English Summer Jaunt

Two years since visiting England and now it’s time to return for an English summer jaunt.

Italy to the United Kingdom

Cosenza to Stansted, Italy, United Kingdom, EuropeThe direct way to fly from Italy’s Lamezia Airport in Calabria to England’s Stansted Airport is with RyanAir.

Depending on the time of year, you may get a great deal, otherwise, it’s a little pricey.


If you can, travel outside Italy’s busy summer months (July-August) but also the Christmas and Easter periods.

So, the best times to book are in January to May or October to November. Sometimes you can also find good deals during the first part of June and also the end of September.

Landing in Stansted

Now always nervous when landing in the UK since my detainment for 6 hours back in 2016, it’s with apprehension I venture down the non-EU Passport Control queue.

Surprisingly, an officer waves me to the EU queue then another to the ePassport Gate as my Australian passport contains a ‘magic’ chip. At the automated self-service passport system, I enter the United Kingdom with ease this time whilst breathing a sigh of relief.

Stansted, United Kingdom, Europe

Stansted to Street

Stansted to Somerset, United Kingdom, EuropePicking up the hire car at Standsted Airport, we head for south-west England and the lovely rural county of Somerset.

The long drive to Street in Somerset typically takes around 4 to 5 hours depending on traffic, time of day, and the number of incidents. Today, the drive takes 5 hours – not a great trip.


Somerset, England, United Kingdom, EuropeSomerset is the base from where the frivolities begin.

If you haven’t heard of the county of Somerset in south-west England, then picture a postcard scenic vision of fluorescent-green undulating hills and Medieval stone architecture.

Throw in the mix King Arthur, the legendary sword of Excaliburmystical Glastonbury Tor, and the Somerset picture starts to unfold.


Street – yes, the name of the village and not a mistake – is the base whilst in England.

On a Thursday morning, the main road in Street bursts with colourful Farmer’s Market stalls where you can indulge in delicious cheeses from around the region, especially from Cheddar.

Strolling through the stalls of local handmade arts and crafts work up a thirst…

Street, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

…for a visit to the Fondo Lounge to enjoy a coffee and yummy breakfast.

Street, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

The lounge’s unique decor bursting with memorabilia is inviting – rest a while.

Street, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe


The busy city of Taunton is a quick stop-off to return the one-way airport hire car before catching a bus (£6) back to Street – public transport in the UK is expensive.

Completed in 1508, the St Mary Magdalene church’s 50-metre-tall tower dwarfs many surrounding streets and buildings in Taunton.

Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Steeped in 1,000 years of military and religious history, it’s only a quick trip today but there’s always time for a street photo or two.

Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Whilst in Taunton, check out the Ruay Thai Supermarket on 122E Reach, for a fantastic stock of groceries, frozen, and even fresh vegetable and meats – all Thai of course. I’m taking a load back to Italy.


Only an easy walk of a few kilometres from Street lies the tiny quaint village of Walton on the Polden Hills, which is parallel to the Somerset Levels.

One pub (The Royal Oak), a Norman church, and cosy clusters of lovely stone cottages make up this village.

Walton’s peaceful surrounds are a great spot from which to watch gorgeous Somerset sunsets – it also helps that friends live here…

Walton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Although I’m able to sit on this Beast, I’m not allowed to take this for a ride – shame.

Walton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Haselbury Mill

Stopped off at the Haselbury Mill grounds on the way back from West Bay, which is a pleasantly picturesque function centre dotted with wonderful curios.

Haselbury Mill, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

The occasional but constant reminder is never far in the British psyche.

Haselbury Mill, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Intriguing historical buildings adorn the meticulously manicured gardens, which feels as though you’ve been thrown back through a time warp of yesteryear.

Haselbury Mill, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

The beautifully converted barn is now the weddings and events function centre, which I have to attend in April 2020 for a wedding and can’t wait – so exciting.

Haselbury Mill, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe
Wandering through the grounds, you bump into numerous rustic vintage cars from a bygone era.

Haselbury Mill, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Glastonbury Festival

Another reason for returning to England is to take part in the fantastic massive 5-day contemporary arts Glastonbury Festival. Running since the day after Jimi Hendrix died in 1970, this music festival is incredible and sees around 200,000 festivalgoers during the 5 days.

Glastonbury, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Check out my separate post on the festival and what to expect should you be lucky enough to secure a ticket: Glastonbury Festival – Sweltering in 2019!

Somerset Day Trips

When you think there isn’t much more than you can squeeze into a quick English jaunt, then think again…

With the newly christened four-man tent from Glastonbury festival and in need of another get-away, set out on a road and camping trip travelling to Devon, Dorset, and Cornwall – separate posts to come.


Love catching up with friends whilst in the UK, which usually means a drink or two so an overnighter in London sees a quick trip to south-east England’s Maidenhead in Berkshire.


As pretty Maidenhead lies along the south-western bank of the River Thames, it’s a quick drive to the start of a lovely morning stroll along the canal.

London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

The aged Hurley Lock is where the river divides into several channels and for those that enjoy camping, it’s possible to camp at Hurley Lock along Mill Lane. The village of Hurley ‘predates the Norman Conquest’.

Hurley Lock, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Continuing an amble along the calm canal and through a wooded park…

Canal, London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

…we reach the charming village of Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Stansted to Italy

Following the hectic 5-week English summer jaunt, it’s back on the motorway that carves the English countryside for the long drive back to Stansted. Numerous traffic accidents, breakdowns, and of course a diversion thrown in for good measure, sees the drive taking almost 6 long hours.

Stop at the Welcome Break Fleet Services along the M3 motorway if you need a break, but expect to be served expensive coffee (£3+) that isn’t great – seems as though the UK is going down the US route of quantity over quality.

Instead of driving through the night to catch the red-eye morning flight at 06:25 hrs, indulge in an overnight stay at Stansted Airport in the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted, United Kingdom, Europe

Quite flash in the modern comfy and cosy room with private bathroom – very clean and quiet.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted, United Kingdom, Europe

The £98 per night for a double doesn’t include parking, which costs an extra £12.50 for 24-hours – ouch!

Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted, United Kingdom, Europe

Spotted this cute relic at a restaurant’s entrance.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Stansted, United Kingdom, Europe

Luckily, the RyanAir flight from Stansted to Lamezia in Calabria arrives only slightly late – always a bonus.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more images. More posts on the United Kingdom at Image Earth Travel.

Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom, Europe


37 thoughts on “English Summer Jaunt

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    1. Ha, ha, maybe it’s because when we’re older, we realise what the marketing BS is all about? 😉

      From an early age, my mother always taught me to look after my skin regardless of age – her skin was gorgeous even in her 70s – her secret? She never baked in the sun – ahead of her time.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it was definitely better after the Olympics. Many more staff and desks operating than the first couple of times we went. It took us over an hour in 1999 to get through customs, last time it was a matter of minutes.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Have to but next year is a big year with 2 weddings (also have another here next month), one in the UK and one in Italy, visa renewal for here, and loads of other things keeping me away from Canada – but, all good things. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great trip albeit, very fast and jam-packed with things to do and people to see. Indeed he did. 😉
      I have another 3 posts on the UK from the same jaunt coming out over the next 3 weeks, so check back later for more…


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