Travels with Sam 🌎

Hi everyone!

I am starting a new thread on here about ‘all things travel’.

I will be posting regular articles on various topics concerning travel, not just amazing destinations but how to get there, where to eat, what to see and many more things besides!
I will also be writing about my travels along the way too, both past, present and future.

This is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved and share the knowledge as a community. :blush:

So a little introduction about me. You may have seen me around the Forum posting various articles from our travels, a couple of examples being Exploring Croatia and Cakes Of The World and my most recent one being It’s That Time Of Year For Christmas Markets! as my husband John and I visited several on our way to our Christmas sit in Switzerland.

Travel has always played a very important part in my life and my husband’s too. John was a Captain with British Airways until taking early retirement in 2021 and since 2016 I was travelling constantly with John, completing an average of 4 trips a month to various destinations worldwide. Even before I met John I had travelled extensively, taking every opportunity that I could to visit new destinations around the world.

John and I on our travels at Machu Picchu in Peru

So to kickstart this topic, I am starting in the UK :uk:

John and I are heading to Northumberland, England’s northernmost county for a few days, home of Alnwick Castle which some of you might know was used as a double for Hogwarts School in the first 2 Harry Potter movies. I will share some photos and experiences from our visit with you all very soon… :slightly_smiling_face:

Do you have any favourite destinations or attractions that you have visited in the UK or perhaps the UK is on your wish list and you have a particular place you would love to visit? :uk:

Or perhaps you have some clever travel hacks or tips that would be helpful to others whilst they are visiting the UK?

Or literally anything else travel related in the UK, whether that be your favourite place to eat or your favourite walk, your favourite shop or supermarket or something that you have discovered along the way

A great example of discoveries along the way was @Maggie8K quote, “The restaurant also happened to sell various snacks, which you can add to your delivery. Thanks to them, I discovered two Tunnock’s treats I’ve not seen before.” as mentioned on the thread Reccomendations for Glasgow and Edinburgh during @Maggie8K trip to Glasgow, Scotland in December last year.

It would be great to hear from you all :blush:


Sam, while you’re in Alnwick, head up to Bamburgh to visit Bamburgh Castle, a huge ancient fortress and the “star” of The Lost Kingdom series. Also, while there brave the tides and drive across the water to Lindesfarne at Holy Island. We had a magical few days in Northumberland in March last year and highly recommend that area.

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Thanks @Crookie we are planning on visiting Lindisfarne at Holy Island, I went there many moons ago and loved it but John has never been there before. Thank you for the Bamburgh Castle recommendation and we will be sure to visit :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

During your travels around the UK were there any other ‘stand out’ places that you visited?

We are planning a then and now trip to the UK & Scotland for the Fall.

We are interested in historical sites (not huge museum people) with some pop culture: doc martin/HP/downtown abbey/outlander.
And like to be outdoors.

Looking for suggestions over the coming months as I watch this thread and another thread specific to the area.

(Also trying to score 3 tix to dinner in the great hall in Dec. That would be an extra pop over for about a week…any tips😉)

Looking forward to your posts @Sam_F !

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Hi @HelloOutThere and how exciting! :slightly_smiling_face:

You must visit Port Isaac in north Cornwall, which I’m sure as you know already plays the fictional village of Portwenn in the Doc Martin tv series. We visited in May 2021 and loved our time there.

A photo I took of Port Isaac during our trip there

Hopefully other members and myself included will be able to give you many suggestions on here for your upcoming trip :blush:


Whitby, Brighton and Portsmouth were our favourites Sam. All very different and all worth spending a few days at each place as they each have so much to see and do.


@HelloOutThere you can apply to The Tower Of London to attend rhe ceremony of the keys (nightly lock up at 9.30pm). It’s a 700 year old ceremony and free but it’s a bit like a lottery to get tickets. We attended in 2013 and it was one if the best UK experiences we’ve had. Right up there with going to a candle lit evening service at Westminster Abbey during advent, leading up to Christmas. Again, free as we were attending a church service.


Hi @Crookie we love all those places too, especially Whitby and as you say, all completely different with lots to do. :heart::slightly_smiling_face:

This was the fabulous sunset that welcomed us on our arrival to Northumberland earlier :sunrise::heart:


@HelloOutThere , the guided tour of Parliament is excellent. At the Tower of London, you can also see the crown jewels and hear macabre tales of the poor souls who were punished there.

I bet it would be fabulous to attend a concert at the Royal Albert Hall . And if you like that sort of thing I recommend a tour of the Royal Opera House or attending an opera or the ballet. If you’re a member you can attend rehearsals.

London’s Chinatown is nice and the Chinese Bakery-- you’ll spot it by the line out the door, has delicious cakes. I made several trips there!

Up north, try to see York – wonderful, and even though you are not into museums, go to the National Railway Museum! It’s a big train station with the train cars of the royals. And I know it’s touristy, but I also loved the Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool.

If you like gardens, check out this topic: Gardens of the World . See the posts by @Chrissy

All of the Royal Horticultural Gardens — there are five, are extraordinary, and if you can arrange a tour of Highgrove House, the home of King Charles (you’ll need to reserve well in advance online), you will be delighted by the gardens.

We’re watching this on Prime right now and really enjoying it.

I’m ready to go back!


I second the recommendation to attend a church service. I attended Evensong at York Minster, which was exquisite, and a Sunday service at St. John the Baptist in Cirencester, which was lovely. I also met some nice people who were seated next to me. You do not have to be of the same denomination or even Christian to enjoy it.


@Maeve I second the Houses of Parliament tour, it was, and remains, one of the highlights of my many trips to the UK. Just seeing the gold throne was amazing also, as was the whole tour. Some people enjoy the inside Buckingham Palace tour as well when it’s open which is really quite breathtaking if you like that sort of thing. Agree also about Port Isaac, apart from the connection to Doc Martin, it is a lovely little village.

I stumbled across Wells Cathedral whilst driving back from visiting the wreck of the Mary Rose in Southampton (King Henry VIII’s war ship which sunk in 1545) and spent hours both inside and outside the cathedral. The history and tombs are amazing, not unlike York cathedral. But Vicar’s Close across from the Cathedral was such an unexpected highlight also.

The town of Glastonbury was one of my favourite stops on this route that I drove also. Such a quaint place and took me back to the good old Hippie days :rofl: Loved it there and planning on another visit this trip. The obvious places like Arlington Row, Bibury and any of the places in the Cotswolds and Cornwall are simply stunning. I find these areas far more beautiful and historical than the north, sorry northerners :wink: Another interesting find on my Cotswolds drive was Sudely Castle, found after visiting Stratford upon Avon. You could actually touch the tomb of Katherine, an incredible feeling.

“Of all the Tudor castles in England, Sudeley is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds. The last of Henry VIII’s six wives, Katherine Parr, lived and died in the castle, where she still remains today entombed in a beautiful 15th century church found within the award-winning gardens”.

History is around nearly every corner in the UK hence why I keep going back. I have driven the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales AND Ireland but there is always more to see every trip. Cannot wait to discover more :australia::uk:

Added, agree 100% about the Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool, I absolutely rave about it to this day. Beatles fan though. Liverpool was such a wonderful surprise, would revisit in a heartbeat and I don’t “do” cities.


I realize this is not actually about me…but I am lovin’ the posts!


Hi if you are going to Scotland a stay in the Scottish Borders is fabulous. So many castles and Abbeys. They have reopened a small train line that goes into Edinburgh in about 40 minutes and the stops along the way take in the local attractions. I did a house

sit near Montrose and had a fabulous time. Walter Scott’s Abbotsford was my favourite


We love Scotland, went in 2022 and I created short videos of our travels to our 1st stop (Isle of Arran) and videos of our walks on Arran, Islay, Campbeltown & Edinburgh. We rented a car on Isle as it’s hard to get to some places without one but used bus / tram service rest of trip.

This is the 1st video, link to each video is under the playlist Scotland 2022 on youtube…all short videos to watch. Channel on Youtube is Keep Moving in Retirement.


So glad you are sharing your experiences. Thanks!

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Also the site of the movie " Fishermen’s Friends "

I’m heading to Edinburgh at the end of February and will be in Scotland until the end of March. This will be my first overseas trip since 2018 and since the pandemic , it will be my second trip to Scotland after previously visiting the inner Hebrides in 2016. I’m excited for Edinburgh :smile:

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@Catgoddess_99 ahh yes I had forgotten that!
I loved this film :+1:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

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Have you seen the sequel?

I have a sit late April in Hampshire, a small village, after that I’m planning to venture down to Cornwall on my own for a few day’s.

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