A Travellerspoint blog

England’s Green and Pleasant Land

sunny 13 °C

To cap off our London visit we went to the Royal Albert Hall and joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the regimental band of the Royal Scots Guards, together with 80 voices of the Royal Choral Society and three tenors, in a regal programme packed with some of the world’s best known and loved classical pieces. And finally, to raise the roof, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with canons, muskets, fireworks, bells and organ – absolutely unforgettable...
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However, perhaps the most emotional spectacle was when us, and several thousand Brits, stood to wave Union Jacks while singing Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem a la Last Night of the Proms. It’s enough to make you believe that Britain still rules the world…
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After a few days soaking up the many wonderful sights in the heart of London we slipped off to the gently rolling Cotswold hills in the western part of England….
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This part of the country is known for its centuries old limestone cottages and legions of elegant manor houses and stately homes. This is quintessential England: chocolate box cottages; bucolic pastures; spreading oaks; and a myriad of babbling brooks misting the air in the frosty autumn sunshine...
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Many of the picturesque towns have changed little since the 15th century. This is the much photographed riverside village of Bourton-on-the-water…
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…and these almshouses were built for Burford’s poor parishioners in 1457…
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While many of the buildings in this part of the country are at least 500 years old there are numerous that have been around far longer. The City of Bath is world renowned for its Roman architecture and two thousand year old baths, and there are many Saxon churches dating from the 8th century. The spire of this church in Burford was erected by the Normans in 1175…
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Burford church was nearly 500 years old when the English beheaded Charles 1st and England briefly became a republic under Oliver Cromwell and his Roundheads. Not everyone was happy with the way that Ollie was running things and in May of 1649 a thousand of his troops mutinied in Burford. The insurrection was started by men called Levellers who believed that once the king had lost his head everyone would have a share of the crown jewels – Yeh. Right! (as we Canadians say). ..
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The ringleaders were quickly rounded up by the Roundheads and executed in the churchyard – and that was nearly 400 years ago when our hotel, the Slaughters Inn in nearby Lower Slaughter, was newly built...
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Winter is upon us and we are now heading home for Christmas. A huge thank you to all the people who helped us as we made our way around the world in the past 72 days. Now we are taking a short break but will be blogging again early next year when we cross the line to explore the rich cultures of South America. In the meantime we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
P.S. Copies of our inspirational travel guide, Slow Train to China, are still available and might make an ideal Christmas gift for someone looking for a little adventure. Just contact us and we will pop a copy in the mail.

Posted by Hawkson 10:17 Archived in England

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Thanks for the lovely journey... and the beautiful couch to enjoy it from. Viaje seguro

by Catherine

Fabulous photos of wonderful architecture. Noted lots of greying and thinning hair in the concert goers. The patina of another aging landscape. Makes you wonder at the future of classical music in pop culture though and is also a clue to the nostalgia for a lost empire. See you soon.

by Tom

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