The last days of summer – Wells Next The Sea

Summer 2014 is rapidly drawing to a close. In the evenings it’s getting dark sooner and the leaves are changing colour on the trees.

But it’s not winter yet and this weekend as a prime example has seen temperatures of 23 degrees.

So not one to miss such an opportunity, we decided a trip to the coast was called for but not the brash, loud Lincolnshire coast. Today we headed out to the North Norfolk coast and to the small town of Wells Next The Sea where life is a little more laid back and chilled.

The sun on our backs was warm and a light breeze really made the whole day rather nice especially as we stood eating fish and chips whilst watching the locals fish for crabs. Theres something about eating fish and chips at the seaside that makes them taste so much better.

So with a nice drive through the surrounding countryside and considering Wells is only 90 minutes drive from home, it’s a wonder we haven’t been here before.

Here are some photos for you enjoyment but if you get the chance, the North Norfolk coast is certainly worth visiting in person.

USA Holiday 2014 – Part One – Las Vegas

We have just returned from a couple of weeks in the USA. Our 2014 summer vacation.

The holiday was split into 2 parts with 6 nights in Las Vegas and then a few more nights in San Francisco. As you can imagine, my camera was never far from my side so here are a selection of pictures (the full set can be found by following the links to my photo album).

First of all Las Vegas itself.

It’s certainly larger than life, loud, brash and everything you would expect it to be. It’s tacky, it’s cheap (except where the hotels try and charge you for every single thing) and above all else, it was hot.

We stayed right on The Strip in the New York New York Resort but we soon discovered that all the hotels are pretty much the same. Loads to see and do but a couple of days is all it takes

 

Ironbridge Gorge – June 2014

The wheels keep on turning and this weekend we have headed over to the other side of the country to Telford in Shropshire and to Ironbridge.

This is where the industrial revolution began and what happened in this beautiful corner of the country impacted the world that we live in today in ways that you can only start to imagine. There is a good reason why Ironbridge is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Whilst the main attraction of Ironbridge is the Iron Bridge itself, there are 10 main museums up and down the valley covering Iron making and all that it brought as well as the areas other claim to fame, pottery. The museum that you must visit if you do no others is the Blists Hill Village where a victorian town has been recreated with fully functional banks, butchers, bakers and even candlestick makers. This museum alone can take you a full day and is brought to life by an army of volunteers all in authentic costume. If can feel quite strange walking in through somebodies front door and finding them sitting in front of the fireplace knitting and telling stories about what has been going on in the village that day.

Many of the shops actually sell stuff and you can even change your cash into pounds, shillings and pence at the bank first to spend in the shops. There is a pub where songs are sung around the piano and real ale is served behind the bar. The fish and chip shop is certainly worth a visit and serves up some of the best chips (fried in beef dripping) I have had in a long time.

The other museums vary in scale with some taking literally 20 minutes to cover whilst others taking much longer. We purchased a family annual passport at £68 which covers 2 adults and up to 4 children which works out best value if you intend to visit at least 2 museums during the year. Indeed we may well return within the 12 months as we really did enjoy our weekend here. Full details can be found on the main Ironbridge Gorge website www.ironbridge.org.uk

Whilst best explored on foot there is both a Park & Ride scheme in place as well as a shuttle bus that connects the different museums.

We all found something that we enjoyed is Ironbridge and look forward to returning in the future.

 

 

Caerphilly Castle [PHOTOS]

Day Two in Wales and after an overnight stay in Cardiff, it’s just a 20 minute drive north to the town of Caerphilly.

Our destination today is Caerphilly Castle. The second largest castle in Great Britain and certainly quite an imposing structure.

The castle was constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan, and saw extensive fighting between Gilbert and his descendants and the native Welsh rulers. Surrounded by extensive artificial lakes – considered by historian Allen Brown to be “the most elaborate water defences in all Britain” – it occupies around 30 acres (120,000 m2) and is the second largest castle in Britain. It is famous for having introduced concentric castle defences to Britain and for its large gatehouses. (I copied all of that off Wikipedia)

These days, much of the castle is still intact with plenty of towers to climb and grounds to meander through. Whilst there aren’t loads of interactive exhibits, it is still interesting and lets be honest, what better way is there to discover a castle than to actually wander around it at your own pace.

We visited on a Sunday morning and it took us a good couple of hours to explore what is a large area but did notice that it wasn’t very busy which did surprise us. As such there was plenty of space for kids to run around and explore (because what can be more exciting for little people than exploring a real castle)

 

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