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Saturday, 7 April 2012

A little trip to Somerset in the Spring

Burnham on Sea in Somerset is the place DH i visited this time.

It is located where the River Parrett, River Brue and the River Severn meet. The beach stretches for 7 miles and has one of the greatest differences in high and low tides in the world.



When you look out to sea with the binoculars, you can see a different country from England....WALES, thats due to where Burnham is situated along the coastline, it felt really strange and quite bizarre.

There is the most beautiful 9 legged lighthouse - there are actually 3 lighthouses in the area to warm ships they are in dangerous waters.



It also has the shortest pier in Great Britain



It's a lovely place if like hubby and i you like it quiet and not the amusement and fair ground type of seaside resort. The High Street is full of little shops, there were even 2 stash shops and yes i did manage to persuade DH to let me have a look. I was good and only purchased a couple of fat quarters of fabric.

We arrived Monday to find a lovely 2 bedroomed caravan holiday home waiting for us, which was very well equipped, it was brand new! We used this as our base for venturing out and about to see local sights.



Tuesday we drove to Glastonbury. I'm sure you have all heard of the famous Glastonbury festival, but it's not actually in Glastonbury but located in Pilton just a few miles up the road.

The legend of Glastonbury is - Joseph of Arimathea is believed to have buried the Chalice used at the Last Supper in the Chalice Well at the foot of Glastonbury Tor. He thrust his thorn staff into the ground on Wirral Hill and the distinctive Winter Flowering Thorn Tree took root. On the site where the Abbey ruins now stand, he built a church of daub and wattle and there made the first conversions to Christianity in Britain.

Cuttings from a winter flowering thorn tree in Glastonbury are still sent to the Queen every year for use on the royal Christmas dinner table.

Our first stop was to the Somerset Rural Life Museum. Fabulous former 14th century old victorian farm/barn nestled at the foot of Glastonbury Tor.



Glastonbury Tor is a short walk away, I have wanted to visit this place for a while. A steep climb up the 158 metres above sea level to the top but well worth it. The views are stunning. A place to sit and contemplate and drink coffee from our flask and enjoy a cake to fortify us for the trip back down. The calmness of the whole place is evident and it is right what they say, you do feel different when you get back down to the bottom, calm and serene. A great place to visit and i think DH and i might be coming back here again sometime.





The Chalice Well and gardens are at the bottom just along the road and we spent a happy couple of hours in there.



I drank the well water and paddled in the healing waters.



Here i had a very magical experience, a robin came and sat chirruping only inches away from me and then he flew to the left and sat a while and then to the right and sat again. I have never been so close to a robin before to see his eyes winking at me. We were sitting in a place of quiet reflection and he just seemed to be having his own little conversation with me, i wish i could have understood 'bird chirruping'



After a picnic lunch in the Chalice Well gardens



we walked along the road and came to Glastonbury Abbey - the legendary burial place of King Arthur and his queen Guinevere.



There are talks by various guides, they are dressed in traditional dress and encourage you to be part of what they are talking about. One american visitor was dressed in cloak and hat and made to help out with the bread making much to the amusement of his family.

A lady from The Somerset Embroiderers Guild designed this magnificent piece. She charted it onto squares and gave members a square to stitch but they were unaware of the design and only knew the part they had been given. When all squares were completed it was made up and is now on show in the museum. It was wonderful to see all the beautiful stitching.



A busy day so we headed back and after a meal we headed to the beach to watch the spectacular sun setting over the water.



Wednesday we headed out to Englands smallest city Wells. Wells Cathedral built in 1180 and the first english built and designed example in the gothic style. A magnificent cathedral, with the 'unique scissor arches' a medieval solution to sinking tower foundations in 1338-1348.




There were lots of hand stitched seat and back cushions on the seats that are used by the worshippers. Also quite a lot of wall hangings too.



There was the most magnificent piece of handmade lace. It depicts four saints and is behind a glass panel to preserve it.



Heading out of Wells you go through the Mendip Hills, beautiful views as you are so high up. We ate our picnic lunch at a lovely spot, you can even see Glastonbury Tor in the distance, it really does stand out in the landscape being so tall.



We arrived next at Cheddar Gorge. Britain's biggest gorge with dramatic cliffs rising 450ft. WOW! that is spectacular as you drive through the overhanging rocks, a bit scarey too.





Livestock roam free too, mountain goats with their babies



The little village of Cheddar is so quaint with it's tourist shops. We visited the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, the only place left in Cheddar making true Cheddar cheese. Cheddar was first made in farmhouses around the 12th century. Of course we bought some, you can even buy it online and have it posted to you, lots of different varieties, some nice and some just plain yeuck!



Another busy day and another evening walk along the beach to catch the magnificent sunset.



Thursday we headed to Western-Super-Mare a true seaside town with plenty to keep families occupied. Lovely sand for bucket and spade activity and there were lots of tourists too with the weather being so fabulous for late March. The donkeys were giving rides along the beach and we had a lovely quieter day wandering around and along the pier.





Friday and it was time to leave our temporary residence and head home and as usual we made a couple of stops on our journey home.

Clevedon Pier was opened Easter Monday 29th March 1869 and provided a paddle steamer service to South Wales. We visited it March 30th 2012, so thats almost 143 years to the day!





It has been restored between 1970 and 1989 with the pagoda tearoom being restored in 1999. It is the ony Grade 1 listed pier in the country.



A short stop in Portishead for a drink and to use the facilities and we made our way home.



We had a wonderful time, and even though we were busy and saw lots of lovely places we were relaxed and came home feeling refreshed. I did take hubbys crochet blanket with me to do a little if i had time and i think 2 rows were added, but i did read a whole book during the week in the quiet moments.

Thanks for stopping by to read my journal entry of our trip.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter with those you love. I'm hoping to visit my brother over the weekend and see how he is progressing.

Take care, much love

xxx

24 comments:

Linda said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time, love all the details you have given about your trip - very interesting. You were very lucky with the weather too which always helps.

Maggie said...

Sounds like you had a lovely time Julie, and you certainly chose a good week for the weather!

We've been to Burnham several times, especially when the kids were small, it's a lovely part of the world :-)

Have a great Easter xx

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

What an interesting post, Julie! I loved learning a little of the history behind your visits. That cathedral is breathtaking! TFS!!

Clare - Aimetu said...

Perfect holiday - so glad you had a good time. The Uk has some superb places, very secal, peaceful and at times magical :)

Daffycat said...

What a wonderful holiday. England is so beautiful, so charming. I hope to return some day. My dream is to win the lottery and spend a few years traveling the UK =)

stitcheranon said...

I had to check: I thought Ely was the smallest, but no: you are are right rofl.. amazing photos. Wish I could have been there...add it to the bucket list haha.
Happy Easter

Ranae said...

Thanks for sharing a little part of your world with us. It's always makes an interesting post.
It looks like the weather was sunny for you, always a plus on a trip.
Happy Easter to you and your family

Catherine said...

What a fantastic time away! Thanks so much for sharing. I love seeing other places and bits of history ~ especially of ones I might never see in person.

KC'sCourt! said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time.
Happy Easter
Julie xxxxxx

Barb said...

Looks and sounds as if you have have had a wonderful few days. Lots of memories for me too as I have often been to Cheddar and Wells. Thanks for giving us a visit too Julie. Love the look of the lace in the Cathedral.

Christine said...

Sounds like a lovely break Julie

Marlene said...

Julie, you have just posted my childhood memories, I grew up in a village near to Bridgwater, and every where you show is places we would visit. We lived in W-S-M for years,Glastonbury is a great place and we took the kids to the top of the Tor every summer. The most special place for me is Clevedon Pier, for years unusable, always fundraising, but pure please to walk along it a couple of years ago. Thank you, sunshine on a rainy Easter Sunday morning.

Carol said...

What wonderful sights you've shared with us today, Julie! They make me more determined than ever to visit England some day :)

Wishing you a lovely Easter day--I do hope you find your brother recovering nicely and in good spirits!

Lesleyanne said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic time. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos. Did you manage to see the Ground Force garden in Weston Super Mare - it is lovely.

jane said...

Sounds like a lovely trip - I haven't visited that part of England for many years but think it might be on my list now. Thanks for sharing your photos and memories with us.

Rachael G said...

Thank you for sharing your trip photos, I love pics like these,It's probably why I am a member of National Trust and English Heritage!

Melanie said...

What a wonderful trip!! I can't tell you how much I loved going through the pictures and the details. I just love stuff like this, so thank you. :) I do so want to make a trip across the pond day, even if it's just to 'cathedral hop'. It's unbelievable to me the structures they built so so SO long ago! You just can't get anything like that here in the US, you know?

DUSTY said...

Sounds like a wonderful Holiday trip Julie. great pics -- especially the beach

mollycaff said...

What a fabulous trip! Brought back some lovely memories of school trips and family outings to Chedder Gorge and Weston Super Mare, in fact we went from Swansea to Weston on a paddle steamer called The Waverley (if my memory serves me right), very happy days

Sally said...

Beautiful photos Julie. So glad you had a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing :)

Dani - tkdchick said...

What a fantastic holiday you had!!! There are so many neat places in our own backyards

milly said...

Lovely photographs. The scenery is beautiful.
Hope you enjoyed your Easter.

Karan said...

Fabulous pics Julie - loved to see them & read about your trip again. :0)

Brigitte said...

These pictures are pure eye candy. Thanks for sharing this beautiful trip with us.