A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong

With Cathay Pacific

semi-overcast 33 °C

I do not like Hong Kong. We fly to Sydney and Byron Bay at 6:40pm on Thursday the 6th of August


Hong Kong - view from Victoria Peak with Jeni

Hong Kong - view from Victoria Peak with Jeni

Hong Kong - view from Victoria Peak

Hong Kong - view from Victoria Peak

Posted by kforge 01:58 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (0)


Stansted to Amsterdam

sunny 27 °C

We flew out on Thursday July 31 from Stansted Airport to Amsterdam with Easyjet and it's incredible how improved Stansted and Easyjet are these days - security scanning is really well managed and we were through to the departure halls in minutes. It's a pity though, that they're refurbishing a huge area only a few years after refurbishing the entire airport. Does anyone still know how to design for the future?

We took the 7pm Connexion Hotel Bus from Schiphol Airport (EU54 for 2 people pre-booked) and were at the Apollofirst Hotel in just 15 minutes. We'd wondered why the hotels were quite so expensive - it was summer but... It was Gay Pride weekend!


Posted by kforge 01:34 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Back in East Anglia

Shimpling, Bury St Edmunds, Mersea Island and Lawshall

sunny 25 °C

Back in the Bury St Edmunds area, we had 2 nights at the Bush Inn in Shimpling (GBP65 per night)


And then had 1 night at the very old (13thC) Abbey Hotel in Bury


Then it was 2 days with Steve and Carole on Mersea Island to help celebrate her 50+ birthday and to catch up with our friend and author Colin Bowles who popped down from London on Monday


Finally it was back to the Granary Suite at Brighthouse Farm in Lawshall for what would become our last 8 days in England. From there, we visited Cambridge again, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Southwold, Snape Maltings and also Grantchester Meadows where there is an idyllic path alongside the Cam River leading to the historic Orchard Tea Garden (started in 1897) where the poet Rupert Brooke and his fellow "neo-pagans" often met


Posted by kforge 00:45 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

The Peak District

Buxton, Bakewell, Monsal Head, Renishaw Hall, Chatsworth House, Eyam, Matlock, Matlock, Bath, Cromford Mill

semi-overcast 22 °C

We set off in depressingly cloudy conditions with the BBC Weather Service assuring us the sun would be shining in the Peak District (it did, for a few hours over 3 days)

Loved Buxton and the Opera House but all the accommodation was taken

Did not like Bakewell

Loved Monsal Head and the glorious summer evening looking down the valley from the hotel's terrace, although we did think the GBP120 per night was a bit excessive

The gardens and museum of Renishaw Hall (Dame Edith Sitwell's family home) were OK but small and definitely not worth the GBP6.50 entrance fee

Chatsworth House now charges GBP18 for house and gardens but the GBP3 parking fee gives you access to the magnificent parklands and views of the house

Eyam is knowm as the "plague" village - The plague had been brought to the village in a flea-infested bundle of cloth that was delivered to tailor George Viccars from London. Within a week he was dead and was buried on 7 September 1665. After the initial deaths, the townspeople turned to their rector, the Reverend William Mompesson, and the Puritan Minister Thomas Stanley. They introduced a number of precautions to slow the spread of the illness from May 1666. These included the arrangement that families were to bury their own dead and the relocation of church services from the parish church of St. Lawrence to Cucklett Delph to allow villagers to separate themselves, reducing the risk of infection. Perhaps the best-known decision was to quarantine the entire village to prevent further spread of the disease. The plague raged in the village for 14 months and it is stated that it killed at least 260 villagers with only 83 villagers surviving

Matlock was good, Matlock Bath wasn't

Cromford Mill is a "must-see" if you like industrial history. It was the world's first water-powered cotton spinning mill - developed by Richard Arkwright in 1771 in Cromford, Derbyshire, it laid the foundation of his fortune and was quickly copied by mills in Lancashire, Germany and the United States. It forms the centrepiece of the Derwent Valley Mills, now a World Heritage Site. The giant water-wheel pit is a wonder in itself









Posted by kforge 02:15 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Shreswbury and Barmouth in Wales

Sunshine in Wales - I hear it happens but have never seen it

semi-overcast 22 °C

Sunday was spent in and around Stokesay Castle, the best castle in the world and where the best lemon curd is sold


Monday began with brilliant sunshine in Shrewsbury and a great forecast for the mid-Wales coast. So we packed our bags and headed down to Barmouth for a few days touring. Every mile closer to the coast brought more and more cloud as we drove through beautiful mountainous valleys and by the time we got to Barmouth it was pouring with rain and the forecast had changed to rain for the next few days. We turned straight around and drove back to Shrewsbury through the same valleys; at least I think they were the same as the cloud had descended to about 200'

A couple of early evening pints with Rob and Jo and a new plan was hatched - 3 days in the Peak District where the weather would definitely be better!

Posted by kforge 11:43 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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