Holiday Photos

A series of photos from my holiday in Devon


When we arrived on Friday, it was cold and wet and miserable. The rain had brought all the snails out onto the path, and I managed to accidentally kill a few million of them in the dark. We went out onto the beach in our coats.

Holiday Photos

Center Parcs

*Center Parcs* is how the French say “Centre Parks.” Those crazy French.

Sun through the trees

In a nutshell, it’s like a middle class Butlins. I think so, anyway. It’s a long time since I’ve been to a Butlins, so my opinion is formed on the basis of bad British sitcoms and disjointed memories from my childhood.

The majority of the site comprises villas and apartment blocks in neat rows, joined up by narrow one-way roads which are usually devoid of motor vehicles. The buildings are of a regular and simple design, and blend in with the surrounding forest reasonably well.

The second most common usage of land is for cycle parks. Cycling is very much a “thing” at Center Parcs. It’s like the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, or comments on a blog, or the bad music that “kids today” listen to. By which I mean, it’s not obligatory, but an alien visitor to our planet would, on the basis of their observations, think that it is.

There’s loads of activities on offer, but when you have a clingy 1-year old in tow, it’s hard to find the time. For the most part, we spent our weekend swimming, cycling round, and loitering in play areas.

Descending a slide behind Bernard

Three nights felt like a very suitable amount of time to stay for. Friends of ours who have gone for a whole week said that it was too long, and we can see how that would be the case.

I built the best sandcastle in the world, but it did not last long

We failed to get served at “Country Pancakes”. We waited at the “Please wait here to be seated” sign for ages, but no-one turned up, so we walked out and went somewhere else. For the rest of the weekend, every time I walked past a sign to “Country Pancakes”, I mentally dropped the ‘O’ and ‘R’ and then sang it to myself like a mantra.

Getting a dinner reservation on a Saturday night was hard work. If you want to get a table at any of the desirable places, book in advance. I know that it seems counterintuitive to book before you’ve even scoped it out, but it’s a risk that has to be taken.

The ducks are very forward. If you leave your patio door open, they will come inside and liaise with your child. Just thought that I’d warn you.


Animals spotted over the weekend – ducks, squirrels and rabbits. So basically, nothing more exotic than I see cycling to work ((hoho, rabbits on bicycles in my mind’s eye)). No deer. No badgers. No snakes. That said, we did see a species of duck that we didn’t recognise (it was black with a white neck). We went into the much-publicised “Ranger’s Lodge” to see if they’d be able to help us, but we were severely disappointed. The “Ranger’s Lodge” didn’t actually contain a Ranger – just a display case containing samples of owl pellets and other such nonsense. There wasn’t even a poster of “Ducks What You Might See Here”. Bah.

Karen has written all about our stay too.

About Me Holiday Stunt 2007

What I did on my holidays

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time. We have not read each others entries before publishing, and have taken care not to discuss them.*

*Title suggested by graybo.*

When I was a kid, I used to go on holiday with my family to places like the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District and Cornwall. Sometimes we’d go further afield, like Scotland or North Wales or Brittany. I think once we went to Edam. On the whole, we liked to stay in England, and usually for only a week (we tried a few fortnight-long holidays, but agreed that a fortnight was too long for a holiday). Sometimes I would go camping with my mum. I have a story about that.

In my first couple of years at secondary school, there were school-run trips to France which I went on. We got up to all sorts of mischief, I’m sure you can imagine.

During my University years (and the period immediately after) I went on a few holidays with friends. Matthew and I went to Dublin and Amsterdam (not in the same trip, I hasten to add) and I also went to Skegness with half a dozen friends. This was back when I was an appalling, and irresponsible, driver, and I was one of the two designated drivers on the trip. I didn’t crash into anything, but I did have a couple of near misses, and I am ashamed.

After I met Karen, I went on holiday more often, and much further afield. We’ve been to Dublin, Prague ([1] [2]), Venice, Budapest and New York. We’ve also been on holiday in England, to the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.

Since Bernard was added to the family, we’ve been to Cornwall, and are soon to visit Center Parcs for the first time (I’ve borrowed a bike rack from Bob [1] [2]). Hopefully the three of us will visit plenty of fantastic places together.

At some point, I’d like to see Iceland and Scandinavia (perhaps as some sort of Northern Ocean cruise?) and various places in the Far East (inspired by a couple of friends). This all may have to wait for another 17 years, but then again, maybe not.

Holiday Top Photos

A series of photos from my holiday on the Isle of Wight

Ventnor Beach

Ventnor Beach.

The Needles

The Needles. After taking this photo, we walked round to the old Battery (the building you can see on the top of the headland). However, by that time, the mist had come in, and visibility was lost.

Red candle

When these little fellas turn and stare right at you, you can feel their eyes boring into you. Terrifying.

Out to Sea
Fish and chips

Lunch, obtained from the seafront at Sandown.

Sunset over Wight

Holiday Photos

A selection of photos from my holiday in Prague

Wenceslas Square

Wenceslas Square, from the bottom end, by the museum. Our hotel was about ten minutes walk from here. I remember standing with Karen in a furious downpour, debating whether to go back to the hotel for an umbrella.

Old Town Square

The Old Town Square.

Old Town Square

This is the Church of Our Fantastic Lady of Tyn, or something like that.

Tube Station

In Prague, the walls of the subway stations aren’t lined with adverts, which is most refreshing.


The ossuary at Kutna Hora. This is actually the least blurry of all the photos I took in there. It won’t surprise you to learn that it wasn’t well illuminated.


Due to the unavailability of a tripod, I placed the camera on a stone pillar to take this. And due to the sloping nature of the stone pillar, and the need to position the camera such that it wouldn’t tumble off the pillar, there is rather a lot of stone pillar in this photo. Let this be a lesson.


The castle, across the river.


Flying back over London.

Holiday Photos

A series of photos from my holiday in New York

Central Park South

Central Park South, taken from the Time Warner building. I had completely lost my bearings at this point, and believed that I was looking down Central Park West from 110th Street. “Wow, it looks really short from this angle” I said. Idiot.

Lower Manhattan

A view of the financial district from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Empire State Building

This is what the Empire State Building looks like from below.

Bryant Park

This photo was taken from Bryant Park, on 42nd Street and 6th Avenue. In the foreground is the New York Public Library.


Don’t look at this photograph directly.

Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building. I don’t recall the sky being this startlingly blue at the time.

Holiday Photos

A series of photos from my holiday in Venice


This was an item of tat on sale on Murano. We were interested at first, until we discovered that the five euro price tag actually applied to the small piece of garbage next to it. We made subtle our escape.

Karen Near St Mark's Square

Karen silhouetted against pretty pretty lagoon.


Burano is famous for the pretty multicoloured houses.

Wave For The Camera

Taken from Murano. One of those moments when I marvel pretentiously at the magic of the laws of physics, simplicity and complexity in the same place, and all that.

Pigeon Shot

A pigeon in St Mark’s Square. Behind the pigeon is a canvas draped over an enormous scaffolding, to try and make the thing less hideous.

Pigeon Shower

I like pigeons. Their plumage makes for good photos. And they are daft as feathered brushes. Incidentally, the number of pigeons in St Mark’s Square was phenomenal – like Trafalgar Square used to be, in its prime.

Rialto Bridge

One of those photos that everyone takes. The Rialto Bridge, I mean. Not the top of Karen’s head. I don’t think that many people have taken photos of /that/

Window Frame

I was a bit bored in the airport so I got arty.

Venice From Above

I took this photo from the plane as we were leaving Venice, circling around the north of the island.

Holiday Photos

Lake District

Karen and I arrived back from the Lake District yesterday. I’ve made a photo diary for you to peruse.

There are 32 images, and the whole thing weighs about 3MB.

To begin, click here.

*Originally posted here*