Exploring the Southern Cotswolds: Castle Combe, Tetbury and more

The Cotswolds is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which stretches across parts of Southern England. It’s characterised by picturesque villages made of yellow Cotswold stone and is what many people might think of as ‘typical England’. Although I’ve heard lots about the Cotswolds, and seen plenty of pictures of some of its famous villages, it isn’t an area that I’ve explored extensively. However, with some recent time off I was determined to change that, particularly as the Cotswolds are within surprisingly easy reach of Bristol. A number of locations across the Southern Cotswolds were what I had in mind, and I’ve shared a few in this guide.

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Completing my first 10K

I’ve never been a runner. I remember dreading cross-country at school, or in fact anything longer than a hundred metre sprint, and not understanding why anyone would choose to do it for fun. I’ve kept and nurtured that misunderstanding of running over the years, unable to understand why a housemate took up running while going through a stressful period, or why another friend had decided to start running marathons. I didn’t like it, I couldn’t do it, and yet somehow I managed to complete the Great Bristol 10K at the start of the month. How did I get there and will I do it again?

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Giving up TV for Lent

What did you give up for Lent this year? I’ve never really been one for giving things up at Lent, but this year James was keen to stop watching TV and it seemed like an interesting challenge. It reminded me of a primary school assembly from years ago when it was suggested we might like to give up something we did a lot of, and replace it with something we didn’t do much of. I think the idea was that we’d spend less time playing video games, and more time outdoors for example. However, annoying child that I was, I quickly informed the teacher that would mean I spent less time reading and more time watching television… Needless to say it wasn’t suggested to me again.

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Visiting Lavenham: A day out in Suffolk

I’d never heard of Lavenham before I was taken by a friend recently on a day trip from Cambridge. Last time I visited Cambridge I experienced some of the alternative activities the city had to offer, and this time I was keen to explore some of the surrounding area. You can tell that my friend knows me fairly well as it was pretty much my prefect day out. A pretty village, picnic, National Trust property (and tea room!) and some time walking around in the fresh air. Before we went I was banned from looking it up online, as I was told that it would spoil the effect when we arrived. If you’ve not been, consider this the spoiler alert for the rest of the post. But if you want to see some of what the village has to offer, read on.

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A Few Thoughts on Baking

I aspire to be the sort of person who produces freshly baked good each week. Whether it’s tasty cakes or traybakes to offer to guests or colleagues, or fresh bread to enjoy in the morning, I’d love to be making new things and impressing people with my baking skill. Sadly, like many people, when there’s a list of other things to be done baking falls to the bottom of my to-do list and I rarely actually get round to it. However, a day off recently provided me with the perfect opportunity to get stuck in. I planned to spend the day baking in advance, so I wouldn’t feel guilty about doing so, and to make sure I had all the right ingredients (although typically I still ended up doing a mad dash to the shop after running out of something halfway through weighing it), and I’d forgotten how much joy…

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