I really thought I was done with the California posts, but then I realised I’d left one out; I didn’t spend a fortnight in Berkeley and not visit San Francisco. In fact, Rosa and I headed into the city a few times, armed with clipper cards and a checklist of landmarks. I think we pretty much ticked them all off – eventually – so here’s an illustrated guide to our “scenic route” walking tour of SF.

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Autumn feels like quite a long time ago now; we’ve well and truly descended into winter (at four-pm my house’s average temperature is 13.5 degrees celsius). But back in October G and I decided to make the most of a stunning Yorkshire autumn and drove out to Bolton Abbey in the south of the Dales. It’s a large estate managed by the Devonshire family since the 18th century, and includes the stunning Strid Wood, a picturesque village and the ruins of the old Priory. We spent a quiet, overcast day exploring all three, marvelling at the landscape and the lack of other visitors.

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I talk about my sister, Rosa, a lot; my usual joke is that telling the stories of what she gets up to halfway around the world makes me seem way cooler. But for a couple of weeks in the middle of summer, I finally got to share a bit of her life in Berkeley, California, and come away with some fun stories of my own. We spent days wandering the hills of San Francisco; crossed the Bay to check out Marin County; made our way to Land’s End to paddle in the Pacific; spent a day in Davis where Rosa first lived in CA; and even navigated to Muir Woods via public transport.

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G headed up to York to visit me on the weekend before Halloween. Having the car allows us to explore more of the Yorkshire countryside, so we decided to spend our weekend out and about rather than in town. After a bit of research, we decided to spend the Saturday at Beningbrough Hall, a National Trust property about ten miles out of the city.

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