For some reason today’s drive was long, like 10 hours long. Partly road works but predominantly navigating the towns, avoiding killing the people, goats, cows, dogs, pigs, sheep and donkeys.

Hogsback in the end turned out to be awesome, even the hobbit sized bath was great. The backpacker’s had enough character to satisfy the most hardened imaginists out there* and even though the cottage didn’t turn out to be quite as it was advertised we had so much fun. I’m pretty sure it isn’t a new theory (how many can there be these days?) but much like landrover trips – if you don’t break down you have absolutely nothing to talk about afterwards – if you don’t stay at places that are a little odd ball; eccentric or even Fawlty-like; what do you have to relate back home?

Away with the Fairies isn’t sophisticated  by any means but then again what backpackers is?   The menu was a choice of butter curry chicken and ‘build your own’ pizzas – both of which were awesome, not “I’ve been travelling all day and anything right now would taste awesome” awesome. Bonafide; smack your lips and want more awesome. Yes we had to make the fire in the lounge/diningroom, despite massive hinting to the owner when we ordered our drinks; yes the wood in our little cottage wouldn’t catch light so the fire was pretty much a non starter (and it was freezing inside); yes there were only 2 mugs and a wine glass in our ‘self catering cottage big enough for 4’ but you know what none of that mattered; what will be remembered is the laughter we shared as we made preparations for bed and the memories we made as a family enjoying each others company in an adorable albeit basic two “double” roomed cottage. Who wouldn’t enjoy sleeping in a cottage in the woods where the hobbits dwell?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

* once you’ve seen the place you’ll understand how made up words become acceptable

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