S: Destination: Retirement, England 2012
BC: DEPARTED | USA | 4 SEPT 2012
FC: England 2012 | Destination: Retirement
1: ENGLAND | LONDON | ARRIVED 5 SEPT 2012 | From the grandeur and bustle of London, to the pastoral countryside that inspired Shakespeare, to some of the quaintest towns you’ll ever experience, England delights. Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, the Beatles. England does icons like no other place on earth, and travel here is a fascinating mix of famous names and hidden gems.
2: “I live in Notting Hill – not a bad place to be... there’s the market on weekdays, selling every fruit and vegetable known to man... Then suddenly it’s the weekend, and from the break of day, hundreds of stalls appear out of nowhere, filling Portobello Road right up to Notting Hill Gate... and thousands of people buy millions of antiques...” William Thacker (Hugh Grant), Notting Hill
4: London | 5 Sept 2012
5: The Tube First opening in 1863, London’s famed Underground (or Tube) is a public metro system that now boasts 11 lines, 270 stations, and over one billion passengers every year. Navigating the Tube is an essential part of any trip to London!
6: ABBEY ROAD is a thoroughfare located in the borough of Camden and the City of Westminster, running roughly northwest to southeast through St. John’s Woods, near Lord’s Cricket Ground. The road is best known for the Abbey Road Studios and The Beatles' 11th studio album, released in 1969.
8: THE COTSWOLDS: Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold The name Cotswold is sometimes attributed the meaning “sheep enclosure in rolling hillside,” also incorporating the term “wold,” meaning woodland. The area is characterized by attractive small towns and villages built of the underlying Cotswold stone, a yellow limestone. Wool trade during the middle ages made the Cotswolds prosperous. Some of this money was put toward building churches, so the area has a large number of beautiful Cotswold stone churches. | 6 Sept 2012
10: The Cotswolds | What is it that makes the perfect English village? There’s no doubt a traditional pub is every bit as important to its character as the church, cricket pitch or surrounding countryside. In the midst of the Cotswolds lies The Swan Inn, a boutique inn on the banks of the River Windrush which serves traditional British fare, including freshly caught trout.
13: A market town and civil parish on the banks of the river Avon, Stratford upon Avon is perhaps best known as the birthplace of playwright and poet William Shakespeare in a large half-timbered dwelling on Henley Street in 1564. The town also boasts other historical and cultural icons, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare was baptized and buried. | Stratford- upon- Avon
14: Westminster Abbey is a large gothic church in London. Constructed over a period of five hundred years from 1245 to 1745, it is one of the most notable religious buildings in the UK. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial for British monarchs and other national figures, including Issac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Geoffrey Chaucer. It was also the site of the famous 2011 wedding between Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton. | 7 Sept 2012
15: BIG BEN is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the | Palace of Westminster. Originally completed in 1858, the clock tower was officially renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. The tower holds the world’s largest four-face chiming clock in the world.
16: Buckingham Palace | Harrods
18: THE TOWER OF LONDON is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. The Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat, and over many years has served as an armoury, a prison, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, and the home of the Crown Jewels. The peak period of the castle’s use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many disgraced figures, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, were held within its walls. This use has led to the phrase, “sent to the Tower.”
19: 8 Sept 2012
20: KENSINGTON PALACE is a royal residence set in Kensington Gardens. It has been a residence of the British Royal Family since the 17th century. In recent history, it was the residence of Diana, Princess of Wales, from the time of her marriage to Prince Charles until her death in 1997. Most notably, it is the current official London residence of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their son Prince George of Cambridge, and Prince Harry of Wales. The Kensington Palace Orangery is a lavish greenhouse in the heart of Kensington Gardens and is famous for its elegant afternoon teas.
23: Dinner Cruise on the River Thames | TOWER BRIDGE is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London which crosses the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, from which it takes its name, and has become an iconic symbol of London. Built from 1886-1894, the bridge’s current color scheme dates back to 1977, when it was painted red, white, and blue for Queen Elizabeth II’s silver jubilee. Contrary to popular belief, the song, “London Bridge is Falling Down” has nothing to do with Tower Bridge, instead referring to the collapse of other bridges in London.
24: 9 Sept 2012
25: Windsor Castle and Stonehenge | Windsor Castle is a royal residence in the English county of Berkshire. It was originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century after the Norman invasion. The castle includes the famous 15th century St. George’s Chapel. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by succeeding monarchs and is the longest occupied palace in Europe. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, and Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred weekend home. | One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists believe it was built in three phases from 3000 to 2300 BC. The tallest stone is 7.3 meters high and weighs over 45 tons. Over one million visitors come to the site each year, but access inside the stone circle has been banned since 1978 due to vandalism and erosion.
26: The Roman City of Bath | The city was first established as a spa called Aquae Sulis by the Romans sometime in the AD 60s. Baths and a temple were built on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the river Avon around hot springs. Today, the city is home to theaters, museums, two universities, and a booming tourism industry that welcomes almost four million day visitors every year.
28: Located in Northern England, Liverpool is the 4th most populous British city. Labeled the World Capital City of Pop by Guinness World Records, artists from Liverpool have produced 56 number one singles, more than any other city in the world. Of course, Liverpool is most famous as the birthplace of the Beatles in 1960. Some famous Beatles sites to see in Liverpool include the birthplace of George Harrison, the childhood homes of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and Ringo Star, St. Peter’s Church (where John and Paul met for the first time,) Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, and the famous Cavern Club. “Money Can’t Buy Me Love” but it can buy a “Ticket to Ride” on the “Magical Mystery Tour” bus for a “Day Tripper” around Liverpool. | Liverpool | 10 Sept 2012
29: "The magical mystery tour is waiting to take you away..." | "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes..."
30: "Let me take you down cause I'm going to Strawberry Fields..." | "Strawberry Fields forever.."
32: “Ladies and Gentlemen... the Beatles!” Now considered by many as the greatest and most influential band of the rock era, the Beatles got their start in Liverpool in 1960. Beginning with a lunchtime appearance on February 9, 1961, the Fab Four- John, Paul, George, and Ringo- eventually played nearly 300 shows at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. In no time at all, Beatlemania spread "Here, There, and Everywhere..." The world will never be the same.
34: Shakespeare’s Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse on the south bank of the River Thames that was originally built in 1599, destroyed by a fire caused by a cannon accident during a production of Henry VIII in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and finally demolished in 1644 by pressure of Puritan opinion. The reconstruction is an academic approximation and is located 750 feet from the original site. It opened in 1997 with a production of Henry V.
35: 11 Sept 2012
36: The London Eye
37: THE LONDON EYE is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames. The tallest ferris wheel in Europe, it measures 443 feet tall and has a diameter of 394 feet. It was formally opened by then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on New Year’s Eve 1999. Since opening, the London Eye has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, visited by over 3.5 million people annually.