Take 12 Trips… August on the Luce
As part of my mission to ‘Take 12 Trips’ in 2014, I’m taking at least one trip each month – which can be anything from a local day out to an international trip. So far this year I’ve been all the way from the North of England to the souks of Morocco, from sailing the Norwegian fjords to eating my way around Catania in Sicily, and across Europe first by cruise ship and then by train. But after a travel-heavy few months, it was time to slow the pace down for August. I did have plans to spend some time soaking up the sun in the garden, but the British weather had other ideas! So instead I got started on a big new project for the blog (more on that below) and explored some of my local area with day trips around Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. After putting in a lot of miles this year it was so nice to have a month without getting on a plane or train, and to discover some of the great places on my doorstep. So what else happened On the Luce in August?
August on the road
August started off with a road trip with a difference, as 20 plus vintage cars (including my dad’s 1950s Singer, pictured below) toured the Cotswolds. The final destination was Chavenage House, a country house currently passing itself off as Cornwall for a new TV adaptation of Poldark. We got taken around by the eccentric owners who were full of great stories about everything from hauntings to helicopters. Being a geography graduate and travel obsessive, I’m a huge map lover, so was fascinated to see the Mappa Mundi in Hereford Cathedral (though slightly ashamed it’s taken me so long as it’s only 15 miles from where I grew up). The map gives a real insight into how people in the Medieval period saw the world – with monsters and imaginary lands mixed in with actual places. Makes the Ordnance Survey look positively boring. The month’s final trip involved more modern history at Bletchley Park – home to some of the UK’s cleverest minds as they tried to crack the Enigma code in WWII and about to feature in a new film The Imitation Game, with Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch as Bletchley’s most famous codebreaker, Alan Turing.
August on the blog
Over the last month I’ve been catching up on posts from my last two months of travels after finally getting to the end of my massive photo-editing backlog. I shared stories from my rail trip, with posts on Strasbourg, Swiss scenic trains and my new love of summer in the mountains in St Anton. There were also posts on my cruise stops in Turkey and I tried to narrow down five destinations to return to (though I might have changed my mind already). Coming up in September will be more Austria with stories from Vienna as well as my recent local travels. But the big event on the blog later this month will be a new look for On the Luce – and you can see a sneak preview below. I’m migrating to a self-hosted site and very excited about the new design, which has bigger photos and new features like a newsletter. I’ve just got 1500 photos to resize first! Hopefully the transfer will go smoothly but bear with me if there are a few teething problems.
What’s coming up in September?
After staying close to home last month I’m well and truly back on the road in September – with travels home and away. First up I’m heading to the far north of England for a week in Northumberland. We’re staying just across the water from Holy Island and Lindesfarne Priory, and exploring the region’s beautiful beaches, ruins and castles. If you’ve got any tips on what to see then do let me know. From Northumberland it’s on to Edinburgh then across the Atlantic to Quebec. I’ve wanted to visit Canada for years but this’ll be my first time – as well as being my 40th country visited. The trip is being organised by Destination Quebec and will visit Montreal, Quebec City and the Eastern Townships. It’s a bit of a strange feeling not planning my own trip but I’ve been told it’ll involve train travel and wine so that should do nicely!
What does September have in store for you?
Ooh so excited to see the new look On the Luce! And looking forward to following your September adventures – particularly your Canada trip. Also, me and the Mr were only talking about how we fancy a visit to Bletchley Park the other day. One for our UK travel future I think!
Thanks – very excited about launching the new look (though need to stop fiddling with the design first!). Canada should be fab too, though not long enough, I already want to go back and see the west coast too!
Love the new look of the blog already! I was actually thinking of moving to self-hosting too (for the flexibility it offers), do you mind if I email you for some information? 🙂
Thanks – and yes sure drop me an email (email@example.com). I’ve been thinking about moving for ages but it’s the design flexibility that really sold me on it eventually, there are so many different plugins and themes to choose from!
Hi Lucy! You inspired me to take up the “12 Trips Challenge” myself and guess where I’ve been on my August Travels? Québec (in and around Montréal)! So if you have any questions, I’d be glad to help. 😉 Also: Congratulations on your new blog!
That’s fantastic – great to have you on board for Take 12 Trips. And how funny that you’ve just been in Quebec! It looks like such a great place, so much to see. Will definitely let you know if I have any questions.
Hey, it’s lovely you’re coming to Northumberland! Enjoy the Darkest Night Sky in England! Here’s my trip there this summer.
Thanks – and great post! I didn’t know that was there but will definitely look into visiting when I’m up there.
When you head to Northumberland, go to Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick if you have time. You can see the original Keep Calm and Carry On sign at Barter Books, which is quite possibly one of my favourite book shops ever. Have a lovely month travelling, have always wanted to make it to Québec!
I love Barter Books! Could spend hours there!
Thanks Naomi, Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick are definitely going on the list and I can never resist a book shop!
Hope you enjoy Quebec! I’ve just been there – it’s a great place.
Thanks, I’ve just been reading up on it and sounds great, can’t wait to get out there now!
You will love Montreal! Enjoy your trip to Canada, wish I was closer bit I’m on the other coast. We are not travelling this month as we are getting ready to move to Spain in October or November!!
I am so looking forward to finally making it to Canada – though I already know I’m going to want to go back and see the other coast! Wow sounds like you have some busy months ahead – best of luck with the big move!
Oooh, I love Holy Island! Just don’t get stuck on the causeway 😉 You should also visit Bamburg Castle if you can – from there you have a vew across the sea to Holy Island (and from Holy Island you can see Bamburg Castle). Alnwick is gorgeous (and Alnwick Castle was used for Harry Potter). Also, try to get up to Hadrian’s Wall if you can – there are various Roman sites/forts along the wall, or you can pick a part without a fort and just go for a walk. Either way, the wall is really impressive. My favourite Roman site isn’t actually on the wall, but well worth a visit: Vindolanda. The Farne Islands are absolutely amazing! You will definitely see puffins and, if you’re lucky, also seals.
Phew, that was a lot! I could go on forever if you let me 😉
Hadrian’s Wall is a great idea, and I’d not heard of Vindolanda or the Farne Islands so will look into those too. Fingers crossed we get some good weather for the week now!
Have a wonderful time in Northumberland.My sister and her family have just come back from Seahouses on the coast and loved it.x
Thanks, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to finally make it up there, looks such a beautiful part of the country!
ah, the wanderlust bug at work. 🙂 enjoy your trips! can’t wait to read more updates!
Thanks so much!
Finally heading to my country!! Enjoy Canada! but bring warm clothes. 😉 It snowed at my parent’s house in Calgary yesterday, actually it’s still snowing! And make sure you eat some poutine and Montreal smoked meat in Quebec!!!! Oh! and Montreal bagels! The sesame ones are the most delicious… 😀
It’s taken me way too long to get out there! Will definitely be packing some warm clothes – and thanks for the food tips too.
Everyone has already suggested my Northumberland recommendations, so enjoy! It’s a lovely part of the world. I love the Mappa Mundi picture too – wish we put monsters on our maps! The new site looks great, can’t wait to check it out soon 🙂
Thanks, here’s hoping we get some good weather while we’re up there! The Mappa Mundi was fascinating, we so need a few more dragons and imaginary countries on our maps these days!
Love the sneak peek into your new blog – good luck with moving to self hosted and the trip to Canada sounds fascinating – sounds like you are having such an amazing year! 🙂
It’s been a great year so far! Thanks – having to resize all those photos is a bit of a pain but I’m excited about the new design so it’ll all be worth it in the end!