Category: On Tour

Half Term Holiday in Cadgwith

Well hello, dear blog reader. It’s been a while. My new teaching job is keeping me very busy, so a half term holiday in Cadgwith Cove, Cornwall was very welcome indeed. We didn’t plan an awful lot, as we all needed a relaxing break, with lots of rest, as the first half term of the school year has been brutal! We stayed at Rene’s Cottage, booked through Cadgwith Cove Cottages, as we have done for most of our holidays in Cadgwith, though this was our first time staying at Rene’s.

Rene's Cottage

Rene’s Cottage is adorable. It has a small, well equipped kitchen, not that we used it much, save for cooking some jacket potatoes and pizza! The lounge boasts a wood burning stove, a small TV and wifi. You can sit and watch people walking up and down the hill, which happened regularly, as Cadgwith has a fantastic inn, which draws people in after a coastal walk. Upstairs is a lovely bathroom (much better than ours at home!) and it has a generous corner bath, which is perfect for soaking in with a Lush bath bomb after getting soaked to the skin in a heavy downpour. True story. The bedroom sleeps two and has one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept on in a holiday let.

Rene's Cottage fish Rene's Cottage lounge Cadgwith

Rene’s Cottage is an old fisherman’s cottage, complete with a traditional thatch roof. The walls are incredibly thick, meaning that it keeps cool in the summer and holds the heat from the wood burner in the winter. We took wood and kindling with us so that we could make the most of the wood burner and it was lovely curling up on the sofa, watching Fear the Walking Dead, in front of a roaring fire. On the Sunday, there was quite a strong wind blowing about the cove and it was really snug and cosy in the cottage. While walking about the Lizard, we were talking about how we always stay in Cadgwith and whether we would stay in any of the other surrounding areas. I have to say that I love staying in Cadgwith. There’s just something about it. When I booked Rene’s, I didn’t realise that it didn’t have a garden and worried that it might be difficult with Poppy. It wasn’t at all, in fact, it was quite lovely getting up to take her on a morning loo walk before breakfast around the cove, seeing what was going on.

Cadgwith boats Cadgwith Houses Cadgwith fishing gear Cadgwith cove

The cove is very picturesque and is a great base to explore the Lizard and surrounding areas. The history of the place fascinates me, as does the fishing industry that still goes on today, despite the changes to fishing. Watching the men go out in the morning, whether they are in the larger fishing boats or just going out on their own, is to watch history. Cadgwith is one of the last fishing coves in Cornwall and this is evident everywhere. The whole cove is littered with lobster pots, some of which are now home to a few nesting birds! I love being about when the boats come back after a day on the water and they’re unloading their catch. The cove comes alive with activity. Obviously, as a vegan, I don’t eat fish, but if you are going to eat fish, then it should be caught in the way that the Cadgwith fisherman catch theirs. It has minimal impact on the environment and is one of the most sustainable types of fishing we have.

Cadgwith

During our stay, we managed to spot a pod of dolphins out in the sea, not far from the cliffs, while we were standing up on the Todden. I’d never seen dolphins in the wild before so I was really pleased we were able to watch them. We will definitely be back at Cadgwith at some point in the near future. There really is no where else like it.

Dog Walks in Somerset – Leigh Woods, Bristol

One of my favourite walks, partly because of the hill climb challenge and partly because you walk underneath the Clifton Suspension Bridge, was Leigh Woods and we only scratched the surface on our visit. I did want to walk across the bridge as well, but time was against us and we only had a short amount of time in Bristol.

Storage container art Clifton suspension bridgeRiver Avon in Bristol

We parked at Oldfield Place car park and headed towards the Avon Canal trail. One of the bridges we needed to walk across was closed for refurbishment so we had to walk up and onto the pavement that ran alongside a busy main road, which wasn’t particularly pleasant! But that was the only down side. While walking along the trail, you could really see lots of old Bristol and it was really impressive.

Clifton Rocks Railway Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol Early blackberries in BristolI had never seen the Clifton Suspension Bridge before and it is really amazing. We had planned to walk across it, but we ran out of time. I’d love to go back another time and really explore this part of Bristol. Just a little bit further on along the trail, there’s a turning to the left which is an entry point into Leigh Woods. It’s quite a steep climb, but it is worth it, as it is incredibly beautiful.

National Trust Leigh Wood Bristol Fungus in Leigh Wood

When you get to the top of the climb, there’s a map that shows a number of different routes you can take. There are also some events for children, as Leigh Woods is managed by the National Trust. We did part of walk to the viewpoint, so we could take a look at Bristol from up high. It was breathtaking!

View of Bristol Suspension Bridge View from Leigh WoodsIf you’re taking the dog with you, be aware that there are some adorable cattle there so make sure you keep your dog on the lead. We saw some people who didn’t and the dog went chasing and barking after the cattle. Not ideal really. You could easily spend the day here, as there are lots of lovely places for picnics and plenty of walks to enjoy. I’d love to go back and explore a bit more, as would Poppy!

Poppydog in Leigh Woods

The Walk: The walk to Leigh Woods is easy to do and away from busy traffic (although the bridge we needed to cross was closed so we had to divert by a busy main road, shared with cyclists.) When you get to the Leigh Woods entrance, there is a steep climb to the top. Make sure you wear good walking boots!
Cost: Completely free.
Car Park: We parked at Oldfield Place car park, which is free to park in for three hours.
Refreshments: Not that I noticed, but you’re in Bristol, so you’re probably a stones throw from something delicious.
Toilets: Again, not that I noticed.

Vegan Food in Bristol

One of the things I was looking forward to, going to Bristol, was the food. I’ve followed Vegan Bristol for a while on Twitter and the food that they share on there is mouthwatering. There were two places I knew I wanted to visit: VX and Cafe Kino. VX is all about vegan junk food. And junk food is my favourite. They sell burgers, hotdogs and cakes galore. They also have a selection of vegan groceries, including the biggest variety of cheese I have ever seen!SSOV Bristol Vegan oreo milkshake Vx Classic burgerAfter a massive walk, we headed for VX. I had already decided on a classic burger with ketchup. What I didn’t know was that they also do milkshake – Vego bar and Oreo. As it had been over a year since my last milkshake, I ordered an oreo milkshake to wash down my burger. It was AMAZING! God I love milkshakes! Everything was spot on. The burger was tasty, came with tortilla chips, which had added a lovely bit of spice. I was pretty much in heaven and cannot wait to go back.

Vx Bristol Vegan food in Bristol Vegan cookie sandwich Vegan custard tart Vegan chocolate cakeAfter we ate, Phil and I did a bit of shopping, buying up cheese, tofurkey and squirty cream. All the basics! We also got some cakes to take away. We shared the custard tart, which was delicious, and the cookie sandwich, which was a bit too sugary for me. I also got a slice of the chocolate and peanut butter cake for the next day and it was immense! It was the perfect reward for walking Cheddar Gorge the next day. If anyone thinks vegan diets are dull & mega healthy, you need to get yourself to VX!

Cafe Kino Cafe Kino breakfastOn our last morning, we packed everything up and headed to Cafe Kino for breakfast. I’m always surprised that more cafes don’t seem to cater for vegans at brunch because how hard can it really be?! Look at this plate of deliciousness, all washed down with a brew. Cafe Kino is a cooperative and has sustainable food production and ethics at the heart of what it does. The food is locally sourced and is 100% vegan (they do have dairy milk for non-vegans to have in hot drinks). I ordered the Full Kino breakfast and it was fantastic. Phil had the small kino and had wanted a smoothie to go with it, but the blender was broken. I was gutted, because I wanted to sample their milkshakes. I saw on Twitter that they have a new one, so that’s good. The rest of their menu looks amazing and I’d love to go back to sample their salads. The cafe has a lovely feel and is a great spot to sit, chat, work or watch the world go by. They also have a Suspended Coffee jar on the counter, which is a great way of helping you do something small but kind for someone who needs it. Awesome 🙂

Both Cafe Kino and VX are dog friendly meaning Poppy was made to feel as welcome as we were. I was impressed by the options and standard of vegan food in Bristol. Oxford really needs to up its game.

Glamping in Bristol

Last year, we went on a glamping holiday, which is the closest I’ve ever got to camping. This year, we went to Bristol to stay in a wigwam for a last minute break. I had no idea what to expect and wasn’t sure how basic it would be. I was pleasantly surprised. The wigwam was fantastic, as were the amenities available on site. We were in one of three wigwams (the dog friendly one), only one of which was used for one night while we were there, so it was nice and quiet.

View of BristolBristol Wigwams Inside Bristol wigwamEach of the wigwams have a picnic bench outside, to sit and enjoy the amazing view of Bristol. Inside, the accommodation is basic, but good quality, clean and comfortable. There’s heating, hot water, a microwave, fridge, kettle and toaster (which, as we don’t have one, I was super excited about!) There’s basic crockery and cutlery, though we didn’t really cook, save for some jacket potatoes and beans, so it wasn’t much of an issue. There’s a sofa, table & chairs out of shot, the door in the picture above leads to the bathroom, which is better than our bathroom at home. I am not kidding. Now, lets talk about the bed. You have to bring your own bedding. No problem. I was worried about the bed, as I need a firm mattress for my back and a lot of times, I’ll stay somewhere and the mattress is super soft, leaving me in agony. This bed, however, was super firm and perfect for me. We stayed for three nights and the wigwam was the perfect base for us. I would happily stay here again.

Sunny Bristol Bristol sunsetBristol at nightThe views into Bristol are spectacular and I can only imagine how the hot air balloon festival looked from here. It was great looking out, spotting different things in and around Bristol. I was really amazed to see both Seven Bridge crossings. Having spent years crossing them, it was funny to see them both at once. The one thing I was really impressed with was the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which lights up at night. It’s really impressive, both from a distance and close up. We didn’t sit out a lot, as it was really windy, and not that warm, plus the Olympics were on. There are log stoves/BBQ’s available for each of the wigwams, and you can buy kindling, lighters and logs there. Phil made an awesome fire one night, so I sat out under my blanket while the sun went down.

View of BristolBristol viewEverything about staying at the wigwam was easy. It is really well placed for exploring the city, as well as other local hotspots, some of which were better than others. (I’ll write more about these later.) The fields opposite the wigwam site can be used by people staying at the wigwam, and we did a lovely walk one evening through them with Poppy. There are two extra shower/toilets in the amenities block, as well as a games room that has a pool table in it. There are also spare chairs to sit outside that are a bit comfier than sitting at the picnic table. We were sent codes that gave us access to the site and the key for our wigwam. Everything was straight forward, which is want you want for a holiday. I can’t recommend the wigwams enough and as we were only there for three nights, there are lots of other things I’d like see and do so would love to go back for another stay.