Holidaying in England and Scotland: September - October 2011

Britain was again the destination. This time we realised we had not really seen much of the outer edges - the coastline and coastal communities. We had been to Lyme Regis, and I had already walked part of the "Jurassic Coast" from the Bill of Portland and Chesil Beach west towards Lyme. So we could start by visiting the Cotswolds then go south to Devon and clockwise through Cornwall, up through Bristol and then jump north to Scotland. The Isle of Skye looked inviting and then we could strike east across to Inverness and then all the way south following the coast. That would take us back through Whitby and then down to the Norfolk Broads. From there we could head south to Dover and the chalk cliffs, west to Brighton and then circle back to Heathrow.

Along the way there were a few more family interests to follow up in Somerset, Scotland and Kent.

While we were in the Northern Hemisphere we could also jump over to France thanks to the Eurostar and spend a few days touring the WW1 battlefields. Colma has two great-uncles buried there, so this was the opportunity to find them and visit the graves.

This, then, is our four week tour. It did not allow for many rest stops along the way, or to spend too much time exploring just one town. Perhaps that was a mistake. It is difficult to gain a detailed understanding of a place in less than 24 hours. On the other hand, many of England's towns, rural and urban, have a degree of similarity. They are steeped in history and it takes time to find it all and soak it up, but there is as much to observe in the landscape and natural history, and this is often less written about. And it is especially attractive if your ancestors lived on the land as farm especially attractive if your ancestors lived on the land as farm labourers or tenants and you can visit the farms and villages and see them much as they were.

Paul and Colma, January 2012

Day 1 Sat 10 Sep 2011 Arrive Heathrow, train to Kings Cross, walk to local hotel
Day 2 Sun 11 Sep 2011 Up early for the 0826 Eurostar to Paris. A short wait at Gare du Nord and then the train back to Amiens. The cathedral at night.
Day 3 Mon 12 Sep 2011 Battlefield tour Day 1 - around Amiens.
Day 4 Tues 13 Sep 2011 Battlefield Tour day 2: Amiens to Ypres
Day 5 Wed 14 Sep 2011 Battlefield day 3 - Ypres to Lille then the Eurostar back to London.
Day 6 Thurs 15 Sep 2011 Around London - St Pauls and the BM
Day 7 Fri 16 Sep 2011 Rental car to the Cotswolds - Stow on the Wold
Day 8 Sat 17 Sep 2011 Civil War day in Stow, then around the Cotswolds.
Day 9 Sun 18 Sep 2011 To Bristol and Brunel's Great Britain
Day 10 Mon 19 Sep 2011 South to Exeter then family farmland, before a late drive over Dartmoor to Tavistock.
Day 11 Tues 20 Sep 2011 Through Devon to Cornwall, Penzance and St Michael's Mount
Day 12 Wed 21 Sep 2011 Land's End (briefly) Padstow for lunch and Barnstaple.
Day 13 Thurs 22 Sep 2011 Lytton and the Valley of Rocks. Lynmouth then north past Bristol to Tintern Abbey..
Day 14 Fri 23 Sep 2011 Wye Valley, Simmonds Yat lookout, then north to Stoke on Trent.
Day 15 Sat 24 Sep 2011 The scenic route - the M4 to Paisley and some family locations.
Day 16 Sun 25 Sep 2011 Scotland, Loch Lomond in the rain (again!), Glencoe (in the rain) then Fort William and Telford's Neptune's Staircase.
Day 17 Mon 26 Sep 2011 Rough weather, so the Calmac ferry to Skye and a easy drive around the middle of the island (mostly in sunshine, but sometimes in rain).
Day 18 Tues 27 Sep 2011 A long drive in the rain, passing the signs to the Old Man and the Curaing, then Uig and on to the Three Chimneys for a night of luxury.
Day 19 Wed 28 Sep 2011 The wild scenery of Neish Point Lighthouse, back to Kylerhea and the small ferry across to Glenelg and on to Aviemore.
Day 20 Thurs 29 Sep 2011 Aviemore to the Cairngorm railway in bright sunshine. The top of Cairngorm in fog, then east to Inverness.
Day 21 Fri 30 Sep 2011 South along the coast to Burntisland and Inverkeithing for family locations.
Day 22 Sat 1 Oct 2011 A morning in Edinburgh then the long road south to Whitby. Fish and Chips at the Magpie Cafe after one of the warmest days in Whitby that year.
Day 23 Sun 2 Oct 2011 A day in Whitby. The James Cook Museum (at last - our third attempt!).
Day 24 Mon 3 Oct 2011 Meandering south to Norfolk and a night at a Roman Camp near Cromer.
Day 25 Tues 4 Oct 2011 The Norfolk Broads by tour boat, then Lowestoft and the most easterly point.
Day 26 Wed 5 Oct 2011 South, a slow crawl on the M25 due to a truck crash, then Maidstone and Hollingbourne for family interests.
Day 27 Thurs 6 Oct 2011 The Cliffs of Dover at Dover, Eastbourne and Brighton. The Pier and Royal Pavilion.
Day 28 Fri 7 Oct 2011 Our last day. North to Chilworth and the Freyberg graves, Reading and finally back to Heathrow.

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Last updated: 16/06/2017