Thursday, 30 July 2015

Warwick, day out to London

As we did last year from Stratford, we had a day out in London from Warwick, this year was much hotter though (think it must have been the hottest day of the year so far) and it was a shorter train ride. Yes, even though Warwick is further away from London than Stratford the train ride is much shorter.

Day four, Wednesday 1st of July

The taxi turned up on time and we got to the station with plenty of time to spare, even though the traffic was horrendous and I am sure the driver chose the wrong route. At the station the driver said just to call them when we got back, more on this at the end of the day.

Took photos in the station but didn't have a card in the camera, it was still in the computer in the van and I did not twig until we were in London. The train was on time but it was very full, we stood in the doorway until after the first stop and then got seats apart but at least we had seats for the journey.

Off the train in Marylebone Station, we set off walking, it was now I discovered that the camera had no disc in it and so I had not taken any photos, yet. We sat on some steps near the Wax Works and sorted through my camera bag to find a suitable memory card and luckily found one.

Post Office Tower

On our way again, we wandered of and made our way to Oxford St, looked in the shop windows but didn't go in anywhere. From there we walked down Regent St to Piccadilly Circus and then toward what we thought was Nelsons Column.

Piccadilly Circus

Only it wasn't, just shows our knowledge of London, it was in fact the Duke of York Column. Not too bad really, as we were only around the corner from were we wanted to be.

Piccadilly Circus Duke of York Column

We walked along the Mall until we came to Trafalgar Square and got our tickets (that we had ordered on line, on offer) for the bus trip. The bus left from just opposite the tourist office and we hopped on with a good seat in the very warm sun.

Bridge DSCF8398

Last year we concentrated on the boat trip this time it was going to be the bus. We continued with the trip until we came to Tower Bridge, were we got of for a look around and maybe something to eat. We walked to City hall and had a chicken wrap to eat and sat near the river. The Tower Of London was just opposite.

City Hall The Tower

After a nice rest we have a short walk towards HMS Belfast but didn't go on-board, then on the way back towards the bridge it started to open. I managed to get some photos but there were some barges moored in the way.

DSCF8435 Tower Bridge 1886

After that we walked under the bridge to the other side at Butler's Wharf but just for a quick look around.

Back Street

Over Tower Bridge, we got some water and ice creams and had a sit by the river to eat them, before making our way back to find the bus trip again.

Dixie Queen

Back on the bus we carried on with out trip and even though it didn't seem so, it was getting near the time for the buses to finish (or at least the drivers). Anyway we stayed on the bus until it dropped us off outside the Wax Works and we walked back to the pub we used last time. As last year we made for the Allsop Arms and settled down with a nice refreshing beer or three.

The train ride back was a lot less crowded, as we got close to Warwick I phoned the taxi company, only to get as answer phone and continued it get it all the way in. Never did get them and walked back to the site.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Week in Warwick 2015

Warwick, 28th of June to the 5th of July

Just over a week after our trip to Harrogate we set off for a week away in Warwick, I didn't know at the time we set off that it was only about 10 miles from Stratford on Avon, where we went last year. As last year we had also booked a train ride day out to London, which I will cover in a separate blog also as I did last year.

Day one, Sunday 28th of June

So as last year, we took the A19 to the A168 and the A1M then down to the M18 and the M1. As last year, the M1 had road works and was very busy, from the M1 we took the M69 / A46 to the second Warwick turn off and headed down the A425. Then turned right at the second roundabout and turned right again after the third pelican crossing, following the Racecourse signs to the site.

Warwick Racecourse

Warwick Racecourse Caravan Club Site
Hampton Street,Warwick,Warwickshire,CV34 6HN

We got booked in and decided to have a walk into town even though it was getting late and it was Sunday. We walked straight through town and had a look at where the train station was (to see if we could walk there on Wednesday morning) and decided that we would get a taxi.

Next we walked back into the town centre and eventually came to the Wetherspoon's, The Toms Lloyd, it didn't look bad at all but we stopped using it later in the week (more on that later). We sat outside in the very hot sun and had two or three beers before we set of back for our pre made supper. I was going to have a meal in there but Dot pointed out, I had made food for tonight. It must have been warm as Dot had a large glass of fruity cider and ice, the beers I had, are covered in separate blogs, Beers in Warwick, part one and Beers in Warwick, part two.

We just sat their and enjoyed the sun, it was after eight by the time we set off back to the campsite and van for supper.

Day two, Monday 29th of June

Today we decided to visit the castle, although it was the afternoon before we set off for into town, through the West Gate.

Warwick West Gate

We had a pass from the Caravan Club for half price entrance into Warwick Castle, although we had to pay full price for the ticket and not the reduced price for over sixties as we both are. So it wasn't quite half price through the Caravan Club.

I have had my moan about the entrance fee but the castle was very nice and we had a fantastic day there.

We walked down towards the castle but first came to a nice rose garden and had a walk around there first before continued on into the castle.

Warwick Castle Me

We entered the castle through the Barbican, then we had a walk around the big house and enjoyed the way it was all set out, with tableaux from the last century and earlier. From there we went into the Watergate Tower with a pictorial history of the castle on show, some of it using video and very well done it all was.

Inside Warwick Castle More inside Warwick Castle

Next we left the house and headed out of the castle towards a large catapult in the garden. Only we didn't get there straight away, as there was a birds of prey show in just outside the gate (can not find a name for this gate), at the far side from where we came in. The birds where all a bit fast for me to photograph but I honestly did try.

DSCF8244 Catapult

After the show we continued on to the catapult, the boat house next to it on the river, had burned down and looked very sad indeed. After a visiting the catapult, we saw the waterwheel down the river side of the castle and headed off back towards the castles for a better look.

Warwick Castle Water Wheel

When we got to the water wheel we had a good look around, then walked back the way we came to get back inside the castle.

Waterwheel Inside the generator house

Back in the castle we went up onto the battlements, a bit of a mistake as it was up and down stone steps inside towers all the way.  It did take quite a while to do and we are not the fittest people in the world any more.

DSCF8279 DSCF8295

By the time we had done the walls and towers, I was knackered, so we started to make our way out. Back at the way in, we saw a sign stating that you could come back tomorrow for only one pound. This had not been mentioned to us at all (very remiss of them), we did buy a ticket anyway.

From there we walked straight to Wetherspoon and had a nice cooling pint of beer, it was after five anyway.

The Thomas Lloyd

Day three, Tuesday 30th of June

Had a wander up to reception on the morning to see about booking a taxi for tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, of the numbers that worked, they were all too busy at that time of the morning. So I fingered that we would just have to walk to the train station in the morning.

That afternoon, it was practically the same time as yesterday when we set off for the Castle and once in there, we had a walk to where the birds of pry are kept resting before their show.

DSCF8320 DSCF8327

From there we had a walk along the river, than back towards the Conservatory and had a nice cup of tea sat in the sun, overlooking the gardens.

The Gardens

After the cup of tea we made our way to see the birds of pry show right from the beginning. I did as well as yesterday with the photos, I think I got only this one.


After the show we wandered around the inside of the castle and after a good walk, eventually made our way towards the exit.

The High Tower DSCF8340

I checked the time as we left the Castle and it was about an hour and a half earlier than yesterday. Anyway that gave us time to have a look around the shops before we made for Spoons. The service in Spoons was atrocious and I walked out before even getting a beer. I think there was new staff in training but there should have been someone there in charge, to see it all went well though.

So we just set off back to the van, after all, it was nice and hot and I had beers back there. On the way back though we passed the Old Post Office a bar and a man sat outside, convinced us to go in and try a beer (it didn't take much really). In fact we had a couple and sat outside talking to the gentleman that convinced us to go in there. It is a very nice place and we will be back.

On the way back to the van we passed the place were a taxi company lived, and took their number, called them and got a car for the morning. We then popped into the pub just down the road from there and had one more beer before we went back to the van for the night.

Day four, Wednesday 1st of July

Up early got ready and set of to get our taxi from the campsite gate. Our London Trip is covered here.

Day five, Thursday 2nd of July

After the scorching heat of yesterday today was quite cool and we spent most of the day sat in or around the van reading.

I think it was about four by the time I got fed up and we set off for a drink in the Old Post Office. We did sit outside for a wile but had to go inside when it started to rain and sat by the window. I made a mistake and bought a cider but only drank about half and gave it to Dot, I do not like cider that much.

DSCF8504 The Old Post Office Bar

We were only out for about two hours but we did get out that day.

Day six, Friday 3rd of July

A much better day today and after lunch we set off for a walk along the river Avon. We walked through the town via the old gateways, then through the park after the castle to the river.

Warwick East Gate

I have been unable to find the battery charger for the camera battery's and wouldn't you know it, they stopped working on the walk. The cameras in our phone's were working but they are not that good.  I did get photos of the two bridges that cross the river here.

Road Bridge Footbridge

Later back in town we had a look around the shops before going to the pub near to the Spoons, The Tilted Wig, I had decided to give Spoons a miss, sad but they had their chance. After our fist very nice drink in the sun out the front and while I was getting another, Dot told me we had to move to a seat out the back.

The market for tomorrow was setting up out the front right now and half the seating had to go, the seating we were sat in. It was ok out the back but I think I would have just moved on if I had known. Anyway we finished our drinks and moved on to the Old Post Office to finish the night off..

Day seven Saturday 4th of July

It was about eleven before we eventually got up to the market and had a good look around but we didn't buy much.

DSCF8529 Market Day

Around one o'clock, we went into the The Tilted Wig again sat in the window and ordered some lunch. I had not noticed that they had Hoegaarden on draught until we sat around this side of the bar and I ordered us one each. I say one each but I got a pint and Dot a half, but she wasn't happy with that so we shared.

After that we went walking and eventually ended up back at the van. That night we wandered back to the Old Post Office.

Day eight, Sunday 5th of July

We drove straight home as we had to get ready to be away again the next day.