How To Visit England Without Leaving Home

If England is your cup of tea...

don't let the economy keep you from popping across the Pond for a day, a weekend, or even only a few hours.

As for any journey, Armchair Travel does require a bit of advance preparation, but only a bit.

Most of the gear you'll need for the "trip" is available at bookshops such as Barnes & Noble or Borders, or at your local video store or public library. Or if all else fails, at Amazon.com, where it's my experience the only difference between "new" and "used" titles is the price.

If you've had the good fortune to visit England in the flesh...even once...then you're already aware there are really only two destinations in England: Greater London, or The Country (everything outside Greater London).

If "your" England is the Queen and the Royal Family (and the pomp and pageantry that surround them), or Big Ben and the Tower of London, then I recommend the following DVDs:

Windsor Castle: A Royal Year: three 1-hour segments about daily life at Windsor Castle, the Queen's favorite residence twenty five miles from London, but also includes footage of many of the official functions she and the royal family perform in or from Buckingham Palace in London (or more accurately, Westminster).

A City in Time: London: From the "City In Time" series, alas it's no longer available brand-new, so if you do run across it, snap it up!  A two-hour documentary that chronicles London's history from Roman times to the present. A quite nice substitute for an in-person visit to the Museum of London.

The Tower of London: A Questar, Inc. production which in addition to a tour of the Tower grounds, takes you inside the several buildings that comprise this fortress on the River Thames. As well as being extremely knowledgeble about the Tower and its history, the guide is quite entertaining!

The Tower. I've not viewed this personally (yet), but reviews say it's great.

Notting Hill: A glimpse of London that doesn't involve History or Royalty. The travel book shop Hugh Grant's character works in was a real bookshop in the Notting Hill section of London, but is now a furniture store called Gong, and the travel bookshop has moved around the corner. Pocket parks like the one he and Julia Roberts' characters sneaked into abound all over Greater London, but many aren't private, residents-only like the one in the movie. (Feel free to fast forward through the scenes involving Hugh Grant's disgusting roommate.)

A Musical Tour of London and Oxford: A one-hour tour of the two cities set to classical music. Be aware there are no subtitles and no narrator speaking softly in the background telling you what you're looking at, so you'll be clueless in parts that don't include major landmarks (and even some that do). For the most part, however, the music is appropriate to each location. (NOTE: I recommend watching it once all the way through, and thereafter only to set the mood while reading any of the following):

Good London Reads:

The London Ritz Book of Afternoon Tea, by Helen Simpson. A tiny book about the ritual of afternoon tea at the exclusive Ritz Hotel on Piccadilly, next to Green Park. Filled with recipes of the goodies one would enjoy there, with both English and American measurements.

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens: Peter and Wendy, by J.M. Barrie and Peter Hollingdale, ed. Best read sitting on a bench or under a tree in Kensington Gardens within sight of the Peter Pan statue, but any "enchanting" spot in a park of your choice, or even in your own backyard, will do. (Background music not necessary for this one.)

The Perfect London Walk, by Roger Ebert and Daniel Curley, with photographs by Jack Lane. A walk across Hampstead Heath to the top of Parliament Hill, highest point in London, then into and through Highgate Cemetery, nearby Waterlow Park, and ending in Highgate village. Begun in the Victorian era, Highgate is unlike any other cemetery on the planet, with acres of angel statues and elaborate mausoleums. It fell into disrepair and has only been recently restored by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery. The villages of Hampstead and Highgate are two of London's secrets, because as the locals like to point out...rather gleefully!...they're an inch or two above the top of any tourist map. The book's only "flaw" is the dozens of photos chronicling the walk aren't in color.

84 Charing Cross Road, by Helene Hanff, and the movie of the same name based on it. Both cover the period from 1949, as England is just beginning to recover from World War II, until near the end of the 1960s.  Although the script writer did a fabulous job of turning a book of letters into a first-rate movie, I recommend reading the book before watching the movie (if you can find a copy), as the film doesn't reference all of the letters between Helene in New York and the staff at Marks & Co. in London.

My Love Affair With England: A Traveler's Memoir, one of three "travel England" books by Susan Allen Toth (1992). Wasn't sure which category to put this in, because although the title doesn't include London, nearly half the book is devoted to Ms. Toth's visits there. Only the back half takes you into the country.

England For All Seasons. Another of the "travel England" books by Susan Allen Toth (1997), and like "Love Affair" divided between London and The Country. But this one includes chapters on England's magnificent gardens, "garden visiting" being peculiar to the English and right up there with their fondness for visiting old churches and churchyards.

A Getaway Guide To Agatha Christie's England, by Judith Hurdle. Ms. Christie lived at several places in London, and of course shopped there. Many believe Brown's Hotel in Mayfair was the setting for At Bertram's Hotel, while others claim it was Fleming's Hotel, also in Mayfair, which more closely resembles the hotel described in the book. A handy guide for a real trip to London or to Torquay, the English Riviera on the coast of Devon.

But perhaps you prefer to visit the "Real England"

...of thatched roofs and tiny villages nestled in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the Dreaming Spires of Oxford, and the clotted cream of Devonshire that have long inspired authors such as Shakespeare and Jane Austen.

If this is your first visit ever, watch:

1. Visions of England: The opening is rather corny, with "The White Cliffs of Dover" being sung in the background while a cruise ship steams toward those same white cliffs (which are chalk, not rock, btw). However, you do get a real sense of arriving from somewhere else. A map would've been helpful, if only at the beginning, with places the film visits marked for future reference. Since no such map is included, just know that for a bit it stays pretty much along the South Coast, then jumps all over. It does use subtitles to identify each location or landmark, but not by shire (county), and the narrator doesn't always include this information either. But all in all, a great film for leaving home for an hour or so.

2. Video Visits: Discovering England: Similar to "Visions" but different locations, and without the musical intro. No subtitles, either, but it does have bare-bones maps. Be aware that the narrator's accent is rather thick, so much so that even though I've watched this several times, I'm still not sure of the name of one port town in Cornwall. I think it's St. Ives, but won't bet the farm on it.

3. The Holiday: Okay, only half...Cameron Diaz and Jude Law's half...takes place in England. But the cottage she stays in, Kate Winslet's character's, is positively enchanting. You'd never know it's only a shell built for the movie in a field outside the village of Shere, Surrey, only a tiny bit more quaint than most English villages...reminds me of the side streets of Windsor near the castle. Cottage interior scenes were shot on a soundstage in Hollywood. If you're a fan of 1940's romantic comedy repartee, Kate Winslet's scenes with Eli Wallach are absolutely priceless. Jude Law and Jack Black aren't hard on the eyes (or ears) either. (Hint: if your ear isn't attuned to Brit accents and speech patterns, activate Subtitles|English so you won't miss one witty line.) DO watch the Special Features.

Or read:

1. The Heart of England: A Journey of Discovery, from defunct Victoria Magazine, claims to "contain the essence of rural England".  I wouldn't go quite that far, more a peek at how a rural Victorian home might've been decorated.  "Might've" being the key word if the decorators had been sent out by a glossy magazine.  For authenticity, better to watch Judi Dench movies set in the Victorian period.

2. Time For Tea: Tea and Conversation with Thirteen English Women, by Michelle Rivers. A different take on the British institution known as Afternoon Tea, from thirteen women who don't live in London. Much insight into Life in the Country, sprinkled with tea-time recipes in both Brit and American measures.

3. England As You Like It: An Independent Traveler's Companion, by Susan Allen Toth (1995). From her "travel England" series. Many pages devoted to packing and other utilitarian travel tips, and many on travel in Scotland. But sandwiched in between are chapters on Padstow in North Cornwall, Daphne Du Maurier country (also Cornwall), and Dorset.

4. The Book of Old Tarts, by Elizabeth Hodder. Sadly, out of print or otherwise unavailable. If you're lucky enough to come across a copy, snap it up! Even if you never make any of the recipes, it's a delightful read. I first saw it in the kitchen of Lower Clavelshay Farm B&B (http://www.quantockfarmholiday.co.uk) near North Petherton in Somerset , and HAD to have copies for myself and my daughters. In 2005 Sue Milverton, the wonderful chef who runs the B&B, opened Clavelshay Barn Restaurant on the property, featuring the farm's beef and produce. (www.clavelshaybarn.co.uk)

Perhaps you'd like to go back in time...

A list of English period movies could go on and on, so here are some of my favorites:

1. Shakespeare In Love with Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes. A somewhat accurate depiction of London in the early 1600's, with a nice peek inside the present-day Shakespeare's New Globe Theatre on the South Bank. Also scenes filmed inside the church of Bartholemew the Great.

2. Nicholas Nickleby (Anne Hathaway and Charlie Hunnam). Another look at the early London of open sewers and dirty air, but also English inheritance laws, and how poor young girls were often "sold" to wealthy older men to keep their families out of the poorhouse.

3. Sense and Sensibility, from the novel by Jane Austen. Either the 1995 version with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant, or the 2008 version with Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield as the Dashwood sisters. Either follows the storyline fairly faithfully, but the locations and cinematography in the 2008 version seem much richer.

4. Emma, another film adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, with Gwyneth Paltrow. An absolute delight, and the cinematography is outstanding!

BECOMING JANE and PRIDE & PREJUDICE

5. Becoming Jane, with Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy. About Jane at around age 19 before her books were published, and her brief, tragic relationship with Tom Lefroy, the reason all of her novels have happy endings. Anne Hathaway not only did her senior thesis on Jane, her resemblance to pen and ink images of JA is eery. Keep a stack of hankies handy.

6. Pride & Prejudice with Kiera Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Brenda Blethyn, and Donald Sutherland. With all due respect to Colin Firth fans, this is THE best version of the Jane Austen classic. Groombridge Place, near Tunbridge Wells on the border of Kent and East Sussex in southeast England, was used for the Bennett's home, Longbourn. Basildon Park, a magnificent 18th Century Palladian mansion overlooking the River Thames in Berkshire was used for the temporary home of Mr. Bingley. Burghley House, near Stamford in Lincolnshire was used for Rosings, home of Lady Catherine de Bourg, aunt of Mr. Darcy and patron of Mr. Collins. Chatsworth in Derbyshire, largest private country house in England and home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, was used as Pemberley, Darcy's family home. Wilton House near Salisbury, the family home of the Earl of Pembroke, provided a suitably grand setting for some of the interior scenes at Pemberley, namely the drawing room where Elizabeth Bennett meets Darcy's sister, Georgianna. (That same room was also used as Queen Victoria's drawing room at Osbourne House, Isle of Wight, in "Mrs. Brown".)

NOTE: I recommend watching "Becoming Jane" first, else you'll think its screenwriter plagiarized chunks of script from P&P, when in fact Jane Austen had only begun P&P in "Becoming", so you're seeing and hearing parts of it as she writes them.

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Comments 53 comments

robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Wow-- this is quite the reading list. Very meaty,well researched hub and an anglophile's delight. I've been watching the Jane Austin series on PBS and do love it and I am an inveterate armchair traveler soooooo I just might click on one of your Amazon ads:-)


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

JamaGenee, I like your very comprehensive selection of quality reading time...on Armchair travels. London is really a kind of a center of the world. Wherever my path is leading me, here is always going to be my HQ. It simply makes you to appreciate the famous and old fashioned tea time and walking beautiful parks, in otherwise wild rush of modern life style.


Chef Jeff profile image

Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

Excellent coverage of so much that is modern-day England. I love the old England as well, so I would also include plans to visit places that recreate the life of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic Britain. There are several recreated villages where volunteers have built settlements much as they would have appeared more than 1,000 years ago, before The Conquest made England forget her glorious past.

A visit to the website of Regia Anglorum provices a great place to start. www.regia.org/

Loved the hub, and I look forward to reading many more!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, solarshingles. Knowing you're a Brit (and a Londoner too?) makes your approval even more special! Far as I'm concerned, London IS the center of the world! :) :) If memory serves, there's even a sign in Trafalgar Square that says so, correct? FYI to anyone who hasn't been to London, it does parks (and statuary too) better than any other city on the planet! Like you, I believe it's the blending of the ancient and cutting-edge new that makes it so special.

Chef Jeff, thanks for the link to Regia Anglorum. This hub was for armchair travel by print and film, but I have another in the works that'll be for those prefer to "travel" online. For instance, the website for Dennis Severs House is ALMOST as enchanting as a real visit would be. Sounds like the R.A. site should be included!


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

I need to admit, that I am not a Brit, but a Londoner. London is something really special. One could come poor or one could come wealthy. In both cases London accepts you by open hands and wide smile. I'd experienced that and I am never going to forget this amazing feeling. I am also never going to forget the days around the terrorist attack on London underground and I am really willing to do almost anything what I could to protect this amazing city to continue to be as it is. More than 300 nationalities and languages. All people feel young by heart, here. Parks are wonderful and your words: blending of the ancient and the cutting-edge new...

...and a cup of delicious English breakfast tea...


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Apologies, solarshingles, for not responding sooner. REAL LIFE has a way of getting in the way sometimes. :)

I think I knew you're not a Brit, but being a Londoner is even better! Color me green with envy. The attacks on the Tube and bus made me angry too. How dare anyone attack such a wonderful city! I don't understand the mentality of those who can't appreciate the wonders around them, but instead want to destroy, destroy, destroy. On the other hand, one of things that makes London GREAT is that she ALWAYS manages to bounce back and GO ON.


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

I've had the extreme good fortune to visit England three times. Each visit with a loved one with very different interests, so each visit quite varied for me! Three London hotels, places outside London etc. PLUS, the movies, current day ones like The Holiday, Notting Hill, and don't forget Love Actually, About a Boy, What a Girl Wants and Bridget Jones. All the Austen novel/movies, and those like Howard's End, Remains of the Day, Gosford Park. Windsor, a Royal Year -- I loved! And my hubby even bought me a 12 dvd set of History of Britain! I use 19Th C. Brown transferware English dishes whenever I can (they can't go in dishwasher), I'm just so lucky to have the great country of England as my heritage...although most lines of my families have been here long before War of Independence!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK

My recommendation would be to see any of the famous Ealing comedies, but particularly The Lady Killers starring Alec Guiness for shots of London after the war and a vanished slice of and England gone by.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Nice to see you here, Chris, and thanks for mentioning the Ealing comedies, and The Lady Killers especially. I'll definitely have to check them out after your recommendation!


CJStone profile image

CJStone 8 years ago from Whitstable, UK

That's OK JamaGenee. I was thinking about the Ladykillers today after I posted this and decided that actually it's an allegory about England. The Coen brothers did a remake but missed the point. Back here we were all mightily offended that they took one of our spiritual insitutions and messed about with it. DON'T get that one. Get the one with Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers. It's a real gem.


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

wow JamaGenee, what a trip thru England you've provided. I'm adding the CD's and videos to my list. I look forward to learning more about England - I think it should be a requirement in school...our graduates know so little about the world here, unless the take courses as electives.

You really put the work into this HUB, I salute you!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 8 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

"Ah shucks, 'tweren't nothin", she says humbly. =)

But you're right, Marisue, learning more about the country from which ours came should be a requirement, not an elective. I read recently that most U.S.-born high school students can't identify the 48 continental states by their outlines on an unmarked map, let alone locate "major" countries such as England on a globe. One would think with most U.S. schools having internet access that our students would know MORE about the world than their counterparts in other countries, but this is not the case. Very SAD.


johnjmck@hotmail.com 7 years ago

a lot of hard work into the article


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

What I know about England came from movies (but not Harry Potter! LOL) and BBC! You've listed quite a number of books that are indeed the next best options for people who for economic reasons can't just fly into Buckingham Palace! LOL Thanks for sharing! :D

Btw, i've worked with a couple of Brits (irish, english, welsh, scottish) before and i find the accents quite adorable - nevermind the nosebleed! :D 


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai

I seem to have travelled through books to all the destinations above, and love the England of Austen best. For a trip to the England of today, I use webcams in cafes, bars and inns.

I love the unreal England of Wodehouse the best, actually, but nobody takes me seriously when I say that.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

I've never considered England a "real" place, but only because of the layers and layers of history that one can draw from to make it whatever one wants it to be. So I'd have to take *your* take on Wodehouse seriously.


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 7 years ago from Chennai

Ah, thanks, that is a timeless place where nothing really bad happens. An ideal for me.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Lovely, detailed hub, thank you.

I'd really recommend Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Small Island". He captures the country absolutely perfectly, and it's very funny as well.

Chris A - actually flying into Buckingham Palace ain't gonna make you too many friends....

I adore London. I was born here, and choose to live here, and would hate to live anywhere else.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

LG, that's high praise coming from a native Londoner!  Thanks!  And thanks for reminding me of "Notes From a Small Island".  I had a copy, but don't know what happened to it.  Probably loaned it to a friend because it IS so funny, so I'll get another and not loan it out. But "flying into" BuckPal went right over my head! Who says Londoners don't have a sense of humor. LOL!


Tilly Holiday profile image

Tilly Holiday 7 years ago

What a delightful hub :) It really spreads cheer, even in these times when real travel seems too expensive or too scary.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Tilly! Glad you liked it! This was written long before the economy imploded, so it's even a cheaper way to "travel" now.

btw, Bill Bryson's "Notes From A Small Island" DOES capture the country perfectly, as LondonGirl said. Funny too.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Jama thank you for this list we are going in December of this year. When we get back I will definitely share my journey. :)I own Sense and Sensibility including Emma and there have been days where I take a Journey for a little while. :)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

AEvans, I'm green with envy. England in December! Sigh... Yes, I watch Emma or the newest S&S for the same reason! But recently I became hooked on the Joan Hickson "Miss Marple" series, and by extension on Agatha Christie, and am now working on an Armchair Tour of AC. Stay tuned!


finsofts profile image

finsofts 7 years ago from India

I hope to be there....


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

I loved this look at England. I dream of traveling there one day :)

Have read the books, watched the movies, love them all!


Meschill profile image

Meschill 7 years ago from Central Texas

I loved your hub! I have never traveled to England, only in my dreams and through Jane Austen. I look forward to the books and videos you have suggested.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Meschill! Happy to help. Enjoy!


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

A very enjoyable hub, I like the Joan Hickson "Miss Marple" series and I know that she is closer to the character that Agatha Christie wrote but for me the real Miss Marples has to be Margaret Rutherford.

The Margaret Rutherford films seem to capture a larger than life Britishness in all it s forms. Here is a link to the first part of the movie 'Murder She Said' you will notice in the cast list at the beginning of the film that a younger Joan Hickson plays a role in this film.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6tqe2_miss-marpl...

This will give you a taste of England that has long disappeared and now only lives in old films and the memories of the likes of me.

I loved the Hub


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

I've seen the Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple with the young Joan Hickson, which is supposedly when Agatha Christie told JH she wanted her to play MM someday.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 6 years ago from Sunny Spain

You really are a mine of information, your hubs and your comments are always interesting and I come away learning something new each time. Thanks again for a great read, even got a little homesick for the UK.


Don Wyatt 6 years ago

Check oout TravelVideoStore.com, they have over 225 film titles on England offered on DVD or for rent or to own via download at www.travelvideostore.com - More Travel Videos to More Places!


EnglishM 6 years ago

JamaGenee, what a wonderful article. Leave immediately and move to London, you'll be an absolute asset to their tourist board (demand your own salary). I'm English to the core, and you have reminded me of some lovely memories. I used to live in St. Ives, Cornwall (albeit in a camper van [I was young then]). I also lived in Highgate and Camden Town for many years. I'll be following this guide myself, and I live here!:)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

EnglishM, I'd be on the next plane to Heathrow if I could! Since that's not possible (yet), I wrote a hub on how to tour England from an armchair instead. Thank you so much for what you said about the tourist board! As a matter of fact, I've tipped off a friend who lives in London about a couple of things to do she'd never heard of. :-)) Oh, how I would've loved to live in St Ives, even in a camper van...or Highgate or Camden Town! (My own English blood rearing its head...)

I've been meaning to update this hub, and if you'll be watching, I'd better do it soon! :-)


EnglishM 6 years ago

Aaww, thanks for that. I'll watch out for your update. Great that it was about England, but your hub could have been about any country; it is informative, knowledgeable and very well written, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.


E M Smith profile image

E M Smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

London, the centre of the world?

Perhaps these books will be the best way for some to visit England. Some parts nowadays bear little relation to the England in them


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

How true, E M! But doesn't that happen most any place captive to its history? Or at least the accepted perception of the place, true or not. England's attraction for most tourists is (and probably always will be) the England of old - quaint, charming, and steeped in history. Especially if one comes from a country that demolishes any building over 50 years old in the name of "progress". ;D


BrianS profile image

BrianS 5 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

Notes from a Small Island as London Girl said is a great little book for an insight into the minds of the British and very amusing.


hubpageswriter 5 years ago

These are all great ideas. I hope to read some of those books which you've mentioned, especially "My Love Affair With England: A Traveler's Memoir" and "A Getaway Guide To Agatha Christie's England, by Judith Hurdle." Hub up.=) I'm starting to love England, because I heard so many cool things about it.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Glad to hear it! Just remember there are "two Englands" - Greater London...and Everything Else. ;D


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Great hub. It's nice to see how much people seem to like England.

But I'd say that there were more than two Englands ~ there's the north, the midlands, the south, the east, the west, the south-west peninsula; city, town and country. It's quite varied for a relatively small place, I think.

There is a lot to see and do, but I don't think that we always appreciate what is on our own doorsteps :)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Trish, of course (as you pointed out) there are more than two Englands. For such a tiny country - "tiny" compared to the U.S. - it has an amazing number of geologically distinct divisions. The "two Englands" description is something I heard over and over from Londoners, and again from residents of the Isle of Wight and the West Country. The oldest half of my English roots are in Somerset and Devon, which I would move to in a heartbeat. Only recently have I developed a desire to visit the seat of the other half, an area east of the Lake Country, because it looks exactly like the part of Kansas where I grew up. Helene Hanff sums it up nicely in "84 Charing Cross Road": 'Whichever England one is looking for, it's there'.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

So you hail from the West country ~ a beautiful area!

The Lake District is beautifil too ~ but different.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You can read the sad tale of my Cumbria (Cumberland & Westmorland counties) in http://hubpages.com/family/Annie-Savage-Sowerby-Ne...

I haven't written anything about the other branch from the West Country since it's chronicled on its own website...alas, one that's gathering dust at the moment.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

A very enjoyable read - very clever.

Oooh... but we would like to see you in person for the Olympics 2012. Come and have a nice time. :)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Lady_E, I'm not a sports fan, so the Olympics hold no attraction for me. And being a bit claustrophobic, I try to avoid places during a major event. I'd rather be a tourist when nothing is happening, although had I had the means to do so, I would've happily braved the crowds in London for Will & Kate's wedding! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 4 years ago from Cape Cod

I have not yet been to England but I intend to get there in future. Since my ancestry can only be reliablly traced to Italy and Canada, I don't know why the UK has such a pull on me - but it does. I hope Englanders won't be offended, but I almost consider myself a dual citizen.

Thanks for the hub Jama. The only bad part is that you have extended my already crowded reading list!!!! (LOL)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Billrrrr, if your ancestry can be reliably traced to Canada, I'm guessing the UK calls to you because that's where those ancestors came from originally. There's a saying: "English blood always returns home eventually".

Before you go to England, I hope you can find that connection. The trip will be infinitely more interesting if you can visit your ancestral "seat" while you're there. I have quite a bit of experience tracking immigrants from England to Canada. Feel free to shoot me an email at jamagenie (at) gmail (dot) com with what you know about your earliest Canadian ancestors and I'll be happy to see what I can find out. (I've gone about as far as I can on my own lines, so I satisfy my addiction to genealogy by poking around in the family trees of others. Anybody's. For free. Really.)

Sorry about adding to your reading list. My next hub about armchair traveling (mostly in England) won't include any books! Promise. ;D


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

I love this hub! It makes me want to pack my bags and take another trip to England. I've bookmarked this for the great list of movies and books and plan on looking into those I haven't already enjoyed. Voted up and awesome!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thanks, vespawoolf! Glad I could get you thinking about another trip to my favorite country! ;D


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

What an amazing trip! Thank you so much for the journey to England that was free of charge! The details and photos made us feel like we were there. Awesome!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

You're most welcome, Sunshine! And thank YOU for the "awesome" (she says, blushing). ;D


dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 4 years ago from India

Perfect list of readings. I like this well written hub. It is useful, amazing and interesting. Voted UP...


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JamaGenee 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma Author

Thank you, dilipchandra12. I would, however, like to add the BBC/PBS series "Downton Abbey" to the list except the DVDs of both seasons (so far) are still hard to come by "cheaply", and the whole idea of this hub is to list DVDs and books that are free, or nearly free. ;D

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