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Things to do

Amazing, fun things to do in the UK, days out in and around the UK to help keep you and your whole family entertained for hours! Family days out and great places for kids to go in the UK.

Canal Trip Anyone? Dos and Don’ts

Living in the centre of the UK, we don’t often get to the seaside, but we can get to water! We took ourselves off for a day trip recently on the Stratford on Avon canal.

The Boat

We hired “Happy Valley”, a day boat from Lyons Boatyard. The deal is you have it from 9.00am to 5.00pm. So, on arrival, Andy showed us how it all worked and told us what we needed to know.

He assured us it was unlikely we would get any problems, but that we should be aware of what to do if the propellor got tangled in weeds. Or if we ran aground! Apparently the canal is really shallow and if you do fall in then the chances are the water will only come up to your waist! All very reassuring for novices.

We aren’t complete novices having had a week on the Thames a few years ago, and a holiday on the Abergavenny canal about 20 years previously! I still have memories of that holiday and will share them in another post!

Canal Trip Anyone? Wildlife
Canal Trip Anyone? Heading under the road bridge

The Route

There are three different routes you can do in the time you have the boat. We had planned to do Route 1 which goes into the centre of Birmingham.

Having looked us up and down Andy persuaded us that Route 2 might be more suitable for us. It is a meander through the pretty north Worcestershire countryside. There are no locks to navigate and two turning places so you can decide how long you want to be cruising and how long you want to be in the pub! After much debate we decided to cruise on to the second turning point.

At one point I had to jump off the boat to operate a drawbridge! We stopped for a picnic on the way back. Also, we were incredibly lucky with the weather too as it was a lovely sunny day.

Dos and Don'ts

We had a great time and will definitely do another canal trip! There are things we will do better or differently next time though!


  • take a picnic in case you run out of time to get to the pub
  • remember some coffee/tea/water etc., so you can have a drink or two during the day
  • wear plenty of layers, it can be colder on the water than on land
  • listen to Andy’s instructions
  • relax and enjoy the scenery


  • try and have important telephone conversations along the way (we were in the process of buying a house)
  • be late back, it will cost you £25 per each 15 minutes past 5pm
  • upset the moored boats by going past them too fast
  • worry if you forget your picnic, there is a bakery en-route
  • forget your decent ‘wildlife’ camera as your phone will run out of battery taking all the amazing wildlife you will see along the way
Canal Trip Anyone? Wildlife

Have you been on a canal trip? We’d love to hear about it through Facebook or Twitter

8th July 2019

Posted In: Things to do, Warwickshire


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Tintern – Not Just the Abbey, There’s More!

Tintern Abbey is such an iconic place and it is easy to spend a whole day there. The Tintern Village web pages describe it as "the jewel in Britain’s beautiful Wye Valley" and yes, I agree!

Explore the Abbey

I really enjoyed my walk amongst the ruins of Tintern Abbey. Despite the fact that there were other people around, it felt very peaceful. With the sun on my back and all day to spare I meandered around reading the information boards at my own pace.

It has had an interesting history. I could imagine a time when it was home to the monks who lived and laboured there.

Tintern - Not Just the Abbey, There's More! - Abbey View
Tintern - Not Just the Abbey, There's More! - Picnic spot

Have some refreshments

Having had my fill of history, it was time for lunch. There are several pubs and cafes to choose from. I was there on a busy Sunday. It was Mother’s Day and there were families picnicking amongst the ruins of the Inner Court.

I chose to have a sandwich in the courtyard gardens of the White Monk Tea Rooms. To be honest it was my second choice as I had originally fancied the Filling Station Cafe, but the queue was too long and I was too impatient. It was tasty and filling and you can’t ask for much more than that!

Enjoy a walk along the river   

The weather was fabulous and after lunch I walked a little way along the river. If you felt so inclined, you could go much further. The path I was on is part of a long distance path from Chepstow to Plynlimon. It is a walk of 136 miles in total and Tintern is at mile 6.

There have been some very famous walkers along the Wye Valley, including Turner the painter and Wordsworth the poet. It did amuse me when I went into the toilets to see that someone had left a copy of the Wordsworth poem by the basin. The title of which is Lines Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey. The painting by Turner is called Tintern Abbey from the River Wye!


Tintern - Not Just the Abbey, There's More! - River Walk

Do you have any ruins near where you live? Can you spend a whole day there enjoying the scenery and maybe even doing a Treasure Trail? We’d love to hear from you if you have, through the usual channels - Facebook or Twitter.

3rd June 2019

Posted In: Things to do, Wales


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