The Plague, Shakespeare, and Castles, OH MY!

The Nottingham Summer Nursing Program is a study away opportunity that allows nursing students to immerse themselves in another culture. The course focuses on levels of prevention and the use of the nursing process to promote, maintain and protect the health of individuals, groups and communities. To learn more about the program, visit the Nottingham Summer Nursing Program website.


Cheerio, friends! Time to update you after a weekend filled with exciting travels. We ventured out on Friday morning at 8:30 sharp to the lovely little town of Eyam, home of the Black Plague. This might sound like a downer, but we were intrigued to learn more about the public health scare that left this town in pieces. The chilling and rainy morning was fitting for touring the gravesites of plague victims and the history of this hillside city. We started our Eyam adventure in the town museum which proved to be an enriching summary of how one instance can change a town forever. Through our museum tour, we found great interest in locating what is known as the boundary stone (the place where outsiders would provide the quarantined town of Eyam with food and medical supplies). As the name indicates, this stone is located on the edge of the city making for a rainy, cold (but beautiful!) walk through the hilly countryside of Eyam. While this all seems a bit depressing, it was "smashing" (wonderful) to be around such beautifully preserved stone buildings. The entire group felt the town was a picturesque snapshot of how you would imagine England to look like.

We then ventured on to Warwick Castle, just two hours south of Eyam. Here we found the most beautiful and enchanting castle! It took our breath away to climb the countless spiral and stone stairs up the towers. Reaching the top and experiencing remarkably vast views was definitetly worth the breathlessness cause by the stairs. Additionally, the weather cleared and turned sunny while medieval music played all around—providing for an overall captivating experience! We also had the opportunity to tour the inside of the castle and walk through rooms as though it was still occupied by royalty. As we walked through the inside, the detail and regality of the castle made us feel quite under-dressed! Overall, exploring this majestic piece of history proved to be quite memorable.

Our final weekend adventure was to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Upon our arrival, a lively woman welcomed us to her quaint bed and breakfast where we would be staying for the evening. Little did we know that we were moments away from having the best meal of our lives. Tender, fall off the bone pork, roasted golden potatoes, carmelized carrots, and cauliflour doused in a creamy cheese sauce made us think we actually became royals after all! And, as most of you know, a meal is not complete without dessert. She prepared a gorgeous and oh-so-tasty pear cake served with ice cream and soaked in a vanilla cream sauce. Needless to say, we were not any thinner after that meal! We were also very thankful for a long, slow walk to the Royal Shakespeare Theater. Here we enjoyed an incredible version of Julius Caesar, which included actors from many well-known TV shows and movies (including Sound of Music Live, Skyfall, Pride and Prejudice, and Sherlock Holmes). The next morning we toured the city a bit more which included live music in the town square, window shopping, and walking through Shakespeare's houses and gravesite at a local church.

As you can tell, it was an eventful two days! We will never forget the beauty and history of these remarkable places in England. It has been truly humbling and we are so thankful for these opportunities which we get to share with you!

Until next time,

Natalie and Allison

This is a picture of the group at the boundary stone during our trip to the town of Eyam that was hit by the plague.
The bed and breakfast we stayed at while in Stratford-upon-Avon where we were fed the most amazing meal
The inside of the Royal Shakespeare Theater where we saw the play, Julius Caesar
The cottage where the plague originated in Eyam
The beautiful and majestic, Warwick Castle