Day trip to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath

Trip Start Aug 20, 2010
Trip End Oct 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Kensington Copthorne Tara Hotel.

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, August 29, 2010

The second day in London we were picked up from the hotel by Premium Tours at 7.30am. The coach then went to several different hotels to pick up other guests for the same tour. Our guide was an Englishman who looked like Hugh Grant and moved a bit like Frank Spencer, and he was an excellent guide. First we were driven to Windsor Castle. The trip went through Runnymede, where King John signed the Magna Carta. 

Windsor Castle is another of Queen Elizabeth's residences, which is over 900years old. It was the castle of William the Conqueror and several others before Queen Elizabeth inherited it. There is St Georges chapel, It is where monarchs are buried, except for Princess Margaret who wished to be cremated and her ashes interred there,15th Feb 2002.

Other monarchs buried there are Charles 1 (executed in 1649), George III (died 1820), George IV (1830), William IV (1837), Edward VII (1910), and George V (1936). Princess Margaret's father George VI was also interred in the chapel.

The state apartments that is open to the public. There are rooms that have wax figures from Madame Trassuards and there are semi state apartment that are sometimes closed to the public, probably where the guests of Queen Elizabeth stay when they visit her. There is also Queen Mary's dolls' house that her cousin Queen Marie Louise, got the architects of the period 1920 to make, as a gift to Queen Mary from the people. The dolls' house is an exact replica of Windsor Castle to the scale 1:12 and is over three feet tall. The small objects within actually work like the flushable toilet and even have toilet paper. The wine bottles actually have real wine in them.

After the trip from Windsor Castle, we were shown where Prince Charles and Camilla were married, in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall on 9th April 2005. It was about a 100meters from Windsor Castle.

Along the way, we stopped at a local pub and had English pub food, fish and chips, bangers and mash and a lovely pint of ale.

We were then driven to Stonehenge, located between the county of Wiltshire and Amesbury and Salisbury. As we got out of the coach, we were buffeted with cold winds, as our tour guide showed us the turnstiles to walk though and audio guides were given as part of the entry to the site. It was an awesome experience to walk around the Sarsen stones, with winds whipping about you from every possible angle, being as it was an open plain, Teeth chattering, walking slowly and listening to the audio guide, in the freezing cold, we must have looked like total nut cases! I noticed that the older folk had disappeared back to the coach for warmth and shelter before I too conceded defeat and headed back. Reflecting back it was an extraordinary trip.

Our last trip of the day was to the world heritage city of Bath. Bath is a beautiful Georgian city with delightful crescents, terraces and architecture. Upon entering the Roman Baths we were greeted by our very own Roman legionary dressed in authentic armour who invited us to a dramatic speech by the Great Baths away from the crowds. We heard what it was like to live in Roman Britain and how it felt to relax in the soothing and sacred waters after a hard day working as a soldier. The water is still fed by underground hot springs and the plumbing is still working. A unique place and there were lots of shops. Apparently, the apartments at the circus area have two very famous celebrities; Johnny Depp and Nicholas Cage are next door neighbours, to each other! 

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