A Forest and the Pub – England, Sherwood & Oxford

by Funhog Family on October 15, 2015


No Bubbles

We spent a travel day yesterday getting from Kendal to Mansfield. The closest place I could find to the Sherwood Forest. Our original plan was to also go see the forest that day, but we would have gotten there thirty minutes before it closed and I did not really know how much time our visit would take. We also needed to get a place to stay for the night and that is always an adventure in itself. We asked at the local bus station information desk for a place to stay in town. They were awesome. One got on TripAdvisor and found us a place to stay while the other one looked up the bus schedules to get us there. We were headed to our B&B shortly after getting into town. We were thankful and they were so happy to help.

A English Breakfast

The Dodger

This morning we had our first full English breakfast. This consists of tea, toast, half of a stewed tomato, baked beans, slice of ham, link of sausage, stewed mushrooms, and a sunny side up egg. Chloe was a real trooper and tried everything at my request. On our brisk two mile hike (if you ever ask directions, everything is told to be ~2miles) to the bus station we stopped at the grocery store to buy our water for the day. I did not notice until we were trying to read the labels on the types of water to buy that we were in a Russian grocery store. No one in the store spoke English, so we bought the “Natural” water and were on our way. Later while on the bus Chloe was thirsty so I gave her a water to drink. When she opened it with bubbles rising I quickly grabbed the camera for her first swallow. Turn out that Chloe HATES mineral water! We both got a great laugh at our blunder. It got even funnier when I gave the three liters of water to a local woman at Sherwood Forest. I told her we accidentally bought bubble water and we do not do bubbles. She was laughing pretty hard at the whole thing and especially my new terminology of bubble water.

Sherwood Forest

Robin's Tree

We made it to Sherwood Forest in good time and only needed to hike another two miles from the bus stop to the visitor center. Once we got there we found out it was only another two mile jaunt to the Big Oak, which is the the thousand year old tree which Robin Hood and his merry men lived around. These days the tree is propped up all the way around it to keep the very heavy thing from falling over. We both loved the forest and the chance to hike there. After a couple hours we were ready for our next adventure, dinner several hours away at the Eagle and Child, a pub in Oxford that C.S. Lewis and J.R. Tolkien met in every Tuesday morning 1939-1962 to discuss the books they were writing (Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings).

We were able to get the Sherwood Arrow (a speedy local bus) out of Sherwood Forest to take us all the way to Nottingham for our train. At the bus station we got on the local town bus to take us across town to the other local bus station which is by the train station. From there we walked to the train station and sat down to wait for our train. Once seated the man next to me told me to talk with the train station attendants. I did and found out that there was a fire on the line (train tracks) that involved gas cylinders, so the line was shut down from Nottingham to Derby (our route). We were told to go outside the station and get on a tour bus which would take us to Derby where we could catch the next train. We did this and were whisked away to Derby. From Derby we caught train to Oxford and while en-route I got online and found us a B&B close (within two miles) of the Eagle and Child.

Eagle and Child

Narnia/Lord of the Rings - Beginnings

We went to the B&B first (two miles) and then went to the pub (two miles). It rained on us for the first time on a trip while we were walking to the pub. Once there they let me know Chloe would have to be out of the place by 730p because she was a minor. We had been praying we could sit in the exact place Lewis and Tolkien always sat. Though the pub was packed our seat was waiting for us! Our closest neighbors in the pub brought with them a chance to reflect on our bible reading for today. In 1 Samuel 16:18, one of King Saul’s young men gives him a character reference for David, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skillful musician, a mighty man of valor, a warrior, one prudent in speech, and a handsome man; and the LORD is with him.” When we read this we stopped and walked through the different qualities listed and even talked about how important it is to be prudent in speech. Chloe was not real sure what it meant to not be prudent in speech, so the Lord allowed an example of what that looks like in the pub. The Bible came to life for us and made us both want to strive to be prudent in speech. Walking in Oxford is beautiful! There are so many old stone churches and colleges here that so far all we have done is look up as we walk.

Chloe’s Take:
This morning we woke up, yawned, rubbed our eyes, and asked Jesus what he wanted for us (Thanks Aunt Sheri for the advice!). We had an full English breakfast this morning. The toast and the tea were good, the other stuff I passed on. We got to go to Sherwood Forest this morning. It was wonderful and I loved it. We have some acorns and a branch from the real tree of Robin Hood. God had us not go on a train today because there was a fire (God’s plan). So, we rode on a very high bus. Then we got to go on a train. We are now headed to eat at the “Eagle and the Child” and we get to stay at the Newton House B&B in Oxford. Like the real Newton who wrote Amazing Grace (but not his real home). I do not believe Newton every went there in his life. We just got back from the “Eagle and the Child”. The people that go there need prayer. We got to sit in the exact booth that Tolkien and C.S. Lewis sat in! We met a really nice lady there, but I was so glad to get back to our B&B. We love and miss you.

{ 1 comment }

Mom October 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

We think that if we ever have to cut down Epi, we would like Uncle Bob to carve us a little house like that! And the Eagle and the Child – so fun to see where some 0f our favorite stories were written/thought up.

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