Tuesday, February 8, 2011

London ~ castles, courtyards and English country gardens

Welcome to Windsor Castle...the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

Windsor is one of Her Majesty The Queen's official residences...

...and her personal flag flies from the standard of the Round Tower when she is home.

No...we did not see the Queen while we visited...

...security was rather tight!

And in the shadow of Windsor Castle...is the town of Eton.  It is home to the famous Eton College...which has produced 22 of England's prime ministers. 

We strolled about the historic town...

...and had our tour guide take a group photo on the pedestrian bridge.

From there it was off to Hampton Court Palace...

...originally built for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, but gifted to King Henry VIII in 1529.  It was inhabited by the royal family until the 18th Century.  We toured...we listened to commentary...we were amazed...and much of it is already forgotten!  But when we were done the palace...we walked about in the expansive gardens...and those are unforgettable, even in the winter.
The sun was shining...and we strolled.

Reindeer?  They seemed to be running wild and free...and quite unperturbed by our presence.

No matter where we roam...the Canada goose has gone before! 

And for my 'swan song'...

...a photo of two mute swans which are a protected species and plentiful in the waterways around London.

Before I end today's post...let me introduce you to David of London Country Tours...our amazing tour guide.  If you are planning a trip to London...and need someone to show you around...let him be your man.  When our day of touring castles and gardens came to an end, he took us to a lovely little spot along the Thames where we enjoyed some great British fare as the sun set.  He went over and beyond the call of duty. 

Tomorrow I'll leave you with a few final memories from the UK...before we travel on to Kenya.

 Have a terrific Tuesday...


  1. It looks cold...a damp cold. Do you think I've been reading too many English novels? Enjoyed seeing this part of your tour and those swans are very lovely. It must have been wonderful to have such a helpful tour guide.

  2. Oh this makes me long for a return trip. Wonderful photos Judy!

  3. All those places that figure so large in history - I'd love to visit them. I had to laugh at the Canada Geese - they're everywhere!

  4. I have really enjoyed your photo's. Windsor is lovely and not too far from where we live so we visit now and again. looking forward to seeing more photo's soon!

  5. I'm enjoying the tour Judy. I can hardly wait to get to Africa:)

  6. I love your banner...it's a beautiful gift that your children gave you...You never know when I may be looking up all those links for tour guides for a future destination.

  7. Thank you for sharing your trip with us! I am SO enjoying it!

  8. Hi mom I've been enjoying the blog posts from your trip! We're having a good time in Hawaii, ranen and maelyn are playing great together.

    See you soon, kris

  9. I love the sun lit photo of Windsor Castle and seeing the Hampton Court Palace. I have to admit my knowledge of English royalty is rather limited, but the reputation of King Henry V111 stands out in history for many reasons.

    Your tour guide's name sounds like a wonderful resource to keep, Judy, in case I am ever lucky enough to visit London! Thanks so much!

  10. Thank you for the recommendation. I hope we will need a tour guide some day.

  11. I'm enjoying this journey you're taking us on Judy. I've been to London but only on the train in the countryside so I do appreciate your photos. Thanks!

  12. London is on my list of places to see. Thank you for the lovely tour. I'll certainly remember to check with you before we travel to England.

  13. Oh Judy I am so jealous. Your photos are great and thanks so much for sharing. I love the English novels and BBC presentations.

  14. Wonderful pictures! So glad you had someone great to show you around.I'm sure that made the trip more meaningful and easier.He made the all the plans...all you had to do was show up.....with the money, of course!! :-)

  15. OH I'd love to see the castles. .I wouldn't even really need to see the queen.
    I did smile at the note about the flag flying . .we often take our farm flag down if we think storms will brew while we are away.
    Similarites never end.

  16. I would so have enjoyed your stroll for real...but your photos stirred up the same emotions! Breathtaking...


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson