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.
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.
Old London TownWe never tire of this amazing city
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.
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.
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.
Impending lockdownIt was time catch up on our old adventures
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.
Day trips from LondonDiscovering the south east of England
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.
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.
Our YouTube Videos
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.
You may even spot the occasions where Gary catches me out becoming rather lackadaisical on giving 100% to my Steven Spielberg productions.
Kent Road TripsExploring our home county of Kent
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.
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.
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 more days out in the South EastSeaside fun at Ramsgate and Hastings
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.
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.
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.
Our road trip ItinerariesAre you planning a road trip to Croatia or the Netherlands?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our fun post on ‘Truths and TriviaA lighthearted look into intriguing locations
So that's it for 2020
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