Places I love to Visit in Somerset – Part Two

If you have ever watched Bryan Adams video for Everything I Do which was featured in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves you might know that it spent 16 consecutive weeks at number one in the UK singles chart. What you may not know is that the music video was partly filmed in and around Kilve in Somerset.

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Kilve can be found in the Quantock Hills in Somerset. The Quantocks are just absolutely stunning and I remember spending many a Sunday afternoon walking around and exploring the Quantocks with my parents and brother as a child.

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The village of Kilve is made up of three settlements including an old Chantry, founded in 1329 and once used for storing barrels of spirits smuggled in to Kilve Pill. There is a stunning beach which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its spectacular rock formations and fossils, including ammonites and reptile remains.

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There isn’t a sandy beach at Kilve but it is a really popular spot for families and walkers. The rock pools are great fun, particularly if you are trying to walk over the rocks without falling in and the rock pools can be full of water depending on the tides and the rocks a bit tricky to navigate!

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Kilve is also a great spot to sit and watch the sun go down, with spectacular sunsets as well as stunning views out to sea and across to Wales.

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Just in case you haven’t seen Everything I do the video is below!

Famous in Somerset

To go alongside my little trip around Somerset posts I thought I would also talk about a few of thee traditionally Somerset things you probably don’t know about this little county in the South West of England.

Cider – more specifically scrumpy cider. I am a cider fan but scrumpy cider is not really like any cider you find anywhere else, its definitely distinctively Somerset.

Glastonbury Festival – the festival is not actually held in Glastonbury, its held in Pilton but Glastonbury has more of a ring to it! The festival is usually held every year and involves a long weekend full of entertainment from artists worldwide, camping and sometimes mud baths if it happens to rain.

The Wurzels – Quite possibly the most famous band to come from Somerset, and the longest running as they started in 1966! With songs like I am a Cider Drinker, the Combine Harvester and The Blackbird they have played all over including at the Glastonbury Festival and I don’t think they ever struggle to sell tickets to their shows.

Cheddar Cheese – in the little village of Cheddar there are caves where some Cheddar cheese is made. At the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Factory you can sample the various types of cheddar they make and also watch the cheese being made by hand. I think that you haven’t had real Cheddar Cheese unless its made in Cheddar.

The Battle of Sedgemoor – The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on 6 July 1685 and took place at Westonzoyland. It was the final battle of the Monmouth Rebellion and followed a series of skirmishes around south west England between the forces of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and troops loyal to James II.

Coleridge Cottage – The cottage was the home of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Coleridge wrote Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight amongst many other poems. He also apparently convinced William Wordsworth to move to the Quantocks from Dorset!

Hot Fuzz – the film Hot Fuzz which is a pretty funny film was partly filmed in Wells in Somerset.

That’s just a selection of the great things, people and places from my home county of Somerset!

Places I love to Visit in Somerset – Part One

I haven’t managed to visit all of these places during my current visit home but I thought I would compile a list of places that I really love to visit in and around Somerset so I can show you the places I love from my home. I will begin today with Hestercombe House which is in the heart of somerset just outside of Taunton.

I don’t think it is a very well known location but it is well worth a visit if you find yourself in Somerset. There are usually lots of events going on at the house and gardens as well.

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When I discovered my love of photography and also that Hestercombe House existed I used to visit it a lot for a wander around, to take some pictures and of course enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in the lovely cafe.

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From my first visit to the gardens I loved the location, its gorgeous views and stunning walks are very inspiring even if you visit time and again. It’s also a lovely place to spend time with your family.

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The website describes the gardens as a unique combination of three centuries of garden design: Coplestone Warre Bampfylde’s Georgian landscape garden, the Victorian terrace and shrubbery and the stunning Edwardian garden design by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. It really is a stunning location.

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When we last visited there was a lovely cat watching over the gardens. However he was easy to distract with a quick scratch behind the ear!

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There is a beautiful Orangery in the middle of the gardens which is a very popular wedding venue but also lovely to wander around and explore for everyone.

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My favourite time of day to visit is later afternoon when it is a bit chilly and you get the lovely lighting. The sunsets make it more than worthwhile for a visit and can definitely give Darwin a run for its money on the sunsent front.

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Jet Lagged

Jet lag can be a right pain in the backside! I have before when flying back from Australia suffered from it quite badly. Last time for about a week I would feel like I was passing out about 7pm (quite tricky when I would be at work and not get home until about 6.30pm) and then wake up at anywhere between 3am and 7am. I was able to gradually sleep it off and return to normal.

Image from http://tinyurl.com/lpkfqsj
Image from http://tinyurl.com/lpkfqsj

I was quite concerned about the jet lag this time around especially as I am only in the UK for two weeks and didn’t want to miss out on time with my family and friends.

I’ve been in England for a few days now and it seems like I might just about have kicked the jet lag, well I say that because I haven’t had to have a nanna nap around 6pm for a few days!

I did keep waking up at about 4am for a little while and even though I manage to fall back asleep it was a bit frustrating that I did keep waking up. I managed this by trying to stay awake as long as possible and avoiding naps, also being out and about when I would normally need a sleep helped but I would crash when I did stop.

As the jet lag hasn’t been as bad flying this way this time I am now wondering if it will be bad going back the other way so I am interested to hear everyone else’s tips for beating the jet lag? Also do you normally have jet lag both ways for your trip or just one way? I’ve heard that some people get affected by it flying to the UK and some flying the other way so it makes me wonder why it can affect everyone so differently.

I’m Home!!!

Wow I just looked on the blog and realised I haven’t updated the blog since the 9th September!!! It’s been a busy old September so I’m going to go with that being the reason rather than lack of motivation!!!

Life has been great as usual with lots of time with the Aussie and our friends in Darwin as well as meeting lots of new people (including one of my blog readers who has also moved to Darwin and who we randomly met last week when introduced by mutual friends!!).

I also flew back to the UK very early on Saturday morning and after a shortish flight from Darwin to Singapore and what seemed like an endless flight from Singapore to the UK (it was an hour longer as we thankfully took the longer route around) I arrived home in London and was greeted by my brother.

Since coming home I’ve been spending time with my parents and brother, my gorgeous little dog Henry as well as my parents dogs and catching up with other family members too.

It’s been funny wandering around my old town and listening to the accents I grew up with and also trying not to pass out due to the jet lag but I am loving being home although missing the Aussie every day.

I’ll try and keep the blog going whilst I am home as I am lucky to come from Somerset in England which is a very beautiful place which deserves to be shown off as its often overlooked when its a great old place.

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Happy Tuesday!

Ten Books That Have Affected Your Life

I received a nomination to list ten books which have affected me in some way by a friend on Facebook and whilst I will post there to see my friends responses there I thought I’d blog my list as well.  

Rules: Do not take more than a few minutes and don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way.

Thinking of all those years of “Have you read…” conversations! Here’s my list:

1) The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffengger
2) The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
3) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
4) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
5) The Diary of Anne Frank
6) The Fault in our Stars by John Green
7) The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
8) Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
9) Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
10) The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

I’d love to see your lists! If you take part please comment below so I can see what you have said.

13 Sleeps!

I’m flying to the UK to spend two whole weeks with my family, catch up with friends and attend one of my best friends weddings on 20th September. I am VERY excited! My mum and I text each other with the countdown most days now and currently there are just 13 sleeps!!!

I do love living with the Aussie in Darwin, especially now we have our own place but there are lots of things I miss about the UK and cannot wait to see/do/spend time with.

1) my family – I’m a big homebody and love just spending time with my mum, dad and brother at home chilling out so I cannot wait for 2 weeks with them. My brother is picking me up from Heathrow Airport so I’ve told him he needs to get practising so he can do this (also an excuse to share this video as I love it):

2) my dog Henry – I hate that I can’t spend time with Henry every day at the moment and feel very bad for him that he won’t understand why I’m not there. He’s a bit of a technophobe as well so there’s been many occasion where I’ve tried speaking to him on FaceTime and he’s literally turned his back on me! I’m looking forward to seeing him a lot

3) Tilley and Tess – these are my parents dogs and Henry’s partners in crime when they not making up their own crimes of course! These girls are such sweethearts and they actually interact with me on FaceTime (I swear Henry is afraid of technology) and I can’t wait to see them too.

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4) my extended family – I keep in touch with them regularly via Facebook but I’m hoping to spend sometime with them when I’m home especially as I unfortunately missed my cousins wedding earlier in the year when everyone was together.

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5) my friends – as I said above one of my best friends is getting married when I’m home and I’m very excited about her wedding as I’ll get to see her marry her lovely fiancée but also see our friends and her family too. I’m also doing a reading for her and am very proud to be a part of her day.

I also can’t wait to meet up with my old housemates from when I was at university in Bristol for a catch up and many work friends. There’s been a few babies born in the last year so I’m hoping to meet the little ones for cuddles at last.

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Expat life is pretty cool but can also be pretty tough when you are so far away from some of the important people in your life. It just means the times we spend together are that little bit more special and you really value these times together.