Long to Reign Over Us

At approximately 5:30 this afternoon, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch in British history, outliving her great great grandmother, Queen Victoria. At her request, the celebrations have been low-key, but the day has been well marked, and I’ve certainly been aware of it within my psyche. As an American school child in the…

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The Dengie

In direct contrast to my trip to London a couple of days ago, we drove out to the Dengie today. A peninsula on the Essex coast that lies between two rivers, the Blackwater and the Crouch, the Dengie is always breezy, and can be quite bleak in the winter, but today it was mild and…

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Lovely London!

London is just up the road from us, but it usually takes an out-of-town visitor to lure me into the city. Today I met up with good friends from the US for a day of gentle wandering and exploration. The River Thames has been a major artery for as long as London has been a…

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Holy Ground

Another splendid morning that begged us to enjoy a bit of exploration as we ran our usual errands. Holy Trinity Church stands at the top of the High Street in Rayleigh, watching over the town as it has for centuries. There has been a church on this site since Saxon times, and the tower you see here dates to the…

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Homeward Bound

Our final day on the road. The weather was grey and soggy for most of the 400 miles we covered, but we were determined to see a few interesting things along the way. Crossing over Hadrian’s Wall is always an emotional experience for me… how utterly amazing that a wall like that could have been…

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Innerleithen

The Tweed River valley is lush, green, and rich with history and tradition. Today we explored two places that seem to draw this community together. St. Ronan’s Well is just up the road from the Glede Knowe Guest House where we are staying. A natural spring, legend has it that it was created when St Ronan…

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South to the Border

Our 2015 tours are finished. I’m glowing from the sheer fabulousness of spending all this time taking wonderful people to amazing places. I’m going to  be missing my travel friends for quite some time, but I’m also looking forward to spending a couple of days with my sweetie as we meander our way home. After…

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Resilience

This is the Italian Chapel on the tiny island of Lamb Holm, Orkney, is a modern miracle that stands as a testament to the human spirit. Built by Italian prisoners of war in the 1940’s, it is loved and honoured today because of its ingenious hand-crafted beauty and the story it tells of faith and…

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In Search of Treasures

After a damp but glorious drive along the River Tweed, we arrived in Glasgow and headed straight for the amazing Kelvingrove Museum. What an eclectic  mix of interesting displays, from paintings by the old masters to ancient mummies to artefacts from prehistoric Scotland, and even an old Spitfire soaring overhead. I was deeply moved by…

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Hermitage Castle

I have found my castle! We couldn’t resist turning off the main road when we saw signs pointing to Hermitage Castle. What could be better for two crusty old hermits like us? And what a beauty it turned out to be! Just right for an afternoon of clambering and exploring! An important part of the…

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