Free Book Offer: Is This the Road to Stratford?

My travel memoir, Is This the Road to Stratford?, has now been published with Amazon for three months. Time to celebrate! For 5 days, from Thursday 15th June till Monday 19th June, I am offering the Ebook for nothing – zilch – FREE.

In 2011, I landed in Manchester. In a malevolent rental car, baffled by indecipherable road signs and huge roundabouts, I journeyed from Yorkshire through Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, to London.

On the way, I discovered medieval cities and great heritage estates;

Castle Howard, where two versions of ‘Brideshead Revisited’ were filmed

pretty villages, pubs and chicken and leek pie;

Elm Tree Inn at Embsay, Yorkshire

a castle where Robin Hood could actually have fought it out with the Sheriff of Nottingham;

Skipton Castle
Stone-paved courtyard in Skipton Castle with 350 year-old yew tree holding pride of place

and the mighty home where Miss Elizabeth Bennet fell for a dripping Mr Darcy, fresh from his dip in the lake.

Lyme Park, the location for the filming of the mini-series, ‘Pride and Pejudice’, with the lake where Mr. Darcy took his dip

In Oxford, I wandered the streets, soaked in history and academia.

Balliol College-my digs at Oxford


I communed with my favourite authors, the Brontes

The Bronte family vault at St. Michael and All Angels Church, Haworth.

and Charles Dickens,

Staple Inn, one of London’s Inns of Court, used by Dickens in ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’.
Barnard’s Inn, Pip’s and Herbert Pocket’s chambers in ‘Great Expectations’.

and slaked my thirst for theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon

and London’s West End.

I learnt a lot along the way: that it’s unpleasant being woken on an aeroplane by a cup of boiling tea down your front; that you can’t smuggle a bottle of water through security at Kuala Lumpur airport; that you can see theatre in London for half the price of Melbourne; that Harrods is seriously weird, and that you need a university education (preferably at Oxford) to understand English road signs.

Is This the Road to Stratford? is book three in my Planning to the ‘Nth series. To download a free copy from Amazon, click here. The exact start or end of the promotion can vary, depending on where you are in the world. In Australia and surrounds, it will go through till Tuesday.

To access my other books, click on the ‘books’ icon in this blog.

Happy reading.  Cheers, Coral.




Lakes Entrance Victoria

The Gippsland Lakes are a network of lakes, marshes and lagoons, covering an area of around 350 square kilometres. From Bairnsdale, I followed the Princes Highway, as it snaked its way down and around a point known as Jemmy’s Point.

A view over the lakes from Jemmy’s Point.

In 1889, a wall was built to fix the position of a naturally occurring channel between the lakes and Bass Strait, to stabilise the water level, create a harbour for fishing boats and to open the lakes up to shipping. Hence the name, Lakes Entrance.

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The Lakes, South-Eastern Victoria

I decided last week I needed some R&R and some nature, so I headed down to Victoria’s lakes district on the south-east coast. I’d been promising myself I would explore the area for years but somehow hadn’t got round to it. I stopped the first night in Bairnsdale, before taking the last 38kms down to Lakes Entrance the next day.

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The Old Post Office Medieval Hall House, Tintagel, Cornwall

After my slightly disappointing visit to Tintagel Castle, I hitched a ride up the hill on the mini bus they provide (thank heavens, one less Cornwall hill to negotiate) to the village. While waiting for a bus to take me back to Port Isaac (I was never quite sure, while in Cornwall, whether or not a bus was going to come), I wandered up the main street and came to a 14th century medieval hall house. It has the most gorgeous undulating roof and walls, and I absolutely had to go in for a look.

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Tintagel Castle Cornwall

I thought, while I was in Port Isaac, I’d catch a bus out to Tintagel. There’s a castle there, or the ruins of one. It was built in the 13th century by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry 111, with an outer bailey on the cliff tops of the mainland and an inner ward with a great hall and chambers on an isolated and inhospitable rocky headland.

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‘Is This the Road to Stratford?’ Book Launch

This week, I’m launching the third book in my Planning to the ‘Nth  series. Is This the Road to Stratford? describes my trip to England in 2011. Arriving in Manchester, I crossed by train to York, where I picked up a particularly malevolent rental car and, bewildered by indecipherable road signs and massive, terrifying roundabouts, wound my way down to Oxford. From there, having with great relief disposed of the car, I caught the train to London.

The book is now available as an ebook from Amazon. To check it out, click here.

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Climbing Cornwall Cliffs

I had decided long ago, while watching the 70s version of Poldark, that I would one day walk along some Cornwall cliffs. On my first morning in Port Isaac, I had my chance.

Gazing up at the cliff, looming over the town, I took a deep breath and headed up Roscarrock Hill past the Doc’s surgery and onto the track.

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Port Isaac, Cornwall

Anyone who’s followed my blog or read my books will know I’m besotted with film locations.

I’ve been waiting for a chance to visit Cornwall ever since the seventies, when I watched the Poldark series, with its ragged cliffs, waves crashing into coves where smugglers plied their trade, windswept moors, tin and copper mines and, let’s face it, its leading man. This was my chance.

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