Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Taking Off for Britain!

Stile in Salisbury, England
Photo by Angel
Contributed by Ruth Richter
Three couples living in the same division in Garden Valley got together last week for dinner and a discussion of traveling in Great Britain.  Three of the people will be taking a trip to that country during the month of March and two of them are fulfilling one of the items on their Bucket List, which is to visit England and Scotland. 
The third, this writer, Ruth Richter, is just always willing to travel anyplace and everywhere but particularly to Great Britain and this will be her fifth trip there.  Two of the people have lived in England, one being a Brit and the other a Limey Lover--if you believe her email address … and I do! 
The sixth in the group, my husband, Ron, is staying put in Garden Valley and will be the keeper of two dogs and a cat while we’re gone.  So it goes when one person in a couple likes to do something and the other one has no interest at all.
We had all kinds of chatter going during the evening about what roads we should travel, what were the highlights of each of the areas we were going to be in, what we MUST eat in each region, how to drive on the left hand side of the road, or the “wrong side” as we Americans like to say, and generally great anticipation of a much-awaited trip!
We plan to arrive in London Saturday morning March 2, rent a car, drive to Cornwall, all in our first day there.  We’ve rented a car and three women will be sure to scream loudly when our one male, driver Ken Patterson, strays into the wrong lane. Ken’s the assigned driver, Ruth is the navigator, Marla [Patterson] will handle the money, and Ken’s sister, Bonnie, will lay out our options of what to do the next day, as we relax in the evenings. 
We’ll be staying in housekeeping cottages throughout the month, other than a couple of B&Bs for short stays several places.  Housekeeping cottages are a charming way to see the country, since they give us a central spot to stay for a few days or a week and then we can journey out each day in a different direction to see anything and everything. 
We’ve purchased National Trust passes, which allow us to tour houses, castles, gardens, museums without paying the individual fees at each place.  With the cottage stays, we have space to move around in, usually a garden to enjoy, a living room and kitchen plus bedrooms, usually very interesting and sometimes challenging bathroom facilities, often very old edifices--as in hundreds of years--and we can prepare our own meals if we choose, do our laundry, and not lug suitcases with us all the time.  And, hey, it’s cheaper too!
We’ll be going to Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Wales, the Lake District and Scotland, ending back in the London area with a tour of the city the day before we fly out.  No articles will be written during our travels, but notes will be taken and memories made, and if there’s interest, Ruth will be happy to share in writing some of the experiences, the mistakes that are made, what really was a hit, funny incidents, and whether or not we actually get to see “Doc Martin” in Port Isaac, otherwise known as Portwenn.
Meanwhile, to whet your travelin' shoes, Angel will mentally keep up with us, by giving you tidbits of her own UK travels. So if you dream of Britain but have never been there, or if you dream of it because you've been there, we hope you will enjoy vicariously traveling with us.

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