On our recent trip to England (July 2019) to visit family we decided to spend our time out in the country instead of London. In Northhamptonshire we visited Sulgrave Manor-the ancestral home of George Washington. His grandfather five times removed lived there. It was very touching to see the American flag on one side and the British flag on the other. Over the doorway is a simple coat of arms with a star and some bars which historians speculate was the source for the American flag. We also visited Ironbridge Gorge-the home of the Industrial Revolution. This is a charming town with more museums than you can see in a week but again for the history buff a real treat. We stopped there on our way to Hadrian's Wall. I wasn't sure if this was going to be worth the drive but it was spectacular. The archeological sites and museums are top notch. The town of Ripon in Yorkshire is also well worth a visit. Members of the parish have created needlepoint cushions of the entire history of the town which goes back to medieval times and these are on display at the cathedral. The only site that was a bit disappointing was Fountains Abbey. The ruined abbey was spectacular but the gardens themselves are only greenery-no flowers and compared to other English gardens a bit lackluster.
I totally agree especially with the visit to Hadrian’s wall. Wow we are still talking about our stay there. The museum and the continuing dig there has revealed so much about the Roman settlement and their way of life. So for interested travelers it is much more than just a wall. Visit the pubs also that follow the road adjacent to the wall. So friendly with great food and happy travelers. We even stayed at a pubs B&B, so fun and yes different.
I loved Hadrian's Wall. We visited it in May and it was truly a highlight.
Hi Jo Anne -
I think you may be have been labouring under a misapprehension regarding the gardens at Fountains Abbey/Studley Roger. The gardens are an excellent example of a Georgian water garden. Thus they concentrate on formal ponds, landscaping and ‘picturesque views’ (hence the statues and temples etc.). The plants tend to concentrate on greenery and are largely not intended to be the riot of colour found in flower gardens elsewhere.
The abbey ruins themselves are spectacular as you rightly note and the Victorian church at the top of the deer park worth a visit if is open.
Also nearby is the fabulous 14th century moated house of Markenfield Hall, reached by farm track from the A61 Harrogate to Ripon road, but check the opening times first if planning to visit, as openings are infrequent (summer weekends mainly it would seem) as it is privately owned.
We loved Fountains Abbey gardens.