A few weeks ago, I was excited to visit York so I could say I had visited old York before New York. And now I continue the trend with Boston. I have never been to Boston, Massachusetts (I’m a west coast girl), but like many towns in New England, Boston has its naming roots in old England. Boston, Massachusetts began life as the Massachusetts Bay Colony (Company) in 1629. Its first Governor was John Winthrop, who shortly after his arrival in America in 1630 suggested that the capital of the colony be named after their hometown back in England. He was a part of a fleet of Puritans – about 1000 – that came over from Lincolnshire to escape religious and political persecution.
Old Boston’s most notable landmark is St Botolph’s Church (pictured here), which is famous for it’s extraordinarily tall tower, known as the Boston Stump. Work on the church begun in 1309 – old Boston really is old! And quite charming.
While waiting for the sun to set over Warwick Castle, I decided to hop down to Stratford-Upon-Avon for a quick look at Shakespeare’s hometown. Just a mile outside of town, in a village called Shottery, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage awaits Shakespeare-loving tourists. It costs $13 to get in, which I found to be quite expensive for what you get. I didn’t care too much to tour the interior, but they’ve built hedges all along the property so it would have been impossible to get a good picture without paying the entrance fee. So alas, I paid up. It was definitely interesting, and I do not regret it.
Although it is often called a cottage, it’s actually a large, twelve-roomed farmhouse. The earliest part of the house was built in the 15th century. The cottage was originally known as Newlands Farm in Shakespeare’s day and had more than 90 acres of land attached to it. Today it sits on a small (but beautifully landscaped) piece of land, and attracts over 50,000 tourists every year.
Anne was born in 1556, eight years before William Shakespeare. She was the daughter of a prosperous farmer. Many historians think they had an unhappy union, but there is actually no proof of that. Though he lived and worked in London while Anne stayed in Stratford, he did eventually move back and settle down in Stratford with his wife.
Last New Years we decided to head up to Edinburgh. We heard their New Year’s celebration was world class, and oh it was! (More on that later). Edinburgh is a good 8 hour drive away, so we took our time exploring the beautiful northern countryside on our way up. This sunrise photo was taken looking out from our charming bed and breakfast, The Pheasant Inn, in Keidler National Forest. This was the view from our window as we ate a delicious traditional English breakfast. A wonderful experience indeed!
I’ve visited dozens of castles over the 6 months, and all seem to pale in comparison to Warwick Castle – at least in terms of preservation. Warwick seems frozen in time as if not a single battle or storm could shake its walls. As such, Warwick Castle is often hailed as England’s greatest Medieval castle, and I can see why.
The castle first appeared on this site in 1068 at the command of William the Conqueror. Its bloody history is steeped in treachery, murder, mystery and intrigue, and it has passed through several great dynasties – the Beaumonts and Beauchamps, the Nevilles, the Dudleys, the Richs and the Grevilles. And yet, here it stands nearly 1,000 years later as if its never been touched.
This is Highclere Castle, located in Hampshire. Some may know it better as Downton Abbey, the estate featured in the popular British period drama. Although it is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, it also serves as the filming set for the show.
Why “Abbey”? Like many of the great estate houses in England, Highclere rests on the site of a former ecclesiastical property. When King Henry VIII turned against the church in the 16th century, he seized many properties such as these. Used by the bishops of Winchester in the 12th century, even now it boasts a “monks’ garden.”
As a big fan of the show, it was quite a treat to visit this grand estate. Unfortunately, we arrived too late for the tour of the castle’s interior. We’ll save that for next weekend. If you’re looking to visit, make sure to book your tickets in advance. It sells out quickly!
I’m really enjoying exploring England on day trips. One of the best bits is meeting all sorts of different people. Locals, world travelers, old and young. Today I met the cutest little girl: “Are you from America? Your accent is lovely. I can talk like that too mimics my accent… Can I have your autograph?” =]
St Edmund is named for Edmund, who was crowned King of East Anglia at the age of 15. In 869, he lead an army against the invading Danes and was captured and tortured to death. Legend has it that Edmund refused to renounce his strong Catholic faith, and thus died a martyr.
The Cathedral stands within the boundaries of an old Abbey built in 633, which was renamed in St. Edmund’s honor. For the next five centuries, pilgrims from all over the world traveled to worship at the shrine of St Edmunds. In fact, St Edmund was held to be the patron saint of England before St George.
Ah yes, another photography blog you say. Why? First of all, I’m a photographer. I specialize in landscape, architecture, and travel photography using a unique technique called High Dynamic Range. And secondly, I recently moved from the States to a small village in England called West Row. From here I’m able to travel the whole of Europe, while my husband flies for the Air Force. It’s the biggest, most life-changing move of my life, and I think it’s worth documenting through stories and pictures. Hence, this site.
But this site isn’t just about me. My purpose for this site is threefold:
- Share my photographic adventures through daily words and photos
- Cultivate a community of photography lovers by promoting other talented artists
- Educate aspiring photographers through daily tips and tutorial (coming soon!)
I’m a girl with a camera who loves making pretty things. And this is my story.
Photograph: Stonehenge at Sunset, Nov. 2011.
We were incredibly fortunate to get this shot. People pay the big bucks to go on “sunset tours” of Stonehenge in the summer, but since it was November, the sun set within operating hours of the park. But clear days are a rarity this time of year. It was cloudy for most of the day, but cleared up just in time. It was definitely one of those “oh my goodness the sun is perfect and now I’m going to panic until I get a shot” moment. Ever had one of those? My back was facing the sun a few minutes prior to this shot, and I turned around and saw the clouds and started running. My heart was pounding because I knew I would lose the light fast. I’m sure all the tourists thought I was mad running around Stonehenge with a giant tripod. Thanks again to my handy assistant (my husband) who helped me find the right spot and set up my gear.
An absolute perfect moment I will never forget.