If there is anything I’ve discovered from Covid-19 is that I love road trips. It’s made me appreciate where I am a lot more and especially just how much there is to do in the UK. When people tell you to visit England, they aren’t lying. There are just so many beautiful places in the UK which are so worth the journey, but when you go on the journey you need to be prepared!
This post is based for those who don’t have some super savvy RV or camper van to go road tripping in and have to go in their Renault Cleo to do 17 hours of driving (plot twist, that’s Brad and I!). We drove the South West coast of the UK staying in multiple Airbnbs, which you can view here, and driving along in Brad Renault Cleo. The OLD Renault Cleo too, and it was great!
When you’re travelling with a person like me who had a bladder the size of a pea and also struggles to sleep, did I mention I’m also a top worrier with my anxiety hitting extortionate levels when I feel the situation is out of my control, so I like to be prepared when we are doing things like this!
I am really glad we did the trip because it felt liberating after so long being inside. Of course we took all the necessary precautions and in doing so this also added a few extra essentials to our trip! So see the list below on what I feel are the best Road Trip essentials!
Our Road Trip Essentials
Covid-19 Essentials to start with:
Correct paperwork if you are exempt from mask wearing.
Books! Lots of good books for the journey! Or a Kindle!
Your phone, of course! Or not! Depends how disconnected you want to be whilst away!
Your purse/wallet, ID and card.
If you like to film your adventures like I do, a Go Pro, memory card and external hard drive.
Torch (ESSENTIAL this one).
Chargers for every electrical appliance you are taking with you.
A print out of your Airbnb or hotel bookings just in case!
A cool bag for food if you take any perishables with you.
Neck Pillow & An Actual Pillow.
Sat Nav (Or your phone in these modern days).
Aux Cable & Aux Adapter!
Underwear (I mean you can’t forget that, unless you’re a nudist, then you do you!).
Shoes and extra socks for all weather. E.G Walking boots, flip flops.
Swimming Costumes & Trunks
Jeans & Trousers
‘Going Out’ Wear, Anything from dresses to skirts, blouses to shirts, whatever you feel comfortable in!
Summer Dresses are always a must (weather permitting).
A Coast, Cardigan, Hoodie, all of the above. I always tend to bring an extra coat with me just in case the car breaks down and you’re stuck on the side of the road, got to keep warm!
A smaller bag instead of your backpacks! If you head out for some food you need a nice handbag or clutch bag to take with you.
Blanket, a KEY essential especially if your road trip involves any form of camping. Maybe even a duvet.
Slipper socks & Slippers.
Winter Coat (as above) to keep you nice and warm!
Fluffy PJ’s are always a vibe.
For the ladies: Tampons, Pads etc.
Toothbrush and toothpaste.
Shampoo, Conditioner and Dry Shampoo (a must).
I also headed to twitter to ask my fellow bloggers if they were going on a road trip (in a Pre Covid-19 world) and they could bring 1 Essential item, what would it be?
Brad and I went off on a week long South West coast UK road trip and it absolutely did not disappoint. But, with planning the road trip also came finding places to stay and all things considered? We did really well between the two of us. We looked mainly at Airbnb and 2/3 places we stayed were booked through Airbnb! We also used Booking.com for our final night, I’m quite apprehensive when it comes to Booking.com as someone who works with reservations and hotels they can be sometimes quite unreliable. But, it surprised me and it was the most beautiful accomodation.
In total between us we paid roughly £200 each, £400 in total for 4 different airbnbs and hotels. And for what we got and where we stayed? Absolutely brilliant on price! So below is a list of recommendations of where we stayed. I highly rate them all as does my boyfriend as they were perfect for our trip! Also we are students fresh out of uni with not a whole load of money so our standards aren’t exactly high but we expect comfort and what is shown on the photos. We definitely were not disappointed at any point.
Price we paid: £38 for 1 night and x2 guests, The room itself is no longer available but alternative accommodation on the same premises is available at a great price, see the link!
Now this Airbnb above is out the back of the house that we stayed in. Our lovely host Ana was at the time renting out one of her double bedrooms and we stayed inside the main house. This is no longer available on Ana’s profile but this little gem in her back garden certainly surprised us! We didn’t even know it was there until we were enjoying our breakfast (which was included). It was booked out the night we stayed but the next morning she had already refreshed this studio with a porch so we got to have a look inside!
It was huge and spacious with an en suite, kitchen and very modern inside with a lovely outdoor decking area to sit if you wanted. The area itself in Winton is really lovely and only a 10 minute Uber away from Bournemouth beach and the centre which worked out really well for us as we didn’t want to spend too much on cabs/Ubers.
Ana’s Studio I’ve linked above for 1 night is £51 which is really cheap especially with the quality of the studio. When we stayed in one of the bedrooms in the house it was £38 for the night but Ana was also having her kitchen renovated at the time, hence why this room may not be available currently! There is also on street parking for free.
Once we jumped in the car again on our road trip we were off to our Hobbit Home! Yes you read that right, A Coastal Hobbit Home! It was so cool. The lane to the location once we arrived was small, narrow and windy and if anything a little bit dangerous but fine once you’re parked up on the field (which is free for guests!). Once we arrived we grabbed our wheelbarrows, popped our luggage in the barrows and trekked our way across the field to our hobbit home.
The Hobbit Homes themselves were super cosy. There was a double bed and inside was a hamper with blankets inside if we needed them for around the fire. There were fake candles which were cute and fairy lights all around the cabin which gave it such a homely feel and there was plenty of room for our bags and belongings.
We had our own hammock outside and a log fire too for us to prepare which accompanied an honestly box at the entrance where we could pick up a bag of wood. £5 down later and cracking fire we absolute could not complain. That same evening we used the communal kitchen and living space to cook up an easy meal of tortellini. The shared kitchen was amazing, wonderfully decorated and literally had everything you could ever need. The only things we brought was our food! Really resourceful. There was also perfectly clean and functioning toilets and showers but if you didn’t want to do the trek from your hobbit home or cabin up to the communal areas you had the option of a compost toilet. Personally, I chose the communal area toilets because the smell of the compost one nearly knocked me clean out. You also have to supply/bring your own towels.
Location 3: Far Horizons, Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall UK
Price we paid: £162.54 for x2 nights for x2 guests.
This Airbnb was without a doubt the most beautiful Airbnb I have ever stayed in, not only was our host Kylie so so welcoming and lovely but the room was immaculate as well as the bathroom, there was a tea and coffee station in the room, a coffee machine and kettle, glasses and bowls and the decor was all matching and it was just so nice and cosy. The bed was SO comfortable. Wifi and towels were provided which was another bonus.
My favourite part about this stay was not only were we 5 minutes away from Fistral Beach where we were surfing, but one morning I woke up at 6am to nip to the toilet and there was a small ball of fluff by the open kitchen door. THEY HAD A RABBIT. It was SO cute and it was the best thing to wake up too! (This is stated on the listing I just missed it but it was absolutely no stress to us at all). There is a self check in option also when you arrive so you have your own key as well for when you’re nipping in and out which was really handy and when you leave you simply post the key through the letter box or put it back in the outdoor lock box.
I thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk into Newquay for dinner and breakfast, the location was ideal and there is also on street parking as well for free. The best thing was after 5 long hours of surfing coming back to a lovely room, a cosy bed and being able to relax and watch TV and feel at home. I was really really impressed and it was absolutely worth the money for 2 nights, I completely understand why Kylie is a Superhost and I absolutely will stay again given the chance!
Location 4: Broad Street Townhouse, Bath, UK, Somerset
This B&B room was right in Central Bath and absolutely beautiful. Not only was the location amazing but the room decor was the most beautiful. With lovely different shades of green and the huge big windows and ceilings to let in plenty of light this spacious and modern room had everything I could have ever wished for especially for our last night on our road trip. It had your usual amenities, TV, coffee machine, towels, kettle and tea facilities as well as a large wardrobe. My favourite part of the room was all the beautiful plants!
We were within walking distance of basically everything central to the City. We walked out of the front door and immediately hit the Cathedral, turn left and there is Pulteny Bridge. We walked to our dinner and it was even better exploring the next day. It also had breakfast included in the pub which is attached to the property and my lord was it delicious, we both had a Full English and it was so tasty! Totally worth the money.
No parking facilities but thats to be expected right in the centre. There is a long stay car park literally a 10 minute walk from the B&B, really easy to find and get too plus plenty of parking spaces!
The dreaded last day of the road trip, it definitely had a downward feeling about it. I wish we could’ve been going for a little bit longer and seen a little bit more!
So after spending a nice relaxed morning we decided to head for some breakfast which was included in our stay at the Pig and Fiddle. Breakfast was SO tasty, so well cooked and beautifully presented. It tasted absolutely amazing and perfect kick starter for the day ahead!
We had some time to explore Bath so decided to go for a wonder and see the beautiful sandstone bridge that is Pulteney Bridge and the water running underneath! We walked over the bridge as well! We also had a look at the parade gardens and definitely had a look at the beautiful Bath Abbey as well. Bath has some of the most beautiful architecture of any English city I have seen so far. Just absolutely breath-taking.
Once we had had a small exploration walk around we decided to go for a pint at The Boater which boasted the largest beer garden in Bath city centre! It was a lovely day so we had some refresher drinks before we packed the car up and headed onto our last stop of the whole trip! Sad times!
Last on the agenda once the car was all packed up, was heading to Stonehenge!
Now I’d always wanted to go to Stonehenge so I am so glad we managed to go when we did, it was nice and warm as well! When we arrived, because you have to pre book tickets, we got all check in at the ticket desk and received our welcome packs. I believe the tickets, of the top of my head, were £24 per person. Now personally, I felt it really honesty wasn’t worth this price. But to see and help British heritage some things have to be to be done in the name of tourism!
Once we headed through we had a look at some of the history behind Stonehenge, they had huts which they believe those who created Stonehenge lived in and also a demonstration of how they believe they moved the stones to where they are now. It was really interesting. Once we had brushed up on our history it was time to go to THE Stonehenge. One thing they forgot to mention? THE WALK.
Easily a mile and a half and took us a good half hour 40 minutes especially in the heat. You could have gotten the shuttle bus to and from the stones but with Covid-19 so prominent then and the social distancing on the bus it would have been quicker for you to walk. So that’s exactly what we did and my god it was so LONG. Although halfway you do learn about the surrounding areas and how the people who created Stonehenge also adapted farmland, I just couldn’t get over the distance you had to walk! Only when you get there to continue to walk around it! But that was fine because once we were there it was really nice and so cool to be up close to something so historical! Then the dreaded walk back, which went fairly quickly!
We arrived back at the car and realised this was it. It was our last part of the trip before we headed home. It was a sad moment as we drove past Stonehenge (as you can see it clearly from the road as well!) and realised it was back to normality, or as normal as it could be right now.
I’d never done something like this before and since doing this I’ve had road trip fever, to the point that I’m looking to go to Iceland and road trip all of Route 1 around the country. It also made me realise that there is SO MUCH in this beautiful country to see, you just have to get up and get going! We definitely want to do this again, so many great and fun memories, all the things we’ve experienced and the friends we’ve seen, next time I want to go up north and explore Scotland and the highlands, especially John O’Groates! The most Northern part of the UK! This is on experience I don’t think the two of us will ever forget.
Here is to ‘Visiting England’ as they say and making more of my home country!
Leaving Newquay definitely made the two of us sad, we really didn’t want to leave so have decided we will absolutely go back again as soon as we can. Before we hit the road we headed for breakfast at Fore Café, a cute independent café in Newquay for some sausage and bacon sarnies and a cuppa tea (of course!).
Then it was off to our next stop! We were heading towards Bath for our last night but we couldn’t head that way just yet as we had one more activity planned for the day and that was the Hang Loose Eden Project zipwire! The Hang Loose zipwire is half a mile long and goes over the entirety of the Eden Project so you can have aerial views of the facilities! You are flying on the zipwire for a good 45 seconds at speeds of up to 60 mph so you’re definitely not messing about.
We arrived at the Eden Centre and got parked up before walking to Hang Loose centre! We didn’t unfortunately pay for access to the Eden Project but that means we will definitely go back which is a bonus. Once we arrived and put our bags into storage it was off to get our harnesses sorted. You book a time slot for your flight but definitely make sure you have nothing planned for afterwards or somewhere to be. The time we were waiting just to get our harnesses on and to get up to the zipwire start point was well over an hour from our allotted time. But once we were sorted and ready to go it was so exciting! I had my go pro so I could get some top notch footage so I told them I had it on me and they gave me an appropriate helmet with the correct clasp on for me as well! It was so exhilarating I was smiling the whole way down, Brad and I went side by side as we went and it really was such an awesome experience. I couldn’t recommend it more. See my footage here!
It was a really fun experience and only £35 per person, I definitely recommend this as something fun to do. There are also more activities much like the zipwire as well like huge pillow jumps and an aerial swing as well. I definitely want to go back to do more and also just to visit the Eden Project in general.
Once done here next stop was Bath!
Now as we left the Eden Project I decided I’d drive us to Bath and the regret was so real. The roads as we left the Eden project were just awful. I wouldn’t even really call them roads, maybe vehicle able one way footpaths. Honestly if you met another car coming the other way you genuinely had to wonder who was going to go where and just how far you’d have to reverse if you were the one going back. BUT after a stressful but very well handled drive we made it to Bath in time to freshen up and find some food but not before checking into the most BEAUTIFUL townhouse in the centre of Bath.
We stayed in a place called the Broad Street Townhouse. We couldn’t have been any more central if we tried and especially for such a great price, we only paid £89 for the night with breakfast included but that meant that everywhere we went for the day was in walking distance. We parked our car for 24 hours in the Charlotte Street car park which was really well priced and walked to the hotel.
Broad Street Townhouse is attached to a pub, The Pig and Fiddle, which was perfect for us, although typically in the evening we got back too late to have a drink before it closed. We did manage to have the most amazing breakfast there though as they served the breakfast in the pub and it was awesome. But before we get too carried away with breakfast… We arrived to this beautiful room with a wooden and dark green theme. It was so fancy and beautiful with a few green plants in the room and matching furniture and even matching mugs for your tea and coffee? They also had a coffee machine I the room and TV, the bedroom windows were basically floor to ceiling with lovely deep green curtains, the bathroom was out of this world, it looked brand new and sparkling clean and the décor was straight out of Pinterest. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere so nice, and the bed was SO BIG and comfortable I wish we never had to leave. All in all a solid 11/10 for somewhere to stay in bath that’s worth the money 10000%.
Once we were all freshened up we decided to go for our favourite food and walked to a Thai restaurant called Salathai. The service was quick, attentive, the atmosphere was really lovely and the windows being huge it was lovely and bright, and the food was just to die for. I always overeat whenever I go out for food but with food this good? how could I not? We had duck pancakes to start and the rest is history (aka I do not remember what we both ordered because it was gone in a matter of minutes). But we could walk too and from the restaurant back to where we stayed which made it even nicer as the weather was lovely.
This was our LAST meal of our road trip and we were super sad about this, I didn’t want it to end. Tomorrow (the next post) leads to some Bath exploring, Stonehenge and unfortunately, home.
We woke up refreshed andready to go for another day of exploring the South West coast!
Waking up In the Hobbit Homes was really cool and very refreshing. You stepped straight outside into the fresh air so it was nice to have a cuppa and enjoy the fresh morning weather! Once we had walked down to the washrooms, had a shower and freshened up check out was at 10 so we got sorted and headed out to explore St Ives! The washrooms were also really clean and fresh. Although it would have been nice to see someone cleaning it straight after we had used it for other guests we also understand in todays climate that might not be possible!
So we jumped in the car and drive the 10 minute drive into the centre of St Ives. The first mistake we made was driving. Parking is really very limited so if possible park at the top of the hill on your way into St Ives. The walk back up might be painful but not as painful as trying to find parking in the centre because it isn’t really plausible on a busy summers day.
St Ives from the off was so beautiful, the blue water and the beautiful beaches and harbour. It was low tide so all the boats were resting on the sand in the harbour as we waded through the masses of people who had finally escaped after the coronavirus lockdown. Admittedly this was the only location out of the many that we visited where I didn’t feel Covid safe walking through the streets. Usually when we were outdoors I’d keep my mask off but when we were walking through I felt incredibly uncomfortable especially being basically shoulder to shoulder and popped my mask on until we had reached the other side of the harbour. All the restaurants were open and it was Ice creams galore! I love all the stone buildings and the cobbled streets. I imagine in winter its the cosiest town of them all.
We wandered across to Smeaton Pier and followed the coastal pathway along the seafront around to the piece of land known as ‘The Island’. To get there we walked past Bamaluz beach and also Porthgwidden beach to finally make our way up to St Ives head, situated on The Island, and also to take a nosey at St Nicholas Chapel too! It was a really lovely walk with beautiful views of St Ives beaches and the harbour. We then finished off with a picture overlooking Porthmeor Beach and a walk back through the cobbled streets of St Ives (trying not to buy even MORE fudge from some of the delicious shops) and up the dreaded hill to the car!
Next up on the agenda was to drive across from St Ives to Lands End! I was really excited for this as I’m from Lowestoft (although no longer residing there now) and Lowestoft holds the landmark on our coast for the Most Easterly Point of the UK! So Complete opposite sides of the country which is pretty fun. So I was very excited when we arrived.
We paid the £7 parking fee which is basically your entry fee and then headed down to the entrance! When you arrive there are so many facilities I really didn’t expect. I was expecting to arrive to the lands end landmark post, the flag and that was really about it. I was shocked to find children’s amusements and also multiple food stalls and places for drinks! There is even a hotel and place for you to stay if you wanted too! It was good as I was hungry so had a portion of nachos for the price of a small London Flat. It was massively overpriced but I guess its the tourist attractions that do that to you!
We wandered past the stalls after some food and headed down to look at the actual Lands End landmark, unfortunately again you had to pay for a picture in front of it. But we didn’t do that and just took a pretty good picture from the other side of the line and our own pictures as we walked down the slope towards the first and last house! It was cool to see the first and last post box and the first and last house, the first and last flagpole and the Lands End viewpoint. I never imaged I’d be that far South West in my entire life. Now all I want to do is go to the most Northern and Southern point! It would have made sense really to go to the most Southern point whilst at Lands End as it was just an hours drive away! Highlight of Lands end was definitely the proposal we saw by the Lands End sign, so nice that even the bad weather didn’t bring the mood down for such a special occasion!
Next location on the adventure for the next two days, the longest we will have spent anywhere on the trip, was Newquay! Now I was so excited to go to Newquay so I could teach Brad how to surf! The drive from Lands End to Newquay was only an hour or so and was really easy.
We arrived at our Airbnb and it was absolutely beautifully decorated and so cosy. We had everything we needed from a coffee machine, bathroom with a shower next door to the room with towels, a TV, a place to put our sandy things from the beach, the COMFIEST double, wardrobe space, Wi-Fi and a TV to relax and watch when we weren’t out exploring. It was like an upside down house, Kylie the host lived upstairs and the room ad bathroom was downstairs. During these Covid times she kept the bathroom sparkling clean also which was amazing. The best part about this Airbnb though? I went to the toilet at 6am and was greeted in an open kitchen door to A HOUSE RABBIT. I must have missed this part on the listing as it definitely states she’s in there but I was so pleasantly surprised, what a great way to wake up! She was super cute!
As we arrived quite late in the evening we decided to walk into Newquay and find some food. Unfortunately at this point the Help out to Eat out scheme had just started and we didn’t even think to book, everywhere was SO busy. We manged to find a table on the main high street at a place called Lost Brewing Co. On a complete whim and reluctantly we went inside and I am so glad we did, it was so good we went back the following day for drinks before our meal elsewhere. Not only do they brew their own beers and sell them here but the food was amazing. I had Halloumi fries, Battered prawns, Chicken strips and some fries as well for finger food as I was just so hungry and couldn’t make my mind up but they are actually super popular for their burgers as well!
All in all another successful day, we headed back to the Airbnb shortly after so we could get some good nights sleep ready for a day full of surfing the next day!
Another early wake up on Day 3 for a full day of action and exploring with Tasmin as our tour guide showing us around Brixham, Berry Head, Totnes and Dartmoor before we headed across to St Ives!
Our first stop was Berry Head just around the corner from Torquay and Brixham. It was a beautiful spot for a walk and to enjoy the sea views off the cliffs! Berry head is a nature reserve and coastal headland which houses an old quarry, a lighthouse and a cute little cafe for anyone wanting a hot drink and a cake whilst they take in the views of the ocean! It was a gorgeous spot and I’m glad we went on such a hot day! Its also one of only 7 Unesco Geoparks in the UK, 140 only in the world, how fascinating is that? It certainly didn’t disappoint.
Once we had finished in Berry Head it was off to Brixham. A bustling and very colourful seaside town on the coast of Devon. The houses were all beautiful colours and there were endless families crabbing in the harbour! I hadn’t been crabbing since I was a kid so this was so great to see which they had managed to catch with their lines and bits of bacon on the end. Of course fish and chips was in order. Tas took us to this amazing fish and chips shop called Rio’s Fish & Chips restaurant and takeaway. We decided on a takeaway and went and sat at Brixham Breakwater, a small flat stoned beach just the other side of the harbour!
The food was amazing and we spent the next half a hour watching and learning how to skim stones. Tas and Brad were really good but I just got into the habit of just throwing them into the water and giving up. But I tried and thats what counts!
Next up on our travels was the cute town of Totnes. With a beautiful river on low tide as we arrived we walked up the main high street which is a slight hill to enjoy all the small independent shops and to watch them make fudge in the window at Roly’s Fudge Pantry. A place we noticed is EVERYWHERE. Exeter, Lincoln, Brixham, Bournemouth, you name it chances are they have a shop there. We ventured up a small alleyway underneath the archway that hung over the main high street to find a quaint church of Totnes with low hanging trees all down the pathway, It was really beautiful. Followed by a browse in a book shop, mine and Tas’ favourite place! We then headed back down the hill for the next leg our journey!
Tas wanted to take us to Princetown in the Dartmoor National park and it was without a doubt the most stunning part of the trip when it came to driving routes! There were wild horses everywhere and sheep all over the hills and in the road that you had to slow down and swerve just so you didn’t hit them! One sheep did decide to run out in front of the car but thanks to Brads quick reactions he was safe and so were we! Honestly the views were like something from a movie, I’d never expected views quite like those here in the UK but how mistaken I was. It was breathtaking.
We arrived in the small village of Princetown and decided we wanted to have a look at Dartmoor prison. The prison is a category C mens prison with huge granite walls and a very gothic looking demeanour. We made it to the outside gate before realising we probably shouldn’t snoop any further but it was so cool as I’d never been so close to a prison before and I have a real fascination with prisons (dark tourism and all that). After a full day of exploring it was getting late and we still had an hour and a half drive to St Ives from where we were we decided to have a quick tea at The Old Police Station cafe in Princetown before we all went our separate ways.
We couldn’t have had a better day with Tas as our tour guide showing us places we had never even thought to go too! Plus it was so so wonderful to spend time with her, especially as when we left Dartmoor for St Ives she had an hours drive home for herself she brought us all this way. I’ll always be grateful for this time spent.
Next up was St Ives! Once we jumped in the car again we were off to our Hobbit Home! Yes you read that right, Brad and I were staying in a coastal Hobbit Home! It was so cool. The driveway once we arrived was small, narrow and windy and if anything a little bit dangerous. Once we arrived we grabbed our wheelbarrows, popped our luggage in the barrows and trekked our way across the field to our hobbit home.
We had our own hammock outside and a log fire too for us to prepare which accompanied an honestly box at the entrance where we could pick up a bag of wood. £5 down later and cracking fire we absolute could not complain. That same evening we used the communal kitchen and living space to cook up an easy meal of tortellini. The shared kitchen was amazing, wonderfully decorated and literally had everything you could ever need. The only things we brought was our food! Really resourceful. There was also perfectly clean and functioning toilets and showers but if you didn’t want to do the trek from your hobbit home or cabin up to the communal areas you had the option of a compost toilet. Personally, I chose the communal area toilets because the smell of the compost one nearly knocked me clean out. That and there was no good lighting in them either so if you fell over, oops.
The Hobbit Homes themselves were super cosy. There was a double bed and inside was a hamper with blankets inside if we needed them for around the fire. There were fake candles which were cute and fairy lights all around the cabin which gave it such a homely feel and there was plenty of room for our bags and belongings. You really are one with nature though as just as we went to sleep something started scratching at the walls of the home and naturally, not literally, I shit myself.
It was a great night and just as the sun was setting we ventured up to Knills monument which was only a 10 minute walk from where we were staying and got the most beautiful 360 view of the St Ives coastline, St Ives itself and we watched the blood moon come over the hills. It was definitely one of the most relaxing nights on the trip ready for another day of exploring the next day!
After an awesome first night in Bournemouth Brad and I were up early (which makes a nice change) and ready for our next adventure to Durdle Door, Exeter and Torquay all in one day!
We decided to get some food once we had arrived at Durdle Door so skipped out on breakfast to get on the road. It took us about an hour to get to Durdle Door from Bournemouth and once we arrived it was already getting busy! We paid the £5 car parking fee for 4 hours and headed down the big cliff to see the sights! Before you make your way down the cliff there is a cute little ice cream shop and a pasty van so we made note of those to make sure we grabbed some food once we made it back up to the top again.
Fun fact: Durdle Door is part of what is known as the Jurassic Coast! What is this? 96 Miles of English Heritage Protected Coastline!
Top tip. DON’T WEAR FLIP FLOPS. The views are beautiful and its really pleasant but the pathway down in white gravel and I nearly fell down multiple times I had to hold onto Brad basically all the way because the one time I let go I fully nearly stacked it. Once we made it to the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach we were in awe. On the left was Man O War Beach and further down from that was St Oswalds Beach. The water was beautifully blue and clear we could’ve been in another country! Then to our right was the monument itself, the beautiful Durdle Door and beach! We headed down the steps to the stoney beach to get a closer look. The waves were crashing and we took a seat right on the shoreline to enjoy the sun. We then headed up the beach to enjoy and sit in the small caves in the cliffs too.
Finally we grew an appetite and it was back up the hill (which was a struggle in the heat and flip fops) and onto the next part of our journey. NOT BEFORE a pasty and a sausage roll overlooking the Jurassic Coastline.
Then it was my turn to drive the 2 hour Journey to Exeter. Unfortunately for us Exeter was not what we expected and we didn’t find all that much to do. We headed over and saw the cathedral in all its glory which was an absolutely phenomenal piece of architecture.
Once we had seen the cathedral the town centre was pretty quiet so we decided to head to a riverside pub for a light snack and a pint (or a cup of tea if you’re me). We walked towards the River Exe and walked past what is known as and what is left of the old Medieval Exe Bridge which has been around for centuries. It was really cool to see the last remains of this piece of old historic architecture! We then walked along the river until we arrived at The Mill on the Exe pub and sat by the river to enjoy our pit stop!
Then it was back to the car for the rest of the drive to Torquay to see my beautiful friend Tasmin! Tasmin lives in Torquay so it would have been SO RUDE to no pop in. To top it off she also did us a huge favour, saving us a fair whack of money on accommodation, and let us stay with her as a bonus. I’ll always be thankful as this also meant we got to spend more time together and it had already been 11 months since I last saw her at our graduation. The Journey from Exeter took us 40 minutes which was really nice and short! When we arrived in Torquay we had a dinner booked to get ready for!
Once we were ready it was into Torquay Harbour for a meal at Twenty 1! This restaurant overlooked the harbour and the 4 of us enjoyed beautiful sunset views, great food and drinks and even better company. We laughed all night and caught up with everything possible, it was such a lovely evening with friends and I was so grateful to be able to do this.
For dinner I think we ordered the whole menu. I had the Chicken and Chorizo flatbread pizza as well as the Tempura Halloumi and the Cheesy Garlic Bread (because no meal is complete without cheesy garlic bread). Another brilliantly priced meal as well with a good vibes atmosphere and great cocktails!
We walked home along the harbour back to Tas’ house well and truly full of food for a final late night cup of tea and bed ready for Tas to show us around Berry Head, Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor the next day! Another successful travelling day completed!
Im joking, we got in the car in Cambridgeshire and started off on our 7 day adventure! We popped our Bournemouth Airbnb destination in on Google Maps and were off! The first half of the journey apparently only taking us 2 and a half hours. Naturally the route to Bournemouth took us down the M25. If you’re from the UK you know this instantly as the M25 Car park. You’d be spot on, after one food stop on the way post M25 we arrived in Bournemouth 4 and a half hours after we left. Just a touch longer than it should have taken but we didn’t mind.
Once we drove under the bridge that said ‘Welcome to Bournemouth’ all of our travel grumbles had well and truly gone away.
Our Airbnb was in Winton which is just outside of Bournemouth. Only a 10 minute Uber from the beach and centre of Bournemouth too which was really helpful! The Uber only cost us £8 as well which was super cheap! We had a shared bathroom but it was beautifully clean and the room was also cosy and had everything we needed I.E a double bed, bedside table and a wardrobe that we didn’t use because we didn’t even unpack really! We paid £38 for one nigh and between the two of us this was such a brilliant price. It meant we could spend more money out and about.
I’ll be posting a link to where we stayed in a later post on which Airbnb’s we stayed in on our trip so you also have the opportunity to stay in these too!
We arrived at Bournemouth beach and as soon as we got out of the taxi we whipped our masks off (as you can’t get an Uber without a mask due to Covid) and breathed in the sea air! It was absolutely rammed on the beach, luckily we hadn’t planned to go in today. Bournemouth beach is huge and beautiful. Bournemouth was actually one of my university choices when I was doing journalism. Once I decided to change my course I was sad that Tourism and Hospitality etc wasn’t an option anymore, so it was good to be able to visit a place I could’ve spent 3 years of my life!
We paid the £1.30 each for Bournemouth pier admission and made our way down to the end. There was a restaurant and the end and also a beautiful butterfly mural on the way down to the left of the pier. Of course I had to get a picture! As we got to the end of the pier it was awesome to see a zip wire that went from the end of the pier to the beach! It was £25 but because we already had the Eden Project Hangloose Zip Wire booked for later on in the week we settled for some cocktails at Key West Bar and Grill and watched everyone fly over our heads instead!
After a few cocktails and the temperature drastically cooling down we decided to walk along the promenade of the beach for a while and then head to find some food. The beach huts were all really cute and there were plenty of amusement arcades right on the seafront. There was even a boujie bar on the sand with deck chairs and seafood. It was super fancy and we were not dressed for the occasion so decided to head into Bournemouth for dinner at a recommendation called 60 Million Postcards.
Originally as we hadn’t booked we got tired away, they told us to try again later so we headed to Backyard Bar which was in the car park of a bar/hotel called 1812. We definitely weren’t dressed for this place either but they let us in for some drinks because money is money! After making some friends and drinking more cocktails we tried to head back to 60 Million Postcards and we were in luck! We got a table for 2 sat outside and the food was INCREDIBLE.
I had a couple of gin cocktails and Brad enjoyed a couple of beers, but the food was absolutely something else. The two of us were taken by the Chicken Katsu Burger so we both decided to have this. We both also ordered Skin on Fries to have with this and they didn’t do Onion Rings (my personal favourite) but they did do some Spicy Battered Onions so I absolutely got a bowl of those as well. The whole meal was out of this world delicious and the vibe here was just so relaxed and mellow. If you went into the restaurant and bar you can see on the walls why its called 60 Million Postcards, there are postcards all over the walls! I believe the building used to be an only post office and when they found all these left over postcards what better thing to do with them then place them all over the walls. Thus 60 Million Postcards was born. It was also really well priced! For a couple of roads of drinks and food for the two of us we payed £30 each which was really really good and it was all so worth the money.
We then headed back to the Airbnb in our £8 Uber to get some good sleep ready for the next day of road tripping ahead!
With Lockdown easing in the UK and both My man and I having been at home inside doing nothing but exercising, reading books and getting a tan living that furloughed life for about 5 months, my stepmum suggested a road trip. We had money saved for a future trip that keeps being pushed back and back due to Covid, and now with more time to save EVEN MORE, why not go out and spend some of it?
So thats what we did.
We decided on a 7 day South West Road trip! So where did we start? Easy, we headed straight down to Bournemouth from Bedfordshire. From there it was 7 days of driving and exploring different cities, beaches and places we had never been!
Here is our itinerary, this absolutely 100% changed as we were going because there is just SO MUCH to see. We did so much and every day was such an adventure, so the below was our original Itinerary, below THIS is our ACTUAL itinerary;
Stop 1: Bournemouth
Stop 2: Durdle Door
Stop 3: Exeter
Stop 4: Torquay
Stop 5: Salcombe
Stop 6: St Ives
Stop 7: Lands End
Stop 8: Newquay
Stop 9: The Eden Project
Stop 10: Bath
Stop 11: Stonehenge, then Home!
All in all you are looking at a good 15-17 hours driving across 7 days in a little Renault Cleo with the two of us an our bags! We split the journey between us as we are both insured on the car and only spent a grand total of £60 in petrol! Thats it!
So below, see out ACTUAL itinerary and what we actually got up too, because there were definitely a few more stops than the above, but we also removed one stop, see if you can figure out which one it is!
Stop 1: Bournemouth
Stop 2: Durdle Door
Stop 3: Exexter
Stop 4: Torquay
Stop 5: Brixham
Stop 6: Totnes
Stop 7: Dartmoor
Stop 8: St Ives
Stop 9: Lands End
Stop 10: Newquay
Stop 11: The Eden Project Hangloose Zipwire
Stop 12: Bath
Stop 13: Stonehenge & Home
So we added another 2 stops after not going to Salcombe and exploring more of the area around Torquay, so Brixham, Totnes and then Dartmoor national park and even going to see the Dartmoor Prison! This was all with my lovely friend Tasmin who lives down this way, it was amazing to see a familiar face who I haven’t seen since September which was also a dream and could be our tour guide!
So here is the route we took below, this is a very basic look as Google maps only lets you have 8 stops and I didn’t add Home (at the start or the end) to the stops but from there to Bournemouth is 2 and a half hours (4 hours if you go along the M25 Car park which we absolutely did). Also from Stonehenge to Home is another 2.5 hours. I also missed out the small stops we did around Brixham, Totnes and Dartmoor but that added another hour and a half to the journey going between these places as you can see below! I added the map separately below.
In total driving time was 17/18 hours including the journey home from Stonehenge which I haven’t shown and from Home to Bournemouth (because as much as I love you guys I don’t want you knowing where I live, haha!).
So over the next week I’ll be sharing with you our epic adventure, I’ll also be posting all the Airbnb’s we stay in and what we got booked in!
Liverpool was an awesome experience I was so happy to experience with my favourite girls, Mel and Jess! Myself and Mel stayed at Jess’s house for a chilled night in before getting up and heading straight to Liverpool, as driven by Jess!
*Disclamer: This was a few months prior to all Covid-19 restrictions and knowledge.
We had a lovely opportunity to stay at the Hilton at John Lennon airport (all creds to Mel for getting that all organised) we were in a triple room and it was amazing and spacious, enough room for us girls to get ready at the same time for our big night out in Liverpool that evening!
When we arrived in Liverpool we arrived earlier than check in so we headed straight into Liverpool and got all parked up ready to explore. As we came out of the John Lennon car park we were greeted by the Radio City Tower! We had to have an excuse to go back, so as we didn’t go up inside the tower, what better excuse do we need for next time?
Once we had chowed down on our Tortilla naked burritos for lunch it was time to explore! We headed straight to Mathew Street where it is filled with endless Beatles memorabilia, museums and pubs! It was a cool and colourful street with plenty going on through-out the day as the pubs were busy, not forgetting the famous Cavern Club! The most famous bar in Liverpool.
For an entry fee of £2.50 you can head down the multiple sets of stairs to have a drink and a dance in the Cavern Club! With photographs of the Beatles and other famous artists on the walls, the walls are also COVERED in graffiti. Including our own, Mel pulled out a sharpie and before we knew it JMJ was inscribed of the wall of the Cavern Club for the rest of time (or until they covered the walls or someone else wrote over it). There was famous items of clothing and guitars in display units on the wall and a live musician for entertainment, and he was funny, we enjoyed a little groove whilst we drank our drinks!
As we headed out of the Cavern Club and made a lift turn you can’t ignore the Cilla Black memorial statue as well as the ‘Wall of Fame’ and statue of John Lennon leant against the wall. So many famous names written on the wall it was hard to keep track, and they stretched all the way upwards and along. A beautiful piece of memorabilia.
Once we were done with Mathew street we headed down to Albert Dock where we saw the statue of the Beatles! A photo opportunity to have a picture walking with the Beatles was not missed before we continued to walk along the quayside of Albert Dock to a little café called Rubens! This café was cosy and everything we needed for our little pit stop whilst exploring! This café is also right by the Liverpool Tate Museum, we walked past this museum and saw their huge colourful sculpture outside too.
Then we headed to Bold Street for some dinner! We ate at a very aesthetically pleasing restaurant called LEAF, the interior was beautiful, there was a lovely atmosphere and it was SO BUSY. We didn’t book but I would definitely recommend booking a table as we were very lucky we got seated. I had calamari and my GOD, it was the largest portion I have ever had in my entire life, I definitely did not finish the plate but the food was well worth the money as it was SO GOOD.
We then headed back to the hotel (after enjoying the street art) to get ready for JUNKYARD GOLF
Junkyard Golf was really cool, I’d heard all about it but never done it before. We booked the Pablo hole and got some cocktails before we headed off on our Mini golfing journey. In the end it was a great laugh, we played 9 holes and Mel well and truly won with myself coming second and Jess coming third! We then headed to the Alchemist for cocktails, it was such an awesome venue. The music was god, the aesthetic and the smoking cocktails and the barmen showing off, what wasn’t to love?
NEXT UP on our night out we then to the Beatles pub back down Mathew Street! It was SO busy and all the pubs were rammed, they had already been busy around 5pm so the fact that at 10pm they were STILL busy meant that I fell in love with Liverpool.
When then headed to Revolutions which was actually MADNESS. There was a woman in a bikini dancing on the bar with strobe lighting in her hands, we were smashing back shots whilst confetti cannons were going off. THIS WAS IN A REVS. LIVERPOOL MAN, ACTUALLY MAD. Once we were done here we made it to Neighbourhood.
Neighbourhood was the boujiest bar, I loved it. As you walked I there was a saxophone player and a drummer playing along to the music. It was a huge open space and everyone was well dressed, The Neighbourhood written in neon along the back of the bar. I definitely didn’t feel like I was dressed up enough for this, but I loved the cocktails. Security was tight and it was fairly busy, I would happily go back. We went out for a smoke and one of the bouncer told us he could take us to a cool club for free. We took the bait, minus the nice Pornstar martinis’ we wont discuss the empty club itself.
It was an amazing night, we got an Uber back to the hotel and slept like babies. The journey home was painful and I definitely threw up at maccies. I made it home to Cambridge fine though, so I guess that works out well!