Results tagged “Driving” from UK and Japan 2010

Got up fairly early and the SUN was SHINING!! In our windows and bright blue sky and everything.  So gently encouraged the sweetie to get up so we could go see white cliffs in the SUN!


Sunrise over the English Channel
Sunrise over the English Channel

Headed off around 8:20 and went up to St Margarets Bay.  On the way the clouds started rolling in from the west.  I did the only appropriate thing - burst into tears.  Because I was so completely sick of cloudy and rainy weather.  But the clouds passed a little way north of us, and when we got there it was still a bit sunny on the cliffs.  The view wasn't hugely great - you really need to get out on a boat for the best views.  But hopefully got some ok photos.


Dover Castle
Dover Castle

Entrance to the tunnels at Dover Castle
Entrance to the tunnels at Dover Castle

Buildings under the White Cliffs in Dover
Buildings under the White Cliffs in Dover

White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover

These clouds made me cry
These clouds made me cry

Channel ferry
Channel ferry

White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay
White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay

White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay
White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay

White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay
White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay

White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay
White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay

White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay
White Cliffs of Dover at St Margaret's Bay

Second stop was at Samphire Hoe, which is an area of reclaimed land they created by using the diggings from the Channel Tunnel.  The view wasn't great there either - all the cliffs were covered with plants around there.


Heading down to the tunnel to the Chunnel landfill
Heading down to the tunnel to the Chunnel landfill

Going through the tunnel
Going through the tunnel

White Cliffs of Dover from the Chunnel landfill
White Cliffs of Dover from the Chunnel landfill

Chunnel landfill
Chunnel landfill

Dog Poop bin!
Dog Poop bin!

Heading back out
Heading back out

Reminding Europeans to drive on the left
Reminding Europeans to drive on the left

So then we drove on to London, hoping we'd see a roadside Maccas where we could have breakfast.  Except we didn't find any.  We found a Burger King but bypassed that in hopes of a Maccas.  So suddenly we were in London and we hadn't had breakfast :(  Note to self: don't try to attack driving through crazy busy big city streets on no breakfast.  It makes for unhappy campers :(  Stoopid traffic jams too which added to the stress levels.  We'd allowed heaps of time to return the car, but in the end only *just* made it back in time :/  


Naughty person on board!
Naughty person on board!

Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station

So jumped on a train (15 min wait) to Earl's Court to stay at the *other* Earl's Court Best Western - on the north side this time.  The room wasn't ready so left all the bags with the sweetie and headed into town to see Buckingham Palace.  

It was about a half hour queue to get tickets, then the entry was 45 minutes after that, so wandered around Green Park for a while.  They've also resurfaced the road in front of the palace in the past two weeks.  This spot I've been to three times in three weeks, which is all a little odd.  So went back at 2:45 and accidently ended up in the 2:30 queue .. oops.. didn't mean to.. oh well .. 


Gates open at Buckingham Palace
Gates open at Buckingham Palace

Canadian War Memorial in Green Park
Canadian War Memorial in Green Park

Queen Victoria statue from Green Park
Queen Victoria statue from Green Park

The palace state rooms tour was actually pretty good.  Of course you can't take photos :(  But the audio guide was pretty decent.  Lots of very beautiful rooms and only one thing that was too crowded (too much commentary for such a small space).  Quite enjoyed it overall.  Took around an hour and a half to do the whole thing.  Then headed back to the hotel.  


Rear of Buckingham Palace
Rear of Buckingham Palace

Rear of Buckingham Palace
Rear of Buckingham Palace

Pond in Buckingham Palace grounds
Pond in Buckingham Palace grounds

Security at the back of Buckingham Palace
Security at the back of Buckingham Palace

Went for a wander and had a pint at the Kings Head (one of about a billion Kings Head pubs in England - either that or Red Lions) and then across the road to a French restaurant for a very yummy three course meal for £9.95 each.  


Geotagging - Day 29
Geotagging - Day 29

Photos on the Canon: 142
Photos on the Sony: 27
Photos on the iPhone: 1
Photos on the Video: 1
Videos on the Video: 7
Steps walked: 10086
Pounds Spent: ?
Let the sweetie sleep in til 8am this morning and were slow getting going (didn't leave the B&B til 10:20).

First stop was the Headland Hotel, which is is just south-west of Newquay, and was used in the 1990 movie of Roald Dahl's The Witches.  


Newquay
Newquay

Headland Hotel, Newquay, used in the 1990 movie
Headland Hotel, Newquay, used in the 1990 movie "The Witches"

Then we headed east.


Tiny little roads
Tiny little roads

First stop on the south coast was Polperro.  Because my parents went there last year and raved about it and said it was one of the nicest places they went to.  Because obviously they had a good day for it.  For us, it rained.  Of course it rained.  The rain was fairly short lasting and was mostly gone by the time we'd stopped for a drink.  But the tide was all the way out, so the little harbour was just a bit pile of mud.  So didn't leap out for us as a nice place.  Got ourselves a Cornish pastie cause we still hadn't had one, then headed off again.  Had intended to see if we could find somewhere to get some photos of Looe (the next town along), but it was bigger and more crowded and the parking lot looked full to overflowing.  So even though it was now sunny, we ended up just driving through and I didn't get a single photo :(  But the tide was out so I suppose it wouldn't have been that great anyway.


Horse-drawn wagon in Polperro
Horse-drawn wagon in Polperro

Polperro
Polperro

Cornish Piskies!
Cornish Piskies!

Muddy harbour in Polperro
Muddy harbour in Polperro

Muddy harbour in Polperro
Muddy harbour in Polperro

Harbour in Polperro
Harbour in Polperro

Polperro
Polperro

Polperro
Polperro

Polperro
Polperro

Cornish Pasties
Cornish Pasties

So then had a big long drive, and stopped again at Lyme Regis.  Walked down to the beach, but couldn't get very far along because the tide had come in and was blocking access.  Don't know if there were other access points.  So really just took some photos of the cliffs then headed off before them impending thunderstorm dumped on us (just made it back to the car in time!)


Seagull at Lyme Regis
Seagull at Lyme Regis

Cliffs at Lyme Regis
Cliffs at Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis
Lyme Regis

Stu at Lyme Regis - hey look! Sunshine!
Stu at Lyme Regis - hey look! Sunshine!

Stu at Lyme Regis
Stu at Lyme Regis

This is as far as we got before we couldn't go any further
This is as far as we got before we couldn't go any further

Cliffs at Lyme Regis
Cliffs at Lyme Regis

Cliffs at Lyme Regis
Cliffs at Lyme Regis

Lots more driving.  Ended up in Portsmouth around 7pm.  We thought we'd be able to have a wander around the Historic Dockyard.  Except it closes at like 6pm and there's no access at all, just a super high brick wall blocking the view of everything :(  We should have known - the two nearby carparks were closed and we thought we scored by getting a free on-street park.  I thought the place would be somewhat like Darling Harbour where you just wander around.  Instead the place was almost completely dead.  Just a couple of shops open, a couple of restaurants and a night club.  We had expensive pizza and beer for dinner.  Took some photos of the Spinnaker Tower then headed off again.


Cute cloud
Cute cloud

Entrance to Portsmouth
Entrance to Portsmouth

HMS Warrior, Portsmouth
HMS Warrior, Portsmouth

HMS Warrior
HMS Warrior

Spinnaker Tower
Spinnaker Tower

The only things open in Portsmouth after 6pm
The only things open in Portsmouth after 6pm

Spinnaker Tower
Spinnaker Tower

Arrived in Bognor Regis and found our hotel (Best Western Beachcroft).  Probably one of the nicer hotels we've stayed in this trip.  Or maybe it's just the view out to the English Channel with the moon rise over the water.. super awesome :)  And lots of space too.  Although the poor sweetie had to drag our bags up to the second floor.. sorry sweetie!


View from our hotel in Bognor Regis
View from our hotel in Bognor Regis

Geotagging - Day 27
Geotagging - Day 27

Photos on the Canon: 219
Photos on the Sony: 11
Photos on the Video: 3
Videos on the Video: 10
Steps walked: 10361
Pounds Spent: ?
Another small B&B last night so a lot more personal.

Had a bit of a slow start, then headed into town to do our washing.  While the washing was on we went for a walk down to the beach, and while the drying was on we went for a coffee.  Well the sweetie did, I had an OJ :)


Tourist train in Newquay
Tourist train in Newquay

Newquay
Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Cool house on top of rocks in Newquay
Cool house on top of rocks in Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Beach at Newquay
Beach at Newquay

Bridge to the isolated house at Newquay
Bridge to the isolated house at Newquay

Fountain at Newquay
Fountain at Newquay

Having lots of weather here on holiday - yeah, story of our holiday!
Having lots of weather here on holiday - yeah, story of our holiday!

Came back to the hotel and repacked our suitcases then headed out.

First stop was Padstow because Stu was interested in Rick Stein's restaurants.  We had trouble with parking.  The first car park was full, which mean a drive through pedestrian-infested streets trying to get out.  Then the second car park was also full, with about ten cars in front of us trying to find parking.  So tried for the top car park.  Got a park there but the machine wouldn't take money (for me or the people in front of me).  A city car park person came by and had a look and said yep, machine is broken (often happens in the rain)  (did I mention it was raining?).  So we got free parking!  Do you have any idea how exciting that is in this country??  Anyways, so wandered down the hill in the rain.  Had a bit of a wander around.  Found Rick Stein's "The Seafood Restaurant" but they didn't have any tables.  So went and found his cafe which is a bit more casual.  Had some lovely seafood there.  Our most expensive meal so far, but that was the point of going there.


Port at Padstow
Port at Padstow

The Seafood Restaurant at Padstow
The Seafood Restaurant at Padstow

Port at Padstow
Port at Padstow

Cornwall
Cornwall

So then headed south west and went out to the tourist trap known as Land's End.  We got there at 5pm, but paid a pound too much for parking (£3 instead of £2 if we'd just waited two minutes for 5pm).  Went down to the cliff edge and thought well that's lovely.  Took photos of ourselves with the "overnight" Land's End sign that they put up after 5pm and don't charge £9.95 to stand in front of.


Stu at the entrance to Land's End
Stu at the entrance to Land's End

Lighthouse at Land's End
Lighthouse at Land's End

Rocks at Land's End
Rocks at Land's End

Rocks at Land's End
Rocks at Land's End

Signpost at Land's End
Signpost at Land's End

Stu at Land's End
Stu at Land's End

Karen and Cutie at Land's End
Karen and Cutie at Land's End

Then headed back past Penzance (and the pirates thereof?) to St Michael's Mount to attempt to photograph it in the horizontally blowing rain (horizontally blowing *into* the direction of my camera, not away from it :( ).


St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount
St Michael's Mount

At least the parachute wind surfers were having fun
At least the parachute wind surfers were having fun

Then back to the B&B.

It's raining here.  Severe weather warnings and everything.

Have I mentioned the rain?


Geotagging - Day 26
Geotagging - Day 26

Photos on the Canon: 168
Photos on the Sony: 27
Photos on the iPhone: 1
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 3
Videos on the Video: 11
Steps walked: 8479
Pounds Spent: ?
Being a B&B the place was tiny.  There were four tables in the breakfast room and only two were set, so I assume there was only one other room taken last night.  Breakfast was decent enough though.

So checked out and headed into Bath, parking at the big "Pay on foot" parking area off Charlotte St.  


Street in Bath
Street in Bath
Headed into the main bit of town first.  On the way passed lots of decorated lions, setup as a public art project, much like the Bears of Berlin some years ago.  Some of them were pretty cool!  I think my favourite was a gold-foil wrapped chocolate lion :) Or the QR code one or the scrabble letters one.  


Lindt Gold Lion? :)
Lindt Gold Lion? :)

Scrabble Lion
Scrabble Lion

Starry Night Lion
Starry Night Lion

Got into the middle of town and Stu stopped for a coffee so I went to find an ATM.  The first two I found were broken, so had to walk like a mile just to find a working one and then back to Stu.  

Went into the roman baths first.  I'd only ever seen pictures of the outdoor bit of the bath (which used to be indoors) so didn't realise the place was so extensive.  Was actually really cool and spent nearly two hours wandering around the place.  Took one look in the Pump House and thought it looked too fancy for the likes of us, so took a picture of the room and left.


Entrance to the baths 
Entrance to the baths 

Roman Bath
Roman Bath

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

Statue
Statue

Roman Bath
Roman Bath

This is where the hot water spring surfaces
This is where the hot water spring surfaces

Roman Bath
Roman Bath

Roman Bath buildings
Roman Bath buildings

Roman Bath
Roman Bath

Lead pipes
Lead pipes

For some reason they drained out where the spring surfaces
For some reason they drained out where the spring surfaces

Pump House
Pump House

Then went next door to have a look in the abbey.  As Dave2 had shown, it was indeed quite beautiful.


Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

Organ in Bath Abbey
Organ in Bath Abbey

Ceiling of Bath Abbey
Ceiling of Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey
Bath Abbey

It was getting late by this point, so we headed up to The Circus (and couldn't get "Who will buy?" from Oliver! out of my head - you can see where they got the inspiration for the scene (which was actually filmed on a set - they built the whole thing from scratch)).  And then onto the Royal Crescent, where we saw our first rays of sun for the day.


The Circus
The Circus

The Circus.  Who will buy this beautiful morning?
The Circus. Who will buy this beautiful morning?

Royal Crescent
Royal Crescent

Left a couple of minutes before four hours for parking and saved a pound, hurrah .. only to find the boom gate was broken and we could have left without paying the 5.40 at all - doh!!

So we didn't have time for the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, or the Cheddar Gorge and town.

Just went straight onto Wells.  I'd seen a documentary some months back about the Wells Cathedral - and how the unique "scissor" arches were actually to stop the whole thing collapsing after they put on a tower extension.  So of course I had to see it :)  It was pretty cool.  Although seeing a cathedral and an abbey on the same day has not helped with remembering the details of each one.. hrmm.. :)


Glastonbury Tor from the A39 north of Wells
Glastonbury Tor from the A39 north of Wells

Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral

Ceiling of Wells Cathedral
Ceiling of Wells Cathedral

Scissor reinforcing in Wells Cathedral
Scissor reinforcing in Wells Cathedral

Scissor reinforcing in Wells Cathedral
Scissor reinforcing in Wells Cathedral

Altar of Wells Cathedral
Altar of Wells Cathedral

Organ of Wells Cathedral
Organ of Wells Cathedral

Quire of Wells Cathedral
Quire of Wells Cathedral

Stairs to the Chapter House
Stairs to the Chapter House

Chapter House.  Stunningly beautiful, but I needed a wider lens!
Chapter House. Stunningly beautiful, but I needed a wider lens!

Chapter House
Chapter House

Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral

And finally south west.  Stopping at a Burger King on the motorway for Linner.  And onto Newquay, arriving around 7:15pm.  We were just a little too late going up to the headland to see the sunset but had a nice walk anyway.  Then into town to have a look around and find the laundromat opening times.


Welcome to Cornwall!  Stu was pretty excited to see this
Welcome to Cornwall! Stu was pretty excited to see this

Cornwall
Cornwall

Sunset at Newquay
Sunset at Newquay

Came back to the B&B via a supermarket to pick up snacks and drinks.

Then watched some telly (including Australian Border Security!) and used the internet.  

Hopefully will get a sleep in tomorrow.. unless I get hungry .. prolly a good thing too, it being 11:15pm and all.. :/


Geotagging - Day 25
Geotagging - Day 25

Photos on the Canon: 492
Photos on the Sony: 27
Photos on the iPhone: 9
Photos on the Blackberry: 6
Photos on the Video: 23
Videos on the Video: 43
Steps walked: 15432
Pounds Spent: ?
Hey it wasn't raining when we got up!  Just a bit overcast.

Got up early and headed out without breakfast to make it to Stonehenge by 8am for the stone circle access tour.  Which, after Dave and Di got up my expectations, they say that you can NOT in fact touch the stones.  So that was a bit of a bummer.  Not that it would have been that exciting, I mean they're just stones right?  But it was pretty cool to walk around in the middle of the circle that you can't do normally.  After the access finished (ours went from 8am to 9am), we waited for the ordinary access to open at 9:30 so we could go round on the audio tour (and actually take better photos of the outer ring without all the other stone circle access people in the way).  It's true what I read somewhere - either pay to go on a stone circle access thingie, or just look in from the fence on the road.  The audio tour isn't that great, (face it you can read about it on the internet) and the best view (with all the horizontal plinths) is from the road anyway.


Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

So it was nearly 10:30 before we headed for our next stop - Longleat Maze, in the grounds of Longleat House.  £3 for just the maze.  I decided before I came away that I wanted to do a maze, and why not pick the biggest? :)  Well it was fun for about 3/4 hour before I kept ending up in the same place no matter where I turned and walked around and around in circles (meeting up over and over again with another couple who were equally frustrated).  After an hour and a half I went out and bought the postcard with a picture of the maze to see what I was doing wrong.  Only took one turn from the picture to get me to the place I wanted to be an hour ago, and solved the thing (this was after standing on the bridge and directing at least two couples to the right place that I couldn't get to).  The other couple went a different way, and we ended up solving the thing at the same time.


Tank Crossing
Tank Crossing

Longleat
Longleat

Longleat Maze.  The objective is to get to that tower in the 

middle
Longleat Maze. The objective is to get to that tower in the middle

It's looking a long way from here..
It's looking a long way from here..

Made it!
Made it!

Longleat House
Longleat House

So after nearly two hours in the maze we headed off again.  Drove by the Westbury white horse.  Got very frustrated with UK signage that thought the best way to see the thing would be to take you to the top of the hill which it's on - ie, so you can't really see it at all.  Bumheads.  So drove all the way back down to find a better view of it.


Westbury White Horse
Westbury White Horse

Next stop was Lacock - because they used Lacock Abbey and a house in Lacock for Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets.  As a location it was a bit disappointing (and £10 entry which is a bit pricey too).  Especially since so many things I'd seen about the place were just plain wrong.  Even the abbey itself put up the wrong information - they put up pictures of Durham cathedral cloisters, and said it was filmed at Lacock.  Well ok yes it might have been filmed there, but not the shots you posted.  Dumb.  The Sacristy and the Chapter room were the only things that were recognisably correct.  Took a bunch of photos anyway.  What was actually more interesting was the rooms upstairs that had been converted to a private residence with the dissolution of the monastries by Henry VIII.


Entering Lacock Abbey
Entering Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey
Lacock Abbey

Sacristy of Lacock Abbey
Sacristy of Lacock Abbey

Sacristy of Lacock Abbey.  This room was used in Philosopher's 

Stone as Snape's potions room
Sacristy of Lacock Abbey. This room was used in Philosopher's Stone as Snape's potions room

Corridor in Lacock Abbey
Corridor in Lacock Abbey

Chapter House of Lacock Abbey.  This was the study room in 

Chamber of Secrets
Chapter House of Lacock Abbey. This was the study room in Chamber of Secrets

Info board about the movie.  Showing shots from Gloucester and 

Durham cathedrals
Info board about the movie. Showing shots from Gloucester and Durham cathedrals

This was in the Warming House.  I don't think it was used in the 

movies, but the cauldron looks pretty cool
This was in the Warming House. I don't think it was used in the movies, but the cauldron looks pretty cool

There's a shot of Harry in this corridor in Chamber of Secrets
There's a shot of Harry in this corridor in Chamber of Secrets

Lacock Abbey
Lacock Abbey

Chaplain's Room, Lacock Abbey
Chaplain's Room, Lacock Abbey

Corridor upstairs in Lacock Abbey
Corridor upstairs in Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey rooms
Lacock Abbey rooms

Lacock Abbey rooms
Lacock Abbey rooms

House in Lacock used in Philosopher's Stone as James & Lily's 

house
House in Lacock used in Philosopher's Stone as James & Lily's house

House in Lacock used in Philosopher's Stone as James & Lily's 

house
House in Lacock used in Philosopher's Stone as James & Lily's house

And then we headed for the hotel.  Had to get past peak hour traffic in Bath.  What a pain.  I think noone lives in Bath, they all live in Bristol, and we had to share a road with them all the way to our hotel :/  Hotel is the closest to a real B&B we've had.  I didn't really have to check in at all, the dude just gave me a key.  Very odd.  Went across the road for a couple of pints and some food, then back here to try and book hotels and figure itineraries...

Oh yes, and we finally had a clear night that I could go out and look for stars.  After much peering through sodium (?) vapour lights I finally saw what I thought was the Big Dipper and North Star.  The time on the EEE PC must have been wrong, cause it actually put the thing upside down so took longer to find it.  Had a stone fence to mount the camera on, and it was low enough in the sky that I actually got some semi decent photos of it...!


The Big Dipper
The Big Dipper.  Loses something in the resizing! 

Geotagging - Day 24
Geotagging - Day 24


Photos on the Canon: 469
Photos on the Sony: 8
Videos on the Sony: 1
Photos on the iPhone: 1
Photos on the Olympus: 75
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 13
Videos on the Video: 14
Steps walked: 17139
Pounds Spent: ?
Rain. Rain.

Have I mentioned the rain?

Got up and had breakfast and off we went into the rain.

Rain.

Went under the Menai Bridge to photograph it. Got a crappy one of the Britannia Bridge through the rain. Headed up to Llanfair cause it's just an epic cool place name so took some photos of the place name signs.

Menai Bridge
Menai Bridge

Brittania Bridge
Brittania Bridge

Llanfair station
Llanfair station

Llanfair station
Llanfair station

Then headed out of Wales the way we came in. Dipped into England then back into Wales to see the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Which is like the highest and longest aqueduct in Britain or something, and get this - canal boats go across it!! It's epic cool!! Walked part way across then down to look at it side on.

Welcome to Wales!
Welcome to Wales!

Canal boats near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Canal boats near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Canal boat going across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Canal boat going across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Turning a canal boat
Turning a canal boat

Canal boats near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Canal boats near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct
Near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

On my quest for bridges, the next stop was Iron Bridge to see the iron bridge - the first ever iron arch bridge built.

Iron Bridge
Iron Bridge

River Severn from Iron Bridge
River Severn from Iron Bridge

Iron Bridge
Iron Bridge

Then we returned to Hogwarts - at Gloucester Cathedral. Pretty cool cathedral. Lots if beautiful stonework and lots of little alcoves and doorways to go through and explore. But of course I mainly wanted to see the cloisters where Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were filmed. Was epic squee. Of course. :) Found a girls bathroom, altho it was downstairs so Moaning Myrtle couldn't have flooded the corridor, and I didn't see her in the toilet either ;)


Funny sign on the M6 near Birmingham
Funny sign on the M6 near Birmingham

Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral

Stained glass in Gloucester Cathedral
Stained glass in Gloucester Cathedral

Interior of Gloucester Cathedral
Interior of Gloucester Cathedral

Organ in Gloucester Cathedral
Organ in Gloucester Cathedral

Quire in Gloucester Cathedral
Quire in Gloucester Cathedral

Altar in Gloucester Cathedral
Altar in Gloucester Cathedral

Roof of Gloucester Cathedral
Roof of Gloucester Cathedral

Stained glass in Gloucester Cathedral
Stained glass in Gloucester Cathedral

Cloisters in Gloucester Cathedral
Cloisters in Gloucester Cathedral

Harry runs out here when the floor is covered in water
Harry runs out here when the floor is covered in water from Myrtle flooding the bathroom 

This is the corner where the kids see Mrs Norris hung and the writing in blood  
This is the corner where the kids see Mrs Norris hung and the writing in blood 
"enemies of the heir beware" 


Me in Gloucester Cathedral cloisters
Me in Gloucester Cathedral cloisters


"It's written in blood!"

This corridor is used in a couple of scenes too 
This corridor is used in a couple of scenes too 

Chapter house of Gloucester Cathedral 
Chapter house of Gloucester Cathedral.  This is McGonnagal's transfigurations classroom.
This room was being used for a function, and I was able to get a quick snap of the room 
before they locked it up.


No Moaning Myrtle in the girl's bathroom though
No Moaning Myrtle in the girl's bathroom though

The kids walk out this door when Harry remembers Hermione doesn't know about the troll
The kids walk out this door when Harry remembers Hermione doesn't know about the troll

Cloister in Gloucester Cathedral 
Cloister in Gloucester Cathedral 

Gloucester Cathedral 
Gloucester Cathedral 

Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral
Had KFC for lunch/dinner (it was six pm).

Headed for Swindon to go around the Magic Roundabout and nearly didn't get off it. And it's freaky cause you end up going around the wrong way! After several loops we dove for an exit, no idea if legally or not!

Swindon Magic Roundabout
Swindon Magic Roundabout

Then to Salisbury. GPS didn't quite have the location of the hotel right so had to go around a few blocks trying to get back :/ Pretty funky hotel (The Red Lion). Cloud Internet which is a pain. Wanted to book tomorrow night's accommodation which was stressful cause it took forever to find something :/

Blog. Bed.


Geotagging - Day 23
Geotagging - Day 23

Photos on the Canon: 309
Videos on the Canon: 1
Photos on the Sony: 19
Videos on the Sony: 3
Photos on the Olympus: 53
Photos on the Video: 22
Videos on the Video: 14
Steps walked: 7883
Pounds Spent: ?
Today was probably the worst day of the trip so far.  Failure after failure after failure.  Tempered by 3/4 bottle of Australian chardonnay tonight so maybe this won't sound as bad as it would have.

So this morning started off very slowly.  The pace set by the hotel and the timing and delivery of breakfast.  *Heaps* of food which is always dangerous heh.  I'm sooo going to need to go on a diet or something when I get home heh.  Had a chat to the owners as we were checking out about the bombing/crash 22 years ago.  They actually knew people on the street that was hit (I'm sure I read about them in wikipedia last night) - the parents and daughter were killed but the two boys were out of the house and survived.  They were given a heap of compensation money and had different lives because of it.  And they're both dead now.  One of them had a son who is destined to be worth £23 million when he comes of age.  Went for a quick drive around Sherwood Crescent to see where it all happened.  11, 13 and 15 where the plane hit are just a garden now, they didn't rebuild the houses there.  Perhaps because noone was left to rebuild them..

Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie.  A large part of the plane fell here
Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie. A large part of the plane fell here

So then headed south.  The idea being to stop at Gretna to see the first/last house in Scotland and stand on the bridge over the river that forms the border with England and get a photo.  Except the exit we wanted wasn't marked and we missed it.  And it was about eight miles further south to the next exit so I decided it wasn't worth it and missed out altogether.

Fail.

Welcome to England!
Welcome to England!

So continued south.  Bought petrol.  Oh yes, this country doesn't believe in windscreen squidgees at service stations, so you can't actually clean your windows here.

Fail. 

Then headed out into the Lakes District.  The idea being to drive a loop around Keswick to some of the lakes then past Windermere and out.  Well first let me warn you.  If you're just here for a drive around and some photos, forget it.  The only way to get photos is if you're a hiker.  This country doesn't believe in cars.  And certainly not in parking.  And views of lakes from the road?  Forget it.  Pretty much no such thing.  Didn't get a single photo of Buttermere and a very crap one of Windermere simply because a) there's nowhere to stop and b) there are so many trees between the roads and the lakes that you can't even get photos from the car.  It was pretty much epic..

Fail.

Heading for the Lakes District.  On the A66 near Threlkeld
Heading for the Lakes District. On the A66 near Threlkeld

Bassenthwaite Lake
Bassenthwaite Lake

Heading down B5289 towards Crummock Water
Heading down B5289 towards Crummock Water

Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water
Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water

Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water
Fields off B5289 near Crummock Water

Sheep on the road
Sheep on the road

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

Crummock Water
Crummock Water

South end of Crummock Water
South end of Crummock Water

Buttermere
Buttermere

Heading up Honister Pass
Heading up Honister Pass

Honister Pass
Honister Pass

Honister Pass
Honister Pass

Derwentwater, south of Keswick
Derwentwater, south of Keswick

Thirlmere
Thirlmere

Windermere
Windermere

We were very excited after four and a half hours driving to finally find somewhere with toilets.  Of course it was a pay and display carpark.  So we found someone else's still valid ticket lying on the ground and used that. 

Small win!

Decided to drive on.  Thought we were up for a quick visit to Chester to see the walls and the Roman Amphitheatre.  Even in the pouring rain.  Because it was 3:30pm and we hadn't eaten since breakfast.  So thought we'd go into one of the city parking stations.  Which was gridlock with people trying to get in and out.  We went down one way (after trying to get past someone trying to get out) and found it was actually a dead end.  With nowhere to turn around. 

Epic.  Fricken.  Fail.

So decided "screw you Chester" and got the hell out of there as soon as we could.

Fail.

Part of the wall at Chester
Part of the wall at Chester

So the Welsh border was not far away.  Was watching it coming on the GPS and had the camera ready.  But it was raining so heavily that firstly my camera was focussed on the rain on the windscreen.  And by the time the wipers went, we'd passed the sign.  So missed it.

Fail.

Britannia Bridge near Llanfair
Britannia Bridge near Llanfair

Looking through the rain towards Menai Bridge
Looking through the rain towards Menai Bridge

Island in the water dividing Anglesey from the mainland
Island in the water dividing Anglesey from the mainland

Arrived at the hotel.  Carpark was full.  But someone moved their car so we took their spot.  Checked in ok.  Room is a bit stuffy so we have the window open.  It's raining.  It's actually kinda nice to listen to.

Dinner was in the bistro downstairs.  I just had a starter which was probably a good thing as don't think would have gotten through a main.  There was lots of saladdy stuff, so lots of lovely fibre to counter the meat I've been eating for breakfasts.

8:30pm.  Time to wash hair and go to bed methinks.

Hoping for a better day tomorrow...

Geotagging - Day 22
Geotagging - Day 22


Photos on the Canon: 130
Photos on the Sony: 21
Steps walked: 679 (?)
Pounds Spent: ?
Well the mattress I flipped yesterday was marginally better for being flipped - at least it wasn't lumpy but it was still lopsided.  But the real kicker was a cold shower.  There's not enough water pressure in the hotel for everyone to be having showers at once.  Not if they want hot water anyway.  I waited and waited and waited but nothing.  Attempted to have a cold shower but it was too cold so had a sponge bath in the sink instead.

And then complained to the hotel and Best Western customer support.  Because that is just ridiculous.  Got an answer from customer support, but not from the hotel yet.  Lame.

So headed out to Glencoe first up.  Found the hill behind Clachaig Inn where they built Hagrid's Hut for Prisoner of Azkaban.  Even walked up it too.  But not in the exact right location - I was a bit too far round the hill but it was too hard to get to the right bit.  So I satisfied myself with a view of the valley that was in the movie.  Although I did wait around for some sunlight that never came.  In fact the clouds closed in and it started raining.  Again.  

Loch Leven
Loch Leven

Hills near Glencoe
Hills near Glencoe

Creek behind Clachaig Inn
Creek behind Clachaig Inn

Hill behind Clachaig Inn where Hagrid's Hut was built for Prisoner of Azkaban
Hill behind Clachaig Inn where Hagrid's Hut was built for Prisoner of Azkaban

Hill behind Clachaig Inn where Hagrid's Hut was built for Prisoner of Azkaban
Hill behind Clachaig Inn where Hagrid's Hut was built for Prisoner of Azkaban

Hagrid's Hut was probably over there a bit
Hagrid's Hut was probably over there a bit

Clachaig Inn
Clachaig Inn

This shot of the highlands is clearly visible in the movie
This shot of the highlands is clearly visible in the movie

So continued up Glencoe, stopping at every P and taking photos.  Then got to the end and turned around and came back :)

Heading up in to Glencoe
Heading up in to Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Waterfall in Glencoe
Waterfall in Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

St John's Church, Ballachulish
St John's Church, Ballachulish

Loch Leven
Loch Leven

Next up was the Castle Arrggghhhh! (aka Castle Stalker) near Appin.  Stopped at the Castle Stalker View cafe and ended up having lunch there.  Nice, but expensive.  The cheeses weren't as awesome as the ones we had the other day but were still pretty nice.  Then we went past Appin to find a view from the other face.  

Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker
Castle Stalker

Mooo
Mooo

And then suddenly it's like 2pm.  Like how did that happen?

So we just drove and drove and drove.  And stopped in heavy traffic around Glasgow.  And drove lots more.

Connel Bridge, Loch Etive
Connel Bridge, Loch Etive

Hills near Loch Awe
Hills near Loch Awe

Wind turbine south of Glasgow
Wind turbine south of Glasgow

Stopped in Lockerbie.  I wanted to find the memorial for the Lockerbie Air Disaster of Pan Am 103.  Didn't have much detail to go on, just that it was west of town.  Found a sign to the Garden of Remembrance, which turned out to be it.  It's in Dryfesdale Cemetary and was a really beautiful spot, especially in the light of the setting sun.  Was a little strange looking up at the planes flying overhead and their contrails.  Can't explain why I wanted to see this.  I don't think I really even remember the event happening in 1988.  I don't know, I have this thing about air disasters.  

Dryfesdale Cemetery
Dryfesdale Cemetery

Aircraft flying overhead
Aircraft flying overhead

Lockerbie Garden of Remembrance
Lockerbie Garden of Remembrance

Lockerbie Garden of Remembrance
Lockerbie Garden of Remembrance

Lockerbie Garden of Remembrance
Lockerbie Garden of Remembrance

Contrails overhead
Contrails overhead

Sunset at Dryfesdale Cemetery
Sunset at Dryfesdale Cemetery

So then had to find a hotel.  The Best Western was booked out with a wedding (who gets married on a Friday, sheesh ;) ).  Drove out to another hotel that was a big old manor house, but the car park was completely deserted.  No idea if it was open or not, there were no signs.  But it looked a little scary so we didn't look any closer.  Drove through town and saw a couple of B&Bs including one that looked like an ordinary suburban house but they looked too small (where the owners would want to *talk* to us! Can't have that! ;) ).  So found another one that I'd see on the way out to the Garden of Remembrance.  It's a small hotel but they had this massive dinner thing happening.  And, it being our last night in Scotland, and the fact that I haven't had any yet (!!!) I had to try a couple of the single malts they had.  The first was a Ledaig which was quite peaty but very easy to drink.  So had another - a Laphroaig (10) which was even peatier.  Rather enjoyed this one :) So the dinner was this massive buffet of food.  For three couples.  Very very weird.  I had this enormous lamb shank with tonnes of veggies.  Needed the sweetie to help me finish it ;)

The internet here is a little flaky but at least it's here.  Very late night again .. doh!

Geotagging - Day 21
Geotagging - Day 21


Photos on the Canon: 417
Photos on the Sony: 15
Photos on the iPhone: 4
Photos on the Olympus: 53
Photos on the Blackberry: 6
Photos on the Video: 10
Videos on the Video: 9
Steps walked: 8051
Pounds Spent: ?
Got up relatively early today.  We had to be out the door by 9am cause that's when our street parking ran out.

Was a pretty *meh* night.  My mattress had big lumps in it from springs poking through, and was lopsided.  This morning I flipped the mattress and told them they might want to replace it.  Also the internet was pretty much dead on our floor, not giving out ip addresses.  We rebooted the router we found in the hallway on the way to breakfast but it didn't help much (at least with the laptop - the phones were ok).

Breakfast was ok, nothing to write home about.  The waitress staff needed to be told to friggen *smile* as they didn't seem that happy to be there.  We actually got a much nicer good morning from one of the cleaning staff.  

So the plan for the day was to head out in about four different directions from Fort William.  We ended up in three.

So the first stop was Loch Ness.  Which turned out to be an epic waste of time.  There's a small visitors centre at Fort Augustus (complete with pay and display car park).  Skipped that cause there was no Nessie.  Then drove and drove along the northwest side of the lake looking for one of the Nessies my parents found, or at the very least a parking area with a decent view of the lake.  No such luck.  The was absolutely nothing.  And it was a pretty boring loch anyway.  And you couldn't even see it for the entire drive because it was all behind trees.  We went way past our turnoff trying to find a Nessie but never found one.  We stopped to take a photo at Urqhart Castle (a ruin, but they still wanted £7 entry).  And continued to the visitors centre.  But still no Nessie.  Have no idea where the parents found all the Nessies they did.  So declared that mission a failure and headed back.

Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge
Commando Memorial near Spean Bridge

Loch Lochy
Loch Lochy

Hills next to Loch Lochy
Hills next to Loch Lochy

Loch Lochy
Loch Lochy

Loch Ness
Loch Ness

Loch Ness
Loch Ness

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle
Urquhart Castle

This photo taken at Drumnadrochit is the furthest north I've been on the planet
This photo taken at Drumnadrochit is the furthest north I've been on the planet

Next headed out west to Eilean Donan Castle.  The drive between Loch Cluanie and Loch Duich was really pretty, but of course it rained for most of it, so little documentation.  Didn't go into Eilean Donan either, but I mainly wanted to see the exterior, which was used in Highlander and The World is Not Enough.  So that was pretty cool.

Dam creating Loch Cluanie
Dam creating Loch Cluanie

Hills around Loch Cluanie
Hills around Loch Cluanie

Hills on the A87
Hills on the A87

Hills on the A87
Hills on the A87

Loch Duich near Invershiel
Loch Duich near Invershiel

Loch Duich near Invershiel
Loch Duich near Invershiel

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle

The MacLeod clan went to battle across this bridge
The MacLeod clan went to battle across this bridge

Came back via Fort William and then west out to Glen Finnan.  Found the viaduct (was a bit bummed that you can't drive up the road that goes underneath it, so had to walk).  Found some people that said there was a train coming at 3pm (it was 2:40), so we walked up to the far side of the viaduct for some crappy back-lit photos then came back to wait.  In the meantime it went from sunny to rainy to rainbows to sunny again.  The train came along (twenty minutes late) and it was very squee, but the loco was going backwards ;)  Then went back to the visitors centre to have some lunch.  I climbed the little hill behind the visitors centre to see where they filmed a cut scene from Chamber of Secrets and also get a better view of the viaduct and the loch.  Was pretty cool.

Loch Garry
Loch Garry

Coal
Coal

Coal was a pretty depressing little town
Coal was a pretty depressing little town

Fort William from Caol
Fort William from Caol

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

The Hogwarts Express?  Not quite!
The Hogwarts Express? Not quite!

Train going over the Glenfinnan viaduct
Train going over the Glenfinnan viaduct

Glenfinnan viaduct
Glenfinnan viaduct

Loch Shiel from the lookout
Loch Shiel from the lookout

Glenfinnan Monument to the Jacobites
Glenfinnan Monument to the Jacobites

Kept heading west to find Loch Eilt.  A little island of trees there was used in Prisoner of Azkaban.  Found a little path of sorts next a pullout, so it's obvious other Potterphiles have been there before.  Got my photos, and even some of a train going by right next to the loch.

Island in Loch Eilt featured in Prisoner of Azkaban
Island in Loch Eilt featured in Prisoner of Azkaban

Loch Eilt
Loch Eilt

Harry and Lupin came down here and talked
Harry and Lupin came down here and talked

Train near Loch Eilt
Train near Loch Eilt

We thought we might just head back to the hotel at that point, but Ben Nevis was all shiny in the setting sun, so we headed up the Glen Nevis road.  Was a cool little road full of bumps and bends.  And a nice view of the mountains too.  Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, at 1344m.  Of course, the base is at sea level, so the whole thing just goes straight up in front of you - very cool!

Hills near Loch Linnhe
Hills near Loch Linnhe

Street in Fort William
Street in Fort William

Hills in Glen Nevis
Hills in Glen Nevis

Hills in Glen Nevis
Hills in Glen Nevis

Hills in Glen Nevis, featured as backdrops for Quidditch in Philosopher's Stone
Hills in Glen Nevis, featured as backdrops for Quidditch in Philosopher's Stone

Got back to the hotel then headed out for dinner.  Decided to eat at the "Grog and Gruel" for some very nice beer, an Angus burger for me and curly fries.  The angus burger was a little odd - just meat and cheese on a fairly doughy bun.  Added the supplied relish and a bit of the salad and it was a bit better.

Street in Fort William
Street in Fort William

Then hotel and crashing time :)

addition:
Heading north east first up, as we were driving by Loch Lochy, this jet flew down the valley at low altitude making a lot of noise.  I actually had the camera out so got a couple of pictures of it.  As we came back along the same loch, another jet flew by in the opposite direction.  Unfortunately too many trees obscured it.  Just now (9:42 pm) I heard another one fly by Fort William!  I'd read in one of the Highlander film location pages (a jet does a flyby at the end of that movie) that there's an airbase or something near here, will have to try and figure out where it is.

Military jet flying over Loch Lochy
Military jet flying over Loch Lochy

Geotagging - Day 20
Geotagging - Day 20


Photos on the Canon: 378
Photos on the Sony: 25
Photos on the iPhone: 3
Photos on the Blackberry: 2
Photos on the Video: 16
Videos on the Video: 14
Steps walked: 8575
Pounds Spent: ?
Was a little bit warm in the hotel room last night (even with aircon on) so didn't sleep as well as could be expected.

No hotel breakfast, and the Laundrette opened at 8am, so we just got up and lugged our washing down the road to the Laundrette.  Set it running then went across the road for breakfast.  I had a "Scottish Breakfast" which included an awful lot of food, including haggis, which I've never had before.  After having tried a little black pudding the other day (which I didn't much fancy), haggis was actually quite nice .. :)  Went and had Starbucks while the washing was in the dryer, then wandered back to the hotel to checkout.  We didn't end up getting charged for the under the hotel parking - win!!

Looking up Montague St, Ediburgh
Looking up Montague St, Ediburgh

So we'd decided last night that we weren't going to try and see anything in Edinburgh.  To do this place justice you'd really need to spend a few days here.  Plus there were so many other things to see out of town.  So we decided just to leave, and come back and spend a few days here on another trip, perhaps when we go to Ireland or other parts of Northern Europe.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

So first stop was Firth of Forth, and the bridges thereover.  Had to wait for little patches of sunlight to shine through between all the clouds.  

Firth of Forth railway bridge
Firth of Forth railway bridge

Firth of Forth railway bridge
Firth of Forth railway bridge

Forth road bridge
Forth road bridge

Then headed north west.  Our next stop being Doune Castle.  Read: Swamp Castle and a couple of other castles from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (but not Camelot - it's only a model - shhh!!).  Had a wander around the castle exterior and squeed quite a bit :)  Also had a look at the river Teith behind the castle which was flowing very high - there must have been heaps of rain around here recently!

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

Trojan Rabbit was just there
Trojan Rabbit was just there

River Teith at the back of the castle
River Teith at the back of the castle

Continued heading north west and did a little detour out to Duke's Pass to see if we could find the quarry of Tim the Enchanter.  Well we found it, but it was a twenty minute hike up the hill to where the filmed it - grunt! So got my photos and ran back down the hill again (before it started raining).

Quarry off Duke's Pass near Aberfoyle
Quarry off Duke's Pass near Aberfoyle

There are some who call me.. Tim
There are some who call me.. Tim

Stopped for lunch at a little cafe on Loch Venacher.  It was pretty awesome.  The cheeses Stu got were epic awesome!

Loch Achray Hotel
Loch Achray Hotel

We had lunch at this cafe on Loch Venachar
We had lunch at this cafe on Loch Venachar

Continued on.  Getting up to Glencoe was exceedingly cool.  The mountains were sooo pretty.  But really hard to document in the failing light and dirty windows.  And then the petrol light came on in the car so didn't want to risk stopping in case we didn't make the town of Glencoe. We'll just have to go back! ;)

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig
Loch Lubnaig

Hills near Kingshouse
Hills near Kingshouse

Hills near Ardveich
Hills near Ardveich

Viaduct near Glenogle
Viaduct near Glenogle

Restaurant near Ardchyle
Restaurant near Ardchyle

The Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum
The Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum

Hills near Clifton
Hills near Clifton

Hills near Auch
Hills near Auch

Hills near Auch
Hills near Auch

Lochan na h-Achlaise
Lochan na h-Achlaise

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

Glencoe
Glencoe

So got to Fort William around 6pm-ish and checked in.  Got quite amused by the crazy path we had to take to get to our room.  Had some time to catch up on news feeds, and do some photo stuff.  Went out around 8:30pm to get some snacks and ended up with a bottle of pinot grigio, cheese balls, toffee popcorn and ice cream.  Yeah real healthy .. hrmm..   Not all consumed, some will carry on to other days...

Bleak looking Loch Linnhe
Bleak looking Loch Linnhe

Geotagging - Day 19
Geotagging - Day 19


Photos on the Canon: 310
Photos on the Sony: 16
Photos on the Olympus: 5
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 23
Videos on the Video: 21
Steps walked: 11060
Pounds Spent: ?
Breakfast was a little different in York - we actually had to order off a menu.  I had a chefs special which was a croissant with bacon, tomato, cheese and mushrooms, with scrambled egg on the side - but it was huge! Had trouble finishing it (I didn't).

The internet also died overnight which was a big pain as I hadn't blogged, or booked Edinburgh accommodation, or sorted out our day's itinerary.  Poo.

Anyways.  

We decided to skip a drive through the Yorkshire Dales as it wasn't going to fit in timewise.  So first stop was Thirsk. (Thirsk was the town that vet/author James Herriot was from). Found the Darrowby Inn on a drive by and then found parking nearby.  There was a tourist information office next door to the Darrowby Inn so went in and asked where the museum was.  So had a wander through that.  It was the building that Herriot used to live/work in, so some of the things in there (like the phone in the hall) were very squee to see.  It was quite well done, and was a good snapshot of a vet's working life in the 1940s etc.  Even Stu enjoyed it :)

Kilburn White Horse
Kilburn White Horse

The Darrowby Inn, Thirsk
The Darrowby Inn, Thirsk

James Wight's practice
James Wight's practice

Front room of the house
Front room of the house

Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo
Mrs. Pumphrey and Tricki Woo

The hall phone
The hall phone

Family room
Family room

Dispensary
Dispensary

Kitchen
Kitchen

Austin Seven car
Austin Seven car

Back garden
Back garden

Back shed/garage
Back shed/garage

Next door they've recreated the sets of the TV show All Creatures Great and Small
Next door they've recreated the sets of the TV show All Creatures Great and Small

Recreation of the TV set
Recreation of the TV set

Dining room of the TV set
Dining room of the TV set

Recreation of the TV set
Recreation of the TV set

Dispensary of the TV set
Dispensary of the TV set

Kilburn White Horse in stained glass
Kilburn White Horse in stained glass

Next we headed for Goathland (Hogsmeade Station).  Yes, much squeeing was had on my part :)  But what was also nice was driving through the North Yorkshire Moors to get there and out.  Unfortunately the wind was blowing hard and it was raining a bit, so photographing it proved tricky.  The drive was pretty awesome though.

North York Moors
North York Moors

The moors are all in flower, turning them pink
The moors are all in flower, turning them pink

Closeup of some of the flowers
Closeup of some of the flowers

Closeup of some of the flowers
Closeup of some of the flowers

Train passing through the moors
Train passing through the moors

Goathland Station - aka Hogsmeade!
Goathland Station - aka Hogsmeade!

Goathland Station seat
Goathland Station seat

First years! Follow me!
First years! Follow me!

Goathland Station from the overpass bridge
Goathland Station from the overpass bridge

North York Moors
North York Moors

Tiny little road on the moors
Tiny little road on the moors

Found lunch at a road-side Subway, that was actually drive through! Freaky!

At this point we'd had planned to go to Durham to see the cathedral (Hogwarts) but changed our plans earlier in the day and decided to go see Hadrian's Wall and do Durham in the morning.  So trekked out (past the Angel of the North) to Housesteads Roman Fort.  By this stage the wind was blowing a gale, and it was raining fairly heavily.  So we got out our jackets and went up anyway!  It fell into the category of "you don't have to be mad but it helps" :)  So paid the £3 parking, and the £4.80 entry each, and went and had a look at the fort.  And it was super awesome!!  Even in the pouring rain.  I had to use random camera as it was much easier to shield from the rain.  But walking around this two thousand year old fort was very squee :)

Angel of the North
Angel of the North

Hadrian's Wall (this was the only part of it we saw)
Hadrian's Wall (this was the only part of it we saw)

Model of Housesteads fort
Model of Housesteads fort

Baaaa!
Baaaa!

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Stu on the fort wall looking out at Hadrian's Wall
Stu on the fort wall looking out at Hadrian's Wall

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Barracks
Barracks

We got drenched.  The photos don't show it.
We got drenched. The photos don't show it.

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Watchtower
Watchtower

The fort toilets with flushing water
The fort toilets with flushing water

Housesteads Roman Fort
Housesteads Roman Fort

Part of the commandant's house or headquarters building
Part of the commandant's house or headquarters building

Base of a column
Base of a column

Well-worn steps
Well-worn steps

Base of a floor
Base of a floor

This is where I sheltered while Stu stood out in the rain for ages
This is where I sheltered while Stu stood out in the rain for ages

So we were completely drenched from the waist down, and headed back into Durham.  Found the hotel, got changed and went to have some dinner in the hotel bar.  Then stayed up entirely too late trying to find accommodation in Edinburgh (internet/parking/laundry were all factors that had to be considered).

Geotagging - Day 17
Geotagging - Day 17


Photos on the Canon: 298
Photos on the Sony: 137
Photos on the iPhone: 1
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 7
Videos on the Video: 14
Steps walked: 6835
Pounds Spent: 101.51
Well the blinds in the hotel at Aylesbury were super awesome.  The sweetie got up to go to the loo and I asked him what the time was and he said 8:00 and I'm *gah* we have to go! heh

So got up and ready fairly quickly and had breakfast (very similar to last hotel but with actual real bacon instead of some weird pressed ham thing).

Headed out, our first stop being Stratford-upon-Avon.  Cute, if very touristy, little town.  Wandered up to see Shakespeare's birthplace building, but at £12.50 each ($50aud for the two of us to go in) we decided to give it a miss, as we weren't all *that* interested anyway.  Instead we went for a little walk down to the Avon river and saw a boat going through a lock and lots of birds and that was actually really quite nice.

Hedge trimming - large scale
Hedge trimming - large scale

Medieval buildings in Stratford-Upon-Avon
Medieval buildings in Stratford-Upon-Avon

Morris Dancers
Morris Dancers

Birthplace of Shakespeare
Birthplace of Shakespeare

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a canal town, so even the ice creams are sold from barges!
Stratford-Upon-Avon is a canal town, so even the ice creams are sold from barges!

Distances via canals and rivers to other towns
Distances via canals and rivers to other towns

Lock
Lock

Canal boat in the lock
Canal boat in the lock

Feeding a goose
Feeding a goose

Swan Water Fountain in Bancroft Gardens
Swan Water Fountain in Bancroft Gardens

Avon River
Avon River

Our next stop was Warwick, as we wanted to see the castle.  Found parking in the castle grounds by accident (although £5 which was a little steep we thought).  Castle itself was also pretty pricey (we got the cheapest option of £17.95 - as the dungeon looked pretty kitschy - and probably a good thing we didn't get it anyway as we were pressed for time enough as it was).  Had a bit of a wander around the outside of the main castle, down to the mill house and around the back to see the trebuchet (didn't get to see it in action though).  Watched the falconry show which was very cool, although I might have taken way too many photos ;) Then went into the castle and around the towers and battlements, which I really enjoyed but Stu nearly died on all the steps.  Then through the chapel, great hall and state rooms, making this one of the rare castles/palaces I've been into that let you take photos!! So quite enjoyed that.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Entrance to Warwick Castle
Entrance to Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Avon River and turbine room of the castle
Avon River and turbine room of the castle

Trebuchet outside the castle
Trebuchet outside the castle

Victoria, the Crowned Eagle, a new arrival at the castle
Victoria, the Crowned Eagle, a new arrival at the castle

This Golden Eagle is having a bath
This Golden Eagle is having a bath

Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show
Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show

Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show
Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show

Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show
Young Palm Nut Vulture in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show
Peregrine Falcon in the falconry show

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Inner part of Warwick Castle
Inner part of Warwick Castle

Inner part of Warwick Castle
Inner part of Warwick Castle

Kids in the stocks
Kids in the stocks

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle

My parents have a photo exactly like this one from when they went
My parents have a photo exactly like this one from when they went

Inside the castle there's all these mockups of castle life
Inside the castle there's all these mockups of castle life

Princesses and Knights toilets
Princesses and Knights toilets

No Drinking Brew, or Eating Gruel
No Drinking Brew, or Eating Gruel

Model of Warwick Castle
Model of Warwick Castle

Chapel in Warwick Castle
Chapel in Warwick Castle

State rooms in Warwick Castle
State rooms in Warwick Castle

Armaments
Armaments

Knight on horseback
Knight on horseback

State rooms in Warwick Castle
State rooms in Warwick Castle

Bedroom in Warwick Castle
Bedroom in Warwick Castle

Entrance to the dungeons
Entrance to the dungeons

Entrance to Warwick Castle
Entrance to Warwick Castle

It was getting a bit late by then (4pm) so left and headed for Nottingham.  Did ok until we got into town where we kept getting stuck in the wrong lane and not able to follow the GPS, or having the GPS try and send us the wrong way down one way streets.  Went round in circles just trying to get to the hotel :(

So got in eventually.  The hotel (the Britannia) is a bit of a dump - we got a smoking room so it smells, everything is a little old and sad, no aircon to speak of, security on the door doesn't work at all, parking and access a pain in the posterior.  But it was cheap (£49 including breakfast) so can't complain too much.  It's only saving grace is free wifi, which sort of works if you look the right way at it.

So dumped our stuff and headed out again to go to Di's.  Again we had issues with the GPS and getting stuck in the wrong lane for where it wanted us to go.  Again we went around in circles :(  Was very frustrating.  But escaped eventually and got away without any further dramas, even getting a FREE parking spot right outside their door (first free parking we've had in this country! Unless you count the half hour we got near the hotel when dumping our stuff).  So went out to the local (the Stratford Haven) for a couple of pints, then back to their place for nibblies while Nick cooked up a storm.  Dinner was a high-class bangers and mash - absolutely delicious sausages, a herby mash potato that was lovely, and heaps of delicious gravy .. nom nom nom :) Chatted the whole evening, about all sorts of stuff .. a lot about travel, Paul had to get a mention, their recent dramas with M's mother, cameras etc etc.  Was a really lovely evening and I have a slight hangover headache to prove it :)

Di
Di

Nick
Nick

Kitty! Taken on one of Di's lenses
Kitty! Taken on one of Di's lenses

Made it back to the hotel in one go and collapsed into bed without blogging.

Geotagging - Day 15
Geotagging - Day 15


Photos on the Canon: 549
Photos on the Sony: 6
Photos on the Video: 69
Videos on the Video: 81
Steps walked: 12838
Pounds Spent: 69.29
Got to have a slightly slow start today as we didn't need to pick the car up til middayish and checkout was 11. So caught up on as much internetty stuff as we could before we left.

Hopped on a train to the car rental place and found it quite easily and got all the paperwork sorted. Unfortunately the automatic had a big crack in the windscreen so we got stuck with a manual. We can drive manuals (we both own manuals) but when you're dealing with driving in a foreign country, not having to worry about gears makes a huge difference. The big difference between this trip and our honeymoon of course is that at least here they drive on the *correct* side of the road. The suckiest thing about the car is that the blinkers and windscreen wipers are backwards to most Australian cars. This sux *a lot* as when you want to indicate in a hurry the reflex action will turn on the windscreen wipers :( (indicating when you plenty of time is not such an issue because you have time to remember to hit the opposite lever).

So anyway, after getting honked at by impatient drivers two minutes into the trip, we managed to escape London and headed for Windsor. Didn't get to see the castle except for glimpses of it, and drove past Legoland (coming soon!) with a final destination of Runnymede and the Magna Carta memorial. £1 pay and display parking even in the middle of nowhere.

Teenage swans on the Thames at Runnymede
Teenage swans on the Thames at Runnymede

Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede
Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede

Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede
Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede

Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede
Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede

Under the roof of the Magna Carta Memorial
Under the roof of the Magna Carta Memorial

Runnymede
Runnymede

Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede
Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede

Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede
Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede

Blackberries - yum!
Blackberries - yum!

Runnymede
Runnymede

From there headed back into Windsor to find some lunch. Found a pay and display parking station and a Subway nearby. Then fought with the Tomtom which didn't have a couple of the places in it I wanted to go to. Well it did, but under different location names.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle

Itty bitty parking spots in a parking station in Windsor
Itty bitty parking spots in a parking station in Windsor

So the next place I wanted to see was Picket Post Close in Martins Heron (actually Bracknell). Because it also happens to be 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging. (!!!) I squeed lots and lots. Didn't get out of the car though cause it's a tiny culdesac and I didn't want to look toooo much like a stalker ;) There was a van and a skip out the front which didn't help either. So basically did a drive by shoot and headed off again.

Picket Post Close - aka Privet Drive Little Whinging!
Picket Post Close - aka Privet Drive Little Whinging!

Privet Drive Little Whinging
Privet Drive Little Whinging

Privet Drive Little Whinging
Privet Drive Little Whinging

Number 4, Privet Drive Little Whinging - Harry's house!
Number 4, Privet Drive Little Whinging - Harry's house!

Next we headed for Henley on Thames. Just to have a quick look really. We found a shopping centre carpark and walked down to the river and had a half pint of a couple of Brakspeare ales.

Henley on Thames
Henley on Thames

Thames River
Thames River

The Angel pub
The Angel pub

Bridge over the Thames
Bridge over the Thames

Crazy medieval buildings in Henley on Thames
Crazy medieval buildings in Henley on Thames

Next up was Privet Drive number 2, used in the Prisoner of Azkaban. This was Dowding Way, Leavesden, altho the Tomtom couldn't find that so we had to put in Watford. Approaching this I could see the purple Knight Buses across the road in the Leavesden Studios backlot. As you can imagine there was much squeeing on my part :) Got out this time and walked up the same bit of road that Harry did. There's not any swings in the little park where he first sees Padfoot but the grass is there. Also went to the end of the road and could see across into Leavesden studios and the top of the row of houses they used as Privet Drive for movies two and onwards. And one of the hangers (the great hall was built in one if the hangers and was used for all the movies).

Street in Leavesden where Harry walks before seeing Padfoot
Street in Leavesden where Harry walks before seeing Padfoot

There was a roundabout and swings setup for the movie but they're not there anymore
There was a roundabout and swings setup for the movie but they're not there anymore

Where Harry catches the Knight Bus
Where Harry catches the Knight Bus

Leavesden Studios - where Harry Potter was filmed
Leavesden Studios - where Harry Potter was filmed

Possibly sets for the Deathly Hallows movies
Possibly sets for the Deathly Hallows movies

Privet Drive set built for Chamber of Secrets
Privet Drive set built for Chamber of Secrets

Knight buses!
Knight buses!

So then we headed north-west thinking we might stop at Aylesbury or keep going depending how we felt. Just outside of Aylesbury we saw a Holiday Inn so decided to stop. After the London hotel we were very impressed at how much *space* this one has!  I completely repacked my suitcase which made me feel a bit better. The big downer is that the Internet is £15/day.. WTF?? They can take that and shove it :(

Had a beer and a snack dinner at the onsite pub, sharing the area with a wedding reception's pre dinner drinks. And spent the evening repacking suitcases and selecting images to resize for twitpics.


Geotagging - Day 14
Geotagging - Day 14

Photos on the Canon: 139 
Photos on the Sony: 2
Photos on the Blackberry: 1
Photos on the Video: 2
Videos on the Video: 8
Steps walked: 6999
Pounds Spent: 29.58