The Yorkshire Dales

Thought you’d enjoy a little taste of the Yorkshire Dales!


 Did you like that song?  Would you like to hear it all?  (Think, World War II, England. And try not to cry.) (We brought Vera Lynn with us, for driving authenticity.)

We drive again today, hill and dale, through the Cotswolds, to the sweet little town of Tetbury, where we will stay in this darling little rose-covered cottage belonging to our girlfriend Siobhan (the English girl in the cute coat, who took us all to Charleston, remember?).  We’ll stay here for the rest of time, ’til it’s time to say “Goodbye,” ’til it’s time to say, “Cheerio.”  The Queen Mary 2 sails Sunday, June 24.

Last night, I put lots of photos on Twitter . . . just click on the link and then you’ll see more links there for the photos.  It’s impossible to keep up with so much beauty on one little blog!  I also thought, if communications allow, I might just give you a some videos for the next few days . . . so you can smell the fresh air out there, and see the wildflowers move . . .  LOVING your comments Girlfriends; so happy you are enjoying this amazing country!

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272 Responses to The Yorkshire Dales

  1. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    Another beautiful cottage which you have the good fortune to stay in – more than one night!!! You just keep surprising me! California is so dry and this summer will be worse. I am taking in all of the pics of the GREEN countryside! I am going to say it right now —- I am going to miss you when you arrive home. Each night I take in all of the beauty of our day and repeat the days before. You were right when you said that often times you look at the countryside and the villages and it brings tears to the eyes. I have often found that true for me as well. Thank you Thank you Thank you for allowing me to share in this treasured journey!! Time to say good night here – XXOO

  2. Tina says:

    I felt my heart skip a beat when I saw the word, Cheerio. But, not yet. We still have so much more to enjoy. Thank you, Susan Branch.

  3. Mary S. says:

    Thank you for the wonderful video of the Yorkshire Dales!!
    What a cottage!!!! Oh! Would it be possible to post any pics of the inside of it?
    We just finished watching “Miss Potter”! I just had to see it again after your last blog!! What a wonderful, sad movie!!
    LOVED all the pics you posted on Twitter!!

    Love from Mary S. in Fresno, CA

  4. Julia Waterbury says:

    Wonderful to follow you on your vacation and pretend we are there… my dad was born in Yorkshire so it is like visiting his home and wishing I could see it in person… what beautiful pictures. Thank you!

  5. Dorothy Ann says:

    * Hello – Cheerio – Susan Thursday…June 14…2012… *

    Just logged onto your post…”The Yorkshire Dales”.. and viewed your drive through the glorious hills and dales. Soooo lovely…soooo awesome…gives new meaning to seeing an enchanting-storybook-lush-English countryside.

    Actually, I’m still at Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Home…can’t leave yet, so many thoughts to savor and enjoy from your Monday tour and those charming tales of your visit there. And, in my follow-up postto you on Tuesday, 6/12, I thanked you for being such a wonderful tourguide. I have to thank you again…if I may. * T h a n k Y o u *
    “Tetbury Tales”
    “A little rose-covered cottage, so cozy and so sweet, where you and Joe will enjoy your morning tea, with of course, a lemon cake treat”.
    * Luv from Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

    • Heidi Rose (Issaquah, WA) says:

      Hi Dorothy Ann ~ We’re neighbors! I’m with you…can’t quite seem to pull myself away from Hill Top Farm. Just savoring the magic still!

      • Dorothy Ann says:

        * Hi Heidi Rose from Issaquah, Washington *

        Hi Neighbor! Sunday evening…June 17, 2012..
        Yes, it’s a “small world” after all, isn’t it?

        I am very much “into” Susan’s awesome Blog and everything all about Susan…her books…her art…etc… I have read many of your posts to her, as I have many of our other girlfriends’ posts too and I thought…”ohmygosh Heidi Rose is from Issaquah, right nearby. I should post her a reply to say hi”.

        Then, you wrote to me, referring to my post to Susan on June 14th, just as I was thinking of doing the same thing!

        Oh yes, I did not want to leave Beatrix Potter Country and her charming Hill Top Home either! I see you felt the same way. Susan has such a special way of sharing her trip to England with all of us, doesn’t she?

        Well, so very nice to meet you, Heidi Rose. I hope you scan back to your original note to me and find this reply.
        * Dorothy Ann on Cougar Mountain, Washington *

  6. Ann says:

    How sweet is this cottage! I love costwold stone – such a warm looking colour. The Dales and Cotswolds are places I have visited and love but I’ve not been to Tetbury. Looking forward to “my” visit with you and keeping my fingers crossed you are going to Highgrove – probably the most beautiful garden in the UK! And so it should be of course. I recorded a BBC TV documentary filmed over one year at Highgrove and its one of the most memorable garden programmes I’ve ever seen. Even my sister (who is an anarchist!) was enchanted – so I’m sure you will be if you get there.

    • sbranch says:

      We did get to go to beautiful Highgrove last time, in 2004, such an honor really; made my respect for Prince Charles and his passion for organic sustainable gardening and food production rise to the top.

      • Linda Pintarell says:

        There is a wonderful little book that has been published called The Prince’s Speech On The Future of Food – can get it on Amazon. I got it a few weeks ago and its wonderful – Prince Charles was way ahead of his time in his thinking on the eco-system and sustainability.

      • Ann says:

        Yes, I’ve a lot of time for Charles – even though he is pilloried a lot of the time he sticks to his principles. I hope you managed to catch his Jubilee Tribute to his Ma’ma – all those charming family home movies. I loved how Charles and Anne were filmed by their parents enjoying the things my sisters and I did in the 50s – just the scenery was different!!

  7. Georgeann from Texas says:

    Having read the James Herriot books over and over your views of the Yorkshire
    Dales help me understand why he always felt so fortunate to be able to work
    and live there. So peaceful and beautiful … felt like I was on the way with him
    to a calving or taking a drive with Helen. And what exactly are crumpets? (Just viewed your pictures on twitter).
    Wow … that burger is massive…enough for two meals for me! Loving your blog…
    is it almost time to depart? My how time has flown! Wonderful times and memories.

    • sbranch says:

      We have ten more days in England, and seven more on the high seas! We split that burger!!! Crumpets are like thick, soft, English muffins (sorry English people! :-)) with lots of holes in them for butter and jam. (Bu-uh and jam in as the Gecko in the Geiko commercial would say.) They do sell them in the USA. And yes, could truly imagine James, in the little car, in the rainy cold night, driving through the dark and mystical Dales. Shivers!

    • suzee branch says:

      dear georgeann from texas!!

      yes, the james herriot books have been some of the favorite books ever. and having not made it to north england (yet!) i also LOVED that video of driving thru the dales. time to read the herriot books again.

      suzee from montana

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      Hi Georgeann from Texas….I had to laugh about the massive burger….
      You see….here in the midwest…..not a problem ! We would be wondering
      what did Sue & Joe have for dessert??? I’m just kidding….maybe……..
      no, I Am kidding…..I would have to see it in Real Life to know for sure !!!!
      Have a great day in Texas Georgeann and I’m gonna go figure out what
      to make for dinner???? Any ideas???? 😉

  8. Sara Holiday, FL Soon to be Georgia!! says:

    What a delightful cottage!!!! I just love it!!!! The 24th already???? Wow our trip realy has flown by! It has been such a beautiful time to spend with you.

  9. mary spring says:

    Good morning Susan and Joe , even tho I commented last night (it’s only 4;45a.m. as I write now ) ‘ got to “comment again !?!….. you have given us sooooo much…..I’ve been literally dreaming of England these days !!! …I too love England and can hardly wait for your English diary to come out,,,,thank you over and over for all you both do !!!…with love…

  10. Judy says:

    Susan, your trip has been the highlight of my year. I can smell the countryside and am dazzled by the scenes. I am loving every minute of your trip and have passed on the blog info to lots of friends. I wish you were staying the entire summer and filling me in every step of the way. Enjoy your little cottage and the rest of your time there. JQ PS..Its safe to come home as the bear has been caught on the Cape. I think he was thinking of swimming to the Vineyard and giving Jack a surprise.

  11. Lynn McMahon says:

    Good Morning~
    I’m sorry but every time I see someone driving on the “wrong” side of the road I get a little freaked out~ then I see a car coming at you and (scream witch eyes closed) ” Watch out”!!
    ~Enjoy your stay in the beautiful cottage~

  12. Sweet Pea says:

    I’m already sad stop! The Yorkshire Dales are just beyond beautiful Susan…I will get there one day!! I can’t believe we are almost already back at the QM 2…I’ll stop ..we still have so much more to go.
    I will go to twitter and drink in the photos…cheerio…xoxo

  13. Treese says:

    I have always thought of the Yorkshire Dales as one of God’s gifts to us! It is so lush and green there and with all the livestock it is so beautiful. Have you had to stop your car to allow sheep to cross the road? A common occurrence in the Dales
    I am going to my home in Newcastle in the fall. I need to make repairs and I have decided to rent it out. It has been sitting there empty for 2 years and it is a waste of money not to rent it. Although, I have not wanted anyone to trash the beautiful cabinets and hardwood floors I had refinished, but leaving a house sit empty is also not good for it.

    I can’t believe your time there is almost done, but back in time for the 4th of July! Life is GOOD!

    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

  14. Carol Rehme says:

    We’re enduring a devastating wildfire here in Northern Colorado. The lush green of the Cotswolds soothes the sting of smoke in my eyes, a welcome reminder of nature’s beauty. Thank you for sharing so generously!

    • Nina says:

      O Carol I do hope that everything will be ok for you soon! It must be truely devastating for you all! xxxx

  15. Kelly J. says:

    Hi Susan! Your photos take me right there! Such a beautiful country! The cottage you’re staying in looks like it’s right out of the movie The Holiday 🙂 And the hotel, a glimpse of Hogwarts in Harry Potter, another favorite 🙂 Do enjoy each and every moment of this dream trip, and thanks, yet again for sharing it with all of us girlfriends! Cheerio! Kelly from Eastern PA

  16. Judy from Maine says:

    You’ve got me getting up very early in the mornings on the day I know I have a posting to read. I get the posts sent to my PC, but never allow myself to read them during the busy workday. Rather, I wait till early morning so I can savor them with a cup a tea. Last night upon turning in I told my husband I would be visiting Hill Top in the morning. I think he might think me a little batty. Thank you so much for inviting me on your trip, it has been wonderful.

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      ….”us girls” just need to stick together Judy….my family, is starting to
      ask each other, if they should plan an intervention !!! 😉 “where’s mom….
      where else….England”…..hahahah!!! 🙂 Have a happy day in England !! 😉

  17. Bettina says:

    I love a photo, such a nice and cosy home.

    Enjoy your trip

    Best regards from Bettina (from Berlin 42)

  18. Karen P. -Wisconsin says:

    Love the Twitter pics and updates! I had never heard of Vera Lynn before….must check her out. Perfect English countryside driving music, indeed! What is it about the stacked stone walls and pastures filled with sheep that make you want to stop the car, get out and lie down in the tall grass and stay there all day??!! LOVE Siobhan’s cottage! Perfect place to finish out your trip. Have fun!! Hugs!

  19. Sue Rideout says:

    Ok your last car ride post seriously made me car sick! What a ride!!!

  20. 🙁 That song…..(choke)…..I feel……See! I told you I was afraid I wouldn’t want to go home if I ever went to England!

  21. Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

    Oh MY, how hard it is to believe it is almost time for you and Joe to leave! What a wonderful trip this has been for you guys and us too! I am sure you guys will squeeze so much more in by the time you leave!! Can’t wait to see your beautiful book on this incredible journey! I have enjoyed it so very, very much! Smiles!

  22. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…I loved the ride with that beautiful music! Once again..just like being there…smile… And that cottage is to die for…I think I could stay there forever..Speaking of…I’m sure you hate to see this journey end..I know I will! However, I know Jack & Kitty will be so happy!


  23. Rosemary says:

    I had my husband listen and watch your video with me this a.m. TEARS! for me, anyway, for that song. How absolutely lovely that countryside is. I did a little hanging on as we went over the bridge…and on the wrong side of those narrow little roads. Do people behave as far as keeping a reasonable speed? You will have to readjust when you return to Martha’s Vineyard! The dots of little sheep on the dales…I can hardly soak it all in in its beauty. I will be checking on the pics on Twitter here shortly but wanted to thank you for this wonderful glimpse into the countryside. Just loving it!

  24. Bobbie Ann Picard says:

    Susan, Thank you for the photos on Twitter…..they are wonderful!! I’ve loved every moment of this adventure!! Looking forward to more.
    Thanks again,

  25. marybeth says:

    susan, your blog is my home page and your photos, notes and videos are making me feel like i am visiting all of the places i would love to see. i can’t tell you how much my friends and i are loving keeping up with this trip!
    thank you for all that you are putting into the book, also.. we can’t wait!!!
    love, marybeth farris

  26. I just found your blog but I’ve collected your books for years…I even have one (Girlfriends Forever) with your autograph (a treasured gift from my husband in 2002!)…and I’ve JUST NOW found your blog! Much to explore here, I can see that. My sister-in-law and her husband are in Cape Cod right now and will be leasing a home during off-season; my husband and I will travel there to see them and the fall colors. I was telling her in an email how much I’ve always wanted to visit Martha’s Vineyard, thanks to your books…and when I Googled you to send her a link, I found this treasure! My lucky day! ~Blessings, Lina

  27. Paulie says:

    Hi Susan and Joe:

    There are no words to justify commenting ……it is all so breathlessly beautiful and you have given those of us who will never be able to take this journey such an awesome education of the beauty of the Countryside in England. What a treasure this experience has been for all of us readers here. Thank you for being our eyes, our ears, our hearts and for sharing it all…….it has been such a blessing ……..thank you, thank you, thank you. Can hardly wait for the Diary’s release…….

  28. Beth, Virginia/Cape Hatteras, NC says:

    Greetings Susan. Given the various stops along your travels, I thought I’d mention two books that (if you can find them used) you’d enjoy: Vita’s Other World – A Gardening Biography Of V. Sackville-West by Jane Brown, and, Gardens of A Golden Afternoon – The Story of a Partnership: Edwin Lutyens & Gertrude Jekyll, also by Jane Brown. You may already have these in your library, but the ‘girlfriends’ may want to seek them out as well. Thanks for taking the time to post all of the lovely photos…I know how hard it is to ‘report’ at the same time you’re trying to enjoy a full-immersion travel experience, but you seem to be able to merge the two seamlessly, and we’re happy that you are sharing bits and bobs with us.

  29. Karen K. says:

    Just beautiful! What a treat to take a drive through the Dales with my morning coffee. Thanks for having us on vacation with you 🙂

  30. Pamela Jewett says:

    The hills are a lovely shade of green. So restful for the eyes. James Herriot was able to describe his beloved “work place” so well, but seeing it with your video really brought it to life. Love all of the sheep/lambs on the hillsides and the stone buildings and homes.
    This has been a wonderful stacation. The best I’ve been on! So much more to see before you both head home.
    xoxo Pam

  31. Peggy Cooper from Pueblo, CO says:

    Just sooooo beautiful. Joe is doing such an excellent job of driving. When I saw the cars coming at you, my instinct would have been to veer to the right – which of course would have been a disaster. The cottage reminds me of the one in the movie “The Holiday” that Cameron Diaz stays in. How lucky you are to have such good friends in England, and how blessed they are to know you.

  32. Linda Pintarell says:

    Such a cute cottage…have a wonderful week or so there – I’m sure you will. And thank you for the Twitter pictures – loved them. Looking forward to your book about this trip with much anticipation. My Christmas shopping just got easier. Sending hugs from San Diego.

  33. Penny Hoopes says:

    Loving the English countryside & all the darling cottages, etc. I’m missing Jack!!! I love, love all the cute pictures of him & girl kitty. Thank you for taking time to blog everything.

  34. zinnia patch says:

    Good Morning Susan! Oh what a wonderful drive! I had to watch it a second time to see the view, the first time couldn’t take my eyes off the road….lol
    and Joe is doing a great job!!!!! Thank you so much for the pictures…..just absolutely beautiful, and oh that cottage that you are heading too……takes my breath away………..Thank you again for this wonderful ( not quite the right word) trip you are giving us!!!!!

  35. jennifer says:

    wow….that left side driving is something! 😉
    so beautiful there…and the music is so perfect.

  36. What a PERFECT cottage, oh my. sigh again.

  37. Oh the song was so sweet and I was watching your video and showing Jim at the same time and once it was over he said “that has to be tough” Joe driving on those narrow roads and all!!! Jim drove sprint cars in his youth so for him to say that even he sees the danger driving on the wrong side!!! I LOVE CRUMPETS now I’m sure the ones you are eating are just delicious…our local Kroger had crumpets for a short time and when I went in to request they get them back, the person told me that they weren’t a “big seller” what was I chopped liver?? I loved them toasted with strawberry preserves…I can still taste them. Sigh….10 more days….don’t be sad just enjoy your little cottage and pack all your memories (it’s ok put them in the suitcase with Dawn/Me) and look forward to your trip back to the States…WE will never forget this journey thanks to you and sweet Joe.

    • Susan, just came back from looking at your pics on Twitter: The “Bull in Field” pic with HIM IN THE BACKGROUND!!!! I vote NO…I have on RED TODAY AND DAWN HAD A CHARLIE HORSE LAST NIGHT….SO, just this one time let’s just go along the road and not cut through the pasture….PLEASE….THANKS!!!!! and Pat I’m sure would agree??

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        hi deborah ! The twitter pictures ARE absolutely beautiful!
        but, that field looks ok to me…. i keep looking and I just
        don’t see a bull….just two people out there for a walk….
        huh? just looked again….with my tri-focals……nope ….no bull
        just two people and lots of green.

        • sbranch says:

          We didn’t see a bull either … but maybe he was behind the bushes. Maybe the farmer has this little way of keeping people out of his field? So many possibilities, but we didn’t go that way! We are too busy having fun to take time out for a possible bull fight!

          • OMGolly Ladies….forgive my fear of the bull I just went back to the pic (with my glasses this time)…whoops the light color looked like a face/head to me and the darker color the body…I think my imagination is alive and well which is the good news….I also think the heat 90’s has taken a toil on me and Susan I know you have been in cool temps./rain during your visit and I think with all the walking you have done that may not have been a bad thing? Good to hear from you ladies and I stand corrected.

          • Dawn from Minnesota says:

            I guess it’s a good thing that nobody listened
            or heard me say….”Follow me!” Just kidding.
            I’m no fool….as for me ? I follow the leader…

          • sbranch says:

            Me too, that’s why we are considered smart girls!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        You are right on! I couldn’t out-run a bull with my bad knee and would be worried about you two kids!!! Even if you could divert the bull’s attention with your red clothing, that field looks too big for us to escape! LOL! 🙂

  38. judi says:

    Oh, Hilltop was so wonderful, a dream come true for you I know. England is surely a nature lovers paradise. Loved the drive this morning – Joe is excellent – no shrieking? and did I see a sign that said one lane bridge ahead? I didn’t see one:) You may have to drive for the first couple of days when you get home so he doesn’t go “on the wrong side”.

    Love that little cottage and remember the pic from before. How fast the time goes when you are having such great adventures. Love the videos – they really take me to a place I will never get to. Love it all. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air…”, Ralph Waldo Emerson

  39. Heather says:

    You were clever to take your own music with you. I found it was quite a let-down to go into a pub and hear Elvis. Just didn’t fit somehow.

  40. Rae Ann from northern Michigan... says:

    It is mid morning here in northern Michigan…blue skies, blue water…a chill in the air…I am imagining you and Joe having tea in England right now…so enjoyed all the twitter pics…thank you for sharing…LOVELOVELOVE your purse in the elevator picture~I need one just like it!!!…enjoy every single minute of your time in Tetbury…xoxo…

  41. Rae Ann from northern Michigan... says:

    EEEK!!!…scary driving on the left side of the road!!!…

  42. Laura Ann in Vermont says:

    Wow! I’m surprised at how similar it is to Vermont! Maybe that’s why they call it New ENGLAND. Now if we only had tea rooms here, too…

  43. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    Can’t believe only 10 days left! It feels like a time warp!! You have outdone yourself with the English diary trip! Each posting just gets better and better. All the beauty and history that you have shared with us – priceless!! Hoping that you have a wonderful stay at the Cotswolds cottage! Peace and safe driving!

  44. Lisa G. says:

    Driving on the left side is nervewracking – I tensed up when those cars appeared, LOL!

    So pretty – what a treat!! Thanks.

  45. Heartsdesire says:

    So sad to think that you will be leaving on the 24th. I’ve enjoyed the trip so much. All the beautiful photos. Will you have your scarf finished by the time you get home? Gorgeous, gorgeous rose covered cottage. I think this is my dream house. Next to your home, of course. Lovely video of the Yorkshire Dales. Still find the left-lane driving a bit scary. Hope you don’t forget when you get home that we drive on the right side in Canada and the US.

  46. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Almost Tea~Time Sweet Sue…The Drive & The Song…♫ The Time You Say Goodbye ♫ Goosebumps…& Your Friend Siobhan’s Rose Covered Cottage…Glorious…so There You & Joe will Stay & Savor Every Day…until The Queen Mary 2 Sails Toward “Home” on June 24th….Amazing! 🙂 Sweet Sue I Must Fly to Twitterville & Enjoy all the New Photos You have Posted…Thank You for All The Magic…Cheerio Darling Sue…Have a Scrumptious Afternoon! xoxo Poof! ♥

  47. Beth Keser says:

    Getting caught up after being away on an 8 day cruise. Thanks to you, I have officially added visiting England to my bucket list 🙂 What beautiful pictures and you have a way of capturing the “magic” in everything. I do have to say, the driving video had me saying (out loud) “get on the right side of the road” many times -hahaha. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing adventure with us!!

  48. Jane says:

    I love watching and listening to your videos. It really feels like I am there with you and Joe! And you are making it so much fun for all of your girlfriends! The glimpse of the rolling hills in this one is just beautiful!

    Sorry your trip has to end so soon. It seems like you just arrived! Have a wonderful day (or evening)!

    Jane From Chicago

  49. Jill says:

    My family came to America from Yorkshire way back in the 1600s, but I do feel a catch in my heart whenever I’m somewhere that’s incredibly green with rolling hills. I felt it just now while watching your video! Way down deep, our spirits seem to recognise those things which went into making us who we are today.

    What a lovely and unforgettable holiday you’re having! ::Jill

  50. Jean says:

    Good morning,

    The video with Vera Lynn in the background is so wonderful. I can’t believe you only have 10 days left!!! Will you and Joe make it back to Alfriston and Much Ado Bookstore or are you hunkering down in that sweet cottage for your last week? Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your trip.

  51. Crystal S. says:

    Susan, I am so excited! I must have missed it somewhere, but I did not realize you were going to publish you English diary! That will be a must-have. Also, I forgot to tell you how much I loved the scarf you wore to Hill Top Farm with the kitty and ? puppy faces on it. Adorable. Is it something you got there? Again, thank you so much for the tour. I just cannot find the words to tell you how much I have enjoyed it. I wish it did not have to end on the 24th, but I am sure as much as your dream vaction has come true, you will be anxious to get back to your lovely home and kitties on the Cape. I wish you very safe travels.

  52. Marianne in Hidden Meadows, CA says:

    I am absolutely green with envy of Siobhan for owning such a beautiful fairy-tale cottage, and of you for having the good fortune to stay there! It’s exactly the image I’ve always had in my mind of the quintessential “English country cottage”. Can’t wait to see the inside! I try not to think about our trip ending, but just savor the here-and-now. Thanks again, Susan and Joe, for bringing us all along! It’s been maaahhvelous!!!


  53. Fran Sigdestad says:

    Boo Hoo, almost over. One more glorious week. I was going to ask if they have snakes in all that green. Then on one of the pics from Google, there was a big ol’ snake. Yikes? Did you see any on your walks? I have had such a wonderful time on your (our) journey and want to thank Joe for sharing you, and thank you for taking us along. I am so looking forward to the book. Then I can sit and dream as I read it. In your blog you have confirmed my love of paths, because the paths you and Joe have taken have brought so much delight to all of us. Many xoxo’s

  54. Nina says:

    O Susan This cottage is chocolate box cover perfect! I have to ask (because I am nosey) where did you meet siobhan? xxxx

    • Nina says:

      Also and you probably won’t remember this because of all the 1000’s of posts you read!) but I remember telling you about York at chistmas and my sister and I going to the German & victorian christmas markets they have there! You would love it! xxxx

    • sbranch says:

      She came to the island years ago and worked there for a summer, that’s when Joe and other of our friends met her … and have kept the contact all these years.

      • Nina says:

        I love hearing how like minded people accross the miles meet. I myself have made two new penpals thanks to you Susan and FOSB! Francine from Milwalkee and Karen from Maine! Looking forward to hearing from them soon! xxxx

  55. Judy Tracy says:

    Have been away for almost a week and have had the joy this morning of catching up on your trip and delight about all you have seen. Just saw Twitter for the first time with more of your divine pictures. You have given us all such a lovely gift of the world through your eyes. Thank you ever so much. Safe journey all the way home.
    Sending the hugs we would give you in person if we rally knew you. Judy Tracy

  56. Nellie says:

    One more beautiful cottage! Such lovely countryside! Oh my goodness! Is it almost time for sailing again?:-( I’m not sure my legs are seaworthy yet!

    This has been such a wonderful trip, Susan. Thank you so much for all you have done to bring us along with you. I am really looking forward to the water color book of your adventures.

    Have a wonderful Thursday!

  57. Joy Pence says:

    Loved the drive seeing the Yorkshire Dales. I played over again and paused on the beautiful green valley. ahhhhh makes my heart swell. How wonderful to get to stay again in the beautiful cottage. Embrace every day sweet Susan. xoxo

  58. Susan Havey says:


    All I can say is ma-a-a-velous!! After seeing the blogs and twitpics from England, you surely should be knighted by the Queen for fostering tourism in Britain in such a loving and gorgeous manner. I, like others, keep going back to the blogs to see the gorgeous countryside and “feel” your excitment in describing what you have seen. What a trip. I’m sure we all will have a trip to England on our bucket lists after your trip and soon to be published diary are available to read.
    Thank you so much for taking your precious time with Joe to share it with us.
    Susan in Spokane, WA

  59. Lisa R (northern Arizona) says:

    Just glorious Susan! So beautiful, exciting, and peaceful, ahh…….it has been a pleasure and honor to have enjoyed your trip with you. And now for the rest of your visit, you get to stay in a rose covered cottage that looks a lot like the one Kate Winslet’s character in the Holiday lived in! How sweet and fun is that!!! Enjoy your week Susan, and thank you so much for all that you’ve shared.♥

  60. Barb from Ohio says:

    Oh how I loved the video of driving through the Dales! Could smell the grass and wildflowers and feel the breeze. I can’t believe your visit is close to coming to a close with ten days left, but I know you and Joe will make them ten glorious days. How wonderful to get to spend them in that little stone cottage. Will be waiting for the pics of the inside. It has been such a treat to “come along” on this trip with you and vacation vicariously through you! I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get over there but feel like I’ve been through your pics and blogs. Thanks so much!

  61. Ann says:

    The song reminded me of the movie “Since You Went Away”. What a perfect little cottage to spend your last vacation days in. The only good thing about your vacation ending is that mine will be beginning! We’ll be on the “other island” next to MV. Our little slice of heaven for one week every year.

  62. Ruthie P says:

    What a perfect picture of you at the cottage gate.I am so glad you let us know the name of the song playing in the car.Chocked me up,between the song and the beautiful country side. You are always one step ahead and so thoughtful.You were made for England,but you belong to us,its ok,we’ll share:) I can not thank you enough for everything you give.This is so much fun and I am learning so much! Some people are blessed,some people are blessings, you sweet Susan are both!!!! You and Joe continue to enjoy this magical trip,and continue safe journey xoxo Ruthie

  63. Cathy from Golden, CO says:

    Pretty little cottage and isle of green – through hill and dale.

  64. Peggy says:

    Thank you for the great holiday Ilove being in England
    I cry for beauty also

  65. Rebecca L. says:

    Absolutely fantastic! The stone cottage and, well, just everything. As much as I enjoy where I live and have no complaints, or I try not to, I do now have a longing to visit England again, but spend more time in the countryside. This is due to you and your lovely pictures and writing. I will take my time going through the Twitter pictures.

    That drive, for a moment I thought I was looking through the eyes of the driver (forgetting the driver is on the right) and when the car went straight, but the camera went left…yikes! Haha

    Thank you again for taking us along.

    Best wishes from Rebecca (Riverside, Ca)

  66. Barbara (WA) says:

    Being such a homebody, I’ve not wanted to travel but you have been describing and sharing my dream trip! You are fortunate that Joe seems to love what you love. I worry my husband would be bored but I might be wrong. Driving on the wrong side of the road might keep him occupied 🙂 The video made my stomach do flip-flops. And when the cars came from the other direction- ack!

  67. Rosanne in Oregon says:

    How beautiful! Loved riding along in the car with you and Joe with nostalgic music playing, though I must admit to being a white-knuckle passenger on those narrow roads! Yikes! My new Emma “Rose” mug is perfect for morning coffee and reading your blog. It is a lovely keepsake from “our” tour. I am so looking forward to your diary-book. Every one of your books has been special, but somehow I feel as if this one will top them all, especially since we have all had the privilege of traveling with you!

  68. Judy says:

    Oh susan,,What beautiful pictures on twitter! Glad you and the bull didn’t get to meet one another! The green there is beyond words for a Ca. girl,,will miss all your lovely pictures when you leave,,can’t thank you enough for sharing your dream trip with all of us. Judy

  69. Good Afternoon from Nazareth, PA! I am enjoying my trip with you through England, SO MUCH! I absolutely ADORE that cottage and want to jump right through my computer and come visit you now!!!! You have been so kind to share your wonderful trip with us. And . . . I agree with Tina, my heart skipped a beat, too, when I saw the word cheerio!

  70. Winnie Nielsen says:

    10 more days??? Say it’s not so!!!! I love these beautiful cottages . The style and stone seem so cozy and friendly! All of the green and flowers everywhere just beg for a cup of tea and time to take it all in! You must be gathering notebooks full of sketches and ideas with such unique beauty at every turn! Thanks again for inviting us girls along! I appreciate all that you have done to include us in this adventure.


  71. pat addison says:

    hello susan, ohhhhh what a beautiful cottage, now that is the way i want my him to look like. its so pretty. guess we all have to try to fit back into the trunk soon for the voyage home…okay girls no more clotted cream until we get home!!!!!! we have to squeeze back into the trunk and that will not be easy with all the goodies we have been munching, and no more beer…too fattening!!! hugs……. 🙂 ( laughing out loud) LOL!!!!!!!!

  72. Rosanne in Oregon says:

    Just have to add that your rose-covered cottage looks like a place where Miss Marple would live.;)

  73. Sharon H says:

    Oh my gosh Susan I just love that sweet cottage, it is totally ‘YOU’ – and totally England! That picture would make a great cover for your new book and if not you really should think of putting it in there somewhere. When I first saw you there standing in front of it, all I could think of was the movie Random Harvest with Greer Garson and Ronald Colman, one of my all time favorites. The whole area of the Cotswolds looks like a fairy land and if I was staying in that cottage I would be looking over my shoulder all the time for them! I just feel so lucky that you have been so, so generous and wonderful to share your vacation with us. I doubt there are many people in this world who would be so kind. Enjoying this all so much! HUGS FROM ME– SHARON IN MAINE

  74. Erin Perry says:

    We stayed at Owl Pen Manor on our trip 6 years ago, very close to Tetbury. We loved walking down its high street and visiting all the shops. Don’t miss the butchers – many of their wares come from Prince Charles’s estate which is also fairly close. There was also a delightful little tea room behind an antique mall on the other side of the street from the butchers and a block or so down. Tea is served in the back garden and the scones were exquisite!
    Erin in Morro Bay

  75. Silvia Niomi says:

    What a sweet and adorable cottage. Loving these posts. Say it isn’t so…. ten more days?

  76. Carol Maurer says:

    Susan… great video of the Yorkshire Dale! I just love all the ‘green’ everywhere you go. I remember you putting up a picture of the house you are presently going to stay at a while back on your blog. I fell in love with it then. How fun that you can stay there once again on this trip. I sure have enjoyed this trip with you and Joe! Only a week and a half left to go. The time has sure flown by.
    Until next time…. Cherio!
    Carol M

  77. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    I thought of the James Herriot stories too. He would take the time to pull off to the the side of the road and just enjoy the beauty and the openness. A balm to the soul!
    Ok, driving on the left side is downright frightening! When I saw that other car coming toward us, my instinct was “we’re going to crash”, then realized that they were in their own lane….”be still my beating heart.” Combining the scenery and the driving… oh my. Have a blissful time in your cottage!

    • sbranch says:

      That was exactly how I felt, a balm to the soul, so quiet out there and such a sweep of openness.

  78. Kathy says:

    Can it get any better? I feel like it’s the trip of MY lifetime! I really enjoyed the car ride through the dales. Isn’t it weird for you sitting on the left side without a steering wheel while Joe drives from the “passenger” seat?
    Looking forward to ‘our’ last ten days and want them to last forever.

    Kathy in California

  79. susan says:

    just love traveling along with you both. got a little nervous with the left side of the road driving though!! enjoy every sweet second 🙂

  80. lori says:

    Let’s not say good-bye yet!!! Felt like I was right with you in the car. My, how time has flowen. Have never heard that song and really liked it. Neat to have music to go with the lovely, beautiful scenery. Thanks a big bunch!

  81. Karen says:

    Beautiful cottage! I lived in St. Nazaire, France when The Queen Mary 2 was being built. I drove by it nearly every day as I watched the progress! My husband worked at the shipyard then. Going to Twitter to view more of your photos! Sounds like a dreamy trip!

  82. Leslie Freeman says:

    What a great job you have done showing us all these wonderful places! Thank you sooo much! I found myself showing my husband your blogs, videos, photos, etc and I have to say …. he is smitten! Warn Joe, you may have a few “boyfriends” tagging along as well! Thanks ever so…. (as they say)

  83. suzee branch says:

    so susan!

    did you have sticky toffee pudding in custard yet??!! i know i’m harping on this but i can’t help it!

    and now you’re back to the cotwolds. it seems only a few days ago i was looking at the atlantic with you from the cocoon.

    i wish with all my heart you time to walk the cotswold way. NEXT TIME!!!

    suzee B

    • sbranch says:

      Oh we did have sticky toffee pudding, in Ambleside, and loved it!

      • suzee branch says:

        oh YAY! it’s one of those things that no matter how good the recipe is or how hard you try and carefully go about it, sticky toffee pudding will not taste the same as it does in the england of your dreams!

        safe voyage for you and joe and the little fellow.

        suzee B

        • sbranch says:

          You need to be sitting next to a fire, built in a tiny fireplace in a dark wooden wall, inside a cozy stone pub built around 1600, on a rainy day. If you could do that, probably it would taste really good!

  84. Vickie in Olympia says:

    Such beauty! I love the way the camera veiw swings to the left when traffic comes the other way 🙂 Joe is doing such a good job. If I had a stove painted with all that lovely color I wouldn’t leave my kitchen. Oh to be so creative and not afraid to show it. Appreciating your generous heart and soul to share this all with us! Big hug to you both.

  85. Debbie says:

    With all that you have seen that is so beautiful, there really is no place like home. Can’t wait to see you back in the states puttering around your gorgeous home.

  86. Janet says:

    Today’s video was especially great, Sue. Wherever you positioned your camera was perfect. Felt just like I was traveling along with you – and scary Pete of course – feeling that up and down roll of those gentle hills. I think England has more greens than any place on earth! What a literary day we had too – at least to me. Yorkshire to this Yank will always be the stories from the ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ series. I kept thinking ‘we’re going to run into James and Siegfried and Tristan any minute – out doing their rounds & talking with the hard-working Yorkshire farmers. “We’ve got to do summat about this pig, Mr Herriot…” Or Mrs Pumphrey and her precious Tricki Woo out for a walk. Highly-recommend these books to any Girlfriend who hasn’t read them. Wonderful stories, very well-told. One more thing that made me fall in love with the British Isles. And have we all read “Rebecca?” Couldn’t put that one down when I was in high school. The Bibury Court looks just like I imagined Manderley to be – massive, ancient, romantic, beautiful. Maybe it’s even a little foreboding. In the dark. Anyway, thanks so much Sue and Joe for another great day. Every post gives me an out-of-body travel experience while I sit at my desk and read. Always a bit of an adjustment coming back to the real world. You know what I mean… :>) Take care, travel safe, Big Hug.

  87. Martha Ellen says:

    I’m sorry but the song made me cry! I’m a softy and cry with beautiful music and even more beautiful countryside! The cottage where you and Joe are staying is the stuff fairy tales are made of. Have a wonderful time and know I am enjoying every minute you bring to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you! xoxo ♥

  88. Priscilla Palmer from Naples, Florida says:

    Only 10 more days of living vicariously through your travel log. Not sure whether to 🙂 at the 10 more days or to 🙁 at the only 10 more days!

    Although the return trip on the ship will be wonderful, and you must miss your kitties. You are the most deserving lady (and Joe is the most deserving gentleman — especially to be so brave to drive around the country on the side of the road he’s not used to) and I’m so happy for you both!

    Mahvelous dahling! xoxo Priscilla

  89. Martha says:


  90. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…still catching my breath after the Potter post….but have to say that this cottage looks just as enchanting as the others..cozy warm…inviting…filled with fairies and flowers to be sure..have soooo loved all of your posts, pixs, and words on this incredible journey…and been inspired to add English Countryside to our bucket list!! Family reunion last week and spent one day on the high seas of the Niangua River in SW MO rafting with all our kids, grandkids..cousins…and more!!! Thought of you and the Summer Book story about camping…great time and precious memories…used several of your recipes too..(Summer Sandwich and Sarah’s Granola..both BIG hits!! thx!!)…know you’ll relish these last days…looking forward to your next surprise and thank you again susan and joe… love, cindy

  91. Kim says:

    Love, love, love this!! I’ve sent your blog link on to our cousin (who lives up in the County Durham area), as well as my SIL who will be going to England to visit our Brit family members with her hubby this Fall. What a sweet cottage (and what a sweet countenance outside the cottage!)!

  92. marisa grindstaff says:

    dear susan,
    so very lovely. I have been enjoying your visit,I have pulled out all my
    Beatrix Potter books,and dug out the animated series on tape (vhs)to watch. found my dusty paperbacks Cottage Tales of Beatrox Potter by Susan Wittig Albert to read( the dear animals speak )have my Dover coloring books with wild flowers to paint and color and a 500 pc peter rabbit puzzle.Pulled out my best china and linens and settled down for tea. my you do so inspire. love you dear, marisa

  93. JoAnne Baker says:

    Thank you so much for taking all of us on your vacation! I have been having a wonderful time!

  94. Cyndi in NC says:

    I love Siobhan’s cottage. Does it have a name? It’s darling anyway.

  95. Nanci says:

    The video scenery reminds me of the Lake District as well. One can not do justice to just describe the gorgeous scenery there….the video really helps. If you go to the town of Fairford, be sure to stop at the church, St. Mary’s, there and visit the little cat shaped grave stone of Tiddles the Church cat. We happened there on market day which made it even better.

  96. Robin Faris says:

    Thank you for including me and the many others on your trip to England. You see my roots and relatives are all from England. I have been 3 times to the , North, South, and London, and visited my relatives there. Two of my favorite places are the South near Exeter, where all the roofs of the homes are “thatched”. We really thought we were in Narnia! And in the North we stayed in York, quite a magical city. We visited the pub in Oxford, “The Eagle and Child” where C S Lewis and The Inklings talked and wrote, even sat in the booth where they would always sit. So thanks for taking me along on your trip, it has been wonderful, and made me want to visit again as soon as I can ($$$). My very English Grandmother came to America by way of Ellis Island, and it is to her I owe my love for this magical country. Blessings on your way home.

  97. Dawn from Minnesota says:

    It is ThunDERing and LIGHTning……a very rainy cozy day and feeling very
    “Mrs. Miniver” like……. if ever there was a rainy-day movie…this one is tops!
    I looked to see where in England am I today? And…may I just say, “HEAVEN”
    Beautiful Heaven on Earth!!! And with the thought of little Lamb families
    sprinkled about….even more so!!! And then…the “SONG”……BEaUtiful till we got
    to the “had to say goodbye” part 🙁 but, then we got to the “till we meet again”
    part 🙂 . May I say Susan, that during the time spent in England, you have
    magically (skillfully) connected to our Hearts, Minds, & Souls! You have taught
    us New things and showed us Old things that are New to us! You have made our
    mouths water and fed our eyes & ears till they are “Thanksgiving full” with all the B E A U T Y !!! You have tickled our Funnybone and brought tears to our
    eyes….You have brought us to “YoUr” England! It has been a trip to remember
    for a Lifetime…..a “real” trip to England! But, I never expected that I would
    come home with so many new friends! “Real” true friends who have shared
    this “Brigadoon” moment! We have Laughed together, we have Cried together,
    we have Cheered for each other, we have Prayed for each other, we have
    bonded together….we have become “REAL FRIENDS!” Yes….first it started
    because; We all Love to Love that we all Love to Love YoU, “Susan Branch” !!!
    But now, we Care about each other too! We have shared Advice and Ideas,
    we have seen Dreams come true and Dreams to be made, we have shared
    Memories of Life, Love, and all the Other Stuff! We will never meet a guy
    named Pete without thinking of “Petey” or a man named Jack without thinking
    of your Dad….. When we see a baby Lamb, we will say, “oH Susan just Loves
    Lambs!”…….When we hear Mozart we will think of SUE+Joe+RACHEL+Paul =
    FOREVER “Bliss” …….when we hear the Beatles we’ll say,”Paul !”……When we
    see a Home Depot we’ll say,”Joe !”……When we hear Vera Lynn sing we’ll cry…
    When YoU say, “QUEEN” we’ll say,”Mary”……”QUEEN” “Mary” “QUEEN”
    “Mary”…did I ever tell you I’m around little kids alot 😉 !!! It has been so very
    much fun……and I’ve been kinda thinking…well….maybe it’s that Father’s Day is coming up, or that Vera Lynn song on a rainy day …but, I think that night in November on my Dad’s Birthday…when I stumbled upon your “Tweets from theTwain”…….well… I am starting to think My Dad led me to YoU!…….to make my “missing him” heart a little happier ! You know….a very wise woman once said 😉 when talking about Inspiration…that the word Inspire comes from the Latin word Inspirata…..
    which means “breath of God!” Truly, from God’s breath to YoU…Susan Branch!
    Did you ever think that your “Breath” would touch SO many hearts??? AND…
    now I am Laughing at that thought….little green clouds of garlic breath floating
    amongst the clouds !…..but seriously…’s morning breath!……HELP ME!!!!!
    But, all in all…….”LOVE YoU!” “THANK YoU!” “ENGLAND 2012 ROCKS!” and
    I will never-ever-ever Look at a suitcase the same way again !!! It will always
    make me SMILE!!!! Or give me a charlie-horse or two!!!! XoXDawn

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      oh my…i hope you “understand me”…. i never meant that YoU had garlic
      breath…. why do i ramble on so??? sorry… have the most precious of
      days left in your “enchanted cottage!” and, may I ask, just because
      I’m snacking on them, do you have anymore blue diamond Bold salt &
      vinegar almonds left? I was just wondering how many you packed….
      they are so good….and so addicting….and…..I’m rambling….. I do love
      the world you share with us ! bye for now…. XoXDawn ……………oh, and did

      • sbranch says:

        I think we may have about a third of one can left, we took two. Lots of other delicious things to eat, but these are pretty wonderful!!

        • Pat Mofjeld says:

          They sound wonderful! Thus far I haven’t been able to find those here–maybe regional? We always buy a can of the smoked almonds for the trip to Door County…

    • Marianne in Hidden Meadows, CA says:

      Dawn — you totally nailed it with your description of this trip as a “Brigadoon Moment”!!! A hundred years from now, we’ll all wake up and do it all over again. Meantime, we can dream of it…..


      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Dreaming……isn’t it cool that we can dream when we are
        awake and that we can dream when we are asleep! Do you
        have a favorite?

    • Pat Mofjeld says:

      Well, Dawn, whenever I hear of anyone falling into a stream and needing to get pulled out, I will think of YOU! 🙂 (just kidding…) But I think we should meet for tea sometime–there is a tea shop in White Bear Lake–are you interested? 🙂

      • Dawn from Minnesota says:

        Pat……it’s a date! I will be the one holding the Susan
        Branch book….. 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          Now you’re making me want to be there!

          • Pat Mofjeld says:

            You are welcome to join us!!! Let’s set a date! I’ll bring one of my Susan Branch books, too, and that is how Dawn and I will recognize each other–and we will both recognize you so you don’t have to wear a red rose behind an ear! 🙂

  98. Heidi Rose (Issaquah, WA) says:

    Hi Susan! Loved the drive through the Dales (although I started to feel a little bit woozy in the backseat with all of us squeezed in there!) As a big James Herriot fan, I spent a couple of weeks there way back when with my sis. The scenery is breathtaking, isn’t it??? It’s hard to believe it’s almost time to say goodbye to beautiful England. *sniff* The day that you leave to sail back to the states, my hubby and I are flying down to CA to spend a week in San Luis Obispo! We’ve been in need of some sun and are looking forward to exploring the central coast. Have a wondrous time in the Cotswolds, making new memories and soaking up the beauty there. Have you had a cream tea yet? Enjoy!!!

  99. Pat Mofjeld says:

    What a beautiful countryside and thanks for the photos and film. I’ve always read the James Herriot books and it is so wonderful now to have “seen” his country! Still disconcerting to be “riding” on the other side of the road, though, especially meeting other cars! Will have to go check out the photos on Twitter now… 🙂

  100. Wendy Louise says:

    Oh so much fun and beauty to behold. You make me smile sooooo much ! when my husband and I drove to Prince Edward Island we had the Anne of Green Gables tape in the car and played it every where we went. It moves you to tears so I know your feelings, it’s magical ! Soak it all in Girlfriend, soak it all in because it does last a long time. The wonderful memories are imprinted in your brain ! That cozy cottage looks so enchanting, oh what a time you are having ! 🙂 OOXX

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