Monday, August 30, 2010

Maria, Maria, Maria

Well, it's not West Side Story - more like on the east coast off Tasmania story. I'm just finishing writing up a story on the Maria Island Walk I did last February - read all about it in the Spring edition of Get Up & Go magazine. And wishing I had ten pages to fill with it, I could ramble on forever it was so good, I thought I'd put a couple of pics up so you could have your walking appetite whetted.
Book soon as the walks happen from mid Oct - end of April. gets a bit too chilly down there after that. The island is so wonderful with amazing natural attributes, and A lot of history pre colonisation and post - makes for a fascinating perambulation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

International food @ Hartlepool

At the Hartlepool (North East England) Tall Ships Race Event in August, with the influx of international ships and sailors came their cuisine along with them. Along the sides of the harbour and on the wharfs, emanating from food stalls, beautiful, aromatic flavours wafted on the warm, northern summer air. Massive bowls were being stirred with noodles, chilli and savoury meats and the best of baking was to be seen. Italian, French, Spanish and Middle Eastern pastries, cakes and confections were on display. Early in the day I heard the odd" OOOh, I wouldn't eat that", coming from some of the more conservative coastal folk but as the day lengthened, young families and cosmopolitan visitors we queuing (as the English do so politely) to grab their share of the goodies on offer.
So, apart from the race days and ship inspections, there were gourmet treats for all, concerts and good will was the order of the occasion. Visit: and

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Winning ticket for England

Following is a letter from Get Up & Go's prize winner of the trip to North East England to enjoy the area and especially the Hartlepool Tall Ships Race Event. I was also there but managed to miss our two happy winners.
Hello Bev..... Well we are back home and back at work already. It's hard to
believe that just a week ago we were crawling over sailing ships and
swanning around beautiful old castles.
I want to thank Get Up & Go sincerely for giving me the opportunity to fulfill
my boyhood dream of being aboard a real tall ship. The Hartlepool experience
was truly magical. To see all those wonderful craft gathered there with
flags waving in the breeze was a sight to behold.The atmosphere was fabulous
and the crowds really were in the spirit of the occasion.
The emotion experienced from seeing such beauty was overwhelming.
Then add to this the wonderful accommodation in old castles and homes and
the dream is complete.
We covered miles and miles exploring the region and visiting many of the old
castles and ruins, plus a walk along Hadrian's wall to cap things off.
There were so many magical moments, that I could write a book about that
beautiful part of the world. It far exceeded my expectations... and believe
me they were already high.
If I never get to travel anywhere else, I will satisfy myself that I have
enjoyed a very special holiday to a very special place.
So, again, thank you so much.
Kindest regards and best wishes,
Geoff and Sharon Naismith.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Explore Sydney - the new way

Two of Sydney’s biggest tourist operators The Manly Flyer catamaran and the City Sightseeing Sydney to Bondi ‘Hop-On Hop-Off’ bus have joined forces to offer out-of-towners and Sydneysiders the best way to explore Sydney’s iconic attractions.
Hop on the luxury Manly Flyer catamaran and cruise Sydney Harbour then take in the sites as you travel around Sydney or from Sydney to Bondi on the ‘Hop-On Hop-Off’ double-decker bus for a fun filled day where you are in complete control. Feel like a feed of fish and chips on the beach at Manly? Or would you rather see the Opera House up close, it’s as simple as alighting at any of the Manly Flyer’s or the double-decker’s stops to explore on foot or simply sit pretty and take in all Sydney has to offer.
For more information visit:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy to be home

After a fabulous week and a half in North East England and a day in Dubai, it's nice to be home. And being sent back across the world in a lovely bed (courtesy Emirates Airline) jet lag has now disappeared. I think the flat bed is the best invention (in the travelling genre) since suitcases gained wheels. As soon as the photographs are downloaded we'll tease you with stories from the Tees Valley, delight you with Durham, and re-acquaint you with Newcastle on Tyne - we can't get enough of the place!
Reading the quick 1000 emails today and will be looking at what will appear in the next issue (spring/October) of Get Up & Go magazine. The picture is of me just before i flew back to Oz - well, I was a bit tired and Dubai's heat took it out of me.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Get Up & Go goes to breakfast

At Romaldkirk, County Durham there's the charming Rose & Crown, one of the Great Inn's of England. Owned by Christopher and Alison Davy, the inn offers elegant accommodation and food to write home about. The restaurant sports numerous awards and Get Up & Go enjoyed a brilliant dinner and a breakfast of champions. See the picture of my gorgeous bedroom, the brekkie table and the pub sign.
Visit: and be enticed to experience a real English, traditional inn and a beautiful village. (The picture of the editor was not taken outside the Rose & Crown it was in another village 'Blanchard", a few km away.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Summer gardens Durham UK

Visited the charming, romantic gardens of Crook Hall in Durham, and as close to the city it is, it's a million light years away from the noise and bustle. Keith and Maggie Bell have created a beautiful work of love in a series of themed gardens that take you places. No stuffy formal beds here, but areas that are a riot of wild flowers, a walled garden to disappear into - typical English plants cheek by jowl and loving the close proximity. The gardens urge the visitor to follow the curved paths, discover the beauty of what man and nature can do. Well done Maggie and Keith - you are legends and thanks for very good coffee and cake. If you visit here, you will fall under the spell of the enchanting gardens - and that's a promise.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

North East England

Arrived in Newcastle England yesterday afternoon, a bit of a hike - 13 hours from Sydney to Dubai (slept well in my business class cocoon, thank you elegant Emirates) and then a quick scoot through many hectares of space to catch the next flight of six hours to Newcastle. Geordie town shining in the sun and after a marathon sleep yesterday afternoon until this morning, up and at 'em. Did a walk around town, through the Quays, a power shop in Boots, a coffee and Scone in Fenwick's (the almost David Jones of Durham)'s, then to Durham. What beautiful little place this is... wonderful, ancient buildings, the cathedral was an inspired creation - truly divine. Durham Cathedral is the shrine to St Cuthbert.
Got the best insight to the city and what it's all about from one of Britain's legendary Blue Badge Guides - Kate showed me what's what. To get to know a place walk with a local.
It's warm, almost balmy today. Every tree is thick with summer leaves and great swathes of green line the roads and the river bank. Durham's river is the Wear, pronounced weir! It's great to be in this part of the country . . .more to come