At the end of August, we took a weeklong family holiday to Cornwall, which E had been excited for all year. I was a bit worried it wouldn’t live up to her expectations, since she’d been asking when we were going to Cornwall since before Easter. But as it turned out, it did; she had a fantastic week filled with kite-flying, sand castle-building, fish and chips, and ice cream cones.
Our cottage in the town of Marazion was a Saturday-to-Saturday rental. Because driving there takes at least 5 hours (with no traffic) and there’s always traffic in London, we left at 4:30 a.m. Which was the best decision we could have made. We were sitting in a café in Marazion, ordering breakfast, by 9:30.
We passed Stonehenge right at sunrise, and there wasn’t a tourist in sight!
M and I took a day trip to Cambridge one Saturday in June, while his parents were visiting and generously offered to keep the kids all day. Despite its proximity to London, this was the first time either of us had been to the historic university town.
“They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs… She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
I studied abroad in Bath in the autumn of 2002 and spring of 2003, and it was one of the best years of my life. Since moving to London, I’ve been back several times: with my husband, E, and in-laws; with my friend Shelby; with my friend Emily; and with my parents just a couple weeks ago. It’s a perfect day trip from London. It only takes an hour and a half by train, and Bath is so small and walkable that you don’t need a car there.
For the first May bank holiday weekend of 2018, we rented a car and drove southwest to Dorset, on the Jurassic Coast. The drive took us 4 hours, thanks to all the traffic of everyone else who wanted to get out of the city for the long weekend, and we arrived right at the girls’ bedtime on Friday night.
(Side note: The signs along the way made for interesting reading. Actual names of places in Dorset: Tincleton, Puddletown, Tolpuddle, Grimstone, Puncknowle, and Durdle Door.)
That’s right, last autumn Her Maj had us round for a tour of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Well, she didn’t exactly lead us around herself, but still.
Buckingham Palace State Rooms
When the queen goes to Balmoral Castle, her holiday house in Scotland, from the end of July through September, she opens the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace for touring. We went on the last day it was open, October 1, along with my parents.