The Long Walk – Windsor

Comments 8 Standard


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I stay in the royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and lucky enough to have access to beautiful walks around the county of Berkshire & Buckinghamshire. This area os just beautiful with a lot of traditional English villages, woodland walks, riverside walks and forest walks.

It is not possible to go for a holiday away from home every weekend, so me & ash use this opportunity to go walking in these hidden treasures, which are known only to locals. So I thought of sharing these little quaint walks with all of you so that if you are in the area you can have an opportunity to roam in this beautiful wonderland.

Those of you who love visiting Windsor or have not been there yet, I will recommend a beautiful walk at The Long Walk that is just behind the magnificent Windsor Castle.

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From the Castle gate to the foot of the statue of King George II (The Copper Horse) , it is a 2.64 miles walk. It is here at Snow Hill  where, King Henry VIII sat and waited for news of the execution of his second wife, Queen Anne Boleyn. The Long Walk was commenced by Charles II by planting a double avenue of elm trees on entire length of the route. There were 1,652 trees planted to create the basis of the landscape we know today. Charles wanted to remodel Windsor in a modern popular style and the Long Walk was just one aspect of his improvement scheme.

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Later in 1710 Queen Anne had a road constructed down the centre of the tree lined avenue with a comfortably smooth surface.

The Long Walk is still used by the royal carriages every year as part of the route from Windsor Castle to the Ascot Races. Cycling is not permitted on any part of the Long Walk.

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Another beautiful attraction of this park is the a large number of deers grazing around the park. Yes at times when deer are crossing the road to get across to other part of the park, you have to wait. Deers have the priority over humans 🙂

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It is a beautiful for all the seasons. I love going back there again & again.

 

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Bourton On The Water – “Venice of Cotswold”

Comments 5 Standard

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Yet another visit to Cotswold and this time one of it’s another exotic but busy village of Bourton On the Water. Love this belt of Cotswold, filled with quaint & idyllic villages next to rivers, bestowed with bridges, honey coloured stones cottages/houses and a different kind of rustic beauty around.

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Bourton on the Water is another very famous village, also referred as Venice of the Cotswold, and very popular among tourists and day trippers. The river Windrush flows through the village and has a setting on stone banks. And I am must admit it was one of my favourite place during our visit.  We sat there for hours, watching families having a picnic, children running around the river bank, people enjoying the heat and having the PIMMS, great tea rooms near by, and I sat there with my feet soaked in the water.  What a relaxing day 🙂

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Another scene that got me awed on this idyllic setting was its low bridges beside the greens. And because of these bridges, Bourton on the Water has got its name of Venice.

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IMG_7572A lot of tea room, gift shops, antique shops, cafes to select from 🙂

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Amazing collection of perfumes. They have a factory tour open for visitors, but unfortunately because of the busy time of the year they had closed it down currently.

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Me & Ash enjoying the sun shine and cool water of Windrush 🙂 IMG_7586

Bibury- A Charming Village

Comments 19 Standard

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Bibury is a charming little village in the English countryside of Cotswold.  Bibury village has been featured at various places, particulary famous as one of the most beautiful village in the England. It has been also modelled in the Mini- Europe minitaure park at Atomimum in Brussels.

When you arrive at Bibury, the very first thought that struck you is are you watching a painting!! Believe me the setting of this place just takes you back in the 17th-18th century, because that era is still very intact in this place. With it’s 17th century weavers cottage, a walking bridge on the top of river and the meadow setting takes away your breath.

It is a small village that can be seen by walking all around it. While you are visiting this place, there are some must do/see things like

Walk to Arlington Row – a row of weavers cottages built of local stone next to the River. It is often reffered as one of the most photographed cottage row in the country. Infact it was in news recently that beauty of the arlington row has been bloomed by a yellow car, which still stands there 🙂 For a bit of history these cottages were actually built as a monastic wool store in 1380s and later converted into weavers’ cottages later.

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Walk around River Coln and find a spot for a nice picnic. Do not forget to carry duck food.

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Bibury Trout Farm- Love fishing and fancy catching live trout to take back home. This is the place. There is entry of around £4 pound to get on to the farm.

Church of St Mary – I did not visit the church, and I am actually wondering how did I miss it. But there is always a next time 🙂

Go to a Tea Room , sit back, relax and enjoy Bibury.

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Oxford City

Comments 6 Standard

We recently visited Oxford on a family outing, and we were lucky to have a beautiful sunny day. I think Oxford needs no introduction, the famous university city is house to vibrant college crowd, amazing architecture, museums, local markets, shops.

There is a lot to do in the Oxford whether it is just a stroll around the city, shopping till you bow down or discovering hidden alleys of Oxford. The city is a potion of old era mixed with modern era.

Harry Potter movies have given another high to Oxford and it’s universities. There are a lot of tour companies in the Oxford that organizes free guided tours, harry potter places tours, ghosts tours. Pick your favourite one, you will never go out of option.  I will recommend a guided tour of this place to know more about the history.

Few places we visited during a day visit to Oxford.

  1. Christ Church – The famous Wizard School, and the famous dining hall is in here. It is spectacular to look at and the stories makes it even more interesting.

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  1. Hall_of_Christ_Church,_OxfordCarfax Tower- Climb onto Carfax tower for Oxford’s city view. The Tower is all that remains of the 13th century St. Martin’s Church and still contains a ring of six bells, recast from the original five by Richard Keene of Woodstock in 1676. These chime the quarter hours and are rung on special occasions by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers.

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  1. Bodleian Library – One of the famous libraries of the world, number more than 11 million printed items, in addition to 50000 e-journals and huge  quantities of other materials. It has got a copy of every paper printed anywhere in the world.

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  1. Museum of History of Science- Fascinating place containing collection of early scientific instruments , unvilled stars, cameras, drugs. You will be amazed to know how far we have come down in terms of technology.P7025914

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Windermere, Lake District

Comments 7 Standard

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Windermere is one of the popular summer destination not only for Brits but as well as flock of tourists. It is the largest natural lake in England. It is a ribbon lake formed in a glacial trough after the retreat of ice at the start of the current interglacial period. It is ten and a half miles long and 219 feet deep. The name Windermere comes from the Scandinavian for a ‘lake of man called Vinandr’.

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There is some information which I did not know about and I have extracted from internet is – The lake contains 18 islands. By far the largest is the privately owned Belle Isle opposite Bowness and around a kilometre in length. Its older name was Lang Holme, and 800 years ago it was the centre of the manor of Windermere and later, in effect, of amoiety of the barony of Kendal.

There is so much to do in & around Windermere that you can spend a day or weeks, and you will still not have enough of it. I have personally visited it twice, but a shame that I had forgotten to write about it. A line of cruise operators over the Windermere- speedboats, cruises, boat tours. A lot water sports companies whether it is kayaking, canoeing, paddling. It is just so much around this place.

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Cycling- New Forest

Comments 3 Standard

I love cycling, given a chance I would like to explore each place biking around. But unfortunately since I am a mountain lover too and no experience in mountain biking so can not really cycle every time I go out.

But this is one of my favourite biking experience as New Forest comes with an amazing rustic feeling in the woodlands, along with that it gives a chance to work up those unused muscles 🙂   There are 100miles of approved cycle routes throughout the forest. No worries about bikes, there are a lot of shops from where you can hire your bikes, maps are available for each route. Isn’t it great.

You prefer walk over cycle, No worries!! New Forest has loads to offer in terms of walking too.

People who got pulled into this cycling plan( willingly or unwillingly) were –

Ash- Given a chance he would have run and hidden himself in a cave that day, because he is one among those who can walk but cycle NAH!!

Nammi – Always ready for any such thing.

Marcus- Got pulled in by us and now there was no way out.

Well, it was a perfect summer day and we cycled for 10 miles, took us good 4 hours ( with breaks for snacks, pictures or just to enjoy the scenery around).

I will not write a lot about it, because it is a place to meet nature – enjoy the smell of soil, sit near a pond, walk in the wood. A lot of time to ponder over your thoughts. Posting some of the pictures of this trip:

Click Time (Ash - Man behind camera as always)

Click Time (Ash – Man behind camera as always)

 

Nams & Me

Nams & Me

While you are visiting I will recommend a visit to Lime Wood Hotel which is inside the New Forest. Nice ambience and excellent food. Try one of their Afternoon Tea Menu. For details you can visit – http://www.limewoodhotel.co.uk/

For details on the different routes, this map might be helpful http://www.thenewforest.co.uk/activities/cycle-map.aspx OR http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/new-forest-cycle-code.pdf/$FILE/new-forest-cycle-code.pdf

Hope you will enjoy your ride.

Enjoy Your Ride

Enjoy Your Ride

Beautiful Durdle Door

Comments 14 Standard

A walk along the beach at Durdle Door is my another favourite place to visit during British Summers 🙂 I have gone there for a day trip, camping trip, stayed in a caravan and had a wonderful time. This walk is also popular as Jurassic Coastal Walk.

Durdle door is a natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, England. It is surrounded by a beautiful beach, vast ocean and naturally formed archs, limestone cliffs. This a beautiful beach with clear crystal water, reflecting blue & green colours. This Jurassic Coast was named as the fifth-greatest natural wonder in Britain.The Jurassic Coast consists of Triassic,Jurassic and Cretaceous cliffs, spanning the Mesozoic Era, documenting 180 million years of geological ghistory. It is a great site for scientist like palaeontologist who come down here to study the fossil of the area.

Beaches are only accessible on foot via a steep path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from Durdle Door Car Park that is located on the cliff top at the end of Durdle Door Holiday Park. A perfect site for camping or to stay in a caravan.

Beaches are a perfect destination for swim on a hot sunny afternoon, you will love it.

If you want to have more thrill, you can also hike upto nearby grand & magnificent cliffs.

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Dorset-born Arthur Moule wrote these lines about Durdle Door for his 1879 book of poetry Songs of heaven and home, written in a foreign land:

Shall the tide thus ebb and flow for ever?

and for evermore

Rave the wave and glance the ripple through the

rocks at Durdle Door?

Kinder Scout Hike

Comments 7 Standard

Hiking is an idea to get fit and reach that summit, and no doubt  that I look forward to attain those benefits too.

But what pulls me into hiking is the excitement of going out of my way, beyond what I was prepared for and getting lost onto the trails and then finding my way back through those extra miles that add the adrenaline rush in my body.

It is the feeling that says to me I have lost but I still know where I am.

A hike to Kinder Scout ( Water over the edge) was one of the similar day. It is known as black mountain too and it resides in the beautiful valley of Peak District. I have been to Peak District earlier too, but the very famous British rains did not give me a chance to explore this valley very much and I was confined to the interiors of my tent for most of time.

It is a strenuous hike of 14.2Kms and will check your ability at many points during the hike. But once you reach the summit, you will forget all about carrying those heavy backpacks, jumping from boulder to boulder, walk on the peat bogs, there will be just a rhythm playing in your ears, a rhythm that will appreciate the beautiful nature creation around you.

On the way to Kinder

On the way to Kinder

For the people who love hiking, it is a must do. Not just for the heights but to experience the challenge that comes with it.

Now time to share how I planned it, mistakes I did and things that you should not forget to bring along.

Drove to the beautiful village of Burch Vale and stayed in a very nice, economical B&B- The Old Post Office(http://theoldpostofficebedandbreakfast.co.uk/). The owners are lovely people and extremely helpful. They will be ready to help you to provide necessary information about the place or direct you to appropriate resource.

The hike starts from a car park near Edale Village, you should walk up to the National trust Information centre and from that point onwards your hike will start giving you the option to choose two routes:

1. Grindsbrook Booth leading to leading to Edale Moor and then up to Kinder Scout and come back via Jacobs ladder leading to Pennie’s way.

2. Upper Booth leading to Jacobs ladder to Kinder Low and then up to Kinder Scout/kinder Downfall and come back via Edale Moor.

Whichever route you choose, there will be a certain amount of scrambling up and down, some quite steeps ascent and descent, ladder walk but with a view to cherish forever in your eyes.

It is an exposed plateau and it could be windy, misty and very cold. Very very easy to get lost in case the clouds turns up and spoils the walk.

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Borough Market, London

Comments 16 Standard

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If you are visiting London over a weekend or on a weekday afternoon, a visit to Borough market is a must. It is paradise for foodie, you can snack up on various food items over here not only from Britain but food from different countries. A speciality in street food. You will not regret this visit even if you are on a diet 😉

Borough Market is the largest and oldest food market in London, and a very popular place to buy food advertised by various famous chefs and used in various movies as a movie set.

A little bit of History – This market is a house of wholesale and retail since 1276. It was the main supplier along with Covent Garden of fruit and vegetables to grocers shops. From 1860 the railway operating companies desired to extend services from London Bridge Station into new stations but it was impossible to build viaduct because of Borough Market Act. Finally as a compromise a lease was given built a viaduct to run railway and the market still operates as normal under the bridge. The present day market mainly sells variety of foods to its various national and international visitors.

Location –  located on Borough High Street on the southern end of London Bridge

Stalls are erected over here to trade from different parts of the UK and traditional European products sold. Some of the products includes fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, game and freshly baked bread and pastries. A wide variety of street food visitors who flock to the market such as duck or kangaroo or rabbit burger, strawberry & cream – a very British delicacy, juices, beverages.

Note: Do not forget you will get to taste many food for free here just to check your taste buds, so don’t come here with a full stomach 🙂

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London Transport Museum

Comments 10 Standard

Transport is a basic necessity for every human being in their day to day life. One needs transport to earn their livelihood, for a leisure holiday or to meet a friend or family staying far from you. We all are connected to transport in some or the other way, and now we can not imagine a life without a fast mode of transport.

Last weekend we visited London Transport Museum in Covent Garden, London to explore and understand the history & heritage of transport for Britain. Ticket price – £13 pp for an annual pass.

A Victorian iron and glass building that originally was one of the famous vegetable fruit and flowers market, is now occupied to showcase collection for London museum. It shows and informs you about the earliest mode of transport in London- water ways i.e. boats & ships running across river Thames for export and import purposes. It displays many examples of later mode of transports like horse carts, trolley buses, buses, trams, rails. It also exhibits various artefacts like posters, signs, models, photographs, engineer drawings, engineer dresses, advertisement hoarding for marketing of transport services.

This visit will give you a good insight on how transport developed over the centuries, from labour intensive hands work to machinery development. You will read about how the tunnels were dig by hand, how first lady bus conductor came on board, how difficult was to work in such environments, how transport brought a boom to economy. A perfect day out to know about transport history of this bustling city of London.

Sharing some pictures I took during my visit.

Underground Steam Train

Underground Steam Train

Ladies Only Compartment

Ladies Only Compartment

Omni Bus Service

Omni Tram Service

Trolley Buses

Trolley Buses

Places Plate Name

Places Plate Name

London Buses

London Buses & Rails

Museum Floors

Museum Floors

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