Things to do in Plymouth

I keep reading lists of things to do in Canada and in specific areas and found it great to get ideas for my geeky tourist list of things to do.  Given how useful I have found other peoples lists, I thought I would write one for Plymouth based on the things I enjoy doing in my home town.  So here goes, Things to do in Plymouth. 

  • Wembury Beach – fantastic at the beginning and end of beach season for walks on the coastal path, barbecues on the beach and a hot chocolate in the little beach cafe
  • Saltram House – great place for a run or a walk around the grounds, there is a National Trust run cafe, shop (great for random gifts) and the main Saltram House to look around if you like a bit of history
  • Smeatons Tower – the good old Lighthouse on the Hoe in Plymouth.  I actually have not been here for years and years.  Writing this now, I think I am going to make it a mission to go before I leave….
  • The Barbican – a nice place to go for a stroll, lots of little cafes, fish and chip shops, ice cream parlours and nick nacky trinkety shops.  By night, The Barbican turns into a great place for a night out.  If it is a Bank Holiday, you are in for a real treat.  Just turn up and watch the locals in their natural habitat 😉 
  • The National Marine Aquarium – Not actually my favourite thing to do I must say, but I guess it should go on a list of things to do in Plymouth
  • Burrator Reservoir – This is about 30 minutes out of Plymouth towards the moors.  A lovely walk at any time of year – in the summer there is an ice cream van.  It is about four miles around the reservoir, run it, walk it, cycle it.  Enjoy.  (oh and dont forget your wellies if it has been raining!)
  • Princetown – this village is a bit further on than Burrator and has a some nice pubs and moorland for walking, sunbathing or just enjoing a malibu and coke (pint if you prefer) in the sunshine.  Princetown is also the home of the notorious HMP Dartmoor and the Prison museum.  A favourite of mine.  Prisons and prison museums a plenty are on my list of things to do in Canada
  • The Cremyll Ferry – a little ferry that runs in the summer taking you from Plymouth to Mount Edgecumbe.  A country house, gardens and a nice pub for a day out.  There are also activities such as golf and segway
  • Burgh Island – this is a bit of a mission, but a nice day/ afternoon out.  Burgh Island is on the beach at Bigbury On Sea.  At low tide, you can walk across to the island, there is a pub, a nice hill to climb up with great views and a posh, expensive art deco hotel (I have always wanted to stay, but am yet to come into enough disposable income!).  If the tide is high, you can get a sea tractor across

Well there you go, a few things that are nice to do in Plymouth.  Whilst visting, you should also ensure you have fish and chips by the sea front, a pasty and some nice devonshire cream and ice cream – keep an eye out for Langage Farm ice cream, it is a personal favourite.  There are more touristy things like a museum and I am sure there are some other sensible art gallery type things, but these walks and outdoor spots are the places you will remember, you will take photos and you will just stand and appreciate the views and the experience.



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Living with Boxes

It has been a fair old while since my last post, the lack of IEC Visa releases has caused me to throw myself into packing boxes with zero self control.  Life has been a whirl of sourcing and collecting boxes, filling them and depositing at my parents house.  It is amazing how much stuff one person can accumulate!

  • clothes sorted out – car boot, ebay, take to canada, maybe take, loads packed into old suitcases for storage
  • household items sorted and anything not needed packed
  • long sleeved tops and bobble hat – bought and put in box of things to take
  • my cic account – created, resume, passport, photos and forms filled in and uploaded
  • police check – sent off AGAIN
  • sabbatical – confirmed and my job has been advertised, end date agreed
  • gym membership – one months notice given, this is the first scary thing that has happened.  I have to say I felt quite emotional and for the first time, anxiety about it all hit.  This is just the beginning and, whilst I am happily packing now, I feel that the next big take a deep breath moment is only around the corner… when I leave my house to live with the parents again.  I am looking forward to living in my old room on the farm, with family, but I will miss my own home.  Four weeks to go, watch this space…. 
  • house rental – forms filled in, electrical and gas certificates done, tenancy ready to go

The IEC process is so incredibly frustrating, things keep changing, first it is one year, then, two, you need medicals, then dont, its $150, then its $250, its December, then January, then February… It seems to be ridiculous how up in the air this all is, dont they realise this is peoples lives they are messing with?!  I desperately want to seek accomodation, jobs and make some contacts, but I feel I cant do anything.  

Should I just put my New Zealand Working Holiday Visa application in and be done with it?



Things I will miss about Home

This weekend has been so lovely, there have been times I have wandered why I want to leave the UK.  

A day on the farm never fails to entertain and make me smile and yesterday was no different.  One of my cats will be living on the farm when I go, so I take her for day trips to get used to farm life – my highlight of the weekend has definitely been taking her to meet the cows and her reaction at being licked on the head!!  Alongside this I delivered some boxes – have been packing and packing, it seems never ending and I am now dropping about 6 boxes on the farm for storage every time I visit.

Saturday night – I went to the woods for a 530pm run organised by the National Trust.  A bunch of lunatics wearing head torches running around the mud in pitch black was a fantastic way to spend my Saturday night. Dad was waiting at the finish line, hog roast and then a hot chocolate by the log fire on the farm. 

Sunday – Woke up to a bright blue sky and pottered in my garden with lovely views.  The sun was shining and I gardened, hung washing out and read my book.  A visit from dad to do some dad DIY finished it off nicely.

I feel very sad when I think about leaving my cats behind and just wish that I could take them with me – not having them snuggled up with me in bed is one of the things that I think I will find the hardest about my travels.  I can phone and email everyone else, but even though I chat to my cats, I am fully aware they wont chat back! 

Despite, the wonderful weekend – I have reviewed my ever growing list of things to do in Canada and know that it will all be worth it.  Oh, and this week, I downloaded a count down app!  Less than 90 days until take off…… 



Riding the Happy Train

Yesterday, Dad asked me if I feel anxious about going away.  I really dont.  Yet.   I keep expecting something to kick in, but so far, I am just thinking ‘yup I am off to Canada’.  I seem to be taking it all very much in my stride and doing what I do best, planning and researching – as much as possible.  People keep saying that I am brave and that they couldnt do it.  I used to watch others do exciting things and thought to myself, ‘I couldnt do that’ or ‘I could never do that on my own’.  Somewhere along the road, something has changed and at this time I just feel excitement and impatience!  I am sure at some point, I will feel sick to my stomach with nerves, until then, I am just riding the Happy Train!

In other emotional news, the Happy Train is tinged with a bit of sadness.  Typically, careeer wise, I feel like I am my peak.  I really love everything that is happening with my job and there are so many opportunities and doors opening with projects I am involved in.  For this reason, I do feel a little sad that I have had the opportunity to start an amazing project and wont be there to follow it through.  I would love the chance to continue the work I have been doing in Canada and cant wait to explore this possibility if/ when I know more about a Working Visa.  

For the first time in a long time, so much great stuff is happening in my life right now and I am quite content pottering along and waiting for each new adventure.