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Trip Report A sunny week in the UK.

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We got back yesterday from a week in the UK.

We drove from the Netherlands, via Calais, and a P&O ferry, and had booked the Club Lounge onboard. Free champagne, and all other drinks, snacks and reasonably priced food, in a quiet lounge. Lovely. It was only when returning to the car that we realised how full the ferry actually was!
It was cheaper to go via Calais, even taking fuel costs and time into consideration, than to go via Harwich.
It was a good drive, with most of the jams going the other way. Even the Dartford Crossing was relatively clear going north - southbound it was solid from the bridge back up nearly to the M11.

The main reason for the trip was for DH to see the WITCH (he worlds oldest digital computer) at the national computing museum which is at, but not part of Bletchley Park. http://www.tnmoc.org/
When he was at Wolverhampton doing his degree he worked on the WITCH and it seemed like a fitting end to his working life in computing to go back and see an old friend.
He was able to go behind the barriers and have a good look at it, and a good chat with the volunteers. We also saw computer both of us worked on, so it was a good afternoon for us, plus of course we got to see Colossus and the Tunny gallery.
We intended to go back teh following day to see the rest of Bletchley Park, but the sun was shining, and it was warm, and it seemed a shame to spend a precious sunny day in a museum, so we didn't go back. Having read rickmavs report I'm glad we saved our money.
We stayed at a pub, called the Shoulder of Mutton, in Calverton, a tiny village near Stony Stratford. I wouldn't recommend it I'm afraid. The place was closed during the day, only opening at 5pm, so when we arrived to check in there was no-one there. At 5 someone turned up, and we were shown to our room, in a separate annex. It was small, with a small double, and annoyingly only one bedside table and lamp. The bathroom was minute too.
We ate at the pub, and the food was good, but it wasn't very welcoming. We hadn't booked breakfast, which was just as well as they served breakfast only between 7 and 8 am. Way too early for us, on holiday.
The pub said it had free WiFi, which it did in the main building, but not in the rooms. They also didn't give us the key to access the WiFi until the second day, when someone found the card with the number on it.
I'm glad we only booked two nights there.

Instead of Bletchley Park we headed north to Lyvedon New Bield, a National Trust property in Northamptonshire. http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyveden-new-bield/
What a wonderful place, I can highly recommend it, but you need a car to get there!
It was built by a Catholic, in the time of Queen Elizabeth and is full of Catholic symbolism. However he died before it was finished, and the workmen down tools and so it was left. It is not a ruin, it was never completed, and remains pretty much as it was left.

Pub#2 and East Anglian explorations to follow.

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