Mark Twain could have been speaking of the United Kingdom when he said “Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs.” I ate the Full English breakfast almost daily during a two-week stay in England, Wales and Scotland in 2005 and never tired of the menu, nor the scenery. Each morning one component of the meal varied from the previous day’s: sausage in Wales was not the sausage of England, and scrambled eggs are amazing in their infinite forms.
All this would have merely been food on a plate, of course, absent the splendid hospitality of our hosts. As my wife and I chose bed and breakfasts for our lodgings, each day presented a unique home, a new town and countryside, and fresh glimpses into the reserved but warm lives of the people. Truly, the perfect seasoning to our journey. (Thanks to Linda Genaw for the use of her breakfast photo.)
I didn’t spend all my time in the UK eating, but I did take fewer photographs than I’d imagined I would. The main reason is that, in the US, stopping to shoot while traveling by car isn’t too difficult; generally, our roads have ample shoulders where both autos and tripods can park. UK roadways simply don’t allow this: the edge of the road is next to the a) hedgerow b) stone wall c) sidewalk d) parked vehicles e) horses and riders f) a combination of a-e. I passed up locations because stopping would have been impractical (if not suicidal); and besides, that lorry in the mirror was coming
Turning in our hired car in Edinburgh, I bought a copy of Outdoor Photography magazine to read on the train as we returned to London. This glossy monthly was a pleasant surprise, as feature articles actually outweighed advertisements by a fair margin and were well written. The location pieces, which include directions to The Nearest Pub, will make you want to see and photograph these historical landscapes too. No pulled punches in book and equipment reviews, either, a fresh change from the it’s-hard-to-pick-the-winner-here offerings seen in other publications.