What are you up to?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Leeds Castle Supercar Siege

By 18 May 2014 Kent, Life, Lifestyle, Travel
Leeds Castle Supercar Siege - Caterhams with the castle in the background

We’ve been meaning to go to Leeds Castle for about a year now. Last year it just never happened. Then, on our drive back from Bristol, we passed the castle. I turned to hubby and said, “We really must go to Leeds Castle at some point.” To which he responded, “How do you know I’m not already planning a day out?”

Well, a week later I was invited to look at the printer, and sitting there were two tickets to Leeds Castle! Hubby chose to coincide our visit with the Supercar Siege, basically a car show. What’s cool is that today also coincides with the ‘museum’ prompt for #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May) so I can tell you about our day out without veering away from the today’s topic.

Of course, the day we booked to go is the hottest day of the year so far! The queue into the car park started about a mile away.

The castle is set in such beautiful grounds; it was lovely to walk around in the sunshine. Leeds Castle has undergone much transformation in it’s 1000 year history. The first stone castle was built in the 12th century on the site of a Saxon manor. Throughout the ages, Leeds Castle has been home to Normans, Tudor kings and queens, and private owners. The most recent resident, Lady Baillie, died in 1974, leaving the castle to be managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation as a tourist attraction.

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent

After a scrummy picnic on the grass we gawped at all the cars! Hubby’s a big car fan and I can appreciate the good looks.

Supercars at Leeds Castle

We had a brilliant day, even though we got lost in the maze for about half an hour and got sunburnt because we forgot to put sun cream on!

How was your weekend?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Weekend Away in Bristol

By 17 May 2014 Bristol, Life, Lifestyle, Travel, United Kingdom
Bristol waterfront

I’m deviating from the Blog Every Day in May prompt today to write about my weekend in Bristol. At the end of April it was hubby and I’s first wedding anniversary. To celebrate we decided to treat ourselves to a city break and after much deliberation we chose Bristol as our destination. I think we made a pretty good choice!

We arrived mid-afternoon on Saturday and because our hotel was in the centre of the city we had to negotiate the traffic. It was rammed! We managed to find the hotel with me only directing us through one No Entry sign.

Our hotel was lovely. The Grand is a Thistle hotel and right in the heart of Bristol. We booked a king room and found the biggest bed ever! We have a kingsize bed at home but this one must have been super king. It was awesome! Both hubby and I could stretch out without encroaching on the other’s room. Lovely.

Here’s our room (I was hanging our clothes up while hubby was helping taking by pictures):
Standard king room at The Grand hotel Bristol by Thistle

Once we’d got settled we headed out of the hotel to explore the city. We ended up in the Shopping Quarter, which was fine by be! Cabot Circus is pretty cool and then we spent a while in the massive Primark. I bought the mint green cardigan that I’m wearing in the top left picture below.

Sunday we were up early and gorged ourselves on the hotel breakfast! The weather wasn’t brilliant but we managed to have a wander around the old city, found the cathedral and explored the waterfront before heading to the aquarium and M Shed. This collage shows you some of the highlights of our visit.

Weekend away in Bristol Collage

Have you ever been to Bristol? I really recommend it. There’s a great vibe and I reckon it would be a fab place to live.

Rachel x

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