Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Senior Sojourn: Great Spring Travel Destinations in Great Britain
Senior Sojourn: Great Spring Travel Destinations in Great Britain PDF Print E-mail

O, to be in England now that April's there. Poet Robert Browning wrote it a century or more ago, and it’s still valid for the springtime senior traveler. Since our retirement, we have made frequent pilgrimages to the British Isles, where we visited many areas of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. On several occasions, we've roamed London for several days, then embarked from Dover to visit France and other parts of Europe. But we’ve always considered journeys through the British Isles our favorites, and return again and again.

Welsh town railroad station

We've joined springtime tour groups, as well as on one enjoyable occasion when we spent three weeks on our own doing bed and breakfast and sightseeing throughout the British Isles. We’ve traipsed through London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Dublin, Bath, Limerick, Killarney, Oxford, Stonehenge and Welsh villages with names longer than their main streets.

Even though we were already in our 70s, we backpacked the land with no special schedule. When we were tired, we rested in a local pub or town square, then jumped on a bus or hailed a taxi. We rarely made reservations, and were never turned away by a bed and breakfast or local inn. Sometimes our room was hardly larger than a telephone booth, and at other times, it was a suite fit for royalty in a restored castle. Except for downtown big city hotels, all of our nightly lodgings were inexpensive.

One of our favorite memories is riding local buses or pedalling rented bikes through the Irish countryside in late April, and seeing the brilliant green trees and pastures literally emerge before our eyes. When we walked along the same country roads, we paused to watch the adorable newborn lambs cavorting around the herds.

We noticed that some lambs had big red dye spots on their flanks, and I asked a local man what that meant. He said in his charming Irish brogue, "Sirrah, ye really dunna wanna know." We found out later at the restaurants and bed and breakfast inns that the most frequent main course at that time of year was fresh spring lamb.

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