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Day 31 – November 09, 2010

Lacock Abbey

The Abbey at Lacock

Lacock is a tiny village near Chippensham in North Wiltshire. It is located off the main motorway and the countryside views en-route are as interesting as the village itself. My drive took me through many narrow B-roads in England, passing many towns and a few hamlets.  The weather being what it is in England, the sun never appeared during the day. Rain was intermittent but never caused a hindrance.

Sandy Lane road sign in Lacock

Road sign in Lacock

Restaurant in Lacock - Sign of The Angel

A restaurant in Lacock

The village, as you walk through it, seems a little familiar at times. It’s not too difficult to ascertain after a while that you’ve seen something from here, somewhere. Sure enough, after I came back home in the evening Wikipedia confirmed that BBC’s Pride and Prejudice was filmed here, along with some scenes from the Harry Potter movies, episodes of Robin of Sherwood, and various other movies and television series.

Lacock Church

Church in Lacock

Blue Door and railing

Blue Door

Walking the streets of Locock is a great way to get transported back in time after the bustle of urban England. The empty lanes and stone houses may not speak, but a little imagination (and even a mild dose of experience with English literature) is enough to conjure images from fictitious worlds, and times long past. I have harbored particular fascination for medieval English history, and creating scenes of life during such times was something that came readily to my brain. J As it turns out, most of the houses in the village are of 18th century construction, or earlier.

Blue door and window on street

East Street

fence and path

Fence

It doesn’t take a lot of time to explore the village, being as small as it is, but take interest in the details and you’ll soon find yourself running through two-three hours without breaking a sweat. The Fox Talbot Museum of Photography was of particular interest to me but it was closed while I was there, as was Lacock Abbey whose interior was featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

Hither Way

Hither Way, Lacock

Moving east, Avebury is another tiny village that happens to be famous, but for reasons unrelated to movies. The UK appears to have a large number of places where stone formations exist, and Avebury is one of them.  Not only are the stones found here in a standing state, there are three circles that the henge at Avebury contains, one of which is the largest in Europe, 427m (1401ft) in diameter. Reading about the history of these circles, and Avebury, is an adventure in itself. Two good sources of information about these circles are –

Avebury – Wikipedia

Stones of England – Avebury

Day 11 – October 20, 2010

The Jacobite Express crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct at Glenfinnan

Not much to report today. All I did was go to the Glenfinnan visitors centre, spend a bit (or a lot, depending on what your limit is!) of money buying souvenirs for family, and then waiting at the top of the hill behind the centre for the Jacobite Express to pass over the viaduct. To put it into layman’s terms, I was waiting for the Hogwarts Express to run across the long bridge with multiple arches, as made famous by the Harry Potter movies. Yes, the train, and the bridge are real. The engine was simply repainted for the movies, and everything else is the same as it is in real life, including the coaches. The 21-arch viaduct itself looks wonderful, set between two mountains and arching it’s way across the chasm.

Couldn’t go to Castle Stalker. I’m thinking I could take that route tomorrow, instead of the one via Glencoe. It’s about 25 miles longer, but shouldn’t be much of a difference in terms of time. I have the whole day to get to Glasgow, so 25 miles shouldn’t take a lot of extra time, I think. My last time in Glasgow was nothing short of a nightmare, except the last hour, and I have no intention of making history repeat itself. Even though I have the whole day to get there, I’d rather be done with it by 6, so that my evening is relaxed. My train for Inverness leaves around 10 or 10.30 on the morning of the 22nd, and I’d like to get up early and get to the station well in time with my heavy luggage. That is one train I can’t afford to be late for.

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