How now, spirit! whither wander you? Over hill, over dale,Through bush, through brier…

Day 1 Britain & Ireland Discovery Tour

Rush this morning to get packed and out. Dragging 3 heavy suitcases down 4 flights of stairs. Josh is our super hero (though he did mention he’s not our bitch in a moment of frustration 😱)

We grabbed an Uber to the hotel where our tour was leaving from. Josh had to growl at him too. I don’t think he’ll get a good rating from that guy.

We were anxious to see our fellow travellers and had our fingers crossed for another young person but Harry was out of luck. He’s the youngest on the tour, followed by Josh, then me. My sister suggested he pretend to be Benjamin Button 😂


After a short orientation tour with our bus guide, we had time to wander on our own. We climbed the oldest Saxon tower at St Michaels at the North Gate. We also saw the prison door from the cell that Latimer, Ridley (1555) and Cranmer (1556) were kept in before being burned at the stake for refusing to embrace the Roman Catholic faith of Queen Mary Tudor. There is a memorial to the three Martyrs as you come into the city. 

Saxon tower 1000yrs old
The prison door of Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer
The spot where the martyrs werw burned at the stake as heretics

We bought some sandwiches, yoghurt and fruit and had a picnic outside Christ Church. Was lovely and cool in the green grass.
Passengers late and held us up an hour. This would never happen on Contiki!

Wound our way through gorgeous villages throughout the Cotswolds to Stratford upon Avon – the birthplace of Shakespeare. We explored the home of his birth, saw his school and I recited the Prologue from Romeo & Juliet. Very nerve wracking but so exciting to do! Look for it on Facebook!


Do you bite your thumb at me Sir?

Shakespeare’s school room

Alverston Manor
An Elizabethan manor is our accommodation for the night.

Dinner at Bistrot Pierre

After dinner we went for a walk and ended up here:

The Garrick

The Garrick Inn is a timber framed building dating back to the 1400’s. It has a rich history including plagues, fatal fires and priest holes, many former occupants still visit from the “other side”. Reputed to be the oldest pub in Stratford. We visited because for sure The Bard had a beer here!

It is thought that a bout of plague may have started within the original inn in 1564 after a weaver’s apprentice, Oliver Gunn, died of the disease there. The phrase ‘hic incepit pestis’ which translates as ‘here begins the plague’ were written in Gunn’s burial entry.

Harry has been very friendly with everyone, especially the driver and guide who are both called Darren. Darren knick named Harry “Skittle Head”.

It’s still stinking hot by the way! None of the people on the tour packed for this weather ☀️

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