Back in Strathkinness, after our first trip around England, we were chatting with my dad about some of the sights we saw and attractions we visited. While discussing the Boscombe Down Aircraft Collection, he mentioned that there is an aircraft museum just outside Edinburgh.
Thinking that we could handle 2 attractions in a single day, we planned to visit the Air Museum and the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is docked at Leith. This was a good combination, as we could take the Edinburgh Ring Road to the East Fortune Airfield and return through Edinburgh and Leith.
The Air Museum’s star attraction is Concorde G-BOAA. I saw this very aircraft over 41 years ago, read on to find out where!!
For me, one of the benefits of our current extended UK holiday is the opportunity to re-visit some of my old childhood memories. Back in the 1960’s we lived in Perth, Scotland for about 8 years.
A couple of weeks ago, we drove up to Perth, driving past both of our old homes and checked out the numerous changes throughout the city. This brought back memories of picnics we had at Little Glenshee, a remote area, which I recall is fairly close to Perth, I just couldn’t remember exactly where it was. My feeble excuse being the mere 50 years since my last visit.
St Andrews, a quiet little town on the East Coast of Scotland, located between the cities of Dundee and Edinburgh. If you are a golfer, you probably know of St Andrews, as it is renowned as being the home of golf.
However, St Andrews with 7 public golf courses, is more than golfing, as it has one of UK’s premier universities and during the summer months is a bustling family tourist resort – beaches, caravan parks, harbour, castle, cathedral and coastal path, to name but a few of the attractions.
Ceres is a small village about 8 miles inland from St Andrews, or less than 5 miles from Strathkinness, where I lived before moving to Canada. Growing up in the area, I’m almost certain I had heard of the Ceres Games, but as a teenager, it probably wasn’t high on the priority list.
Oh! how times change with age. One day, while returning to Strathkinness, we drove through Ceres noting signs advertising next weekend’s highland games. Back at the house, I googled and found that it was the 703rd anniversary, of the first games held in 1314. OMG, we have to check it out, and bonus, admission is “free”.
Blenheim Palace, located about 20 miles from Oxford has 2 claims to fame – it is the only palace in UK that is not a royal residence, and it was the birthplace of one of UK’s most famous Prime Ministers, Sir Winston Churchill.
Our visit coincided with one of the Nocturne concerts, which that night featured The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This resulted in some areas not being open and the home closing earlier than usual.
Having lived in St Andrews for many years, I looked forward to exploring another university town. Yes, similar to St. Andrews, most buildings in Oxford are connected with the university.
Considered as the oldest university in the English speaking world, the exact foundation date is unknown, but teaching is known to have existed from 1097, with rapid expansion over the next hundred years. University ratings are highly subjective and many raters vary widely with their results, however, The Higher Education World University Rankings rate Oxford, as the world’s number 1 university for 2016-17.
In 1987, UNESCO accorded World Heritage status to the entire city of Bath. While hundreds of cities throughout the world have designated world heritage sites, I believe Bath and Venice are the only 2 cities where the entire city, is so designated.
Venice is an easy one to understand, as we probably all know about the canals, and many may have actually visited the city, but Bath? Unless you are from UK, or have studied UK history, you may not be aware of this beautiful city.
Departing Widbrook Barns B&B in Bradford-on-Avon, our next destination is Oxford, a mere 65 miles distant. Preferring to avoid motorways and major roads, our route today takes us to Avebury, followed by a scenic drive through North Wessex Downs AONB, then onto the oldest bridge over the River Thames at Radcot, before finally heading towards Oxford.
We have probably all heard of Stonehenge, but as I alluded to in my last post, this area of UK has numerous lesser know, but equally impressive attractions from about 5,000 years ago. Continue reading →
Many years ago, when the kids were still young, we spent a couple of days around the SW, with friends Mark & Andrea. We spent a day visiting Bristol, Bath and the local canals. Being a whirlwind tour, in Bath, we only visited the Roman Baths, so this time we wanted to see other parts of the city, which is UK’s only city with a UNESCO World Heritage designation.
We planned a 2 night stay, with our preference again for a more rural location. I looked for small towns within a 10 mile radius of Bath, with easy train or bus links to downtown. Bradford-on-Avon met all the criteria. Searching for B&B’s, I found Widbrook Barns, which again ticked all the boxes and had great reviews.
After our final breakfast at 15 Bed & Breakfast, in Fareham, we said our goodbyes to hosts Lorraine and Dave, setting off for Widbrook Barns B&B in Bradford-on-Avon. It’s only about 70 miles, so we opted for a circuitous route, taking in Stonehenge and a number of other lesser known Neolithic attractions.
The previous post covered Stonehenge, so this one will focus on the route we took from Stonehenge to Bradford-on-Avon. Continue reading →