Jeff took some time off to come and hang out with me in the United Kingdom. We had six days, a car named Dingo (license place DN60 looked like “Dingo” from afar), and the open road. He got in at 10:30 at night, and being the spectacular partner that I am, I was waiting for him with pizza at the airport. After getting the rental car, we navigated the dark confusing streets and found our hotel for the night. It was only a 6 minute drive according to Google, but we got lost, couldn’t figure out how to turn our lights on, and stopped to reassess the directions a few times. Anyway, we found it!
I should probably share that this is the only hotel we actually booked for this trip, so the next day we set off with no real plan except to check out Warwick castle. I have a relatively good sense of direction, but I am not well versed with road maps (I’ve never really needed to use one), so I was taking a crash course this trip and had a tough time getting us from the hotel, through London, and onto the main highways towards Warwick. We did it though, and we decided to stop in Oxford for lunch as a means of celebration. We enjoyed some fish and chips in a pub, saw a bit of the campus, nearly hit a biker, and then went back on the road. We made it to Warwick about 2 hours later, had trouble finding the main highway again, and paid the ridiculous fee to get it.
Warwick castle is a medieval castle built in 1068 by William the Conquer. It is situated on one of the UK’s River Avon and has survived the 100 Year War, the English Civil War and other sieges. It has been a country home for earls, a prison for soldiers and kings (such as Edward IV in the 15th century), and in 1978 was turned into a tourist attraction by the Toussads Group.
There are about 10 peacocks roaming around the castle grounds, all very pretty and relatively tolerant to people sneaking up to them for pictures.
After a few hours there, enjoying the peacocks, the views, and the interesting exhibits, we loaded back into the car and headed towards Windermere in the Lake District. Around 7pm we decided that Windermere was a bit to far and stopped in Lancaster. It was about 6 hours of driving and 289 miles.
Once we drove around Lancaster and Morcambe for a bit, we finally found a hotel in a “happening” place and set out around 8:45pm for food. We managed to find three pubs that when we arrived had just stopped serving food. Hungry, tired, and disappointed, we were lucky to find a late night Chinese restaurant that was okay food wise, and fantastic customer service wise. The hostess was a very very sweet lady, who insisted that we become regulars.