When I visited England this summer, I had the opportunity to walk in Isaac Newton's footsteps at his birthplace, Woolsthorpe Manor.
It is all you would imagine a farm in the idyllic English countryside to be, with lightly rolling green hills, a stone cottage, and barns.
The long-haired Lincoln sheep grazed in the long grass, just like they did in Newton's day; the family made a good living from these sheep.
During the plague years, Newton did not want to be in Cambridge or London. Instead he returned home, to a stone cottage beside a grove of trees.
We were here on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting the famous apple tree. At its age, this tree no longer bears apples, but it does inspire the imagination--it is easy to imagine what this place was like in Newton's time.
Contemplating the laws of motion in the grove, near the apple tree
The peace stretches far across the land and there is a contemplative feeling in the air; it seems like a place where there is nothing much to do except think of ideas.
And he did--here Newton formulated three laws of motion and one of his greatest contributions to physics and science as a whole.
Newton's bedroom and study at Woolsthorpe Manor