DATE: Friday 11 August, 1995

PLACE: Reading to the Lake District


The Bard lived here

REMARKS: Re-packing the car is something of a challenge, and no-one seems aware of the need for urgency. Finally we're off about 0915. Jayne has been pestering us for a 'rabbit suit' so the supermarket is the first stop and then petrol before hitting the motorway.

We take a direct but secondary route north towards Stratford upon Avon.

This is a superbly picturesque town of half-timbered buildings. In contrast to France and Italy, the buildings here are lower (2-storied) and many streets wider, and there isn't the same medieval feel as in Tournus or Macon. Again the place is teeming with tourists. We try the Stratford Story attraction, which is a series of model tableaux with narration of the Queen's progress to Kenilworth. Very good but passive and not all that engaging for the kids.

Shakespeare's birthplace next. Another house. One feels on a pilgrimage rather than learning or experiencing; in that sense another 'Mona Lisa' (Been there, done that, didn't buy the tee-shirt. Am I getting cynical?) I could have happily spent an hour or two watching the boats on the Avon, but the North calls.

Who said motorways were for 'rapid transit'? We get stuck in interminable queues at Birmingham and again near Glasgow, and slowed near Manchester. Also UK drivers don't use the lanes as do Italians or French; they get in the fast lane and stay there.

Nonetheless we get to Windermere about 1745 and the Tourist Office finds us a Bed and Breakfast. Although cramped, it's interesting - a real family home in use for guests.
The town itself is lovely -stone buildings and odd roads perched on a (fairly gentle) hillside. Although a 'working community' for surrounding farms, this is primarily a tourist town.






Stratford upon Avon

Shakespeare's birthplace


All the photos in one place!


Stratford upon Avon

Shakespeare's birthplace


Maps & Aerial Photos

Our thanks to all & sundry