Visiting Shakespeare's Country

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
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Trip End Oct 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Peicadilly Caravan Park

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, July 16, 2012

Raining this morning and not just Pommie drizzle, real downpouring rain. Not to worry the plan today was to visit Kenilworth Castle and carry on to Stratford upon Avon after that. We geared ourselves up for the cold and wet and were ready to go. first Kenilworth Castle, a vast medieval fortress which became an Elizabethan Castle and is one of Britain's  largest and most impressive historic sites. Extensive developments highlight Kenilworth's famous association with Queen Elizabeth I and her favourite man , Robert Dudley. Most spectacular is the re-creation of the fabulous garden, which Dudley commissioned to astound visitors- especially Queen Elizabeth I. On the last and the most famous of these visits, in July 1575 Elizabeth stayed there for 19 days, the longest stay for her. Dudley not only entertained her lavishly throughout with music,dancing and plays, he also created the garden for her. Must have been love . Not supposed to think that, but everything points to one heck of a friendship. The remains of the castle are very impressive and huge. Though largely unscathed during the Civil War, Kenilworth was rendered indefensible and gradually fell into dilapidation. English Heritage has rescued it from total dilapidation and has restored as much as possible and I must say, very well done. Despite the rain pouring down on us we still enjoyed our visit.
Next on the list was Stratford upon Avon, home of the world's most famous playwright, William Shakespeare. Stratford is steeped in history with many half timbered buildings from medieval times. It has been a market town since before Shakespeare's day and was a small river crossing until it received it's town charter in 1196. the Clopton Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the country and amazingly enough is still bearing traffic today after 500 years- which speaks of the skill of the original builders, when the heaviest traffic would have been laden carts crossing the river to come to the market. Wonderful to see.
We visited William Shakespeare's birthplace and also Ann Hathaway's cottage. Not very impressive but history makes it good to look at. It is all very commercial of course and has spoiled the impact of it all. Tacky souvenir shops once again. Despite the rain it was very busy as well. We decided that we were drenched enough and time to ask Charlie to take us back to Lacock and the caravan park. We drove on some amazing narrow roads and saw the most interesting villages along the way.
Yes it is still drizzling but that's ok, we had a great day today, time for a wine and some spag bol. Tomorrow Bath.
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Comments

marianne on

hi will @rick .just to let you no that all is well in oz .hope your both well .thank you for all the cards.we had a bit off rain here lately .nice to see that your having a good time .hope your getting better wheather not so nice getting wet .all the thebest from us to you .love marianne @john .

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