The travel company planned a complex 23-day tour of England, Wales, and Scotland in two parts. For the first part, my wife and I were the sole travelers and then were joined by another couple for the second part. Traveling in the very early spring, we expected rain, wind, and cold. We were greeted by the sun on almost all the days with wonderful photographers’ clouds.The complex trip with ten base locations and many events beyond was planned and executed flawlessly. In developing the plan the travel designers were very available and responsive as the dialog for planning the trip progressed.We had been to London, Bath, and the Cotswolds before, but the trip explored many more regions including some of the most scenic national parks. There were smiles on our faces for all 23 days and we haven’t stopped smiling since.
For us, every day was beyond enjoyable and memorable. As I’m now putting together the trip video I’m remembering the extra special:
a. We had three Michelin star restaurant adventures. I remember so well when British food as bland and tasteless. There has been an incredible revolution in cooking with multi-course farm-to-table restaurants rivaling those anywhere in the world.
b. The visual delights of streams, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and snow (yes it snowed one night) were everywhere. We love natural settings and our camera captured hundreds of scenes and our eyes many more.
c. Our driver/guides gave us history lessons that are important to understand and give context to today’s political issues. We seek out understanding different perspectives on today’s issues.
d. Our driver/guide was a Beatles fan. She treated us to exploring the boyhood homes of the Beatles, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and the grave of Elenor Rigby.
e. No trip to the British Isles would be complete without some churches and cathedrals. The York Minster with its simplicity and grace is stunning.
a. We would pack differently. We were prepared for wind, cold, and rain. We found sunshine and warmth. b. We would add a day in York. We felt shortchanged with our time there. The city captures all the major phases of British history from Roman times on.
c. We would plan our evening meals more carefully in advance. With COVID, staff shortages, and jumping the spring season, many restaurants and pubs were closed for some days during the week or fully booked. Right now, you can’t take this as casually as we have in the past when you could wander the streets and find a table easily.
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