Monday 7 October 2013

There's nothing like it!

Aah, the English countryside.  Everywhere we've visited on this trip, we have been constantly surrounded by beautiful scenery - the San Francisco Bay area, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy were all gorgeous in their own way, but there is something about England. When we are there, we always know we are there - maybe it's the kinds of trees and bushes, maybe it's the colours, but it's always a delight to be walking and wandering, no matter what the weather.  Driving, however, is a different matter - the motorways (my dreaded M word!)  are heaving, the country roads are full of day trippers trying to avoid the motorways, but needing to keep to their 'schedule' and the tour buses - OMG, as they say!
Recently, we  braved about 4 Ms and scooted Oop North to The Lake District.  We had no sun at all but no rain either, so we managed to get out and about a lot, although it wasn't overly warm.  Autumn colours were superb and the air was lovely, fresh and crisp, particularly in the mornings. 

We stayed at a great little B&B for three days and visited Windermere by car, Ullswater by boat and fitted in a few walks around some gorgeous little towns and villages.  Conishead Priory was lovely with walks in a forest, to a beach (sort of) and to a Buddhist Temple in the extensive grounds. Ulverstone was a fabulous little town with some cute shops, pretty views and a very old, interesting church.

Then back to the bosom of the family.  Mike and Chris' three children were all home for the weekend so we had a lovely dinner out at the local pub and a fun time watching some old films of the kids as babies and toddlers as well as some of 'when Dad and Uncle Richard were young'.  We are going to miss seeing these guys every couple of weeks - it's become a habit we are very loath to break ! Still, they are now threatening to come and try some of our Kiwi hospitality within the next few years - bring it on, we say!

On the way back to Surrey for our last few days in England, we had a not very nice task to complete - a visit to Chester!  "Not very nice?", I hear some of you say - "Chester is a fabulous city to spend time in."  Indeed it is and here are the photos to prove it.

But near Chester is where Sandra and Barry have moored their narrow boat for the winter and we had to go to say farewell.  Barry is in Gisborne at the moment, so we will catch up with him next week once we are home, but we don't know when we'll see Sandra again - could be three years or more.  Lovely to see her and be on the boat again, BUT...


  1. Oh bless you! I hadn't seen this before, it's brought tears to my eyes. What a moving photo, I've saved it to my photo album.

    I am so thankful you went out of your way to come and see me before you departed the mother land, and I know we'll meet again some starry day, don't know where, don't know when.

    Good luck with the next chapter!

    Sandra xxxxxxxxx