Pretty much our last travel day today. Sunshine all day, 18 C and what a way to finish. A shame a few of the other days weren't like this.
Left Waddesdon after a relaxing night and leisurely morning at The Lion Hotel. Another old hotel and a former coach station. Lovely places these old hotels and most are great to stay in even though they are not five star accommodation, sometimes not four star either. They usually mean smaller rooms and it always seems our room is at the top of steep narrow staircase on which I have to carry the luggage up and down.
We drove through Aylesbury on our way to our first stop. Looking a more modern city, it shows that we are getting closer to London and the surrounding cities obviously pick up businesses wanting to be close to but out of London.
Our first stop was at Hughenden House in the Hughenden Valley a few kilometres north of High Wycombe. The house was the residence of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, PM from 1874 - 1880 and also a renowned author. The house is now owned by the National Trust and contains historical artifacts of Disraeli's life. These are on display in the various rooms of the house. Of course, it also has a well established garden including the restored Walled Garden that provided food for the household. The house also played an important role in World War II as it was a secret intelligence base code-named "Hillside", where the aerial photos were analysed and maps made for the bomber missions over Germany. A display associated with this time is established in the building basement.
After Hughenden House, we passed through HIgh Wycombe and into West Wycombe. This was our last historical stop and was a bit of a fizzer. There is a church and a mausoleum apparently built on the site of an Iron Age Fort. No sign of the fort but we did get to talk to a nice old 82 year old local looking after the grave site of his parents. Made it worthwhile. While the church has some history associated with a local, Sir Francis Dashwood, his biggest gift to the site was the building of a mausoleum to house the memorials of his family and friends. It is still owned by the Dashwood family. The mausoleum is a massive hexagonal structure standing prominently on top of a hill. Just to make sure it can be seen, it is also floodlit.
From there, it was into Eton for a look around the area which includes Eton College and across the River Thames where Windsor Castle is less than 10 minutes walk away. The flag is flying atop the tower so the Queen is currently in residence. We'll visit her tomorrow.
Our accommodation is the Crown and Cushion Hotel, built in 1753 and run by terrific staff. Best part is they serve real pub food. So many we have stayed in serve mainly a-la-carte meals at night and you really don't get any atmosphere. Tonight we had what I reckon was the best Steak and Kidney Pie, mashed potato and peas I have ever had. The girl behind the bar recommended it, said her Grandad comes in two or three times a week just for it. Even the weekly darts game is going on at the moment.
Tomorrow afternoon we finish this leg of the trip with the return to Ealing to stay with family for a few days before flying home.