Paddleboarding with Somerset Adventures in Creech St Michael

During a recent trip, Somerset Adventures very kindly invited me to go paddleboarding in Somerset with them. As usual, whenever Ms B and I go on a trip these days, the weather forecast was horrific. Then the forecast was gradually amended when it came closer to the day. It turned even more abominable. YOU CAN’T CHOOSE THE WEATHER WHEN PADDLEBOARDING IN SOMERSET Obviously this is not Somerset Adventures’ fault. To the contrary, I very much appreciated them acting responsibly and not taking any risks. That said, the weather forced us to reschedule the trip twice. Initially I had been looking to do some paddleboarding in Somerset in the sea along the cliffs. Then we had set our minds on a canyon-like fast-flowing river inland with some of the county’s best beauty spots.     LET IT RAIN During the day when my paddleboarding in Somerset experience was scheduled, one month’s […]

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Caving with Somerset Adventures at Goatchurch Cavern & Swildon’s Hole

A few weeks ago Somerset Adventures very kindly invited me to check out their one-day caving experience. The outing includes 2 to 3h of dry caving in the morning and 2 to 3h of wet caving in the afternoon. Those terms will be clarified further below. TIME FRAME & COST – SOMERSET ADVENTURES CAVING EXPERIENCE In addition to these 4 to 5h of caving, you will need to allow for travel time, time to change in and out of gear, half an hour for a quick packed lunch, and the short walk from the respective parking lots to the caves. The dry caving was taking place at Goatchurch Cavern near Burrington Combe. Doing the full-day two-caves experience with an instructor on your own like I did costs £150. But if you are happy to join a group or you are a group of 3 or more, then the cost goes […]

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Stand Up Paddleboarding the Cuckmere River Source to Sea (4h)

Stand up paddleboarding the Cuckmere River in East Sussex had been on my and my buddy Markmeister’s mind for several months. According to Wikipedia, the reliable source of half-truths, conspiracies, and myths, its length is 5km. In actual fact it is more like 30km, of which we paddled about 15km. BEST ENTRY POINT WHEN STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING THE CUCKMERE RIVER We took the train to the tiny hamlet of Berwick (1.5h from London with one interchange). From there we walked 1.8km along country roads to the river, nearly getting run over by fast cars on two occasions. GETTING OUR GEAR READY As soon as we reached the river, we got our gear ready and changed into our wetsuits. I wasted nearly half an hour trying to find a hole in my inflatable board. Then I realised that the problem was not a deflating board but a malfunctioning pressure indicator on […]

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A.A. Murakami at Superblue – Beguiling Bouncing Bubbles

Ellie & I recently visited A A Murakami’s Silent Fall at Burlington Gardens at the rear end of the Royal Academy building complex. Timed with the beginning of Frieze Week 2021 the installation will be running until summer 2022. FLOATING BUBBLES You enter a giant, relatively dark room where bubbles are being released from tube-like dispensers above you. Because of the mirrors spread all over the walls, the space seems like an infinite forest. The bubbles look relatively heavy like honey or jelly. However, they turn out to weigh next to nothing. This is why they float towards the ground very slowly. CATCH THEM WITH YOUR HAND You can catch them with your hand. The gallery provides you with a glove for that purpose, as you are not supposed to touch the bubbles with your bare hands. You can make the bubbles bounce up and down on your glove-covered palm […]

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Our £20 six-mile helicopter flight with Adventure001 in Hampshire – We’d do this again.

In mid-May I stumbled across an offer by gift experience booking platform IntoTheBlue. The offer seemed almost too good to be true: £59 for a 6-mile helicopter flight with bubbly for two. If you subtract £10 per glass of bubbly, then that’s under £20 per person. Not for an off-peak train ride to Guildford. For a flight in an actual helicopter. INTO THE BLUE My experience with IntoTheBlue in the past had neither been brilliant nor particularly bad. Like with all gift experience booking platforms I’ve dealt with (VirginExperienceDays, BuyAGift, LastMinute), the company doesn’t go to extreme lengths to monitor and quality-check the experiences.   VALUE ADDED It’s what I expect. Where those platforms provide value sometimes (not always), is, by screening and pre-selecting activity providers, by performing basic quality checks, and most importantly: by offering very competitive prices.   A TRADE-OFF At a ridiculously low price like this, I […]

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