We spent time revisiting (for me) two places I used to go to with the older boys when we were living around RAF Lakenheath in the early 90s. It was fun to see some of the old places but the base has changed a lot and I didn’t recognize much.
We managed to get tickets to a production of Hamlet in Stratford at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and it was amazing. Incredible performance (modern/kind of set in Africa) and of course the theatre is wonderful. We were high up on tall seats like bar stools but this allowed for full views all around the stage. The kids stayed glued to the entire show.
We did manage to visit Shakespeare’s birth place too and some good food in town but certainly could have stayed longer.
We were thrilled to be able to meet up with Uncle Tim as we have missed him since moving from Dubai (where he lives). We took the train to London and met him at the station where he took us off to a couple of great restaurants (naturally as he’s an executive chef and also used to work in London) for lunch and dinner. We also went to see Phantom of the Opera as Max and Charlotte hadn’t seen it. This was a great show to start their London theatre viewing with as it never fails to impress (and they know the music already).
Later in our trip we went back to London as I just had to see my idol – Michael Crawford who was the first Phantom. We got to see him in a show called The Go-Between. He was on stage the entire couple of hours and sang quite a bit. We were front row and he was amazingly close which was quite exciting (I restrained myself). The show was good and he was incredible.
Trips to London have to include some of the amazing and FREE museums. We spent some time in the Science Museum and the National Gallery, which always amazes me. I love that museums in London are all free. Such a gift with so much to see and do.
Little wet but didn’t dampen the fun
Through our worldschooling group we found a lovely family who wanted to house swap their home in England with ours in Florida. We were thrilled to spend 5 weeks in a town called Saffron Walden, which is about 30 minutes from Cambridge and about an hour, by train from center of London. We swapped cars as well but after one day driving around minuscule roads on the opposite side with a stick shift, I opted for a rental that was automatic. Just too many things to focus on and it’s been years since I had a stick shift and I hated it then!
The house was a 15 minute walk into town which had all the main stores we needed plus plenty of eating spots. A favorite was Tea Amo for tea and sandwiches.
Town description here is from the site below:
Saffron Walden is a delightful medieval market town located in north-west Essex and just 15 miles to the south of Cambridge. It has a rich heritage of old buildings, including the magnificent Jacobian mansion Audley End House and Gardens and St Mary’s Church, the largest and one of the most beautiful parish churches in Essex. On the north side of town is Bridge End Garden, a restored Victorian garden of great charm, which contains a wonderful yew hedge maze and sunken Dutch Garden.
A market has been held here since 1141, and market days are now Tuesdays and Saturdays with shoppers enjoying browsing and buying goods from a variety of market stalls. Beyond the market place, there are many independent shops and eating places to choose from.