The places we’ve stayed…

Our three week trip around the UK has come to an end, and I’m now sitting in my home office preparing thoughts for the coming week back at work – but before I do, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the “places we stayed” during our trip, as these contributed a lot to the overall experience 🙂

Our award for the most impressive building goes to the Holiday Inn at Amesbury, where we stayed on our first night. We hoped to be able to catch an early morning view of Stonehenge, only to find that they’d cordoned the whole area off as the following day was the Summer solstice when they expected the annual invasion of countless thousands to see the sunrise.

In Amesbury we also experienced the most unusual meal – with an order for a Caesar Salad being delivered as a handful of loose mesculun salad leaves covered in a splodge of ultra-creamy coleslaw, resembling the stuff you get in punnets at a KFC store.

Award for the best B&B goes to Prospect House in Penryn, where our wonderful host Carolyn served up a delicious Cornish breakfast both mornings we were there – very tasty. Great rooms, and very reasonably priced.
Award for the most outrageous interior decoration at a B&B goes to the Sunnyside guest House in Southport. Every room was decorated in the black and white theme, providing a rather zany environment, but great comfort and good value – and close to the beach and main street for cafes etc. Also found a laundromat just along the road which was very helpful!
Kendal’s Beech House was a welcome sanctuary after a long drive up from Southport via Blackball. Very comfortable and a top contender for best B&B, but edged out by Propsect House on price.
Award for the most “Fawlty Towers”-like experience goes to the Pemberton Arms on Stockton Road, Cold Hesledon. We found this one by accident, after having travelled down from Glasgow and leaving our run a little late in finding accommodation for the night. The food was authentic and very tasty – but the accommodation was another matter. Besides the strong smell of smoke in the rooms, the dubious state of the floors and the bright lights shining directly into the bedroom windows from the display lighting outside, the two bathrooms were also used by the proprietor whose soap, toothbrush and towels remained there as a reminder of his presence. Towels were provided – as long as you didn’t mind drying yourself on a hand-towel after your shower. And to cap it off, the proprietor locked everyone in after 11pm and didn’t wake to unlock until after 8am when the alarms would be turned off. Being early risers and on the road well before 8am, we were given the option of using the fire escape as our means of exit – which we did 🙂
We spent three nights at the Roydon Mill Estate in one of their lodges – complete with spa pool, dish washer and clothes washer/dryer. A totally relaxing environment in which to spend a couple of days after two weeks on the road, and before we headed into London and then onto Paris. Easy access into London by train which passes right by, an easy walk into the village for a pub meal if desired, and 5 mins into Harlow for serious shopping if required.

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