• Bodleian windows
    My Own Back Yard

    How to spend a day in Oxford

    Have you ever gone somewhere new and felt like this is exactly where you supposed to be at that moment in time? That is what happened to me after I found myself in Oxford on a spontaneous day trip earlier this year. I had always wanted to visit the city that was the setting for so many stories I have read and place of education for so many people I admire. I had a very short list of places to visit (one), but what I experienced in that one day was a whole lot more than I ever expected. Come with me and take a turn around the City of Spires…

  • Travel Guides

    In love with lovely Lucca

    Lucca is a city sprung up from Italy’s earth. This fascinating Tuscan city encapsulates some of the most influential periods in history while maintaining the quiet, off the beaten track appearance that is a well-known trait of the region. As the birthplace of Puccini, this is a city famed for its inhabitants as much as its setting and I couldn’t wait to get exploring. Once inside the Renaissance walls that circle the city centre, it feels as if you have stepped upon a great secret. Sandy coloured buildings rise up ahead mixed with deep reddish brown ones and narrow streets invite you to wander further into the maze. In spite…

  • Petworth House
    My Own Back Yard

    Petworth House and Deer Park

    I have been exploring the deer park at Petworth ever since I was a little girl. It was a Sunday treat to visit with groups of family as we took dog walks and picnics and tried to spot the fallow deer grazing amongst the trees. As I have aged my interest spread to the house of which the grounds belong and a year or two ago I took my first tour of the grand building itself. Constructed in 17th century, Petworth House has passed through generations of one family with the current descendants living in the private apartments today. Full of artworks and stunning interiors, the family’s fondness for the arts…

  • Venice Grand Canal View
    Travel Guides

    Solo Adventures in Venice

    Venice is a place where you can learn the meaning of the Italian phrase ‘Dolce far niente’ – the sweetness of doing nothing. It is the place in Italy I have visited most and my favourite location to visit solo. Here is a place you can feel completely anonymous. No-one notices that you are walking around on your own, most are looking down at their mobile apps whilst trying to navigate themselves in the right direction. The rest are trying to get around tourists to find their way as quickly as possible to wherever they are going.  This provides a sort of security for solo travellers who can feel comfortable…

  • Potions and powders
    My Own Back Yard

    Cornwall Part 2 – Myth & Magic, History & Legend in Boscastle

    Day 2 of my Cornwall tour saw me indulging in some old areas of fascination. As a teen I loved all things supernatural and enjoyed learning of the facts behind the fiction. So I could not resist when I heard of a Museum of Witchcraft in North Cornwall, and so close to the historic Tintagel that was high on my holiday hit list. Through my ride to the quiet villages of the day, I took in views of the rolling hills and rugged coastal cliffs that Cornwall is known for, before descending down the winding road to my first stop of Boscastle.     Boscastle is the hallmark of a peaceful…