England

Leeds Castle (9/01)

Leeds is the first castle I visited while I was here. It has very nice grounds and moat. The castle is used more as a museum of the different people who lived in the castle, and dosent have many 'medieval artifacts' to speak of. But it's worth visiting all the same and I had a good day there. From memory it was £10, which isnt bad value.

Southend (8/01)

 

I have also gone to the 'beach' while I have been here. If you can call concrete meeting the water a beach. Admittedly, there were some small sections of sand.. But they were so crowded it wasnt funny. All in all, a very interesting day.

Hastings (8/01)

 

I spent a weekend near Hastings (a place called Fairlight) visiting Justin who was over for a few weeks. The beach here was more interesting.. it wasn't sand, but it was pebbles.

Windsor Castle (12/01)

 

Windsor Castle is the nicest castle I have seen while I have been here. We hired a car just before christmas, and braved the M25 carpark. This was my first time driving in England and it took more than a little time to work out how to get somewhere. It was quite cold and there were alot of christmas shoppers when we got to Windsor, but it seems like a nice little town. Also, we arrived late in the day and only had around 1.5 hours to look at the castle, which turned out to be more than enough because there isnt really that much to see for your £12. Of course, Windsor is where the Queen lives in the summer months so it is a very very nice castle and gounds. You cant take photos inside unfortunately, but we managed to see the Queens dollhouse, as well as all the rooms open to the public (in the summer months around 6 rooms get closed to the public because they are being used).

Warwick Castle (12/01)

 

Warwick Catle is quite nice, but not as nice as Windsor. Windsor is a current, in-use castle. The last time Warwick castle was really used was around 200 years ago, although it was still a private castle until about 1970. It is, however probably the best castle in England for medieval architecture. It was definately designed with defense in mind and you can see this. It does have alot more to see than Windsor. It is owned by Madam Tusauds wax museum, so there are waxworks in all the castle rooms.

 

Cambridge (12/01)

 

Cambridge seemed like a very nice city. Too bad we arrived before christmas and all the tourist attractions were closed. I think we will return there to have a look around, if only for a day trip.

Bath (2/02)

 

Bath, like Cambridge, is a nice city. Another car was hired, and this time we stayed overnight in Bath to get a full day there. In the guide book I have, it says that Bath is a 'must visit' location in England. I cant really see why. It's a nice city, with nice architecture, but not really a 'must see' I dont think. Bath was built by the Romans, and has some Roman architecture and ruins, as well as the Roman baths. I (incorrectly) assumed that the people of Bath would have hooked up the natural springs to a modern set of Baths to have a modern 'Roman experience'. Seems like the obvious thing to do! But alas, they did not have enough foresight for this and such a thing does not exist - for another 6 months anyway. By then, I dont think Ill bother.

Stonehenge (2/02)

 

On the way back from Bath, Stonehenge had to be visited. For your $4.20, you get within 10m of the ruins! Stonehenge is one of those attractions that you really must see, but when you get there it's fairly disappointing. If I happened to walk across these stones somewhere, I wouldnt give them a second look. Having said that though, I am still glad I went to see them.

Battle (3/02)

 

Battle, which is near Hastings, is about 1 hours ride from my place. I visited this place one nice afternoon and is my first journey on the bike that hasnt been to work. Again, they have made a tourist attraction out of basically nothing. You get to see some ruins, and some nice buildings and a big field. The field is where the battle took place and they have a small building that tells you all about it, but I didnt bother reading it all - it didnt seem that interesting. That, and I was carrying all my bike gear at the same time, which was annoying.