Halfway through our trip in England, we headed from Cornwall for our day in Stratford-Upon-Avon – a charming town with wonderful architecture on The River Avon.
Here we are with the River Avon in the background
He’s the reason we were there:
The visit to William Shakespeare’s birthplace was overpriced, but at least I’ve been there. Here’s where he was born.
I had delicious beet risotto for dinner at Loxley’s. (But it was actually too much beet a la “too much cowbell”. Don’t recognize the reference? Google Saturday Night Live Too Much Cowbell.)
We got to see The Royal Shakespeare Company perform King Lear. The tickets were gifted to us by Jack and Cailin. The production was stunning!
Our Stratford Air BNB was incredible. We even had a peacock visit us during breakfast.
Day 9 we headed to The Lake District, where we met up with Jack’s parents, Janet and Bill Mears.
Our AirBNB was extremely difficult to find. The roads in and around Newbold Pacey are crazy, awful, and stomach turning. Narrow as in, if you meet another car, one of you has to back up until you find a pull off so the other car can pass. I had to lie down in the back seat so I wouldn’t have to witness all our near misses.
But here’s what made it all worth it!
This is the gang outside our sparkling home.
Our first excursion was a place near Coniston called Glen Mary. Cailin and Jack were our intrepid hike navigators.
I’m going to start this tradition at Crowder Mountain. Coins are jammed into a rotting log. A child’s delight!
We always seemed to meet friendly dogs. Cailin and I were usually smitten, but this one really got to us. We got a big kick out of the sign in front of his watch station.
Bill told us that the sheep with marks did not designate ownership, or serve as identification. No, these marks were from the vest embedded with a stain worn by the ram so farmers knew when the sheep were mounted! Several lucky gals here. This way they would know when baby lambies could be expected.
Cailin and Jack did a 4 hour hike up “The Old Man” and back in the afternoon. We opted to hang around Eagle’s Head, a quintessential village where Beatrix Potter lived and wrote.
We found the Hawks Head Grammar school, founded in 1585, where William Wordsworth went to school. Here’s his name carved into a desk. Think HE did that??
On a table outside a store we saw these dolls. A crowd gathered around to witness my shock.
But it seems they’re just Golliwogs and have been a popular children’s toy in England for years. Adults told us they had played with them as children and the character was even on jelly jars. Wow, this sure wouldn’t fly in the U.S.
At the end of the day we found a very cozy pub. Cailin and Jack are glowing here from a mighty long day of walking!
We met a gal and her family who were celebrating the fact that she’d just swum the length of Lake Windemere – over 11 miles. Very impressive. She doesn’t even look tired!
Day 11 we headed out to Grizedale, an area with wonderful hiking trails and more.
Parking was always a hassle, but at Grizedale, their “pay on exit” scheme is brilliant. There is a camera that takes a photo of your license plate, so it registers when you enter. Upon departure, you input your license number and the fee is magically calculated. This way, you can stay as long as you want.
Speaking of brilliant, how long do you suppose before we have these wave-your-hand-over-the-sensor to flush the toilet? Seems like a no brainer to me.
Dinner, a game and lasagna (thank you, Jack!) at night.
This says it all.
The next day promised to be somewhat rainy, so first stop was to visit the Owl Man. Robert Fletcher is an artist who specializes in drawing and painting birds…because he loves them. He is known throughout the area for his bird rehab center. We got to meet several of the birds he was caring for, including the Eagle Owl (known in the U.S. as a Barn Owl).
After meeting Robert, we took a boat up Lake Windemere from Ambleside to Bowness.
Yes, it was raining. That says “Please Put Wet Brollies Here” (Brollies – even better than Bumbershoot!)
People sell things outside their home or farm by way of an “Honesty Box” Sure saves on labor costs! This little display was in front of a house in Bowness.
We all did a little shopping on this excursion to Bowness. With her new fleece and cap Cailin is all set for the cold
That night was chicken curry (Thank you again, Jack!) and Balderdash. Lots of laughter. I love that game!
Most of us got lamb at the Sunday Roast we had on our last day together. The waiter told us the one we were served had probably been in the field across the road just days before.
We exchanged gifts with Jack’s parents. Yummy English chocolate and Glenfiddich for us, a Bois Blanc Island bag and ball cap for Janet and Bill.
Isn’t he cute?
Kevin was going to miss his trusty navigator and buddy, Jack. Two very special guys here.
We dropped Cailin and Jack at the train in Windemere. They headed back to Oxford, we braved our way to Edinburgh, without our tour guides!!!
Here we are, heading to Edinburgh. On the left, always remember, stay on the left.
For a different take on the very same trip, check out our daughter, Cailin’s, post: