We started the day in Canterbury, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury who is responsible for crowning the monarch. The most recent coronation was just two weeks ago for King Charles III. Unfortunately, Canterbury Cathedral was closed due to filming. We walked over to St. Augustine’s Abbey. It was originally going to be our second destination of the day. Afterwards, we planned on visiting St. Martin’s Church, also nearby. It is the oldest church still in use in England. Unfortunately, it is not open to visitors on Tuesdays. We ended up driving to Walmer Castle and Gardens, just north of Dover. After spending some time there, where the Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon, died, we drove a mile or two further north to Deal Castle. After exploring the castle, we headed back to Canterbury where we took a walk on the city walls and through a park.Continue reading “Kent, England, UK”
Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Just two destinations today! We started out in Bletchley Park, where Alan Turing lead a team that was instrumental in breaking the German Enigma and other Axis codes. There was quite a bit to see! Afterwards, we headed over to nearby Stowe to enjoy their vast gardens.Continue reading “Buckinghamshire, England, UK”
Oxfordshire, England, UK
We started the day by heading to Minster Lovell Hall and Dovecote in the small village of Minster Lovell to view the ruins of a 15th century manor house. A very pretty rural place that was a bit hard to find, we had to ask a local jogger for directions!
After spending some time there, we drove over to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. The family tree of well known English figures is probably not well known to most Americans, including ourselves. It turns out that the this branch of the Churchill family is actually Spencer Churchill. The Spencer branch being the same family as Diana, Princess of Wales, formerly Diana Spencer. They would have been fairly distant relations. As for the palace, it is quite impressive!
We ended our day by taking a walk around Oxford. There were graduation ceremonies taking place at some of the colleges that make up the University of Oxford. It was quite busy. After the last few days of being in relatively remote places, it felt like we were in a big city!Continue reading “Oxfordshire, England, UK”
Wiltshire & Oxfordshire, England, UK
We toured more places in Wiltshire today! We started at Woodhenge, a henge right next to Stonehenge. It was on the way to our next destination, Old Wardour Castle. Old Wardour was home to the Anne Arundell, wife of Lord Baltimore who founded the Maryland colony. Anne Arundel County in Maryland is named after her. Afterwards, we headed up north to Avbury, a World Heritage Site containing a large henge. We then went further north to visit the White Horse Hill, an interesting outline of a horse cut into the chalk soil at least 2000 years ago. We ended the day at Great Coxwell Barn, a 13th century barn that has a cathedral-like elements. This barn is in an episode of Downton Abbey, though we haven’t gotten to the particular episode yet.Continue reading “Wiltshire & Oxfordshire, England, UK”
Wiltshire, England, UK
We started the day by heading to Stonehenge. After a wrong turn on a roundabout and looping through one an extra time, we made it right after the 9:30am opening time. We spent a bit of time there and then headed to Old Sarum, the site of the ruins of an ancient castle and cathedral. After walking through what is left of the castle, we went to nearby Salisbury to visit the cathedral’s replacement and to view one of four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta! On our way back, we hit two additional castle ruins, one of which was not actually in Wiltshire, before calling it a day.Continue reading “Wiltshire, England, UK”