A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: ZipfsUKtrip


We began our driving adventures this morning. Didn't start off too well as we had been directed to the wrong pick up point! Luckily a nice man pointed us in the right direction and a lovely guy originally from Bundaberg looked after us (ie upgraded us!). He did however forget to tell us that the car we have will stop (the motor) every time we stop. Not a fun thing to learn driving through a city that you don't know!!! Anyway, got on top of that though it is still quite strange, and headed off. Callum was playing that afternoon at 430 at Guisely so the plan was to check out Leeds, catch up with our friend Kaz the watch the cricket.

Unfortunately the A1 had other plans for us and we were in one of those traffic jams we see on the news for about 3 hours. We got diverted off the motorway and wound our way through the countryside. We had to get to York before the cricket to get our house keys, and didn't end up getting there until after 6. After a very quick house tour and orientation we were back on the road to the Guisely cricket club. Callum was happy to see us even though we didn't get to see him bowling. Kaz and Isak came and met us at the game, Kaz got a quick cricket lesson (from me which is a bit of a worry) and we had a good catch up. Marist Gold had their first win for the tour so everyone was happy. After goodbyes with Callum we headed to(where else?) the Guiseley Pub. It was too late for dinner and the pub doesn't usually allow kids in after 7pm but the lovely publican had been to Queensland and was a good sport so it was a nutritional chip dinner for the kids while we had a drink with Kaz and Isak. Marcus and the publican got on famously (I worry that this is a sign of the future, but will move on) ribbing each other about their respective cou tries sporting prowess. It was great to see Kaz again and to meet Isak. It is strange to think that we have only actually met 3 times in 20 years but have this lovely friendship.

Our tour of York began the next day with two tired children. Our house was a gorgeous terrace, with three levels. Marcus quickly claimed the QSbed in the attic, which was lucky as Chris would have had to kneel down to get into it! The beds here were so comfortable, we all slept so well and had to wake Marcus up to get going and see this gorgeous place. The house was only a 2 minute walk from the city centre, we would have happily stayed here another couple of days.

We ventured out and immediately ran into Callum and his group. He was happy to have a morning with us so we all got to walk around York together which was nice. All he wanted to do though was to go back to our place and chill, I think travelling with the group is wearing him out. We took the kids back to the house and had another hours sightseeing, which went all too quickly amd gave us an opportunity to pick a few things up for Soph's birthday. Headed out to Pocklington School in the afternoon for the cricket. A beautiful old school but very cold sitting in the middle of the oval watching the cricket! The boys had another win in a close game. Sophie and Marcus had a great time running around the grounds with other siblings and chasing the rabbits which made an appearance on the edge of the oval.

Tonight we joined a "ghost walk tour" around York. As it doesn't get dark here until 11 we did it in daylight, but it was still good entertainment and the kids loved it. The guide picked Chris ("the big one") as his go to man for the tour and we had a lot of laughs. It was a good way to see more of York, the Minster and the little alleys especially. After it was over we went with three of the other families to the pub for dinner. They are a really nice group and it was a fun night. Saw the boys on the way home, they had been out to dinner also and were also heading home. I have never seen our kids hug so much, they are really missing each other (how long will that last once we get to Paris?!!)

The next morning I got up early and went for a long walk around York, it really is a beautiful town with really friendly people and I wish we had more time here. The Minster was open so I managed to sneak in for a quick look around without the crowds (or the entry fee!). We have a long drive up to Elie today via Altwick - aka the Harry Potter castle.

Posted by ZipfsUKtrip 00:31 Comments (0)


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Arrived in Nottingham late Sunday afternoon. We caught the train from London which took about 2 and a half hours. Couldnt imagine a Bigger change from London.

We checked into our apartment - Cranbrook Apartments - and went for a walk to get supplies. It was a strange place, didn't feel in danger, but didn't feel comfortable either and we were glad to get back to the room.

Monday was very relaxing, we picked Callum up for the day and did the main tourist spots - the Galleries of Justice, Notttingham Caves and walk up to the Nottingham Castle. Had a drink in the oldest pub in the UK "ye olde road to Jerusalem", which is a gorgeous little pub built into the back of the castle. Sophie and Marcus loved having Callum back for the day, there was much sibling love floating around, it will be interesting to see how long it lasts in Paris.

Had a lovely dinner at a Spanish tapas place, lovely food and great sangria. Kids loved it despite until protests and votes for the sushi train next door. Our first family dinner together in the UK and it was a fun night. Took Callum back to the hotel then headed back ourselves, getting ready to go to York.

Can't say I would come back to Nottingham, but it was good to have a change of pace and just wander around without worrying about getting lost or having Marcus wander off. Looking forward to York, have heard it is lovely. Just hope we can figure out the roads!

Posted by ZipfsUKtrip 15:29 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged nottingham Comments (0)

Days 4 and 5

London and Nottingham

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Back to a slightly slower pace today. I managed to get out for a run around Regents Park this morning despite the rain and cold. As usual it felt great once it was over...

We had to convince Marcus that it wasn't a good idea just to have a day at home and that there was actually a lot more to see while we were in London. It was another cold morning, we can't believe it is summer. First up we caught the tube to the London Eye. Despite the long line we were on within about half an hour and it was worth the wait, the view was magnificent and we were even treated to some blue sky during the ride. Seeing all the London icons with a birds eye view was great. Back on the tube and next stop was Harrods. We could not believe how packed it was. Chris lasted about 3 minutes before getting a panicked look in his eye so our visit was cut short after a trip around the Food Court. I swear I put on 5kg just looking around that place. The best part of London came up next - Penny and Sue met us at Covent Garden. About 15 years since we have seen Sue, probably 4 since I caught up with Penny in Sydney.

We sat in a cafe with a bottle of wine watching the world go by for a while, then a quick look around the markets and at the street performers. Debated whether we should leave Marcus there to make a living but decided to give him another few years with us. Walked back home, then to the local for dinner. Chris kindly took the kids home and the girls found a local cocktail bar, where I was treated to a flaming passion fruit cocktail, and some other strawberry delight with marshmallows on top. We had a great night, even if we were the 3 old chooks in the corner.

Sunday morning and it was time to say goodbye to our flat. On Penny's recommendation we visited the Museum of Natural History. It was amazing, unfortunately we didn't even have time to see half of it. We had to get back to get the train to Nottingham, where we will spend 2 nights.

We were really sad to leave London, and feel we blinked and it was over. We would have been happy to spend the whole holiday there and think we still wouldn't have scratched the surface. We will august have to come back and have another go...

Posted by ZipfsUKtrip 04:49 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london Comments (0)

Days 2 & 3 - London

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Woke up just before 6 feeling infinitely more human than when we went to bed.

Walked to Lords to meet Callum's cricket group. Callum looks a bit tired and overwhelmed. The only other grade 8 boy broke his leg the day before we left so poor old Callum is feeling a it left out with all the older boys. Resisted the temptation to smuggle him back to the unit with us.
Chris stayed with the group to do the tour and Soph, Marcus and Nic navigated the tube to get to Piccadilly Circus. Found kids heaven at M&M world, then Hamley's toy store. Walked back along Regent Street (finding the best icecream on the way) to our unit. Soph and i were greatly tempted to chain marcus to a bike rack so we could do some serious window shopping. Chris spent the afternoon with the boys at Canterbury College. Callum in much better spirits and being looked after by the older boys. Didnt have a win today, boys were exhausted and competition was extremely tough. We had a fabulous night at Wicked, great seats 4th row in the stalls. Classy dinner for kids and chris (maccas) at Victoria station before heading home. Marcus amused at having to pay to go to the loo. Saw an amazing busker on the way home, playing plastic drums and saucepans. We watched him for ages, and got home about midnight.

Kids killed us the next morning by getting up just after 5, but a full day sightseeing was the best revenge! Joined the other tourists on the hop on hop off bus. Spent a few hours at the London Tower, Marcus was enthraled by the Beefeaters Tour, except for the bit where he told the kids that they were never safe and there actually usually were wicked men hiding either under their beds or in the cupboard every night. Spent nearly 3 hours here before jumping back on the bus. Next stop was the unforgettable Westminster Abbey. Chris was happy he didn't wait outside (£20 pounds to get into a church!!!!!) We were guided by the dulcet tones of Jeremy Irons, in awe of the architectural detail and history here. Soph was enthraled, and even Marcus admitted it was ok even though "I'm not really into religion or history". I think he was mostly relieved that we weren't going in for mass as he originally thought.

Kids were starting to flag a bit but we weren't finished yet. Walked up the road to Buckingham Palace, tried to figure out which room the Queen would be in and what she was having for dinner. Hung around there for a while taking it all in then headed down to Piccadilly, along Regent Street (new shoes for Chris and a successful trip to Nike Town for Soph) on the way home. Arrived back around 7 then off to the local (The King and Queen) for a drink (there's good gluten free beer!). By now the kids were literally begging us to go to bed so resisted the temptation to stay at the pub. Toasties for the kids and curries for us from a tiny but fantastic Indian place next door. Kids were asleep before Chris got back with the takeaway. Hopefully will put us back into a normal-ish sleep routine. Typing this at 7am Saturday morning listening to the rain outside and they are still dead to the world.

Marcus told me today "no offence, but London is actually much better than Brisbane". He is loving the sounds, smells and sights and is totally at ease with the crowds and on the tube. Soph is a bit more reserved, she did admit today to missing Callum though I was sworn to secrecy. Will try to get her to some crafty markets over the weekend, that will be her heaven!

Posted by ZipfsUKtrip 22:12 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Day1 - in the air...

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Survived the long plane trip.
Brisbane to Dubai was a bit bumpy, but we all managed to get some sleep. Kids all ended up sitting together whichnwas nice as we thought Callum would be sitting with the team. Marcus loved flying over India and seeing all the lights.
Dubai airport was a good chance to stretch the legs. We couldn't believe how busy it was for 430am!
Dubai to London was easy after the first leg. The plane was bigger, food was better (especially the GF options) and six hours seemed to fly by. We loved watching the plane-cam.
Our London flat is very central. We had quick showers then walked 5 minutes and we were at Oxford Circus. Marcus loved the cool traffic lights and the double decker buses. Sophie thought the Nike store was very cool and all the big signs. We couldn't believe now quickly peak hour arrived and it was packed! We headed home via Sainsbury's where we picked up stuff for dinner and a bottle of wine. All in bed asleep by 730!

Posted by ZipfsUKtrip 22:30 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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