Travels with Sam 🌎

Hi @botvot Stunning photos and thank you for sharing. :hibiscus::slightly_smiling_face:

For anyone who appreciates the beauty of flowers, I couldn’t see any dates for a flower festival at Salisbury Cathedral this year but there is a Festival of Flowers in the nearby Chichester Cathedral. This will be a four day spectacular from June 5th - 8th, 2024 in the beautiful setting of Chichester’s almost 950 year old Cathedral. Visitors can also browse an exclusive range of stalls within the on-site Market which will be in the 600 year old Cloisters. :blush:

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@Catgoddess_99 It was during the Easter school holidays, so I think in early to mid April that year. I must see if I can find the photos my son took to add to the wildlife photos thread!


@Sam_F thanks, yet sit is over tomorrow. I did enjoy Cafe 1650 at 76 high street, it was cozy and simple. Angus actually goes out with a structured doggie walkie bus , so a bit of a unique sit. I leave Dunbar Friday to travel on my own for 2 weeks heading first to Stirling for a couple of nights then to Inverness to visit a friend. I’ve enjoyed my time here and the small town ambience.


Hi @Catgoddess_99 I’m pleased to hear that you have enjoyed your time in Dunbar with Angus. Whilst you are in Stirling there is a great little spot for breakfast or brunch that you might like to try. It’s called Vera Bakery & Kitchen and can be found at 51 King Street. This little establishment has won several awards recently including Best Bakery in Scotland and Stirling’s Cafe of the Year.

For a more substantial lunch or perhaps dinner, you could try Brea Scottish Restaurant, at 5 Baker Street. This is another multi award winning restaurant including “Best Gourmet Restaurant Experience 2024 - Scotland” to name but one of many. They have an extensive local and European menu. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thank you @Sam_F for the suggestions, however I’m only just now seeing your message i ate breakfast at my hotel since it was included with stay, and had dinner as well. I managed to walk to the castle today despite the issues I’m experiencing with piriformis syndrome. It did me in. I leave tomorrow for Inverness.


Hi Sam, Thank you! You are a wealth of information! I am currently immersed in Cornwall/Devon travel guide books, but feel that first hand knowledge is best. I’ve scrolled up and down this thread and have read all posts re Cornwall. We will be staying in Bournemouth for 2 nights (family), then will begin our Cornwall adventure from there. (We’ve traveled to the UK many times over the years, but have never visited Cornwall). We’d like to do a driving loop starting in Lyme Regis and ending up near Bude. Question: what is traffic like in early June in these parts, and in particular, on the weekends? THS members: All and any comments and suggestions are welcome.

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Hi @lmhale Early June is a good time to travel to Cornwall, (just remember to pack an umbrella as it can rain at any time! :umbrella::slightly_smiling_face:). The roads should be quite open and free flowing, as long as you avoid the time when people are likely to be going to and from work i.e 7.30am to 9am and 5pm to 6.30pm (ish). The main roads, what we call the A Class roads in Devon and Cornwall are quite good and many have sections of dual carriageway to allow easier overtaking of slower traffic. You might like to consider using the traffic app called WAZE which works very well in the UK. The weekend traffic should not be too bad as the UK schools don’t start their summer holidays until around the 3rd week of July. However, if the weather is exceptionally good you can expect the roads to be busier as people rush to the coast for a day trip! :slightly_smiling_face:

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We just did a free 2 hour walking tour in Bath, UK with the Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides. An absolute “must do”. The guides give a great overview of Bath’s history and show you the popular and hidden gems of Bath. Tour leaves from outside the Pump Room, next to the Roman Baths entrance, 10.30am & 2.30pm daily. No booking required. No need to pay for a guided tour when you can get a great walking tour for free with a local guide plus no tipping required!


Thank you @Sam_F for this extensive guide! Last time I was in Cambridge was in June 1983. I did not do the punting myself, but it it was amusing to watch. And then a helicopter landed by the river. Someone told me it was probably HRH Andy.

So I am looking forward to three weeks there. This visit I will have plenty of time, museums on rainy days, the boys choirs and other music, etc.

And just now I got a sit confirmed in Bath, a week in June in a beautiful home with “just a cat”. Also Bath is a place where I was 40 years ago. I really liked it then, I am looking forward to see it again.

So now I will be browsing sits between those two.


Hey hey
Does anyone have an opinion on a States driver traveling on A39 from Tintagel Castle to Lynmouth?

I’m reading it is both a stunning drive but classified as a most dangerous road in the UK.:thinking:

Hi @HelloOutThere With regard to your question I do not think you will have any problems driving on the A39 from Tintagel Castle to Lynmouth. It is an extremely beautiful and rewarding journey and in Cornwall and North Devon it is known as the Atlantic Highway as it runs parallel to the coast in various sections and is a road that we have used often without any issues.

Some websites do call it one of the most dangerous roads in the UK but this is worked out on an accident rate per million cars and the A39 comes out with a reading of 1.57 per million. The road that comes out as being the most dangerous in the UK is the A1010 in North London with a rate of 12.7. If I remember correctly you will have been driving in the UK before you commence your journey on the A39 and to be quite honest with you I don’t think you will have any problems whatsoever. There are some steep hills and some winding twisty bits but no worse than you will find on the roads around the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

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My time in Scotland literally flew, one month, one sit for a week, many castle’s, spectacular views, a plethora of Castle’s , spending my last week in Inverness visiting a friend who runs the Inverness Cat rescue, a bit of under the weather moments with a head cold , 3 trains and two changes I’m now in Liverpool. Spending the week here before heading to Yorkshire for a 2 week kitty sit, with an intermediate stop on the coast spending the weekend in Scarborough. What a whirlwind that has had it’s highs and lows, but nonetheless a journey with epic views and some fur baby love. Here’s a splattering of image’s from Loch Ness ( yep I went hunting for Nessie) a glorious day on Skye, and other breathtaking spots on the highlands.



Beautiful @Catgoddess_99! My wife has a short bucket list and seeing highland cows is on it!

Your picture is fun! Any suggestions?

We’ll be there in the Fall.


For coos the best place is the Isle of Skye, and i also saw some not far from Loch ness in Invermoriston a village along Loch Ness. They tend to he in the mountains.


Lets talk about Seattle

Seattle, located on Puget Sound on the northwest coast of America is a city that usually has quite a large number of sits available. There are currently 187 sits available in the city of Seattle and a further 88 in the surrounding area.

Seattle is also a very dog friendly city with a large number of dog friendly restaurants, bars and breweries. :dog:

The city boasts a large number of forested parks where you can take your dog for a hike without even leaving the urban sprawl. Some of the best include Discovery Park and the Washington Park Arboretum in central Seattle, Lincoln Park in west Seattle, and the Carkeek Park in north Seattle. These parks require the dogs to be kept on a leash but they do offer more than just a paved trail with some grass.

There are also 14 off leash park areas inside the Seattle City Limits, these can easily be Googled but probably the best is the Warren G. Magnuson Park Off-Leash Dog Area. This is the largest off leash dog park and is located at Magnuson Park on the shores of Lake Washington, the second largest lake in the state. Here your dog can enjoy a fully fenced 9 acre park which includes a separate small dog area, several trails and a beach where your dog can enjoy the water.

An unusual experience you might like to share with your dog is the Seattle Water Tours Ice Cream Cruise. This is a 45 minute trip around Lake Union which operates seasonally on Sundays only from March through to October and on Saturdays and Sundays from mid June to late August and boarding is on a first come first aboard basis. You will cruise along on the Fremont Avenue, a soft steel hulled tour boat and receive a narrated tour. As the name suggests you can enjoy an ice cream and so can your dog as they also serve Frosty Paws dog ice cream. If your dog is still hungry after its ice cream you can always track down the Seattle Barkery food truck which has been around since 2014 or visit the Treat Bar in Shoreline or the Treat Shop in south Lake Union. :icecream:

Photo from The Seattle Barkery website

If you and your dog fancy some time out of the city you could always head off on one of the Washington State Ferries to Bainbridge Island or one of the other islands that they serve. Dogs are allowed on the outside decks of the ferry boats in Seattle. A round-trip from Seattle to Bainbridge Island will take in the region of one and a half hours. :ferry:

Seattle is bursting with dog friendly restaurants and bars but I particularly like Pub70 which has a human and doggy menu located at Pier 70 on the Seattle Waterfront. On the Doggy Menu you will find Doggy Meat Loaf, Fish or Chicken and Rice and Carrot Sticks plus numerous options for humans! :carrot:

Photo on Pub70’s Instagram page

Norm’s Kitchen & Bar located at 460 N36th Street is another establishment where dogs are more than welcome and have their own menu which includes chicken or beef bowls as well as treats like chicken feet, turkey nuggets and bacon pupcakes. Dogs are permitted both inside the restaurant and outside on the patio on a leash.

If you and your dog enjoy singing along together you could take them to Hula Hula, a dog friendly Hawaiian Tiki Bar where you and your pawsome bestie can howl at the moon while partaking in the karaoke which is offered every night. :tropical_drink:

If Cuban or Jamaican cuisine are more your style then you should head to Bongos which is located in Green Lake and serves authentic Caribbean cuisine on a casual beach in the middle of the city.

Seattle is world famous for coffee and has an abundance of coffee shops both old and new. One of my favourites which prides itself on its Velvet Foam is the Uptown Espresso which now has 6 outlets throughout the city and is dog friendly. It is a great place to pick up an all day breakfast or a satisfying sandwich. :coffee:

The following are not dog friendly but are things you might like to do when you are in Seattle. Many people know that Seattle is the birthplace of the Boeing Company which started in 1916 where you can take a tour of the Boeing Everett Factory. This 80 minute guided tour will give you a front row view of current aircraft production and an insight in to the Everett Site’s history. If this isn’t enough for any aviation buffs out there then you can visit the Museum of Flight, one of the largest air and space collections in the country. Exhibits include a Boeing Lunar rover and an Air Force One from the Eisenhower era along with NASA space shuttle trainer tours and flight simulators. :airplane:

Dominating the Seattle Skyline and offering views of Elliott Bay, the Cascade Mountains, and on a clear day, Mount Rainier, is the Space Needle. The 605ft tall structure was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. After a 43 second elevator ride from the base to the observation level you can see the doodle-on-a-napkin concept that led to the Space Needle’s design.

Finally, a visit to Seattle would not be complete without seeing the famous fish tossing tradition of the vendors at Pike Place Market. Here you will find the original Starbucks Cafe along with over 225 local artisans selling their wares. Founded in 1907 Pike Place Market is one of the oldest and largest continuously operated public markets in the United States and covers an area of 9 acres in the centre of Downtown. :fish:

@Catgoddess_99 Do you have any great recommendations for Seattle after housesitting there last Autumn?

@AroundTheWorldSteph As you have already mentioned previously that you are very familiar with the city and will be in Seattle for all of June this year do you have any great suggestions for people for fantastic foodie finds and places to visit, especially for someone’s first visit there?

@gnsthorne How was your time in Seattle last June whilst you were house sitting there? Any favourite recommendations that you have for others thinking of visiting?

@kandk I believe you might have some local knowledge for some great suggestions for Seattle and the surrounding areas for visitors?

@kmbriglia How was your visit to Seattle? Any favourite recommendations for others?

@Maggie8K I believe you mentioned you used to live near Seattle and know Seattle well. I’m sure you must have some great suggestions for places to eat and sightsee whilst there?

@MEnstone You mentioned you were in Seattle previously for a 3 week sit… do you have any recommendations for others?

For anyone who has visited Seattle or knows Seattle well or is perhaps planning a trip there as we speak, please feel free to add your recommendations for anything and everything Seattle related! :blush:


Seattle is a great town, i lived for 5 years in Washington state on Orcas Island which is about two hours by ferry from Seattle. Seattle over the years has grown with a substantial tech industry and also wonderful neighborhoods to roam about. I had a sit there last fall in the Ballard distict which is a great area. I scoure my archives for some photos to share.

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In Seattle, I like Nue on Capitol Hill (eclectic dishes from around the world, curated from travels); Mediterranean Kitchen in Redmond (a nostalgic favorite from two decades+ ago); Pagliacci or Windy City Pie, depending on what type of pizza you like; Ladro for coffee. None of those places are fancy, but they’re satisfying. Oh, and I really like Biscuit B*tch for brunch to-go. If you like crumpets, The Crumpet Shop at Pike Place Market is great. I usually bring some back when I visit Seattle.

That said, when I return to Seattle, I don’t usually prioritize food. Why: Having lived there, I usually meet up with friends and let them pick restaurants or bars convenient to both or all of us, since folks are spread out and commutes can suck, especially across bridges. On sits, I also often order via DoorDash, so it’s more about what looks good in proximity, rather than what are the best restaurants overall. The quality of Seattle food, even via delivery, is better than many places in the U.S., though.

BTW, I meant to mention about Hong Kong: I wouldn’t recommend Din Tai Fung, because it’s a global chain out of Taiwan. It has locations in many countries and cities — fine for a chain, but there are mom and pop places that serve better soup dumplings, IMO. For that sort of thing, I ask locals — not expats, but ethnic locals who’ve had opportunity to compare and know what the real deal is supposed to taste like. Plus, they know what’s currently good, versus riding on reputations that might not be deserved any more.

Generally, Vegas is a great place to eat. Why: Many restaurants supported by many traveler and gambler dollars, especially high-end eats. They’re always trying to top each other, attract gamblers and their dollars. Vegas also has a terrific Chinatown / international neighborhood with great food that’s cheaper than in the resorts / casinos.


Ballard farmer’s market, the waterfront ferris wheel, a view from the plane, seattle has a lot of scenery and planes to enjoy.


Some shots during my recent sit in Seattle. My sit sidekick pup explored many places with me. She was excellent in the car. The kitties stayed home.