Thursday, 6 September 2018

My Pet Story





My Pet Story with Petplan - How A Dog Changed My Life

There are many reasons why dogs are known as man's best friend. The moment you welcome a fur baby into your life your world is turned upside down and you grow and change as a person. Even if you don't have a dog yourself I bet some of you are delighted when you meet a dog when you're out walking or when watching a cute dog video online. 
Petplan Pet Insurance have asked me to share my pet story with you so I thought I would share the many benefits my dog Coco has brought to my life. Coco has lived with myself and Martyn for over a year now and I could not imagine life without him. He attended our wedding last year, came on honeymoon with us and is always the focus of our attention. 

I think my dog is the best dog in the world 

Marnie the dog, Boo and Tuna used to be my favourite internet famous dogs but now Coco is undisputed champion of the dog world and I have 20,000 photos of him on my phone which prove this. He can do no wrong and his crooked smile and big expressive eyes melt my heart. 

I'm no longer house proud

I was adamant that Coco would be well trained, sleep in his own bed and all of his things would be stored away neatly. This fell apart after about 2 hours of getting Coco into our home. His toys are strewn all over the living room, I'm always standing on his chew sticks and he is allowed to come into bed for a cuddle. I find it really hard to say no to Coco and he has taken over the house. 

I smile more

When he does something cute, I smile. When he learned how to wait until walkies to go to the toilet I smiled and even when he does something naughty I have to laugh it off and smile. Coco is a fantastic companion and I'm no longer lonely when my husband is on the late shifts and he encourages me to be positive. I do find it hard to smile when I'm scrubbing his wee and sick out of the carpet though, why is Coco never sick on the wooden floor?!

I stay in more 

Martyn and I went out far more frequently before we got Coco. We ate out, went shopping together and had the freedom to go anywhere we liked. Our life has had to change dramatically since we got Coco. We have fewer holidays abroad and have bought a caravan so we can now take him with us wherever we go. We will be going to a dog friendly pub for our anniversary meal later in the month and many historic attractions are off the cards if we want to do things as a group. 

I'm really not a fan of leaving Coco in a crate and I'm more than happy to find alternative attractions where he can come with us and we now make more of beaches and the great outdoors rather than more formal settings like museums. Is he worth it? 100% yes. 

I move more 
Owning a dog can motivate you to exercise every day. In the winter I go to work, come home and put my PJs on but now I have Coco bringing his lead to me or barking at me to go for a walk and I can't say no, even if it's raining or I've had a bad day. Taking your dog for a 30 minute walk every day can greatly improve your health and it really helps me to de-stress. I love to see how happy Coco is when we go for a walk, he looks back at me with a huge grin on his face. 

I fell in love 

Dogs show the most unconditional love and I made a best friend the day we brought Coco home. He's my little shadow and follows me everywhere and I wouldn't have it any other way. 





Petplan want to hear your Pet Stories too, so whether it is a recovery from illness or just their day to day mischief share your story on Petplan’s Facebook or Instagram using #PethoodStories


This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own.

Gemma
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Sunday, 2 September 2018

A Guide to Holiday Travelling in Style


It is easy to assume that when travelling, you must disregard all sense of fashion and style in lieu of comfort and ease. I believe that you can find a balance between the two. I obsess over the smallest details before I travel and even have holiday planning folders and lists of things to pack. Attention to detail before travelling means I'm not rushing around on the day of travel and have time to think about what to wear and styling an outfit that I will be both comfortable and confident in when I'm travelling.

After selecting your chosen holiday location, the excitement of organising your holiday wardrobe can take over. I bought a pair of Minnie ears for my upcoming trip to Disneyworld before getting my ESTA (visa for travel) Not very practical! I've got cute themed outfits for each day but no comfortable clothes to journey in. I'm planning on wearing a jersey dress with a pair of comfy trainers and a lot of layers. After all, travelling between countries and continents does mean differing temperatures. My upcoming trip to Innsbruck will see me leave a relatively mild UK for a snow-covered Austria and my trip to the US will mean a huge jump in temperatures so I need to be prepared for the sudden change in climate when I step off the plane.





Without wanting to scare anyone sandals are not an ideal choice of footwear for a flight. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it’s best to have a good set of sturdy shoes that will protect your feet. For my trip to Innsbruck I'll be wearing my walking boots on the plane as they will take up a lot of valuable space in my hand luggage only flight. With only a small amount of space for city breaks I like to be comfortable enough for sitting on a place for several hours but also pulled-together enough so that when we deplane I'm ready to hit the ground running and start exploring. 


As with preparing any outfit, attention to detail is paramount. Looking at the different accessories when travelling, however, is even more important. Going through airports is stressful enough, without having to worry about your expensive watch getting lost or misplacing your favourite pair of sunglasses. So, limiting the number of items you carry on your person is probably a good idea. I tend to pack most of my accessories in the bag I check in. I've lost countless memory cards and belts by emptying my bag at the security check in at the airport. 

Travelling in style means looking your best for the circumstance, including smart matching suitcases or a sturdy backpack.  I like to pick practical bags which can be wiped down if there is a spill and try to buy items that look luxurious yet can withstand the trials of travels and different weather. A leather wash bag is ideal and I also have plastic wallets for my camera batteries and chargers so they are safe from the rain. My oil cloth backpack comes everywhere with me and doesn't get tatty or grubby, ideal for hand luggage on a weekend break. 




Preparing for travel in style means a stress-free journey, allowing for you to take in the different sights or even shop at the airport duty-free, instead of worrying about your next move. A helpful way of overcoming this is to get your documents and itineraries ready and put them away in a memorable, but safe, place. I've normally got a folder with maps, tickets and reservations all in one place. I know a lot of you will use apps and scan barcode tickets but I like to have everything printed out just in case my phone has no battery. 





Ultimately, you should be focusing on the exciting destination at the end of the travel! I find that detailed planning and preparation may seem unnecessary but it removes a lot of the stress of travelling. Planning allows me to be cool, calm and collected on the day of travel. 

Gemma
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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Exploring North Wales - Week 2

I loved our first week in North Wales but we mainly visited the bigger seaside towns and more populated areas. For our second week, we left Colwyn Bay and headed down to the Llyn Peninsula to explore the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is relatively unspoilt with a laid-back feel.

We based ourself at Aberafon campsite for a week and it was an ideal location to explore the coast and Snowdonia. This campsite is all about the views; it's nestled between the beach and the mountains around 10 miles away from Caernarfon.

Be warned that if you are staying at Aberafon the access road is very steep and narrow, ideal for campervans and campers but a little tricky to navigate for caravanners like myself and Martyn. There is a field right next to the beach where you can pitch up, but there are lovely views wherever you are situated on the site. Facilities at this site are very basic with only 6 showers for the whole site but the location makes up for this and we really enjoyed our time here. I really did feel switched off from the outside world and would love to return. 

This is a picture of Aberafon Beach

This is a picture of Aberafon Beach

Barmouth

Wales has more Blue Flag beaches per mile than anywhere else in the UK and our favourite that we encountered on our trip was the one at Barmouth. Barmouth lies between a mountain range and the sea on the mouth of the river Mawddach. We loved visiting this town so much that we returned for a second time. 

There's plenty to explore with a pretty harbour, the spectacular Barmouth Bridge and the old town. The very impressive bridge is a Grade II listed single-track wooden railway viaduct across the River Mawddach. It is the longest timber viaduct in Wales and one of the oldest still in regular use in Britain. We spent our days there walking Coco along the beach and scoffing fish and chips from the Mermaid Fish Bar which I highly recommend. 

This is a picture of Barmouth Bridge

This is a picture of Barmouth

Porthmadog - Welsh Highland Railway & Beddgelert

I've mentioned previously that both myself and my husband work in the railway industry. (You can read all my train related posts here) It was pretty inevitable that we would visit some of the heritage railways in operation in the north because there are so many to choose from. 


The original railway closed in 1936 but has been completely rebuilt and restored by volunteers. Originally the railway carried thousands of tons of slate but tourists have now replaced this precious cargo. The railway starts in Caernarfon but we joined it in Porthmadog Harbour Station where the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway depart from. 

The Welsh Highland Railway is a great way to see the awe-inspiring scenery of the Snowdonia National Park. You can relax in one of the first class Pullman carriages or sit in one of the open ones like we did so Coco could pop his head out and feel the wind in his fur. 


This is a picture of Porthmadog station on the The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways



I was so pleased to have packed my lovely yellow rain coat from Lighthouse because the day we decided to visit the Ffestiniog Railway it rained continuously all day. I couldn't get any photos that day so you'll have to take my word for it - it was stunning and featured an impressive waterfall. 

this is a picture of a steam locomotive

Beddgelert is a charming little town surrounded by mountains and is a base for many walking around Snowdonia.  The town was beautifully festooned in flowers and is a great spot to stop off along the railway for a picnic. Beddgelert (Meaning the grave of Gelert) is known for the sad tale of Prince Llewelyn ap Iorwerth and his faithful dog. You can read more about Gelert here. 

This is a picture of Beddgelert


This is a picture of a shih tzu on a train

If you want a heritage railway experience you won't get better than these. At 25 miles in length, the Welsh Highland Railway is the longest heritage railway in the UK and the 200 year old Ffestiniog Railway is the oldest operational narrow-gauge railway in the world. 

Llanberis

The main reasons we wanted to visit Llanberis was for the views and to take a trip on the Snowdon Mountain railway. However, dogs are not permitted to travel on this railway (boo hoo!) so we took some time to wander around and get fish and chips (again). Definitely a destination I would love to visit again as many of the local points of interest and attractions were closed by the time we arrived. 

This is a picture of Llanberis lake

Anglesey - South Stack, Newborough Forest Beach & Bryn Celli Ddu

This is a picture of south stack lighthouse


We really didn't think we would be lucky enough to see the South Stack lighthouse. Once we had reached Holyhead the whole island seemed to be covered in a thick, grey fog. We parked up near the South Stack Cliffs RSPB Centre and thought we would have a look around there but as we descended the steps to the lighthouse the fog lifted and we were treated to clear views of the lighthouse and coast. 

For a sheltered view on a rainy day, head to Twr Ellin which is equipped with binoculars, telescopes and a screen with a live feed from cameras out on the cliffs. The perfect place to spot some of the guillemots, puffins and razorbills the area is known for!

This is a picture of newborough forest beach, anglesey

Newborough (also known as Llanddwyn) – is a large sandy beach with views of mountains and is surrounded by a pine forest with red squirrels and sand dunes, both of which are perfect for exploring. If you're travelling without a dog you can walk over to Ynys Landdwyn. 

There is plenty to see over on the island including a lighthouse and an ancient churn dedicated to Saint Dwynwen. Saint Dwynwen is the patron saint of lovers of Wales and she established a religious enclosure on the island in the 5th century and the ruins can still be seen today.

This is a picture of Bryn Celli Ddu burial chamber

The last stop on our Anglesey tour was Bryn Celli Ddu. It's a Neolithic chambered tomb excavated in the 20s and was constructed to pay respect to the dead. 

The monument is believed to have first been a ‘henge’ or enclosure and was later made into a tomb or chamber. Human bones both burnt and unburnt have been found here along with a decorated stone. Amazingly the tomb is aligned to coincide with the rising sun on the longest day of the year. At dawn on the midsummer solstice, rays light from the rising sun light up the chamber. 

Morfa Nefyn

We spent our last evening at Morfa Nefyn and the nearby fishing hamlet of Porthdinllaen. We enjoyed a pint at the Ty Coch, which was voted one of the top ten beach bars in the world. Only locals have vehicle access to Ty Coch so visitors must walk across the golf course on top of the headland to reach the pub. This area is really popular with water sports enthusiasts and is a great place to relax with a pint whilst looking out over the Irish Sea. 

This is a picture of Morfa Nefyn beach




We had the most wonderful time in North Wales and even though we spent two weeks exploring the area there is so much we didn't have time to see and do. I know we will both definitely be returning here in the future. Criccieth, Abersoch and Pwllheli are all on the 'to visit' list for our next trip to North Wales. 


We are missing exploring the UK in the caravan so we are looking to book a weekend break in September for our first anniversary in Shrewsbury before we pack everything away for the winter. Even if you aren’t celebrating an anniversary or planning a family camping trip, I encourage you to find a cheap singles holiday to Wales because if this trip has taught me anything it’s that the world is just there to be explored! North Wales is a destination not be missed. 

We also have trip to Innsbruck booked for later in the year and the big Disney trip to Florida early next year, Lots to look forward too and plenty of travel posts!

Gemma
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Friday, 10 August 2018

Exploring North Wales - Week 1

I've lived, worked and studied in South Wales all my life and to my shame, I had never been to North Wales until my recent trip. It took 30 years of my life to get north of Machynlleth and boy was I silly to leave it that long.

Martyn, Coco and I had two weeks in our little caravan to take in as much of North Wales as possible and this special trip really showed me the splendour and beauty of my home country. #ProudWelshGirl

We based ourselves on the north coast for week one and on the Llyn Peninsula for week two to be able to take in as many of the sights as we could. Our home for week one was the Bron-Y-Wendon Touring Park just outside Colwyn Bay. This site was very well appointed with fully serviced pitches (electric hook up, fresh water and grey water disposal) and spotlessly clean shower facilities. We had fantastic sea views from our pitch and the campsite was very calm with only a few children around during the school holidays. The only negative was some noise from the A55 which ran close to the site. 

We were able to cram lots in to our first week and still have plenty of down time to relax in the caravan. We were not blessed with ideal weather, it was either roasting hot or misty and raining so all the pretty dresses and going out tops I packed weren't much use and I spent most of the time in leggings and a rain coat - who says caravanning isn't glamorous, ey?

There are lots of destinations I didn't take photos of or that we only stopped off at briefly but I've tried to share the edited highlights below (I don't think you all need to see 400 photos, most of which are of my dog).

Llandudno


Llandudno is a classic Victorian seaside town and is popular with visitors from nearby cities like Liverpool and Manchester. It is home to Wales’s longest pier, offers superb views and all the ice cream, dinky doughnuts and candy floss you can dream of.

Once we walked along the pier and enjoyed a Punch and Judy show we headed up the Great Orme which rises 207 meters above the sea. The Orme is home to some interesting flora and fauna and the largest prehistoric copper mine in the world. The main reason that Martyn and I wanted to visit is because we are transport geeks and wanted to travel on the only cable hauled tramway in the UK.

The Great Orme Tramway in Llandudno opened over a century ago in 1902. It's open everyday from late March to October with a adult return ticket currently priced at £8.10. At the halfway station you can learn all about the Tramway's history, before heading to the summit. The views at the top of the Orme were simply stunning and are not to be missed if you are in the area. 

This is a picture of the Llandudno cable cars


This is a picture of the great orme tram



Conwy


Conwy was such a charming walled town with an impressive castle. If the weather is good and you are travelling by train I recommend walking over or to Deganwy railway station for spectacular views of the castle and the surrounding area.
 
There are plenty of lovely shops where you can pick up some lovely Welsh produce and I highly recommend a pit stop at Parisella's of Conwy for some award winning ice cream (the salted caramel and raspberry ripple are divine) and Popty Conwy bakery for some affordable lunch options and a nutella stuffed doughnut of dreams pictured below.  


Don't miss a visit to the marina where you will find the smallest house in Great Britain. It measures just 72 inches wide by 122 high and was once home to a 6ft3 fisherman! 

This is a picture of the the smallest house in the UK

This is a picture of conwy castle


This is a picture of a nutella filled doughnut

Betws-y-Coed

Betws-y-Coed is known as the gateway to Snowdonia and has more outdoor shops catering to walkers than I've ever seen in a tiny town before and plenty of trails heading to waterfalls and forests making it the perfect spot for adventurous travellers. 

Martyn and I headed to the town to see the lovely scenery but also because it has a lovely railway station and links to the Conwy Valley Railway line which I've wanted to explore for a long time. From our departure at Betws-y-Coed to our arrival at Llandudno we were treated views of the castle at Conwy and dramatic landscapes. The 27 mile long Conwy Valley line offers one of the most beautiful rail experiences in Britain, well worth a visit.

The station building and street was home to some great cafes and restaurants. We stopped off at Hangin' Pizzeria as we were ravenous after a day of exploring and to escape the heatwave going on outside. They have a great selection of pizzas with vegan and gluten free options too. A percentage of proceeds go to animal conservation charities so you get to eat pizza and do a good deed. I opted for a garlic butter, goats cheese and caramelised onion pizza which was thin and crispy which is just how I like it and it was enormous. Great spot for lunch!

This is a picture of betws-y-coed

This is a picture of betws-y-coed railway station

This is a picture of a wood fired pizza


Bangor

Bangor was a surprise stop on our trip but I'm so glad we made time to briefly pass through. We had hoped to visit Bodnant Gardens but they do not allow dogs in so we had to think on our feet and visited Garth pier. The pier in Bangor is Grade-II listed and equally as lovely as the more famous pier in Llandudno. It is very charming and not filled with shops and stalls selling tat. It's perfect for promenading along like the Victorians did and taking in the views of the Menai Straights and Suspension Bridge.

The Menai Suspension Bridge was opened in 1826 and is a marvel of engineering. Thomas Telford's' creation helped to link Anglesy to the mainland as previously the only way to travel between the two was to walk at low tide of get a ferry boat.


This is a picture of garth pier. bangor.


This is a picture of the menai bridge


Llanfair PG

There isn't a lot to see at Llanfair PG station but I had to make a quick pit stop at the station with the longest name - Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. In English it means 'Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave. The name is spelt out phonetically underneath so you can try pronouncing it when you visit. 

This is a picture of llanfair pg station


If these photos haven't persuaded you to book a last-minute weekend break to Wales then next weeks post featuring Barmouth and more of Anglesey certainly will. It get's even more beautiful and remote on the Llyn Peninsula! Can't wait to share the next instalment with you. 


You can read all of my posts about Wales here. 


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Gemma
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Monday, 9 July 2018

Disney World Trip Planning

So, I booked a trip to Disney World on a whim last week... Why not, ey?!

I've been to Disneyland Paris a few times as an adult but I've not visited the parks in Orlando since 1999 when I was still in High School. I was 14 during my last visit so my mum planned the whole thing and I just took it all in, one day at a time and didn't have to organise a thing. This time the planning will be all down to me and I want to make the most of every minute of our trip as it's not something my husband Martyn is likely to do with me again (he's not the biggest Disney fan.)

My brother has been to Orlando recently and I've got a former cast member colleague so I'll be asking them for lots of Disney World advice but I have started to put my own little plan together and I'm slightly overwhelmed, there's so much to think about! The adverts make it look like you will be skipping around the parks hand in hand with Mikey and waltzing up to attractions and walking straight on but previous experience tells me otherwise. To make sure I have plenty of fun and enjoy both the build-up and the holiday I've broken my planning down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Itinerary 

I would like to have a rough idea of which park we are heading to each day so I can make some dining reservations and book our FastPasses (more on this later.) I don't want to have every minute accounted for and plan on having plenty of downtime. We will be in Orlando for just under two weeks so a few days at the water parks, relaxing in the hotel pool and a few cocktails in DisneySprings will be a welcome break after walking 30k+ steps in the parks. 

I've got a notebook and a folder for all my tickets, this girl is organised! There are some great tools out there to help plan like this spreadsheet and you can find my day planner below.

This is a picture of my disney world day planner chart


FastPass+


FastPass+ is a digital ticketing system that allows Disney World ticket holders the opportunity to skip the line on three attractions per day. These are completely free and if you are staying at a Disney Resort hotel like we are, you can make your FastPass+ selections up to 60 days prior to check-in for the duration of your stay. I'll be looking to get some passes for the attractions that weren't there on my last visit or in Disneyland Paris so I have a unique experience this time. The attractions at the top of my FastPass+ list are Avatar: Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari, all the mountains (Space, Thunder and Splash), Test Track, Slinky Dog Dash in the new Toy Story Land and the classic Tower of Terror. 

Dining Plan

We have a free Disney Dining Plan as part of our booking, this entitles us to two snacks per day and two counter service meals with a drink of our choice (you can have alcohol, shakes, hot drinks etc). You can upgrade and get table service meals but booking reservations for so many sit down meals would put restrictions on our time and whilst this would be nice it is an extra expense and after looking at the menus for confer service food I know we will be more than happy with the variety.

I will make a couple of reservations - I would love to have breakfast at Be Our Guest in the grand ballroom. I also fancy watching the fireworks from our table during a meal in 'Ohana which offers Hawaiian-style grilled food. 

There are some counter service restaurants which have great reviews so I've made a note of those so I can plan where we eat around the attractions we have a FastPass for and so I don't miss any of those classic snacks like dole whip floats and ice cream cookie sandwiches. 

Supplies

I've shared some tips for packing for Disney on the blog before and a bit of planning ahead can save you money when you're in the park and make the day even more enjoyable so I like to put a together list to make sure I've got everything I need. Who wants to pay $8 for paracetamol or $10 for a poncho if it rains? Not me! 

Between myself and Martyn we will have the following items in our bags when we are exploring the parks:

I will also make a list for my big suitcase and plan on taking comfy shoes, light layers and some snacks for the hotel room. I will also be packing some cute Disney themed outfits. Yes, I'm 30 but I'm totally ok with being basic. I'm not going full-on Disney princess but I do have this Haunted Mansion t-shirt and fancy getting something with a tropical vibe for my days in Animal Kindom  - maybe some dresses with animal or palm print like these ones from the Plus size occasion wear section at Quiz.


I've already made a big start on planning and the next stages will be making dining reservations 180 days before we go and booking those fast passes 60 days before our trip. If anyone reading this is a Disney veteran and has some tips for me please leave a comment below. I would love to know what your favourite Disney attractions are, any top tips for what see that's underrated and snack recommendations. 

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Gemma
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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Long Weekend in Cheddar - with the Camping and Caravanning Club

Since getting our caravan last year we've only been away for one short break in it. Our first trip was just a few miles away from our home to test everything out and get used to towing. Our trip to Cheddar was our first proper mini break in Florrie (our Freedom Caravan) and it was the perfect location to continue to get used to caravanning and wasn't too far to tow from our home in South Wales. 

I've become a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club which comes with lots of benefits. Firstly you get a discount on club campsites and access to Certified sites which are small, privately run sites which operate under the Club's jurisdiction and can only accommodate a handful of caravans and tents. They can be secluded hideaways and because of their small size, they are often able to operate in areas close to beaches or in National Parks where bigger, more commercial sites aren't allowed. 

Our campsite was situated on the outskirts of the village of Priddy, the highest in the Mendips. Cheddar Camping and Caravanning Club Site is an ideal base to explore all the area has to offer and would be perfect for walkers, climbers and families with kids who don't need a clubhouse to be entertained. The site has beautiful views, charming stone walls and was very tranquil. 

This is a picture of a sheep in a field

This is a picture of cheddar camping and caravan club site

The site offers pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes, trailer tents and tents including grass pitches and hardstandings with electric hookup. There are 90 pitches in total open to club members and non-members too. 

Upon arrival were received a warm welcome from staff in the reception which also serves as a shop. The shop is open all season and sells locally produced meat, cheese, groceries, gas and anything you might have forgotten to pack. Fresh bread and pastries are baked each morning and available to pre-order. There's also a farm shop a short walk from the site where you can pick up produce and get a hot meal if you're not in the mood to cook. 

Dogs are welcome on-site but can't be exercised there. Luckily there are plenty of public footpaths nearby where we could walk Coco. Coco can be a tad anxious if people are coming and going past the caravan and is very curious. Even though the site was fully booked for the Bank Holiday whilst we were there it was still very quiet and Coco behaved very well and was relaxed. 

This is a picture of my freedom caravan

This is a picture of the english countryside

The site had spotless facilities including hot showers, washbasins and toilets, a laundry and dishwashing area. There is a chemical disposal point and the site has Wi-Fi (fees apply) and BBQs to hire. The site was perfect for our needs and I would love to return for a longer trip in the future. 

This is a picture of cheddar camping and caravan club site



This is a picture of coco my shah tzu

The site is in an ideal location for exploring all that Somerset has to offer.  Popular tourist attractions such as Cheddar Gorge, Wookey Hole, Wells, Glastonbury are all just short drive away. Bath and Bristol are also within easy reach too. The site is about 40 minutes from Somerset’s sandy beaches including Brean, Burnham on Sea and Weston-super-Mare. 

We only had a long weekend in the area so we had to narrow down the list of towns and attractions we wanted to visit. We managed to cram in a trip to Wells, Glastonbury and Bream and a drive through Cheddar Gorge. 

This is a picture of vicar's close wells

We used the day we arrived on site to pitch up, relax and enjoy the facilities on offer and only ventured off site to walk the dog. On day two we headed out to explore the area and visited  Wells, England's smallest cathedral city.


I adored Wells with its impressive cathedral and moated Bishop's Palace. It was a lovely place to wander around for a few hours and highlights included the picturesque Vicars’ Close, which is believed to be Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited street. It is tucked away to the side of the Cathedral, just past the Music School so don't miss it if you are in Wells. The market was also fantastic and is held each Wednesday and Saturday. Taylors of Bruton had some tasty baked goods and Nutts Scotch Eggs were delicious, I recommend the salmon ones or the black pudding. There are over 15 stalls offering tasty treats, perfect for a picnic on the green or to take back to the caravan like we did.

This is a picture of vicar's close wells

This is a picture of bishops palace in wells

This is a picture of wells cathedral


This is a picture of cheddar gorge

We left Wells and ventured back to the site via the impressive Cheddar Gorge to spend the evening reading, relaxing and scoffing our market goodies. We decided to head to Glastonbury on day three and visited the romantic and historic ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. 

The entrance fee is £8.25 at the gate with gift aid (£7.50 without) and is discounted if you purchase in advance online at £7.43 (£6.67 without gift aid). The abbey is thought to be the resting place of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere and it is believed that the Holy Thorn tree located in the abbey's grounds sprouted from Joseph of Arimathea's staff, who is reported to have visited the site just a few decades after the death of Christ. The abbey was ransacked during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII  and now lies in ruins set in 36 acres of parkland.

The abbey is a very dog-friendly site and Coco loved playing in the grounds. I highly recommend taking a picnic and making a day of it.


This is a picture of glastonbury abbey

This is a picture of glastonbury abbey

This is a picture of glastonbury abbey garden and grounds

We throguhly enjoyed our time in Cheddar and thought the caravan site was the ideal spot to relax and take a break from our hectic day jobs. To plan your own camping or caravan trip in the South West head over to the Camping and Caravanning Club site for full listings of sites in the area.

We are currently planning our next trip in the caravan and will be visiting North Wales in July. If you have any tips for dog-friendly things to see and do in North Wales please leave a comment below. 

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Gemma
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