The Trip — 2016: Part 21 — Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

I get some ice and fix a drink and then make the mistake of turning on the TV. Di looks up from playing a game on her iPad and sees a movie she likes so I take my book to the library to read. One of the staff dims the lights — it’s now too dark to read so I leave — more than a bit ticked off.

Trip - The sheep "next door" to Highclere Castle
The sheep “next door”

I take a walk and return. Di has the movie on and I pick up my computer and take it to the deserted library, now real dark and resume this story.

It’s now ten o’clock and Di probably wants to go out for a smoke, needs her meds and I need a drink — good night.

Went back to the room and Trish was there helping Di get her remaining clothes in order. When they finished Trish returned to Newbury and I accompanied Di out to the parking lot for a smoke and then to bed. Never did get that drink.

Trip - The backside of Highclere
The backside of Highclere

Sunday: Today is the day for Highclere CastleDownton Abbey for those of you who watch English soap opera (at least, I think of it as soap opera). A car from Pryors comes to pick us — Di, Joe, Don and Cathy — up at our hotel at one o’clock and it’s about a thirty-five minute drive. Trish met us at the entry and we purchase tickets. As Trish, Di and I have already toured the house we get garden tickets (cheap) while Don and Cathy purchase tickets for a tour of the house.

Trip - Kathy on "the bench" at Highclere Castle
Kathy on “the bench”

Don and Cathy toured the house and we found an empty table (just vacated by a small family) outside a snack-tent. Trish got Di some tea, herself some coffee and an egg sandwich — which she offered to Di and Di ate.

We then adjourned to the gift shop; Don and Cathy finished their tour and hit the gift shop — I cooled my heels on a rather hard bench.

On to the snack-tent (the inside this time where it was warmer) for tea and coffee and scones. We still had most of an hour until our car picked us up so we slowly walked or scooted to “the bench” where we took pictures. Di and I remained there while Trish showed Di’s friends some of the estates gardens — Di and I had toured them on our previous visit in 2011.

Trip - Don and Kathy at Highclere Castle
Don and Kathy

It was then on to the car park, the ride back to our hotel and dinner at the Quod Restaurant next door. Di ate some cheeses, crackers and bread while I had a scallop and scampi entrée and fish and new potatoes for dinner — and a couple of very nice scotches.

(to be continued)