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The British Railway system failed me this day. I wanted to get to Dorchester via Yeovil so that I could at least see (from the train), the countryside where [personal profile] esteven and I think that Jack’s Woolcombe House was located. Unfortunately the train I was on broke down at Exeter and when they finally found another train, I missed my connection and had to go round the long way via Southampton. It also cut my time in the town so I didn’t have enough time to ramble out into the countryside. So here are a few pictures from my abbreviated tour of Dorchester –
Dorchester )
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I left Bath early and got to Plymouth by noon, took a taxi to the hotel and went out to walk around the pathways of the Hoe to Sutton Harbour and had lunch at a pub in the Barbican and then attempted to see some of the remaining historical parts of Plymouth.
Plymouth )

Onwards to Jack's county of Dorset
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I left the awful pub in Oxford fairly early and just missed the massive downpour that ensued, as I stood on the rail platform, but it did affect my travel plans. The train I was to catch was cancelled due to the deluge and I had to wait an hour for the next one. As usual dumped bags at hotel reception and went out for some lunch and as it was still raining and miserable went to the Assembly Room and Costume Museum. A must-see in my opinion when you visit Bath.
Bath )

To Plymouth
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I got the train to Oxford and found my way to the place I’d booked, rooms above a pub, bad choice. It stank of stale cigarette smoke and was rather dingy. I dumped my bags and walked out into the steadily falling rain to find a place to eat, I had no intention of eating at the pub. I think there were better things to experience in Oxford.
Oxford )
Ever onward to Bath.
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I left my hotel planning to take the train. No such luck, weekend track work strikes again. I had to take a bus back towards Brighton and then catch the train to Winchester from there. After a little confusion found the hotel and left my bags at the desk and went out to discover Winchester.
Winchester )

Don your cap and gown because we're off to Oxford
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The next day the weather had really set in and in between heavy downpours trundled my bag back to the train station and I was off to Portsmouth. I took the train to Ashford and changed there for the train across to Brighton, all the way the rain kept pouring down. Changed trains at Brighton to another for Portsmouth and didn’t get there till mid-afternoon as all the trains seemed to stop at every little station along the way. But really it was pleasant sitting in a nice warm train trundling through the countryside with interesting brief glimpses of towns along the coast. My luck was in because by the time I got to Portsmouth the clouds had cleared. The wind was still rather cool, blowing directly off the channel. My hotel was in the rather chi-chi Gunwharf Quays development not that far from the station so hauled the bag up to the hotel and dumped them in my room and went out to have a look around Portsmouth.
Warning to non-ship lovers probably way too many pictures of HMS Victory behind the cut )

Off to Winchester
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The day broke grey and drizzling but I decided to walk up to Walmer Castle along the seashore anyway. The sea had been stirred up overnight and the surf was up and a rather cutting wind blew along the shore. I got to the castle just before opening time and didn’t have to long to wait to go in.

Walmer Castle & Deal )

Click here to go to Portsmouth.
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Another clear and sunny morning raised my spirits and it was a short train ride to Deal. Why Deal, you ask? Well it is one of the ports where Stephen and Jack spent time waiting for the wind to change to allow their ships to leave the Downs and of course close to Goodwin Sands, the site of one of the many rescues of Stephen Maturin from the briny depths, this time, not by Jack but Joe Plaice and the boat crew who had rowed him out to the sands for him to explore them at low tide.
So board your boats and look out for smugglers and we’ll be off to Deal.
Deal and the White Cliffs of Dover )

To Walmer Castle.
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The next day in Canterbury started with brilliant sunshine which was such a relief after the continuous rain of the preceding day and certainly made the walk across Canterbury and along the City Walls of Canterbury to the Canterbury East Station so pleasant, for I was making a flying visit to the Royal Dockyard at Chatham.

Canterbury & Royal Dockyard, Chatham )
Click here to go to Deal.
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I left my townhouse in London and took a taxi to Charing Cross Station to take the train down to Canterbury. A pleasant train trip through the green and pleasant countryside of south eastern England but by the time I got to Canterbury West Station, the rain had returned. I took a taxi to the hotel, just opposite the Marlowe theatre merely because it was so wet. I dumped my stuff in my little attic room and went out to explore Canterbury.
Canterbury )

Click here for more of Canterbury & Chatham.
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Days 4 and 5 London )

To hop on the next train for Canterbury, click here.
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I left reasonably early and took the tube to the nearest station to the Tower to start my third day in London -
The Tower, St Paul’s & The Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret )

For my last two days in London click here.
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My second full day in London I went down to Greenwich to visit all the places that many of you are familiar with –

Down the Thames to Greenwich )

To go to the Tower click here.
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From Gibraltar I flew to Gatwick and after waiting for my bags longer than the actual flight, took the express train to Victoria Station and took the traditional London cab to my hotel on Halfmoon Street in Mayfair, a hotel housed in an Old Georgian Townhouse. I sank into the softness of the very comfy bed, popped the chocolate into my mouth and felt just a bit smug. My Diana Villiers moment of luxury but there was no Blue Peter diamond or Stephen Maturin to go along with the townhouse unfortunately. *g*

It was late afternoon so I thought I would just go along to Shepherd Market (the location of Sir Joseph Blaine’s bolthole) and have a look around and then walked around the neighbouring streets. I then went back to Shepherd Market for my evening meal in an Italian restaurant there and retired to my temporary townhouse. *g*

Uppercrust London )

Click here for a thoroughly Maritime Day at Greenwich
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