A family of five on a gap year tour of the UK in a motor home sharing our experiences of traveling together, and the ideas and foundations behind our daily decisions. We will post about UK travel destinations, Positive Discipline, unschooling, ecological living, Christianity, faith & children, and home cooking in a small space.
This trip was never really about sight-seeing, but back in Spring 2017 we decided that if we were going to go travelling for a year it would be a good idea to know where to go. In one of our now infamous family meetings we brain-stormed the places we would like to go during our year of travels. The resulting list was a combination of places the kids had heard of, places we'd been to as kids, places we'd never been to as kids, and fish. The Atack-opoly board was produced to metaphorically set our target destinations in stone and ever since we set off it has guided our choices of destination.
As I write this we are currently staying on the Isle of Wight, and combined with Laura's trip to the Tower of London with the kids last week we have now collected all the properties on our board. So job done, we can all go home. Except that this list was always more or less just for guidance rather than being a firm plan. We will indeed go home sooner rather than later - the Eurostar is booked - however the sun is shining and we still have 7 weeks of travel ahead of us as we fill in some of the gaps on our map in western England and the south of Wales.
(Apologies to bits of the Republic of Ireland, but the UK is a funny shape and I had to stitch it together or upgrade to the pro version of my mapping software. Click here to explore the map in more detail)
What to say about our pink paddle must-visit list? We don't regret visiting any of the places we've been to. Ironbridge Gorge was a disappointment as we turned up on a week-day when all the museums were closed and the bridge was covered in scaffolding. I have already indulged in too much Land's-End bashing so I won't say any more about that over-priced car park at the end of a not-very-interesting bit of A-road. We didn't know what to expect of the Norfolk Broads, and were a little bit disappointed by how small they seemed on an individual broad-by-broad basis. The rest of the places on our list have all met or exceeded our expectations. However as I pointed out at the beginning of this post, the trip is not really about sight-seeing at all. So although we had a good time visiting the Needles yesterday morning we had more fun trying to save stranded jellyfish on the beach in the afternoon.
Far away in the distance, our next destination...
Alum bay and the Solent
We spent the afternoon with another home-ed family who live locally, and we especially enjoyed trying out their body-boards and watching a blue jellyfish swim through the crystal-clear water.
Photo by Samuel
The most memorable and enjoyable moments of our trip have been the times and places where we have met new people or old friends, or have discovered a new thing about the world we didn't know before. Good to remember when planning future trips.
Finally, I just noticed that we have driven almost exactly 8000 miles to date, so instead of visiting the UK we could have just driven from Gennevilliers to Tashkent the capital of Uzbekistan and back... now there's an idea.
we went to housesteads roman fort and we walked on hadrian's wall. we loved dresing up as romans and britons As you can see, we had great weather for our visit! We were the first visitors to arrive - we were lucky to be following a car with nice fat snow tyres which meant we actually got up the hill. We discovered where the Roman soldiers lived, built snow soldiers and made snow angels, and admired the Roman toilets. We were very hungry at the end, and Nathanael's jumper had ice growing out of it (he'd been enjoying some sledging on his bottom!!).
It is with mixed feelings that we waved goodbye to Scotland this morning as our ferry pulled out of Loch Ryan into the Irish sea. We've spent the last 9 weeks exploring what the country has to offer, and have enjoyed where possible simply living in the different places we have visited. The geographical extremes of Scotland are well illustrated by the place we left from - Stranraer. It is a hundred mile drive from the English border and yet it is further south than Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This is a country that has 6200 miles of coastline on the mainland alone, and yet is only 25 miles wide in the middle. That's not normal, but it makes for a lot of cool bridges. Each place we have visited has been special in a different way for us. Edinburgh was a time spent with friends, where the warm welcome was more than enough to compensate for the freezing weather and heavy snow. We then left the snow and ice behind by counter-intuitively heading north-west, first stopping at Loch Nes