A Woodhenge, A Stonehenge and A Bath

Trip Start Apr 12, 2012
Trip End Apr 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
BEST WESTERN Red Lion Hotel Salisbury
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Saturday, April 21, 2012

Noah had booked Pat Shelley of "Salisbury Stonehenge Guided Tours" to take us on a tour of Stonehenge, and boy were we in for a treat. Pat picked us up at our hotel bright and early in the morning, and as soon as we were in the car the tour began. He not only lives in Salisbury but really loves Salisbury, so he pointed out a lot of interesting things in the city. The main site was Old Sarum, the site where Salisbury originally stood.

From there we visited Woodhenge, the first stop on our tour. Woodhenge was identified in 1925 by an aerial photograph, and was excavated soon afterwards. Most of the 168 post holes held wooden posts; today they hold concrete posts as a way to demonstrate the site.

From Woodhenge we drove to Stonehenge, but didn't visit it just yet. Instead we went out into the field across the road and Pat pointed out other points of interest such as the Barrows - elaborately built burial sites. Probably the coolest thing was when he led us to an area where he then described how the ancients traveled along the River Avon (translates to River River) and up the avenue to Stonehenge. Then he had us turn around and surprise - no Stonehenge. Next we walked up the avenue, just as our ancestors had, and watched Stonehenge slowly come into view. It was a rare experience we thoroughly enjoyed.

Once we arrived back at Stonehenge we sat down with hot chocolate while Pat shared more information using a pop up book. That was actually a great way to show us how the stones once looked. Lucky for us it wasn't overly crowded, so we were able to take our time as Pat added photographer to his list of  jobs, knowing the best places to stop and snap. It was an amazing morning seeing an historical site that until then I'd only seen on television.

After Stonehenge we said goodbye to Pat and drove west to Bath, home of an original Roman bath and Bath Abbey, or more accurately The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.  The Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex around Britain's only hot spring that still flows with natural hot water. We toured the ancient Roman bath, then toured Bath Abbey. What a magnificent cathedral! Every square inch of the walls are covered with inscriptions and plaques honoring the dead. The Abbey was rebuilt in the 12th and 16th centuries into what we see today.

After a full day of touring around England we drove to Bristol to spend the night so we could get up early and catch the plane to Ireland.
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