Day 11 - Chesterfield, Derbyshire, then London
Today was our "Pride and Prejudice" day where we went to see some of the location sites for the mini series & movie. Our first stop was at Lyme House in Lyme Park which was the setting for Pemberley in the 1995 mini series and wow what a house and garden - huge and very beautiful. It was exactly like in the mini series! Spectacular views. We wandered around the gardens and then went through the house - lovely. Again it was a freezing cold day but it thankfully did not rain.
Next we went to Chatsworth House and gardens which was the setting for Pemberley in the 2005 movie. This was even larger than Lyme House. Both the house and gardens here were massive! It was very crowded here as they had an annual flower show on. We did a tour of the house and it seemed to go on and on forever, there were so many rooms! We also saw the many lovely sculptures, mainly made out of white marble, throughout the house, including a room just for a variety of sculptures. The gardens were very extensive, they also seemed to go on forever. This property, like Lyme Park, had entrance driveways of 1 or more kilometres! For the drive up to the entrance to Lyme Park you were given a CD to play as you drove the distance to the entrance which gave you the history of the area and the house. Amazing! We all enjoyed both places but our favourite was Lyme Park it was just so picturesque. After all that we had to leave to return to London.
We haven't mentioned much about driving in the UK. I did the majority of the driving and it was quite an experience. Tonia did the navigating and Lynda assisted with signs along the way. To drive on the UK's very extensive motorways you have to drive an average of 120 - 130kmph just to avoid everyone else running into you who are going so much faster! It is amazing! And that's just the motorways! Then there's the narrow (how do they fit two cars on the road) in the little villages and townships of many country towns, and the busy roads in major cities, let alone London! I, for one, was very happy when we finally returned the car to Victoria Station in London.
Our drive back to London was easy until we got to Tottenham, where we just couldn't get out of. We kept driving in circles around those huge roundabouts and one way streets. It was hilarious as we kept going around the same corner seeing the same fence and the same "OMG!" billboard advertisement. We finally took the correct turn towards London and made it to our hotel, Jury's Inn at Islington, where we were to start our European Tour from the next day. We unloaded all our luggage into our room and then set off to return the car. This meant a drive through the busy London streets heading for the London Eye area, Westminster and then on to Victoria Station. So relieved (and happy) when we returned the car safely to the hire car parking area.
We returned to our hotel only to find out that we had a very early start the next day - 3:30am!!!!