I last went to Cheddar several years ago on holiday, so it’s a little odd to think that I now live under an hour away! I couldn’t really remember that much from last time I visited other than climbing Jacob’s Ladder and walking a little way along the top of the gorge so I was more than happy to return. With prehistory and cheese it was the perfect place to take my friend Sophie for a day trip – she’s an archaeologist and bit of a cheese fiend.

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Oxford is another UK city that until recently I had heard a lot about but hadn’t really ever seen. My only previous visit to Oxford had been for a university open day, so whilst I saw the historic colleges and a lot of the university buildings, I didn’t really see much else and couldn’t enjoy it at my own pace (having a mad schedule of talks and tours to get to). Fortunately the opportunity to visit came up again recently as Oxford became a useful halfway point to visit a friend.

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Despite the fact that I have only just moved to Bristol, I have been to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta a few times (in 2016 and in 2014) with James. This weekend was my third time going and it was every bit as magical as the last two. Although the crowds seem to be growing year on year which does make it slightly harder to enjoy, I would still encourage anyone who hasn’t been to go along. It is slightly surreal but also kind of magical, and I certainly haven’t seen anything like it elsewhere.

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If you are going to come to Bristol, then it appears that the summer is the time to do it. There appears to be a different festival every weekend, celebrating everything from barbecues to street art. Which ones are most worth going to seems to vary depending on who you ask, but the two biggest seem to be the Balloon Fiesta and Bristol Harbour Festival. I’ve been to the Balloon Fiesta a couple of times before (and intend to go again this year) but I had never been to the Harbour Festival before. Although the forecast looked terrible, we decided to brave the weather and I’m really glad we did.

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You’ll probably see that there is a common thread in my posts about the South of France… each of the places I have blogged about so far (Toulon and Nice) I’d like to return to, and Aix-en-Provence is no exception. We headed to Aix as soon as we arrived at Marseille airport so were slightly tired, definitely acclimatising to the heat and I was trying to get my brain in gear to speak French, but despite these less than ideal conditions I really enjoyed our brief time in Aix for several reasons.

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