Friday, October 9, 2020

England and Scotland - Part 1

England - Kingston upon Thames

In early-Summer 2019, I had the opportunity to go to Kingston upon Thames for a short conference related to my work.  I suggested to my lovely wife that if we could get her some airline tickets that corresponded to mine, we could make this a low-cost vacation to both England and then, expand it into Scotland.

We arrived at Kingstone on Thames on June 2, staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel there.  

First, you need to understand that my wonderful wife is a history teacher and she has made me into something of a history buff as well. Also, we have enjoyed the Netflix historical fiction series  titled “The Last Kingdom”. The Last Kingdom is a fictional history of the Kingdom of Wessex and King Alfred, beginning around the year 866 AD. The story is told around a fictional character "Uhtred", who was kidnapped by Dane invaders as a child.

Imagine our joy as we discovered that “Kingston” might be rendered as King-Stone and that the stone upon which some of the direct descendants of King Alfred sat in their coronation ceremonies is located in a nondescript park in Kingston upon Thames.  

After following several rabbit-trails, we tracked down the coronation stone and this is it:


Here is the plaque that is nearby:



 Which says, in part:

According to tradition, this stone was used during coronation ceremony by seven Saxon kings of England who were crowned at Kingston-upon-Thames.  Their names are as follows:

·      Edward the Elder   900

·      Athelstan  925

·      Edmund  940

·      Elred  946

·      Edwy  956

·      Edward the Martyr  975

·      Ethelred the Unready  979

The earliest known reference to the coronation stone in print occurs in John Speed's England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, published in 1627.  The passage reads "... at Kingston likewise stood the chair of majesty whereon Athelstan, Edwin and Ethelred sate at their coronations and first received their scepter of imperial power.

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The point to all this is, wherever you are, get out and see what's there!

Introducing Senior Trails

Why This?

As I’ve grown older, I’ve found myself wanting more to get outside and travel, hike, and bike.  However, I also find that I don’t really care so much for sleeping on the ground, cooking over a gas stove, or cleaning pots and pans in a plastic tub full of cold or tepid water.

I want, instead, to enjoy the outdoors in an active, not passive, way but to be able to retire to the pub for dinner at the end of the day and subsequently to a warm bed in a hotel. 

Hence this blog.  I intend it first as a chronicle of some of my excursions and with that, perhaps to provide an inspiration for other “senior” adults who still fancy themselves to have a lot of activity left in them.

Secondarily, I also intend this blog to be a growing information resource, containing information on places I’ve been or to which I want to go, as well as what equipment and routines I’ve found useful to plan, prepare and execute and then communicate and re-live these adventures.


The above image is of me at Scotland's Loch Lomond in 2019.  That adventure is chronicled here: England-and-Scotland.