August 15, 2010
Three Lasting Impressions From England
Posted by Gordon Smith

Since returning last week from teaching in London, I have been asked many times what I most enjoyed about our month in England. While I enjoyed seeing many of the well-known sites of London, three lesser-known stops made the trip particularly memorable:

The Jorvik Viking Centre in York offered a spectacular glimpse into a Viking settlement from the period between 866 and 1066. Having traced my ancestry back into Norway for hundreds of years, I feel some kinship with the Vikings, and it's hard to imagine a more interesting presentation of an archeological site than this one.

The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes makes many varieties of Wensleydale cheese. I am still partial to Wensleydale with cranberries, but the blended chees with balsamic onions was surprisingly awesome. Unfortunately, we were in a bit of a rush when we visited the Creamery, but Hawes seems like a fun village for a day trip.

The Churchill War Rooms in London were the underground headquarters of the British High Command during World War II, and this museum provides an authentic look at the rooms, along with a fascinating audio tour. When I was a young boy, I used to read the entries on World War II in may parents' World Book Encyclopedia. My father fought in the war, and I was fascinated by the personalities, none more so than Winston Churchill. This isn't the best known attraction in London, but for me it was the best.

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