Our last day of the holiday started at the British Museum. What an incredible variety of exhibits. Ducked into Bloomsbury Baptist Church as we walked past it and met an 80 year old lady who had been going there all her life. Strolled in Holland Park, then saw the Handel Museum and finished off with an organ recital in St Paul’s before leaving for the airport.
Now we are home after a wonderful holiday.
Outside British Museum
In British Museum
In Bloomsbury Baptist Church
In Holland Park
In British Museum
Chinese Porcelain Figures
In Holland Park
The Lewis Chessmen in British Museum
After several days in the city we felt in need of some open space so ventured to Kew Gardens to enjoy the warm, sunny weather. We felt so confident that we did not even take rain jackets or jumpers – a first! Kew Gardens are very extensive so we did not cover them all but enjoyed the Treetops walkway, Palm Glasshouse, Rhododendron Dell and more. Kew Palace was where George 2 and his family lived, and it is also in Kew Gardens. Julie-ann and I had a fascinating chat with a young room attendant about George’s family and his descendants. She was so interesting, just off the top of her head, that we had quite a crowd around us listening.
Our cultural education under the tutelage of Julie-ann and Lyle continued tonight when we attended the Mozart – Requiem by Candlelight at St Martin in the Fields near Trafalgar Square.
Julie-ann and Meryl on their way to climb up the Treetop walkway
Three amigos pop out of Mock Roman Ruin in Kew Gardens
Lake at Kew Gardens
Girls in Bird Cage in Queens Garden – Kew Gardens
Queens Garden from window Kew Palace
Climbing down from top of Plantasia – Kew Gardens
Bird Nesting Kew Garden
Pagoda Kew Garden
Lyle taking a photo of the lake
Photo using Lyle’s Tripod and time delay – Kew Garden
Julie-ann in front of mock feast – Kew Palace
Water Lilies – Kew Gardens
St Martin in the Fields Church – Mozart by Candleight
Art on wall at Charing Cross Tube Station
Lyle and Julie-ann talked us into the seeing Julius Caesar at the Globe tonight and it was the highlight of the day. Afterwards we enjoyed a walk along the Thames and dessert.
We enjoyed the visit to the Tower Bridge exhibition and the Postman’s Park Memorial to People who have given their lives for others. The Royal Banqueting House built by Inigo Jones was worth a visit especially for the Rubens ceiling paintings and also because Charles 1 was beheaded just outside the House, under the orders of Oliver Cromwell.
The mosaics above the quire (choir) in St Paul’s Cathedral were spectacular and had my heart beating as did the climb up the hundreds of steps (528) to the top!
Tower Bridge at Night
Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross
Julie-ann and Glenn at Ziggi’s restaurant for dessert
Our seating at the Globe Theatre
Outside the Globe Theatre
This is this result of the camera in the previous post
Mosaics Ceiling in St Pauls
St Paul’s from the dome
St Paul’s Cathedral
In the Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice
Billy Hughes Plaque in St Paul’s Crypt
A great start to the day with the Wallace Collection and then a short sit in Hyde park for lunch. Fast paced through Victoria and Albert Museum and Kensington Palace, then more a leisurely walk to Little Venice canal and dinner. Strolled along canals and poked around Lord’s Cricket Ground on the way home.
Snuff boxes in the Wallace Collection
Hals, Laughing Cavalier in the Wallace Collection
In the Wallace Collection
Lunch in Hyde Park
Courtyard in Victoria and Albert Museum
Honiton Lace veil in the Wedding Dress Exhibition in Victoria and Albert Museum
Victoria and Albert Museum Entry
Robert Adam Cabinet in Victoria and Albert Museum
In the King’s Rooms in Kensington Palace
Prince Albert as a young boy in Kensington Palace
Minatures of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and locks of their hair in Kensington Palace
Queen Victoria’s wedding dress in Kensington Palace
Princess Margaret’s dress in Kensington Palace
Guess what this is?
At Lord’s Cricket Ground
On the tube
Here we are in London staying in an apartment with our Canberra friends Juile-ann and Lyle. The pace has been fast so I haven’t had a moment to blog. We are having a slightly more relaxed start today as every other day we have been out the door before 8:30am and not back till late.
So far we have done the London Eye, Tate Modern, Old Operating Theatre, Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London as well seeing the musical Matilda and catching up with friends and family.
St Pauls from the London Eye
Buckingham Palace from London Eye
On the London Eye
Houses of Parliament from London Eye
Statue of Churchill at Westminster
In the Tate Modern
Modern Martyrs on Westminster Abbey
Dinner with Devereuxs
In the Old Operating Theatre
In the Tate Modern
Dali painting in the Tate Modern
Founder of Sunday Schools
Real Tennis at Hampton Court
Great Hall in Henry VIII’s apartments
In William III’s apartments
Clock Court at Hampton Court
Up to the Queen’s apartments
Christopher in front of his house
Front of Hampton Court Palace
Pond Garden at Hampton Court
The Tudor Palace meeting the Baroque Palace
Chapel Court Garden with actors playing Jane Seymour and Lady Rochford
In the Tudor kitchens
Garden at Hampton Court
Actors playing George II and Caroline and lady in waiting
Queen’s House in Tower of London. Only Tudor house left in London.
At Matilda the Musical
The site where Anne Boleyn and others lost their heads
The White Tower
Morning Tea with Jillian
We had a lovely weekend with our friends Julie, Johnny, Jamie, Jemma and Josh Marshall. Enjoyed yet another National Trust property Waddeson Manor, previously owned by the Rothschilds, with a lavishly furnished house and extensive gardens. The Making of Harry Potter where we were surprised to bump into Jillian Churcher was fun. The day finished at 1am after watching England beaten by Italy in the World Cup on a 3m screen. Sunday included Windsor Castle and a picnic in Windsor Great Park.
Inside Waddeson Manor
Modern chandelier in Waddeson Manor
At Waddeson Manor
Julie and Johnny at Waddeson Manor
Dining room in Waddeson Manor
The castle model used for aerial shots
Us in the car
Jillian at Harry Potter
The Dursleys House
Gryffindor Common Room
Gryffindor school uniforms
Harry’s room under the stairs
Picnic in Windsor Great Park
The Marshall’s 3 metre screen
At Windsor Castle
Old houses in Wendover
To complete the Cotswolds we spent our last day in Oxford. Started with an organised walking tour which gave us an interesting overview of the towns history and important buildings. We saw many students (future Dons?) who had just finished their exams celebrating with their peers and friends. Most of the students were covered in mess a ritual called thrashing. We visited Christ Church College where the Harry Potter dining room is modelled on the one here but had to be built as this one only has 3 long dining tables and they needed 4 for the 4 Harry Potter houses.
Dining Room in Christ Church College
In Christ Church Cathedral
In the Bodlian Library
Wall outside Sheldonian Theatre
In Corpus Christi College
Looking to All Souls College
Along the river
Christ Church College
In Christ Church Cathedral
Oxford Bridge of Sighs
Staircase in Christ Church College used in Harry Potter
Ten years ago Meryl’s brother and sister Keith and Kathy visited Sudeley Castle and they liked it and suggested we go. That was a good enough recommendation for the four of us to go and we all loved it.
The castle (big house) has an interesting history with Richard the 3rd taking it off its owner and making it a Royal Property in 1469. Katherine Parr, Henry the 8th’s sixth and last wife, lived here after Henry died. She married a schemer and rake Thomas Seymour, younger brother of Jane Seymour (Henry’s 3rd wife) shortly after Henry died. Unfortunately Katherine herself died in 1548 shortly after marrying Thomas and giving birth to a daughter. She was buried here.
In 1649 during the civil war Oliver Cromwell had the castle slighted (destroyed) to show those Royals! For 180 years after the slighting the Castle lay neglected and derelict.
In the early 1800’s Katherine Parr’s tomb was discovered. In 1837 the rich Dent Brothers bought the ruins and rebuilt parts of the Castle and restored the gardens to their former glory days. The current owners are descendants of the Dents. There is a suggestion that Charles Dickens modelled the Cheeryble brothers (Nicholas Nickleby) on the Dent Brothers – which would make them very nice chaps in deed!
The end of a lovely week in the Cotswolds with Terry and Julie.
Sudeley Castle ruined wing – Oliver Cromwell ordered it be slighted!
Terry and Julie in the Sudeley Castle Gardens
Thythe Barn ruins – Sudeley Castle
Sudeley Castle – rebuilt in 1800’s by Dent Brothers
Sudeley Castle Gardens
Sudeley Castle Gardens
Us outside the church where Catherine Parr is buried – Sudeley Castle
Katherine Parr’s tomb – 6th wife of Henry the 8th
Today was a mixed bag of activities. Starting with Cheltenham. It initially didn’t appeal to us. Montpellier Gardens were being set up for a garden show with workmen and tents everywhere. As we neared Pittville Pump Room the housing became interesting and the park was full of Mum’s and kids, the sun came out and our first impressions changed.
Pittville Pump Room
Houses in Cheltenham
Neptune’s Fountain in Cheltenham
House in Cheltenham
Promenade in Cheltenham
Next on the agenda Snowshill Manor. Charles Wade was a very weird fellow and his collections even stranger. The garden was pleasant. Glenn had his Raiders hat on and someone said go the Raiders. It was the wife of a guy I played tennis with. Amazing to bump into someone from home like that. Snowshill Village was delightful.
Meeting fellow Canberrans in Snowshill Garden
In Charles Wade’s Kitchen
Charles Wade’s childhood toys in Snowshill Manor
We drove through Winchcombe on the way to Snowshill and thought it looked interesting. Kathy and Keith had stayed there many years ago. So on the way back we stopped in for a wander. We marvelled that a church has been on the site since the late 700s.
Window in Winchcombe Church
Vineyard St, in Winchcombe
Dean’s Terrace in Winchcombe
Main Street in Winchcombe
Crickley Hill is very near where we are staying. The views were amazing. We could see to Hay-on-Wye. We walked a small distance on the Cotswolds Way up there. It was a hill fort before the Romans came.
On the Cotswalds Way on Crickley Hill
View from Crickley Hill
The delightful village of Coberley is very near our unit. To visit the church we had to go through a barn door into a private garden. The Mother of Dick Whittington, of the nursery rhyme, is buried here.
Barn doors hiding Coberley Church
Stream in Coberley
Library in Coberley
Dick Whittington’s Mum’s Grave
School in Coberley
Before we visited Chedworth Roman Villa I was thinking of what cake I would have with my coffee while I waited for Meryl to have a look around. But from the moment our guide Roger, PhD in Archaeology and expert on English history including the Roman period, started talking I knew I was in for an interesting and humorous visit. He gave lots of interesting, high level information about how people lived.
We were told about how the 40,000 Romans arrived in AD 43 and asked shall we do this the hard way or the easy way. Wisely the Celtic Brits said easy way please. 350 years later and the aristocratic English people who lived in the Villa were very rich from trading with the Romans. The land is so fertile that even the 99.5 % of other people who lived in the Cotswolds ate well. The Romans introduced snails (still able to be easily seen) and showed the locals how to build so that the rooms were heated.
Lunch at Chedworth Roman Villa – National Trust!
Woman dressed as lady of the Villa and demonstrating weaving
View from Chedworth Roman Villa
At Roman Villa Chedworth
Roman (big) and English snail at Roman Villa
Photo of Fosse Way (Roman Road). They laid it straight even then.
Floor Heating Chedworth Roman Villa
Mozaic floor Chedworth Roman Villa
To complete our education on Roman Britain we visited the award winning Corinium Museum in Cirencester. People did not live in towns until the Romans came. Cirencester was the second largest city in Roman Britain. We liked it as it is today.
Tiled floor in Corinium Museum Cirencester
Window in Cirencester Church. See the devil in bottom middle window.
Highest Yew Hedge in England – near Roman Museum Cirencester
Roman Wall decoration – Corinium Museum Cirencester
Roman Garden – Corinium Museum Cirencester
Silver Street Cirencester
Roman Amphitheatre in Cirencester seating 8000
On our way home we ducked into the Duntisbourne villages and nearly had to drive through a creek.
Ford we didn’t drive through in Duntisbourne
House in Duntisbourne