25 July 2018

the jet set street - bond street

It's only £300! Although you wouldn't think that if you walked down it! Welcome to the last street in the Green set of our tour around the London Monopoly board.  

Bond...Bond Street, license to take all your cash! It's the street of top fashion brands and opulence.  


11 July 2018

ordinary summer

Ordinary England

Summer, summertime! 

Wow, we're into our fourth week of this summer heatwave! The ground is parched the night time air stifling. We've not had a drop of rain, since...Well, I can't actually remember. 

As it's summer, let's celebrate our ordinary middle period of the year with a return to our Ordinary England series, with a summer special.


29 June 2018

one day in the wood

In My Wood


This is my wood! I say it's my wood when in fact it's just the wood that I grew up near, played in, walked and cycled in. So although it's technically not my wood, it is! In my head at least.

I love my wood, it's called Cowcroft and is in the heart of the Chilterns, on the edge of the village where I went through adolescence. I could see it from our garden, dark and imposing in winter. Colourful and inviting in summer. I'd walk our dogs in it, climb trees across the dells, hide in it, swing on ropes in it. Sit and chat with mates in it. I was lucky. 


1 June 2018

travel trumps guide to the chalfonts


Quiant isn't it? A sleepy village green, regulation pond and bunting. It's got that 'hollywood' image of an English Country village. Or if you're in the UK, a Midsomer Murders location. 

You'd be right too, for Chalfont St Giles (for that is where we are), is a picture perfect English village. As are it's fellow villages in name at least, Chalfont St Peter and Little Chalfont (although the last one is less so than the first two!) For our latest Travel Trumps we discover the Chalfonts, villages full of history and some quality attractions. 


16 May 2018

the mile of style - regent street

monopoly board

Recognise it? Looks empty, right? Believe me when I say it was just a lucky moment! This street is usually crowded with shoppers and people passing through. 

For the second of our 'Up your street' posts, which if you're new to the blog is our way of saying around the Monopoly board, we visit Regent Street - the mile of style!


2 May 2018

a blast of colour - ordinary shoreditch

street art

A Blast of Colour 

Look close enough, and you'll find it - sometimes it's obvious, in your face. Other times it's got to be found, up above, down below, to the right and to the left. It's often political, in your face, sometimes funny, occasionally for promotion. What are we talking about?

Street art, graffiti. 

Come to the district of Shoreditch in London, and you'll find plenty of it. Stunning works of art from some of the best street artists around. It's worth every second of time you can give to seeking them out, admire them, Instagram them. Welcome to Ordinary Shoreditch.

11 April 2018

the superfood curry company

Are You Hungry

Well if you are, then your tummy may start rumbling even more after reading this! You might also begin to crave for a curry! Out of the kindness of my heart and as we like to be a public service as well as a travel website, we're issuing a 'Serious Food Craving Health Warning.'

...Ok, with that now in place, let's continue by asking you a second question. 

Do you have a specific dietary need? Sorry to be a little personal but it's essential in the context of what follows. If you do, still read on as no-one is missing out. From time to time Sketches like to champion local talent, to date we've looked at artists and musicians, so this time we head into the world of catering.

Welcome, The Superfood Curry Company, a new enterprise risen from the ashes of the Cinnamon Travelling Cafe.  
Food company


28 March 2018

shout it out for outstanding oxford street

'It's always so crowded!' 'You can't move for mustard!' 'Why, oh, why does everyone decide to come here when I'm here!' 

Sound familiar? Well, take a stroll, if that's possible, down this street and I'm sure you'll be uttering these words. For a good reason too. 

Oxford Street London

It's London's most popular shopping street, it's at the very heart of the city, is home to some of the nation's biggest department stores and delights and infuriates in equal measure.Walk down there at Christmas, and you'll see what I mean. 

Welcome to the first in our new series of 'Up Your Street'. Yes, we're going to go delve into the London edition of the Monopoly board game. Finding out about these famous streets, giving you some tips, information and reasons for visiting. Starting with my favourite colour on the board; the Greens! Or does everyone go for  the yellows or purples? Do let me know. First up...


16 March 2018

time to discover amazing england

Can you smell it? That slight whiff of the blossom floating on the wind? Lovely isn't it? Spring is my favourite season, the flowers are starting to raise their heads, life is returning to our gardens and fields. The weather is starting to warm up (although we're due another blast of cold air!)  

In the final post of our special week of travel inspiration, we head home, delving into what makes England a fantastic country to explore. Just another ordinary week? Nah! 


14 March 2018

into inspiring india


India is a country that provides photographic gems, experiences and taste sensations for any that seek to find it. In the second of our 'Just Another Ordinary Week' series, we delve a little deeper into the magic this country conjures up. 


12 March 2018

uncovering awesome japan

ordinary japan
Japan is a country that will delight and inspire in equal measure. No matter where you are, whether in one of the big cities of Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto or Sapporo or somewhere in the mountains, there will be something to entertain the inquisitive explorer.

We start the "Just Another Ordinary Week" delving into this incredible country and just some of the extraordinary things you will see.  


28 February 2018

searching for stones

Blimey, it's cold enough to freeze your... (insert own word here)

Forgive me for starting this way, but as an Eastern blast of cold air and snow hits the UK, so-called 'The Beast of the East', I decide to go out and look for stones. Good timing! 

As it transpires, the weather was great, if a little cold and I discovered I'm useless at finding things! Utterly useless. There was me thinking the challenge of seeking out some painted rocks in and around our village would be easy! Was it heck! 



14 February 2018

ordinary india

If there is ever a place where 'ordinary' is the completely wrong word choice, then India may well be that place. India is a country that is not ordinary, from its landscape to its people. From the constant honk, honking of cars horns and the rickshaws and taxis driving up the wrong side of the road to the incredible food, this is a country that is; extraordinary


31 January 2018

riding the metropolitan line

Into Metroland

Up and down, up and down, day in day out! Same seat, same faces (mostly), same miserable feeling (optional). Made all the worse when there's a signal failure. In which case you get frustrated, angry and fed-up!

For all that negativity, the Metropolitan line continues to serve millions of people each year (around 60 million journeys a year), taking them from some of the UK's most spectacular countryside areas and towns towards the centre of London. 

Love it or hate it! This is an underground line with an incredible history, unusual places to visit and convenient stops. Should you be heading to the big city anytime soon, there is every chance you will ride on it. Riding the Metropolitan line, let us take a moment to celebrate it! 

London Underground


19 January 2018

travel trumps guide to tring

Another year, another chance to get out and nosey around the area. Travel Trumps are back! We're heading to the Chiltern Hills once more for our latest edition and another small market town.

This place has an unlikely association with one of London's major museums: Natural History Museum. It's a place that brews great beer and is fantastic for bird watching or going for a gentle stroll. Welcome to Tring.


5 January 2018

exploring in the land of the rising sun

So how was the new year's celebrations for you? Full of alcoholic mayhem or was it a peaceful entry into 2018? Whichever way you celebrated it's time to move on and get into gear, ready for the challenges the new year will bring. Talking of the new year, we kick it off with a new ordinary series, this time celebrating all that is ordinary in Japan. 


17 November 2017

a walk through the streets of london


This week we have a guest post, from an old friend from Germany, who currently resides in Finland. (Sorry for the 'old' Frauke, but we have known each other for some 20 years!) Back in the late days of September, Frauke, for that is her name, visited London for the 100th time! She loves it here. That's also her on the steps of the monument to the fire of London, (see below). I wanted to get her perspective of the city, so this is her tail. Frauke, over to you...

Frauke - Photo Courtesy of Neil Rees


13 October 2017

travel trumps guide to majorca

Majorca Delights

Perched on the cold floor of Luton Airport, having fought for a small space among the hordes of summer revellers. I was contemplating what to expect from Majorca. We'd been to Menorca and loved it, the island was family friendly, easy to negotiate, with beautiful beaches and scenery, but Majorca, one of the most popular summer sun destinations in Europe? I was unsure. Thankfully, we were to be pleasantly surprised.


15 September 2017

Flower Shows: A Great British Tradition

A Great British Tradition 

It's tougher than the NFL, more brutal than Ultimate Fighting, it's as raucous as Prime Ministers question time in the Houses of Parliment! Wait until the prizes have been handed out! Carnage. 

Every year it ends in a mass brawl, the losers pummeling the winner with left and right hooks Anthony Joshua would be proud of, in the vain hope of reclaiming the trophy they lost from the year before. Alright, I'm exaggerating a lot! 

I'm talking about a very British tradition. An event that is so British in its organisation, running and competitiveness, you wish there was a brawl at the end, just to mix it up a bit!



25 August 2017

dining with disraeli

Days out: Hughenden Manor

"Get in the car!" I cried in despair. M & K were reluctant but we persisted with our mild threat. "You may have been there before, but I can't remember if I have or not. So hush, we're going." 

When you've got a free day and the kids are on holiday, choosing a place to visit which will tick the following list is never easy. 

* Close to home - (High Wycombe) ✓
* Cheap or free entrance - (Free as we are National Trust members) ✓
* Entertaining for both adults and kids - (Kids trails, beautiful scenery, cafe, garden) ✓

On this occasion, we managed it. Just! 



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