We just returned from two weeks in my husband’s hometown of Wells, Somerset in southwest England. I have visited that area many times during the 15 years that he and I have been together, and I will never tire of its magnificent views. I know I should play it cool there. Wells where Mike’s family lives, so I shouldn’t let myself look like a dorky tourist. But this place is delightful and historic, and so unlike my Virginia home. Mike and I will be strolling through Wells in decades to come, and I’ll still be taking pictures of that amazing place with my giant tourist camera.

This trip was particularly special because my parents came, too. The last time they were in England was 2005 for our wedding, so it was a rare and treasured experience to have both sets of our parents in one place again. Mike and I loved showing my parents around Somerset and sharing that beautiful place with them.

Here are some scenes from our wonderful trip.

Dulles airport at sunrise
Sunrise stripes at Dulles airport

 

Wells Vicars Close
My parents in Vicar’s Close in Wells, the oldest continually inhabited street in Europe (people have lived in these homes since the 1400s)

 

Croquet at Bishop's Palace in Wells, Somerset
A very civilised game of croquet on the lawn of the Bishop’s Palace in Wells

 

Family portrait at Wells Cathedral
Happy Katie at the Wells Cathedral

 

Wells Cathedral and Vicar's Close
Setting sun and rising moon at Vicar’s Close and the Wells Cathedral

 

Wells, Somerset High Street
I did some people-watching on Wells High Street — I love the musician’s mohawk, the views of the Cathedral, and the boy’s hand on his mother’s back.

 

Wells Cathedral birds and moon
Birds at the Wells Cathedral

 

Children at Bishop's Palace in Wells, Somerset
My adventurous kids exploring the Bishop’s Palace in Wells

 

Wells Cathedral swans
A mother swan and her babies in the Bishop’s Palace moat. Apparently the Queen owns all the swans in the UK.

 

Wells Cathedral stairs
The well-worn staircase that leads to the ancient Chapter House in Wells Cathedral

 

Wells Cathedral stairs
This part of Wells Cathedral dates back to the year 1200, and feels like something out of Lord of the Rings.

 

Wells Market Square long jump
Testing an Olympic long jump record distance in Wells Market Square

 

Wells Cathedral from the side
Exploring the grounds of Wells Cathedral

 

Wells-Bishops-Palace-stained-glass
Getting a close-up look of the stained glass window (and staircase) at the Bishop’s Palace

 

Vicars-Close-house
One of the homes along Vicar’s Close. Families have lived in this house for 600 years.

 

Cat at the Swan Hotel in Wells
A cat in the lobby of the Swan Hotel in Wells

This friendly cat loved to visit with the guests in the lobby of my parents’ hotel in England. One evening I got down on the floor to photograph her with the Wells Cathedral in the background, but as soon as I got to her level, she hurried over to say hello to me. An employee of the Swan Hotel noticed that I missed my shot, so he picked up the cat and asked where I would like her to be placed for my photo. ? How’s that for wonderful customer service?

 

Kiddie pool jump
Playtime in Nana’s back garden

 

Nunney village in Somerset
A street scene in the village of Nunney, Somerset

 

Nunney castle in Somerset
Daniel peeking out of Nunney Castle in Somerset

This is Nunney Castle, which was built in the 1300s. My parents have spent many years researching our family history, and they’ve learned that my mother is a direct descendant of Richard Prater, a former owner of this castle. Prater was a crown loyalist and a Roman Catholic, so in 1645 the Parliamentary army destroyed his home. Most of the castle walls and most are still in good shape, though. We had fun exploring the ruins and pretending it was our family castle.

 

Nunney castle in Somerset
Nunney Castle in Somerset

 

Nunney castle in Somerset
The village of Nunney and its castle

 

Nunney village in Somerset
My boys strolling through Nunney

 

Little girl with hydrangeas
Katie loved all the summer hydrangeas almost as much as I did.

 

Wells-Bishops-Palace-moat
My wonderful parents at the Bishop’s Palace

 

wedding-day-and-13th-anniversary
The same spot on our wedding day in 2005, and our 13th anniversary in 2018

And finally, my favorite photo from the trip was a recreation of a wedding photo on our anniversary. We spent our 13th anniversary eating dinner with our parents at the same hotel where we got married 13 years ago. We were able to take an updated photo where we got married, with some of the key players and two new additions to the family! I love these photos and will always treasure them.


Related posts:

Scenes from our vacation to the gorgeous Southwest of England

Ali and Howard: Wedding at St. Audries Park in England

Scenes from my whirlwind trip through New York City

Our epic American road trip, part 1: The paradise of Colorado

Our epic American road trip, part 2: The magic of Montana

Even more astonishing than I imagined: My trip to the solar eclipse totality zone

Our wedding album!

 

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Charlotte Geary

CHARLOTTE GEARY

I photograph fascinating people, and I teach other people how to do it, too.

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