11/23/2015 12:13 pm ET Updated Nov 23, 2016

The Joys of Travel with Kate Thomas

My niece, Kate Thomas, is an adventurous traveler and filmmaker.
She has a Youtube video series and blog called Travel with Kate that follows her as she travels to destinations around the world connecting with locals. I recently saw her videos exploring the English Countryside and I had to share them with you. She sure does make it look fun! I'm ready to book my next trip. - Marlo

I remember the first time I set foot on my own in another country as a solo traveler. I was in Florence, Italy. The thrill of the freedom and the expectation of an adventurous summer were intoxicating. I looked forward to staying with a local family and taking cooking classes, making local friends, and learning the language. And I have to say, that trip as a 19-year-old delivered on all my expectations. And it planted a seed, turning me into a very frequent traveler.

As I get older, my travel priorities have been shifting. I still want adventure and to connect with local life. But I find myself swapping the hostels and home-stays for more cushy accommodations. And I recently had an extraordinary experience that mixed these two travel aesthetics with gusto.

With the hospitality of the tourism board of Great Britain, my husband and I were whisked away, on a fairytale vacation to the storied, rolling landscape of the English Countryside. Specifically, we were in West Dorset, a region easy to get to by train in just over two hours from London.

While there we stayed at the Summer Lodge, a Red Carnation Hotels Collection as well as a Relais & Châteaux property. As you could see in the video, it was like having my own Downton Abbey experience. The staff that keeps the place running are passionate and welcoming local characters. And the hotel feels like a luxurious home away from home.

For more adventures in the surrounding region of Dorset, here are my videos below exploring the countryside of both the small town of Sherborne (just 20 minutes away from the hotel) and the stunning Jurassic Coast.


Jurassic Coast

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Twitter: @KateLThomas
Instagram: @TravelwKate