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 responses to “English Summer Jaunt”

  1. da-AL Avatar

    Beautiful post — & hair! 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you dl-Al for your kind comment and yes, the hair colour is very cool – my hairdresser wants to dye it this colour… 😉

      1. da-AL Avatar

        The hairdressers I’ve gone to seem to especially want me to do things that will involve coming back frequently lol

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Exactly, it’s all a money-churning ploy! Lucky we’re wisened up to these tactics… 😉

      3. da-AL Avatar

        it’s funny to me that very young women seem to be the ones who buy the most beauty products — it’s when we’re older that we should need it lol

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        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.

      5. da-AL Avatar

        Bs indeed lolol

  2. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    England is so beautiful! I really need to visit more places there – it’s part of my heritage after all! I love the lounge, it looks so cosy and welcoming! And seeeee I told you not to worry about getting detained! hahahaha

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      England is very beautiful and I didn’t know it was part of your heritage, so even more reason to visit.
      It was a breeze this visit. 😉

  3. Patty Avatar

    Another great travel report and beautiful pictures. Any plans in the (near) future to travel again, dear Nilla?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Patty, thank you for the great feedback.
      Back to Australia in February for a quick trip… 😉

  4. the eternal traveller Avatar

    We found it much quicker to go through customs the last time we visited UK too. I think things were improved for the Olympics.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hmmm…not sure that things were improved for the Olympics all those years ago, just different to the time that I was detained.

      1. the eternal traveller Avatar

        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.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ah, right that sounds much better then, but it’s never taken me minutes in any customs in nay country. 😉

      3. the eternal traveller Avatar

        You need to go to Canada! We couldn’t believe how fast and easy the process was. 😀

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Now that’s a great excuse to go as I’ve never been to Canada! 😉

      5. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        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. 😉

      6. the eternal traveller Avatar

        That all sounds like fun.

  5. YahshuatheMessiahBlog Avatar

    Nice post with cool pictures. Thanks for sharing. – Jojo Reyes Jr

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Jojo for your kind comment.

  6. Keith Jewitt Avatar
    Keith Jewitt

    You make it sound fabulous and now I know why the mammino stayed so long!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      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…

  7. Giovanni Augello Avatar

    Great post and great photos!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Giovanni and happy you enjoyed this jaunt with me… 😉

  8. Valerie Cullers Avatar

    Lovely post, lovely place! Love the coffee shop!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Valerie! Yes, the coffee shop is quite funky.

  9. Suellen Tomkins - Wild Heart Gypsy Spirit Avatar

    It looks like such a great part of the world.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Suellen, it is a lovely part of the world and so easy for travellers – it helps that my partner is from there…

  10. Retirement Reflections Avatar

    This post has made my feet very itchy. Time to do some travel planning!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, do it and I’m glad my post has made your feet itchy! Stay tuned for the next 3 chapters on the UK over the next few weeks. 😉

  11. Kelly MacKay Avatar

    Great trip.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, it was Kelly. I have more posts over the next few weeks coming out about this trip… 😉

      1. Kelly MacKay Avatar

        I will look forward to reading them

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Cool! Thank you for your continual support – much appreciated. 🙂

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