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Tenby: Top Ten Experiences

Tenby: Top Ten Experiences

I first visited Tenby as an eight-year-old with my parents and still have very clear memories of my time there. Then, when my own children came along, I visited a second time and they experienced many of the things I had done twenty years earlier. Now, thanks to Coastal Cottages, I was able to visit again. I stayed in an apartment just a few hundred metres from the Old Town Walls. Cheriton View was conveniently located to explore Tenby on foot. So, during our stay, we explored by walking everywhere. However, Tenby is a great base for exploring further afield too. You can read my review of Cheriton View in another post on this website. Visit the harbour For me, the attraction of Tenby has always been the harbour. One of the more picturesque harbours around the coast of Great…

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Review: Cheriton View, Tenby – from Coastal Cottages

Review: Cheriton View, Tenby – from Coastal Cottages

Cheriton View in Tenby is in a street of similar Victorian houses common to many British holiday towns, and apart from its soft lilac colour, it could easily be missed. Looks can be deceiving though. I knew better than to judge a property by its outward appearance especially as the few days stay had been arranged through Coastal Cottages – Pembrokeshire’s premier holiday letting agency. I had previously visited Pembrokeshire and stayed at 1 Neylands Marina, one of their other properties. That property had wowed me and I knew I could expect something special from the current property in Tenby. Historically Tenby was a walled town with plenty of narrow streets. Parts of those walls remain and the tightly packed houses make it very pedestrian friendly and unfriendly to cars. Outside the walls, the developing town was built when visitors arrived by…

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Pembrokeshire highlights for a short break

Pembrokeshire highlights for a short break

Four days in the South Wales county of Pembrokeshire is not enough to experience everything it has to offer. I realised that it was foolish to even try so I chose a select few which I felt gave me a sense of what Pembrokeshire is all about. Pembrokeshire is the peninsula sticking out into the Irish Sea in the southern part of Wales. Surrounded on three sides by water – the Bristol Channel, Irish Sea and Cardigan Bay it has a long and varied coastline. You could spend a fortnight exploring the long sweeping beaches, the quaint little coves and the rugged cliffs populated by sea birds. The Pembrokeshire coastline is blessed with Britains longest coastal footpath from which you can explore these delights. However, with only four days this kind of expedition was out of the question. Here then are my highlights. Tenby…

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Review: 1 Neylands Marina – The Wow! factor plus

Review: 1 Neylands Marina – The Wow! factor plus

Accommodation, of whatever type, that is well appointed always creates a good impression; that all important “Wow!” factor the moment you walk through the door. The marina apartment at 1 Neylands Marina that we stayed in had that “Wow!” factor in spadefuls. Everything was well thought out, good quality and tastefully coordinated. Anyone can create something similar that will “Wow” a guest but it takes a little something else to raise the accommodation to “Wow!” level plus. From the moment we stepped through the door we felt welcome. No one was there to greet us but, the owner and the agency Coastal Cottages had gone out of their way to make us feel welcome. Firstly there was a note from the owners welcoming us and a hamper with a handwritten card from the Concierge Service offered by Coastal Cottages. The…

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Thames River Walk – Westminster to Tate Modern

Thames River Walk – Westminster to Tate Modern

I had arrived in London’s Waterloo Station several hours early, fully intending to head underground and resurface at one of the many museums London has to offer. Then I noticed the rare sight of a warm, clear and sun-filled vista beyond the station. The River Thames was a silver streak glinting in the afternoon sunshine. “Why,” I thought, “spend time in a museum when I could be enjoying a stroll along the River Thames.” Putting thoughts into action I left Waterloo Station and headed for Westminster Bridge. I would follow a section of the Queen’s Walk; a promenade along the south bank of the River Thames. It was created for the Silver Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II and runs from Lambeth Bridge to Tower Bridge. Westminster Bridge to the Hungerford Bridge I have always liked Westminster Bridge because of its iconic…

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Hampshire Unpacked: Bluebell Woods

Hampshire Unpacked: Bluebell Woods

Every spring something happens in the woodlands across Britain and the woodlands of Hampshire are no exception. Carpets of blue are beginning to spread out beneath the nascent canopy of green. The bluebells have arrived. In my home county of Hampshire the best place to see them is Micheldever Woods close to Winchester. This ancient beech woodland is awash with bluebells around April and May. Bluebells thrive in ancient woodlands because there is less undergrowth and therefore less competition. The plants do most of their growing before the leaves of the trees develop with flowers appear as the trees don their mantle of green. The damp, shady conditions of the forest floor are the ideal conditions for the bluebells to thrive. Micheldever Woods are managed by the Forestry Commission who have made the woods easy to access. From the car…

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Autumn visit to Exbury Gardens

Autumn visit to Exbury Gardens

Regular readers will know that I occasionally write about gardens and travel on this blog. Whenever I travel I try to visit at least one garden. Sometimes, as in the post on the Gardens of North Devon, I will visit several on one trip. It is often the case that the places near to us get forgotten or we don’t realise the hidden gems almost under our feet. I am guilty of always looking for new horizons and neglecting what is on my doorstep. In an effort to remedy this woeful state of affairs I arranged a visit to Exbury Gardens in the New Forest. Just a few miles from home they are noted for their woodland gardens and the reason I wanted to visit was to see the stunning autumn colours. As a photographer I really wanted a day of…

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Devon Unpacked: Gardens to visit

Devon Unpacked: Gardens to visit

It wasn’t planned that way but we ended up visiting a lot more of Devon’s gardens than we had on our itinerary. Two of the gardens we visited were on our quest for the perfect Devon cream tea and being plant lovers we could not pass up the opportunity to wander among the blooms. One of the gardens was a serendipitous discovery while travelling to somewhere else. Only once did we make a trip solely to visit a garden. The more you look the more gardens you find to visit in Devon. Obviously I am limited in this post but there are several books devoted to gardens to visit. Also there is the National Garden Scheme (NGS) that produces its own “yellow book” of private gardens that are open on specific days of the year to raise money for charity. There are…

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Devon Unpacked: Cream Teas

Devon Unpacked: Cream Teas

The search for a perfect cream tea I have to admit I have a strong weakness for clotted cream and an even stronger weakness for cream tea. Yes, I know the previous sentence is loaded with oxymorons but I use them deliberately because I am unlikely to pass up the opportunity to sample a really good cream tea especially in Devon or Cornwall. These two counties claim to be the home of the scone, jam and clotted cream though neither can agree on the correct way to eat it. Is it jam first? Or is it cream first? A sign outside a tearoom in Closely, North Devon says a cream tea should be…, …two warm scones fresh from the oven – a dish of strawberry jam – a dish of clotted cream and… I agree with that. Definitely the scones…

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Kayaking close to home

Kayaking close to home

I have paddled in a kayak among the islands of a Baltic archipelago off the coast of Sweden; along the Ardeche Gorge in France; in the Nitmiluk Gorge in Northern Territory, Australia; with killer whales in Johnstone Strait off the BC coast of Canada; and with humpbacks off Newfoundland. There are more places I have paddled and still more to come but my own backyard, Southampton Water, is where I hone my skills and learn new ones. All too often the places closest to home are the ones we visit the least, or in the my case write about the least. I am hoping to remedy that and this post is the start. If Southampton Water is in my backyard, the New Forest is on my doorstep. Keep a watch for posts on either of these in the future. Southampton…

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