We’re taking trip around the coasts of northern Europe this summer (2019).

For quite a long time we’ve dreamed of taking a year off and going on an around the world trip before the kids get too old. We thought we’d do a smaller trip this summer (about nine weeks long), focused on art and paleontology as a trial run.

Stage One: Paris

Lily has wanted to visit Paris since hearing Charity’s fond memories of being a student for six months in this beautify city when she was in her early twenties. It isn’t the coast, but its a nice way to start. After the two day Prolog in London we’ll be arriving via Eurostar on Friday 7th June. We’re staying in the 17th arrondissement for five days, and plan to fill that time eating lots of macaroons and seeing the light and art.

Stage Two: Barcelona

After a 6 hour TGV from Paris, we’ll arrive in Barcelona on June 11th. We’re staying in a lovely (hopefully) apartment and for the next seven days plan to explore the city and its coastline. We want to get a feel for its people and way of life.

Stage Three: Lyme Regis and the Jurrasic Coast

The Jurassic Coast. Could not be more excited. Stage three is where the trips main themes, paleontology and art, really start to kick in (up to this point we will be mostly in tourist mode). Ten full days (June 18th to the 28th)! Mary Anning lived here; Lily’s favorite. Lot’s of fossil hunting and exploring. Plus we hope to meet the local experts and find the best organizations and clubs to participate with.

Stage Four: St Ives

The quality of light, beautiful coastline and kindred spirits have pulled many artists to St Ives over the years. Barbra Hepworth is a particular favorite. We have a great little place right on Porthminster Beach that will allow us to take walks, sketch, check out the Tate and other museums, as well as find the best fish ‘n’ chips. We arrive June 28th, and will be there to celebrate US Independence before leaving July 5th.

Stage Five: Winding Journey North

Stage Five is deliberately un-scheduled. We have 8 days to work our way north by car to Scotland for Stage Six, and have some ideas of places that we might want to visit on the way. Stonehenge. Bletchley Park (admittedly neither are on the coast). Maybe some of the lakes or Snowdonia. Then there is the border region (Hadrians wall, archeology), and the beautiful west coast of Scotland (Oban, Glencoe, Ben Nevis et al). We’re just going to flush this out more as we get closer. We just need to make it to the Isle of Skye by July 13th.

Stage Six: Isle of Skye

This is a Charity wish list item (not that the rest of the crew are complaining). Quiet, remote, and stunningly beautiful. Lots of photography (including using the drone), sketching, reading and exploring the ruggedness. No wifi! Eight days we are all very excited about. July 13th to the 20th.

Stage Seven: The Caringorms of Scotland

After our long week in Skye, we’ll stop at Aviemore for 2 nights, to see the beautiful views of the Cairngorms. We’re staying at the Macdonald Aviemore Hotel (seems the Macdonalds are quite a big deal in Aviemore). Some swimming, hiking, exploring and maybe some adventure sports. Some wifi! Then on to Edinburgh.

Stage Eight: Edinburgh

The city where Jason went to University and where his Gran was born and raised. Our favorite city in the UK. Bonny Edinburgh. We’ve now settled the dates; we’ll be arriving July 22nd and leaving for London on the 28th. So about six days around the city and probably with a few day trips too (the unicorns of Stirling castle!). Since we moved our return flight a little earlier that first planned, we will be missing both the Fringe and the Tattoo (as they start Friday Aug 2nd). Despite this, what a way to end our trip.

Like the Prolog our Epilogue is also in London. A couple of days of city excitement before we head back home out of Heathrow on Wednesday 31st July. Probably tired, definitely sad.

The excitement is rising.