Sunday, May 25, 2008

Circling Blighty

This time next week, we'll be off to the United Kingdom for a month-long visit. Provided I don't get us in a serious accident at the first roundabout we encounter, our trip will be a circular tour of Britain, beginning and ending at London Gatwick Airport.

We're spending 3 days in Devon & Cornwall before ambling through Exmoor & Wells to Bath. While in Bath, we'll explore a bit of the Dorset Coast, a tad of Wiltshire, more of Somerset and take a day trip to Hay-on-Wye via the Forest of Dean and returning through the Brecons National Park. We plan to stick to the "B roads" and wander aimlessly through the Cotswolds for a few days, although a side trip to Oxford will be marginally more organized. After following a circuitous route around the Great Malverns, we'll be in Shropshire, taking in whatever passes our fancy on a trip to either Ludlow or Hereford one day, and Conwy in North Wales on another.

Our longest day will be a drive from Whitchurch to the Lake District (actually around the Lake District and back down into it). The Lake District is best for walking tours, but those aren't an option item, given my mom's incomplete recovery from Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Boat trips are out as well, unfortunately. We've got a great route in mind for the nearby Yorkshire Dales as well. After the Lake District, we'll cross the north end of England to Durham and then drop down into York. (We may take the train to Edinburgh for the day while in York.) Continuing our southern trajectory, a couple of days in the Peak District, along with a side-trip to Lincoln seemed like a good idea. We're sprinting to Cambridge and then on to Bury St. Edmunds for a leisurely look around East Anglia.

We'll pay our respects to the Queen at Windsor before returning our Vauxhall Astra (or equivalent) to the car rental company and catching the Eurostar for 2 nights in Paris. (This was supposed to be the end-of-trip surprise, but Delta wouldn't cooperate.) Once we've seen the abbreviated "highlights of Paris," we'll return to London on the Eurostar for a more relaxing series of romps in and around town before returning to Gatwick, and from there, home.


Trooper York said...

Have a few pints for me. And watch out for those soccer hooligans. They are worse than Red Sox fans.

Trooper York said...

And no red meat if you don't want to get mad cow.

And don't buy any drinks for any mad cows in the pub. I did that once and it did not turn out well.

Rick Lee said...

I would LOVE to do that trip. But since it takes my wife about 3 hours to unpack every single time, we just stay in London and take day trips out on the train every day... returning to the same hotel every night. It really limits how far afield we can go.

reader_iam said...

Can we look forward to occasional touch-bases from random internet-cafes, or whatever, every now again? Sure hope so. But if not, and regardless, I hope you have a marvelous time, and a special one, with your mom. I envy that (in the good sense, not that the jealous one), for reasons of which you're aware.

Bon voyage, IR, and all the best for as excellent health as possible and as much joy imaginable during your trip.

Warmest regards.

Randy said...

Trooper: Will do. Will do. Won't do. Won't do. I can imagine!

Rick: Wish you WERE doing the trip WITH us. Would be nice if someone knew how to take a good photo.

Reader: If I do post anything while in the UK, it will be here: A Busman's Holiday. I have dreams of fabulous photos (ala Rick Lee & Nina Camic) and scintillating travel commentary, but we both know that the odds are that it won't turn out that way. Thanks for the kind thoughts.

jason said...

I'm totally jealous! Be sure to come back with some photos to share, and do enjoy a good drink or two on our behalf.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Immensely I mean, not just a wee bit.

Randy said...

Thanks, Jason. We will enjoy ourselves immendsely, that's for sure! Not too sure about the drinkies, though. My liver has enough problems dealing with chronic active hepatitis B so I pretty much eliminated drinking as an option years ago.

chuck b. said...

Have a GREAT TIME!! Drink lots of beer or gin (or both) and stuff yourself with mash and bangers! I would like to have mash and bangers myself one day. And I want to see lots of pictures of gardens and gnarled old yews.