Dec 2, 2010

Steps, Days 7-22 (Nov. 8-23) Part One

The Paddocks to Odell, Bedfordshire

It's a beautiful day and we're going to take a drive.  Today we're going to the village of Odell, in County Bedford.  It's about 23 miles or so away and, believe it or not, the drive will take around an hour.  We'll go through some very lovely little villages and see some cool historic sites on the way.  Grab your camera, sit back and enjoy the scenery.   If we can't finish the drive today, then we'll pick up where we leave off tomorrow.

This is where we start our journey, of course.  Cherlyn and Rob's house in Alconbury, Cambridgeshire.  They're only going to be living here another month and then they move on base.  I'll miss staying in the little village when we visit.

We're setting off around the time school begins.  Make sure you say hi as we pass folks by.

I just had a thought . . . let's stop by the pub and have breakfast!  I see some folks inside there which means it's probably ok for us to pop in.  They're not normally open for breakfast; you have to make special arrangements.  We'll have a typical British breakfast with broiled tomato slices, eggs, sausage, ham, coffee, and potatoes.  You'll love it!

After breakfast, we continue down the street.  This is the Wesleyan Chapel, an old church that's now used as a house.  There's an old grave headstone that's leaning up against the front of the house.  I think (if memory serves me right) it's from the 1700's . . . maybe 1600's.

I thought I'd stop and post a letter but found out that the post office is closed.  Oh well.  The sign is cute!

On to the village green!  This green and the bridge is mentioned in books and records dating back to the 1200's!!

Turning right to go over the bridge.  It amazes me to think that I'm crossing over a bridge that people crossed over 800 years ago.

We'll stop and take a quick look back.  What a beautiful day.

Out of Alconbury and onto one of what we would call "farm roads."  Google refers to it as an unknown road.   They have many of the same wildflowers that we do.

The road's making a sharp right up ahead.  Thought the colors here were beautiful; the blue of the sky, the red and green in the bushes, the yellows.

I just love the farmland here.  It would be the perfect place for a bike ride!

Looking back from whence we came.

Ah, we're coming up to the little village of Woolley.

There's not much here.  Not even many references to it in Google.

I did see this beautiful house, though.  It has a huge willow tree and a pond right in the front of the yard. It was gorgeous.

But we'll continue on our merry way.  The next village we'll be hitting is down this road, onto the motorway and then just an exit or two down the motorway.

This reminds me of a scene out of Twister.  Remember the one?  It's when the tornado just about lands on top of them and they find out they still love each other.  That's the movie that made my daughter go into meteorology.  :o)

What I did find on this road, and in my google searching about Woolley, is this wonderful bed and breakfast.  It's called the New Manor Farm and double rooms ensuite are 60 pounds a night.  That's really a very good price!  It sounds like something I might like to try . . . if we ever went over there with plenty of cash that is.  

Away from the farm and back on the road.

And here's our exit.  I believe we'll be getting onto the A14.

Spaldwick is where we'll be exiting the motorway.  Don't you love the names of their towns and villages?

What'd I tell you?  Just a hop, skip and a jump down the road and we're heading off to Spaldwick.

Almost there . . .

And here we are . . . Spaldwick.  

They have some interesting history.  The village itself is mentioned as early as the 1200's and some of the houses are from the 1600's.  This is The George, which is where I think we should stop for a snack . . . or lunch . . . or maybe a pint of something.  Or dessert!

In the village green below, there's a fragment of a medieval cross.  I'm not sure exactly where it is.  You can see the spire of the church down past the green.  The home directly behind the green, kind of off-white/yellowy-beige-tan is listed on the UK historical buildings registry.  Several other houses are as well.

Looking back from whence we came.

This house on the right (I believe) is the one I mentioned above.

There's the beautiful church, which I'm guessing is even more beautiful inside, across the meadow.

Out of Spaldwick and onto Stow Linga.  Make sure you read these street signs closely.  Sometimes I include them because they're humorous.  :o)

There's not much there . . .

but there are some very cool thatched cottages.

Village green

and looking back from whence we came.  Our next stop is going to be Kimbolton, which is only a couple of miles down the road.  

Out of Stow Longo and on to Kimbolton.

Looking back
Kimbolton ahead, which is good because I'm getting hungry.  We're also short on petrol so I hope there's a gas station here.

Almost there . . .

Ahhh.  The village of Kimbolton!  Did you know that this is where Catherine of Aragon lived out her life when Henry the VIII divorced her?  She died in the castle here.  Did you know that she was the daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain?  I didn't.

Kimbolton and a petrol station!

All fueled up and now ready to go find someplace for lunch.

Look at the fantastic tudor houses and there's the church in the background.

High Street, Kimbolton

Looking back

Lunch, lunch lunch.  The Inn?  

The grocer?

The bakery?

Coffee house?

The bakery/grocery it was!  We bought jams, candies, and I can't remember what else.  It was delicious and we had a very nice time visiting with the storeowner.
Kimbolton School, the former Kimbolton Castle.

Past the school and onto one of the 90 degree turns this road makes in Kimbolton.

I just love these houses.

We've gone through the town center and we're back on the other side of the school.  You can see the castle in the distance.  Wonder if they every imagined tennis courts on the grounds.

The gates.

The school just keeps going and going and going

and going and going

and going

and then it finally ends and I find myself at this lovely little house.  

I believe the next village is Pertenhall and we probably still have another ten miles or so to Odell.  We're not going to make it today, but we can finish it up tomorrow.

Pertenhall has some very cute houses.

You know, I think I would love to live in one of these thatched roof cottages.  I say that because I'm ignorant of what it would be like, but they sure are attractive to me.

How would you like to live in a house right out here in the middle of village and farmland?

I thought the shape of these buildings was interesting and it seemed like a good place to stop.  We've passed Pertenhall now we're coming into Swineshead.  I think we'll pass through Swineshead and then take a break.  Maybe a stop to photograph some of the area.  Maybe a short walk.
We'll finish the drive to Odell tomorrow. 
For today, we'll enjoy the beautiful scenery.

I hope you enjoyed this part of the drive.  I did . . . virtually AND in real life.  

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