The Road Ahead : February March 2012
WWW.ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 30 THE ROAD AHEAD FEB/MAR 2012 TRAVEL DEPARTURE INTERNATIONAL wherever the narrow, hedge bordered-roads would lead us. Threading our way through the gorgeous scenery brought us to the original out-of-the way, unspoilt, unheralded little hamlet of The Wolfords, with the old church spire shrouded by a darkening purple cloud which threatened but never followed through with rain. The church is Vicar of Dibley cute with blossoms hanging off the trees to the front gate. Throughout our trip we never found one locked church but willingly paid our donations and saw some of the most amazing acts of artistic dedication to their deity that humans have put together anywhere. These small and intimate places of worship don't have works by Italian masters, but their simple rustic beauty charms the hardest of souls and the local florists fashion nature's works of art with all the skill of a Michelangelo. On to Blenheim Palace, the ancestral home of Winston Churchill and his ancestor, the First Duke of Marlborough, who was gifted the lands and the funds to construct it after a famous victory over the French in 1704 in the wars of the Spanish Succession. Blenheim Palace is listed as one of the 'Treasure Houses of England', a list of Britain's best stately homes and castles, each of them living, breathing, repositories of English history and Churchill's home is one of the very best. By late afternoon the light changes again, though in England at this time of year it's not getting dark for hours yet. The filter on the slide show has been changed and the colours of the countryside are another wondrous range of tones all over again. But wait, there's more ... While writer Colin Harrington chose a hire car to get around and made his own travel arrangements, escorted coach travel is another great way of seeing the UK and European countryside first hand. The best thing about this popular and affordable mode of travel is someone else does all the driving, enabling you to settle back into your armchair-style seat and simply enjoy the ever-changing panorama without the hassles of finding your way in a strange country and dealing with traffic and parking hassles. A coach usually takes you from door-to-door and you receive the benefit of background knowledge about all that you are seeing and doing, interesting information that can only come from travel professionals such as coach drivers and tour guides. And, of course, escorted coach travel is the best way of making new friends among like-minded tour companions. With London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games from July 27 to August 12, why not 'book end' your visit with a spot of UK and/or European coach touring? RACQ Travel can assist with whatever you might have in mind. Phone 1300 888 449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. MAIN IMAGE: BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER. TYPICAL COTSWOLDS SCENE. BLENHEIM PALACE. TRAVEL OFFER: UK & EUROPE RACQ Travel offers members a range of great discounts when travelling to the UK and Europe. The 2012 programs for escorted tours from Insight Vacations, Trafalgar, Globus or Cosmos offer many new exciting itineraries and include: •Saveupto15 percent off your escorted tour • Early bird offers • Attractive exchange rates that are currently available. Conditions apply for the above offers. Call our award-winning travel consultants on 1300 888 449 or email travel@ racq.com. au for further details and the latest deals and specials offers.
April May 2012