Monday, May 28, 2012

ENGLAND 2012: Clent Hills, Blists Hill and Ironbridge

Remember when I gave you an England-trip teaser a couple weeks ago, showing you images of our Shutterchance bloggers' meet-up?  It so happens that was the next day after our Glastonbury-Cheddar Gorge day (last post). 

So, here we go again, bright and early Monday morning, with host Chris driving us first to pick up Lisl and then Chad (and car) and then Bill.  As you'll soon see, these are all important people!

It so happens that Bill, Chad and Chris are the Three Stooges of Shutterchance since 4 years ago (long story).  Astrid had visited them alone then (another long story) and had eaten bacon butties in the Clent Hills where Bill worked.  The Legend of the Bacon Butties has gotten bigger and bigger each consecutive year, to the point that it was promised I would finally get to try one this year.

 And I did!  All 6 of us did.
As bacon butties go, these are purported to be some of England's best.
You wouldn't want to eat one every day, mind you, but GOOD is an understatement!
(Bill is the one in the red shirt with black vest.)

From the bacon-buttie café, we hiked to the top of Clent Hill,
the most popular of the Clent Hills.
We needed that.

Talk about a view!
Close to a million vistors a year come to see these hills,
"making them Worcestershire's most popular non-paying attraction."

There are Four Stones at the top of Clent Hill from the 1750s related to Lord Lyttelton.
But it's the Three Stooges that matter to us:  Chad, Bill and Chris (bottom center).
You may remember that Chad and Chris have been friends since childhood in Bath
(from my post on Bath last year).

We could have gone home right then and there.
But no, we were just getting started....

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

From Clent Hills, we were off to Ironbridge to meet up with fellow Shutterchancers at the Blists Hill Victoria Town.  

 Remember the Baker's Dozen?  That's Lisl in the top-left corner.

And the video of what fun we had?!

But THIS was the setting of this open-air museum, recreating the "sights, sounds and smells
of a Victorian Shropshire town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

All complete with period dress!  I love these reenactments.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And because we were in Ironbridge, after all, our original group of 6, like when we started out the day at Clent Hills, ended the day visiting the bridge for which the city is named.

 This iron bridge happens to be the first arch bridge made of cast iron ever built in the whole wide world.
Construction began in 1775 and is now open only to pedestrian traffic.  

 Standing on the iron bridge, you have a great vantage point from which to see the Ironbridge village
and the Ironbridge gorge.  Population around 2500.
And that's where we ate one of England's specialties:  steak pies!

From bacon butties to steak pies...with lots of blogger camaraderie in between.  How can you beat that!


  1. Beautiful photos of England. I love those historical sites where they reenact what life was like in earlier times. So many great photo ops.

  2. Great post, beautiful pictures. The video shows that we are a family of friends. We had so much fun. We did things we normally don't do every day...grin.... It was a long and fabulous day, between the Bacon Butties and the Steak Pies.....
    Thank you again for all the time you put in, to make another fabulous memory!

  3. Those bacon butties look like they could have set you up for the week!! :)

    Another great set of images to record your busy days.

  4. Karen: I love these historical reenactments. I'm not sure I'd want to live back then but it's sure fun to see what everything looked like. Thanks.

    Astrid: These memories will stay with us for a long time, won't they. We were even able to compare this with the Dudley reenactment from last year. That was fun. I'm so glad we are able to create a life like this, in between your working days! One of these days you will be retired, I promise. :)

    Anne: Like I said, you wouldn't want to eat a bacon buttie every day...and maybe not even once a week. Once a year might work. :) Thanks, Anne, for stopping by again.

  5. The food, the bloggy friends, the bridge, the hills – as you say there is no much that can beat that! I miss England. When my mother was alive and I went to visit her in France 2 or 3 times a year I would at least every other year take a British airline so that I could have a free stop in London for several days. I have been an anglophile since I was 13 – I love looking at your pictures.

  6. Vagabonde: I am really growing to love England more and more, with every visit. There is SO MUCH to see. And I thought Holland had a lot! It would be a sin for us to not go every year, if and while we can. It's just an hour's flight away!

  7. You can't beat it. Just gorgeous, and fun and wonderful! I especially love seeing the period costumes, because of all the BBC costume dramas we've been watching. In "Bleak House" there is a character from Shropshire! I like learning about all the shires. Blimey, it's incredible how much there is squeezed into that little ole country of England!

  8. Ruth: That country is just growing by leaps-n-bounds before our very eyes, sister. I'm serious! So many of these places are part of the National Trust, for which you can get an annual pass for free or reduced entrance everywhere. It would be a no-brainer. Surely you understand why we keep going back...and back! Thanks.

  9. you seem to go to england every year to visit. do the 3 stooges come to amsterdam for a visit?

    where was tracy?

    lovely shots always.

  10. PC: It would be a sin NOT to go to England every year, Maria, so that's our goal. Next year the 3 Stooges plan to visit us in Holland. How did you know! :) That will be our time to return their hospitality!

    Tracy was not with us this doing her own thing, I think. We haven't had as much contact with her lately....

  11. Such beautiful land, and the bridge is awesome! And of course the food looks so good, but best of all is seeing what a close group you are and the fun being had!

  12. Wow - so much to see.. And what a view is right.. Today I had time to reflect and was wishing I had a few days that I was in charge of my camera and ready to take pics.. I miss that lots.. But it will continue as I can... Missing the photos, the posts and blogging today more than ever!!! I must post more soon!

  13. WS: Thanks, Susan. We really ARE a close group...and to think we all met each other first on our photo blogs. It really is a great testimony to the power of the internet! One day I'd like to think we will meet YOU and Larry. I sure hope so. :)

    ET: I can imagine how it feels to be away from blogging right now. It'll come back in its own time, I'm sure. Just hang in there...and keep taking pictures of that precious little girl!

  14. Oh my! It is my biggest wish to attend a meet up one of these days but you know that. Excellent post, Ginnie, that says it all.

  15. Cuidado: One day it will happen, Mary. Trust me. Won't that be fun. We'd love to see you in person! :) Thanks a million.

  16. I just love how you put these compilations together! Such a wonderful overview of your trip!

  17. Robin: Thanks a million, Lady. It's a real joy for me to preserve these memories!

  18. If you're ever in this area, I promise you the best bacon buttie that you've ever tasted... made on homemmade bread too!

    hmmm... getting close to lunchtime.... I wonder what's for lunch....

  19. Sham Ohhhhhh. I'm quite sure you would win the bacon-buttie prize, hands down. We'll hold you to it if we're ever in your neck of the woods!!! :)

  20. Now you made me very hungry with those bacon butties pics :-P

    Lovely historical dresses and sights indeed. Your collages tell us everything, it's like following in your footsteps really. Well done.

  21. LCT: I love that you come on these trips with us. Thank you. Lots of images, I know, but for us they tell the story we want to remember for a long time to come!

  22. I continue to be amazed at your talent for putting together so many images in such wonderful collages! What a day this must have been... I did enjoy the feast for my eyes and would love to have been along for this adventure! (of course, that would mean I would need to be a "Shutterchancer." (I believe my favorite collage from this set is the monochromatic themed collage showing some of the antiques and the windows that shed the beautiful light on each scene... I'm especially fond of olives and love the image leading into that collage although I'm not 100% certain those are olives! The bacon butties collage is terrific too!)

  23. Victoria: I love that we both "impress" each other by what we do. HA! You with all your iPhone techniques and me with all my collages. :) Thanks for your encouragement., not olives, but potatoes. :)

  24. That stuffed piggy is too much :)

    Again, the scenery seems surreal... Just nothing like it here in USA. The photos of the interior of the workshop/kitchen are stunningly beautiful and particularly love the silhouette of the birdcage.

  25. Margaret: You can see why all of this takes my breath away...and why I say it would be a sin if we don't go back every year!