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Friday, February 4, 2011


In 2008 Tony and I had the best holiday we have ever had.

Having previously visited Sally in Scotland and Ireland, we set off at the beginning of April for three months in England.
We planned to stay in cottages in small villages and try to "live the life".

All our school lives we have been steeped in all things British - history, literature, geography.
Our ancestors have all come from the UK.
Our traditions and way of life have all been based on that in the UK.

My family's background is English ( my grandfather was from London)  and Irish (on  both sides ) - but oh, how I would love some Scottish blood (those bagpipes really talk to my heart ).

Tony's family's background is English (his grandfather was born in England ) - but his school had Scottish links and he wore a kilt when in cadets.

So we set off hoping so see in person all those things we had heard/ read/ learnt about our whole lives.
I especially wanted to see the daffodils ( all those poems !!)

This map shows the  extent of our wandering.

* a couple of days in Salisbury to get over the flight and draw breath (and of course see Stonehenge and also Bath from there)

a bitingly cold wind was there to greet us

* next, 2 weeks in Polruan, a tiny fishing village across the bay from Fowey in Cornwall. Our trusty TomTom took us all over Cornwall every day from Tintagel to Land's End and all stops in between. We did our shopping in St Austell with all the locals, cooked dinner at home in our little cottage and walked to our local pub for hot chocolate after dinner each night.

lovely clifftop walks

* then 3 weeks in the Cotswalds via Castle Coombe on the way, staying in the little village of Wellersey, near Broadway. Out came the Lonely Planet and we worked our way through the section on the Cotswolds, stopping at little pubs and tea shops on our travels. Our supermarket shopping was done  in Evesham.

beautiful  picture-perfect villages

* next, 2 weeks in the Peak District in the village of Winster where we reached our cottage by walking down the maze if ginnels to the front door which looked out over the pretty undulating countryside. Here we experienced the old custom of Well Dressing and Chatsworth as well as lovely walks like Monsel Head. This time we went to Matlock for groceries.

Old Hardwick Hall and New Hardwick Hall

those ginnels and our front door(blue)

* 1 week visiting family in North Wales visiting Chester, Snowdonia and delightful Conwy as well as a host of completely unpronounceable places that would take ages to look up for the correct spelling !!

Chester -from the wall

Conwy from the wall

* 1 week in the glorious Yorkshire Dales at Askrigg where the series "All Creatures Great and Small" was filmed. My absolute favourite, the walks through the meadows full of buttercups will never be forgotten. We travelled over the tops to Cattarick Garrison for shopping and free wifi at Mac Donalds.

those fields of buttercups

Ribblehead Viaduct

* 1 week near the Lake District with Aussie friends, where crowds of people eating ice creams disappointed us in Wundemere until we climbed Kirkstone Pass to get away from them and a hike to Beatrix Potter's house was unexpectedly enjoyable despite the touristy nature of the place.

with our Aussie pals

* We left our friends and spent a week moving south, on the way taking in Cambridge and Duxford till we arrived at Winchester and Ichen Abbas from where we managed a quick trip to the New Forest and Windsor and Eton on Ascot Day.


inside Windsor Castle

* 1 week in Royal Tunbridge Wells to explore Dover and those white cliffs we sing about, as well as Canterbury and Chartwell to name but a few.

those White Cliffs

Bodmin Castle

* We finished up with four days in London to see a few more of the many sights this wonderful city offers .......

Hampton Court

Tower Bridge - a very lucky shot!

and then


we flew home.

We covered a lot of ground and saw a lot of England in that time.
Not too much time was spent in cities. We purchased membership in the National Trust and English Heritage when we arrived and stopped at every place we passed!!
Every day we fanned out from our cottage into the area all around where we were staying.

So you can see that our next trip, in May, is to explore a few areas that we missed.
I know there are lots more but hopefully this will not be our last trip to England, and Scotland and Ireland need further exploration too,
and we have barely started on Europe!!!

We just need to win a lottery to finance all these future travel plans. One of those huge ones that they have in the USA might just do it.

Where can I buy a ticket ?



  1. Wow Helen you have seen more of England than I have!! I have never been to Scotland either nor Ireland! I had been going to suggest Bath to you but see that you have already "done" that. Looks like you certainly know how to find the best bits - we have lots of National Trust properties in the South West so you may want to purchase a subscription again this time.

    Will e-mail soon.


  2. PS - We went to see the King's Speech on Wednesday - thanks for recommending it. Not sure why it was on general release so much earlier in Australia than here but it was worth waiting for!


  3. Looks like you had great trip more like a grand tour, you must take in east anglia if you ever have the chance again, particularly Norfolk and Suffolk, thanks for shareing, kind regards

  4. What a wonderful trip you took, and visited so many places....including Cornwall!
    NT properties are so worth visiting.

  5. Wow Helen, what a fab trip you had, I love exploring England too - and would love several weeks to do it continually - you visited Bodiam we have been there a lot - its not far from us at all. No wonder you can't wait for the next trip and we can all follow along!!x

  6. If it's Tuesday, this must be Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch....

  7. I can't believe you passed from Stonehenge to Bath, without stopping in Glastonbury! On your next trip maybe :-D

  8. Weren't you tempted to push Tony off those white cliffs?...I think the English Tourist Board should employ you! All those silly English folk who bemoan their own country should be made to look at this blogpost. It should remind them that we are fortunate indeed to live on such a blessed island. If I was around in May I'd be inviting you up to Sheffield for some Yorkshire pudding and a nice cup of Yorkshire tea.

  9. What a lovely tour you've just taken me on! Oh, to see Cornwall and the Yorkshire Dales!

    Someday I'll get there.

    What wonderful memories the two of you made on this trip!

  10. Helen, I so enjoyed seeing your photos and hearing about your itinerary. I didint actually realise the white cliffs were so white!

    It all looks so wonderful, especially the little villages. So different to our part of the world.

    Im even more determined now to get there one of these days! I bet you create lots of fantastic memories on your next trip.

  11. Helen, you don't need so many clothes - I will lose lots and lots of weight and squeeze into the your luggage ;-)
    I recognise a few names from my genealogy research where my ancestors came from, wish I could see them.
    I also love most things Scottish (except the thought of Haggis), even said my fathers family was from there based only on his surname. You have no idea how disappointed I was to learn that I have no ancestors from Scotland. Lucky hubby has one link ☺

  12. Yorkshire Pudd

    If she pushed me off the cliff there would be nobody to carry the bags mate !

  13. This sounds like such a dream trip...one of these days I'm going to take it myself. Can't wait to read about you next adventures!

  14. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photographs. Staying in cottages and doing day trips out and back sounds like a great way to see a lot and still feel like you are setteled and not living out of a suitcase.

  15. A real trip of a lifetime Helen, and wonderful that you can do some more. You are surely more well travelled over here than a lot of Brits.

  16. Lovely photos of what sounds a great trip. You've been more places in England than I have I think. Actually, the last time I was across the border was 7 years ago, shocking (like a lot of things it was before children)! It was also only for one day, all the way to Manchester and back, so I'm sure you could have squeezed a visit to Scotland in there somewhere!

  17. What a wonderful trip -- you saw a lot of the things we would love to see someday. But we'll need to win one of our big US lotteries to do it :-) I buy tickets occasionally but have yet to win anything at all much less a jackpot -- LOL.

    I've enjoyed my first visit to your blog and I'm a new follower as well now.