United Kingdom
Vale of White Horse District

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16 travelers at this place

  • Day19

    Village cruising

    July 22, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Today was about me!
    Even though I hardly watch any TV I was a big fan of Downton Abbey.
    Phil took one for the team and chaffeured me thru the villages used for filming locations of Downton Abbey.
    But first stop was Anne Hathaways home on the outskirts of Straford upon Avon as we left town.
    First Abbey stop was The Swan Inn in Swinbrook which we found along a single width lane when we rounded a corner and there it was beside the river.
    This was the scene where Branson and Sybil planned their elopement. It is a very quaint inn and had a great outdoor area at the back too, but of course light rain began so we settled for the window seat in the front room beside the 'blue room' for our tea and hot chocolate.
    From here we travelled to nearby Shilton where the Forge which was used as The Red Lion Inn sits beside the ford.
    More narrow lanes and further away we came to Bampton Village, a lot larger than the last two but still very cute.
    This location was used for a lot of filming - St Marys Church, the village green, Isobel Cawleys home, the village street for the Post Office and Dirty Dog Inn, and the local library which was used as the Hospital and Doctors surgery.
    The ladies in the library were funny. The volunteers have set up a room with Downton souvenirs and local hand made handcrafts to raise money. The conversations with them were a wee bit funny and I am sure they both make a point of not leaving the village if possible.
    These wonderfully quaint villages in out of the way places were exactly what I had been waiting for. It is so much fun wandering around there places.
    Next stop was the Manor House Farm in Cogges were the filming for Yee Tree Farm was done. The rain was now much heavier and whilst we sat in the car we decided that wandering around a farm area was not fun and that for the first time the rain had beaten us. Time to venture onto our next accommodation stop.
    We are staying in a loft above a garage built by owners that live at the front of the property in their thatched cottage that was built in the 1600's. This couple only started renting out accommodation a year ago when the wife turned 70. She looks 55. Fantastic!
    Dinner was across the road at the local pub which is saying something as we are staying on a country lane outside of Oxford. Fortunately the food was great.

    Phil - I have only glanced at Downton Abbey on tv when Wendy was watching it, so I am not sure of the storyline. However, going to these very small hamlets and seeing how they are still clinging to the past is amazing. You can easily think you are back in time, and somehow you feel relaxed. Maybe our kids should all get a mandatory one week per annum visit to these places to de-digitalise.
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  • Day84

    Gobi Safari

    November 28, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 4 °C

    Two things that shocked me was: firstly, the lack of sand - you'd think desert in a classical sense equals sand but nope not the case (to be revealed later); secondly, ho much life there was in this harsh place. It was bleak and wild and it was tough but everywhere I looked I could see life - birds flying high, gnarled bushes, twisted grass weed, wild gazelle, camels, goats. Bearing in mind that its probably -15C/-20C at this point with absolutely NO wind shelter from the biting cold it's astonishing that anything survives in this and then Bimba tells us that the gazelle actually migrate here during the winter...they voluntarily put themselves through this blitz environment rather than migrating north like all the people to find shelter. Couldn't believe it! Now the kicker is that even though Rach and I were crazy tourists coming in Winter and roaming the country when the locals were hunkered down from the cold we actually got to see sights that do not exist at any other time of the year. Driving through the Gobi in a 4x4, off roading, with packs all over the place of gazelles running with us is something that I will never forget. It was almost like a winter safari with the humans gone (all 10 of them) nature tool over. Condors, yaks, arctic foxes, some of the last of the wild goats, snow leopards (I wish...kind of), sights that those jelly balls in your head cannot behold if you were to visit The Land of the Blue Sky during any other time of year. It was truly magical to be a part of, stepping into their world just for a little peek, yep...magical.Read more

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Vale of White Horse District