We have been away in the UK (as you might have seen on Instagram and Twitter) for a couple of weeks, first at a family wedding in Wales and then in the Cotswolds, Sussex and Surrey, with a quick visit to London. Apparently, we believe in packing in as much as we can on our holidays.
There were many, many Instagram moments though.
This photo, that I took during the wedding dinner, just about sums E up – all dressed up but running around and insisting on doing so while holding a cuddly toy. Sometimes we find that he has climbed out of bed and collected more from the shelf, so that his bed is full of them when he go in to wake him.
He told us a few weeks ago that his favourite colours are “Pink and orange and glitter”.
And this photo sums up O perfectly. He climbs everything. All the time. (And as you can imagine, there was an incident later on in the evening when climbing this pole. Ouch.)
The day after the wedding we walked along the coast and visited Atlantic College at St Donat’s, my step-dad’s alma mater. I’d visited St Donat’s before as a child but had clearly forgotten just how beautiful it is.
Another spot that I had visited in my childhood was St Fagans museum. But this was one that I had remembered. It’s a brilliant open air museum (along much the same lines as Stockholm’s Skansen) with houses and shops to wander around in. The shop with all the shelves of products from the period was among my favourites, as well as the terrace of six houses, depicting daily life from 1805 to 1985.
In the middle of our Wales trip, I had to leave the rest of the family behind to take the train up to North Yorkshire. While the circumstances were sad, it did mean that on this holiday I was able to see all of my cousins from both sides of the family – to look for the silver lining.
That side of my family are based in Harrogate. And Harrogate is famous for Betty’s Tea Room. And no trip to Betty’s is complete without picking up a cake or two (or three, or four…).
Back in Wales, we celebrated my birthday with a pub lunch (hello, Ploughman’s) and a beach walk.
It was a little breezy, as you can see.
After Wales, it was time to travel on to the Cotswolds. We were based at Cotswold Water Park in a holiday rental there. The lakes are close to Cirencester, so we pottered around the town one afternoon.
I can also highly recommend Chedworth Roman Villa, close by. The boy enjoyed the gladiator enactment on the day we visited and O was particularly keen on being able to battle Husband with a sword (aka a shortened pool noodle). We also learned fascinating new facts about gladiators and making crayon rubbings of reconstructed mosaic floors.
You can see that we didn’t exactly have the best of British weather for the first week of our trip. In fact, I’d say we had pretty typical British summer weather: cold, wet, windy days of grey skies. However, the weather did start to improve after that. I’ll leave you in anticipation of that.