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#ABloggingGooodTime Week 47
4th May 2017

Exploring our Homeland with Great Western Railway

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Holidays these days mostly revolve around going abroad somewhere hot and sunny or cold and snowy and  I think a lot of the time our own country gets overlooked. Yet some of the happiest holiday memories I have from when I was a child are of going on traditional and very stereotypical British holidays with my family. I used to absolutely adore my summers spent in Bexhill-on-Sea with my Nanny and Great Aunt going to the beach, watching magic shows at the pavilion and taking bus rides to the park. There were also holidays with my family at camps like Butlins and Haven where we’d play all day in the kids clubs and with our new made best friends and dance and sing the night away at the cheesy and yet very memorable evening entertainment whilst dreaming myself that one day I’d be a red coat. Of course now I am a mummy myself I look forward to the day I will get to take Alyssa on holiday (hopefully this September and you can read all about our plans in “10 Must-Haves for Tot Friendly Travel!”) and that also includes taking her away in the UK, so why not start with some really good day trips…

a shot from salisbury of an old building in a horseshoe shape around a very green lawn with a tree in the middle blue sky and white clouds

Something I always saw as an adventure as a child was taking the train – it was different and exciting and something we didn’t do often and then when I went to university in Winchester I got very comfortable with them as a method of transport andthe front of a gwr train which is green and yellow speeding along a grey track with the green countryside next to it and blue sky with white clouds still enjoy them to this day and much prefer using them to travel to London rather than driving and dealing with London traffic myself. Imagine my delight when Great Western Rail (GWR) got in touch to find out if I’d like to take my family on a day out  with their railway!

“When Isambard Kingdom Brunel built the Great Western Railway, his actions shaped the towns and cities lining the route; with businesses and communities thriving thanks to the connections made by trains.

And now, 175 years after the first train ran between Bristol and London, we’re carrying out the biggest upgrade in a generation on the GWR network. We’ll continue to shape and support the region into the 21st century and beyond.”

When you go onto the GWR website you are able to book tickets as well as plan a journey as you’d expect. However, there is also a brilliant bonus feature which allows you to look at destinations and events on their route which includes everything from festivals and zoos to museums and good old London town – there certainly is something for everyone.

a screen shot that shows the green and white website home page of gwr

Now we are currently living about an hour and a halfs drive away from the beautiful Cathedral town of Salisbury and have only actually been there once when I was much younger. Soon we are going to be moving house which will leave us a mere twenty minutes away from this lovely place and as it is one a sunny day with blue sky and few white clouds at salisbury cathedral which has a tall spire and is grey with trees next to it on the right and a green lawn in front with people sitting all over itof GWR’s top destinations, where you can also pick up bicycles and cycle down to Stonehenge, we thought we’d choose Salisbury for our day out as it wouldn’t be too far a journey for Alyssa on her first train trip and there would be plenty for us all to do. We had great open tickets where you choose your journey by scratching off the appropriate dates and times which tally with your travel to show the station and train staff. Alyssa absolutely loved the train journey and looking out the window at everything going past – there were lots of oohs and ahhs and when we arrived in Salisbury it took no time at all to alyssa in blue jeans and blue denim shoes a grey top and grey cardigan holding a small ball standing on the green grass on a sunny dayget into the hustle and bustle of it all.

There were lots of wonderful cafes for us to sit in and grab some elevensies and later lunch too. We enjoyed a walk around the town which is really spaced out and w
ill definitely take some time to get used to. There are the modern parts with the more contemporary shops and then there are lots of different little streets with hidden shops that are absolute gems. We didn’t spend long looking round the shops as that wouldn’t have been fair on our little one. Instead we headed over to the Cathedral and as it was a bright sunny day (shocker I know!!) we were able to sit on the grass and let Alyssa run loose with the Bear running after her across the grass because of course she just wanted to say hello to everyone. Having open tickets for GWR was brilliant as it meant we weren’t tied down to a time and could make our way back when we wanted or when Alyssa was all pooped out.

On our way to Salisbury, little miss had her own seat which she stood on (in her socks as I took her shoes off!!) to look out the window. However, on the way home, a combination of an exciting day dashing too and fro and the gentle rocking of the train meant I had a little one curled up in my arms peacefully sleeping and I am sure dreaming of the brilliant adventures she had had that day.

To be honest, I had thought that Great Western Rail was a thing of the past and quite frankly was outdated but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Yes, they may be traditional but they are far from outdated and have so many modernisation plans ahead for the next few years it’s startling which you can read all about over on their website. The thing I love most about them though is that they really encourage you to visit some of Britain’s best loved and often most hidden gems – I think we often forget we have such amazing attractions on our own front doorstep. Next up for us I think will be a trip with GWR to Paignton Zoo & Environmental Park.
How about you? Where do you fancy going on an adventure?

**WIN A DAY OUT WITH GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY & £500 SPENDING MONEY**

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The winner will receive free family travel from GWR and £500 spending money–  no monetary exchange available
Contest is open until 06/06/17
Distribution of  prizes is the responsibility of GWR
 Mummy in a Tutu cannot be held responsible for lost prizes
This post was written in collaboration with GWR – all opinions are my own
UK Entrants Only

1 Comment

  1. Carolynn Woodland says:

    I would pick Salisbury first and not just for the cathedral, as I have a friend who lives there who tells us what a special place it is.

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