UK 🇬🇧: 7-20 June 2017 (Days 1 & 2)

During the June vacation, or more specifically 7-20 June, the family and I went to the UK for a trip. 

How was it? It was filled with lots of ‘first experiences’. Can’t deny that it was fascinating, interesting, rewarding, and also frustrating sometimes.

Main characters: Myself, Mum, Aunty, Uncle.

Day 1: Arrived in Heathrow Airport at 8am. After some dilly-dallying, like complaining to Thai Airways about the horrible state of our luggage and getting a report from them at the luggage collection area, we finally got our rental car from Hertz. Our luggage was unfortunately damaged. Sigh… The sky over Heathrow didn’t look too cheery, but it got better as we drove eastwards.

First stop: Cambridge. Beautiful clear blue sky! 🎉 

Only irritation was that there were many young people touting for business from the tourists. Which we avoided.

Had the famous Chelsea Sticky Bun from Fitzbillies. It is really sticky, and sweet!, because of the sugar syrup.

It was a lovely university town, with much to see but our time there was short. We still had to drive to our accommodation.

We stayed in a little town called Stamford. There is a lovely B&B there, run by a lovely and capable couple; Borderville Farm B&B. And it was the first of our many “the family room is at the top of the stairs”. 😅

Our room was spacious and it had a lovely view out of the window. Only downside was that if we weren’t careful, we would bump our heads against the roof beams. Breakfast is at a supplementary of £6.50 per person. Do let the owners know the night before.

We went in to town for our dinner. There were a number of eateries available for the evening. We finally settled at a pub, The London Inn, as the pricing was really inexpensive: 2 mains for only £10! I forgot how big the portions were, and the amount of potatoes served. We couldn’t finish all of it! And we didn’t even order any beer. 

And that was Day 1.

Day 2: Burghley House & Leicester

After a good breakfast, we checked out and moved on. Good bye, Stamford!

First stop: Burghley House. We only stopped for photos of the stately mansion and its accompanying lands as we had quite a journey to go.

Next stop was more of a Literature and History trip instead. 😂 

We went to Leicester, the final resting place of Richard III. I got to thank Shakespeare for the play of the same name or else I wouldn’t have planned a stop there. 

I remember reading a few years ago in the news that researchers had found his body in a carpark. Now that we were going to that part of the UK, why not stop there? So, I dragged my poor old folks to the Richard III Centre with me, where I learnt a lot more than expected. The centre was put together really well. It was not only a museum, but also an exhibition and learning place about a certain part English history and also about archeology and forensics.

Oh yes. Richard III was finally laid to rest In Leicester Cathedral, which is just opposite the centre. No photos allowed at his grave in the Cathedral. 

The garden in front of the cathedral may present a spooky front but it’s not that bad. The graves had been exhumed and relocated by the church, leaving behind the really old gravestones. It’s sort of meditative and calming in this sort of replanning.

Richard III’s face reconstructed. His real image is not that far off from his portrait.

The grave he was found in was hurriedly dug, such that it was actually smaller than his actual height, such that he was laid with his head propped against a side of the grave’s wall.

After that, it was straight for Robin Hood’s Nottingham. By the time we got there, the castle was already closed for the day, so we had a short walk around, looking at the caves located below the castle, and having a closer look of the Robin Hood statue.

Sadly, we didn’t have enough time for Sherwood Forest. I hope to visit the Great Oak Tree one day.

We found dinner in, of all places, the supermarket near our lodgings at Harley’s Inn. My burger wasn’t too bad, compared to the veg and salmon. Oh well, we can’t be picky about it. 

End of Day 2.