Saturday, June 11, 2011

Travel to Stamford and the Burghley House

*(B/c I'm falling behind, just note that this post details Monday June 6th)
After returning Sunday, I focused on relaxing and preparing for our next day's trip to Stamford, a town about 22 km south of Harlaxton. The next morning we had a 45 minute class before departing, briefly wrapping up discussion on Pride and Prejudice. The drive was short and soon after leaving the manor, we were in Stamford. The trip to Chatsworth the previous Friday was relative in that it served as part of the location of Pemberley in the 2005 film whereas Stamford and the Burghley House were adapted as Meryton and Rosings in the film.
We were told to roam about the town and explore for a few hours until meeting back at the tourist information center around 2:15 in which we would then walk a little under a mile to the famous Victorian mansion.
Luke and I walked about town, taking in the scenery that was so nicely intertwined with rivers and nature as whole. After an hour or so, we met up with a group of our peer and began seeking out a good pub. After being unsuccessful at finding the entrance at two different locations, we managed to find one with an easily accessible door.
Once inside, we walked up a series of stairs only to be welcomed by a strange cloud of silence between our group of young Americans and the easily discernible local regulars. As we came atop the stairs, the quiet conversations gave way to confusing stares as each of our groups simply stood and looked across at the other. A strange air for sure (I've been reading Austin, give me a break-for you literary junkies out there reading this).
This strange atmosphere hung on as a few of us at a time approached a nearby table to take a seat.
"You'll have to come up here for service" the woman behind the bar said aloud. Sheepishly, we all slowly advanced towards the bar and picked up a menu. You could feel the study you were subject to as we stood, scanning the small laminated menus for something. One at time, we ordered our food and drink and then returned to our table.
Perhaps it was the newfound realization that we were bringing a good amount of business and/or that we were being respectful that finally broke that odd cloud surrounding us and found ourselves in easy dialogue with both barkeeps and the locals. We received the typical inquiries as to where we were from and what we were doing here but the simple fact of finally conversing with these natives was relieving and enjoyable. 
After some fish and chips and a few drinks, though I had tea due to my stubborn allergies, we bid the bar farewell and made our way to the tourist center to meet up with our professors. Once everyone made it, we departed for the Burghley House. We walked briefly throughout Stamford before coming to an entrance that opened up to a large estate, half filled with woods, the other with grazing. Continuing on throughout the estate, we soon came upon the Burghley House. 
Once at the entrance, we were told we could go and explore the gardens for half an hour since we would not have the chance to after our tour of the House. Just adjacent, the gardens were beautiful, as most are, yet, they also entailed some very contemporary art work, which at times really stuck out. Nonetheless, I explored small passageways, a mirror maze and other parts of the grounds, enjoying the carefully crafted scenery before me. Though in such a small window of time I was unable to see even half of the gardens, I was more than satisfied with the opportunity of seeing what small fraction I did.
Our group met back at the entrance, and our guided tour began. We were taken throughout the entire house, informed of the influences, figures, and changes made over the years and by the end of the tour, given an in-depth understanding of one of England's oldest manors. Though close to a two hour tour, the sheer magnificence of such a building was more than captivating enough to forget the time taken.
And yet, like every day so far, it came to an end, unfortunately. The upside, so far?  There is always another day to spend in England and another adventure to be had.

Bridge in Stamford

St. John's Church
St. Mary's Church Up Ahead
St. Mary's Church
An engine exhibit at Stamford Museum (The next six pictures all from this museum, which I was informed is to close at the end of the month)

 Tea at lunch
 Our group at lunch
 Luke and I outside the pub
 The meadow before Burghley
 Walking toward Burghley
 Exhibit in the Gardens

 Door to pathway through garden

 Before going into the Burghley House
 Another exhibit in the pond

After getting back, a few of us went downstairs to the bistro for a music session by Luke.
P.S. Due to the age of most of the exhibits, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the House, in case you were wondering ;)

Until again,

Thank you,



  1. Too cool keith...what a beautiful trip yet again....I know you are talking in every ounce of your travels. I love seeing all the pictures and especially the pics with you in them. I loved Luke performance,"American Pie", a great song. Thank you for taking me through the journey. Several times a day okay many times a day, I am on here. love u!

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