It is sometimes easy to forget the sheer amount of territory that the Romans once occupied. Encompassing much of Europe and the UK, there are traces of their occupancy scattered throughout the continent.
Whilst some are more well known such as Hadrian's wall in the UK and The Colosseum in Rome, there are plenty of smaller, yet still significant sites that are worth visiting if you are interested in the Roman Empire and exploring its ruins.
Lyon, in France, is one of those places.
Located on England's South East coast, around 2 and a half hours from London, the historic fishing town of Rye has been synonymous with beachside holidays. With a quaint village to explore and a mere 10 minutes drive from the sandy beaches of Camber Sands, the only sand dune system in East Sussex.
Rye is also an easy 2 hour drive from Brighton and accessible by rail from London, Brighton, Eastbourne and many cities in neighbouring Kent.
If you're anything like us, you may have thought of something sinister when you read 'The Slaughters'. I guessed it was to do with a serial killer, whilst Pete guessed a slaughterhouse. Turns out we were both wrong. Slaughter comes from the old English word 'slough' which means 'wet land'. This fact learnt, we felt much more relaxed exploring our surroundings!
The Cotswolds are a declared 'Area of National Beauty' that are situated around 2 hours North West of London. They are renown for their quintessentially British market towns and their beautiful stone cottages.
The Cotswolds are home to larger towns such as Cheltenham and Cirencester but have been put on the map for their unique smaller villages such as Stowe- on-the-Wold and the very popular Lower Slaughter.
The concept of weekending in Europe was an exciting and foreign one to us Aussies. At a stretch we may 'long weekend' in New Zealand or a Pacific Island, but it is near impossible to travel any further than Australia within the confines of a weekend.
Due to conflicting holiday schedules (me, the teacher have 13 weeks a year, and the husband, a consultant having 4 weeks a year), weekending in Europe was not only going to be exciting, but a necessary way for us to travel during our time in the UK.
Whilst we had grandiose ideas of flitting off every weekend (and believe me in the first year we hit the travel hard!) we learned some rules early on to ensure that we could weekend away without being completely ruined come Monday morning.
Read on and I will share them with you.
You may or may not be familiar with the movie The Imitation Game. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, code breaker and creator of the first computer. It is set in UK during World War 2 and follows the story line of the development of the enigma machine which eventually cracked Nazi and Japanese encrypted messages, ending the war much sooner than it would have otherwise.
I came to learn of Bletchley Park and Alan Turing from this movie. It was a story that I had not heard before, but upon hearing it I became immediately intrigued and decided that at some point I must visit the real Bletchley Park where the real events this movie is based on actually took place.
When we first moved to the UK, we had lots of plans of weekend away in Europe exploring new and exciting places. After living in the UK for nearly two years, we have now realised that weekends in Europe come at a cost. It is tiring travelling to the airport, gaining and losing time, and we have also been caught out a few times with airline delays when flying home on a Sunday evening. Sometimes you want to get away, but to truly relax.
Here lies the beauty of the 'staycation'. For those of you who aren't sure what this is, it is a vacation, or holiday in your own neck of the woods. You get all of the benefits of a weekend away without the hassle of travelling far to your destination. Sounds perfect, right?
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