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January 24, 2014

Holidays and History

In around six months we’re off on holiday. This time we’re flying to London and catching a cruise ship from Southampton. Part of the joy of traveling is the research, the deciding where to stay and what to do. We have long discussions about various alternatives, and recent topics have included the New Forest, transport in and around Southampton, and places to stay in Southampton and also things to see in Winchester.

We’ve decided to stay at an old hotel in Southampton called the Dolphin. It’s said that the earliest references to the hotel were found in 1454. During Elizabethan times it was frequented by foreign merchants and seaman. Guests were entertained by minstrels and other entertainers.

The hotel is said to have six resident ghosts, and I’m looking forward to learning more about them. One of the ghosts named Molly walks down the corridors with only part of her body showing because she’s walking on the original medieval timbers.

Jane Austen lived in Southampton for part of her life (1806–1809) and she celebrated her 18th birthday at the hotel.

The hotel was also a coaching inn and was used for winter assemblies. The writer William Makepeace Thackary wrote part of his novel Pendennis at the hotel. He used to sit in the large bow windows and write.

While much of Southampton was destroyed by bombing during WWII, the Dolphin escaped destruction, and it recently underwent a 4 million redevelopment. Mr Munro says just as well since that means we won’t need to use chamber pots.

Since the Dolphin is an old building some of the floors are on a bit of a slant—according to the reviews.  It all adds to the charm, and I can’t wait for our stay.

Do you enjoy planning trips or are you a more of the spur of the moment traveler?


  1. Mary Kirkland

    I like seeing pictures and reading of others going places and taking trips, I’m much more of a home body.

    • Shelley Munro

      LOL – sometimes home is best!

  2. Maria Zannini

    I used to like taking impromptu road trips, but it backfired on us once–so never again.

    I spend a lot of time researching where we’ll stay while hubby plots what stops we’ll make along the way.

    Looking forward to hearing about your upcoming trip!

    • Shelley Munro

      That sounds like a story waiting to be told, Maria. We both really enjoy the planning process, and for us, it’s all part of the trip experience. We plan for months in advance and have long involved conversations about what if…

  3. Nancy Henderson

    That sounds like so much fun! We’re planning a trip to Delaware this summer. Can’t wait!

    • Shelley Munro

      I haven’t been to Delaware. I’ll need to Google to see what is there.

  4. Heather

    Sounds like an interesting place/area to visit. I like some pre-planning in travel, but also like to leave room for spur-of-the-moment stuff.

    • Shelley Munro

      We do a little spur of the moment stuff, but mainly do what we call “Loose” planning, which seems to work for us.