Travel With Den - UK 2012

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  • #41
    Love the trains and Cathedral. The folding metal chairs look very out of place though.

    Funny how things go around. Mary is beheaded and buried in that cathedral and then fast forward and her son is king and she's moved to Westminster.
    Why do Morris Dancers wear bells? A: So they can annoy blind people too.

    Comment


    • #42
      Day 16 - To the South!

      We left Offord Darcy after a big breakfast. Steve and Sheena have duties to attend to, so they had to stay behind.

      The day was sunny and cool. After an hours drive, it was cloudy and cool. By the time we reached Oxford, it was cold and wet and stayed that way.

      We paused at Silbury Hill to take photos, and then headed for Avebury.

      Silbury Hill is a man-made mound built some time during the Neolithic age. It is part of the Stonehenge and Avebury system. The rain was a nasty cold pin-prick blown by the wind. My poor umbrella was turned inside out and bent all the struts.


      Silbury Hill by Den Whitton, on Flickr

      We wandered around the town within the stone rings and ditch dug during the Neolithic, for over an hour.


      Avebury Stone Circles panorama by Den Whitton, on Flickr


      Avebury ring by Den Whitton, on Flickr

      We wandered around and were amazed at the site. There were some lambs sheltering in the lee of an ancient sarsen stone.


      Old and new by Den Whitton, on Flickr


      Avebury by Den Whitton, on Flickr


      Avebury by Den Whitton, on Flickr

      The rain grew worse and I had an unplanned kneeling event involving mud and jeans. Back in the car I cranked the heater up to 11 and felt the chill leave as my jeans dried.


      Avebury by Den Whitton, on Flickr


      Time to stock up on essential supplies.Avebury by Den Whitton, on Flickr

      After Avebury we headed south to Stonehenge. The day had turned bleak. The wind blew the rain directly over the stones, so there was no way to take a decent photo without getting rain on the camera lens. Aaron was very disappointed with the weather, but he is impressed by the site.

      We are currently in a Holiday Inn at Amesbury. If the day is good tomorrow morning we'll hit Stonehenge again, and maybe Salisbury Cathedral before heading for Southampton. Time for some afternoon tea.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	Eagle IPA and Cheese.jpg Views:	1 Size:	177.0 KB ID:	125429

      -----------------------------8<----------------------------------------------------------------
      Notes from 2018

      - There is an avenue of standing stones from Silbury Hill to Avebury - about 2 miles long. It's a nice walk, but not in the wet.
      - Avebury is amazing, but not in the wet.
      - Eagle IPA is disappointing. Too bitter and not enough malt.
      - Black Bomber mature cheddar is very yummy, and made up for the disappointing beer.
      Last edited by Den; 9th August 2018, 00:54.
      Mild mannered maniac.

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      • #43
        Nice update Den. So has anyone ever figured out what they were trying to accomplish with the stones?

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        • #44
          The only archaeological consensus is "It's ceremonial." How, when, and why are lost to history. There are two avenues of standing stones leading from Avebury; one westward to some standing stones, and one south-eastward to an almost vanished henge near Silbury Hill and the West Kennet and East Kennet long-barrows. The whole landscape was as important as Stonehenge. But why is unknown.
          Mild mannered maniac.

          Comment


          • #45
            Day 17 More Stones and some old cars.

            Today dawned bright and sunny, so we hit the road early-ish. After the miserable weather yesterday made Stonehenge disappointing, we agreed that a second visit was in order. And what a difference nice weather made! We were almost the first to arrive and wandered the path around the site almost on our own. I took a lot of photos. Aaron took more.


            Stonehenge by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Stonehenge by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Stonehenge by Den Whitton, on Flickr

            We had reached the half-way point before the first three coach-loads of tourists piled on to the site. Even so, I managed to get photos with almost no one in shot.

            Stonehenge by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Stonehenge tumuli. Neolithing burial mounds by Den Whitton, on Flickr

            And so after an hour or so, we headed off to Beaulieu to visit the National Motor Museum. It was rather good! So many old cars! And motor bikes!


            Bond cars, as used in the movies by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            National Motor Museum by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Formula 1 cars by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            1909 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Bugatti by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            National Motor Museum by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Working replica of Karl Benz's first car by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Bentley Six by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Golden Arrow - land speed record holder 1929 (231.44 mph) by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Bluebird - Land speed record holder 1964 (403.10mph) by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            National Motor Museum by Den Whitton, on Flickr

            And then a visit to the ruined abbey.


            Beaulieu Abbey Cloister by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            The Great Hall by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Beaulieu Abbey by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Beaulieu Manor dining room by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            Stairs to the monk's dormitory by Den Whitton, on Flickr


            We spent about 4 hours there, then headed for Southampton and accommodation. Tomorrow we head West.


            Beaulieu from the Abbey gardens by Den Whitton, on Flickr

            ------------------------------8<-----------

            Notes from 2018
            - Donald Campbell's Bluebird was the last wheel-driven record holder. Campbell was beaten by Craig Breedlove, who used a jet-powered 3-wheeled car in 1963 and was considered the "unofficial" record holder until ratified in December 1964.

            -If you want to see Stonehenge without massive crowds, get there early
            Mild mannered maniac.

            Comment


            • #46
              Very cool photos of Stonehenge, the museum and the Abby. So much to see, packed into a small area.

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by Ithildin View Post
                Very cool photos of Stonehenge, the museum and the Abby. So much to see, packed into a small area.
                Have a map!

                https://drive.google.com/open?id=1uG...gKNWBqe6xs7n98
                Mild mannered maniac.

                Comment


                • #48
                  Day 18 - Rain, and more rain.

                  The day started off cold and wet, and got worse. We visited the Titanic Museum in the centre of Southampton, and then headed West. The rain got heavier. Then it poured. Then it bucketed down. Then the buckets were included.

                  It was a miserable day for sight-seeing. I wanted to get some photos of Dartmoor but I didn't want to drown. Pub lunch at the White Hart at Wilmington. I had scampi & chips and a half-pint of Otter Bitter. It was a real ale, poured from a wooden cask behind the bar, and it was very yummy.

                  Eventualy we reached Launceston (pronounced "LAWN-ston") and a rather nice B&B run by Mrs Robinson.

                  Today was a wash-out as far as photos go. Many of the rivers we crossed - the Axe, the Otter, The Exe, and others - broke their banks and flooded the roads behind us. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.


                  Dartmoor and the view from my room by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                  B&B - My Room by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                  B&B - The stairs to my room by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                  ---------------8<---------------------------------
                  Notes from 2018

                  - Launceston in Tasmania is pronounced LON-cess-ton. Or Lonny. Because Australia.
                  - The rain this day broke records. It seems nice now, what with the Big Dry they are having.
                  - The White Hart from Google Streetview:

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	white hart.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	285.5 KB
ID:	126655

                  - I do like English pubs!
                  Mild mannered maniac.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    So, are there more rainy days or dry days there? It sure seems like it rains a lot.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      The current dry spell in the UK has lasted for about 50 days without rain. The last time i saw serious rain here (>5mm) was in March.
                      Mild mannered maniac.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Den View Post
                        The current dry spell in the UK has lasted for about 50 days without rain. The last time i saw serious rain here (>5mm) was in March.
                        Oh, I really wasn't expecting the UK to have such long runs of dry weather like that. I live in a desert and expect to go months without rainfall. I wouldn't have expected that on an island in the Atlantic.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Ithildin View Post

                          Oh, I really wasn't expecting the UK to have such long runs of dry weather like that. I live in a desert and expect to go months without rainfall. I wouldn't have expected that on an island in the Atlantic.
                          Neither did we!!

                          Though, it did rain today, and I was so happy! I don't like it too hot. Too many flies, wasps and sweat. Give me a cosy night with a good drink in a warm English pub, or in a comfy armchair any day!

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by FrodoEyes View Post

                            Neither did we!!
                            On the plus side: ARCHAEOLOGY!

                            https://www.theguardian.com/science/...twave-pictures

                            Though, it did rain today, and I was so happy! I don't like it too hot. Too many flies, wasps and sweat. Give me a cosy night with a good drink in a warm English pub, or in a comfy armchair any day!
                            Real ale in a cosy pub on a damp night... You just don't want to go home!

                            Mild mannered maniac.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Day 19 Launceston to Glastonbury

                              The day was fine and cool and a great improvement over yesterday.

                              We left Mrs Robinson's at 8am, and headed south-west to Bodmin. I wanted to cross the wild, wind-swept Bodmin Moor to experience the remote area. What I got was a duel carriageway with no place to pull over to park for a photo. And so we reached Bodmin in comfort - buggerit - and turned north East.


                              Cornwall by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                              We reached Tintagel Castle at 9.30, just as it opened. The wind was brisk and cold, but after the 1/2kn walk down to the entry gate I was quite warm.


                              Walking down to Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Walking down to Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                              And then we walked up, and up, and over a bridge, and up some narrow, uneven slate stairs that went up, and then went up more.


                              Looking up to Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Looking back to the start of the path by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              And then we were in the lower reaches of the castle. We wandered around the ruins and headland for three hours. We were totally alone - apart from the six coach loads of French school kids. More arrived as we left.


                              Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Walking through the Great Hall. The path is where the cellars were by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              House foundations by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              More house foundations by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Foundations for Walled gardens, stores, service buildings and houses. by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Aaron trying to see Ireland from the end of the promontory by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Looking toward the castle gate house on the mainland, and Tintagel village by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                              The castle headland had a lot of wild flowers growing.


                              Bluebells in Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Tintagel Castle by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Wild flowers in the ruins. by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                              Wild flowers in the ruins. by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                              Time is running short and we have a lot to see before we leave. I set the GPS and did a straight-ish run to Glastonbury, where we found a cheap room at a pub. I really would like to see more of Cornwall and Devon.


                              Glastonbury Tor by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                              Tomorrow will be a long day of Bath and Wookey Holes and a long run to Offord.
                              Mild mannered maniac.

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                So when I here someone say "Cornwall by the sea" that's what they are talking about. The castle is very cool. I'll bet it was formidable in its prime. Not much left of it, was it destroyed or just fell to ruin? Photos of the flowers are terrific.

                                So can you see Ireland from there if the weather is right?

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Ithildin View Post
                                  So when I here someone say "Cornwall by the sea" that's what they are talking about. The castle is very cool. I'll bet it was formidable in its prime. Not much left of it, was it destroyed or just fell to ruin? Photos of the flowers are terrific.
                                  The castle was built in 1225. It fell to ruin through lack of use and in the late 1300s bits were torn down for safety reasons.the roof to the great hall was removed in 1330 and the whole thing just fell apart over time. So the castle was in use for only a hundred years. The plateau was connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and protected by a gate house, but by 1550 the isthmus had eroded away taking much of the gate house with it.

                                  Recent excavations there have turned up a huge amount of late Dark Age (400-600AD) and early medieval pottery from Africa and wine amphorae from the eastern Mediterranean. It was an important trade hub before the castle was built. Current theories say Tintagel was the site traders from the Mediterranean landed their wares.

                                  So can you see Ireland from there if the weather is right?
                                  erm... no.
                                  Mild mannered maniac.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Day 20 - Holes in rocks, rocks in water, rocks in circles.


                                    Tintagel, which we visited yesterday, is tied in with the King Arthur story and is, therefore, full of Arthur and Merlin stores. Glastonbury is very much tied to the New Age Enlightenment/Magick/Stones/Mystic/Avalon/Hippy... thingy. Every second store sold something myffic, including a full range of Native American dream catchers. I suppose there is something for everyone coming to Glastonbury to find Arthur.


                                    Glastonbury Tor from Wookey Hole by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                                    We left early and headed into the Mendip Hills, aiming for a tiny village called Wookey Hole


                                    Wookey Hole by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                                    Somewhere in the upper Mendips the River Axe vanishes underground, and emerges again at Wookey after carving out a huge series of caves. We arrived there just before opening time, and caught the first guided tour. There were just the three of us - me, Aaron, and our guide. She asked if we wanted the official tour or just a walk and chat. So we wandered through the caves and chatted about science, caves, bats, the action of the Axe, cave diving, cheese, and how The Witch Of Wookey* has taken over all facets of this system and was the major commercial draw-card for tourists (the way Arthur, Merlin, and hippies have taken over Tintagel and Glastonbury.)


                                    River Axe and Wookey Hole Cave by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Wookey Hole Cave by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Wookey Hole Cave - a bit which appeared in a Tom Baker episode of Dr Who by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Wookey Hole Cave by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Wookey Hole Cave continues underwater for many miles past this point. by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Wookey Hole Cave by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Cave-matured cheddar maturing by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Looking back to the exit gate from the path beside the mill leat (millstream). Some of the River Axe is diverted into the leat to power a mill


                                    "Hyena's Cave" in the cliff wall. The cave contained evidence of the first prehistoric occupation of the Mendip Hills.

                                    When I was here last (early 90s) they did a demonstration of paper making from cotton scraps, but all that is now dormant and replaced by a display about cave diving. Back then, the Axe flowed from the cave and tumbled down a stoney bed between green banks before diving under the mill. Now it travels a short distance before diving into a culvert under a raised platform containing smilodons, mammoths, fluorescent green dinosaurs, and Neandertals. I don't know how the dinosaurs fit in, but there is evidence of the mammoths being cooked by early hunters in a hyena's den, which is in the side of the river valley just down from the cave.


                                    The River Axe, just before in vanishes into a culvert that takes it to the other side of Wookey Hole village.

                                    After the cave we wandered through the Penny Arcade full of vintage arcade machines, and a mirror maze. Aaron had never seen one before.


                                    Wookey Hole Mill by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Caliope - Wookey Hole Mill by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Penny Arcade - Wookey Hole Mill by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Selfie in a mirror maze by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Totally not Khazad-dum by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                                    From Wookey Hole we travelled through the Mendip Hills to Bath, and did a tour of the Roman Baths excavated under the old Georgian town. Hot water still bubbles up from the ancient springs and fills the Roman baths before flowing through the old drain into the Avon. An excellent 3 hours was had wandering the Roman Ruins, followed by a not so excellent half hour while we tried to find the car park where we left the car. I did get to eat a proper sausage-inna-bun.


                                    Bath Cathederal by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    The sacred spring, where hot water bubbles to the surface.


                                    The great bath, the main hot bath of the complex.


                                    Fragments of the original entry to the bath complex.


                                    Bath by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Votive offering found in the sacred spring. The ring is approx 35mm across


                                    Drain from the Great Bath.


                                    The cold plunge bath. After soaking in the hot bath for a while, it was the custom to drop into the cold bath.

                                    And so we turned for Offord Darcy. It was after 5pm when we reached The Cotswolds, and it was raining heavily (again) so we missed all the famous villages in that area - Burton On The Water, and The Slaughters. I navigated us to Rollright so I could show Aaron the Rollright Stones. a proper stone circle. There were once 105 stones in this circle, so close they touched and made a solid wall, apart from an opening. Many stones are missing but the ring is still substantial. Someone left a bunch of flowers of the largest stone.


                                    Rollright Stones by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Rollright Stones by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Looking through the entrance to the "alter" stone.


                                    Someone left an offering on the alter stone.


                                    Rollright Stones by Den Whitton, on Flickr


                                    Rollright Stones by Den Whitton, on Flickr

                                    I would have stayed longer to explore the other stones in the area but the rain became heavy and cold, so we headed for Offord Darcy. The trip was uneventful and not terribly interesting, except for all the swollen rivers and streams. And we were held up at the Buckden rail crossing by a pair of high-speed trains.


                                    *The human bones discovered in the cave and said to belong to the Witch, came from a male. You're not supposed to know that.

                                    ------------------------8<----------------------------------------

                                    Notes from 2018
                                    - I do love a good sausage-inna-bun
                                    - Many more photos are on my flickr page. MANY MORE.
                                    Last edited by Den; 14th September 2018, 03:24.
                                    Mild mannered maniac.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Wonderful retelling of your travel, Den!! I love these moody pictures. All your pictures of the rainy kingdom helped me to survive this awful arid summer!

                                      It's such a pitty they left all this cheese to rot!
                                      Do you like books? Visit the New books, old books thread!

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                                      • #59
                                        Really enjoyable read Den, thanks.

                                        So I'm taking that a sausage-inna-bun is a hot dog?

                                        Love the caves. It's great that you had the guide all to yourself and could make it casual.

                                        Is the orange on the drain sulfur or algae?

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Le sausage-in-le-bun? Once tasted never forgotten...

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