Archives for posts with tag: England

From Chipping Campden, we took a local bus to Broadway, crossing over the county line into Worcestershire, and then walked back into Gloucestershire for about an hour to our second National Trust property, Snowshill – immediately heading to the café for a cream tea to help recover from the last long hill!

Another spectacular place, filled with awe and wonder. Charles Paget Wade, architect and collector, purchased the estate just after WWI, and gave it to the National Trust a few years before he died in the early 1950s. The grounds are beautiful: simple walled decorative gardens near the manor, orchards of apples, and pasture for sheep. A tenant farmer still raises sheep on the property, and the apples from the orchard are used for delectable treats in the cafe. Next to the manor is a small priest’s house where Mr Wade lived while he filled the manor with his collections, which are vast; a passion he acquired as a small child.

The walk from Broadway was very pretty, although a bit treacherous on a narrow country road. The cream tea was calling and we persevered!

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The grounds were so lovely, with apples and flowers, a miniature harbour village, and a magical stormy sky all around.

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The collections: everything from bicycles, to musical instruments, to kitchen items, to prisoner-of-war bone carvings, to religious items, to over 2000 pieces of costume, and on and on.

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We ended the adventure with a drink just around the corner in Snowshill Village at the Snowshill Arms, before walking back to Broadway to catch a bus home.

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My first English pub experience. I had a small sherry!

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On Wednesday I flew from Victoria BC to London England. I am still having a hard time believing I am here, and, I can now say that I understand what jet lag is.

We spent our first two nights at a lovely b ‘n b in Hammersmith (Greater London) called The Upper Studio. Our hosts Victoria and Edmund could not have been more kind or attentive. Edmund provided lots of local knowledge (for example, the homes across the street from theirs were built by Queen Anne for her ladies in waiting), was generous with advice and directions, and treated us to fresh croissants from the local patisserie each morning. We had a wonderful stay, and look forward to spending three more nights there at the end of our trip.

Yesterday we packed in a lot of roaming around. In the morning we gathered provisions for the week ahead, then had a lovely walk along the Thames (visiting the home of William Morris, Kelmscott House), and ended with fish ‘n chips from a place called Kerbisher & Malt.

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A beautiful sun rise greeted us on our first full day in England, and the ringing bell on the school in the distance was a morning treat!

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We turned right at Hammersmith Bridge for a lovely walk along the Thames.

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We passed beautiful green spaces…

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… sweet pubs like The Black Lion…

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… and The Dove.

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We walked past gorgeous architecture…

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… gazed up at countless chimney pots…

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… trod on many cobbles…

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… and spied many well-loved private gardens.

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Yum, yum, yum!

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The day ended with a perfect sunset!

Today it was onto Chipping Campden…

My second full week in England will be spent in the perfectly lovely village of Mells, to which we will bus from the train hub of Frome.

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The internet would have me believe Mells is idyllic, and I don’t doubt it. “One of the finest villages in England” is a quote from their website. It seems to me exactly the sort of place that will steal my heart and hold it captive forever. Mells certainly checks many of my boxes for a livable place: pretty, quaint, well organized, with a rich history, and a 25-mile walk and cycle trail – Colliers Way – right on it’s doorstep. And it’s less than four miles from the market town of Frome which has a thriving arts scene and regular market days. Other villages nearby include Coleford, Nunney (with it’s castle ruins), Whatley and Chantry. We also should try to get to Glastonbury.

During this week I will also be heading back to London for two nights to meet up with my sister, who will be in the UK at the same time. On the way back to Mells, a day in Bath is also on my agenda. Seems like a lot for a week!

For as long as I can remember – since I was a tiny child – I have been obsessed with the United Kingdom. I have planned and wished and dreamed to be there. When I was very small I would draw and paint scenes from my imagination of rolling fields, hedgerows, sheep and ponies. I have felt forlorn. I have felt hopeful. I am a citizen, yet I have not set foot on her verdant land… until now. September 26 is the day I will arrive. A dear friend has done all the planning, found all the accommodations, and she and I will spend a month traveling in the south of England.

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As well as being a time for self-reflection and adventure, I plan to use this month to work on my art practice, and gather material for future projects. I recently began using a simple technique with a pasta machine to do small etchings, embellishing the finished pieces with watercolour and gouache. A recent series of scenes from Victoria’s Chinatown was quite successful. I will work on a new series later in the autumn which will be based on sketches and photos from the towns we visit on the journey.

With encouragement from friends, I have set up an Indiegogo Campaign, giving people the opportunity to support this next phase of my artistic development. Thanks to lovely patrons, within a couple of weeks I had reached 29% of my goal:

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I am happy to report I am now at 37% and plan to the extend the campaign for a few more weeks.

I have been spending a bit of time preparing for fulfilling the perks I have included in my campaign – sketching and painting at various spots around Victoria in the warm spring sunshine. It will be so amazing to have a month dedicated to my art. The historic villages, friendly people and spectacular countryside of England will provide inspiration for years to come.

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My travel companion asked me, “Won’t you be homesick traveling for a month?” I know I will miss my beloved, and our little cats, but I replied “How can one be homesick when one is finally home.”