My Muddy Valentine

What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Candle-lit dinner? Chocolates? Roses? Hurriedly arranging to leave the city so you wouldn’t be lying when you told someone you’d been on a few dates with that you already had plans?  Ahem.  The “Night Riviera” train leaves London Paddington at 11:45pm several times a week and travels the…

Walking in the “Peak” (Hill) District

Yes, I am throwing a little shade with that post title, mostly because the “peaks” of the Peak District throw almost none. But despite its decidedly tame topography, this national park’s gentle hills and misty moors are completely enchanting. I had the good luck to make it up there twice this spring– once on my…

Bathtime

Bath, England is as cozy as its name– IF you go in the off-season. Suggestion: early May, in my opinion the loveliest time of year for England. The sun comes out in earnest and everything– every bush, every patch of grass, every tree, every crack in the pavement–blooms. Even in May, Bath crawls with tourists,…

Quick Jaunt: Bristol

Bristol: historically important port, modern-day university town. With the largest circulating community currency in the UK and loads of local events and institutions, Bristol is doing its own thing, comfortable in its own, quite hip but unselfconscious, shoes. I took a quick trip to Bristol by train from London last year– maybe my meandering will inspire…

Quick Jaunt: York

This photo pretty much epitomizes York, England– and, to be fair, most small towns and cities in the UK: They’re sleepy, homogeneous (skewing whiter and older), and nowhere is the prevalence of motorized scooters and mini malls higher. But the quaint scenery and relative calm makes for a nice escape from the big city (and,…