The past few weeks have been filled with dismal British weather, Brexit hysteria and pangs of homesickness. But they’ve also been wonderfully brimming with time spent with my better half who is now off for 3 weeks.
We have been waiting with bated breath for two long months now for a nice, sunny weekend to go to Yorkshire; the birth place of my 3x great grandfather. However we’ve been trying to make the most of the uncooperative weather by doing some shorter trips close to home.
We took a lovely stroll through scenic Ely the other weekend. It’s one of my favourite spots to visit and even though I’ve now seen the majestic and imposing Westminster Abbey and Lincoln Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, with it’s intricate detail and framed by farmer’s fields and a beautiful garden, is still the most special to me.
I just loved this vintage bike leaning up against the mottled English brick. We stopped in nearby Waterside Antiques Centre which is the largest antiques shop I’ve ever been in and absolutely awash with precious history. From furniture and dusty leather-bound books to war memorabilia to vintage teapots to Anglo-Saxon and Roman rings and coins. I could have spent a week perusing the teetering, treasure-strewn aisles.
The weekend after, we made a day trip to Lincoln. Though the weather was cloudy and cool the rain mostly held off and we had a nice time panting up Steep Hill (this eclectic street is named for obvious reasons). It is sprinkled with antique clothes and bookstores, posh tea houses, intimate pubs offering respite to weary hill-climbers and specialty tea, liquor and sweet shops.
Once we finally made it up Steep Hill we had a lovely view of the substantial Lincoln Cathedral. My one regret is that we didn’t do a circle around it, as often I find the back of a cathedral (like Ely’s) is more spectacular. We did quickly pop inside to view the high ceilings and stained glass but decided to forgo the 8£ ticket to go further inside.
Instead we opted to tour through Lincoln castle, opposite the cathedral. Lincoln castle was built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror on the remains of an old Roman fort. It has been used as a prison and a court in times past and today is used as a museum as well as a courthouse.
At the moment there is a poppy wave display which can be seen in the photo below to mark the centenary of the first world war.
You can walk a circular loop atop it’s old stone walls which offer a great view of the city and of Lincoln cathedral. Occasionally you’ll happen upon plaques with some history about the place but these were often a bit too macabre for my tastes.
One of it’s main attractions today is the magna carta. A document dating from 1215 signed by King John which limited the power of the monarchy and gave rights to its citizens such as the right to a fair trial, and made it illegal for royal officials to take crops, horses, carriages, wood etc,. from it’s people without the owners consent and without payment. This was a first draft to some of the rights we take for granted today.
Lincoln cathedral houses one of only four surviving original parchment drafts as well as two other important historical documents.
We also toured the jails and more of the grounds but I’ll do a review post one of these days with more of that.
This weekend promises to be another cloudy one so the plan is cooking, cuddling and date night tonight :). I’ve been wanting to see “Me Before You” at the theater so my other half is taking me to see it! Can’t wait.