Monday, October 29, 2012


We left Clarencetown about 8.20 this morning for the drive to Cairnryan (which took about 1 1/2 hrs.)to catch the ferry to Belfast. The crossing of the Irish Sea took 2 1/4 hrs, so it was a great time to relax with a glass of wine. ! after leaving the ferry we went to the Titanic Experience only to find out that it was sold out. We were most disappointed. !! We were advised that it was sold out for the next 2 days, however, that if we came back tomorrow they hold some tickets for on the day sales.
We decided to take a drive around the coast near Belfast, so we headed in the direction of Newcastle and then on to Kilkeel and through Newry to Bainbridge to Hilltop Lodge B&B. We were welcomed by Ernie and after a slight catch up we went to the Half Way House Pub for dinner.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lakes District

Today we drove from Little Town to Hawkeshead,to visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery, which has the original writing and drawings that Beatrix Potter did. The sketches were all in black & white in the beginning, and started as gift cards. Later, the publisher requested that she do the drawings in watercolor . Unfortunately, not photography is allowed in the gallery! After spending time walking around the village, we stopped for a Hot Chocolate & cake. (the cake from which the slice was cut was huge about 18 inches across) we then drove to Windermere via the lake and continued our journey through Carlisle and on to Clarencetown, near Dumfries for the night.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Yesterday we spent the majority of the day in York - what a great city. We came to York 2 1/2 yrs ago , but only saw the York Minster, so on John"s insistence we returned. After managing to drive into the centre of York, we walked through the Shambles, which is the oldest shopping street in Europe. Then to the York Castle Museum, which was amazing !! It was just like stepping back into the streets of York in the Victorian era. All the shop fronts, were actual shop fronts not just lookalikes !! The atmosphere was incredible. Then to the York Gardens Museum. It's amazing how much influence the Romans had in English history, especially in York, where it was a Roman Garrison for around 500 years. Then to the National Rail Museum. Wow !!! It seriously indulged our love affair with trains !! By this time it was 2.45 pm and we then drove thought Thirsk and Richmond and down Swaysdale. Some of the most picturesque scenery we have ever seen. Out driveway is wider than most of the road we travelled on!! We arrived at our accommodation at Little Town Farm Guesthouse, by more good luck than management, which is way out in the hills.


We left our Motel just before 9am, and following the signs, headed in the direction of Nottingham Castle - not as easy as it sounds !!! Nottingham has a one way street system, that defies logic. In the end we decided to ask directions, and a nice man said "Just follow me" !! We were actually very close to the castle, but from where we were, it took about 10mins drive to actually get to it. There isn't much of the original Castle left , just the, gate house, the outer wall and some of the bridges - there is now a stately home on the site, which is a Museum.just near the entrance to the castle was the oldest Inn in England. From Nottingham Castle next stop was Sherwood Forrest. It had a magical feel - it is easy to see how someone could hide in the Forrest. Being a Robin Hood believer, I had a great time - John, however is still not convinced !!!After having found Robin Hood (or at least the legend) we were back in the car and off the York

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cambridge & ely Cathedral

We sadly left Drinkstone Park B & B,  after spending 3 terrific nights there, where we had great conversations and lots of laughs with our hosts Michael & Christine we had maps printed for us to follow around the villages, were driven to & from the local pubs for dinner, and John was even made a honey & lemon drink to make him feel better !!! What more could anyone ask !!
We then headed for Cambridge. We opted to Park & Ride, rather than battle with the traffic in the Cambridge Centre, which was a great idea. Then for for the Hop on Hop Off tour, for 1 1/2 hrs, and were both a little disappointed ! Cambridge isn't a quaint, quiet University City, as we thought it would be, but a busy city surrounding the University Colleges, which aren't accessible to the public. Next stop was Ely, which is a Cathedral city, and was more like what we expected Cambridge to be like !! The Cathedral is built on the original site of St Ethelreda's Monastry. She was Alfred the Great's Grand daughter.  We then started out drive to Nottingham in search of Robin Hood.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This morning we took the recommendation of our host and decided to head towards the coast. On the way we saw a sign to Teapot Pottery, which of course we has to stop at ! We left with a teapot that looks like a sewing machine :) next stop was Framingham Castle. Not the most spectacular castle, but it played a very important part in english history- john knows all the details !! We drove from there across to the coast, through some delightful villages. We had lunch at Southwold Pier, and then meandered our way back to the B&B. . Once again tonight we were delivered to the pub for dinner - great little English pub, unlike any pub we have been to in Australia !!

Monday, October 22, 2012

We started today with a leisurely breakfast at B & B we are staying at in Drinkstone, which is absolutely fantastic - great accommodation and wonderful hosts. We then drove to Lavenham, a Medieval Suffolk Wool Town, which is about 7 miles. What a quaint little village of timbered houses, which were built between 1450 and 1500. There is even a crooked house ! The Guildhall gives the history of the town and some of its people. Jane and Ann Taylor, who lived in the town, wrote the Nursery Rhyme Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in the 1780"s and it was first published in1806. The Parish Church has parts the were built around 1330. The font dates back to the 14th Century
Next stop was Bury St Edmonds. St Mary"s Church, which has the tomb of Mary Tudor, Queen of France and Duchess of Suffolk, sister of Henry V111, after whom he named his battleship the Mary Rose. The construction of St Edmundsbury Cathedral was started in around 1503, however the Norman Gate which was part of the old abbey dates back to 1108, and it was William the Conquerer who gave permission and also gave the funds for it to be built.
Walking around Bury St Edmonds , we just happened to find the smallest pub in the world!!! Where of course John had to have a beer !!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our Trip 2012

We left home on Wednesday night after work and drove to Goulburn arriving just before midnight, where we stayed with Stephanie and Greg. We continued on to Sydney on Thursday morning and arrived at Jenny & Ted"s late in the afternoon, after visiting our parents. Poppy Shocker was definitely popular with Charlotte and Victoria!! Jenny dropped us at the airport at lunchtime on Friday where we excitedly awaited our flight to Singapore. Our flight took about 8 hrs on the A380. We arrived in Singapore around 10.30 (1.30am Sydney time) and headed straight for the Crowne Plaza just a few minutes walk from the terminal. After a late checkout on Saturday we caught the train into Orchard Rd for lunch and the went onto Marina Bay.
Our flight left Changi Airport, Singapore at 11.05, again on the A380, and 13hrs later we arrived at Heathrow
First stop was Beakonsfield for breakfast and a look around while we waited for the Bekonstot Model Village to open. What a great place!! Attention to detail is amazing ! There were Castles, Tudor villages, Schools, Race courses, Marina, Golf Course, Tennis Courts, a Fairground, Trains and train stations, airplanes, boats and even a Zoo, all complete with people and animals.
After a drive through some very pretty English Country side, and a quick drive through Cambridge (we are exploring it more tomorrow) have now arrived at Drinkstone Park B & B where we will spend the next 3 nights

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wow !!! Just checking that all is ok with the blog in preparation for our trip. I can't believe that it is only 10 days till we leave!!!!! John has had his suitcase out and pretty much packed for the last 3 weeks - I think he might be looking forward to our trip !!!!  Me - still busy trying to get organized !!