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Little Ones Travel

Parliament Hill Lido

25th August 2015
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Well on Saturday last week, London was experiencing temperatures as hot as the rest of Europe which meant there was only one place to be – Parliament Hill Lido.

The Location

If you are unfamiliar with the outdoor swimming pool, it is located close to Hampstead Heath and Dartmouth Park in North West London. Of course because of the weather on that beautiful Saturday, there was a queue to get in but this moved swiftly and we only had to wait (in the sun) for around 15-20 minutes.

What always strikes me when arriving at the Lido is the beautiful art deco entrance with its angular lines, neat steps and narrow windows.

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Parliament Hill Lido (picture from coolplaces.co.uk)

 

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Art Deco entrance

About the Lido 

Built in 1938, the outdoor pool is Grade II listed, fairly large (61m x 27m) and owned by the Corporation of London. It is almost identical to Victoria Park and Brockwell Park lidos. It is unheated and open all year round. A family ticket (2 adults + 3 children) is £15. The pool has a stainless steel lining, the first of its kind in the UK, having been refurbished in 2005, which gives the water extra shimmer.

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Before the pool gets really busy

The Pool

Be warned though, even in the summer the water is pretty cold. I couldn’t stay in for more than 10 minutes but the sunbathing opportunity made it all the worthwhile. There is a little slide for children and also quiet swimming lanes if you want to stay away from the hustle and bustle. There are hot showers and a cafe selling the basics as well as plenty of ice-cream.

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Parliament Hill Lido on a summer’s day

Why visit?

So if you are looking for something to do with the family in London which won’t cost the earth, I can highly recommend a trip to the lido. Now if only the sun would shine again, we may make another visit there.

Picture credit: All pictures by me unless otherwise stated.

Travel

Porthtowan – A Perfect Cornish Beach Getaway

16th August 2015
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Ok so this is not exactly a brand post but I thought it would be good to share details of a recent holiday to Porthtowan in Cornwall if you are ever planning a trip down here as it seems to get better and better every time we come.

Location 

Porthtowan is a small village located on the north atlantic coast of Cornwall between Newquay and St Ives, close to St Agnes and around 15 minutes from the city Truro. The beach is west-facing and backed by impressive cliffs. Its wave conditions make it a destination for surfers and families alike, life-guarded and clean, it has been a Blue Flag beach since 2005.

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Getting there

On a good day it takes 4.5 hours from London and I would always advise to leave early in the morning or late at night to avoid all the holiday traffic. Friends of ours have sat on the motorway for 8 hours before trying to get here so always best avoided. If you are coming by train, Redruth is the nearest station.

Accommodation 

If you are looking for good value accommodation which is literally just a stone’s throw away from the beach, I know just the place! Our apartment in Porthtowan is located just a step away from the beack and sleeps up to four. It is perfectly suited to both families, surfers and individudals alike, with views to die for and some of the best sunsets you will ever see from a balcony.

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Porthtowan Sunset

Eating Out 

The Porthtowan apartment is situated just near the Blue Bar, a bar and restaurant which serves food and barista coffees all day and has beautiful views out to the sea where you can easily while away the time both indoors and outdoors which is a little sun trap. There is also the Porthtowan Beach Cafe which serves breakfasts and lunch as well as feast nights nearby and the Moomaid of Zennor ice-cream parlour which serves the best ice-creams and coffees you will ever taste. The fish and chip shop is just a 5 minute walk away.

Things to do

Obviously the first thing you can do is learn to surf or boogie board. The beach is life-guarded, extremly clean and good for beginners and experts alike. There is a surf school and surf shop called Tris Surf Shop which is extremely good value for money (£12 per hour of tuition) and you can also hire surf boards and wetsuits easily.

I can highly recommend the walk from Porthtowan to Chapel Porth, a breathtaking coastline with buildings that are a reminder of St Agnes’s copper tin mining past. You can walk along the beach when the tide is out and then return via clifftop on the way back. On the way to Chapel Porth be sure to check out the natural pool which is nestled in between the rocks and dramatic clifftop.

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Porthtowan Natural Pool

On the way to Chapel Porth, there is plenty of opportunity to pick mussels on the beach and view the stunning stretches of sandy beach, with turquoise blue sea and dramatic caves.

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When you arrive at Chapel Porth, there is a great cafe, the Chapel Porth Beach Cafe which serves delicious baguettes and the must-try Hedgehog ice-cream, made with clotted cream and covered in an array of nuts.

On the way back via clifftop the views are incredible. The sea is blue, the heather is pink and it doesn’t get more stunning than this.

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All in all, I can highly recommend a holiday in Porthtowan in Cornwall which seems to have its own little microclimate. Of course we do get rain but when it’s sunny here, it’s really sunny!

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Picture credits: All pictures by me or Gwith B.