London and Beyond--Spring '93
Random Sights

Bath is an easy town for the rail traveler to visit. The station is located in the center of town and almost everything can be reached on foot (although it does seem that everything is uphill). Bath retains much of the look that it must have had during its height as a spa town during the Georgian period. After visiting the Pump Room for tea, the tourist must see the original Roman Baths and Museum. Bath's Baths
At Blenheim Palace Although it doesn't look all that great in this photo that we have, Blenheim Palace proved to be a nice short stop for us. It's difficult to visit without a car, but there are buses from Oxford. The palace was presented by a grateful country to their favorite warrior, the Duke of Marlborough, in 1704. But for many visitors the palace is better known as the birthplace of Winston Churchill (his mother was visiting here at the time of his birth) and there's quite a bit of Churchill memorabilia included on the tour.

The first time I saw Blenheim Palace, it was from a distance, and the guide described it simply as Winston Churchill's birthplace. I assumed that it was the home that was owned by his family and didn't find out different until I read the truth in one of his biographies.

Upon retirement, I think I need to apply to one of the colleges at Oxford to see if I can ever understand exactly how the system works there. Our host and guide on the trip through this part of England was an Oxford graduate himself and tried to explain everything clearly to me, but I am still not certain. During our trip, we were able to visit the chapels of several of the colleges and spent quite a bit of time simply looking through the dozens of bookstores in the town. The town itself seemed to be one of the most charming we saw, but parking was unbelieveable. A Street in Oxford
Mary Arden's House On previous visits we had seen most of the Shakespeare sights inside Stratford, so after a thorough tour of the Trinity Church, we visited some of the sights that are located a little further out that we had not seen on our previous visits. We particularly enjoyed the visit to the home of Mary Arden (Shakespeare's mother). It's located about three miles outside of town, and the museum is devoted to a description of the life on a farm at the time; we hardly heard Shakespeare's name mentioned at all.
Prior to this visit we were not very familiar with the Warwick Castle, but we enjoyed our short visit here very much. The castle, located just a few miles from Stratford, is a well-preserved, imposing medieval castle that includes parts that date from Norman times. Inside the apartments there are museums of period furniture and armor. Warwick Castle
Looking Down on Edinburgh The night train to Edinburgh was a new experience for us. Although we had traveled by couchette a couple of times on the continet, we had never taken a sleeper. With our Britrail Pass, the supplement for the sleeper for the two of us was little more than what a hotel room for the night would have been. We arrived in Edinburgh early in the morning and had the Tourist Office help us find a reasonably-priced, centrally-located hotel. We took a city tour and visited the castle high above Edinburgh, but the thing that stands out most in our memory of the city is how cold it was--and all the locals were wearing sweaters and talking about the brisk breeze!!

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