I do find all the names of places I visit confusing. Yesterday I mentioned the town of Hitchin but forgot to say the village near to this town where I am staying is Shillington. It used to be Shitlington but when Queen Victoria was about to visit it, they tarted it up and renamed it Shillington, Shitlington sounding a bit rude.
This morning after coffee and croissants for breakfast (We’re getting ready for the French way) we drove to Hitchin and bought our tickets for St Pancras. We will be leaving very early! Be warned those reading this blog and living in England. If you intend to take a train from your home station and then get the Eurostar – book a ticket from your station and it will be cheaper
We now have all our ducks in a row for our travels tomorrow. A Paris Pass entitles us to free Metro travel, entrance into most of the attractions and no waiting in long queues.
After all our chores were done we drove to Woburn Abbey Estate.
Hertfordshire is famous for seeing red kites and I have been looking out for them since my arrival. Linda was determined to find me at least one and drove to all the spots she’d seen them and to where she had heard they hung out. Finally I yelled – there’s one and we were lucky enough to find a turning to a farm gate where we could stop and observe this lovely creature in the sky.
The 13th Duke of Bedford moved to Monte Carlo in 1975. His son Robin, who enjoyed the courtesy title Marquess of Tavistock, ran the Abbey with his wife in his father’s absence.
The Marquess of Tavistock became the 14th Duke on the death of his father in November 2002. The 14th Duke was the briefest holder of the Dukedom and died in June 2003.
On the death of the 14th Duke, his son Andrew became the 15th Duke, and he continues his father’s work in running the Woburn Abbey Estate.
We explored the village and visited some of the Antique and Novelty shops.
After browsing for a while we went to The Black Horse for lunch.
The Woburn Abbey Deer Park is 3,000 acres in size and is one of the largest private conservation parks in Europe, surrounded by a seven mile long wall. We took a short drive through the section before you pay to enter and spotted some beautiful deer.
This evening Linda and I sat in William’s lovely garden and enjoyed Pims and a delicious supper of spit roast chicken, sweet potato and Greek Salad. Thank you Linda – you are an excellent caterer!