A review of our year and here’s to 2021!
I was in two minds whether to write a review of our travels in 2020, considering we barely left our home county of Kent, let alone leaving the UK.
But hey, I thought why not, it means we get to reminisce, have positive thoughts for 2021, and let our minds wander for the planning ahead.
The 17th-century Guildhall in Faversham
So, although we managed to visit London for a mini-break in January, our road trips and our days out have been around Kent and Sussex.
The lockdown and restricted travel have given us the opportunity to re-visit old posts and create tempting travel prospects closer to home. It’s also allowed Gary time to delve into our Osmo content that we’ve captured over the last few years and convert it into YouTube videos.
It appears to have become a bit of a tradition with Gary and I that we head up to London in January for a long weekend. Of course, this is England, and the weather is changeable; however, you can get some beautiful bright days, and there are also fewer people around.
From globes to mallets - a stall in Spitalfields Market
We tend to choose a few districts of London that particularly interest us. As history is a subject that we both love, it’s so easy to find intriguing nuggets of the past and unusual facts about London.
In January 2020, we decided on Spitalfields, Camden and Westminster. And as I am still ticking off the ‘Magnificent Seven’ historic Victorian cemeteries, we also visited Kensal Green Cemetery.
Spitalfields is a fascinating region to visit, today, it is becoming a little gentrified. However, if you look beyond the boutiques and barbers, you’ll soon be immersed in its captivating past.
Elder Street, full of character and charm in Spitalfields
The beautiful Georgian architecture once bustling with French Huguenot silk weavers and the dark narrow lanes which were frequented by Jack the Ripper.
Once you’ve had a rummage around the famous Spitalfields Market, take a few streets east, and you’re in Brick Lane. Famed for its mix of cultures, oh and yes, the endless choice of ‘curry houses’.
Camden has certainly changed over the years, and its market is amazing. Winding through the underground tunnels, with such an eclectic mixture of vintage clothing, unique gifts and plenty of odds and sods.
It’s incredible just by taking a short hop west for a couple of streets, and you’re in exclusive Primrose Hill district.
Colourful houses along Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill
Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill
Three-Arched Bridge over King Charles Street, Westminster
The Anglican Chapel in Kensal Green cemetery
Mid-March arrived, and the ‘lockdown’ loomed, it was apparent we wouldn’t be travelling anywhere soon.
As we like to keep to a schedule for our website, it was time to be more creative. Also, to start looking at the content and ideas we’d been keeping on the back burner.
There’s more below from our ‘Road Trip Itineraries’ and also our fun ‘Truths & Trivia’ posts.
Homemade Rocky Road
Better still, I didn’t need to come up with an excuse to dig out my Rocky Road recipe. My chocolate eclairs were a bit of flop, but Rocky Road is always a winner.
With the imposed overseas travel restrictions and the UK excursions being limited to within our shores, it was time to look at where we would recommend for a day trip from London.
In fact, we came up with quite a few locations. In ‘Part 1’ you’ll see seaside adventures at Margate and Folkestone, the beautiful Art Deco palace at Eltham, the colleges of Oxford and the historic city of Canterbury.
Overlooking the harbour slipway in Folkestone
For a little further south venture to East Sussex and stroll the battlefields from the Battle of Hastings and along the shoreline at Rye unearth the tales of the local smugglers and ne’re-do-wells.
Wooden carved archer on the Battlefield at Battle
A view of Norwich Cathedral
We’ve such a mixture of locations, from our African safari adventures in Zimbabwe, our Lakes and Lederhosen road trip around Lake Garda and Bavaria.
To our southeast UK coastal visits and our Christmas fun at the markets in Germany, and plenty more in between.
Have a browse through our YouTube channel and hit the subscribe button, you won’t want to miss Gary’s dulcet tones as we take you on our future journeys.
The Sandwich Tug
The first was a scenic coastal road trip around the shores of Kent, UK. Here we chose 11 locations from the kiss-me-quick seaside town of Margate, the quaint, picturesque lanes of Sandwich and visiting ancient castles of Deal, Walmer and Dover.
Then touring on to the up-and-coming colourful harbour town of Folkestone and the lesser-known historic lanes of Hythe.
Picturesque cottage with St. Mary’s Church beyond in Chilham
There’s an abundance of heritage and history in these half-timbered villages from visiting Royalty in Charing, hop-picking around Faversham and picture-postcard filming locations like Chilham.
We often drive past some of these locations, and it isn’t until you jump out and scratch the surface that you realise how much there is to visit on your doorstep.
Charing village green, with Archbishops Palace beyond
Map, guides and more
When you’re nurturing the seed of a road trip, plotting your destinations across a paper map just brings the adventure to life. Whether it’s the touchy-feely aspect of the map or the rustling sound of mastering the art of origami while trying to fold it away, I’m not too sure. Nonetheless, the good old Ordnance Survey guys and gals always come up trumps.
Take a look at the vast array of maps you can choose from.
A few days prior to the end of 2019, we squeezed in a visit to the coastal Royal Harbour town of Ramsgate.
It was from here that the ‘Little Ships’ set sail to the Dunkirk evacuations during Operation Dynamo in 1940.
Ramsgate is full of nautical history, it was given the status of Cinque Port in 1483 and became a Limb of Sandwich.
Another of our days out was to the seaside and this time Hastings in East Sussex. It’s been years since I last visited Hastings and the fish and chips didn’t disappoint.
Neither did the charming ancient lanes, the Twittens, Rock-a-Nore and the Stade. The black weather-boarded net sheds are so synonymous with Hastings they have become a bit of an attraction in their own.
Hastings beach and seafront
Faversham is a charming Kent town, full of half-timbered dwellings a magnificent arched Guildhall and Faversham Creek. One of the loveliest spots here is Standard Quay lined with old sailing barges, Victorian warehouses and granaries.
This quay is now home to local food producers, antique shops and cafés.
An interesting read
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
It’s good to talk!
2020 has also allowed us more time to compile some of road trip itineraries. Ohh and there are plenty more to come, as road trips are always our favourite type of adventure.
Plitvice Lakes Natural Park
A couple of years ago we decided to tour Croatia from north to south for two weeks. Most people would have flown into Croatia and hired a car, oh no, not us. We decided to embark on this road trip from the UK.
A helpful guide
If you've yet to discover the delights of Croatia you're in for a treat. While planning our road trip, I used the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our north to south Croatian road trip, now you can grab the revised copy.
A watermill in the Cotswolds
A guide to Great Britain
There are so many beautiful regions to discover around the UK. From the delightful Kent coast in the southeast to the stunning Highlands of Scotland in the north. The UK is bursting with historical landmarks, castles and palaces.
Grab a copy of the latest DK Eyewitness guide to ensure you don't miss all those incredible sights.
Heading across the English Channel and we have spring Dutch road trip itinerary. This venture was planned for 9-days, and we visited the magnificent Keukenhof Gardens, Haarlem, Alkmaar and Utrecht.
Of course, no Dutch road trip would be the same if you didn’t seek out the impressive, grand windmills and snaking waterways.
Kinderdijk in the Netherlands
Keep an eye out for the four Dutch harbour towns that we visit, including Hoorn, Edam, Volendam and Monnickendam.
A helpful guide
If you're thinking of heading of to the land of tulips and cheese, then grab this DK Eyewitness guide to help with your planning.
I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
The Rathaus in Bremen,'s Marktplatz
Admittedly you can choose to visit just a couple but hopping from one location to another filling up your car with delicious treats along the way, is fun.
A reference guide
I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books. I find them extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.
We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.
See what we discovered when we headed to Düsseldorf, Bremen, Hamburg and Cologne in northwestern Germany.
The lighthouse at Verzy in the Champagne Region
So that's it for 2020
It has been an extraordinary old year, and fingers crossed for 2021. Let’s hope we can squeeze in some more overseas road trip adventures.
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