Today was all about getting lost, and finding lovely places. Due to the tube strike in London for the next day or so, I decided to wander around the area I live. After waiting quite a while– an hour and a half– for a bus to Ruislip I met up with another girl from my program, Colby. We sat down for a quick pie (savory pie and chips) then went out into the classic stormy English weather to begin our adventure.
Ruislip is a lovely town west of Harrow, where I am living, that has a rich history dating back to the early 1000s. During the Norman conquest of England in 1080s there was a castle established in now Ruislip that included a moat and bailey that fortified the castle. Today all that is left is a small section of the moat. By the mid 13th century St. Martin’s church was built and helped grow the town. The Manor Farm was established in the 15th century and the King’s College, Cambridge, are now the Lords of the manor. Today Manor Farm is a walking area that lets visitors experience a 11th century castle remains and a 15th century manor. Ruislip is just another prime example of the deep, colorful history England has.
Colby and I walked around the manor grounds and were able to see the moat associated with the early castle, a duck pond (formerly a horse pond), the St. Martin’s Castle located just across the street from the farm, and stopped at a quaint tea room. We enjoyed a pot of tea and creme tea scones, my first traditional tea having on this visit!
After warming up a bit we were able to explore the shops of High Street. Each time we walked into the antique shops, known here as Hospice shops, we met interesting people excited to get to know us. The British people have been so very lovely, and excited for my time here. The shop owners all mentioned “Sleepless in Seattle” when I said I was from there! I picked up a porcelain tea pot, minnie mouse thimble, and a wedgwood box!
Overall, today was about exploring the English villages, embracing the rich history, and making memories. Though the weather was windy and dreary it was nice to take a day to take in this wonderful culture. Tomorrow I am going to become a true Londoner and try to get into the city with limited transit systems!
Here are a few links for you to enjoy and get more a history of my day: