A Quick Trip to England – Part I

I have just returned from a short trip to England and thought I would share some photos from my visit.

One of my favorite television shows is Downton Abbey; naturally I wanted to see Highclere Castle, which is where the show is filmed.  Unfortunately, the castle was not open for touring during the time of my visit.  I did however, get to climb up Beacon Hill (whew! It was cold and windy) to get a zoomed in photo of the Castle.

Beacon Hill climb

Beacon Hill climb

Beginning of Beacon Hill Climb

Beginning of Beacon Hill Climb

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle

Beacon Hill is near the village of Burghclere and Watership Down, in north Hampshire.  The hill’s name is derived from the fact that it was one of many Beacon Hills in England and beyond. This hill was once the site of the most famous beacon in Hampshire. It is 261 meters/856 feet high and has one of England’s most well-known hill forts on its slopes. From there, outstanding views of the surrounding area and much of Hampshire may be obtained.

View from Beacon Hill

View from Beacon Hill

View from Beacon Hill

View from Beacon Hill

After climbing Beacon Hill, I made my way to Winchester to see Winchester Cathedral.

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which developed from an Iron Age settlement. Winchester Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe.

I visited the Christmas Market at Winchester Cathedral and stopped to eat bratwurst and drink some gluhwein.  The Christmas Market is inspired by traditional German Christmas markets and was quite crowded with shoppers.  There were pretty wooden chalets situated in the Cathedral’s historic Inner Close surrounding an open-air real ice rink.  All the exhibitors had high quality and unique products for sale. It was wonderful, I have never experienced anything quite as beautiful in the United States and I enjoyed walking and looking at everything.

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

After walking through the Christmas Market at the Cathedral, I made my way through the old City of Winchester to the City Mill.  This mill is a rare surviving example of an urban working corn mill, powered by the fast-flowing River Itchen, which is seen passing under the mill.

Old City Mill

Old City Mill

Inside Old City Mill

Inside Old City Mill

Lighted Roundabout tree in City of Winchester

Lighted tree in City of Winchester

Next post – the City of London.

58 responses to “A Quick Trip to England – Part I

  1. Beautiful photos Arlene. Is that the new camera? Your piece here makes me want to go to Winchester! Bill

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  2. Hi Bill,

    No I am still learning the new camera and didn’t bring it with me to England. I was using the little point and shoot Samsung I bought for the Camino.

    Winchester was truly magical. I loved it!

    Arlene

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    • Arlene, Where is the cover photo with the snow and what looks like an old Roman bridge from?

      I am still using my iPhone 5 camera. It is so convenient. Always with me. Might have to get something else to attend the Bill Bennett Portuguese photo clinic.

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      • Steve,

        The cover photo is a shot of a bridge in England. Sorry I can’t say I took that photo, I snatched it off the internet while looking for images of England.

        Check with Bill, the iPhone camera may be good enough for the Portuguese photo clinic.

        Arlene

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  3. Nice description of a day’s outing and how the November scenery has its own charm.
    – Clare

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    • Clare,

      England was simply delightful. I was only there for five days so there was much unseen. I will definitely be traveling there again, it is so beautiful and steeped in so much history. I loved my trip there.

      Arlene

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  4. Great photos Arlene. Sure looks damp and dreary though. I tend to like warm and sunny more.

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    • Yes Steve, while I was in England the sky was always cloudy. Although it did not rain at all. That kind of weather is the type of weather I grew up in so I was okay with it. Sometimes the “severe clear” of Arizona gets boring.

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  5. Beautiful photos, lovely job. I can’t believe you hiked that hill in dress shoes, you are an adventurous soul:)
    Great get away for the holiday. You are a world traveler.

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    • Tami,
      Yes dress shoes, see what one will do to catch a glimpse of a Castle!
      Getting away for the holidays is so nice especially since my family lives on the other side of the country. Christmas this year in Sedona and Easter next year in Santiago de Compostela, Espana.
      Arlene

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  6. What made you decide to go to London?

    Sent from my iPod

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  7. Hi Arlene – was going to give you a call this afternoon to catch up, but upon reading of your even more recent trip than Camino,, I will wait a few days so you can catch up with sleep and things at home. You are some whirlwind traveler lately, and I mean that in the best sense…………. who would have thought that at a Christmas Market in England there would be bratwurst and gluhwein, tho I don’t know what that is, but imagine it is some kind of beer LOL. Your pictures are so nice as is your description of what you’re doing and seeing……….. Did you do some great Christmas shopping while there?………..will talk to you in the coming week! Enjoy and I so love your posts…………. xo Margee aka Maggie

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    • Maggie,
      Gluhwein is a form of mulled wine. Can you imagine strolling through an outdoor market sipping wine? That is something that you will never see here in the States. I didn’t purchase anything while in England, since my Camino I think and rethink the necessity of every purchase.

      I look forward to speaking with you. Take care!
      Arlene

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  8. Arlene, Enjoyed your pics. England is delightful this time of year, cool, colors, and never ending things to see and do. The history can be overwhelming. Don’t be a stranger!! Nancy

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    • Nancy,
      Don’t be a stranger to England? Hey, maybe next time you would like to travel there with me. Let’s make plans, I’m free next Autumn!
      Arlene

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  9. Janet Leigh Morgan

    I’m just enjoying reading about your traveling adventures. I have to keep looking at your pictures and say to myself, is this my Arlene my best boss ever. You have and are really showing me what retirement is all about and stepping out of your comfort zone. As you know I will be retiring next year and sometimes is scares me. You have inspired me to look forward in my next phase of my life. I thought of putting it off because I now have young grandchildren under 5, but if I do than when is my time. I’m sorry I know I’m talking all about me. I would love to travel with you on one of your trips. We have to talk soon I thought I loved to travel but you my dear are the expert. I have even researched online for the escorted tours to different countries. It seems like yesterday that we were at 1 Penn Plaza. I loved our past and even though that season has ended, I hope we can get together next year.

    Love you girl,

    Janet…..

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    • Janet,
      I would love, love, love to travel with you. Cancun was a blast a hundred years ago.

      And yes, let’s do a European vaca sometime – next April I’m walking another Camino from Portugal this time and then I’m working on a mosaic in Spain at a hotel. But I think I will be able to travel in the Autumn or Winter once again. Yes, this is what retirement is all about! We’ve worked too damn hard for too long to not enjoy ourselves.
      Love you too!
      Arlene

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  10. Dear Arlene, just tried to send a reply, but was not successful. Basically just to say I really enjoyed this post and please keep it up!

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    • Hi Britta,

      Thank you and yes, there will be more installments to my “Quick Trip to England”. I crammed an awful lot into the few days I was there.

      Arlene

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  11. Arlene, I see you caught the travel bug since the Camino. Enjoy. Hope to see you back in AZ soon.

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    • Hi Yasmin,

      I’ve always had the travel bug, it just was dormant for a while. I’m back in Tucson now, well that is for a while at least. I’m walking another Camino, the Portuguese, in April 2014 to arrive in Santiago for Easter celebrations. After that I will be creating the mosaic in Ventosa.

      See you soon!
      Arlene

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  12. Looks like a great trip! Love Downton Abbey but have not been to England…gotta get there someday! Happy Holidays!!

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    • Nicole,

      It was a fabulous trip, but a bit too short. Next time I go, I will spend more time there. I loved England!

      Happy Holidays to you too!

      Arlene

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  13. Arlene, When does Downton Abbey start again? It is pretty addictive. Did I tell you I had an office in London for a couple of years in the early 80s. I was not manning it, but it was mine.

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    • Steve,

      I believe Downton Abbey starts back up in January. At least it starts in January here on our PBS station.

      What was the office in London for – promoting the world famous body builder?

      Arlene

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      • No, at that time I was not a “world famous body builder”. I started a crude oil trading company in 1977 which rapidly turned into an international crude oil trading company and London was the offshore base of our international trading activities. That company and it’s highs and lows could fill many pages of texts. It was an interesting ride and one that was totally unanticipated or expected. There are strict guidelines on offshore profits and taxes, and I had advice from one of the best corporate tax law firms in Houston, so we did it right. We had an office in Bermuda that managed an office in London. From a tax standpoint it was perfect, but from a profitability standpoint, long distance management does not work too well, or at least it did not for me. Should have just stayed home.

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      • Gosh, Texans and Oil! I remember you asking someone once was there anything they hadn’t done. Now let me ask you the same, what haven’t you done?

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      • HaHa. Good memory. I think I asked that question of Sister. Nice comparison. 🙂

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      • Thought that would bring a chuckle!

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  14. Arlene, lovely to hear we have some Downton Abbey addicts here, myself included. Enjoyed your quicky! 😉

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    • Ingrid,

      Oh yes, I’m an incurable romantic.

      Actually I love following the British shows on PBS, they seem to be geared for my type of audience, not like some of the silly reality or comedic shows on American TV. (Although I must admit I’ve become hooked on “Duck Dynasty” – simply hilarious!)

      Arlene

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  15. Political drama. Of course nothing can compare with our real political drama. This is just a mild version of lying, cheating, deceit, back stabbing, and all the other things that our real politicians do on a daily basis, and they do it for real. Ugh.

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