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Kim’s Travels: History in Penn, Buckinghamshire

Travel with me! Take a virtual tour with me of some of the hidden and not so hidden gems in Europe and beyond. I lived in Europe for 17 years and organized 30-40 trips for family and friends. In these little bite-sized tours, I’ll take you to a place that you may someday want to add to your bucket list! Here we go!

There is a little town called Penn in the area of Buckinghamshire just northwest of London where I used to live. It’s off the M40 not far past the M25 which is the ring road around London. There is an exit called Beaconsfield, and Penn is about 5 miles in. It consists of only a church, a couple of pubs, and a collection of houses…though there are also many impressive estates around. Anyway, it has an outsized history compared to its tiny size.

First of all, Penn was part of the Penn family lands, as in the Penn family from which the state of Pennsylvania is named. During the British civil war, Oliver Cromwell holed up with his armies at the Crown in Penn. The Crown was the first pub I ate at during the warm summer days in August when I first arrived for my job in England.

Kim's Travels | Penn England | Woodstock Inn B&B

We sat outside and my sponsor told me the story I am now telling you, and pointed to the different additions to this 500 year old pub which had served as Cromwell’s Inn in the 1640’s. She pointed to an added building that served as a coffin making facility during the plague of 1665. The Crown is located right across the street from the little church where the Penn family attended, and a tunnel from the coffin makers to the cemetery was created so that the virus would not become airborne.

Next to the little church is a very small one lane road, the kind that England and Ireland are famous for, and the kind that has pull outs to allow oncoming traffic to pass. After lunch we crossed the street and walked along this path. It’s a very old path evident by the fact that the road runs 3-4 feet below the level of the terrain in some spots. One mile down the path and you arrive at the Royal Standard. The Royal Standard is almost 1000 years old. The King holed up here with his troops when fighting Olivier Cromwell. It’s like walking back in time when you enter the Royal Standard. The leaded glass windows, stone walls, and petrified wood speak of its age. It is used in movies, particularly since Pinewood studios is nearby.

On a summer’s eve, it is full of people who are a mix of locals and first-timers who feel pleased with themselves at having found a hidden spot of such historical significance. The food is good too! I love their mushroom risotto, and Eton Mess for dessert (strawberries, meringue cookies, and cream.) Sometimes people order their special brews like strawberry beer. In the back of the menu there are tales of the inn including that of kings and highwaymen, ladies and scoundrels.

I love taking some of my traveling groups to this little spot in England. Its a hidden spot that is just bursting with stories and history underfoot.

What do you think? Is that someplace you would like to go? Let me know what is on your bucket list.

Kim’s Travels: High Tea in Burford

There is nothing quite so cozy as a cup of English tea in a charming setting with some nibbles on the side.

On a day trip from London, you exit the M40 onto the A40 and one of the first sheep towns you come to after Oxford is Burford. I say sheep towns because once upon a time the area of the Cotswolds (meaning sheep on the hills) was famous and prosperous for the sheep trade. Burford is a little town with very old houses leaning together along a main street that slopes gently down to a a valley and bubbling creeks.

In the middle of the main street (called high street in England), is a bakery called Huffkins. Once you peel your eyes from the picturesque windows filled with hot cross buns and rasberry tarts, ask the hostess for a seat. To sit down you pass through a very popular bakery filled with beautifully displayed goods and into the little dining room. The stone walls speak of the age, and the cheerful dining room is filled with wood tables and chairs. We were there in the spring and the sun peeked through the windows, and little wildflowers in tiny vases perched on the windowsills.

We ordered afternoon tea which came with famous English tea in a little white teapot with cream and lumps of raw sugar. On the three-tiered carousel were little egg salad and cucumber sandwiches, multilayered slices of cream cakes, and a variety of shortbread cookies (famous lardy cakes optional). We spent a lovely couple of hours that afternoon cozied into the old bakery, eating the delectable selections, and warming our bodies and hearts with good English tea and company. Cheers to a wonderful little town in England!

What do you think? Is that someplace you would like to go? Let me know what is on your bucket list?

Writing Weeks & Weekends

Writer’s Retreats at

Woodstock Inn B&B

We would like to invite you to a writer’s week or weekend at Woodstock Inn Bed and Breakfast. It’s the perfect time to cozy in and produce the kind of writing you have always dreamed of! Kimberly Morgan, owner of the inn, is an active writer with two novels, a screenplay, and several plays to her credit. Would you like to join Kim for a week of focused writing?
 
The intent for the writer’s retreats is to give writers a chance to get away and focus completely on their writing. Woodstock Inn offers private rooms with en suite bathrooms. There are nooks and crannies throughout the property that you can tuck into and write. Breakfast is served every morning, and a boxed lunch is included midday. There are easy, paved walking spaces around the inn to help get the kinks out. In the evening, enjoy the historic Independence Square for dinner in a selection of nice restaurants, or use our kitchen to prepare something simple.
 
Evenings will include gatherings around the fireplace to help inspire you. Gatherings will include writing tips and takeaways, discussion of work, and the chance to share your work with others. Take off in the middle of a talk if you get inspired to write. We don’t mind. The week is focused on you being able to produce the writing you have longed to create.
 
Week price: $775 single occupancy. (There are a few rooms that can accommodate 2 people. price for double occupancy: $475 per person.)
Weekend price: $350 single occupancy (There are a few rooms that can accommodate 2 people. Price for double occupancy $225 per person.)
 
Come and join us on one of the following weeks or weekends…

  • March 15-22 Writers Week – Celebrating British Isles! Do you want to write about castles and cottages, kings and paupers? This is your chance. This week includes a party to celebrate the Irish!
  • April 10-12 Writing weekend – Christian writing weekend. Inspirational writing is one of the top genres to write in. Don’t miss this great weekend!
  • May 1-3 Writing weekend – Want an international setting to your novel? This is the weekend to virtually explore the world with traveler, Kim Morgan.

Go to our website and make these arrangements (WoodstockInnMo.com) or contact the innkeeper directly at 816.886.5656.

LOVE is in the Air!

Experience Romance at Woodstock Inn

Romance Special at 

Woodstock Inn B&B

Valentine’s Day Weekend 2020 

Woodstock Inn is set to provide you with the perfect gift for your loved one this Valentine’s day!

  • We have a yummy, specially baked Valentine cookie for you or your loved one.
  • If you stay with us on the 14th, we’ll give you 10% off your room on the 15th & 16th.
  • And if you need help with that romantic letter, gift card, or love note, our resident author and romance novelist, owner, Kim Morgan, is happy to offer guidance with expressing your LOVE!
  • We can help you with adding on amenities such as
    • a dozen of long-stemmed roses
    • a dozen chocolate covered strawberries,
    • chocolate fondue, or
    • couples massage.
  • to make this Valentine’s Day SUPER SPECIAL!

Go to our website and make these arrangements (WoodstockInnMo.com) or contact the innkeeper directly at 816.886.5656.

LOVE is in the AIR!