I’m happy to announce that we’ve officially decided where our big family trip will be next summer. After much consideration (after all, I am turning the big 4-oh in June so we want it to be special) we have decided that a return to London and some travel in southern England will be our itinerary for two weeks next July. I’m very excited to take the boys to London; Tommy doesn’t remember the month we spent there when he was one and Teddy hasn’t yet been. But I’m even more excited about visiting places I’ve only read–and dreamed–about since I was a little girl.
(OK, the truth is out. I was and still am an Anglophilic little creature who loved among many other characters Alice, Frodo and as I got older, Peter Whimsey, Clarissa Dalloway, and Elizabeth Bennett.)
With the exception of a flying trip to Bath over ten years ago, I really haven’t explored the southern half of Great Britain at all and I feel like a lot is waiting for me. We’ll likely spend a good week puttering around the countryside. I envision covering a rough triangle with Oxford, Bath, and Stratford-on-Avon as the points.
As the title of this post suggests I’m already fantasizing about the famed “dreaming spires” of Oxford and about punting with the boys on the River Cherwell. Do you think I should buy them straw boaters? To enjoy a leisurely float down the river followed by a picnic lunch on the green banks would be reason enough to go but of course I’m dreaming about some other activities as well including:
- Admiring the famed skyline from the tower of Saint Mary’s Church and then strolling around the university and into the Bodleian Library, which among many other things is home to Shakespeare’s First Folio and also, perhaps more importantly, served as the dining room and library of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
- Taking a walking tour. There’s a family tour on offer from the tourism bureau that’s likely to be the most appropriate, although they have so many other intriguing themes that I’m sure I’ll be tempted (C.S. Lewis! The Pre-Raphaelites! J.R.R. Tolkien! You know I’m going to have a hard time resisting getting my geek on).
- Visiting the Oxford Dodo (alas no longer living of course) as well as the dinosaur bones at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
- Attending a sung Evensong service at Christ Church Cathedral – if we’re in luck, maybe we can see some of the boys who are Tommy’s age singing, as he does in our church choir.
- Making a side trip to the nearby Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill. The Pleasure Garden on the estate has both a small-gauge railroad and a huge hedge maze. And then there’s the palace itself. Have you seen Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet? Yeah, it’s that little place.
If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them. I anticipate many happy hours of trip planning in my future, which I will surely share with all of you here.
What are you dreaming of on this Monday? Please feel free to share a link below, making sure you link directly to your post, not your site’s homepage and that you link back to this post. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming.
All photos courtesy of Nigel’s Europe via Flickr.