Back from heavenly England

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Jul 3rd, 2010, 06:50 AM
  #41
 
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To be more serious, I am impressed that the tour operators found time in a busy schedule to take you to Blaise Hamlet. It is a gem of a place, and the nearby former country estate of Blaise Castle is also very pleasant. It really only takes ten minutes or so to wander past the different gothic cottages. You cannot go inside, and there is nothing else there but the cottages and the central village green. Well worth seeing if you are in Bristol, but perhaps not worth a long detour.

Details are at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-blaisehamlet. There is no charge to visit, and there are frequent buses from central Bristol.
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 08:11 AM
  #42
 
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It sounds like a great tour and is giving me some good ideas for future trips to England. But could you explain the origin of the expression "dog tired"?
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 08:25 AM
  #43
 
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Moonrise: This is a lovely report. You were fortunate to join such a marvelous in-depth literary tour.

I've learned lots more about England just reading it. Many thanks, and keep it up. I'm writing a long trip report right now about Italy, and I feel somewhat as you do, but I love reading your report.
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 10:49 AM
  #44
 
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But could you explain the origin of the expression "dog tired"?>>>

We used to use dogs as working animals. We worked them hard. Hence the expression (see also "workhorse").
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Jul 3rd, 2010, 10:53 AM
  #45
 
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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>>>

Me neither.

However I'm told it's a token now - a bit of bread and a small cup of beer.

The old boys used to look after #2 very well. She did have big bristols. Coincidence?
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Jul 4th, 2010, 02:14 AM
  #46
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just seeing if i can post some photos of the trip,
This is later in the trip at Castle rigg
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Jul 4th, 2010, 02:15 AM
  #47
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If you click on the link it does come up a picture.
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Jul 4th, 2010, 05:53 AM
  #48
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It's nice to get so many responses.
Yes, Blaise Hamlet was well worth the detour.
Next day in York the weather was warmer so I had a lovely walk around the main streets and time to browse The Shambles and then saw Clifford Tower . Walked up a long flight of steps to get to the top and then a spiral staircase and got great views from this height.Had a late lunch in a nearby pub then went back to the hotel for a rest. Met the other tour members for drinks then dinner in the hotel.
Next morning another early start. Unfortunately we had a horrible little rattly coach and it wasn't much fun travelling a long way in it.We stopped at Thirsk and saw the James Herriot museum which was well fitted out even with wax dummies of the main characters. We drove on and the countryside was very picture postcard perfect.We stopped for a late lunch at one of those roadside places for travellers...quite good, plenty of indoor cafes and shops selling travellers wares. On then to Castle Rigg...the picture is in the previous post. Very cold, windy and misty but I loved the atmosphere.The circle is made up of 38 stones
and is quite dramatic with the mountains all around.Wrote this little poem about the area

mist breathes
down the valley,
glazes rocks
of the ancient circle...
a black sheep stares back at me

There were some sheep and little lambs in the enclosure.
Finally reached Keswick a smallish village with an interesting main street. The hotel was fine and in the centre of the main street. A few of us walked to the Pencil Museum but I didn't find it very interesting at all. We had a group dinner in the hotel which was very nice.
Next day was our Wordsworth Day...great.
more later.
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Jul 4th, 2010, 09:51 AM
  #49
 
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Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more.
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Jul 4th, 2010, 04:29 PM
  #50
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vtraveller,re your query of 'dog tired'.
I toured Number 1 Royal Crescent Bath and the guide in the kitchen told me the story plus it is in the booklet you can buy there.There is a 'dog wheel' in the kitchen and a cardboard dog in it. I laughed and said , 'Of course there wouldn't be a real dog in that,' and then she said yes and explained.The dog within the wheel alluded to the earlier custom of using the labour of an actual dog which had been trained to run in the wheel which turned ropes and things to turn the spit.
quote from the book 'The dog was put in the wheel and a burning coal with him; he could not stop without burning his legs and so was kept upon the full gallop'
This was the device used to turn the spit. Ropes and things attached to the wheel. Hence the expression 'dog tired'.
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Jul 4th, 2010, 04:37 PM
  #51
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Click on the above and you will see the Hay-on-Wye castle I referred to earlier that is full of books, even the garden!
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Jul 4th, 2010, 11:52 PM
  #52
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Click on this to see my favourite out of eight houses in Blaise Hamlet.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 12:23 AM
  #53
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Wordsworth Day.
After breakfast we drove to Grasmere.
Amongst dark stone houses (with fascinating chimneys) we saw Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, a sweet little place but with very small dark rooms and low ceilings. The children's bedroom was wall papered with newspapers. It was done to give the room some insulation against the cold weather!
We travelled to Hawkshead to see Ann Tyson's cottage. Wordsworth boarded with her when he went to school. The town was small but interesting and I had a quick lunch in a place called Cranny Nook...lots of cute cafes in the town...hard to choose one.
Hilltop was our next stop, the farm where Beatrix Potter lived her adult life. Very simple and countrified with a lovely garden in full bloom.
Then onto a most spectacular place, Rydal Mount, Wordsworth house after Dove Cottage. A huge grand home with a stunning garden. He designed and worked in the garden too.
We went onto the nearby famous Gingerbread shop and bought some gingerbread, yummy!Finally we visited the old school where Wordsworth went for a time...still had old desks etc. There was a guide there who gave a good talk about those days.
At last we drove back to the hotel for a group dinner and got ready for an early start in the morning.
Next morning very early start because we had a long way to go.By this time I was heartily sick of coach travel!I just wanted to stay in one place for a week and take my time.
We finally reached Stratford-Upon-Avon . A real DELIGHT. The sort of England I'd only ever dreamed of.
Before we reached there however we stopped at Knutford to see the church Elizabeth Gaskell worshipped in and we also saw her grave.I wouldn't bother unless it was directly on your way,However the church people , after the service, gave us a nice cup of tea and a biscuit that was well needed by me at this stage.Our next stop before Stratford was a beauty! Kenilworth Castle and ruins!!!I took masses of pictures and bought a book about it. This was the setting for Walter Scott's novel Kenilworth. The grounds were most fitting for a grand castle too.Most impressed all round. The once upon a time huge stables were fitted out to be a museum about the castle and a cafe. I had a very quick lunch because I wanted to see as much of the place as possible.Next entry, Stratford!and more photos , if you would like them.
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Jul 5th, 2010, 03:39 PM
  #54
 
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I absolutely loved Grasmere Gingerbread. I bought a little booklet of recipes that had one for it, but they lied. I made it, and it was nothing like the real thing.

I am really enjoying your trip report.
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Jul 6th, 2010, 07:52 AM
  #55
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Enjoying your report so much Moonrise! All the memories come flooding back of past travels through England.......Betty's Tearoom in York, the Pump Room lunch with a three piece orchestra playing beatutifully as we enjoyed our food.....Aah, please continue!
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Jul 6th, 2010, 06:00 PM
  #56
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'the Pump Room lunch with a three piece orchestra playing beautifully as we enjoyed our food' Yes Tod, exactly that!
And what about the chandelier!
I'm delighted this isn't too boring, even though a bit long winded.Will describe main points of my Stratford visit later today (oh what a perfect place! )
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Jul 6th, 2010, 11:39 PM
  #57
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Stratford\ -upon -Avon...We arrived late in the day and the hotel looked ancient, but beautiful with lots of beams and exposed timbers and stone floors.My room was small but full of character...even getting to it was an adventure, up stairs, along passages through doors up more stairs, all the passage ways getting more and more narrow!The room had one small window that had the lovely crisscross iron panelling to it which made it looked very Elizabethan. My window over looked the street but was fairly quiet at night.Unfortunately the room had an awful smell so I went down and asked them could they use air freshener for me or something.They did and it was much better.I asked them to do it again next day while I was out and they did, plus the outside corridor.
Oh I've suddenly realized I haven't told you all the names of the hotels we sated in case you want to check them out for yourself.
Canterbury was The Abode,Winchester was Royal Winchester, Bath was Mercure Francis hotel,York was Park Inn york, Keswick was Skiddaw hotel, Stratford was The Legacy Hotel and London with the group was The Rembrandt. I stayed in Holland Park for my solo part of London holiday at the Hilton Kensington.
Back to Stratford. We had dinner that night in a beautiful little cafe called Half Moon Inn, food was good and service hilarious although not intentionally so. There was one waiter who was like Basil in Fawlty Towers! Great for a laugh in a group for one meal but wouldn't want to go there often.Next day was very warm.The leader walked us around the town telling us about the main points,,,easy walking as it is flat and the things she showed us were interesting...Shakespeare's church and school,the Avon River bank where a gathering of swans put on a graceful ballet for us, a group of boats named after women in Shakespeare's plays, parks with great statues. Were shown and led around the church where Shakespeare was interred. Also saw his birthplace.
Went through Hall's Croft and when we came out there were some actors in full voice doing small parts from different plays.We sat about for nearly an hour . Great bonus.
Had a late lunch in the back cafe of Nash's place...after which we went through it and it was fantastic...all beams, uneven floors at various levels , thick ancient doors and well furnished in the things of those times. Late afternoon we bundled into the coach (yes, you could easily walk it) and saw Anne Hathaways cottage and garden...even more beautiful than I had expected, especially the garden.
The others went to a play that night but I was too tired so wrote postcards etc and had a relatively early night.
Another early start today as we wend our way back to London.
Nearly finshed ...continue soon...will put some photos.
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Jul 7th, 2010, 04:37 AM
  #58
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Click on this and here we are at Anne Hathaway's cottage.
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Jul 7th, 2010, 04:40 AM
  #59
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across the road from my hotel in Stratford this ancient building
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Jul 7th, 2010, 04:42 AM
  #60
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Sorry the last entry is wrong
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