Holidays · Travel

Five Reasons to Tour the UK by Train

Five Reasons to Tour the UK by Train
Photo by Denis Chick on Unsplash

With restrictions on international travel still in place for many countries, there’s never been a better time to spend some time travelling around dear old Blighty! There are lots of places in the UK which rival the rest of the world in terms of beauty and many people never bother to tour our shores, choosing instead to travel abroad for their holidays. With that in mind, we thought we’d look at some of the reasons that travelling the UK by train is a great idea:

Better for the Environment

We all know that visiting new places is exciting, but have you ever thought about your carbon footprint while travelling? Rail transport is actually the most environment-friendly way to travel. The greenhouse effect of gas emissions per kilometer on railway transport is 80% less than cars. In some countries, less than 3% of all transport gas emissions come from trains.

Look at the Views

It’s great being a passenger in a car as you can look out of the window at all of the wonderful views on your journey. However, being a driver means that your view is a lot more limited for reasons of safety, so drivers rarely get to enjoy the scenery. If you travel by train, you can spend the whole journey taking in the view, and you’ll often get to see things that you wouldn’t be able to from a motorway.

No Limit on Luggage

While we aren’t suggesting that you should pack everything including the kitchen sink when travelling by train, you’re not limited by a baggage weight limit. This means that you can pack more if you travel by train than you can if you travel by plane, which saves a lot of worrying and weighing suitcases before you leave!

Efficient Routes

When you travel by road, you’re at the mercy of roads, traffic and all sorts of other things that make your journey long and potentially stressful. With trains, you generally go in a pretty straight line from A to B and you don’t have to worry about traffic or other road users. It’s also usually much quicker because of this. Many people who travel by train find it the most relaxing way to travel.

Stay Connected

Charge your phone or camera batteries, watch a movie or get some work done… it’s all possible on board the train. And what’s even better: more and more train companies are installing Wi-Fi so you can even post live updates as you journey by train. Knowing that you won’t affect your car battery by charging your devices is a bonus and taking advantage of free wi-fi also means that you won’t have to be concerned by huge data charges.

Holidays · Travel

Things to Do in and Around Richmond, Yorkshire

Richmond CastleAs I’ve said before, while I’m not in any hurry to get out amongst the germy masses and expose the kids to COVID, I am looking forward to get out on some day trips and short breaks, once things are safe again. Before lockdown, my Mum and I were actually talking about getting us all away on holiday together and renting somewhere for us four, my Mum and Dad and my sister and her fiance.

One of the places I found while I was looking was The Green Door Holiday Cottage in Richmond, which is a luxury cottage in Yorkshire. Usually, we’d head for the south coast for family holidays to places like Cornwall and Devon, but the thought of taking our travels north actually really appeals to me. With this in mind, I started looking at some things to do, in and around Richmord, for when we eventually get to take our trip.

Richmond Castle

Richmond Castle is an English Heritage site, right in the heart of Richmond and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Dales. Even better, if you’re an English Heritage member, you and anyone included in your membership will get in for free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a lovely educational day out for very little outlay.

Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve

According to TripAdvisor, “Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve covers 100 acres of moorland edge adjacent to Cambrai Lines at Catterick and has a remarkable mix of habitats and species. The reserve contains semi-natural woodland, heathland, flower-rich grassland, streams, ponds, a lake, willow and Alder carr, coniferous woodlands and wet meadows. The patchwork of habitats across Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve is home to more than 2440 species. At the heart of the reserve is a modern, purpose-designed Field Centre, a great place to start your visit and learn more about the wildlife of Foxglove Covert.” Sounds like a wonderful place for a walk and a picnic!

The Forbidden Corner

The Forbidden Corner was originally a private folly. However, after popular demand, the site has been opened up to the public with four acres of all-out weird! Discover a unique labyrinth of pathways, tunnels, chambers and galleries throughout the woods. They’ll present a barrage of tricky challenges, including the occasional spray of water! Just keep your eyes peeled for the secret brass circles which reveal hidden markings and direct you on your mission. There’s also a lovely picnic area for when you need a break from the fantasy.

Family · Holidays

Rule Britannia: 4 Reasons A Staycation Beats Holidaying Abroad

Rule Britannia: 4 Reasons A Staycation Beats Holidaying AbroadPixabay – CC0 Licence

Are you annoyed because you can’t go abroad this year? Do you wish for things to return to normal so that you can get on with your life? The COVID-19 pandemic has been pretty brutal, and it’s hard to adapt to the “new normal” that people keep on harping on about.

However, as with every storm, there is a silver lining. You may not want to take the risk and book an international holiday, yet you can still experience a Great British breakaway. Before you reflexively answer, you should take a look below.

These are the reasons a staycation beats a holiday abroad.

The UK Is Varied

If you think you know the United Kingdom inside and out, you’re mistaken! Sure, there are some things that you don’t like, and some places you’re not keen on visiting because they don’t sound pleasant. On the flip side, many destinations will make you feel as if you’re vacationing in the Mediterranean or French Riviera. From Devon and Cornwall in the Southeast to the Lake District and Chesire in the Northwest, you shouldn’t be hard-pressed to find an affordable beauty spot that you have never experienced before. Just open your mind as well as a map of Britain!

You’re Helping Local Economies

The economic effect of your holiday isn’t an element that you focus on too hard. Sure, you realise that you spend more cash on a break than usual, but that’s about it. Of course, as the Coronavirus crisis has highlighted, the travel and tourism industries are vital to economies around the world. During a pandemic where thousands of small businesses are struggling to stay open, it’s nice to know that your money is giving them an opportunity to avoid filing for bankruptcy.

It’s Less Hassle

A staycation isn’t stress-free by any stretch of the imagination. However, it isn’t as hasslesome as packing for a two-week trip and heading to the airport at 3 am! For one thing, there’s no reason to fret about the beauty products and medicines in your suitcase. Premium CBD oil for every day wellness is 100% legal in the UK, as are your paracetamol and Ibuprofen tablets. Then, there’s the fact that you can move on if you’re unhappy. A foreign holiday is rigid – once you arrive, you have to stay until your return flight date. At home, you can get back in the car and head home. It’s that simple!

A Staycation Is All You Have

Yes, you may prefer the idea of an exotic holiday in a luxurious destination, yet it isn’t feasible. Currently, the best option is to stay at home where you know you can get home without dealing with an insurance provider and forking out a fortune on flights and accommodation. It’s not as if your hometown will end up on an international watchlist while you’re away! Remember that you need a break, especially when times are tough, so a staycation is an ideal way to unwind.

Where do you stand on the staycation debate?

Holidays · Nature · Travel

Next Level Sailing Recent Whale Sightings Off the Coast of San Diego

Whale watchingWhale watching can be a lot of fun. Whether you are interested as a hobby or as a day outing, San Diego is one of the best places in the country to catch a glimpse of these majestic animals. Sometimes they come in close to the shore and sometimes they are much further out. Recently, there have been some noteworthy harbor whale watching San Diego sightings.

Types of Whales Commonly Sighted Near San Diego

Part of the reason for the popularity of whale watching in San Diego is that gray whales often migrate near the city. They pass down to the warmer waters in the south for the winter. They particularly visit the lagoons of Baja California. During this time, they give birth to their calves who start to grow up in those warm waters.

When the spring rolls around, the gray whales them migrate back north toward Alaska. They can frequently be spotted during their main migratory seasons. This year was no exception and there were numerous sightings of small pods of these whales including juveniles making their first trip north.

Blue whales are another common type in the area. They are the largest creatures on earth and very rare (tragically, they were hunted to near extinction). They can be found further out feeding on small fish during the summer months. Some San Diego boat charters have already caught glimpses of these breathtaking giants this summer.

Rare Beluga Whale Sighting

The most headline-worthy sighting so far has been a beluga whale swimming in the waters off San Diego during June 2020. It was about seven miles from shore.

This sighting was strange because beluga whales live in the arctic waters. They sometimes come south during the summer months. However, San Diego is an unusually long trip for one of these whales.

The beluga whale sighting was a real treat for enthusiasts and researchers in the area. One likened it to seeing a polar bear while being out for a walk.

How To Go Whale Watching

There are many great ways to go whale watching in the San Diego area. The gray whales are often visible from the shore using binoculars, especially during the spring migration.

Whale watching in San Diego

However, the best way to get a view of the whales is usually to take a boat. There are many whale watching San Diego tours that will give you a beautiful view. Sometimes the best choice is sailing because it disturbs the whales less.

There are options for sailing all the way out into the wide ocean water or just to stay within the harbor area. Both can provide views of the whales as they come in close to the land.

Discover the Wonders of San Diego’s Coastal Waters

Whale watching in San Diego can be a truly memorable experience. It is best when you have the right boat charter to help you get great views of the whales further out. Whether you want to take a short trip, spend a full day on the water or dedicate your life to the whales, there are options for you in San Diego.

Family · Holidays

Why You Shouldn’t Feel Worried If You’re Not The ‘Right Kind’ Of Family

Pexels

It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Many of us feel that if we haven’t the main nuclear family setup with 2.5 children and a white picket fence, we aren’t up to snuff. Something has surely gone wrong when making our life decisions. But of course, that is absolutely nowhere close to the truth. Too many families are made to feel as though they are too out of the ordinary simply because they may not have the ability or the inclination to raise children, or that they are a same-sex couple, or that they might have been together for years without getting married.

This can unfortunately leave you to think you are the odd ones out, even though in your heart you know you are just as worthwhile as any other family. Let our advice help you feel more certain in yourself – for no other reason than this is simply the right way to consider things. We hope it helps you grow back that confidence, no matter how you have bene treated.

Love Is All That Matters

If you have love, that is all that matters. No matter if you’re related, if you’re adopted, if you live in the same house, close, or far apart. A family is family when it loves one another. There are many ‘families’ out there that are related by blood but never speak to each other. There are parents who simply threw money at having their children raised by nannies and rarely ever spoke to them. Love is all that matters, however you express it in a caring manner. If you have that, you are a verifiable family.

Blood Isn’t Thicker Than Water

‘Blood is thicker than water’ is a saying that often suggests you should prioritize your blood relatives above all else. But most of us know that is never the case. Blood is never thicker than water. For that, let us use an example. Perhaps a mother of a child has been single for some time now, and wishes to enter the dating scene. They meet someone despite not forcing their interactions, and they hit it off naturally. They fall in love. Said step-father loves the child of his new partner wholeheartedly. It doesn’t matter to him that the child is not his, because by all accounts, he loves said child like one of his own. He works day after day to provide for them, and spends most of his free time playing with or speaking to them. He is dependable, always there when needed, attending band practice, sports days, and teaching said child how to stand up to the bullies at school. 

Said stepfather finds out about how Tacori offers a broad catalog of gorgeous engagement rings, and purchases one for the proposal, which is swiftly accepted. Is that stepfather any less of a father because the child was born of another man? It might be that said biological father didn’t leave due to bad personality management, but due to a saddening and unfortunate circumstance. Does this lessen the fact that the stepfather is the true father? Some might have opinions about this, but we would say absolutely not. We are not raised and do not learn life by those who biologically bring us into this world, but by who stands next to us throughout our journey with unconditional love. If your family has that in any capacity – you’ll also realize that blood is not thicker than water, at least in the figurative sense.

Every Family Has Faults

While there are of course certain levels of family fault to consider (abuse is never acceptable), if you discount your family ties because you might have disagreements from time to time – understand that it is natural. Back to our stepfather example, it might be that despite being there, a stepfather isn’t the most social or friendly with the children. However, he still provides and is still responsible.

While perhaps not the picturesque hollywood-movie view of a family, it’s important to know that whatever works for you, works for you, and being unapologetic about that can be important. We often forget that a family grows together, and cares for one another. When you keep in mind that you are all on a journey together and sometimes, learning happens through minor conflict, you can default to being more supportive and less worried about your definition of your family health.

With this advice – we hope you can feel more certain in your loving relationships with your family members. With communication, all can be healed or appreciated.