ENGLAND

Landguard Fort, Rendlesham Woods & Aldeburgh

Boat

We didn’t really start out with a plan today, only that we’d head over towards the east coast. There are very few English Heritage properties in this part of the country that we haven’t been to before but Landguard Fort just outside Felixstowe is one of them. As we were heading in that direction we decided to go there first and then make our way over to Aldeburgh.

Built at the mouth of the River Orwell, Landguard Fort is the site of the last opposed seaborne invasion of England in 1667. The current fort was built in the 18th century and has had various modifications in the 19th & 20th centuries. Most recently it was used during WW2 and subsequently abandoned a few years after the end of the war, leaving it to decay until it came into the hands of English Heritage. Forts of this nature are not usually in the scope of my general interest as I tend to prefer ruins of old castles or abbeys, however we both took out an audio guide to listen to as we went round and I really quite enjoyed it.

Canal Boats And Fake Festivals

Meadowlark On The Grand Union Canal

Saturday 18th August

It was one weekend a few months back when John and I were walking along the canal towpath that we decided it would be a great idea to hire a narrowboat for a day. When we got home a Google search revealed a hire company just a few miles away from us. A few emails later the date was set and the ‘Meadow Lark’ had been reserved for us.

We met up with some family members in Cosgrove, gathered our picnics and cameras and made our way on to the towpath.  We hired from Cosgrove Narrowboat http://www.cosgrovenarrowboats.co.uk and they were brilliant. Carol greeted us and took us through a few safety procedures, then we set sail ….. well, more of a chug really! There is a lock within the first few feet of cruising and Carol came onboard with us to help us through. John was driving and trying to get used to the way the boat worked and all eyes were on him as people watched on from the bank, he did bump and bash around a bit in the lock, but I thought he did exceptionally well all things considered.  The first five minutes were spent weaving around a bit as John got used to the length of the boat and the fact that you push the tiller in the opposite direction to that in which you want to move.

Medieval England And Celebrations

Remains of Kirby Muxloe Castle

Today we started out in the direction of Kirby Muxloe, a small village situated on the outskirts of Leicester, we were heading for the ruins of the 14th century castle. The castle here was never completed as the person responsible for it, Lord Hastings, was dramatically seized and executed by Richard III in 1483 and his family didn’t continue to complete it.  The moated remains consist of a gatehouse, a corner tower and parts of the old mansion. Nowadays it is in the care of English Heritage and being members, entrance is free for us. If you are coming from overseas to  England for any length of time, you can get an overseas visitors pass (currently for 9 or 16 days) to gain free entry to many of the English Heritage properties, which is great value if you plan on visiting a number of the bigger castles or stately homes http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/overseas-visitor-pass/

Kirby Muxloe is a fairly small property compared to others that English Heritage own and it doesn’t take very long to look around the ruin. After we had explored and walked around the moated area we got our picnic and blanket from the car and sat in the grounds eating lunch. It’s nice to take a look at if you are in the area or want to spend time there relaxing and eating a picnic, otherwise it’s not really big enough to warrant a special trip.

Back In England

England

Ok, as some of you will know I have been back from my trip for a while now and have been working on designing and creating this website over the last few months. It’s finally ready to be released, so welcome to one and all!  For my Facebook page click here - don’t forget to click on the link and ‘Like’ it as I need as much support as I can get at the moment!

Since returning from my trip I have managed to change my way of life considerably. The first thing we did (the day after we arrived back) was to put our house up for sale. It had been a huge drain financially for a long time and was far too big for just the two of us.  It took a while to sell, but finally it did and we are now shackle free and living life in a rented apartment beside a canal, which is awesome. We unloaded most of our material possessions on family/friends and charity shops and are now leading a far simpler and uncluttered life. 

To There And Back Travels

Palma, Milan, Cornwall, Zanzibar, Marrakech, London

From June 2007 to December 2010 I ventured to many places; Spain, Scotland, France, Italy, Tanzania, Malta, New York, Morocco and of course I explored more of my own country - England.  I may at some point add these trips, but during that time I was saving hard to embark on a 6 month trip around the world.  This and all future trips will be shared here at To There and Back Travel ....... welcome to my journey.

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