Summer in Somerset

It is less than two weeks since we came back from our summer holidays but it seems like ages ago. We seem to have packed so much in since then. In the interests of documenting family life, here is my pick of the Somerset pics, a lovely region to visit.

Views from our campsite across the Somerset levels towards Glastonbury Tor.

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Beautiful Wells, the smallest city in England. This is Vicars Close, which is supposed to be the oldest, continually inhabited, residential street in Europe and below that, the cathedral.

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Cheddar gorge and caves. A day out courtesy of my Tesco clubcard points! We visited most of the attractions – the show caves, the museum, the open top bus tour up the gorge and finally, we climbed up the steps to the top of the lookout tower. All 274 of them.
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IMG_7925IMG_2972A Somerset cream tea. Much needed to keep me going on a busy sight-seeing day.

IMG_7916More Somerset produce.

IMG_7933Picnicking at the top of Glastonbury Tor. Our picnic rucksack, containing knives, forks and plates has been well used.

IMG_7941Heading up…

IMG_2995View from the top, where we tried to spot our caravan, though it was much too far away.

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IMG_3004Inside the ancient barn at the (free) Museum of Rural Life in Glastonbury.  This beautiful barn, which originally belonged to Glastonbury Abbey is almost 600 years old. Amazing to think of the time, money, care and attention that was spent on it.

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IMG_3025The Middle Miss was very taken with this shop display in Glastonbury – she loves rainbows.

IMG_7939The best sandcastle sand I’ve come across for a while, at the almost deserted Burnham-on-Sea. Much building was done as you can see below.

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IMG_7970The sky looked like this through most of our holiday. It’s classic English summer weather; blues sky with white fluffly clouds. Warm enough for shorts but not too hot to be uncomfortable. Perfect, in fact.

IMG_3050Well, this is England. It wouldn’t be a summer holiday without a little bit of rain.

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52 Weeks of Happy: 30/52, 31/52, 32/52, 33/52

School holidays are here, family birthdays are here, it’s been busy, busy busy in my household so I’m going to try to choose one picture for each week. It won’t be hard. The last few weeks have been great.

IMG_7775Babykins enjoying filling his shoe with gravel after a hard day exploring The Forbidden Corner near Middleham. If you are in need of a family day out, The Forbidden Corner is a lot of fun. We took Son Number One’s Godmother, who is 20 and I think she enjoyed it. I really don’t think I can describe it very well. It’s partly a beautiful garden but it has lots of strange, surreal, underground sections, some of which are quite scary for little children.  Son Number One and The Middle Miss had a whale of a time exploring it, dodging the unexpected squirts of water and trying to find all the ‘landmarks’ on the leaflet you get at the start. It’s expensive, but well worth a visit. Just remember you have to book in advance.

IMG_7824Son Number One requested a party at the local climbing wall to celebrate turning eight. We took four boys and two girls to RockAntics, who gave them an hour and a half of climbing fun. First they warmed up with some bouldering (climbing without ropes above big crash mats) then they each did three climbs roped up, with an instructor holding the other end. Son Number One got braver with each climb and managed to reach the top on the last one. The Middle Miss was a natural and scampered up to the top each time. Even Babykins sneaked in on the bouldering. Not for the first time I was grateful that I could hold onto his dungarees!  We ended the party by scoffing a load of Dominoes pizza and birthday cake. Good times – not cheap but relatively low on stress levels.

IMG_2923It’s the time of year for family holidays and this is the first time we have been away for more than a week. It’s also the first time we have been on a family summer holiday without any input from a charity! We have benefitted from the generosity of various groups over the years of Son Number One’s leukaemia treatment but this year, we were on our own! Well, we were in my Mum’s caravan. So it’s thanks to her generosity in loaning it to us, along with her car, that we were able to chill out on this lovely campsite in Somerset. Here we are on ‘hay watch’ as the farmer unloaded his wagon full of towering round bales by pushing them over with a tractor.

IMG_3298The Middle Miss turned six the day after we returned from our holidays. It was a bit of a last minute dash to get her birthday presents organised. I didn’t even get around to decorating her birthday cake. Not to worry, Grandma had lots of little cakes just ready for embellishing. The old tin of candles and decorations came out and some new tubes of ready-made icing were cracked open and ta-dah! All three children had fun decorating their own cakes. The look of concentration on babykins’ face was priceless as he squirted and squeezed the icing. A ‘magic moment’ according to Grandma. Here’s to more Happy Days.