ENGLAND 2018

The first time I visited England was in 1977, as part of a longer trip through Europe. Like all 'first' trips, it was a whistle-stop tour, although I know I did drag mum to see Stonehenge, which she didn't really appreciate. 

In 1980, my friend, Helene, and I travelled to the United Kingdom.  Apart from two bus tours, one to Scotland for Hogmany, and one to Ireland, we spent the remainder of the time in England. With a Britrail Pass in hand, we rode the rails. Where a particular place wasn't on the rail line, we hired cars, and it was fun. Although generally unplanned, we did follow a rather unconventional literary trail; to visit the places so accurately described by relatively unknown British children's author, Malcolm Saville. Through his Lone Pine series, we explored East Anglia, Rye, Dungeness, and the villages of Shropshire. We also managed to visit Brighton, and Ely. We followed James Herriot's trail in Yorkshire, where we also found the Brontes in a village called Haworth. We climbed the steps to Whitby Abbey and we drove down a cliff to visit Robin Hood's Bay. We visited Stonehenge; the first year that the standing stones were cordoned off due to vandalism. We also visited Bath, revelling in the ancient Roman history and enjoyed afternoon tea in the museum. In 1980/81, Bed and Breakfast rooms cost on average between  £5-£6 per night. In 1981/82, I returned to England and spent another two weeks travelling through Britain by train and bus on a Britrail Pass. This time I was alone, and I covered the southern coastal region, as well as Wiltshire, Somerset, Cambridge, Oxford, and returned to Shropshire. My interest in architecture took me to cathedrals and towns that date from the middle-ages. 

In 2018, Tom and I returned to Britain. We rode the rails and we hired cars. The British rail system is one of the best in the world, with regular intercity trains, which were fairly reasonably-priced. Our English adventure took us to Manchester with a side trip to Wedgwood, then to Bath, Portsmouth, Plymouth, and Penzance. We should have devised an itinerary that would take in more sights, but Tom's idea was to go with the flow. Here are some of our 2018 stories from England. Accommodation in bed & breakfast is no longer reasonably priced, being the same price as modest hotels. The average cost for accommodation was £40 per person in B&B and £80+ in hotels.

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