I said it before and I’ll say it again, our English road trip had been a long time coming! Granted we only had 4 days (3 nights) this time but we managed to squeeze out as much of Southern England as we could within the 4 days!
London bade us farewell with the most dramatic rainfall I’ve seen in quite some time. The warning signs were there but boy did the clouds open up and drench us all!
Thankfully, within an hour’s drive outside of London, there was almost no proof at all of any of the rain! It was sunshine all the way through to our very first stop; Stonehenge. (A decision we made about 30 minutes after leaving London).
The first time I visited Stonehenge (many years ago), I have to admit, I was a bit underwhelmed. It seemed a long drive just to see some ‘rocks’. Fast forward to this day and the feeling had totally flipped on itself.
This is one of the many joys of travelling, I reckon – being able to appreciate the amazing things you have in your own background.
Since my first visit also, I’d read up a lot more on old historic sites like this one here and when you think of the sheer effort it would have taken to build Stonehenge (especially without the tools/tech we have these days), it’s pretty hard not to be amazed.
Back then though, you could just drive up to Stonehenge and although you’d need an admission ticket to get close to it, you didn’t really need one to see it.
These days, they’ve cottoned on to that fact and now you need to get a short bus ride to see it properly. There’s nothing but green fields all around you so there’s no other way to get a great view of this site than to pony up that cash.
If you’re on the road in the UK for quite a while, it might be worth considering getting the National Trust Membership, which allows you access to hundreds of sites across the UK – the fee is fairly reasonable too considering how much each attraction would cost on its own. (I didn’t get one as we didn’t have much time to sign up before Stonehenge would be closing but the more I think about it, the more it seems to make sense).
While you’re here, you can also check out the ‘English village’ (which is relatively new here) and has just been built to show what it would have been like to live here back in those times.
Random (boring) aside – this is when my hayfever started off pretty terribly! For some reason, in the last 7 years or so, I’ve started to get really awful hayfever. Like within a few minutes of arriving in Stonehenge, everything went crazy – itchy eyes, blocked nose… the works! *sigh* (Thankfully, I’m so used to this now so I know exactly what I need to do to get past it).
Another last minute decision after leaving Stonehence was to pop into the Medieval town of Salisbury! It’s only 20 minutes up the road so we figured “Why not?”.
As it turns out, if you’re ever around Stonehenge, you should definitely make it a point of duty to stop off at Salisbury. If not for anything else but for Salisbury Cathedral!
That Cathedral is impressive… and it’s home to the Magna Carta! Alas it was closed by the time we arrive but the view from outside is equally as impressive. Plus now we have even more reason to return to Salisbury soon.
Eventually though, (after a mandatory meander through the old town), we had to bid Salisbury farewell and head off to Bath where our friends awaited for dinner plan… and where we would be stopping for the evening.
Not a bad start to our road trip I’d say, especially seeing as the rain that started off the trip had totally disappeared, leaving me feeling very optimistic about the weather for the remaining days on the road. 🙂