In mid-August, I toured England with my husband and two dear friends. The trip included Worldcon in London, and then off we went for fun and . . . research! My work in progress is a paranormal novel set in England, and I was excited to really take in and experience the places I am writing about.
England did not disappoint. As in all travel, we encountered unexpected marvels and mishaps. Trying to get to London from Bath we nearly ended up in Portsmouth, except for the kind intervention of a bunch of rowdy guys sitting in back of us who, when they learned we were heading to London, said “Oh no you’re not!” But not to worry, they worked for the railroad and told us not only where to get off but how to make the right connection, and when. Whew.
Arriving at what I hoped would be the highlight of the trip, the ruined Rievaulx Abbey on the North York Moors, the gate came down. They were closing! Our schedule did not permit us to drive the long way to come back, but the man kindly let us through, and we had this fabulous ruin to ourselves. The climactic scene of my WIP takes place there, and I would have been heartbroken to have missed it.
Here are some highlights, and more in a future post.
Arrival from Heathrow at Paddington Station. Beware, travelers, you need British coin to use the bathrooms!
St Pauls at dusk from Blackfriars Bridge.
The Thames from the Arab Emirates gondola.
The Thames from the upper walkway of the Tower Bridge.
Machine Room at Tower Bridge with Victorian apparati to raise the bridge.
At Tower of London, poppies memorializing each of the fallen from the Great War.
The fabulous Rievaulx Abbey on the North York Moors. A Cistercian Abbey so far from towns that it is preserved much better than most. A haunting, numinous place.