Places I've Been and Things I've Seen

The Taj Mahal

Top of my bucket list. A place I thought I would never get to see. The beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra. And what’s more, with some crafty itinerary planning, we’re visiting it on my birthday. Today is a very special day for me!

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Our ‘Staycation Year’ Farewell

As 2021 draws to an end, many of us I am sure will have stayed local because of the continued difficulties with foreign travel. My wife and I have confined ourselves to occasional weeks away around England, revisiting some classic attractions which may already be very familiar to you. What follows, in our last post from 2021, is a checklist of our favourites…

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‘Spring Steam Up’ at the Severn Valley

The first heritage railway event of the year, now that outdoor attractions are allowed to open again. An entire weekend of steam, with each day offering over 96 miles of steam haulage behind seven different locomotives!

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Derbyshire Days – Thornton’s Marble Paint Factory at Belper

Lockdown has prompted a series of DIY requests from my other half, including the announcement at the very start of April that “I want a marble finish in the bathroom!” But where to get some suitable paint? As luck would have it, our nearby Derbyshire town of Belper is home to the only factory in the world producing marble-coloured paint. So this morning I paid them a visit.

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Birthdays and Bucket Lists

Sometimes the events in our lives completely change our perceptions of what’s important. Suddenly, every birthday really becomes another year to celebrate. Every holiday becomes an opportunity to experience and appreciate another travel destination we’ve always dreamed of visiting.

But where would YOU choose to go if your circumstances encouraged it? Let me know what’s on your own bucket list. Where have you already ticked off? What or where do you still want to go and see? Do you agree with any of my own choices below?

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The Magnificent Severn Ride

Another ‘Great Western’ adventure, as I return to the Severn Valley Railway for the first time since lockdown. How will they have adapted to the new COVID world, and what will the visitor experience be like?

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Derbyshire Days – Crich Automobilwerk!

Can you imagine Crich Tramway Village hosting a weekend visit by a vintage Eastern Bloc car rally? It’s a transport junkie’s dream come true, so I went along to take a look!

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Far from the Madding Crowd

A relaxing week away with the dogs, staying at a cottage in the Dorset countryside. Having sold our caravan earlier in the year, the first step in our UK holiday planning was to find dog-friendly self catering accommodation. We soon settled on Pippins, a pretty little cottage outside Dorchester, spotlessly clean inside and with lots of thoughtful welcoming touches provided by the owners.

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Faliraki is Closed (again)

As our world travel plans are still in a precarious state, I’ve been reposting some of the earliest trips from our blog. So with some minor edits, please enjoy…

We stayed at the Hotel Evi Apartments, Faliraki, Rhodes for a week at the end of October 2003. It was the last week of the season, so Faliraki was fairly quiet. All of the late-night clubs on Club Street had closed down, as had most of the drinks-only bars on Bar Street. The tavernas, restaurants and shops were still open though!

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Back in Steam at the Worth Valley

Our heritage railways are gradually reopening now that lockdown is being eased. So I visited the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire, to see what changes have been necessary to their visitor experience.

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Antalya, Southern Turkey (again)

As our world travel plans are still in a precarious state, I’ve started to repost some of the earliest trips from our blog. So with some minor edits, please enjoy…

After a thoroughly enjoyable holiday at the Ephesus Princess a couple of years earlier, we returned to Turkey at the end of October 2002. Another excellent holiday in Turkey, staying at the Hotel Kaya Belek near Antalya for the last week of their summer season.

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Trains Again! – Great Central

With lockdown gradually easing in the UK, our heritage railways are considering how to reopen safely. One of the first to do so is the Great Central Railway at Loughborough, so I spent the day experiencing their ingenious solutions.

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Derbyshire Days – The Monsal Trail

With lockdown taking its heavy mental toll, and Boris promising to reopen the UK holiday trade on 4th July, we had already booked ourselves a space in advance at a campsite on the Wye valley outside Bakewell, ready for a long overdue change of scenery.

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