Monday, 31 August 2009

The Cotswolds Part 2........

After a huge buffet breakfast we took our luggage and boarded the coach at 9 a.m to take us to Stratford-upon-Avon .

We passed through beautiful little villages such as Henly-in-Arden and Wootton Wawen, with their timbered buildings and thatched cottages and even a Saxon Church. Unfortunately we didn't have time to stop so I didn't get any photographs, which is why I've added links. We had two hours free time in Stratford and I did get lots of photographs there. Our first task was to find Shakespeare's Birthplace which we did, and I took lots of photos. I have always wanted to visit Stratford-Upon-Avon which is why we booked the trip and it didn't disappoint, of course the weather was just beautiful - sunny and hot - which made everything even better.

As we only had two hours in Stratford-upon-Avon so there wasn't time to do the tour of the inside of the house unfortunately so we decided to wander round taking photographs of the wonderful old buildings in the town, such as these.....

We found Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried but unfortunately we couldn't go into the church to see his shrine because there was actually a service going on at the time. We took some photos though.

There are some really old gravestones in the churchyard - these two are from the 1700's.

I'm not sure if that photograph will biggify so you can see what it says, so here's a translation of what can be seen, bearing in mind some of the stones are missing.

The one on the left says:
.....Lyeth the Body of
.....rd Gibbs W......................................
Life May................
Aged 39 yeare 1714
Mary his wife died
Dec 26th 1734 Aged 60

The one on the right says:
.........Lord daughter......
.............Lord and Mary Lord
She of fe.......
In the Twelfth year of her........

In a little park nearby some actors were giving a free performance of Hamlet, yet again we didn't have time to stay and watch but I got a photograph of the actors psyching themselves up before the performance.

We then walked along the river and took some photos of the River Avon.

By this time we were desperate to sit down so we called in a pub for a quick drink. The pub was overlooking the river and quite unusual in that it had two names as you can see from the sign.

All too soon it was time to board our coach again for the 5 minute journey to Statford Railway Station to board the Shakespeare Express for the next leg of our journey. We boarded the coach for the 5 minute trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon railway station where we were to enjoy an hour's ride on the Shakespeare Express steam train, pulled by The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe, from Stratford to Birmingham through the lovely Cotswolds countryside. The Earl of Mount Edgcumbe is a Castle class locomotive which was originally built as Barbary Castle but later renamed after one of the directors of the Great Western Railway, who had complained that his name was on an old engine!

We settled in our seats and the train pulled out of the station getting up a good head of steam until about 20 minutes into the journey when it stopped at some points. Unfortunately the points were broken and we were stuck on the train for the next 45 minutes until they could get someone out to fix the points! Everyone was in good spirits on the train though and there was a buffet car selling snacks, soft drinks and wine - guess what we had? LOL

It was very warm on the train but they opened the doors after warning everyone NOT to get off the train. A huge cheer went up when they announced that the points had been fixed and the train chugged onwards reaching 76 mph! We should have had an hour's free time in Birmingham but because of the breakdown we had to get straight back on the coach at Birmingham for the journey home.

The journey home was pleasant once we got off the motorway (you know I hate motorways right?) through the Cheshire countryside and back to Bolton where we had started our journey. We then had a nice surprise as the coach was based in Heywood, where we live, so the driver said we could stay on the coach instead of having to get a taxi from Bolton to Heywood.

We arrived in Heywood about 6pm and called in our local pub for a couple of drinks before getting a taxi home for an early night.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful journey. What a wonderful story you told and the pictures were magnificent. Thank you for sharing both parts of this. I so enjoyed it :)

lettuce said...

I've always wanted to go there too - so really enjoyed your lovely photos and descriptions.

Quilly said...

I am just jealous. Since I have started coming by here regularly, you have done nothing but go on vacation! I wish I could have some exotic adventures!

Dul├že ♥ said...

Oh yes Stratford. Luckily I've been there on a sunny day too. It brings back so many beautiful memories.
I love the post. You haven't missed anything!
Thank you. :)

Valerie said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit to Stratford, which is very near to where I live. I have family there so I know practically every inch. Thank you for showing the photographs, it's a while since I wandered along the river. Have a good day.

Shrinky said...

Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories, I did the tour of the cottage many, many years ago. It is a beautiful part of the world, isn't it? Your photographs brought it all back!

G-Man said...

These pics and tour was Awesome!

What a Great jaunt....

I wonder if there are any Lawyers alive in Stratford.....

Daryl said...

What a lot of excellent photos ... I still want to go and do this myself but til then I can come back here and enjoy it all through your excellent eye!

Sandi McBride said...

I wish you knew how badly I wanted to crawl on a plane and sleep my way across the Atlantic and land in Heathrow and get on a train and head to the Lake District and there begin my tour of what I consider to be the most beautiful country in the world...

Maude Lynn said...

The pictures are gorgeous! What lovely buildings!

Linda said...

As I was looking at the pictures of Shakespeare's birthplace I was also shaking my head as we here in America think that some of our historic landmarks are old and yet by England's standards, they're quite young!

Such a great trip you had - I so wish that I could go there someday! Looks like it beats the heck out of slogging through August heat and humidity in Washington DC!

Dumdad said...

Another lovely trip! I've visited Stratford-upon-Avon a long time ago with the Frog Queen and we enjoyed it too.

Ron said...

Well, as you know....I always love your posts sharing your travels, but this one REALLY hit home for me because of my involvement with the theater.

This was wonderful!

OMG...I wish I could have been there with you enjoying Shakerpeare's birthplace. I would have been ooo'ing and aah'ing the whole time.

GREAT photos! I especially enjoyed the one of the actors standing in a circle before their performance, as this something that all theater actors do traditionally - it brought back a great memory.

Thank you so much for sharing this, m'dear!

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

And as Shakespeare once said, "All the world's a stage!"


Akelamalu said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed our trip Thom :)

I hope you get to see it for yourself some day Lettuce. :)

LOL we have been on quite a few trips recently Quilly. Unfortunately I'm back at work next week so we won't be travelling again for some months.

I think a sunny day makes all the difference to a trip to Stratford Dulce, it wouldn't be quite the same in the rain would it? :)

You're lucky to live in such a beautiful part of Britain Valerie. Glad you enjoyed the reminder. :)

I wish we'd had time to tour the cottage Shrinky but we loved Stratford. :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed our jaunt G-man :)

I hope you get to visit all these places yourself Daryl - your camera would be working overtime! LOL

Aw Sandi I hope you do it some day. x

Thanks Mama Zen, glad you enjoyed it. :)

Loving history as you do Linda Stratford would be heaven to you.

I would imagine it's not changed much since you were last there Dumdad ;)

You'd be in heaven if you visited Stratford Ron. I wish we'd had time to see the performance in the park but we only had two hours so had to be content with taking as many photos as possible. I'm happy you liked them m'dear. x

Cheffie-Mom said...

WOW! You have experienced so many wonderful places!

buffalodick said...

Would be something to see! Funny how those towns that had a famous person living in it will name half the stuff in town after them!

Richard Lawry said...

What a great trip. Sounds like it was a lot of fun

An Arkies Musings

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

what a lovely trip! so happy you got to enjoy it...

smiles, bee

Dr.John said...

Great slide shows. I just love your tours. You let us see so many things.

secret agent woman said...

Just catching up and it's been a nice little walk down memory lane. I visited the Cotswalds with my family when I was 18. Beautiful place.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

Oh babe, you go to the neatest places. I so want to go there and to be at THE BARD'S birthplace...oh so cool.

I'm coming back to see this again...cause I want to be there. And those giorl would die to see. She is so into reading old gravestones.

sweetie...thanks you. this post rocks. I'm using it as a way to get my girl's interest up and to say...yes, lets go to the UK. Woohoo!
later sweetie. xxx

Akelamalu said...

Yes, we're very lucky CheffieMom :)

Aye they all jump on the bandwagon to make money Buff ;)

Hi Richies and welcome, yes it was a lot of fun. :)

It was a great trip Bee we had a wonderful time. :)

I'm so pleased you enjoy our trips Dr. John x

Ah, I'm glad it brought back good memories for you SAW :)

Oh you would just love Stratford Spiky and it's not a million miles (well nowhere is a million miles from anywhere in England!) from where I live - we could meet up! :)

tony said...

Welcome Back!Great Photos!It looks such a nice place.I,m pleased you had such a nice time.We sometimes dont apreciate all the Goodness We Have In England.

CG said...

Oh, I enjoyed that! I've never been to Straford and now I feel i've ALMOST been there. I loved your photos especially the "old house".

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Ooo...more lovely photos. Those olde houses and inns and shoppes are just SO wonderful.

Remember your question a few posts back about my wedding ring and passing it along to someone? Well...that's one of the things lost when we moved. I've got a replacement wedding ring for now. Planning to replace the former ring with a reproduction in the future.

Akelamalu said...

You're so right Tony we are so busy seeing other countries we forget what we have here! :)

I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos CG :)

Oh how awful to lose your wedding ring Julia, you must have been terribly upset. :(

Daisy said...

This was great!! You've done so well with the photos - it sounds brilliant, I can't believe I've never been there - I never imagined the buildings would still be so quaint and pretty!

nitebyrd said...

What an incredible trip! You're pictures are just gorgeous.

Thanks for sharing!

Connie T. said...

Nice pictures, I liked looking at them.

Akelamalu said...

You'll have to visit Stratford on your next trip home Daisy. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

Thanks Nitebyrd, glad you enjoyed them.

I'm pleased you enjoyed the photos Connie :)

Cloudia said...

Thank you for so kindly bringing us along on this most pleasant journey!

You are are soo masterful in both your "content" and in your blog-form with all it's accoutrements.

And you are such a genuine and kind friend, Ake.
You are a joy in this world!

Aloha, Big Sistah

Comfort Spiral

Akelamalu said...

I'm so pleased you enjoyed our trip Cloudia, thankyou my friend. xx

Daryl said...

Back to say congrats on the POTD mention!!!

Boozy Tooth said...

Such a magical post. The photos are splendid and the commentary equally so. Thank you. And congratulations on your POTD mention from David McMahon.

Akelamalu said...

Aw thanks Daryl :)

Welcome Alix and thankyou. :)

Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm back to say congratulations on the Post of the Day Award!

Brian Miller said...

congrats on the POTD mention. your pics are amazing, and sounds like a great trip. thanks for taking us along with you.

ann said...

one of my ab fab fav places - it's beautiful there - well all the cotswolds is stunning and there's a kinda peace and tranquility - sounds like you had an ab brill time

Jo Beaufoix said...

Oh I love Stratford. We visited the Butterfly Sanctuary last year with Misses E and M. Then I went back with a friend to see David Tennant perform. Fabulous, sighhhh.

A Lady's Life said...

Gosh doesn't it make you mad when you are there and can't stop long enough to fully explore the areas you visit?
I do this all the time and it always bothers me.You just get a birds eye view of the places and then you want to go back a see more of it.
That sounds like a great trip

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