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Cornwall

Cornwall is beautiful, still wild and full of picturesque walks. It's famous for its dramatic views, charming fishing villages, abundant plants and mild climate (they even have palm trees!) - which makes it a perfect place for autumn or spring getaway. But, most importantly, Cornwall is delicious! Think fresh seafood: crab, lobster, oysters and all, beautifully paired with local, traditional specialites.

Don't miss:

1. cream tea: a traditional afternoon treat comprised of a pot of hot tea, freshly baked scones, homemade jam and clotted cream - local specialty, thick and so fat that it would be classified as butter in the US. The tradition derives from Cornwall and/or Devon and the two counties have contradictory opinions on whether one should top a scone with jam first and follow with clotted cream (Cornwall) or start with cream and put jam second (Devon). Feel free to try both options. I personally think that it actually depends on the thickness of jam.

It won't be challenging to find cream tea, but I liked it best on a meadow with a spectacular sea view at Boscastle Farm Shop, close to a lovely fishing village of Boscastle. They also offer a vast selection of local produce: fruit and vegetables, meat, cheese, preserves, beers and ciders.

2. mussels at The Ferry Boat Inn, a charming pub in a just-as-charming fishing village by the Helford River. It's a bit tricky to get there and even trickier to park, but waterfront tables and mouth-watering selection of seafood will make it up to you (especially if you're not the one driving).

3. pasties: baked shortbread pastry filled with beef and vegetables or lamb and mint. They're everywhere, but I highly recommend Pengenna Pasties. They have three locations, in St. Ives, Tintagel and Bude. You'll find a queue in front of each shop and delicious, filling pasties inside.

4. fresh lobster, oysters or a crab sandwich at Fresh from the Sea in Port Isaac. It's a pleasant little restaurant where you can also buy fresh fish. They have their own fishing boat, so the name is not even slightly exaggerated. They will serve you the daily catch and it will be absolutely scrumptious.

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is famous for its spectacular landscapes. Dramatic white cliffs, secluded beaches, charming bays and azure waters were loved by Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens and Queen Victoria - you can visit her summer residence and final home, Osborne House.

It is located in the English Channel, separated from mainland Great Britain by the Solent. You can get there by a ferry from Portsmouth. The island isn't very big and I would definitely recommend it for a weekend trip. Rent a charming cottage and do nothing but picturesque walks with many pub-stops on the way.

Bristol

Quick weekend in Bristol: street art and Banksy, the cathedral, Clifton Suspension Bridge across the Avon Gorge and a delicious brunch at Bakers & Co.

Bakers & Co. is a perfect place for all classic-brunch-lovers. Try beetroot cured Devonshire river trout, served with zucchini fritters, pouched eggs, lime and chili - I loved it. If you're more of a traditionar orderer, there's a gourmet version of good old English breakfast: with dry cure back bacon, fennel and black pepper sausage, fried duck egg, slow roasted tomatoes and a sourdough toast.

Aldeburgh

I'm not going to try to convince you that Aldeburgh in Suffolk is the most exciting place on the planet. But the lovely sand and shingle beach, old charm of seaside resort and one of the best fish and chips in Britain should be enough for a say trip or even a relaxed weekend.

Aldeburgh Fish & Chip Shop is a family business, run successfully since 1967. The owners now have three locations and you will have to queue to every single one. There are many enthusiasts of battered fresh fish and crispy chips made of local potatoes. The prices are really good, too.

The meal is perfect to be enjoyed on the beach. Just watch out for other enthusiasts of Alderburgh delicacies - greedy seagulls. I'm generally afraid of birds (bird apocalypse is coming, mark my words), but these seagulls really are even more daring than any other birds I've encountered.

Punting in Cambirdge

Why is a post about punting illustrated with a picture of people who are taking a break from punting? Because it's a tough job, that requires good sense of balance as well as some strenght and determination.

Punts in Cambridge are similar to gondolas in Venice - they are narrow, flat-bottomed boats, propelled with a long pole. I have always seen them as boring attraction for tourist, so neither when in Venice, nor when I'd moved to Cambridge, was I eager to try. I have finally given it a go and while this migt be a tourist attraction, it is not boring.

In case you're not determined enough to punt by yourselves, you can hire a punt with a guide. Make sure to take some snacks and a bottle of prosecco on board, as everyone else will and you'll get jelous if you have nothing to toast with. It's a great way to see Cambridge, as you can see college grounds from the river and they are not always accesible otherwise. The punters have tons of stories about the town and the university. You will find out that Cambridge has its very own Bridge of Signs, looking nothing like the one in Venice. The legend has it that it was Queen Victoria who noticed the resemblance and nobody dared to question her, in fear of decaptiation.

Samodzielne puntowanie też jest fajne! Na początku trochę trudno utrzymac równowagę, ale skoro mi się udało, to może udać się każdemu. Na takę wycieczkę polecam kosz piknikowy i przenośnego grilla (oraz, tradycyjnie, butelkę prosecco). Możecie popłynąć w przeciwnym kierunku, do pobliskiej wsi, Grantchester. Po drodze czekają na Was łąki, przy których można zatrzymać się i rozpalić grilla, a na miejscu tradycyjna angielska herbata serwowana w sadzie.

Self-punting is fun as well! It does require a good sense of balance, especially in the beginning, but I managed, so anyone will manage. Take a picnic basket and a portable grill. You can punt to Grantchester, a nearby village. There are lovely meadows on the way, perfect for a BBQ break and a cream tea in orchard when you reach the destination.

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