On the Trail of Russell and Holmes (1)

On the Trail of Russell and Holmes, or: The Best Trip Ever

Meredith is a friend, and a long-time Friend of Russell.  When she went to England this year in the footsteps of Mary Russell, I told her that if she’d like to write up her trip, I’d be happy to post it here in Mutterings.  So, her first bit of that trip.











The Adventure Begins

From May 4 to May 23 of this year I traveled around the UK.  I have had the good fortune to visit several other times but this trip focused on Russell and Holmes and was exceptional.  Laurie asked me if I’d like to send in a report : no question about that!

Special thanks are due to my brother Bill Taylor for polishing of the images and to my semester-abroad brother David Osborn for the use of four of his snaps.  And of course to Laurie, for this chance to share the journey and for the whole splendid world of Russell, Russellians and extra connections to the Holmes universe.

This trip to the UK  began twice:  once when I agreed to go to my niece’s wedding in England on May 7 and the second time when attending a meeting of the L.A. Sherlockian society,  the Curious Collectors of Baker Street.   The CCOBS has flourished for many years under the aegis of Tin Boxes Jerry Kegley and Chrys Kegley.

Les Klinger was our dinner speaker for the Twentieth Anniversary of the CCOBS and mentioned that he had been invited to be guest speaker for the Diamond Jubilee Dinner of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London (SHSL).  The surprise feature: it would be held in the House of Lords.  We said “Wow.”  By sheer and glorious luck the dates for the SHSL Jubilee Weekend were two weeks after my niece’s  wedding.

MOOR and Lew Trenchard

The opening event was my niece’s wedding in the small village of Eversholt.  After the wedding and before the  Dartmoor trip, I met for dinner with a stalwart LRK fan, Ruthie.   Therefore at least one Pirate is visible here, or a shirt at least.  We had a lovely meal in a Georgian pub in Bedfordshire, and actually could dine outside, quite a treat.

My English “brother” Dave from the family I met on Semester Abroad was kind enough to become expert driver and genius tour guide for Dartmoor and Lew Trenchard at the edge of the moor.  I am greatly in his debt.  I also know he had fun,  because we talked our faces off the whole time.

Dave picked me up in Bath, my rest stop after the family wedding.  As Lew Trenchard’s lodging tariff was a bit out of my price range, he booked rooms in “the middle nowhere”  at a pub pictured below, in Ottery.  Then we ran up onto the moor, into the Dartmoor National Park.  I didn’t realize there was a park, so there is no fear of developers now.    The road goes way up a hill and presents you with vistas in every direction.  There were moor ponies right next to the road, munching away as though all food stuffs were about to be withdrawn in ten minutes.  Evidently tourists were dead boring and they ignored us completely.   The sun began to set,  the wind to blow, and it was startlingly cold.  The idea of being there in the dark… brrr.





More tomorrow…


  1. Pat Floyd on June 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Thank you, Meredith! I can hardly wait for the rest of your journey.

  2. strawberry curls on June 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    This is exciting, Meredith. I can’t wait for the next adventure to be posted. Thanks you for sharing it with us, and many thanks to Laurie for sharing Mutterings with “fan” travelogs of England.


    PS Merrily and I decided the moor ponies and sheep clustered along the roadway in hopes someone would pick them up and facilitate their escape from Dartmoor’s dour, cold and frankly miserable living conditions. A.

  3. Merrily on June 22, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Alice and I were not minded to emulate Holmes and Russell and walk the moor, not once we had a look at the weather and terrain. We had enough of an adventure just trying to negotiate it in our rental car (and noticing all those sheep trying to hitch a ride to Sussex). But I felt so privileged to do a Russell tour and am so pleased to share yours, Meredith.
    Oh, and to have beebread at that event at the House of Lords…sigh…

  4. Gail Rector on June 28, 2011 at 6:36 am

    So good to read of your trip, how wonderful n terrific. Great photos and it’s fun to see the beautiful windows and hear about the classic tea food. Thank you for sharing. I have been stuck inside after some shoulder surgeries and don’t get out much. Laurie’s books and Real trips by real people are sort of like going. As Iszak Dineson used to say, “an armchair traveler”.

    • Laurie King on June 28, 2011 at 6:56 am

      Hope your shoulder heals quickly, Gail, and that the summer weather makes armchair travel a lovely break for you.

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