A Travellerspoint blog

August 2018

May 21, 2018 — Stow-on-the-Wold

We've often heard of Stow-on-the-Wold. Today we got to see it. Really cute . . .


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Lilacs in Stow-on-the-Wold

Lilacs in Stow-on-the-Wold


We fought construction traffic out of the immediate area thankful we weren’t going the other direction which was a parking lot. Finally past that and on to the A429 north, we drove to Stow-on-the-Wold and found free parking for town beside a Tesco supermarket. Parked and walked into town where we followed a Rick Steve’s walk for Stow-on-the-Wold, checking every restaurant menu as we walked. One highly recommended Inn had a very uninspiring menu so we kept walking. Found a nice art gallery and talked to the owner for a while but lunch was calling. We would return.

*****

The Fountain

The Fountain

The Market Square with the Market Cross

The Market Square with the Market Cross

The Cotswold Cheese Company

The Cotswold Cheese Company

Local butcher and the Porch House

Local butcher and the Porch House

Walking down Digbeth Street

Walking down Digbeth Street

The Bell Inn at Stow-on-the-Wold

The Bell Inn at Stow-on-the-Wold

House across from The Bell Inn

House across from The Bell Inn

Walking up Park Street

Walking up Park Street

Walking up Sheep Street

Walking up Sheep Street

Entry to Stow Lodge Hotel-Restaurant

Entry to Stow Lodge Hotel-Restaurant


We continued back to the center of town to Stow Lodge Restaurant where the bar menu was fine. We got a cute table in a front corner and ordered. It was the most elegant bar I’ve seen. Ed got the BBQ chicken that came with new potatoes, carrots, portobello mushrooms and broiled tomatoes. I got very tender sliced lamb with new potatoes, carrots and peas. Ed gave me his mushrooms! Excellent meal topped off with ice cream. Stow Lodge Hotel-Restaurant, The Square, Stow-on-the-Wold, Cheltenham GL54 1AB, UK; tel: +44 (0)1451 830485; Click here for the Stow Lodge Hotel-Restaurant web site

Bar area at Stow Lodge Hotel-Restaurant

Bar area at Stow Lodge Hotel-Restaurant

Outdoor Dining at Stow Lodge Restaurant

Outdoor Dining at Stow Lodge Restaurant

Ancient yew trees at entrance and a stained glass window

Ancient yew trees at entrance and a stained glass window


Leaving the Hotel-Restaurant, you pass through a lovely stone arch and gate to the church yard of St. Edward's Parish Church. We can't resist a church so wandered in to enjoy the stained glass and some lovely kneeling cushions. A lot of love went into those cushions. We returned to the Red Rag Gallery to look through their collection. We both really liked Martin Llewllyn, a Welsh artist . . . oils with palette knife. Very rich, textured paintings. Next tried to find our evening baguette and walked all over town ending at the Baguette Shop which turned out to be an upscale Subway sandwich shop but they did sell us a mini-baguette, bless their hearts.

Stained Glass and an altar in St. Edward's Church

Stained Glass and an altar in St. Edward's Church

Lovely needlepoint kneeling cushions at St. Edward's

Lovely needlepoint kneeling cushions at St. Edward's

Interior of St. Edward's Church facing either direction

Interior of St. Edward's Church facing either direction

St. Edward's Parish Church

St. Edward's Parish Church

The Market Cross on Market Square

The Market Cross on Market Square

Ice Cream Man on Market Square

Ice Cream Man on Market Square

Retreated to parking and, since it was so convenient, decided to go into Tesco for orange juice, cereal and cookies. Drove home and by virtue of a wrong turn, Google routed us around the huge construction backup. Sometimes a wrong turn is good!

Our wifi wasn’t working so I called our hostess who came over and the two of us managed to fix it. If I can find the router, I can usually fix it but people are very good at hiding routers. Had a very brief thunderstorm.

Posted by Beausoleil 11:23 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged art uk cotswolds gloucestershire stow-on-the-wold welsh_artists Comments (1)

May 22, 2018 — Chipping Campden and Broadway (the UK one)

Chipping Campden and Broadway are quintessential Cotswold villages, thoroughly lovely


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Chipping Campden Village Hall and War Memorial on High Street

Chipping Campden Village Hall and War Memorial on High Street

Up early for a long trip. We decided on Chipping Campden today so left as early as we could. We fought traffic through the A350 construction but after that it was smooth sailing and in slightly under two hours, we arrived and found a parking place on Market Square. You are limited to 2 hours and 20 minutes so we set off on our walk that was supposed to be an hour and we usually take longer.

Driving into Chipping Campden

Driving into Chipping Campden


We walked through Chipping Campden taking many photos. At one point a man stopped us for a chat which was fun. We found St. James Church and got photos, skipped the Crafts Museum and checked all the menus on the way, finally deciding on the one that had been recommended. Good menu; good prices, but we needed to move the car so we’d have time to eat.

The Market Hall in Chipping Campden

The Market Hall in Chipping Campden

The Market Hall in Chipping Campden

The Market Hall in Chipping Campden

A Play on Yankee Doodle? Store on High Street in Chipping Campden

A Play on Yankee Doodle? Store on High Street in Chipping Campden

Riding past Lloyds Bank in Chipping Campden

Riding past Lloyds Bank in Chipping Campden

Grevel House

Grevel House

House across from St. James Church

House across from St. James Church

St. James Church in Chipping Campden

St. James Church in Chipping Campden

St. James Church, Chipping Campden

St. James Church, Chipping Campden

Interior of St. James Church in Chipping Campden

Interior of St. James Church in Chipping Campden

St. James Church and Campden House Gates

St. James Church and Campden House Gates

Campden House Gates

Campden House Gates

Almshouses near St. James Church

Almshouses near St. James Church


We finished our walk and went back to the car. Ed had noticed some free parking on the hill up to the church (Cidermill Lane) so we drove up and got the last place. Hooray! Walked on to the Eight Bells Inn and opened it at noon. It’s very nice and the staff was fantastic. Ed got the fish cake special and I got the lamb shank special. Both were excellent and we washed them down with a dark ale. We both got ice cream for dessert and I got an espresso. Eight Bells Inn, Church St, Chipping Campden GL55 6JG; tel: +44 (0)1386 840371; Click here for the Eight Bells Inn web site

Eight Bells Inn (count them)

Eight Bells Inn (count them)

Eight Bells Inn

Eight Bells Inn

Eight Bells Inn

Eight Bells Inn

Entrance to the Ernest Wilson Memorial Garden

Entrance to the Ernest Wilson Memorial Garden

Insignia at the Woolstapler's Hall

Insignia at the Woolstapler's Hall

Wool Market in Chipping Campden

Wool Market in Chipping Campden

Shop Window in Chipping Campden

Shop Window in Chipping Campden

Reminds me of France but it is Broadway in the Cotswolds

Reminds me of France but it is Broadway in the Cotswolds


Walked back to the car and left for Broadway. It was a more rural drive but not too bad and we pulled right into long-term parking and set off for downtown. Broadway is a lovely Cotswold village with lots of cute shops, tea rooms, benches, pink chestnut trees and grass. Charming! We walked through town and turned up Church Street to check out the church. As we opened the church door, an alarm went off scaring both of us. We soon determined it was a house across the street and not us so we walked through the rather spare church. Returned to the main street and started back to the car. Broadway was full of tourists on this lovely afternoon so we had lots of company.

Village Scene - Broadway

Village Scene - Broadway

Village Scene - Broadway

Village Scene - Broadway

Sign for The Swan Pub

Sign for The Swan Pub

The Swan Pub and Restaurant

The Swan Pub and Restaurant

St. Michael and All Angels Church

St. Michael and All Angels Church

St. Michael and All Angels

St. Michael and All Angels

St. Michael's and All Angels CE Church

St. Michael's and All Angels CE Church

St. Michael and All Angels Church

St. Michael and All Angels Church

Pretty garden beside the church

Pretty garden beside the church

Village Scene - Broadway

Village Scene - Broadway

Broadway Green

Broadway Green

St. Patrick driving out the serpents

St. Patrick driving out the serpents

Thatched House in Broadway

Thatched House in Broadway

Hawthorne blooming in the hills outside of town

Hawthorne blooming in the hills outside of town

Except for construction traffic, it was a beautiful but very long drive. Most pleasant day.

Posted by Beausoleil 16:33 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged uk broadway cotswolds gloucestershire chipping_campden Comments (4)

May 23, 2018 — Thatched houses and ancient Avebury

We were looking for thatched houses to paint so our landlady suggested Sandy Lane and gave us directions. Perfect! Next we drove to Avebury, the largest stone circle in the world and it was amazing.


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Lacock Abbey spotted from the road driving to Sandy Lane

Lacock Abbey spotted from the road driving to Sandy Lane

Relaxed start today. We're not going far. We drove to Sandy Lane recommended by our hostess for thatched houses. She was spot on. We parked at The George Inn and walked through the tiny village taking pictures of lovely thatched houses.

The George Inn - Sandy Lane

The George Inn - Sandy Lane

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house and The George Inn sign, Sandy Lane

Thatched house and The George Inn sign, Sandy Lane

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

My painting of a thatched house in Sandy Lane, Wiltshire

My painting of a thatched house in Sandy Lane, Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire

Thatched house, Sandy Lane, County Wiltshire


Then we drove on to Avebury, the largest stone circle in the world. We parked for free at the National Trust parking lot. It’s a bit of a walk to the actual site, but we were warmly welcomed when we arrived. We belong to the Royal Oak Society (American National Trust affiliate) so they immediately knew we were from the USA. We got our (free) timed tickets to Avebury Manor and walked over. Tried to see the church but there was a service so we saved it for later.

National Trust Plaque at the entrance to Avebury

National Trust Plaque at the entrance to Avebury

St. James Church in Avebury

St. James Church in Avebury

St. James Church in Avebury

St. James Church in Avebury

Steps up to a walk through the Stone Circle

Steps up to a walk through the Stone Circle

The Barn Gallery at the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury

The Barn Gallery at the Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury

The Dove Cote at Avebury with St. James Church in the background

The Dove Cote at Avebury with St. James Church in the background

The Stables Gallery, Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury

The Stables Gallery, Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury

Entrance to Avebury Manor

Entrance to Avebury Manor


Entered the Manor House via the garden and were greeted by a very friendly and knowledgeable docent. When we got to the dining room, they had a 1700s exercise chair on display and a tourist from Australia was teased into demonstrating it. He did well and we all got photos. Avebury Manor House, High St, Avebury, Marlborough SN8 1RF; tel: +44 1672 538016; Click here for Avebury Manor National Trust web site

Avebury Manor - Dining Room

Avebury Manor - Dining Room

Avebury Manor Exercise Chair Demonstration

Avebury Manor Exercise Chair Demonstration

Avebury Manor - Billiards Room

Avebury Manor - Billiards Room

Avebury Manor - Kitchen

Avebury Manor - Kitchen

Avebury Manor - Kitchen

Avebury Manor - Kitchen

Avebury Manor - Ceiling decoration in one of the bedrooms

Avebury Manor - Ceiling decoration in one of the bedrooms

Avebury Manor - a bedroom

Avebury Manor - a bedroom

Avebury Manor Tea Room (in the library)

Avebury Manor Tea Room (in the library)

Avebury Manor Tea Room (in the library)

Avebury Manor Tea Room (in the library)


Zipped through the house and were persuaded into the tea room to see the library. It smelled so good we stayed for lunch. Ed had a meat pie and I got the quiche. Both came with three salads. No wine so we had lemonade. Carrot cake for dessert . . . all very nice and then we walked through the gardens, the Stable Museum and the church.

Back view of Avebury Manor from the Garden

Back view of Avebury Manor from the Garden

Sundial at Avebury Manor

Sundial at Avebury Manor

The front of Avebury Manor from the gate

The front of Avebury Manor from the gate

The Stables Gallery, Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury

The Stables Gallery, Alexander Keiller Museum at Avebury

Exhibit at The Stables Gallery, Alexander Keiller Museum

Exhibit at The Stables Gallery, Alexander Keiller Museum

Main aisle and organ (note painted pipes)

Main aisle and organ (note painted pipes)

Part of an oak bell frame dated 1636 at St. James Church - Avebury

Part of an oak bell frame dated 1636 at St. James Church - Avebury

Choose a Standing Stone at Avebury - to give you an idea of the size

Choose a Standing Stone at Avebury - to give you an idea of the size


The high point was walking the stone circles. Some of the stones are huge and they’re spread out over four large fields, one with sheep so we walked with care . . . Many people don’t realize the henge is the built hill surrounding the stone circles. They think the stones are the henge. Avebury is interesting in that you really don’t get a concept of how large it is unless you look at it on a satellite map. When you search for Avebury, suddenly you see the huge mound surrounding the tiny village and realize the breadth of the earthworks. The current theory is that the stones are an observatory and the henge (hill) surrounding them is an artificial horizon to make it possible to measure distances by triangulation. It would work . . .

Standing Stones at Avebury

Standing Stones at Avebury

Looking across the road to more standing stones

Looking across the road to more standing stones

Standing Stones at Avebury

Standing Stones at Avebury

Thatched building with Standing Stones at Avebury

Thatched building with Standing Stones at Avebury

The Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion Inn

Standing Stones at Avebury

Standing Stones at Avebury

Standing Stones at Avebury

Standing Stones at Avebury

Avebury Chapel

Avebury Chapel

The Henge Gift Shop)

The Henge Gift Shop)


We went through the small, incomplete museum and bought gifts in the henge shop. Walked back . . . way back . . . to parking and drove to Lacock for some groceries. My phone wouldn’t load Google Maps at Avebury and our Garmin GPS lost its satellite connection just outside of town. Fortunately, the phone came to life and got us to Lacock because Garmin never did find the satellite again. There is much to be said for paper maps!

Posted by Beausoleil 17:38 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged uk stonehenge avebury sandy_lane thatched_houses stone_circles Comments (2)

May 24, 2018 — Lacock and Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey is where they filmed some of the Harry Potter series so our granddaughters would never forgive us if we didn't post photos.


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Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey

This is our last vacation day so we wanted an easy one. Spent a leisurely rainy morning, checked email and finally drove in to the National Trust parking lot in Lacock when the rain let up. We walked to the Lacock Abbey entrance and entered the Fox-Talbot Photography Museum thoroughly enjoying both information and exhibits. I really expected to see my childhood Brownie camera on exhibit but it wasn’t there. So sad . . . The other cameras were fascinating though. Photography has really changed in the last couple decades.

The Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey

The Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock Abbey

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre,<br />French inventor of the Daguerreotype

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre,
French inventor of the Daguerreotype

Fox Talbot Photography Museum at Lacock Abbey

Fox Talbot Photography Museum at Lacock Abbey

Photo Postcards - the 19th century Facebook

Photo Postcards - the 19th century Facebook

Cuneiform tablet at the Fox Talbot Museum

Cuneiform tablet at the Fox Talbot Museum

Lacock Abbey and grazing sheep

Lacock Abbey and grazing sheep


The Abbey opened at 11:00 so we walked over taking pictures of all the cute sheep and their lambs in the surrounding field. At some point there was a very loud “baa baa” and all the sheep started moving toward and then around the Abbey . . . all of them baaing by then. It was funny, a visible cliché.

Lacock Abbey has been used in many movies, most notably the Harry Potter series. After Henry VIII dissolved the Abbeys, Lacock became a private home so there are ancient parts and many changes. It was all interesting. Unfortunately we haven't seen any of the Harry Potter films so didn't know what was in them and what was not, but our granddaughters loved Harry Potter so we took lots of pictures.

Following like sheep . . . Lacock Abbey

Following like sheep . . . Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey

Sharington's Tower built from the original stones of the abbey

Sharington's Tower built from the original stones of the abbey

Cloister at Lacock Abbey

Cloister at Lacock Abbey

Cloister Walk - Lacock Abbey

Cloister Walk - Lacock Abbey

Harry Potter Information at Lacock Abbey

Harry Potter Information at Lacock Abbey

Window and Book Cupboard at Lacock Abbey

Window and Book Cupboard at Lacock Abbey

The Warming Room at Lacock Abbey

The Warming Room at Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey - Interior

Lacock Abbey - Interior

Lacock Abbey - Interior

Lacock Abbey - Interior

The South Gallery in Lacock Abbey

The South Gallery in Lacock Abbey

Lacock Abbey - House Interior

Lacock Abbey - House Interior

Lacock Abbey - Interior

Lacock Abbey - Interior

The Great Hall - Lacock Abbey

The Great Hall - Lacock Abbey

Statues in the Great Hall - Lacock Abbey

Statues in the Great Hall - Lacock Abbey

The George Inn - Lacock

The George Inn - Lacock


We left the Abbey looking for lunch and ended up back at the George Inn where we had eaten the day we arrived in Lacock. This time both of us got the confit duck I had liked so well before. It was equally good today and since we were later, the place was packed. Oddly, we got the same seat we had on the previous visit. It was waiting for us.

Riding through Lacock

Riding through Lacock

The George Inn with the dog wheel on the fireplace side

The George Inn with the dog wheel on the fireplace side

St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock


We left The George Inn and while walking back to the Abbey discovered St. Cyriac's Church so stopped for a short visit. We were surprised to see colorful balloons tucked under pews and into odd corners all over the church. It was quite festive but we have no idea why they were there. Can balloons invade a church?

Balloons hiding in St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

Balloons hiding in St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

71c74d00-a26a-11e8-8a4e-df3f920a492e.jpg

St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Windows

St. Cyriac's Church and I see another pink balloon

St. Cyriac's Church and I see another pink balloon

St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

St. Cyriac's Church - Lacock

Wiltshire Crafts

Wiltshire Crafts


After the church, we continued through Lacock back to the Abbey to explore the gardens and were soon joined by a cute grey cat with white paws who followed us through the gardens. I dubbed her Abby since she was an Abbey cat. We wandered the garden until the rain started again. We walked back, got the car and drove home for a dry, quiet evening going through souvenirs and sorting out junk to be ready to pack for the trip home. We've really enjoyed Lacock. It's kind of timeless and very friendly.

Local Accommodation and the Local Bakery in Lacock Village

Local Accommodation and the Local Bakery in Lacock Village

Pup in the window - Lacock

Pup in the window - Lacock

The Red Lion Inn - Lacock

The Red Lion Inn - Lacock

Lacock Abbey with sheep

Lacock Abbey with sheep

Herb Garden beside the Greenhouse - Lacock Abbey Botanic Gardens

Herb Garden beside the Greenhouse - Lacock Abbey Botanic Gardens

In the Greenhouse - Lacock Abbey

In the Greenhouse - Lacock Abbey

Inside the Greenhouse - Lacock Abbey

Inside the Greenhouse - Lacock Abbey

Abby, the Abbey cat who followed us through the Gardens

Abby, the Abbey cat who followed us through the Gardens

The Rose Garden and Abby, the Abbey Cat

The Rose Garden and Abby, the Abbey Cat

Apple Blossom at Lacock Abbey

Apple Blossom at Lacock Abbey

St. Cyriac's Church from the Lacock Abbey Gardens

St. Cyriac's Church from the Lacock Abbey Gardens

Spire View, our home in Lacock

Spire View, our home in Lacock

Posted by Beausoleil 15:44 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged animals sheep abbeys uk harry_potter lacock Comments (1)

May 25, 2018 — Driving to Heathrow

We decided to stay at an airport hotel the night before our flight so drove to LHR and checked into Ibis. It worked and was the nicest Ibis we've visited.


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Somewhere in England<br />I didn't take photos driving to Heathrow.

Somewhere in England
I didn't take photos driving to Heathrow.

Time to leave. Showered, ate breakfast and cleaned the house that was pretty clean to start. Packed for the plane trip home. Brought too many books. They’re heavy so we tried to cram them in checked luggage. Guess I’ll read my Kindle on the way home.

Hopped in the car, bid our lovely landlady farewell. It was a wonderful cottage but having the eating area upstairs was a little inconvenient. Then began the long drive to London. It went very smoothly until the airport. We went around twice and I finally thought of zooming in very close on the phone map. That worked and we drove right to rental return. No problem checking in the car and we easily walked to Ibis where a nice lady checked us into a large corner room with shower. The people who work here are wonderful.

I decided to check in for our flight tomorrow so used the Virgin Atlantic app on my phone. It wouldn’t work so I got out the computer and signed onto the VA web site. It was incredibly slow and then refused to confirm my passport . . . the same passport registered in their member base and that I used to get here. Next, it informed me the check-in process was limited to ten minutes . . . even though their slow web site was the problem. After fighting with it for over a half hour, I gave up.

Went downstairs for lunch at the bar. I got nachos and Ed got a grilled ham and cheese toastie. Tried check-in again and this time it refused Ed’s passport that it had cheerfully accepted before . . . at which point I gave up again.

Watched a couple ancient spy movies and then tried Virgin Atlantic check-in again on the phone. It worked! We are now checked in and have boarding passes on my phone. Relief.

We went down to dinner and Ed got the fish and chips while I got a lamb shank. Too much wine in the sauce but otherwise very good. We arranged a taxi for 8:00 AM so we’re in for the night. The taxi for two people was the same price as the Hoppa Bus to Terminal 3 so the taxi seemed faster and more comfortable. Easier sounds good at the end of a trip.

Posted by Beausoleil 09:29 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged uk ibis lhr Comments (1)

May 26, 2018 — The Trip Home

Taxi to the terminal, through Security, onto the plane . . . and sat for 11 hours. Good to be home.


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Mimi thinks our sink is a nest

Mimi thinks our sink is a nest

No problems. The taxi was waiting and drove us directly to the terminal. The phone boarding pass actually worked. On the trip here, the phone pass refused to load in the San Francisco Airport so I was a bit leary about using it in London. They must have fixed their web site or check-in procedure because it worked in London. I must admit that Air France was much easier last year. So far we’ve not been impressed with Virgin Atlantic Airlines.

We checked our bags and went through Security. The gate hadn’t been announced. The board said it would be announced at 10:15 . . . when boarding was to start. That seemed close to us, but we found a seat and waited. Ed found breakfast and we took turns taking walks to keep our sanity. At 10:15 on the dot, the gate was announced. We walked to the gate to discover another Security line. We were waved through and chased onto the plane with no chance to buy a bottle of water past Security. Long wait on the plane for everyone to get through Security but we were seated and our luggage was stowed so we could read and relax, just not move. Eventually we took off and flew for 10+ hours to land safely in San Francisco. Magically our bags were among the first off and we zipped through Customs. Peg phoned to say where she was waiting but by the time we got there, she had been asked to move. We texted back and forth and eventually she appeared and rescued us.

We went to Peg’s church for the Saturday evening Mass and then to a very nice restaurant for dinner. We didn’t last much longer after that with the eight hour time difference. It was about four in the morning for us and we collapsed into bed. We were all up early Sunday for a quick breakfast. Then Peg left for a volunteer activity and we put all our stuff in our car and headed home. Actually arrived early enough to meet the cat sitter. Good to be home . . . and good to see our little kitty, Mimi.

Posted by Beausoleil 12:52 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged plane uk virgin_atlantic lhr Comments (2)

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