Visiting the UK

In general this website is about polymer clay, but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of personal interest. This is going to be one of those articles. 🙂 I just returned from a month-long trip to the UK. My husband, Gary, is English, and has only lived in the US for 7 years so we regularly take trips back home. The focus for this trip was to see Gary’s sister get married. We also have a grandchild in the UK, so we do try to soak up as much of him as we can. This trip also included some time visiting polymer clay guilds and groups and also some sightseeing and hiking in between family obligations.

When my readers found that I was visiting the UK, I had a lot of requests to keep people updated with lots of pictures. I did try to post to Instagram regularly, but since I didn’t have a data or cell phone connection while there, my posting time was limited. Luckily, Gary is quite an excellent photographer, so I have a lot of nice photos to share with you here.

Sightseeing

A ferris wheel as seen from the window of our hotel at Weston-Super-Mare.
A ferris wheel as seen from the window of our hotel at Weston-Super-Mare.
The Roman Baths.
The Roman Baths, in Bath.
The ceiling at Bath Abbey.
There’s a lovely church in Bath called the Bath Abbey. The ceiling completely had me transfixed.

Wales

The view from Penny's house across the Welsh fields. This is the home of Clayaround, an online polymer clay shop.
This is the view from Penny’s house, out her front door. When you order supplies from ClayAround, this is the place they come from. Gorgeous setting!
Liverpool's Water Supply - Lake Vyrnwy, Wales
In the mountains of Wales, there’s a reservoir called Lake Vyrnwy. Built in the 1880’s, it’s the water supply for the city of Liverpool. This castle turret is actually the intake for the pipeline going to Liverpool.
Montgomery, a town in Powys, Wales.
This beautiful little town is Montgomery, in Wales. It’s just a few miles from Penny’s house. We went there to mail a package for her and sort of got distracted by a castle on the hill. It was a perfect day.
Montgomery Castle, in Powys, Wales.
These ruins are from Montgomery Castle, which dates from 1223. It was created to protect the border between England and Wales.

The Steampunk Wedding

The wedding party in my sister-in-law's steampunk wedding.
Here’s the wedding party, all dressed in their steampunk finery.
Gary's steampunk wedding outfit.
My husband Gary, dressed in his steampunk outfit. Note the steampunk gun. He made it from a glue gun.
Mike and Diffi's wedding.
The Happy Couple!
Ginger Davis Allman at a family wedding with a steampunk theme.
The reception was held on a ship. Here we are on the harbor ferry, en route to the reception.

Our Grandson!!

Our grandson Felix.
Isn’t he just the most adorable?
Those are squeezable cheeks.
Those are squeezable cheeks.
Felix is an avid fan of The Gruffalo.
Felix is an avid fan of The Gruffalo.
All aboard the train with Grandpa at Stanstead House.
All aboard the train with Grandpa at Stanstead House. (Note how Grandpa is still sporting the steampunk beard from attending the wedding. It didn’t last…thankfully!)

More Sightseeing

SR-71 Blackbird at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford
When I was a little girl, I read about the SR-71 Blackbird and decided that I wanted to fly it someday. That didn’t happen, but let me tell you, seeing this plane in person was an utter thrill. This is at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.
Paradise Mills in Macclesfield
The silk to be used in the jacquard looms is first spun onto bobbins with this machine.
Paradise Mills in Macclesfield.
I strongly, strongly recommend a trip to Macclesfield to visit the Silk Museum and Paradise Mill. What an information-packed experience! The mill was closed down as-is and most of it is still in that same state. Utterly fascinating.
Ingleton Village
Gary took this picture specifically for my mother, so she could see the how cute the little houses in Yorkshire are. Ingleton is a particularly nice village.

Hiking

Mill Stone Quarry in the Peak District.
Much of the rock in the Peak District is a type known as Millstone Grit. Of course, they do make millstones out of it. This little quarry was filled with many half-carved millstones.
Ginger sitting on Higger Tor in the Peak District.
We stopped to eat our lunch atop Higger Tor in the Peak District.
Levisham Moor and the Hole of Horcum
We did a five mile hike around the Hole of Horcum and Levisham Moor in the North Yorkshire Moors. It was quite warm and a lovely day.
Ingleton Waterfall Trail
Here’s another highly recommended thing to see. The Ingleton Waterfalls Trail is about 5 miles and takes you through two river valleys. Around every turn is yet another waterfall. Lush, cool, dark, and utterly peaceful. What a fun hike!
This is the area above Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales.
People always seem to be surprised to find that green and bucolic England has these areas of bare rocks. This is why they have stone fences in Yorkshire! This is the area directly above Malham Cove.

Back Home

We came home to hot and humid US weather, a broken hot water heater, a broken coffeemaker, and four very happy and grateful cats. The “dull roar” of life continues, it seems. But no worries, polymer clay is never far from my mind. Next up is an artist interview with the canemaker Ivy Niles. I was thrilled to learn more about her, and I know that you will be too. Stay tuned!

8 thoughts on “Visiting the UK”

  1. I’m finally getting around to looking at your gorgeous photos (my email has been backlogged for months and I just now got to the newsletter that you sent out about these)… Thanks so much for sharing! A trip to the UK is on my bucket list, so it was nice to see its loveliness through your lens! I’m glad you had such a wonderful trip!

  2. Terri Shaddox

    Thanks so much for sharing the pictures of your trip. Have been to England but didn’t;t get to Yorkshire.

    1. The UK has so much variation in geography and even things like architecture and speech patterns. It’s really very different even a hundred miles away. I hope you get a chance to go back and see Yorkshire. It’s really very beautiful.

  3. Having lived in England for much of my twenties (decades ago!), the photos made me homesick. And the talk of the Guilds made me wonder if we have anything similar here in the States. If I had the wherewithal, I’d open a dedicated clay shop and run it similarly to knitting shops where there are not only classes, but people come to just sit and work and share.

    1. We do have many, many guilds here in the US. They’re not organized into a cohesive group, however. Of course the US is so vast that even having 3-4 guilds in a state can easily mean it’s too far to drive. We have that issue here in the Ozarks. Many want to join, but it’s a long drive. I like your idea about a clay shop. Can you imagine how fun that would be!

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