S: Great Britain 2012
BC: created by Gail Campbell 2012
FC: Great Times...Great Friends... Great Britain August 30 - October 15,2012
1: Great Times Great Friends Great Britain | August 30,2012 - October 15,2012 with David Brown Bruce and Carol Duffin Don and Judy Evans
2: We have arrived! Time for a celebration toast at Heathrow before flying on to Dublin.
3: Our first home away from home is the Annandale Bed and Breakfast in Dublin.
4: Dublin ...a tour of the town
5: O'Connell Street - Dublin's main thoroughfare and one of the widest streets in the world
6: Trinity College founded in 1592
8: stepping through the doors of higher learning
9: or watching the football team practice
11: Guinness is Big Business here.
12: more sights and sounds of Dublin
16: Dublin Castle
17: interesting windows everywhere
18: Christ Church Cathedral est.1036
20: Inside...Vikings... the early invaders | Outside... Tourists.. the current invaders
21: Kilmainham Gaol - opened in 1796 - closed in 1924 ...if these walls could talk!!!
22: Our first stop is the chapel where we learn about the famous and infamous inmates including the leaders of 5 Irish rebellions who were detained here.
24: Doors and Windows
25: every one locked tight
26: The prison is an interesting place to step into for a visit but we have no plans to stay.
28: We are in Dublin at the time of year when 2 American college football teams come to play. The Temple Bar area is party central after the game.
29: The streets are filled with fans looking for a party so they can celebrate or a few drinks to drown their sorrows.
30: Things get crazier as the evening wears on...
31: ...and the police presence is obvious.
32: Day trip to the seaside village of Howth
35: The countryside is green and beautiful and...
36: ...many hills are covered with heather.
37: The time has come to bid farewell to the colourful doors and friendly pubs of Dublin.
38: Home number 2 is in Bunratty, where we visit the castle and folk park.
39: Bunratty Castle built in 1425, houses 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art. At Bunratty Folk Park we get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the people of the time.
42: The castle comes alive in the evenings, with entertainment and a feast in the banqueting style of the medieval era.
45: our trip to the Cliffs of Moher
46: the stunning countryside as we approach the cliffs
47: We take a boat ride so we can view the cliffs from the sea.
51: We have a great ride but are in for a surprise at the end. | The tide has gone out so we are shuttled to shore on the lifeboats.
52: Traveling from Bunratty to Klonakilty
53: Everywhere we look there are flowers in full bloom and the colours are extraordinary.
54: Our route takes us around the Ring of Kerry and more beautiful countryside.
55: a stop for lunch at the village sandwich shop
57: It is not unusual, when exploring the countryside, to come upon ruins out in the middle of a farmer's field.
58: One such place is the Stones of Dromberg.
59: We drive down roads that look like this... | ...with flora that looks like this....
60: ...and seaside towns with names like Union Hall, Leap, Baltimore and Inchydoney.
63: Every town has something interesting and unique to explore.
64: and even a taste of home
65: Inchydoney Beach
68: We spend some time at Kilkenny Castle, the home of the Butler family.
69: The grounds are beautiful | and open to the public.
71: Kilkenny Castle stands on the river Nore. It has been in existence for 8 centuries and was the principle residence of the Butler family for almost 600 years. It is fun to have a glimpse into the life of the relatives!
73: Before leaving Kilkenny we walk to the centre of town for lunch at a local pub where we check out the Hurling match on the big screen and... ...who is that bartender?
74: Then to Waterford and a tour of the home of the famous crystal.
77: Beautiful commissioned pieces...all hand finished
78: ...back in England and at Drakesbottom,our home for the next few days
79: Winchester Cathedral
81: Baptismal Font | Jane Austin's grave | Bill Weeks gives us an awesome personal tour.
83: Beautiful art and architecture fills the cathedral.
84: Just outside the grounds of the cathedral we go for lunch at the Wykeham Arms.
85: Church of St.Swithun upon Kingsgate, a place of worship for over 750 years | Winchester city gate | King Alfred restored Winchester after the Dark Ages. | Jane Austin lived here for the last 6 weeks of her life.
86: inscription on the round table "This is the round table of Arthur with 24 of his named knights." It is 18 ft.in diameter and weighs one ton.
87: On our way home we stop to check out the thatched roof cottages.
88: Beaulieu - one of the Treasure Houses of England and home to the National Motor Museum,the Palace House, Beaulieu Abbey and a Secret Army Exhibition
89: While wandering the palace grounds we visit the Victorian Flower Garden and Ornamental Kitchen Garden.
90: A glimpse into the lifestyle of the Montague family who have made their home at Beaulieu since 1538. | A unique bell tone summons the help to each different room of the house.
92: Carts, carriages, trucks and touring cars - over 250 motor vehicles and 'automobilia' reflecting the history of the motor car in Britain
93: The museum houses a number of autos of TV and movie fame. A feature display of the largest official collection of Bond vehicles was, sadly, closed to the public the day of our visit. | 1981 "Back to the Future" De Lorean | Mr. Bean's 1979 Austin Mini
94: Each new day means a new adventure and today is no different. We are in the city of Portsmouth for a visit to its historic dockyard.
95: First stop... a tour of the harbour for an up-close look at a number of gunboats, frigates and destroyers of the British Navy.
96: Then to explore HMS Victory, built about 1750 and a participant in the Battle of Trafalgar. Admiral Nelson met his maker while aboard this ship.
97: cramped sleeping quarters | 98 cannons on board and sailors ate and slept among them
98: then to HMS Warrior | - another warship, this one built in 1860 and powered by sail and steam
100: Don thinks that life on board these ships looks so comfy he decided to sign up.
101: Question... Does anyone really understand the rules of cricket??? | The Bat & Ball This is the place where the rules of the game of cricket (as we know them today) were established.
102: On our last day in south-west England we visit Avebury World Heritage Site and Silbury Hill, the highest man-made mound in Europe.
103: Avebury farmyard includes a dovecote, a threshing barn, a 16th century manor and gardens.
105: Inside the beautifully restored manor house are examples of furniture, appliances and decorating of the 16th century.
106: outside...the beautiful,manicured gardens
109: Always time to stop for lunch and a beer
110: Welcome to Stonehenge! The monument evolved between 3000BC and 1600BC and is aligned with the midsummer sunrise and the midwinter sunset. Its exact purpose remains a mystery.
113: The stone circle is a source of fascination and, for many, a place of worship and celebration.
114: We soon learn that at the end of narrow little country roads there is often a wonderful surprise awaiting discovery.
116: Currently the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace and early home of Winston Churchill.
118: one more example of stunningly beautiful gardens
119: Moving day again... When we leave Blenheim we head for Stratford Upon Avon and our 5th home on this most excellent adventure.
120: We are all set for our tour of the town of Stratford, starting at the park by the river Avon and ending with dinner at the Old Thatch Tavern.
122: The architecture is varied and truly unique to Stratford.
124: Holy Trinity Church - the burial place of Shakespeare
126: Royal Shakespeare Theatre
127: cruising on the river Avon
128: We spend this Sunday in the beautiful Cotswolds.
131: - yards and gardens - Cotswold limestone - rolling hills
133: What started as a stop for lunch ends up as an opportunity to sample "Sunday roast" common fare at pubs each Sunday.
135: Guests at Warwick experience, first hand, what life was like in the middle ages.
136: From Henry V111 to Elizabeth 11 you never know who you will run into at Warwick.
137: We step outside and go for a walk on the castle walls where we have a spectacular view of the grounds and surrounding area.
138: We watch aerial displays of falconry. | The trebuchet is fired every day.
140: another of our unique and fascinating vacation homes
144: Iron Bridge Gorge... The gorge of the river Severn is the seat of the Industrial Revolution and home of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums: Coalport China Museum,Museum of Iron,Jackfield Tile Museum,the Iron Bridge & Tollhouse and the Tar Tunnel
147: Coalport China Museum
152: We are on the move again. On this rainy Wednesday we make a stop in Chester where we take a wet walk on the Roman wall,check out the shops on Abbey Street and visit the Roman Amphitheatre.
155: Chester Castle | Chester Cathedral
156: What is wrong with this super value?
157: After leaving Chester,we travel through countryside that looks like this to arrive at...
161: another of the beautiful and unique inns we called home
162: Then more driving down roads that look like this... | ...to arrive at our next home that looks like this.
164: The scenery is magnificent...
165: the roads are somewhat 'more interesting' than we expected... | and...who could resist taking a picture of a sign like this?
166: We are in the Lake District and today we take a cruise on Lake Windermere.
167: It is a little cool and windy but still a beautiful day for enjoying the view from the lake.
168: We see lovely homes along the lake including those where the likes of Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge wrote or slept or maybe both.
169: and Carol finds a place to watch the 'family' team play football. | We don't get a lot of rain today but we sure see a beautiful, full rainbow over the lake
170: The locals warn us about traveling on the road to the Kirkstone Pass, a road they call the Struggle. To us, who have driven in the Rockies, the road is a piece of cake. | The highest pub in England and too early for a beer!
171: We travel north to Scotland and once there our first stop is Inverary Castle, home to the Duke of Argyll, the head of Clan Campbell.
174: Our home in Ft. William. Check out the view from the front window!
175: South of Ft. William the countryside is mountainous and rugged.
177: We take 'The Jacobite' steam train on a journey from Ft. William to Mallaig. The Jacobite is regarded as one of the Greatest Railway Journeys in the world, due mainly to the breathtaking scenery.
179: We cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct (of Harry Potter fame) and make a brief stop at Glenfinnan Station
180: arriving at the station in Mallaig, a busy fishing port and ferry terminal
183: ...and the return journey
186: moving on toward Edinburgh
187: We stopped for gas and met this friendly looking fellow in the yard next door.
192: The engine room is as clean and shining as every other room on the Britannia.
197: Edinburgh Castle
201: As is our habit, when visiting a new city, we take a bus tour.
202: Taking a bus trip around Edinburgh means sitting on Tartan seats.
203: English??? Is that really the language they are speaking here?
206: The Scott Monument, built to commemorate Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland's great novelists.
207: Time to move on but not without a picture of our Edinburgh home and street.
208: On the road again and traveling through the beautiful Scottish countryside and then a stop at Ainwick Castle where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.
211: Broomstick riding classes are underway on the day of our visit.
213: The gardens are lovely even if the day is cool and windy.
216: We were forever grateful for GPS and even on this day, when it led us astray, the adventure was fun.
217: The road eventually led to our next destination and another Pheasant Inn where we meet up with David's university friends.
218: Don is convinced this would be the perfect man-cave.
219: We stop near Hadrian's Wall which spans the 60 miles from sea to sea. It was built by the Romans about 122 AD to define the northern border of the Empire
221: Our next stop is Vindolanda with its excavated remains of fort walls,gate guard chambers, commanding officer's residence and more. | The Vindolanda Trust continues to excavate this site.
224: Welcome to York We will spend the next week here exploring the city and surrounding countryside.
226: Our home in York is just a few blocks outside the city wall. We can walk everywhere we want to go. | watching the window washer from our front window
227: our view of the back yard from the dining room
228: York Minster
229: the view from the top of the minster
230: step inside
234: National Railway Museum
236: Prior to our arrival the area in and around York had seen torrential rain which resulted in flooding of property close to the rivers.
237: We are off on a walking tour of the city of York.
239: The city tour takes us up for a walk on the city wall.
243: It is a beautiful Sunday morning...blue sky and sun shining so what better to do than go for a drive to the seashore!
246: We explore the seaside village of Robin Hood's Bay but see no sign of Robin.
248: ...built during the early 13th century
250: The abbey sits at the top of the cliff and overlooks the seaside resort and fishing village of Whitby.
252: the harbour
253: We stopped at the Magpie Cafe for fish and chips...said to be among the best in Britain. | ...writing in the sand before the tide comes in erase it... | ...and even an arcade to help pass the time while visiting the seashore...
254: Taking a walk on the pier and always time to stop for a hug!
255: ...and finally....LONDON
256: Here we are in London and, of course, the first thing we do is find the Big Bus so we can go for a tour of the town and get our bearings before we explore on foot. | Trafalgar Square
258: St. Paul's Cathedral 1675-1710 | Royal Courts of Justice
259: Tower Bridge
261: The city tour includes a cruise on the river Thames.
262: a view from the river
263: Parliament Buildings
265: Big Ben
266: Tower of London
269: There are classes for children and characters in costume to educate and entertain.
270: We step inside to take a look at the crown jewels.
275: Trafalgar Square and across the street Canada Place
278: On our way to Buckingham Palace we visit the Royal Mews, a working stable and home to the royal collection of coaches and carriages. The Royal Mews is responsible for all road travel arrangements for the Queen.
280: Wednesday morning for changing of the guard - | If you want a really good view arrive very early.
285: P | Pomp... Ceremony... ...and lots of security
286: the famous balcony but no royal family today
288: Canada Gate - across from the palace
289: When leaving the palace we walk down The Mall and alongside St.James' Park
290: Opposite St. James' Park we visit the Household Cavalry Museum that explores the ceremonial duties and operational role of the household cavalry.
291: On another day we are in central London and find Carnaby Street, which is now mostly home to American chain stores. From there we go to Regent Street to catch the Tube back to our home in Kensington.
292: What we see as we walk along Whitehall
293: Westminster Abbey - consecrated in 1523
294: History of transportation in London from the 1880s to present day
296: close to home - Kensington Palace and Gardens
299: On a beautiful,autumn Sunday in the park...
300: ...you see everything from the sublime...
301: ...to the...You must be kidding me!
302: a glimpse inside the palace
303: A little farther down the street is the Albert Memorial at Hyde Park. We did not, however, get to speakers' corner to offer our views on world issues.
304: Across the street from Hyde Park is Royal Albert Hall.
305: After a very long walk, asking many questions of the locals and a number of wrong turns we found this unique museum. It was really worth the time and trouble it took to find it.
306: We just have to check out Harrod's, truly a symbol of decadence and indulgence. A large crowd has gathered to await the opening. Inside there is something for every taste and for every big pocketbook.
307: sights and signs in our neighbourhood
309: Don loves to check out the cars that are parked on the streets near our house. | And then there is this one in a showroom we pass on the way to Harrod's.
310: our final home away from home
311: our Kensington neighbourhood
312: We soon become experts at getting anywhere we want to go using the Tube.
313: After 45 days, we must say farewell. What a wonderful time we've had.