One of my first solo travels since my twenties, it was also one of the most comfortable, easy, comforting, trips I’ve ever taken. I mean, what can possibly go wrong here? Flat tire, a pint too many, overeating or committing a faux pas? No, you’re on cruise control; country house, pub, gardens, old house, pub, cuppa tea, royal this-or-that, cemetery, pub. Bed.
I was a little hesitant about driving on the wrong side. Because it is the wrong side. But only a few miles out of Heathrow airport, I seemed to get the hang of it. And UK traffic is nothing like NYC. Driving some of the smaller country roads turned out, however, to have a longer learning curve. This journey left me with thousands of photos, many of which I don’t even remember where were taken. I started in London, made my way to Bath, Bristol, the Cotswolds, through Devon, Cornwall and back. So, forgive me for the uncurated presentation.
An old estate in Somerset, not far from Bristol
Dyrham Park is a baroque country house with a deer park near Bristol. Some of you may recognize the main building from the movie Remains of the Day.
Snowshill Manor, Cotswolds
This deserves a write-up… Snowshill Manor is an odd combination of house and museum and one of my favorite estates in the UK thus far. Strange fellow, Charles Wade, bought and restored the house and grounds for his immense collection of just about anything. Some may call him collector, others a pack rat or hoarder, but whatever he was, his odd collection of anything and everything leaves you jealous of the passion and joy this man obviously must have possessed.
Some crags and valleys explored on the way to Devon.
A manor house from the end of the 15th century, not far from Plymouth, this was my lodging for a night. It’s wonderfully situated in farmlands and estuaries and, best of all, the estate is so large you’ll likely be one of the few on a stroll through the grounds.
Hiking the moor/Darthmoor.
St Michaels Mount
Near Marazion, south Cornwall you’ll find the incredible St Michaels Mount. Historically, St Michael’s Mount was a Cornish “brother” of Mont Saint Michel which is located right across the channel in Normandy, France. Though being much smaller, everything matches the French counterpart and the access is exactly the same; a causeway only accessible during low tide, or by boat the rest of the time.
Coastal landscape, Devon.
Fossil hunting, Jurassic Coast, near Lyme Regis, Devon.
Kew Gardens, London
Even if you’re not into gardening, this is a great place to spend the day.
Odds and ends
So the rest of the photos do not have a home… but they do illustrate what I saw on my trip though I have no idea where the subjects are.