Donkeys and death warrants: Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight

It’s been a castle-filled year so far. After getting to dress up as a princess in Warwick, the discovery that Carisbrooke Castle is home to several donkeys sealed the deal for Minnie. Castles are great.

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So with the best weather of the long weekend forecast for our first day on the island, we headed straight from our Wightlink ferry in Fishbourne to Carisbrooke, practising our heeee-haaaaaws on the way.

There’s far more to the castle than the four-legged inhabitants. Once a prison for King Charles I, it’s also resisted a siege by the French and seen off the Spanish Armada over the past 900 years. Continue reading

The February round-up

By this time of year, I am more than ready for winter to be over and looking forward to all of January’s endless bills being paid off – hopefully!

So not too many things in this month’s round-up, but there are a few which I’ve bought, tried and added to my list as contenders for my suitcase in February.

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Do let me know your own top finds in the comments. Continue reading

Family day out: the Owl and Monkey Haven, Isle of Wight

Minnie isn’t short of animals that she loves, but when monkeys and owls feature strongly in the top five (along with bears, cats and parrots), a visit to the Owl and Monkey Haven was a given during our trip to the Isle of Wight.

Although a few of the island’s attractions are closed during the winter months, this had opened for half-term, so we managed to sneak in before it closed again until Easter.

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And even in the kind of chilly rainy weather which makes you wish you were covered head to toe in fur, it was a lovely place to explore. Continue reading

Thursday Travel Treat: The Isle of Wight

I’ve been having so much fun going through old photo albums digging out photos of sunny beaches, exotic destinations and fantastic trips for #ThursdayTravelTreat on Instagram.

But there’s no reason to fly half-way round the world to have a travel treat (although if I could teleport to Australia this morning, I wouldn’t object).

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So for a taste of island life, with some sun and blue skies, this week’s treat is from our weekend on the Isle of Wight. Continue reading

Keep your feet on the ground – a new holiday website

There seems to be a bit of a theme to the posts on the blog at the moment – travel without planes. Normal service (and all those Isle of Wight posts I promised) will resume soon.

But in the meantime, a great new site has just launched which proves you don’t need planes to have a fabulous holiday. Feet on the Ground is for anyone who’d prefer to avoid airports, whether you hate flying, love the idea of slow travel or simply want another way to explore closer to home.

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And sticking with boats, trains, cars doesn’t mean you need to miss out – Welsh luxury, a funky Liverpool hotel and a break in beautiful Paris are just a few of the reviews to inspire. Continue reading