To Orwell Today,
Dear Ms. Jura,
I'm beginning to plan an Orwell pilgrimage of my own, and have a few questions regarding the best way to go about it.
Firstly, which Orwell sites would you recommend I see, and in what order, considering I'm planning on spending anywhere between one and two weeks in Europe?
Also, I'd like to visit Orwell's Barnhill. Do you think the owners would mind very much if I wanted a look inside? The last thing I want to do is pester them.
Lastly, if you've any other recommendations or relevant tips, I'd appreciate all the help I can get. Thank you very much for your time.
It's wonderful that you're planning a pilgrimage to Orwell.
It's hard to make any one recommendation as to what Orwell sites you should see because it depends on how much time you have in England and what transportation you'll be using and what else you want to do while you're there.
If your plane lands in London you could do the London sites first and you wouldn't need a car for those. You could visit everything (and more) that I mention in that section of my Homage to Orwell.
After leaving London you could go to Orwell's boyhood homes in the Thames valley and also visit his grave (a must see) which isn't too far from where he grew up. And perhaps you would like to go see Eton, where he went to school, which is close to Windsor castle which you could see while in the area.
Next you could travel to Wallington which, after reading the biographies, was one of the places I most wanted to see.
From there you could travel up north to Scotland and from Glasgow make your way to Jura and Barnhill. Maybe when buying your ticket you could arrange to land in London and leave from Glasgow. Or you could reverse the order and land in Glasgow and leave from London.
To enhance your enjoyment and get the most out of your pilgrimage to Orwell I recommend immersing yourself in your subject, ie reading the many biographies that have been written about him. Some of them will be in your local library. Or you can buy the biographies over the internet - new or secondhand.
I hope that helps you as you make your pilgrimage plans. As far as being able to go inside Barnhill I think that depends alot on luck. I do give the contact information for the Fletchers at the bottom of my Barnhill section and perhaps you could make arrangements with them.
All the best,
PS - I personally didn't do any driving while in England, but left that up to my husband who is English and therefore used to driving on the wrong side of the road. It would be helpful if you had an English person to give you advice and helpful tips on train and bus transportation, should you choose to travel that way. Things aren't as cheap in England as they used to be and transportation will be a big part of your budget, as will be accommodation. I was lucky in that I have English friends and relatives scattered in strategic spots throughout the country and so could stay with them.
HOMAGE TO ORWELL and PILGRIMAGE TO ORWELL and ORWELL BIOGRAPHIES and ORWELL'S OTHER BOOKS
Dear Ms. Jura,
Thanks for the helpful information.
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