A few holiday snaps

Is showing some holiday photos on a blog the modern day equivalent of the dreaded slide evenings in the 1970s?

Quite possibly, but, stuff it, I’m going to show you a few pics anyway. At least if you’re not interested you can just look away now, and I won’t force you to drink any of my homemade elderflower wine. (My grandfather used to make this. Believe me, it sounds nicer than it tastes…)

Where once holidays with the hubby meant diving in exotic locations around Asia, these days we’re firmly staycationers (the one foreign holiday — our honeymoon — that we attempted to take the sproglet on being something of a disaster of constant night wakings and the like…)

So this summer, we packed up the car and set off for sunny Dorset, for a few days staying on one of the Featherdown Farms campsites. This is glamping to the extreme: a safari tent, with an actual flushing loo inside, two bedrooms and a wood burning stove. It’s basically a house but with fabric walls.

View at Featherdown farm | Wolves in London
Every campsite needs a kettle planted with herbs…

We’d carefully selected the farm that had the most animals, so that the sproglet would have the best time animal admiring for a few days.

Of course, as is always the way when planning stuff with kids, for the time we were there he completely lost his normal love of farm animals and showed no interest in them whatsoever.

However, there was a conveniently-placed rowing boat in the field outside which provided hours of entertainment. As well as hours of cajoling parents into joining him for a row…

Boat in field | Wolves in London
Possibly the most exciting thing for an almost-two-year-old
Boat in field | Wolves in London
“Row, Mum-Mum, row…”

There were also some glorious views for us to enjoy from the comfort of our deckchairs.

Golden hour | Wolves in London
Golden hour one evening. Just out of shot, a frazzled looking hubby, trying to persuade the baby to go to sleep…
Horse in field | Wolves in London
The horse in the adjacent field provided some interest for the sprog

It was all so picturesque that I didn’t even mind that we had to walk to the shower block when we needed to wash, or that it took 30 minutes to boil a kettle for a cup of tea. (Okay, the last one bothered me a teensy bit. I am something of a tea addict…)

Early morning sun | Wolves in London
Off to the shower block in the early morning sunshine…
Camping stove | Wolves in London
Making a cuppa on the outside stove

As well as mooching around on the farm we took a few day trips — I won’t bore you with details of the one to the Sea Life in Weymouth where we met one of the Octonauts — but by far my favourite was Honeybrook Farm, close by in Wimborne Minster.

The most glorious red brick farm buildings are set in a courtyard, with stables on one side, a dovecote on another and a lawn with ducks, geese and a terrifying-looking turkey in the middle. The estate is set in stunning river meadows, with a chalk stream running down through the grounds.

Honeybrook farm | Wolves in London
This photo comes nowhere close to showing how attractive these buildings were…

We spent a long time fishing in the stream, followed by a lovely walk along the banks, the sprog persuaded along with the promise of another bridge to cross.

All this, plus a cafe, restaurant, tea shop, heavenly kitchen garden, soft play area, tractor rides, two playgrounds, a water area and the chance to meet and pet some of the animals.

I was so busy having a wonderful time that I only took a few photos on our riverside walk…

River meadows at Honeybrook Farm | Wolves in London
The mown path in the river meadows
Honeybrook Farm river meadows | Wolves in London
Oh the sky!

But if you’re ever in the area with young children, I highly recommend a visit.

Me, I could barely drag myself away at the end of the day and have spent every second since dreaming of a more permanent life for us on a similar farm. I just won’t expect the sproglet to help out with the animals…

 Related articles:

  • Featherdown camping is across a huge range of farms in the UK. We stayed at one near Blandford Forum. Though full of glorious pictures, I found their website a little bit lacking in info, but if you’re interested in something similar it’s here: Featherdown Farms. (Needless to say, they’re not paying me to say any of this…)
  • At the other end of the scale, the Honeybrook Farm website is lacking in photos of their beautiful surroundings but has lots of info on the various events and activities available: Honeybrook Farm.
  • And, naturally, I’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to nice-looking places to stay in the UK, with links to these and other places I found when I was researching our hol. It might provide inspiration if you’re looking for child-friendly accommodation: Holiday cottages UK.

 

Down on the farm

We’re off on hols this week; staying on a farm where we plan to ride horses and tractors and collect our own eggs from the chickens every morning.

Perhaps we might even spot a pig as glorious as this one…

Vintage pig image | Wolves in London
Glorious pig found at Old Book Illustrations

I intended, of course, to schedule lots of blog posts in advance so you wouldn’t even notice my absence.

I failed, of course.

So have a wonderful week, everyone, and I’ll be back in seven days or so.

(Depending on how long it takes to do all the post-holiday washing.)

Bella Puglia

So, I’m back. Back from my wedding. Back from my honeymoon.

I’d love to tell you I’m refreshed and relaxed and invigorated and all that, but it would be something of a lie if I did. Just who thinks it’s a good idea to take their 14-month-old on honeymoon, anyway?!

Swimming pool
Pool, prickly pears, sunloungers. What more could you need?

So wedding chat will have to wait til I’ve summoned some reserves of brain power, but in the mean time, here are a few photos of Puglia, where we “honeymooned” for ten days. (Quotation marks because it was, without a doubt, the least romantic holiday my partner and I have ever taken together. Ha ha, still, we’re promising ourselves a more romantic weekend break at some point before Christmas, which we might deem our official honeymoon. A romantic weekend break just the two of us.)

Running toddler
Cute, yes. Honeymoon-compatible, no.

Not to grinch and moan though. Puglia was beautiful. The weather was great. Our trullo was delightful. And, of course, we got to eat lots of Italian food.

The area we were staying in was, by fortune rather than design, right in the centre of the Vallee d’Itria — a stunning agricultural area almost at the very south of Italy. Every field was given over to olive trees, vines or figs. The earth here is a deep red colour and the contrast of red earth and silvery green olive trees was mind-staggeringly beautiful.

Puglia farming
Figs on the left, vines on the right, olives at the back and lots and lots of red earth

We managed to visit a few of the local towns (the sproglet very much on sufferance the whole time). Closest to us was Alberobello, a town designated a Unesco world heritage site for its proliferation of trulli. Streets and streets made up of the distinctive conical-hatted buildings.

Our own accommodation was also a trullo. Once the typical house of a peasant, now, of course, they’re super popular with tourists.

Trulli in Puglia
You can see why everyone wants to stay in one of these, can’t you?
puglia trullo
Just too picturesque

Also close by, we had a nice trip to Ostuni, one of the “white cities” of the region, whose architecture looks more Greek than Italian. We wandered little lanes (with the pram. Not intelligent with all the steps) and had an amazing lunch in a courtyard down a tiny side street.

Ostuni

Streets of OstuniOf all the lovely towns, restaurants and general Italian things to do, though, the sproglet was interested in one thing and one thing alone. The beach.

Savelletri beach
It was a nice beach…

Ah well, I’ll get to do kulcher again in, what, 18 years or so?

For now, it’s quite nice to be home to what, this morning, is looking to be a good season of mists…

I’m not here…

I’m off for a couple of weeks now. Firstly up to Shropshire to get married, then off to Puglia on honeymoon.

Don’t miss me too much!

And, not to make you feel too jealous or anything, here is a picture of where we’re headed to in Puglia.

Trullo in Puglia
Copyright Perfect Puglia

See you on my return…