England's Countryside & Wales

Day 10 - Saturday, May 23, 2015 - Return to London; Visit Stonehenge; Tour Salisbury

We had an early wake up call at 6:30 and the luggage had to be out at 7:15 am. Our new driver, Mr. Singh was not able to the lift heavy bags leaving it to Vic, Galen, Steve and Pebbles to load the bus so we could leave on time at 8:00.

The temperature was already 58 degrees and the sun was high and bright. Once again, the weather cooperated when we needed it most!

The roadway was A4 heading southeast to the Salisbury Plain. We passed through many small towns, beautiful green pastures, and fields of hay recently cut and raked. From A350 we took A36 to Salisbury.

We made it to the bus park at 9:15 being the first bus to arrive. Pebbles did an excellent job of scheduling in order for us to enter the UNESCO site of Stonehenge ahead of the crowds.

After all of our readings and research about the ancient mystic site, Gennie was worried that she had overhyped and would be disappointed. The sky was blue and there were a few scattered clouds, a perfect day for photography and visiting this magical land.

Pebbles gave each of us our audio guide headsets so we would be able to hear the commentary as we walked. We used the restrooms at the Welcome Center and then took one of the first Shuttle Buses to the top of a small ridge.

The standing stones are literally in the middle of green pastures with sheep grazing on all sides of the site. The Historical Site now is very controlled and there are roped walkways restricting access to the actual stones. Only the large black ravens can get close to and touch the stones.

The path goes full circle around the large monoliths enabling everyone to get excellent views and wonderful photos in sunlight or full shade. We walked slowly, listening to the very well presented audio, and soaking up the past of these sacred stones.

We had a few minutes to explore the gift shop and then we left this magical area at 11:00. By the time we left, there were over 100 tour buses and thousands of people vying for a place to take a picture.

Just a few more miles on the road and we had reached medieval Salisbury. The Tour Director's agenda did not coincide with ours, but when we showed Pebbles our itinerary, she agreed to stop in Salisbury for an hour and half.

We walked directly to the Cathedral and then had time on our own to enjoy the medieval structure that was begun in 1220 and built in only 38 years.

We saw the one of the four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215.There is usually a long line to see the medieval manuscript, but today we walked right in to view one of the most important legal documents in the world.

Pebbles permitted us sufficient time to photograph the tall spire of Salisbury Cathedral, the tallest in the United Kingdom. During our time in the Cathedral we had lunch in their well laid out cafeteria.

Several of us walked out of the Salisbury grounds together and saw an elderly gentleman and his 1935 Alvis. Both he and the car seemed to be in pristine condition!

The meeting time was at 1:00 giving us ample time to get back to London. Little did we know that the traffic on this three-day holiday weekend and the construction would make our two-hour journey stretch into almost four.

We followed M3 and then M4 into London and arrived back at the start of our tour at the Novotel Tower Bridge Hotel. We looked at the hundreds of photos of Stonehenge, from every angle imaginable and finished up the journal.

At 6:00 we went out to appreciate London fish and chips one more time. We took a nice walk around and over the Tower Bridge and then came back to the hotel to pack our bags for the final time for our return to Colorado tomorrow.

Vic will post the concluding travel day when we return to Elephant Rock. Stay tuned for the final edition of England's Countryside & Wales. Thank you all very much for following our latest adventure!

Accommodations: Novotel London Tower Bridge Hotel - - - Meal: B

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Very cool! Stonehenge was one place we didn't make it when we lived in London. I hope to get there one day.

Darcy   May 26, 2015 - 5:17am

We are so looking forward to seeing all your pictures of this trip. We visited some of the same sights when we were in England and look forward to hearing your take also. See you soon.

Lindy   May 23, 2015 - 8:03pm

All I can say is WOW! Safe trip home.

Dee   May 23, 2015 - 8:03pm

How exciting to actually be that close to the Stonehenge. I wanted to get my pic close to them, but that didn't work out. LOL I guess it's close to time to pack my bags and get ready for the return trip home. With the side trip I took to be with my daughter, I missed too much time on this trip. Thank you again for keeping me in your hip pocket and sharing your trip with me. This is the way to travel. Have a safe trip home.

Pat   May 23, 2015 - 6:47pm
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Back Entrance of the Standing Stones

Back Entrance of the Standing Stones

Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Magna Carta

Magna Carta

1935 Alvis and Proud Owner

1935 Alvis and Proud Owner

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