Category Archives: United Kingdom

Patriots and Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium

This weekend my wife and I went to see  the New England Patriots play theTampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium and I must say that it was a pretty amazing. This was the first time that either of us has had the chance to watch a NFL game live and it was great that we had the opportunity to do so here in England. I know I was a little more excited about seeing the Patriots play in England, but Brittany puts on a good game face to make me happy.

No surprises on how it all ended though, the Patriots ended up beating the Buccaneers 35-7 in front of a sold out crowd at Wembley Stadium. I must say that Wembley Stadium is just amazing and if you ever get the chance to visit…do so!

Cotswold Wildlife Park

My mom is here visiting for the next three weeks so we have been looking for fun things to do around the area. Brittany and I have always heard people mention the Cotswold Wildlife Park, so we decided to finally give it a try. To be honest, I was expecting to go and be completely disappointed. I figured that we would drive the 1 1/2 hours and they would have some birds and common farm animals for our son to pet. However, I was surprised to find that the Cotswold Wildlife Park was actually a nice place to check out many different types of animals to include giraffes, rhinos, monkeys, and penguins to name just a few.

I can now say that I actually had a really great time and would highly recommend this wildlife park to others that were looking for a fun day out.  Not only did Cotswold Wildlife Park offer some great views, I thought their facilities were top notch and very well maintained. Sometimes you visit wildlife parks and get a sense that the animals are not being taken care of 100%. This is definitely not the case at Cotswold Wildlife Park.

As I mentioned earlier, I would highly recommend this park for anyone looking to have a fun and adventurous day out in the Cotswolds.

Visiting York

This weekend we decided to travel north to visit the city of York for the Jorvik viking festival. Once we arrived we grab something to eat at a local pub and sparked a conversation with the owner about the viking festival. Apparently, the Jorvik Viking website listed the days we planned for the trip as the start of the festival but they must have been changed because the pub owner made some calls and it was planned to start the day after we were going to leave. We walked around the city and did not see too much to do with vikings so we checked out the other popular sites.

The weather was pretty cold and rainy so I would say that we did not enjoy York as much as we originally planned. The highlight of the trip was seeing the amazingly beautiful York Minster.

Boarstall Tower Buckinghamshire, England.

Boarstall Tower is a 14th-century moated gatehouse located in Boarstall, Buckinghamshire, England. Boarstall tower was built by John de Haudlo in 1312 and is all that remains of a fortified manor house that was destroyed.

I stumbled upon this National Trust site on accident when I was viewing the Brill Windmill which is only a matter of minutes away. Pay close attention to the signs out front because they are only open on specific days throughout the year and this could create problems for those of you wanting to get a closer look.

Opening Times

  • Open Wednesdays, 1400 – 1700, from 2 June to 25 August
  • Open 1100 – 1700 on 3 and 5 April, 3 and 31 May, 28 and 30 August
  • Admission by timed ticket only (subject to availability), including members
  • Last admission 30 minutes before closing

Prices

Adult – £2.60

Children – £1.50

Contact

The Tenant, Boarstall Tower, Boarstall, Aylesbury HP189UX

Tel: 01280 822850

Email[email protected]

Parents Visit the United Kingdom

My parents decided to pack up their things and head over to England so they could see their grandchild Connor for the first time and also see some sites around the United Kingdom. My old man would only be around for a week so we wanted to pack in as much as we could in the short time.

First, we decided to start things off by taking a day off because my moms plane did not arrive until midnight and I was pretty tired of driving back and forth to Heathrow Airport. The day off allowed us all a chance to play with Connor and take a break before heading off on our first trip.

Our first trip was to Edinburgh which is the capital city of Scotland and getting there would involve a six hour car ride with a packed car and a 3 1/2 month old. Was this a nightmare waiting to happen or what? It turns out that Connor is a champ and loves traveling because he did not fuss until we entered Edinburgh. The drive was pretty easy except the half-hour or more spent looking for our hotel in the city center. The architecture and feel of Edinburgh is just amazing and you just cant help being surrounded by history on every street. After finding the hotel we went out on the streets of Edinburgh and ended up at a restaurant named, The Filling Station that served some incredible food. Among the vast amount of beer consumed, everyone tried their hand at eating what they called, “The Haggis Stack”. It was haggis, potatoes, and gravy and it was actually fantastic. The rest of the trip was spent touring the city, eating food, and trying scotch at several different locations.

One of the highlights of our trip to Scotland was a little rest stop named Westmoreland that gave off one of those down home country feelings. They served fresh food with the ingredients coming solely from local farmers throughout the area. The food was fantastic and we made sure to check it out on the way back too.

After getting back from Scotland we decided to take another day to rest and hang around the house before heading back out.

Next, we woke up early to catch a one-hour train from Bicester to London for a fun and exciting day trip. The train ride was over before we realized it and we were moving around in the London Underground. Our first stop of the day was at the British Museum where we spent about two hours marveling at numerous exhibits that existed throughout history including the Rosetta Stone and mummies. After the museum we stopped off at a rather old tavern for a bite to eat and a pint of my favorite beers. The lunch was over so we went back to the underground so we could visit Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, and the Tower Bridge. After the day was over I think everyone was ready for a nap including Connor.

Finally, our last trip was to Stonehenge and the beautiful city of Bath. The drive to Stonehenge was less than two hours but it was raining the entire time. Not bad considering this was the first time it rained the whole trip. Stonehenge was a quick stop before we headed off to the city of Bath. In Bath the ladies did some shopping while dad and I checked out one of the best preserved Roman Baths in the world.

All in all it was an exciting, jam packed trip that was lots of fun.

Cardiff Castle (Castell Caerdydd)

It has been a couple weeks since we went to Wales but I am now just getting around to posting some images. For the first time since Connor was born, Brittany and I decided to take a little trip to get out of the house and see some new things. This was our first trip with the little guy and everything seemed to work out just fine. Hopefully we can start traveling with him now at a young age so before we know it he will be a seasoned pro.

We decided to drive to a couple hours to Cardiff which is the capital of Wales. Our plan was to check out Cardiff Castle and maybe do a little shopping while we were there.

I thought Cardiff Castle was pretty cool, but we didn’t get a chance to see some of the interior rooms because we had a stroller and they don’t allow strollers inside. They did offer a place to store strollers, but it was more like a big open room and we were afraid someone might take ours. I was really bummed we couldn’t see some of the interior rooms but I quickly got over it.

The admission fee was £8.95 per adult and £6.95 for children 5-16. The £8.95 fee covered everything we needed, but for an extra £3 you could get a forty minute guided tour. We opted out of the forty minute guided tour and decided to see things for ourselves. It was a little chilly and I most certainly had all my camera equipment with me, so I was trying to snap photos as fast as possible so we could get out of the cold with the baby.

Perhaps one of the things I enjoyed the most was just strolling around the outer walls of the castle. Maybe that is because it was really all we could do because we had a huge stroller. I think we all had a good time and I would recommend checking out Cardiff Castle if you are ever in Cardiff.

Brill Windmill

I wanted to get outside and take some photo’s recently so I packed up my gear and headed to Brill Windmill. Brill Windmill is located in the historic Buckinghamshire village of Brill. Although the windmill is not operational, there are continued restoration projects in the future.

Thought to be one of the oldest windmills is Britain, Brill Windmill was erected sometime in the 1680′s. It is considered to be one of the best preserved post-mills still standing from the 17th century.

The windmill itself is open to the public every Sunday during the summer. However, you can still go and take pictures of the windmill and surrounding countryside during the week. I believe I went and visited during the middle of the week sometime and it was just perfect. I didnt have to pay admission but I have seen some websites stating an admission fee of £2.00.

For more information you can check out the Brill Village website.