2015 England Trip: Day 1 (Tuesday-Wednesday, Aug 25-26) 

 

  Day 1: Traveled by car, ferry, foot, and Seattle Lite Rail with small roller bags and     backpacks. Flew to Heathrow via Iceland. Hire car took us (with our soaked luggage) to our home base in NE London, London where my son and daughter-in-law live with our 4- yr old granddaughter.  Family time and a walk to dinner at upscale fusion noodle house.  Managed to stay awake until reasonable bedtime. Here's a map of England with our two trip routes highlighted.

The first was from London by train to…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 2 ( Thursday, Aug 27) 

Day 2:    Wellington Arch, Hyde Park, Cecil Sharp House, Westminster Abbey

 

Day 2 Photos  (29)

London double-decker transit bus to Piccadilly Circle area.  A fantastic, though drizzly view of London’s diverse architecture – years and years layered on this huge city. So much fun to see it through Hank’s structural engineer’s eyes!

Breakfast in upper crust Richeau Restaurant…right where the bus dropped us, and we were hungry.  Full English breakfast for us both: Cumberland sausage, grilled tomato and…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 3 (Friday, Aug 28) 

Day 3:   St Augustine’s park and tower, a walk around the neighborhood, Sutton House

 

Day 3 Photos  (16)

Lazy morning with our granddaughter to ourselves, then time at a playground on the remains of St. Augustine’s church, lunch in fine gastro pub Oslo, chance discovery of Rafe Sadler’s 1545 house, Sutton House. Grandpa Hank and Oba soaked up the history that so closely touched Thomas Cromwell’s main protégé (figures in Wolf Hall), then playtime for the young set in the reclaimed Breaker’s Yard out…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 4 (Saturday, Aug. 29) 

Day 4:    Tower of London and Tower Bridge,  Southwark Cathedral,  the Golden Hinde, Shakespeare’s Globe,  Opera in a Tunnel, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s, Sky Garden

 

Day 4 Photos  (76)   Day 4 Videos:  Southwark Cathedral    Tunnel Soprano

An early start—taking the overground from Lincoln Fields and then the tube to the Tower station—allowed us 4 heavenly hours at the Tower of London, soaking up the stories and totally captivated by the Beefeater Tour.  Our Beefeater was very funny and played…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 5 (Sunday, Aug. 30) 

Day 5:    Paddington, Oxford, Blockley

 

Day 5 Photos (49)

Early breakfast and then set off on foot to London Fields overground station transferring at London Liverpool Street to the tube. Saw our “most remarkable person” sitting across from us, tattooed, mascaraed, widow-peaked, high or low on something and glaring straight at us. Her partner wasn’t quite as colorful but equally unhinged.  Glad it was daytime!

Ate some decidedly delicious meat pasties in Paddington Station and stalked the digital…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 6 (Monday,Aug 31) 

Day 6:    Broadway Tower, Chipping Camden, Upper and Lower Slaughter, Blockley

 

Day 6 Photos (62)

A lovely night under the duvet with the burbling mill stream outside our window.  We asked for breakfast at 8 so we could get a good start on the day, and Rupert ferried hot dishes from the kitchen down the hall to the solarium where several small tables were set up and the soft rain was drizzling on the sunroof.  Our scrumptious full English breakfast: rack of toast, assorted fresh breads and sweet rolls…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 7 (Tuesday, Sept 1) 

Day 7: Ironbridge, Chester, Conwy, Chester

 

Day 7 Photos (129)

 

We pretended to have found fault with the breakfast and then sang the chorus of “Proper Cup of Coffee”  for our hosts, and learned that Mandy was one of the administrators for the local country opera company for 16 years. This was in fact her last week on the job….finally retiring to run the B&B.  They had taken on and successfully presented such mammoth projects as Wagner’s Ring Cycle, with a staff of 2 ½ people!  Check it out: http://ww

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 8 (Wednesday, Sept 2) 

Day 8:  Chester, Hadrian’s Wall (Birdoswald and Chesters Fort), the town of Wall, Durham

 

Day 8 Photos (134)

It was in the breakfast nook at the Chester Racecourse Holiday Inn that we learned the real secret of full English breakfast…Heinz baked beans right out of the can. Really. This was missing from our more high-class morning meals so far, and we made up for lost time. At least I did. There was something altogether yummy about that brown sugar molasses flavor on my eggs, sausage, bacon, tomatoes…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 9 (Thursday, Sept 3) 

Day 9:  Durham, York

 

Day 9 Photos (44)

Breakfast in the dining room was nearly full English—minus the baked beans. That was okay.  As we drove into Durham, just a few minutes away from Chiltern, we took Rick Steve’s advice and headed for the large mall close to city center, since parking in their garage was much easier than on the street. It was disorienting to walk through retail spaces that we had been assiduously avoiding. Hank strolled past the prefect travel hat, but couldn’t bring himself to…

Read more

2015 England Trip: Day 10 (Friday, Sept 4) 

Day 10: York, Cambridge

 

Day 10 Photos (48)

This is where you get a break, dear reader, because on Day 10 I woke up unable to focus my eyes and nauseous, so we skipped the city of York. I was able to travel by noon which gave us just enough time to reach Cambridge before the rental car company closed. Hank had to drive my portion as well as his own—no way was he letting me behind the wheel—but I did keep my camera poised to capture signs of places we weren’t going to go. We passed Grantham (Downton…

Read more