This past week we went to the West of England. I really had no idea where we were going or where the west of England was and what there was to do there. I just got on the bus and hoped that it would be an exciting three days... and it was. The west of England is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.
Our first stop was Stourhead Estate.... my future home.... I wish. It was so beautiful and had a mansion that could house probably about 100 people comfortably. The mansion wasn't even the most impressive part of the estate. The gardens were. They surrounded a lake and were filled with dense trees and perfectly manicured lawns. I can't even express how beautiful it was. So here are a few pictures that will attempt to do so (although it is a rather poor attempt).
The next place we went was Thomas Hardy's cottage. I didn't really know who Tom Hardy was. He is an author... a pretty famous one. But aside from that his cottage was cute. It was nice to see a real country cottage. The inside was tiny!
So basically I didn't know that the water in Britain looked like Hawaii. We went to this cove and it was beautiful! I live by the beach, and I am still amazed. The water was crystal clear blue and perfectly picturesque. It was surrounded by cliffs topped with bright green grass. The whole place was beautiful. Again. My description can't do it justice.
The next place we went was St. Michael's Mount. It was magical. That's really the only way to describe it. St. Michael's is an island off the coast of Penzance and when the tide goes out you can walk to it on this little old path, but when the tide goes in you have to ride on a boat to get to it. On top of the island is this old castle and a family still lives in it! How awesome would that be? But it was the first castle I have seen on my trip and it was beautiful. It was amazing to think that there had been battles on the same ground that I was walking on (and I know there were from the really cheesy documentary we watched about it). Really though. Things like this are only supposed to exist in fairy tales.
After St. Michael's Mount we drove about 3 hours to Exeter and stayed the night at a youth hostel... real fun, it really wasn't that bad. The next morning we wen to Exeter Cathedral, which was absolutely gorgeous. The building had so much history and portions of it dated back to 1112 AD. Most of it was in the gothic style, which is just beautiful. I can't imagine the sacrifice that must have gone into the extreme detail and ornamentation of the building, not to mention the building itself. The pictures below really don't illustrate how impressive it was. It was hard to get good ones because the lighting was funny and there were people everywhere, but anyways these were the best I could do.
After Exeter we drove to this darling town called Lyme Regis. It was so cute! The beachfront was lined with little shops and cafes, and these cute bright colored sheds. I got the most delicious ice cream I have ever had in my life... and I have had a lot of ice cream. We were so lucky to have beautiful weather the entire week. We just sat out on the Cobb (a pier thing) and attempted to take in the beauty and maybe get a little sun. Unfortunately I am still just as white as I always am. At least I fit in among all the fair-skinned Londoners.
So basically this trip was amazing and this really is a brief and inadequate description of the trip and leaves out many details such as our excruciatingly long bus ride and our stay at the really classy YMCA (and I really can't help but put a picture up of the YMCA, so here you go).