Posted by: marymarthatours | July 2, 2010

Mary and Martha Are Going to England

The two tours planned for 2010 have both been canceled due to low registrations. How sad, both had great itineraries, and we were looking forward to all the various places we would be visiting. Well, we just couldn’t pass up the enticement of going to England on our own for a fun, sisterly time. So we’ve decided to fly to the UK for two weeks at the end of September to explore and enjoy some of the places that we like best. And rah, the dollar has gained in value against the pound so our money will stretch a bit farther this year.

We’ve booked the flights and the lodging, and we feel relaxed about the rest of the details falling into place. Just as we divide the tasks for working on the plans and organization of M&M tours, we do the same for our own trips. Martha found the lodging and Mary found the flights. The next piece will be for Martha to book the trains. We do plan to get travel insurance in case that Icelandic volcano should blow again. But do you think we would really mind being “stranded” in England?

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York Minster and Old Town (Photo by DACP)

So where are we going? After landing in London, we will take the train to the medieval city of York and stay there in a small B&B for seven nights. The fall Miniatura Tour was going to stay in York for three nights with an entire day free for exploring, but Mary and Martha need the extra time for the long list of places we want to visit in this wonderful city. Our lodging is located not far from the York Minster, and the city center is only a ten minute walk away through the St. Mary’s Abbey Gardens or along the riverside walkway. Martha has already checked out the musical production that will be playing at the York Theatre Royal during our stay. We’re also hoping to find an interesting day-trip out from York to see something special in the Yorkshire Dales or to get to some abbey ruins. We would both be thrilled to see Studley Royal Gardens and Fountains Abbey or perhaps get to Thirsk to visit the James Herriot Centre.

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St. Mary’s Abbey (photo by Kaly99) and York Theatre Royal (photo by Thomas Gunn)

After a full week in York, we’ll be off to London for six nights. Our lodging is right across the street from the British Museum in Bloomsbury. On one of our days there, we’ll take the train to Basingstoke where Rosamund Wallinger, owner of The Manor House at Upton Grey, will meet us and take us to the manor and its gardens for the day. The English Garden tour of 2007 visited the Manor House, but Rosamund was not home that day. Our Herb Gardens of England tour for July 2010 had scheduled a stop here as well. Martha had made a small quilted piece for Rosamund as a thank you for our first garden visit. And since then, Mary and Roz have become email friends. We simply could not tell Rosamund that because the July tour was canceled we would miss meeting her again. WOW, we now will spend a personal day with her.

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The Gertrude Jekyll garden at the Manor House Upton Grey

Check out our previous postings on York and London for an idea of some of the spots we hope to visit on our sisterly trip. A top priority for Martha is the Quilt Museum in York, and it’s a good bet that Mary will get us to the miniature shop there. And Mary wants to take Martha to Windsor Castle outside of London to see the post-fire restoration and show her Queen Mary’s Dolls House. And there’s Chelsea Physic Garden, and the V&A, and…..

When we return, we’ll have loads of photos and stories to share with all you armchair-travelers. It will be amazing to do as we wish each day and not have to get back to the coach at a specific time. We will travel at our own pace: pack-it-all-in sometimes and wander, relax and sit and enjoy the flowers at other times. We’re looking forward to our personal M&M Tour.

(by Martha)

Aerial photo of York: copyright DACP and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Photo of St. Mary’s Abbey: copyright by Kaly99 and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Photo of York Theatre Royal: copyright Thomas Gunn and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

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