"Travel with me" toonsarah's Profile

Hooded vulture at Eagle Heights

to my VT home page. I hope you enjoy reading about my travels ~ I have certainly enjoyed writing about them and sharing my photos.

My latest pages are about our recent weekend away in Kent - an overnight stop in Westerham, a fascinating experience handling the owls at Eagle Heights near Eynsford, Whitstable, where we spent most of our time, and Seasalter, where we rented a little cottage by the sea.

Other fairly recent pages:
An overnight stay on Spitbank Fort in the Solent off England's south coast, and the nearby pretty village of Titchfield.
The beautiful Druridge Bay in Northumberland, which we visit often when in Newcastle, especially on a bright winter's day.
A very brief visit to Rome last September - just a few tips about some wonderful sights, fabulous gelati, a decent hotel and a very disappointing restaurant. We were en route to Gubbio, so that page has now been significantly updated with 15 new tips and updates to others.
Alnmouth, a small seaside village in Northumberland
Greenwich, just outside London and a super little day trip from the capital
Gelsenkirchen in Germany where we spent a weekend watching football and drinking beer with friends
The small Northumbrian villages of Ford and Etal
A weekend in Vienna
VT meetings in Riga and Tallinn
A couple of newish pages about Kent: an overnight stay at a rather special place, the Big Cat Sanctuary in Headcorn, and a brief visit to the bleak headland of Dungeness.
The Gambia. As well as my main page, I've made a small page about our base for the first week, Fajara and a fabulous stay at an eco-lodge inland, Mandina.

In October 2013 we had a wonderful trip to Japan and I have created pages about all the destinations we visited, all of which are linked from my Essential Honshu page, which also provides an overview of our tour and time in Japan.

Finally, there are always new or newish tips on my ever-growing London and Newcastle page!

Travel plans

I plan to be at the Euromeet in May, as usual, and I'll be revisiting Riga and Tallinn in July, this time to introduce Chris to these two lovely cities. We hope to be able to get away later in the year too, maybe further afield, but my elderly parents make it hard to plan too far ahead at present.

Still on my wish list:
Chile, Venezuela, Columbia,
Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua,
Botswana, Ethiopia, Libya,
Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, India
Alaska, Arctic ....

Who am I?

I am a Londoner, born and bred.
I am a librarian by profession, these days working as a freelance consultant.
I am a passionate supporter of Newcastle United.
I am a keen photographer, as I hope my pages show.
I love to socialise, to eat good food and to have a few drinks!
I enjoy the cinema, art exhibitions (especially modern art and photography), museum visits and more – both in London and on my travels.

And I LOVE to travel!

Some top five travel experiences

Natural wonders

The Grand Canyon, Arizona – especially watching a snow storm from its North Rim
The icebergs of Antarctica – I feel privileged to have visited this most remote of continents
The Great Barrier Reef – my first experience of snorkelling, which spoilt me for any other!
Yosemite – our introduction to the wonderful network of US National Parks
The scenery of the US southwest – such as Utah or New Mexico



New York, New York – the first city I visited in the US and still my favourite
Paris, France – I keep going back (but am yet to build a proper VT page!)
London, England – noisy, dirty, full of vitality – I love living here!
San Francisco, California – the city I want to return to
Sydney, Australia – cosmopolitan vibe and lots of water = my favourite mix

Ancient wonders

Temple of Karnak, Egypt – especially at night in the Son et Lumière performance
The Treasury, Petra, Jordan – could anyone forget their first sight?
Macchu Pichu, Peru – we didn’t trek there but we still marvelled at the sight
The Registan, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Tikal, Guatemala – another unforgettable location

More top fives


Hot air balloon over the Namib Desert – well worth the pre-dawn wake-up call
Meeting the penguins in Antarctica – so cute and so friendly
Whale watching anywhere, but especially Tofino, British Columbia – I have never been closer to a whale than we were there
Taking a flight over the Grand Canyon – the only way to really appreciate the scale of this place
A helicopter ride over Niagara Falls when on a school trip – one day I will fish out the old photos and upload them here


Places I have stayed

Huab Lodge, Namibia – a special place run by special people
The Blue House, Ocho Rios, Jamaica – living like family in a welcoming bed & breakfast
Okonjima, Namibia again – where the rescued cheetahs are as important as the guests
Lamanai, Belize – an all-inclusive with a difference
A yurt in the Uzbek desert – seeing the stars more brightly than ever before and waking at sunrise to the chill of the desert


The train journey from Krakow to Lviv – travelling with a great bunch of VTers
On the road in California – our first of our many US road trips
Another train journey, this time from Puno to Cusco in Peru – although the food on board did give me a nasty few hours of sickness the following day
Driving the gravel roads of Namibia – occasionally hairy but for the most part an exciting adventure
A cruise on the Rhine – not for my own pleasure, but seeing the delight it gave my late mother-in-law who had dreamed all her life of taking such a trip

Me and VT

Like most of you I discovered VT while researching a trip (Namibia), and used the website for a while before taking the plunge and joining in.

Since then I’ve had great fun creating pages and tips, and meeting other VT-ers, both virtually and for real. I’ve made some great friends along the way, and found especial pleasure in attending many of the Euromeetings - Karlsruhe, Cascais and Krakow.

Recently I was honoured to be asked to help run the new London chapter – London Calling. That will mean lots more fun meetings with other London-based VTers and visitors to our city! I’ve put some records of VT meetings in London in some travelogues on my London page.

But I should warn you that I'm not here looking for love. If you read just a little bit about my travels you'll soon realise that, as my husband Chris features in all my travels and has contributed some of his great photos to my pages. So please don't email me to tell me how handsome you are! I'm also not in the least bit naive and I won't be convinced that I'll make my fortune by helping you with dodgy bank account scams, so that's another email you needn't send!

My travel motto

Joni Mitchell:
"I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams, Amelia, dreams and false alarms"

"Amelia" (from "Hejira")

I love Joni Mitchell, and I really like these lines! They always make me think of travelling, especially on a road trip in the US, one of our favourite types of holiday

My travel pages

I’ve found it really helpful when visiting other people’s home pages to have an introduction to their VT pages, but I've recently decided that my attempt at the same was getting out of hand! In future, my newest pages will be flagged up above, while I've moved the complete list to an album (below). While this does duplicate the standard VT list, I've included additional info about the date of travel and the main highlight feature(s) of the destination.

If you visit any of my pages please do leave a comment!

  • Intro Updated Apr 13, 2015
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