A Travellerspoint blog


Roman baths

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In the afternoon we arrived at our Georgian accommodation built in 1875 - central location only two streets over from all key sites. Wednesday morning we went out early while it was cool and walked up to The Circus - Georgian townhouses with a Central Park in the middle. It is close to the size of the Rome coliseum roughly. Up the road is the Royal Mile houses for the wealthy and a filming site for Bridgerton. The park opposite is an illusion with a wall to keep the riff Taff off the toffs lawn.

We then headed back down through the streets to visit The Roman Baths. The exhibit and the baths were amazing and to think of the rich history there - we easily spent an hour and half. We tried the water from the fountain, it was warm and a funny after taste - lots of minerals in the water.

Next stop was Bath Abbey, where the first English King was crowned in 987 AD. There was many memorial stones on the walls and floors from early years all around. We then headed across to the river Avon. Pultney Bridge is right close to the river and is a bridge with shops like the Rialto in Venice. Nice for a wander coming back from the bridge across the street we walked through the Guildhall markets - like nick nacks shops under a building, but it was quite hot in there. After some gift shopping, food gathering we settled in for the night.

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Heading towards Bath 2

White horse

sunny 29 °C
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We left Neverathon and headed towards Bath on the way we stopped off at the Westbury white horse and Braxton camp - formerly Iron Age fortification not much left other than grassy mounds. The single lane road to the top of the mountain was tricky but worth the effort. Surprising that in fact there are multiple versions and they are now painted concrete. While we were there a crew had abseiled down and was working on the horse. There was a steep drop off and good view across Westbury, it’s clear why the site was selected to be an fort.

Off again to the Kennett Avon canal where there is an Aquaduct rather than locks. Once again it was down a tight single lane which had us 2nd guessing if we were going the right way. However at the end, many cars were parked telling us it was the correct location. It really was an amazing feat of engineering and was quiet and peaceful except for the occasional express train passing through. We wandered along the canal for a short while and the returned to the car.
We also spent time in Bradford upon Avon a quaint town with churches, little shops and steep hills. Tight and step narrow streets and lots of people. Navigating the streets takes time and patience but we managed to find a budget friendly park beside the train station. Even though the heat was oppressive, we walked through some of the town and visited the church of the Holy Trinity and the Saxon church across the road. We then walked to the other side of town to see the Tithe Barn - a barn the nuns used to keep the parish tithes in which has medieval roof trusses. Given its age and construction material, it was very impressive. An ice cream later and a run in to people who were on the tour in the car park and we headed across to Bath.

Posted by bonne vie 14:10 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Heading towards Bath


sunny 29 °C
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We headed off from Paddington station, a short 3 minute walk from where we stayed in train to Reading. The trains are easy and quick, we then headed through the town centre to pick up a car. We headed out from the town and visited the back roads to go to Newbury and Avebury. We visited English heritage sites including Donnington Castle (castle now ruins for a lord under the Black Prince), West Kennett Long Barrow (Neolithic burial chamber which you can walk inside), saw Silbury hill (largest artificial mound in Europe equivalent to the scale and height of the pyramids - purpose unknown). We were driving at west Kennett up some farmers fields bit of adventure time. Driving the back roads we were headed to Salisbury and passed Stonehenge, traffic queues as people look - so we ditched Salisbury and went with hundreds of others to Stonehenge. Our morning tour scheduled for today was cancelled. We lined up and caught the bus up to the stones and walked around them. It was a wow moment seeing them from the road and they are big up closer - there was lots of people to navigate probably meant the impact was less. Still a bucket list item done. We then headed to our accommodation in a little town called Neverathon. We were right next to the local shop. UK currently is in a heatwave so it is really hot which made the going tough - 29 degrees and later this week up to 32oC.

Posted by bonne vie 13:02 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)


2 days in London

sunny 28 °C
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On the last day of our tour we walked London. During our guided walk we visited the sites of Buckingham Palace, St James Park, Westminster, past 10 Downing Street and the horse guards up to Trafalgar Square and up around to Leicester Square. We parted with the group as they went to Chinatown. We headed to Pizza Hut restaurant for lunch as a treat and a throwback to when we were kids. Seeing that the lines for the surrounding shops we long just to get in we decided to head back to the meet point for the bus. Back on the bus the group headed to The British Museum. There we joined the crowds and given the limited amount of time we had we sought out the most interesting pieces to us. After the obligatory tour of the gift shop we then headed back to Westminster and a river cruise down the Thames to the Tower of London as the high tide turned. Last stop was the St Paul’s cathedral before dropping us back to St Pancreas station - where we were left to be under our own steam. Catching a cab, we headed to our accommodation.
After a much needed rest we work early and walked an hour to meet the our guide for Buckingham Palace tour. We slowly walked the lane towards the Palace and then stopped to watch the Changing of the guards. There was many people also waiting and took a while to wait for the guards to come past for a couple of minutes. Then down with the masses to Buckingham Palace. We then visited the Palace for about 1 and a half hours touring on about 14 different stops and lots of little ante rooms. The King and Queen live in Clarence House just up the road and Buckingham Palace is undergoing renovations. We also got to see the Coronation coach and robes. After a quick bite to eat we then walked back through Hyde Park and down to the back of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens. Lots of people sunbaking, out with families and pets in a Sunday. We counted down the steps as we had been on our feet from 8 am to 2.30 pm walking 11 and a half klms. After some down time we wandered the local streets and headed over to Paddington station where we leave from this morning.

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Walking in the steps of history

Stratford upon Avon and Oxford

sunny 26 °C
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After leaving Manchester behind we headed towards Stratford upon Avon and then an afternoon optional Oxford visit rather than a shopping village called Bicester, a bit like a DFO outlet shopping. At Stratford we walked the high street down to the river Avon, passing lots of interesting shops and restaurants. At the top of the high street, there is Shakespeares birthplace, his father’s home with an accompanying exhibition of Jacobean and Tudor times. This was really well presented and walking through the house gave a real sense of the times, the room attendants were really knowledgeable and freely shared interesting commentary. Stratford upon Avon is a lovely town with a quaint and relaxed vibe.
After that we dropped those who were shopping at the Bicester village and then headed to Oxford the oldest college and most expensive university in the world apparently. Also lots of Harry Potter moments dotted through out. While there we walked around the town for key sites and visited Christ Church university which was magnificent.

Posted by bonne vie 17:24 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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