London to Wales... via Lincoln

Wednesday was a big day of driving, as we had to go from London to Lincoln for my meeting, before driving to the eastern part of Wales where our hotel was located.

Our big day on the British motorways, as we probably covered about half the country.

I started the day by walking up to the car rental agency, before driving back to the hotel to collect Justine and our things and then hitting the road. The drive up to Lincoln for my meeting was pretty uneventful - mostly motorway, but some of the scenery was quite nice. We made it to Lincoln just before lunch time, with plenty of time to spare for my 1:00 meeting.

Lincoln Castle - home to one of 4 remaining copies of the Magna Carta. Sadly, I didn’t get to see it.

We parked briefly and walked into the old part of the very pretty town. We grabbed a quick lunch, and I left Justine to explore (I was very jealous) while I went to my meeting. She explored Lincoln Castle, a major Norman castle constructed during the late 11th century by William the Conqueror on the site of a pre-existing Roman fortress. The castle is unusual in that it has two mottes It is only one of two such castles in the country. Lincoln is also home to Lincoln Cathedral. Lincoln Cathedral is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Lincoln. Construction commenced in 1072 and continued in several phases throughout the medieval period. Like many of the medieval cathedrals of England it was built in the Gothic style. It was the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1548), and the first building to hold that title after the Great Pyramid of Giza. The central spire collapsed in 1548 and was not rebuilt. For hundreds of years the cathedral held one of the four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta, now securely displayed in Lincoln Castle. The cathedral is the fourth largest in the UK

Lincoln Cathedral from the old town center.

Justine saw much more of the city than I did. After my meeting, I picker her back up and we started the long drive southwest across almost the width of the country to Wales. The drive itself was quite nice, but we didn’t make any stops as we had quite a distance to cover. Our destination was the St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club, just across the border in Wales. I’ve stayed there a few times for work, and really like the place.

The St. Pierre Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Justine entering the lobby.

Justine entering the lobby.

The original house was built by William Lewis, and extended by his son George, between 1475 and 1508.

The church of St Peter, built of sandstone rubble with Bath Stone dressings; most of the building dates from the mid 19th century or later.

A view of the hotel through the original gatehouse.

It was early evening when we arrived, and the hotel was packed. There had been horse races at the nearby Chepstow racetrack, and so the bar and restaurants were busy. We managed to get a table and have some dinner, along with a much needed beer.

We headed for bed, and had a reasonable start to the morning. After a quick stop at Tintern Abbey (more on that in the next post) we were due to meet up with Justine’s family just after lunch time the next day.