Saturday, 30 August 2008

Holiday. £52 and a tank of petrol

Last week we had a holiday, with a difference!!!
We had planned to go camping at Beddgelert in north Wales, but as it got closer to the time that we were to go, and time we really should think about booking the campsite, I became concerned at the costs.
Not neccessarily the cost of camping, or activities while there, but the 4.5hr drive along winding roads and the cost of petrol. I remember when we went last year that I was shocked at how much it had cost us in petrol compared to a run straight down the motorway at a fairly good speed to Cornwall - In cornwall we usually drive down, run around all week visiting places and then fill up again before we come home. In Wales we had to fill up shortly after arriving and then fill up again on the way home. I know we had an older car last year, but petrol has gone up and we would be looking at around £150 in petrol including visits. Plus £100 to camp, plus day trips. Plus food.
I then thought about somewhere like Exmouth, straight down the motorway! At least the petrol cost would be less.

In the end we had a holiday at home!!!! Cheaper, and we didnt need to find anyone to look after the cats and chickens.
The rules were - we get up early, we work together to get lunches packed, we go out as if we were on holiday, in the evenings we sit together and watch cr*p telly/play games, no playstations, no computers.

This would have been our travelling day. Instead we chose the Forest of Dean, I love the Forest, we lived there for 4 yrs, and I really miss the green, the trees and the countryside.
As we are National Trust members we decided to do to Westbury Court Gardens. We had a great time, we arrived there as it opened and we had the whole place to ourselves. I loved walking round the gardens, happily naming the trees and plants and flowers (to myself and anyone who was listening), the colours, the shadows, the tranquility was beautiful.
We then went on to Cannop Ponds, initially considered having a long walk, but I have not walked far since I damaged my foot (and it still isn't right) so we decided to take it easy and see how I get on. We had a lunch on a picnic bench overlooking the ponds, and then went for a walk. Spend a good 30mins resting watching the swans. Walked back to the car and went home.
For tea we cooked Curry.

We went to the Beach. A trip down to Weston Super Mud! It was cold, or should I say I was cold, I am a person that is cold most of the time!! It was nice to see the children playing, but i sat on a towel, the wetness came straight through, so I sat watching them, cold with a wet bum! After a few hours we decided to go to Tyntesfield, a National Trust property a few miles up the road. If you have never been there this place is well worth a visit. The gardens are gorgeous, the kitchen gardens, and the parkland. The house is in gothic style, it looks very nice from the outside. The tour around the house was pleasant, full of old portraits, luxurious furniture and a step back in time. The kitchens were more familiar!! With items and style similar to that of our old house in theForest of Dean. Our old house was built in 1861, while Tyntesfield was renovated and occupied by the last owners in 1869.
For tea we had a take away! Pizza Hut! £19.99

On Monday we went to Toddington Railway, we rode on a steam train from Toddington to Cheltenham Race course and back. It cost £27 for a family Ticket and £5 for ice creams all round! When we finished at the Railway we went to Hailes Abbey, again free for National Trust members.

On Tuesday we went to Cardiff, it was free entry to the Museum. The Museum was very nice, lots to see. And then we spent a little while walking round the shops, but didn't buy anything.

This would have been our day travelling back. I was back to work on Thurs. So needed to spend the day catching up on things - the washing, the allotment and baking. We also went into Gloucester to do the 'back to school' thing - shoes, uniform etc.

Thanks to our National Trust membership, we had an exciting, relaxing and active holiday from home with minimal cost!!


Rachelle said...

This sounds a lovely week, Sue. I think there are so many of us who go off on holiday, but have never made the most of the wonderful things near by. I think this post is really inspirational and I'm so pleased you all enjoyed yourself.
We went to Devon this year and the biggest expense was fuel - over one hundred pounds to get there and back.

Sue said...

thanks for your comment Rae. Yes, there is so much to do on the doorstep, and with our NT membership we can visit all year round, so we can get the skeleton trees in winter, the new growth in spring and flowering, full leaves in summer, and then the autumnal colours. I am looking forward to the apple day at westbury, I must find out when it is!