Category: England

Big Ben, Jollyoldengland

During our overnight trip to London, Jollyoldengland, I had the opportunity to take this picture of the Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster. The Clock Tower is not Big Ben. Big Ben, as I am told over-and-over again, is the big bell that is housed inside the Clock Tower.

Here’s how it works. Big Ben is the bell, named for Sir Benjamin Hall, Baron of Llanover and member of Parliament. The Big Ben bell is in the Clock Tower, so called because there’s a clock in the tower. The Clock Tower is part of The Palace of Westminster, because that part of London used to be the City of Westminster, Jollyoldengland. The name has nothing to do with the fact that UK Parliament meets there, to give the members opportunity to yell at each other.

Big Ben Clock Tower

The Clock Tower at the Palace of Westminster that houses a bell called Big Ben in London, Jollyoldengland

Now remember, the place is called Jollyoldengland, because, even though everything there is olde, it’s all jolly. Just so you know, “jolly” is an Jollyoldenglish word for “happy” or “really pleased.” And “old” is spelled “olde” in Jollyoldengland and in New England, too. Notice that New England is not jolly.

Now that we have that all cleared up, one thing that’s never clear in Jollyoldengland is the sky. You see, the sky in Jollyoldengland is, well, old. Don’t get me wrong, it’s jolly, but it’s old, like everything in Jollyoldengland. Since the sky is old, it’s always gray. The sky so jolly there, that it often cries with joy.

frigate bird

A frigate bird enjoying a cheerful Caribbean sky

Hey! Then I remembered that I had taken a picture of the Caribbean sky, not jolly, but cheerful and blue. So, I had the Clock Tower (the one that house the bell named Big Ben) moved from the Palace at Westminster to St. Thomas USVI. That way UK Parliament gets to meet in the Caribbean. And, I got to take the picture all over again.

Big Ben Caribbean Sky

Aston Martin Rapide

You know, the original James Bond drove an Aston Martin.

Aston Martn Rapide Front

Aston Martn Rapide Front

Here’s an Aston Martin Rapide just parked at the Airport in Leeds, England.

Aston Martin Rapide Rear

Aston Martin Rapide Rear

Canals

These canals were built during the English Industrial Age. They cross Great Britain from Liverpool on the West to Leeds on the East. Canal boats carried goods from inland to the cities for manufacturing and export.

Skipton Canal

Skipton Canal

Today, the canals are more for pleasure boating. Most of these boats run tours. Some people buy their own boats, and ride the canals – even live in their boat.

The canals also have paths on one side (sometimes both sides). Before motors were developed, draft animals or even people would pull the boats. I’m told you can walk the length of the canals to this day, but you can’t go where the pathway is under maintenance.

Skipton Canal

Skipton Canal

Unfortunately for the image below, I don’t remember the name of this town. Dad and I went off to do some laundry at self-serve laundry mat. I took a walk during the spin cycle – kind of thing.

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

Okay, in the next image you can see where the grassy/muddy path changes to a stone walkway with a stone wall railing. The stone part is a bridge. The canal crosses over a small creek below.

Laundry Day

Laundry Day

Botlon Abbey, England

I visited Bolton Abbey on a typically foggy English morning. The Abbey was originally built by the Augustinians in the 12th Century. As you can see, much of the structure is in ruin. The other side of the building is still in tact, and it’s maintained as a functioning Church.

The grounds around the Abbey are large enough to contain miles of hiking trails, and the woods will open up (in season) for small and exclusive hunting parties. All of this land is the property of the Duke of Devonshire. That’s one thing I could not quite get over. That, some of the places we went to were the property of Royalty, yet most of the grounds were open to the public.

Spooky View of Bolton Abbey

Spooky View of Bolton Abbey

Arch in Ruin

Arch in Ruin

Portrait of the Abbey

Portrait of the Abbey

Cottage on the Grounds

Cottage on the Grounds

Walled Trail

Walled Trail

The Duke's Cottage

The Duke's Cottage

Ilkley, Jollyoldengland

My family and I spent the last 10 days of February in England. My parents go to England a couple of time per year. They invited the four of us along for their late Winter / early Spring trip. They usually go later in March or in April. However, there’s a royal wedding this coming April, William and Kate, and plane tickets and hotels were getting pricey. So, we went a little off -season.

The first installment of photos covers Ilkley, a small town in Yorkshire. Here’s the front door of our B&B, the Archway Cottage, owned and operated by Tony and Gwen Green. It’s a cozy place with three bedrooms, and a loft that functions like a suite. Tony and Gwen are now great friends with my parents, and one evening they invited use to their residence (next door) for a fabulous dinner.

Entrance to the Archway Cottage in Ilkley, Yorkshire, England

Entrance to the Archway Cottage in Ilkley, Yorkshire, England

Okay, here’s the bad news, England is famous for its rainy foggy weather. Not everyday, but the weather we encountered was typically overcast and gray, making picture taking a little tough. On the first day, we woke up to find snow on the ground and the roofs, which is actually a-typical.

Someone asked me, what struck me the most about being in Yorkshire and England. I said that it was the architecture. Most of the buildings in this area were made of cut stone. Families nestled into row houses with slate roofs and chimney pots pointing at the clouds.

View from the Rear Window

Looking behind the B&B to find clouds and snow on my "Island Vacation."

But, the typical English weather did not deter us from adventuring and having a good time. Not everyday was overcast and misty.

Here’s a view from the Ilkley moor. The moors are ranges of long hills; yeah, all that Emily Bronte stuff. They’re not tall and mountainous, but the stretch along the countryside for miles. Outdoor lovers climb, bike, hike, and camp in the moors. You can get lost for days, if you want. Even in the off-season, there were many outdoorsy types around, which reminded a New Englander of being in the mountain areas of New Hampshire or more likely Vermont.

Road to the Moor

Road to the Moor

If I do go back to Yorkshire, I’d like to spend more time in the moors and get muddy. Here’s a local landmark called “the Cow and Calf.” The “Cow” is the large outcrop to the left, and the “Calf” is the boulder that looks like it has broken away. My first three days, the weather was so foggy, I could not see the moor. We went for a drive through the moor, right past the “Cow and Calf.” I still couldn’t see a thing.

Cow and Calf

Cow and Calf

Rapelling Lessons on the Cow

Rapelling Lessons on the Cow

Fortunately, this moor comes complete with a pub, called the “Cow & Calf.” It’s also a large B&B serving free breakfast to guests. Anyone can go for lunch or dinner, pints, and malt whiskeys. The local woods get very, very well stocked with deer and fowl. Hunters sell their kill to butchers and restaurants. This restaurant had venison and guinea fowl on the menu.

Cow and Calf Pub

Lisa and Max heading for lunch at the Cow and Calf Pub

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