I think like a lot of people, a couple of months of lockdown this year was enough to make anyone want to just get out of the house! Once a lot of restrictions were lifted in the UK a few months ago, my boyfriend and I decided to take a little trip away for the weekend, just to get out and about and feel at least some sense of normality.
Of course, we were very aware that we were still in the midst of a global pandemic so we definitely didn’t fancy going abroad. I understand that some people may not agree with us going away at all, but we booked whilst there were no restrictions on travel in England, researched safety precautions and checked the level of cases where we live and where we were travelling to. In the end, we opted for a long weekend away in Somerset and I thought I’d share our trip with you!
As there was so much we wanted to do all over the county, we decided to stay in a Premier Inn in Glastonbury – the cheapest option we could find in the centre of everything we wanted to do! Personally, I can never fault a Premier Inn; I’ve never had a bad stay and you always know what you’re going to get.
We arrived at around 5pm on the Friday evening after setting off at 11am – thanks to a bit of traffic on the M25 and the congestion at Stonehenge – and suddenly realised that if we wanted to eat anywhere over the next few days, we were probably going to have to book it all ASAP. If you’re planning a trip away soon, I really recommend sorting this before you go as it was a pretty stressful half an hour! But luckily, we managed to get food sorted for each day!
After a busy travelling day, the only picture I got was a very low quality image of Stonehenge taken from a moving car. We did think about going to visit but it’s a lot of money which we thought would be better spent elsewhere on our trip (most likely on food, lets be honest). That evening, we went for a walk around Glastonbury town as the sun was setting. I really regret not going into any of the shops as they all seemed so interesting, but we didn’t have time.
We went for dinner at Gigi’s on the high street after reading incredible recommendations. We booked last minute but they found a table for us which was amazing. The service was fantastic, as was the food. An authentic Italian restaurant, very reasonably priced and rated the best in the area, I recommend it so highly.
Saturday was our most planned day. We originally couldn’t decide between Bath or Bristol for the day, but the allure of the Roman Baths pulled us towards Bath. Whilst I’ve been to Bath before, and loved it, my boyfriend hadn’t and I knew he’d absolutely love it too. You have to pre-book pretty much everything at the moment so be aware of this if you’re planning on going anywhere.
We did pretty much all the tourist bits – went to see the Abbey, Royal Crescent and Circus, went for a walk by the River Avon and sat in the Parade Gardens – but the Roman Baths was our main reason for the trip. As a History graduate, anything like this is right up my street. I knew a lot about the Roman Baths beforehand whereas my boyfriend didn’t but we were both absolutely fascinated. I really recommend visiting if it’s your kind of thing. Safety wise, I can’t fault them. Mask were worn in every indoor space, you entered in groups of your pre-booked time slot and scanned your entry on the NHS app. There was hand sanitising before you went in and staff dotted around to ensure the indoor spaces didn’t get too crowded, and limited capacity when they did.
When we came out, we grabbed an ice-cream from Dr. Gelato near Parade Gardens which was incredible. I had a scoop of banana and cookies and cream, a safe choice, but my boyfriend had a little taster of the blue cheese and fig. Much braver than I! Then we did a little shopping. I got some macarons from Maison Georges Larnicol as I can never resist and popped into French Grey which was like interior heaven for me. Like I said, the money we saved from not going to Stonehenge was definitely spent on food!
We’d booked to go to Dough in The Corridor after seeing excellent recommendations. They have the options of different bases and different toppings. We opted for the safe sourdough option but if we went back I’d definitely be tempted to try something else. We were sat right next to the kitchen so we could see them making our pizzas which was so interesting. The food, and the service, was incredible and there were even an uttering of it potentially being the best pizza we’d ever had.
Sunday was most definitely our busiest day! We’d pre-booked to go to Wookey Hole caves in the morning. Again, safety precautions were great; masks indoors, sanitising stations and limited capacity. We love natural history so learning about the caves was fascinating. It was a self-guided tour but staff were dotted about to tell you all about the caves if you wanted more information. It actually didn’t take as long as we thought it would, and it’s worth noting that a lot of it is very targeted to children so it’s great for families, but at around 1pm we found we had nothing else to do. So, we went in search of something else. In fact, we actually just winged the rest of the day!
Now, if you’ve read some of my other posts, specifically this one about the musical albums of my life, you’ll know I was (and of course still am) a massive One Direction fan – I used to have the dedicated Twitter account and everything. So, how could we be close to the infamous pier from the You and I music video without visiting!? As we had an afternoon and no plans, we drove across to Clevedon and went for a walk down the pier in search of the One Direction plaque. It cost £3 each to go down the pier which I happily paid to live out my fangirl dreams, and to support the upkeep of the pier of course. It took SO long to find the plaque, but we got there in the end!
Again, this didn’t take us too long so although the Cheddar Gorge caves were shut, we thought we’d take the long way back to the hotel and drive through the Gorge. Once we got there, we thought we’d park up and have a wander round. There were climbers scaling the sides of the Gorge, but we opted for a safe climb up a few rocks instead. The weather was beautiful and the views were stunning.
Our only other plan for Sunday was to walk up Glastonbury Tor. Now, I’d done this before with my family, but it seems I’d forgotten what it was like because it was WAY steeper than I remember! I had to have a few rest breaks on the way up but it was so worth it for the 360 degree views. We got there in time for the sunset and sat down to watch. It was unbelievably windy and pretty chilly, so we stuck it out for a good 45 minutes but once the sun set we made our way back down pretty quickly. It’s free to walk up and so so worth it for the views.
On Monday, we’d originally planned to go to Durdle Door, but having checked the weather a few days before, we thought we’d go to Longleat instead. It was £29.95 each but I think it was worth it. When we arrived, we headed into the hedge maze. I think we actually solved it pretty quickly and managed to get out before most of the people that started before us! I did a few hedge mazes when I was younger and I enjoyed it just as much now. I think a few of the usual attractions were shut or somewhat altered because of Covid, but at the main part of the zoo there was still plenty to do. I loved the Meerkat walk through and my boyfriend always enjoys the petting zoo. Although Longleat House was shut, we walked through the gardens which I loved.
I think the safari is the main part of the Longleat and we’d booked the afternoon slot so headed over at around 2pm. You can actually park up and get out of the car to see the giraffes which we did, then get back in your car and continue with the safari. We couldn’t decide whether to go through the monkey part because of the potential car damage, but we bit the bullet and luckily only lost the front washer jets! I think I prefer to visit zoos where you can see the animals in this way as opposed to cages. Of course they’re still in an enclosure, but they definitely have more space. The safari took us a good few hours and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d really recommend Longleat if you’re near the area!
On Tuesday we headed home in the morning and made much better time on our journey as it only took 4 hours instead of 5! A long weekend away was just what we needed after the absolutely travesty that this year has been. I think we chose to go away at one of the safest times this year and took all the precautions and safety measures we could. I’ve got my fingers, toes and everything crossed that trips like this can happen more frequently soon, and that travelling abroad becomes a safer possibility too.
Have you been away anywhere this year? Let me know in the comments.