My husband and I just got home from a fantastic eight day trip to the United Kingdom. We had a wonderful time and the weather even cooperated! We spent the first day in London and the second day in Oxfordshire at the CLA Game Fair.
The Game Fair is quite an event. It is mind-bogglingly big and the crowds were huge. We heard that the first day they had to turn away 13,000 people because of over crowding! The Game Fair is held once a year in England and it celebrates all of the outdoor sports and pursuits. There is food and shopping and exhibits, it's a really fun way to spend a weekend.
We spent two days in Oxford, it was the first time we had been there. The highlight of the trip for me was the C.S. Lewis Tour hosted by Ronald K. Brind. As a boy Ron lived right next to The Kilns, C.S. Lewis' home for 33 years. When Lewis married Joy Davidman and her two sons came to live at the Kilns, Ron became fast friends with Doug, the younger of the two boys. Though at the time Ron had no idea who Lewis was, beyond his friend's Dad, he now has unique memories of Lewis and much admiration for him.
The tour was wonderful. I have loved C.S. Lewis' books my entire life. I clearly remember sitting on the couch all day when I was about 8, reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. As an adult I have read most of his literary, critical and religious works as well as much of his letters and correspondence. Ron took us to see all of the places where Lewis lived and worked in Oxford and told wonderful stories about his life. You can do your own tour with Ron's book, which I have shown above. It is small and light enough to carry in your coat pocket!
We were saddened to see the development around The Kilns. It used to be an 8 or 9 acre parcel with fields, woodland and a historic pond. Most of that is gone now, replaced by housing, and the remaining land did not seem to be managed very well. Just the weekend before we were there a blue historical plaque had been placed on the house. It needed one, and it's the only recognition of the man or his work that we saw in the city. It's too bad that such a wonderful man does not have a more fitting memorial.
After Oxford we headed up to Yorkshire. We went to Hawes on market day and visited the Wensleydale Creamery where they make the delicious Wensleydale cheese. We also visited Haworth and the Bronte Parsonage Museum, it is really well done and worth the trip! There is a steam train that runs from Keighley to Haworth with antique rail cars. That's the way to get there if you are going!
Our last day was spent in York, one of my favorite cities in England. The Minster is beautiful and we were lucky enough to be there at just the right time to do a tour of the Minster's Library, which has been in existence since 1414! It is in the old Archbishop's Residence right on the cathedral grounds. Next time you are in York, stop in at the library. The old books are so beautiful, pieces of art in their own right. Also not to be missed is the National Rail Museum at York. It is easily the best of it's kind, with wonderful displays and exhibits. You can easily spend three or four hours there. This was the only day that we had any serious rain, so it was a perfect day for the Museum!
It was a wonderful vacation and we enjoyed every minute of it. We bought waaayy too many books, but that's half the fun. I didn't take extra books with me because I didn't want to be weighed down. There wasn't too much time to read, anyway. We were so exhausted each evening from full days of walking, I could barely keep my eyes open. So now, it's back to some serious reading time! I'll be posting a new contest in the next day or two, stay tuned!
Order A Guide to the C.S. Lewis Tour in Oxford from Amazon
Thank you to Beth at Beth Fish Reads and to The Blogger Guide for helping me to customize my template and to Andrea at The Little Bookworm for improving my header!!
- The Tome Traveller
- New Hampshire, United States
- Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.