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Trip to England

Been to someplace of historical interest? Planning a trip? Have a question? Post here!
princess
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Location: Scotland

Postby princess » Sun September 26th, 2010, 9:20 pm

"Madeleine" wrote:Yup, just as pesky and judging by the ones I saw, about 6 times bigger! :eek: :mad:


Yep, they're a total NUISANCE!!!
Currently reading: The Poisoned Pilgrim: A Hangman's Daughter Tale by Oliver Potzsch

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robinbird79
Avid Reader
Location: Georgia

Postby robinbird79 » Mon September 27th, 2010, 12:57 am

"Tanzanite" wrote:Thanks for the tip - is a midge like a mosquito??

Also, I really appreciate everyone's ideas and thoughts. I really wish I could just take 6 months off and live there for a while, but unfortunately there are bills and college tuition to pay...

I'll be blogging about the trip when we get back (on the same blog I used for the last trip!)


Can't wait to see your blog and pictures when you get back! I'm jealous! What a fantastic trip!!


I was so looking forward to going in March but that has now been put on hold for at least a year...as I will be about seven months pregnant at the time I was planning on being there! :) Oh well, it will give me another year to save up!
Currently Reading: Crown in Candlelight, R. H. Jarmen

http://almostcrazymommy.blogspot.com

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Mon September 27th, 2010, 1:48 pm

Oh - well, bummer, but congrats! I suppose there are worse reasons to have to cancel a trip!

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Diiarts
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Location: I'm based in Hampshire (UK) but we also have a partner based in Kentucky, USA
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Postby Diiarts » Mon September 27th, 2010, 11:34 pm

"Minnie" wrote:What a terrific trip, Tanzanite - and there's been so much in the way of good advice already on this thread.
I'd just add a word of warning about E Anglia: poorly served by road network, so getting around takes more time than you might think. And the place is stuffed with sights-worth-seeing - not merely Ely, but also Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, and a clutch of glorious manors and stately homes (including birthplace of Anne Boleyn).
Don't miss Lincoln Cathedral, whatever you do/wherever you go - and say 'hello' to the Imp!
I agree with all the posters who've recommended the following:

Re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings (these chaps know their stuff!)
Ightham Mote
York
Northumberland (Alnwich, Bamburgh, Lindisfare if poss) - and don't miss Durham en route there!

If straying on the other side of the country, yes, Stokesay's fab - and it's not far from Shrewsbury, which is a great place for a few hours' wandering (with or without Cadfael and Hugh Berenger - first home of Charles Darwin, also; battlefield where Hotspur died not far outside).
Pleased to see you visited Tintern on your last trip (my house was a few miles upriver). Did you visit Penallt Old Church (one of Wm Marshal's foundations)? Gorgeous spot.
Hope you'll be seeing something of the enormous riches of historic Somerset if you haven't already. If not, I could tell you about some wondrous places, many hidden away. But as inclined to blather for ages about 'em, will spare you!

Am sure you'll have a fab time, anyway. Wish you bon voyage :) .


I second all of these, but have to put in a plug for Knole (near Maidstone) which was one of Henry VIII's palaces. The ceiling of the King's Bedroom is one of the most marvellous pieces of plasterwork you will ever see - it was on the point of collapse about 50 years ago and was restored by my father and his architectural partner. I'll tell you the story if you're interested. I took my father back there just before he died and he told the housekeeper how they'd done it - of course, 50 years on, nobody at Knole knew anything about it.

Ightham Mote, as Minnie says, is glorious and is the other must-see in Kent. Don't on any account miss the Hastings re-enactment.

I live between Salisbury and Winchester and will doubtless be cast into the outer darkness for saying this, but Lincoln and Durham Cathedrals are without question our finest, followed closely by Ely.

Wales is even worse than East Anglia for narrow roads and extended driving times - look at distances on the map and double (at least) your time estimate for any journey in Wales. I suspect you'd be exhausted if you tried to do southern England, Scotland and Wales in 9 days - certainly you'd be doing nothing but driving. A fun way to do Wales (on another occasion, in the summer perhaps) might be by train from Shrewsbury to Harlech - a 3 hour trip each way, but it is a beautiful journey through the Welsh mountains and up the coastal line, and can just about be done in a day. You only get the one castle, of course, but it would be a good day trip.

York - yes, absolutely. Ditto Northumberland and Wallington in particular - one of the best presented National Trust houses in the country, which really gives you a feeling for the family who lived there and for life at the time. If you're in the West Country, another National Trust must-see is Killerton, near Exeter - again, superbly presented and very much alive - they let you play the piano and the chamber organ in the music room, and they have an excellent permanent costume exhibition upstairs and a seasonal exhibition in the drawing room. It's one of those houses where you really get a sense of the family and the working estate.

Others have mentioned the two independent bookshops in Bath, Toppings and Mr B's. If you have the time, it's worth booking yourself in for Mr B's reading spa treatment - something you won't get at any other bookshop - though I believe advance booking is essential.

Montacute House, near Yeovil, is a case study in late Elizabethan architecture and has many of the National Portrait Gallery's Tudor and Elizabethan portraits on display. It featured in the Emma Thompson film of Sense & Sensibility, as did Mompesson House in Salisbury Cathedral Close.

It's well worth checking the National Trust website for opening times on their properties - they're often closed on one or two weekdays.

(Incidentally, the reason your pass does not cover Windsor Castle is that it is owned by HM The Queen, not by English Heritage or the National Trust or another such organisation which would be part of that scheme.)

(And if you happen to be in or near Hampshire on Thursday 14th Oct, check this out - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=119341614785556 - it would be lovely to see you there!)

Wherever you end up, have a marvellous trip and, as others have said, don't try to cram too much in - take the time to enjoy it.
Last edited by Diiarts on Mon September 27th, 2010, 11:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: adding URL
www.diiarts.com - books for people who love books

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Mon September 27th, 2010, 11:49 pm

"Diiarts" wrote:I live between Salisbury and Winchester and will doubtless be cast into the outer darkness for saying this, but Lincoln and Durham Cathedrals are without question our finest, followed closely by Ely.


Lincoln cathedral is very magnificent, but it gives me the willies. I don't know why, but when I'm there instead of getting a sense of a beam up to heaven, I get an oppressive, bearing down feeling. It's as if all the power and wealth that built it, is slamming down like a heavy headache. DH gets the same feeling. My daughter in law had to come out of one of the chapels because she felt as if someone had grabbed her round the throat, (visiting independently of us and not knowing about our reactions), and a very good USA friend was actually physically sick from the vibes and had to run out before she made a mess!
My favourite is little Wells Cathedral. I'm fond of Hereford too. They have the right sort of feeling. So does Salisbury.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Tue September 28th, 2010, 12:29 am

"EC2" wrote:Lincoln cathedral is very magnificent, but it gives me the willies. I don't know why, but when I'm there instead of getting a sense of a beam up to heaven, I get an oppressive, bearing down feeling. It's as if all the power and wealth that built it, is slamming down like a heavy headache. DH gets the same feeling. My daughter in law had to come out of one of the chapels because she felt as if someone had grabbed her round the throat, (visiting independently of us and not knowing about our reactions), and a very good USA friend was actually physically sick from the vibes and had to run out before she made a mess!

Oooooooooooh! Sounds haunted! :eek:

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Tue September 28th, 2010, 1:25 am

"EC2" wrote:Lincoln cathedral is very magnificent, but it gives me the willies. I don't know why, but when I'm there instead of getting a sense of a beam up to heaven, I get an oppressive, bearing down feeling. It's as if all the power and wealth that built it, is slamming down like a heavy headache.


For me it was the history behind the pogroms and the blood libel that made it less than a happy visit. But it was magnificent. Our bed and breakfast was across the street, and seeing it lit up and night was amazing.

Minnie

Postby Minnie » Tue September 28th, 2010, 12:26 pm

"EC2" wrote:Lincoln cathedral is very magnificent, but it gives me the willies. I don't know why, but when I'm there instead of getting a sense of a beam up to heaven, I get an oppressive, bearing down feeling. It's as if all the power and wealth that built it, is slamming down like a heavy headache. DH gets the same feeling. My daughter in law had to come out of one of the chapels because she felt as if someone had grabbed her round the throat, (visiting independently of us and not knowing about our reactions), and a very good USA friend was actually physically sick from the vibes and had to run out before she made a mess!
My favourite is little Wells Cathedral. I'm fond of Hereford too. They have the right sort of feeling. So does Salisbury.


Interesting how each of us has very differing impressions. Used to attend Lincoln Cathedral regularly when friend's son a chorister (friend is Jewish; son converted to Christianity). Never felt spooked; but definitely aware of unpleasant atmosphere the first time I entered the Chapter House - not since, tho'.
The Blood Libel also occurred in Norwich; but never felt threatened in the Cathedral there, either. Yet I'm not generally unspookable ;) ...
Oh, yes, EC2, seconded: Wells is my favourite of all the English cathedrals I know. But thought the trip didn't extend that far to the south-west, so didn't mention. If the itinerary takes you to the area, do go there. The Bishop's Palace is also fab. The city of Wells is famously the smallest in England - and very charming. Glastonbury's about 20-30 mins' drive away; Bath about 50 mins.
Diiarts is right: Montacute's fab. So if you take that piece of advice, don't miss another 2 sights within a few miles: Barrington House & Muchelney Abbey. Latter one of the most peaceful spots I know + the Abbot's House is def. worth inspecting. Don't miss the parish church, with a hilariously sexy early 17th heavenly host on the painted ceiling. The Priest's House is interesting, too (there's another, earlier I think, at nearby Martock which, in turn, is not far from the enchanting manor house, Lytes Carey, with 14th cent chapel and glorious garden). And Langport is a short drive from Muchelney for quiet riverine stroll/lunch.
Oh, dear - TMI? Profuse apols for inflicting bad case of nostalgic rabbit upon the thread - but, oh, there's so much there :o !

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Tue September 28th, 2010, 1:24 pm

If you manage to get to Ely (very beautiful) there's also a branch of Toppings bookshop there.

How lovely that your father did that restoration work at Knole, Diiarts, you must be very proud.
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

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sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Location: London, UK

Postby sweetpotatoboy » Tue September 28th, 2010, 8:26 pm

Oh yes, Montacute House is great. I was there for the first time a couple of months ago. I'm not sure I would travel across the country to see it, but if you're in the surrounding area, it's a must and, yes, a great opportunity to see much of the National Portrait Gallery's collection of royal portraits. And, I think, the longest, surviving Elizabethan gallery (as in the biggest in length, rather than the longest-surviving...).


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