The place where Kylo Ren and Rey had their epic lightsaber fight at the end of Star Wars – The Force Awakens. The place where Doctor Who encounters the Weeping Angels, the crack in the wall and River Song all at once. The place that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s descriptions of Middle-Earth in The Lord of the Rings.
And that’s not even all – I could also namedrop the TV Show Merlin, for instance. But I think the forest speaks for itself, it’s truly magical.
Day 4 of me and my friend Caroline’s UK Roadtrip was spent in Wales, with a brief 5 minute pop over to England (we drove over the wrong bridge while looking for parking in the town of Chepstow).
The itinerary for the day included an abandoned castle from the 11th Century and the enchanted forest that inspired J.R.R Tolkien when he wrote about Middle-earth in The Lord Of The Rings! (I’ve written a post about the enchanted forest here!).
Or in Welsh: Castell Cas-gwen, is a Norman Castle built by the river Wye. The castle was built by the Norman Lord William fitzOsbern, so even as we were sightseeing around Great Britain we unconsciously sought out Norwegian history, as the true northerners we like to think we are!
As you can see we found a princessy photo-op, and we both had to have a turn at playing a princess waiting for her prince to come!
The place was so beautiful in a dark and dramatic way. We visited during working hours in the middle of the week, so we had the entire (gigantic) place for ourselves – except for one elderly couple.
We kept losing track of each other, though. We both have a tendency to wander off whenever something catches our eyes! Haha, we were walking around all mesmerized, and only when we snapped out of it we discovered neither of us had a clue where the other was. As you can clearly see in my vlog from our little castle-visit! Subtitles added.
All in all, Chepstow Castle was a beautifully conserved castle. We spent hours there, and I would visit again!
A couple of weeks ago now, I travelled to Wales to visit one of my best friends, Caroline, who happens to live in Cardiff. We have been on a roadtrip together in England/Wales one time before, and we decided to repeat the success. We’re both huge nerds in all things history, sci-fi and fantasy, so all roadtrips involving us two, ends up being a tribute to all movie sets and history-filled places along our route. This trip was no different!
In this post number 1 about our roadtrip, I’m goint to talk about Cambridge and the two small villages Castle Combe and LaCock.
We started out in Cambridge, where we of course visited Cambridge University. Sir Isaac Newton himself actually attended school here! And so did Stephen Hawking! Nevertheless, what actually impressed me about present-day Cambridge was the imposing, stern and self-important buildings. They just have an aura of magnificence and intelligence, somehow. Maybe it’s because I’m aware of all the history in the walls and all the great men (& in more modern years women!) who have wandered around here while studying.
Next, we headed to a small village called Castle Combe. Castle Combe is known to be one of the prettiest and most stereotypically British villages in England! I expected small stone cottages leaning in all directions, a small pub with a decorative sign and a funny name, and that cosy rural vibe. I was not disappointed!
I just love the charm of it all! The movie Stardust, which I also love, was actually filmed in Castle Combe, along with War Horse starring Tom Hiddleston (swoon!)
Just nearby Castle Combe, lies another litte charming village. This village is called LaCock. You might laugh, but that is actually the name of it! This was the second time I visited LaCock, and the second time around I actually learned how to pronounce the rather special name. It’s not pronounced as it is written (along with all other names of places in Britain, Sigh!) The correct way to say it is LeyCock, which makes the name a bit better, I guess..
What’s so extraordinary about LaCock is that a huge bunch of the Harry Potter scenes was filmed here. Especially in LaCock Abbey, where you can recognize the Hogwarts hallways and school yard. Also the Potter house in Godrics Hollow lies here.
Happy munchkin me in the Hogwarts cloisters! 🙂
The new grumpy cat in front of the Potters house in Godrics Hollow. For the occasion not ruined by Voldemort!
For those who follow youtubers, a fun fact is that LaCock is the hometown of Zoe and Joe Sugg 🙂 Unfortunately, we didn’t bump into them while there. We did however meet another huge celebrity in Bath!! But I’ll save that story for the next blog post, I think, hehe!