Back from heavenly England

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Jun 27th, 2010, 02:14 AM
  #21
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continuing this saga
Jane Austen day...outstanding view of the country as we travelled along in our coach. We stopped at Box Hill for a coffee and biscuits. This is where there is a scene of a picnic in Jane Austens's 'Emma'.Beautiful dramatic view but exposed hill top which was freezing!On to Jane's house, where she lived from 1809 to 1817, which was as I imagined it...not too big but pretty. Couldn't take indoor pictures but the garden was lovely with spring flowers so I took pictures of the garden. Also a small book shop attached.
We then went to Chawton Great House, most impressive and grand indeed!Had a private tour over the house plus a tour of the library collection.We visited the church and churchyard where Jane's mother and sister were buried.A long but interesting day.Arrived in Winchester and settled into our hotel.
The following day we coached to the Hospital of St Cross,an abbey, a highlight of the trip for me.It is a fantastic place, ancient and beautiful set in the most beautiful garden you could imagine. Look it up on the Internet.The tour went on but I decided to leave them and walk back to Winchester , following the route Keats walked . Beautiful buildings and I stopped at a funny little pub and had coffee and cake. Went onto the Winchester Close and Winchester Cathedral...stunning!Browsed around the township and bought some books about the the area.Had lunch in a odd pub on the edge of town then had a tour of the Great Hall, had King Arthur's table fastened to the wall.Had an early night as we had a very early start next day.
We went to Lyme Regis on the coast. Walked the Cobb as seen in the film French Lieutenant's Woman. Misty day but still enjoyed the wiggly streets and pretty buildings. Had a super thick soup in a beaut cafe overlooking the sea.Bought lots of postcards in the museum shop.Then it was onto Max Gate,Thomas Hardy's home in Dorchester.We toured over the house and garden and visited the Dorchester museum which was huge. Had coffee before we travelled the long way back to the hotel,Had a fish meal with some of the others in the hotel lounge, quite cheap and generous serving.We had to pack ready to travel again early to our next hotel so had an early night.
moonrise
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Jun 27th, 2010, 02:59 PM
  #22
 
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If you go to New York City. There are some really good tours which visit places in Greenwich Village where famous authors lived and Harlem has become a tourist mecca with the personalities of the Harlem Renaissance. Harlem just opened its first hotel.
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Jun 27th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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hi moonrise - you have crammed in quite a lot. [english understatement]

looking forward to more,

regards, ann
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Jun 27th, 2010, 10:25 PM
  #24
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Hi ann. I agree , we crammed in too much...I was exhausted by the end of the trip!
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Jun 30th, 2010, 05:27 PM
  #25
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On the way to Bath we stopped off at Lacock, the setting for the movie 'Cranford'. A beautiful little village of stone houses with a sensational abbey. The gardens were especially dreamy! took masses of pictures and had lunch in a tiny cafe which was dark, had a low ceiling with thick black beams.
Again it was very cold but with clear skies. Arrived in Bath, which became my favourite city in England.It was full of tall mellow buildings and had a delightful elegance about it.Our hotel was the Francis. My room was so noisy I asked for another room and got it...next to the car park! however , that was quieter than the previous room so I put up with it.The location was good, near everything and there was a sweet little park opposite.I'm sure there are better places to stay in Bath, however.We had dinner in the hotel which was in the bar. The cottage pie was lovely!We had a quick tour around the main points of Bath with the leader then we headed back to the hotel for some rest.Woke up the next morning to a freezing room. the air con wasn't working. They said they'd get a portable heater put into the room for me by the afternoon.Cloudy day with light rain now and then and very chilly.We set off as a group to explore Bath abbey. Another grand place and worth the hour or more spent there. Excellent gift shop too. I bought stacks for the family. During the lunch break I raced off to the Post office and sent them back home. Had a quick but delicious lunch in the Pump Room.More wandering around and exploring the quaint streets and shops. at 7.30 we went to Queens Square for a private performance of the story of Bath.Back at the hotel had sandwiches and coffee and then some fruit in my room.Unfortunately now the room was too hot!Not only was the portable heater on full blast but so was the air con!!!Turned the heater off but couldn't lower the heat of the air con so took a risk and left the window slightly open all night even thpough on the ground floor.
Next day the tour was off somewhere for the day but I decided to opt out and take in parts of Bath I hadn't seen and do it at leisure for a change.
To be continued...
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Jul 1st, 2010, 09:49 AM
  #26
 
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hi again, moonrise,

though I live in England, I've only even done day trips to Bath, I've never stayed overnight.

you and some other recent TR writers are making me think that I should spend at least one night there [though possibly NOT at the Francis!]

keep it coming

regards, ann
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Jul 1st, 2010, 11:31 AM
  #27
 
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Lovely report moonrise. I'm enjoying it.

annhig - if you come back to Bath then let me know _ I live 30 miles away so have no reason to stay there overnight, but often visit for a few hours, shopping or such, and would love to meet you!

If you do an overnight stay, there are various evening walks, and there's the Theatre Royal which has some very good productions on from time to time.

www.theatreroyal.org.uk
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Jul 1st, 2010, 12:00 PM
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Five and a half weeks vacationing in England; what bliss! I spent twelve days last summer and that didn't seem nearly enough . Thanks for your report and sharing your perspectives and itinerary for some of my favourite memories of last year, offering me ideas for when I see Bath and Winchester next!

Best wishes, Daniel
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Jul 1st, 2010, 12:29 PM
  #29
 
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I really do hate correcting people. Honest.

But your report implies you've been badly shortchanged at St Cross in Winchester.

It's not an abbey. We don't know the buildings' full history, but they certainly haven't been an abbey for nearly 900 years. It's been a hospice since about 1140, and still exists to provide free long-term residence for the deserving poor: practically the only medieval institution in England, apart from some cathedrals and Oxbridge colleges, that's still doing what it was set up to do in the 12th century. There's a poster on this board who'll claim the school down the road is in that category - but it was set up to educate ordinary people, and now it provides an elitist education to toffs, or privileged children of impoverished gentry. St Cross still provides a refuge for the poor - even if the Brothers it supports are a wee bit more advantaged than most Hampshire Social Services clients.

You don't need to be coached to get there: it's a delightful 20 min walk from the middle of Winchester. And it still carries out a charming tradition which coach parties, I think, are excluded from. Any genuine traveller can demand - as they've been able to since the 12th century - the Wayfarers' Dole. Ask at the porters' lodge and you'll be given - free - a horn of beer and a hunk of bread.

The Dole was set up so indigent travellers could find somewhere they knew would feed them: even as late as the 1930s we know destitute people relied on it. These days, it's more an excuse to extract a contribution from visitors.

But where else offers you free beer at 9 in the morning?
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Jul 1st, 2010, 05:11 PM
  #30
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Thanks everyone. Wasn't sure if I should continue as it is becoming a long saga
No I wasn't short changed at St Cross, Winchester. It was actually one of the highlights of the trip. And you are right, you certainly don't need to be coached there from Winchester city but the others were going far afield and it was just their first stop.
On the front it has this notice, which I think is charming...

The Hospital of St. Cross
and Almshouse of
Noble Poverty

I thought Bath was outstanding and hope you do visit it again Ann. If you do make sure you visit Number 1 the Crescent, a grand home painstakingly fitted out with furnishings from the past,and make sure you visit the kitchen...stunning,,,and you'll never say 'I'm feeling dog tired' again...the guides in each room tell so much about the items especially the one I met in the kitchen...she told me how the saying 'dog tired' and 'at loggerheads' came about by showing the items in the kitchen.
I'll continue the saga later today as I have an appointment to keep and must dash.
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Jul 1st, 2010, 09:49 PM
  #31
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Went to Wales for the day but on the way stopped at another place that was to become a highlight for me.Blaise Hamlet. beautiful cottages in a circle round a green designed by John Nash 1809!!!
We then travelled to Wales and Tintern Abbey...a poet's delight.Breathtakingly stunning especially with the hard blue sky as background.Bought a lot in the gift shop and had a snack in the nearby cafe after taking masses of angles of the ruin.We travelled onto Hay-on Wye, a town devoted to second hand bookshops...shop after shop down higgley piggley streets...delightful. Stopped for another snack in a quaint little place then had a look at the castle, also completely full of second hand books even the garden had huge bookshelves crammed with books!I don't know what they would do if it rained.
the next day was an early start as we had to travel from Bath to york 233 miles, or 375 km.Far too long a trip but I just had to put up with it. At least we stopped on the way and saw the D. H. Lawrence centre and later Lord Byron's grand home, Newstead Abbey ...wonderfully over the top place
where we able to take pictures inside. The garden too was magnificent , which was was fitting for such a grand place.
On the way I wrote a little poem

huddled in the fold
of a small green mountain
thatched cottages

At last we reached York. Very modern hotel overlooking the river.Unfortunately I started to catch a cold so felt a bit yuk but nevertheless I loved York. Met a friend and his wife the next day and we had lunch and toured the Treasurers House..well worth a visit and the garden was full of white tulips. We had afternoon tea in Betty's which I was told was
famous for its tea and cakes and it certainly lived up to it.
We toured around the city and then at 6pm they left for home and I had dinner in the hotel with some of the others.
To be continued
moonrise
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Jul 2nd, 2010, 05:00 AM
  #32
 
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ttt
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Jul 2nd, 2010, 07:10 AM
  #33
 
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julia - thanks.

I come past Bath quite often to travel up to my mother in Coventry [i have an old fashioned liking for the Fosse Way] so i may take you up on that!

lovely descriptions, moonrise, and I love the poem. keep it coming!
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Jul 2nd, 2010, 12:00 PM
  #34
 
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"Any genuine traveller can demand - as they've been able to since the 12th century - the Wayfarers' Dole. Ask at the porters' lodge and you'll be given - free - a horn of beer and a hunk of bread."

I've walked within 1/4 mile of St Cross dozens of times, usually towards the end of a 10-12 mile walk, but have never had the courage to knock on the door and ask for my beer.

Maybe if I ever get to walk the whole Portsmouth-Winchester section of the Pilgrims Way (About 26 miles), I might do so.
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Jul 2nd, 2010, 06:00 PM
  #35
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willit, it's worth not only knocking on the door but going in and looking around. The brothers are very proud of the place and the one we had was Brother John and he was quite a character. The gardens are varied, wild and free , bluebells, Queen Anne's Lace, wisteria etc, then there is the formal part with incredible clipped hedges and arches.
I'll see if I can manage pictures here of the place.
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 03:09 AM
  #36
 
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But your report implies you've been badly shortchanged at St Cross in Winchester.

It's not an abbey.

I kept quiet. It's an almshouse. Bloody lovely it is too and the walk there (either though the watermeadows or if that's a bit too much along Kingsagate St) is lovely. The Queen pub about halfway is very good too. (I learned the word to the rudest song I know in the Queen).

My 2nd wife got her MA by painting the place. So there, Lived in by nice old men. Painted by bitches.

St Cross:

http://tinyurl.com/36mkq69
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 03:33 AM
  #37
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Well I didn't mean to imply I was short changed at all! Yes it is an alms house and super beautiful...perhpas not an abbey but that doesn't bother me.

This is what I said and I can't see how anyone can interpret it that i felt short changed...

"The following day we coached to the Hospital of St Cross,an abbey, a highlight of the trip for me.It is a fantastic place, ancient and beautiful set in the most beautiful garden you could imagine. Look it up on the Internet"

moonrise
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 04:02 AM
  #38
 
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Ignore us curmudgeons. Tommow we'll go back to arguing about angels and pinheads.

However we all agree that St Cross is wonderfull.

If you're going to Winchester. Go to St Cross.

(after you've seen my old skool - it's on the way).
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 04:52 AM
  #39
 
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This modern British education is rubbish.

An M.A. in decorating!
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 06:11 AM
  #40
 
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Any fule kno that!
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