18 July 2010 @ 11:33 pm
Roadtrippin' coming to an end - Day 12 - Muncaster (aka owls, owls, and MORE owls!)  
We slept in this morning before heading off to the Wetherspoons in barrow to eat breakfast. It was shit weather, but Nicci and I canced it and went on an hour drive north of here to go to Muncaster. At the castle there, there's are some very lovely gardens, not to mention, there's a brilliant World Owl Center.

It means I came out with around 60+ photos of ... yeah, owls *g*

We're heading up to Dunfermline tomorrow and I'm pretty sure we're going to sit down when we get there and not get up again anytime soon XD

Muncaster Gardens, World Owl Center and Castle
This is pretty much how we felt too XD

photos )
Current Mood: sleepy
17 July 2010 @ 09:24 pm
UK roadtrippin' - Day 11 - Barrow  
Today we slept in (on purpose) and had a very late breakfast at the Little Chef's next door to the Travelodge. Then we set off towards Barrow-in-Furness. A lot of it was motorway until the Sad Nag (sat-nav) took us off on a B road. Interesting. Why do I always end up driving those?! Last year I was "blessed" with the bloody lake district!

Anywho - we drove to Flookburgh to check out the small miniature village there and it was pretty good. Those will be the only photos from today, but there are quite a few in the set *g*

It was a nice more quiet day, and that was really welcome after yesterday spent running around Chester Zoo for who knows how many hours.

After the miniature village, we drove on - and actually saw quite a few houses in slate that looked like the ones we'd just seen in miniature version. And they did look saggy *g* so the miniatures are pretty spot on in many cases. It's an interesting building style, that's for sure.

After we checked into the travelodge, we headed further into Barrow and had dinner at the Wetherspoon's there. A fairly good place, good food - had steak and ale pie, which while I can make it, I'm not THAT good at it XD

Neil's gone out for a while and Nicci and I are sitting around being geeky *g*

photos )
Current Mood: tired
17 July 2010 @ 08:03 am
UK roadtrip - Day 10 - Chester  
Urgh. Spent today walking around Chester Zoo from appx 10:15 this morning till 16:15... Yeah, I'm dead on my feet XD

The zoo was fantabulous and we enjoyed it muchly and depleted two sets of batteries each XD. As we left we caught the rhinos shagging. A sight I never thought I'd see XD

We picked Neil up (he'd begged off the zoo and instead gone into Chester to do the Roman walk, then headed off to meet with Saz who took us down the road to a really good Indian restaurant and afterwards to a nearby pub to sit and chat outside.

Brilliant day and evening.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves *g*

photos )
Current Mood: awake
14 July 2010 @ 11:26 pm
UK roadtrip - Days 7 and 8 - Cardiff  
Cardiff, lovely as always, though a bit wetter than the other times I've visited *g*

Stil, however, a city I love going to, summer or winter.

We arrived tuesday a little past 1PM - we left Oxford around half nine - tennish (the one morning where we want to leave earlier, we sleep in - other mornings we're awake around 6AM LOL)

So, yeah - had a bar of chocolate on the way, had a bacon sandwich midways along the Severn and ate like pigs in the chinese restaurant in the Red Dragon Centre - right after we arrived here. Afterwards, Neil went for a pint and Nicci and I headed off walk - as we couldn't check in until 3PM.

Terry met up with us at 3 and we checked into the travelodge. Dinner was had at a small pub (Eli Jenkins) and then we had a wee walk along Mermaid Quai. Let's not mention there's still a shrine up at the end of the pier for Ianto.

This morning, we went up into the city centre by bus and had our breakfast at a weatherspoon's. Then we set the course for the Castle and after a detour to the local Forbidden Planet (see purchase at the end of the posted photos under the cut), we went in. It's absolutely beautiful and interesting and yeah, you spend ages in there and the feet are sore afterwards. Terry and I went up in the Norman keep (Neil and Nicci begged off because of the amount of stairs - wise decission, trust me!).

We walked through the city centre and picked up some sandwiches - ate and continued on - eventually we went back to the Travelodge and crashed for an hour or two. Then dinner was planned and had at the Spice Pot at the Red Dragon Centre (Asian food, chinese, punjabi, japanese etc) and we all ate like pigs! *grins*

Terry and Neil went for some pints and Nicci and I headed back to the room to crash and burn - and fiddle with photos.

Tomorrow we'll be driving up from here to Chester, which is a much longer drive than the last couple we've done. Not to mention the weather's supposed to be pretty shite :(

photos )
Current Mood: sleepy
12 July 2010 @ 10:21 pm
UK roadtrip - day 6 - York  
Had another ridiculously hot day today.

We went into York via the park and ride and tried to find a place to have breakfast. Question? Don't Oxford people eat breakies? Even the places that sprouted 'breakfast' signs didn't serve breakfast today O.o

Neil went off to terrorize the city's bookstores and pay a visit to the Evil Empire (aka Games Workshop) while Nicci and I trudged off to find the Museum of Natural History - which turned out to be brilliant but damn! It was hard on the feet - even the Pitt collection - which didn't open till noon, couln't get me to agree to another hour (seriously!), even though it was damned interesting.

We went back in to meet with Neil, had lunch at the Red Lion and then set off to meet with [info]sazandra - Neil begged off the girly time and hunted down some ice for the cooler instead. Us three first went to Coffee Republic for a coffee and coke and then went hunting for a fan (not a FAN fan, but a fan to cool us down with). Having obtained that and aftersun lotion, we said our byes to [info]sazandra (hope to see you again, hon, it was GREAT seeing you in person ^_^ (and good luck on the new boss-man)

We're now chilling with cider, beer and photoshop *g* - tomorrow we're off to Cardiff ^_^

photos )
Current Mood: awake
12 July 2010 @ 09:14 am
DAY 5 of UK roadtrip - Warwick Castle  
By far not the cheapest attraction, but definitely worth the money. Not only is there plenty to do outside, but you're allowed to take pictures inside and in a lot of cases, touch stuff as well *g* - also their wax manaquins are scarily lifelike in some cases.

We left Redditch to go to Warwick where the sad-nag (sat nav) managed to get us well to Warwick but then flaked out and had us driving around and around and around and ... yeah XD - we did manage to find the car park eventually and after bitching a bit about the 4 quid parking fee, we went up to the castle (that's a hell of a walk, btw) and it was hot - and getting hotter :(

The castle itself was brilliant - the only downside was the amount of loud Italian school kids - not to mention I think there was a Spanish school class there as well, but they weren't as loud as the Italians. We wandered about, up and down stairs and ended up outside for the Flight of Eagles display which was absolutely brilliant. (There were two American bald eagles, one grey eagle buzzard and a white tailed sea eagle.

I think we need to keep Nicci in the shade more, because she was flagging something horrible when we got out of the castle and I took over driving - thankfully Oxford isn't too far away from Warwick, because it was a hell of a hot drive.

We all conked out when we got here and when we went out to dinner, it was a bit hard getting Nicci up firing on more than one cylinder. Thankfully a fantabulous Indian meal at the Chutney's helped. NomNomNomNOM. Had Chicken korma and it's possible one of the best I've ever had.

photos )
Current Mood: awake
10 July 2010 @ 10:21 pm
UK roadtrip - July 10th - day 4 - Stratford-upon-Avon  
This morning we decided to go into Stratford after eating a good heavy breakfast. We did the park and drive here as well, because it IS cheaper and we don't have to run all over the place to find a parking space. Neil begged off on the boat ride, but Nicci and I went out and it was nice - and at least a little cooler than staying where we were.

We ended up eating at Weatherspoon's again as the pub we wanted to eat at (the lamplighter) didn't do dinner (at least not on a Saturday) and it WAS good - and they did have A/C so we were cooled down a little. We has seen it earlier when we passed it on a walk up through the town and detouring past a small market, we went back there for dinner. Then it was the bus back to the park and drive and after a little unplanned detour *g* we were back at the Travelodge. Nicci and Neil went for a drink next door, but I begged off - had the headache from hell and ended up sleeping a bit and then having a cold shower - that seems to have done it and I'm up and at 'em again *g*

photos )
Current Mood: sleepy
10 July 2010 @ 09:59 pm
Day 3 - York to Redditch  
So yeah, we had another go at York in the morning, which nearly killed us *g* - it was hot, let's just leave it at that.

However, this day we took our time and started the day with, again, leaving the car at the park & drive, taking the bus into York. The first place to go was right at one of the bus stops, so we didn't have to go quite so far. We went into York Castle Museum, which was well worth the 8.50 (appx) we paid to get in. We were there for a few hours. Then we went off into the city to find somewhere to have something to drink and had a bit hearty lunch at The Three Tuns (pub lunches are SO going onto my hips! But it tasted fab).

Then we left Neil to fend for himself (not that he minds, he quite enjoys terrorizing local pubs and book stores).

Nicci and I went to Jorvik to see the viking exhibit. It was good and interesting. Then another drink - because it hadn't gotten any less hot outside. We did come by a group of Zimbabwe dancers/musicians and we'd have enjoyed even more of their show if it hadn't been so damned hot. Heading back to the park and drive, I took over driving and we headed off to Redditch. Three congestions and a complete stop on the motorway later (there'd been a traffic accident somewhere up ahead) and I was ready to kill someone *g* - the sun was beating down and doing its best to fry us alive.

Redditch decided to play merry hell with the sat-nav, but we managed to get something to eat and then we headed out to the Travlodge, which we almost missed because of the sat-nav again - though the place along is pretty weird looking for a Travelodge. We pretty much crashed when we got in and decided not to go into Stratford too early the next day so we'd get some much needed rest.

photos )
Current Mood: sleepy
09 July 2010 @ 11:55 pm
Day 2 - July 8th, 2010 - York  
We drove close to York for the park and drive and left the car in favour of the bus into the city centre.

We met up with Terry in York to first go to the Minster and later to the railway museum. Nicci broke around midways through and had to beg off the railway museum and Neil stayed with her (Nicci damn it, learn to drink more fluids!) so Terry and I continued into the railway museum, which was good fun - not to mention good FREE fun XD

We ate at a pricey cafe for lunch, but had a good chinese buffet for dinner.

Right, I'm absolutely knackered so I'll let the images under the cut tell the rest of the story.

a small selection )
Current Mood: sleepy
08 July 2010 @ 08:41 pm
UK roadtrip Day 1 - Dunfermline to Tadcaster, Yorkshire  
We were out of Dunfermline around a quarter past 9 in the morning, heading south to go through the borderland to enter England.

We drove from Dunfermline to Alnwick where Neil went out to terrorize the town (like a good Scotsman!) and Nicci and I went into Alnwick Gardens to take photos. When we'd picked Neil up, we set off to make a quick stop at the Angel of the North (a huge ass metal angel) for a few more pictures. After that we drove off to Harrogate to find the Wetherspoons and have a meal there. Of course we've barely sat down (and we're all tired and cranky) and the fire alarm goes off. *facepalm*

Seems one of the girls working there had used her spray deo and the smoke detector had picked up on it O.o - right-o - we finally go back in to sit, we eat and we drag ourselves south to Tadcaster, right outside York. After the usual faffing about to find the Travelodge (which not for the first time includes a bit of driving around the motorway and its exits) we finally arrived at the Travelodge to crash.

photos from Alwick Gardens and Angel of the North )
Current Mood: sleepy