One of the places which I definitely wanted to visit on our recent road trip south was Stamford. For some reason I thought that it was where the BBC filmed Cranford but I was wrong, it was Middlemarch which was filmed in Stamford. It’s about 100 miles north of London but somehow seems much further away.
It’s a lovely place actually, not very big shop-wise but it has a lot of independent shops and it’s all very quaint. I wanted to take a photo of these buildings near the town centre because the wee white one in the middle was leaning every way it possibly could – backwards, forwards and from side to side – all at the same time!
There were some quite grand looking buildings in the town but somehow I’m always drawn to the wee quaint ones which ordinary people will have lived in for centuries. We tried to get into this antiques shop, the lights were on, but nobody was at home!
I don’t think a town is a proper town unless it has a river running through it and this one is very scenic.
Swans and all! Although I have to admit that this is as close as I like to get to swans. They might look very elegant but in my experience the males are very bad tempered. There’s a particularly nasty one at Linlithgow Loch which just lives to hiss at you.
During all our visits down south we had no problems with parking, we usually managed to park legally and for free and very close to the town centres. At Stamford we were about a three minute walk from the town. It’s such a change for us because all of the towns in Scotland have seem to have pay and display car parks or parking meters. The local councils just don’t understand that it really puts people off visiting their towns if they have to worry about the expense of parking tickets and feeding meters then it doesn’t make for an enjoyable experience. No wonder our high streets are dying on their feet!
Well I did have every intention of blogging while we were away but we packed so much into every day that we were too exhausted to do anything in the evenings except turn the TV on and vegetate whilst wondering who would be the next MP to do something crazy, we didn’t have long to wait did we! Over five days we visited:
Moffat (on the way down)
Lincoln (very nice but it chucked it down with rain)
Grantham (the only place we didn’t like much)
Stamford (very pretty with quirky houses and grand buildings)
Cambridge (lovely but smaller than I had imagined)
Newmarket (also worth visiting)
Grantchester (made famous by Rupert Brooke, lots of thatched cottages)
Madingley (very beautiful but sad American war cemetery)
Ely (lovely cathedral and ancient town)
Braintree (where we used to live, all very different in a good way)
Witham (where I used to work)
Silver End (to see art deco buildings)
Coggeshall (a re-visit for us, very chocolate boxy)
Great Dunmow (more ancient quirky buildings )
Thaxted (stopped briefly to snap – amongst other things – Gustav Holst’s house)
Saffron Walden (I really loved this place, very old fashioned)
So you can see why we were exhausted! Very naughtily I bought 15 books from second-hand bookshops, details later. So I hope you enjoy photos of old towns and villages as I’ll be blogging about our travels soon. It’s just as well that Jack still has another week of holiday time left, recovery time!
We’re going to be going on another road trip sometime during the up and coming school holidays. We’re visiting places that we’ve never been to before because there’s so much of Britain that we haven’t seen.
So the list of places we’re definitely visiting this time consists of:
Stamford (where they filmed Cranford)
Then as we’ll be so far south by then we decided to re-visit Braintree in Essex to see how much it has changed in the 33 years since we bought our first house there. We only lived there for a couple of years and ended up going back to live in Scotland for quite a lot of reasons. My dad was very seriously ill so I had to help with caring for him but apart from that we were very homesick anyway, me in particular and it was very annoying that whenever we opened our mouths people commented on our accents. It’s true that there weren’t many Scottish accents around in deepest darkest Essex in those days but it was a bit like being a circus act as people asked us to say something!
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see the place again. If anybody who knows the above towns and areas could give us information on ‘not to be missed’ places to visit there, please leave a comment!
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to blog whilst on the trip but you never know really so I’ll probably schedule some posts, just in case.