S: Great Britain 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 Gail and Don Campbell Judy and Don 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 city
5: O'Connell Street - Dublin's main thoroughfare and one of the widest streets in the world dominated by "Spire of Dublin"
6: Trinity College founded in 1592
9: Guinness is Big Business here.
10: more sights of Dublin
13: Molly Malone "The Tart with the Cart"
14: Dublin Castle
15: interesting windows everywhere
16: Christ Church Cathedral est.1036
18: Inside...Vikings... the early invaders | Outside... Tourists.. the current invaders
19: Kilmainham Gaol - opened in 1796 - closed in 1924 ...if these walls could talk!!!
20: 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.
22: Doors and Windows
23: every one locked tight
24: 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.
25: The streets are filled with fans looking for a party so they can celebrate or a few drinks to drown their sorrows.
26: Things get crazier as the evening wears on...
27: ...and the police presence is obvious.
28: Day trip to the seaside village of Howth
31: The countryside is green and beautiful and...
32: ...many hills are covered with heather.
33: The time has come to bid farewell to the colourful doors and friendly pubs of Dublin.
34: Home number 2 is in Bunratty, where we visit the castle and folk park.
35: 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.
38: The castle comes alive in the evenings, with entertainment and a feast in the banqueting style of the medieval era-with one tool, a hunting knife.
41: our trip to the Cliffs of Moher
42: the stunning countryside as we approach the cliffs
43: We took a boat ride so we could view the cliffs from the sea.
47: 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.
48: Traveling from Bunratty to Klonakilty via the Ring of Kerry
49: Everywhere we look there are flowers in full bloom and the colours are extraordinary.
50: Beautiful countryside around the Ring of Kerry
51: a stop for lunch at a village sandwich shop
53: It is not unusual, when exploring the countryside, to come upon ruins out in the middle of a farmer's field.
54: One such place is the Stones of Dromberg. | Special items left to hopefully bring a good harvest
55: We drive down roads that look like this... | ...with flora that looks like this....
56: ...and seaside towns with names like Union Hall, Leap, Baltimore and Inchydoney.
59: Every town has something interesting and unique to explore e.g. Klonakilty Pub
60: and even a taste of home
61: Inchydoney Beach
64: We spend some time at Kilkenny Castle, the home of the Butler family.
65: The grounds are beautiful | and open to the public.
67: 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 was fun to have a glimpse into the life of Gail's family
69: 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?
70: Then to Waterford and a tour of the home of the famous crystal.
73: Beautiful commissioned pieces...all hand finished
74: ...now in England and at Drakesbottom,our home for the next few days
75: Winchester Cathedral
77: Baptismal Font | Jane Austin's grave | Bill Weeks gave us an awesome personal tour.
79: Beautiful art and architecture fill the cathedral.
80: Just outside the grounds of the cathedral we have lunch at the Wykeham Arms.
81: 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.
82: 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.
83: On our way home we stop to check out the thatched roof cottages.
84: 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
85: While wandering the palace grounds we visit the Victorian Flower Garden and Ornamental Kitchen Garden.
86: 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.
88: Carts, carriages, trucks and touring cars - over 250 motor vehicles and "automobilia" reflecting the history of the motor car in Britain
89: 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
90: 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.
91: First stop... a tour of the harbour for an up-close look at a number of gunboats, frigates and destroyers of the British Navy.
92: 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.
93: cramped sleeping quarters | 98 cannons on board and sailors ate and slept among them
94: then to HMS Warrior | - another warship, this one built in 1860 and powered by sail and steam
96: Don thought that life on board these ships looked so comfy he decided to sign up.
97: 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.
98: On our last day in south-west England we visit Avebury World Heritage Site and Silbury Hill, the highest man-made mound in Europe.
99: Avebury farmyard includes a dovecote, a threshing barn, a 16th century manor and gardens.
101: Inside the beautifully restored manor house are examples of furniture, appliances and decorating of the 16th century.
102: outside...the beautiful,manicured gardens
105: Always time to stop for lunch and a beer
106: 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.
109: The stone circle is a source of fascination and, for many, a place of worship and celebration.
110: We soon learn that at the end of narrow little country roads there is often a wonderful surprise awaiting discovery.
112: Currently the home of the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace is the birthplace and early home of Winston Churchill.
114: one more example of stunningly beautiful gardens
115: Moving day again... When we leave Blenheim we head for Stratford Upon Avon and our 5th home on this most excellent adventure.
116: We are ready 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. A pub since 1623. Now it has the only thatched roof in town.
118: The architecture is varied and truly unique to Stratford.
119: Home of William Shakespeare
120: Holy Trinity Church - the burial place of Shakespeare
122: Royal Shakespeare Theatre
123: Do you know these QUOTES came from Shakespeare? it's Greek to me my property vanished into thin air refused to budge an inch green-eyed jealousy played fast and loose tongue-tied tower of strength in a pickle hoodwinked slept not a wink laughed into stitches bag and baggage long and short of it and many, many more "On Quoting Shakespeare" by Bernard Levin
124: We spend this Sunday in the beautiful Cotswolds.
127: - yards and gardens - Cotswold limestone - rolling hills
129: What started as a stop for lunch ends up as an opportunity to sample "Sunday roast" common fare at pubs each Sunday.
131: Guests at Warwick experience, first hand, what life was like in the middle ages.
132: From Henry V111 to Elizabeth 11 you never know who you will run into at Warwick.
133: Spectacular view of the surrounding area.
134: We watch aerial displays of falconry. | The trebuchet is fired every day.
136: another of our unique and fascinating vacation homes
140: 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
143: Coalport China Museum
148: 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.
151: Chester Castle | Chester Cathedral
152: What is wrong with this super value?
153: After leaving Chester,we travel through countryside that looks like this to arrive at...
157: another of the beautiful and unique inns we called home
158: Then more driving down roads that look like this... | ...to arrive at our next home that looks like this.
160: The scenery is magnificent...
161: the roads are somewhat 'more interesting' than we expected... | and...who could resist taking a picture of a sign like this?
162: We are in the Lake District and today we take a cruise on Lake Windermere.
163: It is a little cool and windy but still a beautiful day for enjoying the view from the lake.
164: 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.
165: 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
166: The locals warn us about traveling on the road over 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!
167: 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.
170: Our home in Ft. William. Check out the view from the front window!
171: South of Ft. William the countryside is mountainous and rugged.
172: Glencoe-great walks and climbs of Munros. Lots of Arctic Alpine Flora. Site of Glencoe Massacre 1692.
173: 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.
175: We cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct (of Harry Potter fame) and make a brief stop at Glenfinnan Station
176: arriving at the station in Mallaig, a busy fishing port and ferry terminal
179: ...and the return journey
180: Entrance and Gate House Foulis Castle In Scottish Highlands near Dingwall and Evanton on Firth of Cromarty Home of Munro Clan Chief since 11th C Castle and lands given to Sir Robert Munro 6th Baronet of Foulis by Scottish King Malcalm 2nd for helping defeat the Vikings
182: Current Clan Chief Hector Munro manages 2500 acres of farmland including 900 acres of malt barley. | Hector and Sarah Munro | Munro lands on Firth of Cromarty
183: Our hostess Eleanor Munro wife of previous Chief Patrick Munro and Mother of current Chief Hector | Patrick Munro Died 1995
184: 1746-Chief Sir Robert and Dr Duncan Munro were killed in the Battle of Falkirk and Jacobites burned Foulis Castle Sir Harry Munro, son of Robert and Chief of the Clan began The Castle restoration. | MUNRO TARTAN
185: Clan members also wear the Black Watch Tartan as their hunting tartan because... In 1725 six independent companies were formed into one and called the Black Watch: one of Munros, one of Grants, one of Frasers and three of Campbells. By 1740 this Black Watch Company had become the 43rd Highland Regiment and then the 42nd Royal Highlanders. Sir Robert Munro was appointed Colonel and among the Captains were his brother George. His younger brother Dr Duncan Munro was the surgeon of the Regiment
186: The Munro Clan also supported Robert the Bruce King of Scotland fighting for Scottish independence including the Battle of Bannockburn, 1314
187: Bells to summon servants to rooms which included 16 bedrooms | Curling Stones | Old Kitchen
188: Eleanor at home
189: Eleanor was very proud to have been a close personal friend of the Queen Mother
192: ...moving on toward Edinburgh
193: We stopped for gas and met this friendly looking fellow in the yard next door.
196: Semaphore Flags of Royal Yacht Britannia
197: Office of the Queen
198: The engine room is as clean and shining as every other room on the Britannia.
199: 1997 Britannia was decommissioned
203: Edinburgh Castle
207: As is our habit, when visiting a new city, we take a bus tour.
208: Taking a bus trip around Edinburgh means sitting on tartan seats.
209: English??? Is that really the language they are speaking here?
212: The Scott Monument, built to commemorate Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland's great novelists.
213: Time to move on but not without a picture of our Edinburgh home and street.
214: 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.
217: Broomstick riding classes are underway on the day of our visit.
219: The gardens are lovely even if the day is cool, wet and windy.
222: We were forever grateful for GPS and even on this day, when it led us astray, the adventure was fun.
223: The road eventually led to our next destination- another Pheasant Inn
224: Is this the perfect man-cave?
225: 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
227: 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.
230: Welcome to York We will spend the next week here exploring the city and surrounding countryside.
232: 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
233: our view of the back yard from the dining room
234: York Minster
236: step inside
240: National Railway Museum
242: Prior to our arrival the area in and around York had seen torrential rains which resulted in flooding of property close to the rivers.
243: We are off on a walking tour of the city of York starting with Roman ruins.
245: The city tour takes us for a walk on the city wall.
249: It is a beautiful Sunday morning...blue sky and sun shining so what better to do than go for a drive to the seashore!
252: We explore the seaside village of Robin Hood's Bay but see no sign of Robin.
254: ...built during the early 13th century
256: The abbey sits at the top of the cliff and overlooks the seaside resort and fishing village of Whitby.
258: the harbour
259: 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 to erase it... | ...and even an arcade to help pass the time while visiting the seashore...
260: Taking a walk on the pier and always time to stop for a hug!
261: ...and finally....LONDON
262: 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 city to get our bearings before we explore on foot. | Trafalgar Square
263: The London Eye
264: St. Paul's Cathedral 1675-1710 | Royal Courts of Justice
265: Tower Bridge
267: The city tour includes a cruise on the river Thames.
268: a view from the river
269: Parliament Buildings
271: Big Ben
272: Tower of London
275: There are classes for children and characters in costume to educate and entertain.
281: Trafalgar Square and across the street Canada Place
284: 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.
286: Wednesday morning for changing of the guard - | If you want a really good view arrive very early.
288: Delivery of Royal Mail | "Face in the fence" is the best view!
289: Pomp... Ceremony... ...and lots of security
292: the famous balcony but no royal family today
294: Canada Gate - across from the palace
295: When leaving the palace we walk down The Mall and alongside St.James' Park
296: Opposite St. James' Park we visit the Household Cavalry Museum that explores the ceremonial duties and operational role of the household cavalry.
297: Westminster Abbey - consecrated in 1523
299: Churchill War Rooms were in the wartime underground bunker that sheltered Churchill and his Government during the Blitz of 1939-1945. -very interesting tour
300: History of transportation in London from the 1880s to present day
302: close to home - Kensington Palace and Gardens
305: On a beautiful,autumn Sunday in the park...
306: ...you see everything from the sublime...
307: ...to the...You must be kidding me!
308: a glimpse inside the palace | Home of Kate and William Our Neighbours!
309: 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.
310: 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.
311: sights and signs in our neighbourhood
312: our final home away from home
313: our Kensington neighbourhood
314: After 45 days, we must say farewell. What a wonderful time we've had.
315: We soon become experts at getting anywhere we want to go using the Tube.