OMG! We left the blog in Ireland.

With travelling every day I haven’t had time to update. Since the post “Ireland” we have done stops in Dublin, Glendalough, Killkenny, Cork, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon,  Dublin again, back to London, Bourton-on-Water, Abergavenny, Windermere, Keswick,  Gretna Green, Loch Lomond, Fort William, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Inverness, Edinburgh, Durham, Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay, Nottingham, Bath, Salisbury and Portsmouth. Off to Cowes and  Brighton today.

Ireland

29 April – Ireland here we come.
We booked Ryan Air from Gatwick and transfers and a hire car from Dublin on line. The hire cars are cheap unless you want 0 excess. Even though our travel insurance covers the excess it’s the time, cashflow and hassle that make you pay the higher price.

We got the last room in a nice pub near Christ Church and did an evening walk. Dinner was Irish Stew in a pub with a half of local beer.

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Strawberry Hill

J&S live at Strawberry Hill. So does Philip Esler and I caught up with him on our first day in England at the Alexander Pope over a couple of halves, then by coincidence at the station. But the point of all this is SH House, a Victorian Gothic folly built by Horace Walpole and added to by the Waldegrave family.

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Sherborne, Abbey & Castle

27 April. Sherborne is yet another beautiful church. Incredible ceiling, side chapels, altar, stained glass. We had lunch with J&S, Alex and Kat at the Plume of Feathers. Then went to the old castle ruins with views of the new (say 350 years) castle.

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Iwerne Minster

26 April
Apparently it’s pronounced like Ewan!
What are the chances. Relle’s friend Jess’ sister Natalie lives in Compton Abbas where Jenny and Steven have a cottage. We had morning tea and an introduction to village life with her and their mother Julia. Then it was off to Iwerne Minster to see Jess’ father Bill and Natalie’s husband John. John was doing improvements to Bill & Julia’s beautiful new home.

On top of it all Iwerne has a beautiful church and the whole village has won awards as a Tidy Town.

Parts of the church are Norman and the other part is Victorian gothic revival (from memory)

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Fontmell Magna

25 April
Dinner at The Fontmell and very nice it was. Eggs benedict for entree. A little stream which powered a mill flows under the building. Stephen & I worked up an appetite with a walk around the village before dinner.

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Shaftesbury

25 April – Anzac Day. Shaftesbury.
This was an elevated, fortified market town with a large abbey that was destroyed. Only the walls and some foundations survive. We saw Ox House c1600 mentioned in Thomas Hardy’s “Jude the Obscure” as Old Grove Place. In walking the edge of the hill we saw an old Lagonda. St Peters and the Council Chambers were impressive.

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Stonehenge

24 April
Stopped by Stonehenge on our way to Compton Abbas in North Dorset. It grows on you as you walk around it!

Cambridge

23 April. Cambridge.

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Another beautiful Spring day. Mainly spent sneaking past port

ers to get photos in the quadrangle. Bicycles everywhere. Saw the shed where the structure of DNA was discovered.

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London

Mon 22 April – London
Waterloo Station, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral, War Cabinet Rooms, No 10, St James Park, the palace, The Mall, Pall Mall, Admiralty Arch, Trafalgar Sq, Nelsons Column, Nation Gallery, Soho and Thai with Jenny Alex and Rachel