Sunset - June 2, 2020

Sunset - June 2, 2020

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Planes, trains and automobiles...

...the Hop On/Hop Off...and the Tube...
Recovering from jet-lag, but back home at Taylorsoutback in the northwoods after a whirlwind trip to England and Wales...the quietness of our surrounding fields and woods is a huge contrast to our 2+ weeks of travel...

From left to right...Kathy, Jan and Linda...

Along with three of my long time quilting buddies, we flew into Heathrow, took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station and ultimately arrived at our London hotel for our first one night stay before boarding another train at Kings Crossing the next morning...

Onto Leeds for a 3 day stay...this town is known for its history of textile mills and present day shopping/market opportunities. And we had booked a day long private tour - our driver was Chris from York, whose knowledge of the area, centuries old history and little known facts made for a true learning opportunity. The beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, a long held wish to visit the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth and see the moors where Charlotte, Emily and Anne walked was finally realized.
Flocks of sheep dot the hillsides - the majority of these fluffy, four legged creatures are bred for their meat, rather than wool. Personally, I have always found it difficult to try lamb - just can’t get pass those wooly faces! 

What can I say about the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth - if you share a love of the Bronte sisters books and poetry with me - you will understand how it feels to actually walk in their footsteps and see how everything has been preserved in the house they lived...I was truly in the Moment!
We visited the ancient Bolton Abbey, one of the many places King Henry VIII ordered to be closed following his break from the Catholic Church. 

End of day - The Lock, atop the Doubletree Hilton in Leeds,  and glasses of wine..;

All too soon, we packed up and picked up our rental car and headed out of Leeds on a quiet Sunday morning - next stop...Wales...the land of my ancestors. Putting 4 quilters in a rental car that has the steering controls on the Right Side and remembering to drive on the Left Side while easing into countless Round-Abouts with multiple exits was quite the experience...our intrepid driver, Linda, did incredibly well handling the car and our navigator, Jan, kept track of the car’s built in GPS - this was definitely a pilot/co-pilot requirement! Kathy and I sat in the back seats and (for the most part) tried to keep quiet - but often all 4 of us were laughing so hard - how many times can you go around a Round-About??? 

Did I mention the winding roads in Wales are very narrow and each side is lined with tall hedges? And tiny, one lane bridges that are suitable for pony carts, not autos...

We safely arrived in Abergavenney, Wales and found Hardwick Farm where we were to stay - it is a working dairy farm - Carol runs the B & B and her husband, Cyril, manages the large herd of milk cows. We were warmly welcomed with cups of tea and slices of fruit bread - if you want to be immersed in Welsh hospitality, I highly recommend staying much more personal than a hotel room. Each morning, the day started with a full breakfast, prepared to our own order with sausages or bacon and the best ever local Apple Juice. 

For four days, we chose different spots to visit...Ragland Castle, dating back to the 15th Century...

Tintern Abbey...founded in 1131and later, like all the other abbys, dissolved by King Henry VIII...

St. Mary’s Priory/Tithe Barn - the site of an immense canvaswork tapestry (24’ X 6’), completed in 2006 by 60 stitchers and dedicated by Prince Charles 
(No photos allowed, image from Google)

Brecon Beacons National Park...

(Yellow gorse - Tree of Movement - very prickly!)

Visits to local pubs and eateries...a memorable lemon tart...

At the end of the day on our last full day at Hardwick Farms...Carol got us outfitted in proper wellies and we toured the home of their dairy cows...this is a large operation and boasts 3 complete robotic milking stations...who knew a cow could be milk by a robot? 21st century technology and it pays off as the Hardwick Farm is an awarding winning milk producer. 
We changed into different wellies after a foot bath and visited the calfs who were located in a separate area...more computer technology to ensure the calves receive proper nutrition after being separated from their mums...
The next day...onto Cardiff where the rental car was returned (giving our Linda a HUGE sigh of relief!) and onto a 30 minute run by train back to London...
Will be back soon with that portion of our trip...hope you were not bored reading the travelogue! 
Stitching? Well actually, the evening back in our spacious sitting/bedrooms room - feet up, a glass of wine and needle in hand.

Meanwhile...”Keep a welcome in the hillside...” (from a Welsh song) 



  1. An absolutely delightful recounting of your excursion thus far! I would love to walk where the Bronte sisters lived and wrote. I have read all of their novels.
    I have ancestry in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. My dream is an extended trip someday to visit them all. Reality may have a say in that, however.
    Looking forward to the next leg of your journey!

  2. sounds like you had a wonderful time and lots of wonderful places seen! the car and the round about sounds like trouble I would have - how many times could I go round and round before I got it right I wonder LOL

  3. I admit to turning absolutely green with envy as I read your post. Such a wonderful adventure! All except the driving part. Kudos to Linda and Jan! White knuckle driving for sure.

  4. What a wonderful travel diary! It sounds like your trip was more than memorable - makes me want to pack my bags for destinations unknown.

  5. Great detail about your trip. Round abouts here drive me crazy and I can't imagine how it would be in another country. Linda told me a little about your trip. It sure sounds like a fun time. So happy for you all. Hugs


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