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  • Writer's pictureSusan Van Blarcom-Young

England and Scotland

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

In 2017, my husband and I attended our great niece’s December wedding which took place at Blenheim Palace in England. The palace was home to the first duke of Marlborough, built in 1705 near the village of Woodstock where we stayed in a lovely, quaint Inn. We traveled around the country using their railway system, visiting Oxford, York and London, England and Edinburgh and St. Andrews, Scotland.

Our first stop was Woodstock, England, which is home to Blenheim Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This quaint, beautiful village is full of history, small cafes, restaurants, and taverns. We stayed in The Marlborough Arms, a 15th century coaching inn situated in the heart of Woodstock. The wedding took place at Blenheim Palace, with a lovely reception in The Orangery afterward.

Following the wedding, we toured Oxford, home of the oldest university, botanical gardens, pubs, and the Bodleian Library. We saw the sites that inspired C.S. Lewis and visited The Eagle and Child pub where the Inklings writers’ group met.

From there, it was on to York, small and mighty, a vibrant festival city with Roman roots and a Viking past. The York Minster is one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. It was only a one-night visit, but we were able to walk most of the city and experience the ancient history of this great place.

We traveled to Edinburgh the next morning for a 3-night stay in a city of old and new, where we stayed at The Caledonian with views of Edinburgh castle. We enjoyed afternoon tea in the restaurant. This was my favorite city. We toured the castle and walked the Royal Mile, visiting pubs and eateries along the way.

From Edinburgh, we took the train to St. Andrews to the Old Course and made a stop at Tom Morris’ shop. This is a golfer’s dream. (Just ask my husband!) Besides the golf course, the city is also home to the University of St. Andrews and the ruins of The Cathedral of St. Andrews.

Traveling to London by train, we saw the beautiful countryside of England. While in London, we toured the royal church, Westminster Abbey, the place that’s touched the lives of kings, queens, statesmen, soldiers, poets, priests, heroes, and villains. Our last castle to visit was The Tower of London, truly a haunting place, which has served as an armory, a treasury, a menagerie, and home of the Crown Jewels.

This trip to England and Scotland was unmatched to any other trip when it comes to history (and of course, a beautiful wedding in a palace). There’s so much to see and so much history to experience.


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