Monday, September 26, 2011

ENGLAND: Lacock, Avebury & Castle Combe

In-between those two scrumptious meals on Chris' 63rd birthday (last post), we drove to 3 of England's most charming the beaten track and possibly places unknown to most of the world. I had never heard of any of them.

1. LACOCK, Wiltshire, England.

You may have never heard of this village but surely you've heard of Pride and Prejudice (BBC), Harry Potter (briefly in the Philosopher's Stone and the Half-Blood Prince), and Cranford (BBC), all of which had sets filmed here.

It was like stepping back in time.

As part of England's National Trust, the village capitalizes on preserving its past.

"This is so English!" A phrase that often rose to my lips.

We even got to see the Great War exhibition.
Do you know which World War was called Great? I wasn't sure till I checked.

Now. Look at this! Totally unbenownst to Chris, the day we were there, his birthday, happened to be the day for this car road show:

As you see, most of the cars are 3-wheelers.
I had to keep picking my chin up off the ground. Seriously!

This was one of my favorites. My kind of color .

I'm sure it's a society they're all part of, so they really looked out after each other.
I think some were getting directions to their next village because...yup...we found them later!

2. AVEBURY, Wiltshire, England.

Surely you've heard of Stonehenge. But what about Avebury?! It contains Europe's largest stone circle, a Neolithic henge monument from around 2600 BCE. It, too, is owned by England's National Trust.

Back in March of 2007, Donica and I visited Stonehenge, as seen here.
It's more famous than Avebury but there you are no longer allowed to walk amongst the stones except only on special occasions. So you can imagine how different it felt to walk in and around the stones (and sheep!) in this place only 24 miles from Stonehenge.

We took our time amongst the stones before climbing up to the rim of the outer circle.

You know me...not always far behind!

I really enjoyed watching Chris and Jackie take in everything, side by side.

It wasn't just the stones either.
So English!

Remember how I said those cars from Lacock followed us? When we went back to the parking lot to drive on, there they all were!

Chris is standing by his Fiat 500 white car.
Lined up next to him is a row of Fiats from earlier years. Four in a row!

3. CASTLE COMBE, Wiltshire, England.

Last but not least, we ended the day at what is often referred to as the "Prettiest Village in England." We all agreed that we thought Lacock deserved that title more, but still, one wouldn't want to quibble over it.

Upon entering the village, you immediately come to the 14th c. market cross.
It makes a great gathering point.

Again, so English!

A stone's throw away is the village bridge over a brook.
Another fine gathering place!

So many things to see, not enough time!
As Astrid would say, we were "short of eyes!"

All in a day's drive on a birthday...between a full English breakfast and a Thanksgiving-like dinner!


  1. Short of eyes indeed, I am sitting here and re-living that day, it was a great day from the moment we woke, untill the moment we closed our eyes again.
    So much to see, so much to enjoy.
    When I was 5 years old, we had a man come to our house in one of those small cars, he would lift the roof and climb out.... man, I thought he came from outer space.
    (my imagination never had any borders)
    Your blog is a true treasure of information and a great way to remember a great day.
    I am now for the second time 'short of eyes' to see all of your great collages and pictures.
    Thank you MLS, what a way to remember.

  2. Ohhh.

    Just knowing those films, especially P & P, were filmed in Lacock makes me happy that you visited. What is better than a village of ancient stone? And multi-colored painted doors, and flowers, and charming signs and windows. (Precious photo of Astrid and Chris on the bench!)

    You do get around, and into the most beautiful places.

  3. Astrid: I love your Dutch expressions...becoming mine. They are so perfect for situations like this. Short of eyes, ineed. I LOLed when I read what you said about the man from outer space. :D I can just see how you mind must have worked.

    Ruth: I thought about you when I found out about the movies filmed there! You would have been in heaven, even as I was. There's something about houses built out of stone. So...eternal!

  4. Oh, these photos all remind me of my honeymoon. In the days of film, my husband and I shot 1400 photos. Then we had to get all that film developed, and sort the photos into albums, then catalog and store all the negatives. There is definitely something to be said for the digital age, haha!

  5. Messerschmidts, bubble cars, Morgans, Robin Reliants... I remember these from my earlier years. I even had a boyfriend with a 3 wheeler bubble car but I can't remember his name now. I just remember the car!

  6. Karen: Unbelievable! In the days of film, that must have cost you an arm and a leg. Talk about a project and determination. 'm very impressed. :)

    Sham: I had no idea what the names were, so THANK YOU. And LOL about remembering the car but not the name of your boyfriend. HA!

  7. so much beauty to take in. these are how i imagined an english village would be.

    those three-wheelers are fab.

  8. Hey Ginnie, you girls sure do get around! I really love being able to tag along and see so much that I wouldn't get to experience. The little cars are amazing, and the villages, but my favorite image is of you on the bridge with your camera up to your eye! Perfect.

  9. PC: This is exactly how you would picyure quaint English villages, Maria. Indeed! And those 3-wheelers were frosting on top of the cake! :)

    WS: We sure love getting around, Susan, and feel so darn lucky to do so. As long as we are still able, we will continue doing so. It gives us so much joy and is how we'd rather spend what money we have. Thanks.

    I haven't always put pictures up of me (or my partner in the past) but for posterity, I've decided to start doing so. Often there are no pictures of the photographer when he/she dies...and for my kids and family, I don't want that to happen. So thanks for mentioning that.

  10. I looked at every single picture, Ginnie - and am in love. I haven't been to England in a long time, and your pictorial brings back such memories even though I've never been to any of those place!
    Such a wonderful wealth of history and old architecture and culture you've amassed here. Looks like you had a wonderful time - one could get the impression that you and Astrid are non-stop travelers!

  11. Deborah: We are so close to England (one hour by plane) that we've decided it'd almost be a sin NOT to go back at least once a year, especially with so many friends there. Each time we see each other, we pick up from where we last left off.

    I'm such a fan of architecture, as you know by now. Anywhere in the UK, Europe, etc. is such a thrill. And yes, we are going almost non-stop, wanting to make sure we see everything possible before we kick the bucket. HA! We never know which day will be our last!

  12. I love Lacock village and Abbey, it is like stepping back in time. I also enjoy the stones of avebury and stonehenge. When I was a school girl I was able to go up to the stones, touch them and look up at their enormous size. It was quite awe inspiring.

  13. CP: I bet you know all about these places, Cherry. You do get around, and if we lived there, so would we! I love that you can remember what it was like as a little girl, looking up at those stones. WOW. What a memory!

  14. Now Ginnie, hold on - I've been to all three of these places! I exactly remember the day we went to Lacock - we stayed in the Cotswold Hills and that morning the news was all about the death of Princess Diana the night before in Paris. 1997. I don't remember much of Lacock (it was very beautiful) because the entire day was completely overshadowed by this death and the British nation was in shock. Avebury - those cars almost brought tears to my eyes, because there are two from Germany (the red and the blue one) and their license plates read OE- OE stands for Olpe and that is a town close to the town I grew up in!
    As always - gorgeous photos, I love these, such a delight - and anyway, England is one of my favorite countries, I just love it.

  15. Carola: Oh my! The places we remember by the momentous events of life! I can just imagine your remembrance of Lacock through the "grid" of Princess Diana.

    Besides that, I love that YOU have seen all these places for yourself...and that you even know all about those cars. I was like a little kid in a candy store!

    We hope to return to England every year since it's so close (an hour's plane ride) and where we have many friends!

  16. Well I'm finally back after missing lots of blogging!

    Wow oh wow. LOVE your pics.. What a beautiful place to visit, especially before it gets cold again. I found myself saying I just want a day of photographing, just one.. :)

    Just uploaded all of mine..

    What was that software again that you use for your collages? I think I need to do that!

  17. ET: YAAY. You're back. I know you'll have a lot to catch us up on. I bet that Cammie is now bigger than ever. So sweet.

    We love England and hope to go every year because it's only an hour away by plane and very cheap to fly. I still pinch my self!

    Picnik is the collage program I use...premium edition which you have to pay for. But it's worth it, IMHO. Lots of success with it.

  18. Tim: Thanks. It was better than neat! :)

  19. I've died and come to heaven... must have! I LOVE your photos in this post!!!!!! Those wonderfully romantic English houses (love England!) and those totally fabulous cars! I soooo want one!

    I'm always thinking of Mr Bean, that pityful blue car he always managed to force off the road!!! *giggles*

    I had forgotten about Avebury, must put it on our wish list to go again!

    Fantastic post, thanks for brighting up my Monday evening!

  20. LC: Thank you! England really is that way, isn't it! I think we're all blown away by it. We will try to go every year since we are now so close. It would almost be a sin not to.

    One of those cars would be such a hoot for the city, wouldn't it. I still like that salmon-colored one the most. :)

  21. oh oh oh. The white cottage with the sagging roof and this last one with the single rose bloom... I would be way behind everyone even more than usual. "C'mon Mommy..." would be the phrase of the day!

    And I can just imagine my "Little Man" climbing all over those rocks... LOL

  22. Margaret: I know, I know. England really has its own unmistakable flair, doesn't it. You really would have a heyday there with your kids...all of them. :) Thanks.

  23. Not sure where to start on this post with its wealth of amazing collages! (first, I was about 98% sure that the "Great War" was WWI but had to check to confirm lest I was wrong... it was also thought to be the "last war" until the next one came along... SIGH)

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the car collages... especially the peachy colored one of the car with its marvelous headlights that make the car seem almost human! Also enjoyed reading about Avebury and its stone circle... so nice that you could walk around the stones and that's a marvelous collage too. I really like the 'strip' collages (both of the ones with five images each and the one of you below (four images) those two) as well as the one of five images of Chris and Jackie below your 4 images. Did I mention I LOVE the car collages?! :-)

    I am so far behind from having traveled for 3 weeks and then going away for the weekend shortly after returning home VERY LATE this past Tuesday evening. I'm off to look at your next post but may wait until later to comment simply because I'm falling asleep at the computer at the moment! (word verification is "ratedi" which I'm reading as "rated I" for informative as it applies to your post)

  24. Victoria: So you're back! I can just imagine all the catching up you want to do, but maybe the best thing is to not catch up at all but to let bygones be bygones. Just move forward. HA! But thanks anyway for stopping by here. You always humble me when you do.