Monday, September 26, 2011

Goodwood Revival: 16-17/September; Departure: 18/September

Warning: LOTS of pictures of cars!

Friday and Saturday: Both days we scheduled breakfast for 8am but were a little late. Pam prepared delicious "Full English" breakfasts for hubby and (a vegetarian version for) me. Good and filling. We liked the Jolly Fisherman B&B and would stay there again (but Pam is considering retiring soon).  The weather was supposed to be good on Friday and rainy on Saturday but both days turned out great: mostly sunny, windy, cool.

When we left the B&B, we really didn't know where we were going but looked on the map and followed signs to Chichester. Once in Chichester, I recognized some town names that we didn't want to head toward (like Portsmouth or Midhurst) then finally saw signs for Levant. After a stop for directions, we got in line behind a bunch of other cars, old and new, to park. Took probably 30 minutes from leaving the B&B until we were parked. Not bad at all…

So what is the Goodwood Revival? It's a rally race with cars from the 40's, 50's and 60's. It's a fashion parade where the spectators dress up in fashions from the 40's, 50's and 60's. It's an air show with planes from, you guessed it, the 40's, 50's and 60's. It's a shopping experience where you can buy cars from those eras along with clothing and other period things. There are some newer shopping options but they are decked out in period as well. You can get as close as you want to the beautiful expensive cars. It's held over a three day weekend in September at the huge and gorgeous Goodwood Estate which belongs to the Earl of March who must be really, really rich! It's very popular and crowded. The ticket prices are high but we found the food and drinks were not bad (cheaper than some festivals back home, really). has lots more info.

I'm not the car enthusiast in this relationship but it was pretty cool to see the old cars all lined up in the designated parking lot—row upon row upon row of expensive beautiful cars! You could hang out in the parking lot for hours and never even go inside the Revival grounds—the cars are that nice! Once inside, we walked around a lot. We went in the Paddocks to see the race cars close up. Then we watched some of them race. Really cool. We got up close and personal with the airplanes.  Then watched them fly over.  I loved seeing all the gorgeous elaborate and detailed costumes worn by both women and men. I didn't like the shopping areas--godawful because of the crowds. Walking about was tough, again because of the crowds. I liked sitting in the grandstands, reading my Kindle, watching the race and the people. Hubby enjoyed wandering around. He loved talking to the mechanics from Zuffenhausen in the period Porsche shop. He took lots of pictures... 
Friday was less crowded but Saturday had more people dressed in period wear. We didn't have grandstand passes on Saturday and if we go back, I'll splurge for those. Overall a very interesting experience that I know hubby wants to repeat!

Car park A was for regular cars and it lead to where the pre-1970's cars were parked

Still in the parking lot!

Inside the gournds, even the supermarket was period

Spitfires flew over several times

In motion, through the crowds

Old tractor on the track

That's Laurel and Hardy!

Parked to be admired

Burgers for hubby; chips for me!

The racing as seen from the Startline Grandstand

Nattily dressed gentlemen

Plenty of people on Friday

American cars were represented, too

Jaguar E-type racing

Gorgeous old Porsche

And another one

In the Porche shop

The guys from Zuffenhausen were nice to my enthusiastic hubby

Lord March's Most Beautiful Cars display

I liked this one!

Very old, very precious Rolls Royce

Very new, very pricey Rolls Royce

Group in period dress

Jaguar E-type heading to its paddock after a race

They just drove though the crowds, no problem

Spitfires on display

Even the Mini's raced; so fun to watch!

Watching the race from the another Grandstand

In the parking lot at the end of the day

The end of a beautiful day at Goodwood Revival

Sunset at Selsey Beach

Friday night we enjoyed dinner at the Crab and Lobster then walked back to the B&B.
Appetizer at the Crab and Lobster

My delicious seafood risotto at the Crab and Lobster

Saturday: more crowded and colder, windier weather

Lots of folks were dressed in period costumes

Her coat was amazing and he looks like that actor from the lastest X-men movie

Hubby took lots of photos of planes today

Those boots are not made for walking all day...

Hubby collected me from my comfotable chair and treated me to a delicious Pimms!
He loved all the planes

Now, back to cars!

This one is a winner!

Really kind of amazing that they just drive by after a race

Laurel and Hardy again

Flyover by some of those planes we saw earlier

Another winner!

And the day had to end...

We left Goodwood around 5pm on Saturday and drove through gorgeous English countryside (A286, I think) until we caught the motorway to London Heathrow airport.  We dropped off the rental at Avis which is really far from T5 where our hotel for the night, Sofitel, was located.  It took 45 minutes to an hour to drop off the car and get to the hotel...  We were lucky that the only bus to come by got permission to drop us off at the hotel entrance after he dropped off the other passenger at T3.  Heathrow is really spread out; don't be in a hurry if you have a rental car to return...

The Sofitel was just lovely.  We had a great big room with a beautiful bathroom and comfortable bed.  We had drinks in the bar and dinner in the restaurant.  Very nice.  We slept great that night. 

Sunday:  Departure at 1030am. We got up early and walked the short distance from the Sofitel to Departures at T5.  Check-in, bag drop and getting through security was quick and easy so we had time for breakfast at Gordon Ramsey's Plane Food, which was good.  This flight was very full and we were glad to be in Premium Economy for the 10 hour flight.  It was an older 777 plane and I didn't like the entertainment system as much.  The food was ok.  I read, dozed, watched a couple of movies.  We arrived on time in Houston and so officially ended our lovely vacation in England.

This short trip involved a lot of planning (which I enjoy doing) but everything worked out so well that I'm glad I planned!  We found it easy to get around in London and it was obviously easy to communicate because of the shared language. The city of London is great and the countryside, what little I saw of it, beckons me to linger.  We plan to go back in 2013 but for two weeks so we can explore more. 

Thanks for reading.  Next trip is springtime in Paris!