Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let's Go To England - Part 1

What?! You can't POSSIBLY fit three week's worth of
clothes into a carry-on bag, can you?
Trust us, it can be done, although I seemed to
struggle with that challenge a little more than the girls!

In England, their homes have names.
My niece's husband Ray's family home is named "Bundanoon"
which means "place of deep gullies".
I didn't see any deep gullies on the property but there
are lovely valleys with gorgeous views nearby.

Bundanoon, a delightful estate in a small village
just south of London.

One of my favorite parts of traveling, gathering
with family around the table.

Ahhh, the fabulous city of Bath.
We stayed here four nights and took two tours
with the Mad Max Tour Company.

Our first tour took us to Stonehenge.
It was cold and wet and windy on the Stonehenge hill
so we didn't linger as long as I would have liked.

Stonehenge really is an amazing sight to see.

A farmhouse in the English countryside
with sheep grazing in the pasture. Lovely!

Stonehenge gets more publicity, but the Avebury
site is just as fascinating, maybe more so.
It's a series of huge stone circles, situated at the centerpoint
of the east/west axis of the island and is one of the
earliest stone circles in all of England.

Sheep grazing in the field with the huge stones
that form the Avebury circle.

The Red Lion pub in the town of Avebury.
Note the thatched roof. It takes a real craftsman
to create and maintain the beautiful thatched roofs
you see in the countryside of the Cotswolds.

Looking out the abbey door in Lacock.

Lacock is a little village in England that appears to
have stopped in time about three hundred years ago.
Many movies and period pieces have been filmed here:
"Harry Potter", "Pride & Prejudice" & "Cranford" among others.

This is a street in another quaint village called
Castle Combe. A new Steven Spielberg movie called "Warhorse"
was just filmed here as was "Dr. Doolittle"
with Rex Harrison back in the 60's.

An ancient tombstone at the church in Castle Combe.

Wouldn't you love to move into this little cottage
on the banks of the river?

Leah and I in Castle Combe.

Back in Bath, they have a canal that you can rent
one of these neat old house boats on.

Who can go to Bath without visiting the Royal Crescent?
An exquisite example of architecture ahead of its time.
Back then the rich and famous resided here.
I don't know about the famous, but the rich still do.

I loved this old mirror and the effect it made
when shooting photos.

The ancient roman baths in Bath with
the Bath Abbey in the background.

Emily taking shots at an ancient Roman bridge in Castle Combe.

Taking tea in a family owned tea room in a
quaint English village.

There is a little river running by the road
in Castle Combe and the villagers
love their ducks.

I wish my front yard looked like this,
don't you?

Even the chairs holding the herbs
for the restaurant are pretty!

The girls thought I was weird for taking a photo of this...
but really, the "British Toilet Association"?!
Even if the dues are free, I think I'll pass!

The Bath Abbey.
This isn't even one of the "biggies" as far as English
cathedrals go, but isn't it beautiful?

On our way home from Bath, we made a pit stop
in Salisbury to see the Salisbury Cathedral which has the
tallest spire, 404 feet, in all of England.

Original stained glass in the Salisbury Cathedral,
almost 800 years old.

We took the tower tour and were able to climb
the many steps to the external gallery at the base
of the spire. The views were incredible!

Another lovely estate called Knole House
that we toured in Sevenoaks.
This photo tour of the beginning of our stay in England may seem lengthy but I had to severly edit to get down to just this many photos to show you! The girls and I had the perfect mix of touring time, family time, down time and shopping time on our trip. It was tempting to rush around and try to see more because there are just so many wonderful, historical sites in England but the whole idea of a vacation is to enjoy yourself, so we chose our itinerary carefully. I had to keep telling myself, we'll see that next time...