Lukesland Gardens – 11/04/2021

Sometimes you find out about places purely by chance and Lukesland Gardens was one of them. Emily and I planned to go to Endsleigh Garden centre in Ivybridge and find a Dartmoor walk that started not too far away to make the best use of our Sunday. While trawling google maps for suitable parking places, points of interest and routes to walk, I stumbled across the Gardens. Intrigued, having never heard of it before, we decided to roll the dice and check it out.

Magical

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Lockdown 3.0… But with Castles – 23/01/2021

It’s been pretty quiet here recently. Life events have taken over since my last post. Emily and I have moved into our first house together, and have been decorating that with the overzealous enthusiasm that only first time homeowners have. This has eaten away our weekends to a large degree and work of course hasn’t stopped in between! Throw in the seasonal bad (terrible) weather, and another national lockdown, and I’m left with not much to write about.

It’s not always bad weather though!

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Wild Camping: Dartmoor – 12/09/2020 to 13/09/2020

If you follow what Emily and I you will know that Dartmoor is one of our most regular haunts. So when old university friends Simon and Maisie mentioned coming down to visit for an overnight wild camp, we were thrilled. I was tasked with sharing some Dartmoor highlights during an afternoon walk, as neither of them have seen or done much hiking in the National Park. So we drove to Venford where we shared one of our favourite walks that covers the brook, waterfall, Bench Tor and ridge line before circling around the reservoir. 

Back again

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In the Gutter: Dartmoor – 29/08/2020

An early morning start saw Emily and I heading to Dartmoor before the bank holiday crowds. Taking the car through the smallest of country lanes to get to Gutter Tor car park we were thrilled (and a little relieved) to be out on such a clear and crisp morning with miles of moorland more or less to ourselves.

Gutter Tor

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Visions of Venford – 18/07/2020

Saturday afternoon Liam and I went out for a fabulous socially distanced lunch out with his family, where we had some delicious lasagne at Bonnie’s Brunch. A newly opened family run cafe in Plymouth we have all given two thumbs up to.  We got back home and decided that even though the promised heat wave wasn’t quite as strong as anticipated, the weather was still far too nice to pass up! We packed up our bags and headed up to Venford Reservoir on Dartmoor, somewhere we had visited earlier this year with Liam’s parents (link). This time however, Liam had something new and exciting in store for me. I couldn’t wait!

The days adventure begins!

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Culture and Food: A Jeonju Kind of Mood – 09/11/2019 to 11/11/2019

After arriving in Jeonju and dropping off our bags at our guesthouse, Emily and I decided to enjoy the last few hours of the day and headed out to see the famous lotus lake at Deokjin Park. A spot for romantic walks with your partner, there were loads of Korean couple enjoying the evening. We strolled around the lake, looking at the mass of brown in the middle. It is of course nearing the end of autumn and all of the flowers are gone! Still, it was a lovely stroll and we got to see loads of lotus pods…

Beautiful despite the lack of lotus!

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No Hue, José: Hue – 16/10/2019 to 18/10/2019

Taking the train from Da Nang to Hue through the Hai Van Pass is something Emily and I can definitely recommend doing if, like us, you don’t fancy the 5 hour ride in the mud and rain, but still want to enjoy the views. We first came across this stretch of beautiful landscape reading Paul Theroux’s Great Railway Bazaar, one of the greatest travel books ever written. Our sentiments echo his and his observations are still true today: I had been unprepared for this beauty; it surprised and humbled me in the same degree the emptiness had in India. Who has mentioned the simple fact that the heights of Vietnam are places of unimaginable grandeur?” 

The start of our journey was still a little gloomy like the end of our time in Da Nang

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Braveheart: Stirling – 08/08/2019

For anyone who has seen Braveheart, a trip to Stirling has got to be a must if you find yourself in central Scotland. The Battle of Bannockburn, Robert the Bruce and, of course, William Wallace. Amazing characters from a remarkable period of Scottish and English history. From Glasgow it is a short train journey (around 35 mins) and costs less than £9 for an off-peak return. It couldn’t be simpler.

Stirling Castle, or rather just one part of the amazing complex!

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Lochside Ramble: Loch Lomond – 06/08/2019

Emily and I knew that if the weather allowed, we would take a trip to Loch Lomond and visit the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Since weather has been on and off showers since we arrived in Glasgow, yesterday when waking up and seeing a clear morning we got ready and headed to our local train station to make the journey to Balloch!

Leaving Balloch – the wonderful riverside village

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Down the Rabbit Hole: Antony House – 18/06/2019

Antony house is quite unusual for a National Trust property in that it is still lived in by the Carew Pole family. Because of this the 18th century house is closed at weekends, meaning that to explore this amazing location Emily and I needed to book time off work. The date was set in stone many weeks back, meaning that rain or shine we were going to visit before we left Plymouth for good. So we settled on June 18th… And it turned out to be raining. Of course. Not that this would stop us – even Emily is a seasoned veteran to the fickle British weather by now. Raincoats on, and after the number 70 bus journey across to Torpoint, we walked to Antony in light drizzle. Arriving at the property we were allowed to borrow an umbrella from the reception staff, before seeking refuge in the house – proof that National Trust always delivers, rain or shine!

Oh to live in a house like this

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