We spent 2 weeks in The Lakes October to November 2018.
During first week, we shared it with Vicki, Stephen, Florence and Harry, and then Jamie and Kat came over for a couple of nights, on their way to Scotland.
During the second week, Rob, Summer and Reuben stayed in The Cottage, while AJ and George stayed in The Old Stable.
Le Manoir is a luxury hotel-restaurant in the village of Great Milton. It is one of the finest restaurants in the world and run by top chef Raymond Blanc. Dead posh and dead expensive.
Joe and Charlotte bought us lunch for two for Annie’s birthday. When the great day arrived, there was a lot of snow in Oxfordshire (December) and we couldn’t get there. The restaurant graciously allowed us to move the date to our wedding anniversary in February.
Well… it was a definitely a highlight in our married life. The setting, the service, the food, the wine was all exquisite. And I don’t use that word lightly. We were immersed in luxury and loved every minute.
During their trip to England in 2017, Joe and Charlotte hired a cottage in the Peak District. So after Christmas, Annie and I, and AJ and George went to visit and stayed overnight.
We met up with Tony, Pat and Kath for lunch. It was especially nice to see young Ted. And did I mention the pub served outstanding draught Plum Porter? It did.
A lad and Dad day out. With lunch of course. This was a really interesting place to visit.
The station was built in 1807 to supply water to the highest point of the Kennet & Avon Canal which links London and Bristol. It is a rare survivor of the technology which enabled British engineers to drain mines and supply towns and cities with water throughout the world
After a 12 hour non-stop flight, we arrived in Hong Kong and were met by Joe, Charlotte and Teddy. After a short ferry crossing we landed at Lamma Island where they live. We stayed in a small hotel overlooking the harbour, and had great fun watching the birds, fishermen, people and boats. We found the Hong Kong climate a bit of a challenge (very warm and humid), and the mosquitos even more so. For the next 2 weeks we enjoyed a fascinating holiday exploring Lamma and the Hong Kong mainland.
We were amused by the extremely high percentage of people who both wore face masks (as if that would help) and had their heads stuck into their phones. Even more odd was the number of folk who videoed themselves as they walked. Of special interest was our trip to Macau (the gambling capital of the world) where we witnessed extremes of wealth and poverty.
The funniest episode was when we blagged our way to the very top of the university building roof (very high up) only to find that the door we came through was self-locking, and we were stuck. After much searching we found a second stairway on the outside of the building (yikes!) and after wandering around and trying several more locked doors, we found some workmen, and sneaked back in.
All in all, a fascinating journey and a brilliant holiday.
Rob came up with a brilliant idea that the whole family should visit Hampton Court, and I said to him – yes, why not. So we sorted ourselves out and had one of the best day trips ever.
My dear Mum left a small amount of money and I chose to spend it on a mega holiday for my family. I hired a very big country house and garden in Torquay. I think fishing was the main pastime.
Here are photos of the great weekends us lads have had. Happy days.
We hired a large house in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire and a had a wonderful weeks holiday together. Amongst other things, we played music in the garden, went to the beach at Burry Port and then did some pretty serious surfing at Caswell Bay. Jamie mastered those six inch breakers in no time.
Annie’s family on her Dad’s side, came from the Forest of Dean. We stayed in a massive house just a short stroll from the most amazing public house “The Ostrich” and explored the area, looking out places where her relatives lived.
One of my better ideas was to arrange for Jamie, Gordon and Rob to go on holiday to my friend’s cottage in Port Isaac. Looks like they had a great time, along with their friend Steve. Thank you so much Gillie Tracey!
Gordon wanted to find out a bit more about photography, so we took a Dad and Lad trip across the downs and shot some landscapes and visited Brightwalton church.
This was one of our mega-holidays, when all 8 of us went away. We stopped in Whitley Bay, there and back, and had the most excellent holiday in bonny Scotland. Jamie, Vicki, Gordon, Rob and AJ spent much of their time fishing in the sea loch. Joe read his books. We took a boat out to the island of Iona (near Mull) and another boat trip to Fingles Cave. Jamie, Joe and Rob went on a hike together. On our way back to Whitley Bay we stopped in Glencoe for our picnic.
We were invited to Estonia by our dear friends Alec and Pauline Watts, who had moved there to live. What an amazing country. It seems to have jumped straight from primitive communist Russia style straight to very high tech, missing out the in-between development.
La Placial, France (June 2001)
Our second holiday in La Placial was even better than the first. Absolutely wonderful. From there we travelled to a cottage belonging to Christian and Helen Noll. Our friends were so very kind to us as we managed our new large family.
Our good friends Dick and Kirsty Squires let us use their lovely country house and barn in France for a week’s holiday. We had use of the large house, sleeping 6 plus the barn, sleeping 4, so plenty of room for us all. We also had our own swimming pool! Tres bon. The long trip to the Dordogne was quite a challenge, but it was so worth it.
The five of us stayed in a holiday chalet (Trewince Holiday Lodges) on the Roseland Peninsula. We met up with the Grays and the Horswells for a picnic. We went to Portscatho Beach and Portcurnick Beach to explore. We also visited St Mawes Castle and then drove to Falmouth to visit Pendennis Castle.
A group of us from Wantage Community Church went on a camping trip to The Forest of Dean. It was a weekend of adventure; making fires, bows and arrows and a trip to Puzzle Wood.
We went on holiday to Blue anchor Bay and stayed in a static caravan. A steam train ran right by where we were and I got a lovely photo of Jamie, Vicki, Gordon and Rob waving to the driver. We had a day trip to Butlins, one to Dunster Castle and another to Cleve Abbey. I remember how happy I was to have my children around me during what would have been Lesley’s 36th birthday.
Photo taken after Lesley’s funeral. Gran, Grandad, Stuart, Diane and Charlie
Dear Lesley died 16th August 1995 so Gran and Grandad came down from Whitley Bay to help run the Wantage household. Difficult times for everyone.
We spent an amazing week in our holiday chalet by a loch in Scotland. The children spent their time exploring the woods and playing with a Jack Russell terrier called Tim. We visited Lesley’s sister and her family in Sterling. We were made very welcome.
Apple Tree Cottage (1991)
Lesley and I rented out a lovely cottage on a farm near Westward Ho! in Devon. Gordon was just 14 months old and Robert was still inside his Mum’s tum. We went to the seaside, Watermouth C,
This was our holiday of a lifetime.
I had a business trip to Zambia, and my work grade meant that I travelled business class. I had a word with the travel agent and was able to reduce my travel from business class to cattle class, pay a bit extra (only a few hundred pounds) and end up with a work trip, plus a 2 week holiday for two to Kenya. Get in!
So after my work in Zambia, I flew up to Nairobi in Kenya to meet Lesley who had travelled from Heathrow that day. We got on to the overnight train and travelled cross country to Mombassa on the East coast of Africa. That was a train ride to remember. We woke up early morning on the train, opened our cabin window and were greeted by the hot African sun and giraffes in the plains in the distance. Wow!!
And we spent the most wonderful time relaxing in The Shelly Beach Hotel (as recommended to me by my dear friend Richard Lemmey). Our apartment was right on the beach and we went on quite a few day trips, such as on an Arab Dhow, a snake farm and a glass bottomed boat. Take a look at our photos.
Here are the few photos of my Dad, Frank Hill, before he met and married my Mum, Irene Brown. Photos of his family are there too, such as his mother (Nana Hill) and brothers John and Bill, and their sister Lily.
And photo of my Mum, Irene Hill (nee Brown) before she met and married my Dad, Frank Hill. Photos of her family are there too, such as her mother (Nana Brown) and her brothers Basil and Denis Brown.