Holiday Planning (help me out!)

Hi all! So my laptop had a meltdown last week (the tracking pad was malfunctioning in a way that made it pretty well unusable), and now it’s away being fixed so I’ll need to wait until it’s back before I can edit or post any pictures of finished garments. Hopefully it won’t be too long until I’m underway again… In the meantime, I’m still sewing and planning for our upcoming trip to the UK. It’s only 5 weeks away now, eek! I might have to cull my ‘to sew’ list, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that it’s a bit ambitious.


We’ll be in the UK for 5 weeks all up, and we’ll be driving through England, Wales and Scotland. We fly in and out of London, and we have to be down on the South Coast for the Goodwood Revival, but other than that we’ve got a pretty blank schedule! I want to go to Brighton, Glastonbury, Bath, Stonehenge, Cardiff, the Brecon Beacons and the Lake District as we drive up to my family in Glasgow, and once we’re in Scotland I’d like to go to the Outer Hebrides (going to see some tweed and some puffins!). Then we’ll head back down through the highlands, via a few distilleries for Hamish (though his favourites are the peaty whiskys from the islands, so I suppose we’ll do some there too) to Edinburgh, and back down through England to London. Looks like quite a lot when I write it out like that, but hopefully we’ll manage! 

So, I was hoping those of you in the UK could give me some suggestions of where to go? What are your local fabric/yarn shops and markets? What about your favourite pubs and cafes, and your recommended  local highlights? Local delicacies we have to try? I’m so excited to be heading back, I never meant to leave it 6 years between visits…

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22 thoughts on “Holiday Planning (help me out!)

  1. If you’re going to be in the Lake District, Keswick is a good base for exploring – there are a range of hikes in the area for all abilities and energy levels and the town itself is lovely. I’d then drive down the A591 towards Windermere, stopping off at Grasmere on the way, where you can try Grasmere gingerbread from the shop (the recipe is a closely guarded secret). There’s also Wordsworth’s house, Dove Cottage in Grasmere, which is worth a look.

    On your way up to/back from Scotland take a look at Hadrian’s Wall if you can. There are loads of Roman forts accessible from the A69 between Carlisle and Newcastle, but the best is probably Vindolanda. It’s a large fort with a museum attached, and it’s famous because they discovered some letters detailing life at the edge of the Roman Empire (and they recently found more). There’s an interesting exhibition about them along with a bunch of other archaeological finds too.

    Whatever you do in the area, make sure you take your waterproof and a jumper. The weather can be awful round there, even in the height of summer, but I like to think that’s what makes it so beautiful and green. Hope you have a wonderful time!

    1. Awesome, thank you! I love gingerbread, so I’ll definitely put that on the list 😄. I’ll definitely have my raincoat with me, I’ve experienced a Scottish summer before! Though I did get a pretty savage sunburn in Edinburgh, so you never know…

  2. You can quite often see puffins on the Farne Islands, so then you can go to Lindisfarne and taste the mead! It’s going to be a pretty packed schedule! Brighton is really nice, you have to visit the Lanes, plus there’s a couple of fabric stores there. What about Salisbury? The Brecons are lovely. Probably fit in a couple of proper castles while you’re that way. Ross-on-Wye for the book shops. The Lakes there’s loads to see and yes, if you’re there some Hadrian’s wall sites. Edinburgh is beautiful. I love that city. York? (If you don’t mind battling the traffic!) There’s also the Peak District, Buxton and Bakewell for a proper Bakewell Tart. Are you intending to go into London? There’s always Goldhawk Rd 🙂 Phew, lots of places to visit. I’ll have a think for some places we’ve eaten which are really nice.

    1. Thanks Nikki! Yes, we’ll definitely be spending a little while in London. I’ve got Ross-on-Wye on the list, and I’ll add the Farne islands to my list of places to look into 🙂

  3. Sounds like a lovely trip! Although I’m not British, I spent many a holiday there. If you happen to go to Cornwall, I can really recommend visiting the lost gardens of Heligan, we went there in June this year and had a great day. The Lake District is really stunning too, we really lucked out with the weather when we visited, but I’m sure that it is stunning in any season. We also visited Skye (my husband is a whisky fan as well, we went to the Talisker distillery over there) the scenery is gorgeous and I picked up some lovely yarn from the Shilasdair shop.

    1. Awesome, thank you! I’m not sure if we’ll get to Cornwall, but you never know? I’ve definitely got Skye on my list, I was sad I couldn’t get there during my last trip. I’ll add the distillery to the things to do there!

  4. Shrewsbury’s pretty (day-trip or stop for lunch?) and there were a couple of cute fabric stores when I was there – will try to dig out the names and message you. So much to see and do!!

  5. I actually did a road trip through England and Scotland just last year, and at roughly the same time as you, so here are my tips:

    1) DO NOT underestimate the heat. We thought England would be as depicted, all rainy and cool and cloudy and lovely. Bath at 90F/32C was where I got my tan for the summer. Just saying.
    2) The traffic around Stonehenge is insane if you time it wrong *which we did*, so plan to be there on a weekday morning, not, say, a Friday afternoon.
    3) Go to Avebury! It’s about 20 miles/32 km from Stonehenge, and also not far from Bath, but you can actually get right up to the stones. They’re scattered in a ring around the village, literally in some fields of sheep. The pub’s also nice.
    4) Do you eat vegetables more than once a week? Then plan to buy your own or else look up vegetarian/non-pub options before you go anywhere. After we left London, we didn’t see a vegetable worth spitting on until we went to a Thai restaurant in Dublin the night before we flew out.
    5) Finally, exploring Skipton Castle was one of the gems of our trip. It’s a medieval castle in Yorkshire that I think we found by accident when we got hungry and wanted some lunch. It’s right at the center of the town, and there is a lovely church and a walking trail behind it. It’s a good midday/half-day stop to fit into your road trip!

    The UK is a really good place to do off-the-beaten-trail stuff because everything is so close together, so rest assured that no matter where (read: how lost) you are, it will likely be photogenic and delightful. Also northern Wales is the prettiest place I’ve ever been. Enjoy your trip!

    1. Thanks Stephanie, that’s really helpful! I’ll definitely put Skipton Castle on the list, and Avebury. The vegetable thing can be a problem, especially since I wasn’t that keen on mushy peas last time I tried them…

  6. The Brecons are beautiful (my nearest National Park so I might be a bit biased). If it’s a clear day then the walk up to the top of Hay Bluff is well worth it – plus Hay-on-Wye is the best town in the country for secondhand books. If you’ve got time, you could go further in to the walk-behind waterfall near Ystradfellte. For fabric shopping, Bath is a good bet – Scruffy Badger has written a series of posts on fabric shopping there. (Sadly I can’t get the link to work right now and I know she’s stopped blogging, but I’m hoping it’s not been deleted.) Bath’s Fashion Museum is also fun for sewists.

  7. I would totally agree with stephanies suggestions. I was born and lived my whole life in Salisbury so please, please do not go near the A303 on a Friday for your sanity. Stonehenge is good but Avebury is more accessible. Salisbury does have a fabulous cathedral set in beautiful surroundings and we have TWO fabric shops, one even has wool/ knitting on the 1st floor. Sounds like it’s going to be a wonderful trip, I hope you get to do everything you want.

    1. Haha, thanks for the warning! We’d probably be going past Stonehenge on a weekday morning, so hopefully it’ll be better 🙂 I’ll put Salisbury on the list too, it sounds lovely.

  8. Everything everyone has ever said about Walthamstow Market (in London, end of the Victoria line) was true, at least the one time I went (which was last Saturday and I’m still buzzing). The man outside Sainsbury’s is a legend. I got £3 Korean viscose, £2 silk jersey, £2.50 cupro, £5 silk-linen…10 meters of fabric for £30 all in all! Anyway I went berserk and it was heaven!!

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