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Eigasuki's English Experience April 2009 - somewhat belated

Eigasuki's English Experience April 2009 - somewhat belated

Jan 4th, 2010, 07:45 AM
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Eigasuki's English Experience April 2009 - somewhat belated

My somewhat belated trip report nearly didn’t happen. I was rather busy on my return from my four week trip to the UK in April 2009 and after a while it seemed irrelevant and unnecessary. Then I fell and fractured my wrist so typing left handed made collating my material tiring and daunting. And then I had to catch up at work again.
Now I’m on holidays and organizing my diaries and planning future trips and it seems timely for those planning an April trip who just might something useful or of interest. To paraphrase another poster whose trip report I recently read, I’m mainly doing it for myself but on the assumption that I’ve found trip reports useful and interesting, I’m hoping others will find something for them here. – Otherwise of course, just ignore.

The background.

Me, solo female Aussie traveler in the prime of my life (ie fifties) I try to do a big overseas trip about every other year and of course, like many Aussies, having paid a expensive airfare and traveled twenty four hours, intend to pack in as much as possible in the time available. I always do the kind of itinerary that has the regulars here screaming “Too much, too much” but for me it works well. I’d rather see a little of everything than lots of one area in detail – that’s for the second or third trip.

So last September I made the commitment to go, booked my plane ticket and arranged leave. Then, Global Financial Crisis! What would happen? Would I have a job? Could I afford to go? Actually this would be the first trip that I could comfortably say I could afford. It would still be a budget trip but by choice rather than absolute necessity – cutting costs where possible to allow more places, better experiences.

I researched quite thoroughly and had a detailed itinerary, but very little of it was fixed and I was able to improvise as required. However, I found that I followed it quite closely and got to do quite a few of the things I’d included as optional extras. I also had to give some things a miss too, of which more later.

Mindful of not rushing about too much, I tried to stay most places at least three nights and sometimes longer. This was interspersed with a couple of two night and overnight stops. I had to fit in with Easter and school holidays so I had most of my accommodation booked early and in retrospect, I could have done better deals and cancelled my first choice. Mostly I was very pleased with my choices but didn’t always get a bargain The two best places were the cheapest, the two most expensive were the two I was least impressed with.

The next major decision was transport and my plans dictated that I hire a car for the majority of the trip. I booked with Kemwell for the first part, picking the car up at LHR and dropping it off in Edinburgh. I also booked a car for a two day trip to Kent at the end of the trip with Autoeurope. Both experiences were hassle free. I also purchased a Great British Heritage Pass which thoroughly paid for itself and a train ticket from Edinburgh to London which was 16 pounds.

Getting there

I booked on Emirates because from Perth it seems to break the trip to LHR about halfway in Dubai rather than the short hop to Singapore or other SE Asian hub and then a longer flight to LHR. I paid a bit extra for flight times which allowed me to leave Friday night after work and arrive in London at midday on Saturday. The return times saw me leave London at a time allowing a leisurely start to the day and an unhurried trip to the airport and a sensible arrival time of mid-afternoon at home – I was quite pleased with Emirates, particularly the awesome in-flight entertainment. I still had a must-watch list when we arrived.

As I had chosen to travel for the most part by hire car, I wasn’t too fussed about traveling ultra light. I had a 22” case which I checked and a wheeled duffle carry-on which just made the Emirates carry-on limit of 7kg – Yes, they checked everyone. Just before leaving home, the zip on my trusty travel purse broke and I had just enough time to hit the shops and replace it with a Hedgren bag for everyday use.

Saturday April 4, 2009 - The Way to Windsor

The leg to Dubai was eleven hours on a Boeing 777-300ER and after a two hour stop in Dubai – just enough time to stretch the legs. I think I managed a couple of hours sleep. The next plane was the A380 airbus and left Dubai at 8.00 am Dubai time and seven hours later we were landing at Heathrow at noon. On both legs I was right behind the screaming baby row.

As the flight from Dubai was in ever-increasing daylight and over land, I had quite interesting views from my window seat. Desert, snow covered mountains, then agricultural land but cloud over much of Europe until we flew right down the Thames in bright sunshine – an aerial tour of the main sights.

There’s been a delay at Dubai with the cargo and on arrival there was trouble with the skybridge and we had to remain seated until all the business class passengers had deplaned through our exits. But I was quickly through immigration and then the wait for my luggage.

The shuttle bus to the Europcar depot was easy to find and after a short wait for other passengers , none, we set off . I was offered an upgrade but, mindful of the promised narrow roads and nervous of my parking skills, I opted to remain with the VW Polo which I had booked. It’s been a while since I’ve driven a manual and there were a few bunny hops and off I went. Of course, as I dithered at the first roundabout, I stalled and right in front of a police car!

In no time I was onto the M4 – a baptism of fire- and on my way to my first stop, Windsor. I’d elected to stay close as I didn’t want to drive too far fresh off the plane and it proved a good decision. Was somewhat alarmed to be overtaken by just about every car although I was keeping to the speed limit! Exciting to see Windsor Castle appear before me!

I had printed off driving directions but had not unpacked them so relied on memory to get me to Barbara’s B&B, my first stop. I turned off the M4 one turn too soon so had to drive through all the Windsor Saturday traffic and on the wrong side of the road so I missed the place at first. Barbara was there to meet me and I had a lovely room at the back with views over the Windsor Boys’ School playing fields.

http://www.bbandbwindsor.com/index.html

After a shower and a restorative cuppa, I headed along the river into Windsor. A lovely afternoon with families feeding the (white) swans and I had booked the Hop On Hop Off bus and had just enough time to do one circuit before the bus stopped for the day. I had chosen this because I had limited time and didn’t know how I’d feel after the plane trip so it was good way to see Windsor Great Park and Eton playing fields etc. I bought a T Mobile sim card for my spare phone for 5 pounds and had an early dinner at Nando’s before heading back and falling into bed at around 8 o’clock. It was still light outside but curtains closed and I was out like a light.
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 08:11 AM
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Interesting start - thanks for posting!
azzure is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 08:11 AM
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hi eigasuki,

loving the report so far. It's great to see us through the eyes of someone new.

keep it coming

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Enjoying your start. The B&B in Windsor looks like something to put in my file. Look forward to hearing the rest.
rickmav is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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Day 2 Sunday April 5 -Easter and Eton

Thanks for the feedback. One is never sure how much interest there is out there. Hopefully the pace will quicken – for one thing, the travel journal I keep has lasted me five trips - I've never sustained it for more that a few days

I slept quite well despite the early start and woke briefly at 3, which would have been morning back home, and a text message came through from home sometime too, but woke fully at 6. My room was not en suite but a full bathroom was right next to the room.

My first full English B&B breakfast and delicious too. I load up with everything on offer – juice, fruit, yoghurt, egg with everything, tea and toast. I am the only guest and Barbara is pleasant and chatty without being invasive. Furniture and china etc are quality “English” without being precious. This is their home.

A lesson I still have to try to learn is not to rush things in the mornings. I was constantly “up and at ‘em”, only to find myself cooling my heels at the gates and waiting for things to open. Therefore, I was at the gates of Windsor castle well before the opening time of 9.45. 15 pounds including audio guide. The majority of the largish crowd also waiting were tour groups but there is a separate entry for them so I was almost the first through security and first in to see Queen Mary’s Doll’s House. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was somewhat underwhelmed. Also, after such a big breakfast, the consequence being that a call of nature dictated that I abort the tour of the State apartments and answer. It’s all one way and I’m sure the attendants thought I was a particularly disinterested tourist! It’s all one way so I had to rush through the lot to find the exit – in that it reminded me of trying to get out of Ikea!

As it was Palm Sunday, and in any case St George’s Chapel is closed on Sundays, I had decided to attend the 10.45 service. I explored the grounds while waiting rather than rush the State Apartments again. I was given a palm cross on entry and there was a procession of Knights of Windsor in full regalia. These are retired Army officers who live in the houses opposite the Chapel. They were followed by the clergy and choir – all bearing large palm fronds. A couple of hymns were sung and we all processed into the quire for the rest of the service. I’m a confirmed Anglican but it’s been a while since I was in church other than for weddings. A very formal old school service with an excellent sermon so it fulfilled my expectations. I just hope my constant admiring of the architecture wasn’t interpreted as disengagement in the proceedings.

After the service I returned to the State Apartments which were now much more crowded. However, many of them were tour groups ticking Windsor Castle off their list and not looking much more closely at things than I had done on my first trip through. All very interesting, particularly the parts they still use for functions etc. Lovely gift shops too, though at this stage of the trip I am not shopping.

I used the remaining time on the HOHO ticket to retrace the journey around the Park and through Datchet and got off the bus at Eton. I really enjoyed just roaming the streets where the boys’ houses are – intrigued by the shoe cleaning gear in the front porch of one – two broom heads upended. I purchased a ticket for the 3.15 tour of Eton College. I had read that this needed to be purchased in advance but I bought on the day and in fact others just walked up to the gate and paid there at the last minute. Still not really hungry after the huge breakfast, I had a snack in a café in the shopping street while waiting.

The tour was well worth doing. The quad is where Chariots of Fire scenes were filmed substituting for Cambridge which had denied permission. We saw a couple of original rooms and the chapel. Being Easter, it was school holidays so quite deserted. I liked the atmosphere, not at all swanky, and it ends with a small museum of school history where you can linger – there’s a gift shop too.

I treated myself to afternoon tea at Betty’s which was very enjoyable but perhaps too late because I felt no need of dinner before fatigue overwhelmed me and I walked back ‘home’ for another early night.

Photos of Windsor

http://tinyurl.com/yetdwcl
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 05:10 PM
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oops Browns', not Betty's Getting ahead of myself somewhat..
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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I'm another "prime of life" girl from Perth enjoying your report, eigasuki. We enjoyed our day at Windsor too so this brings back nice memories. We're in the process of planning another trip there in 2011 so I will see if I can get some ideas from you.
Maudie is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 09:50 PM
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Hi Maudie Hope I’ll be of some help. Just back from the beach and what better to do on a hot day than sit in the air conditioning and work on a trip report and plan for France 2011.


Day Three; Monday April 6th. Windsor to Wiltshire

Although I have been to London a few times, my only trip into English countryside was a bus tour to Warwick and Stratford. So after a good night’s sleep and another delicious and filling breakfast, I wire up the GPS and hit the road. Henceforth the GPS shall be referred to as “Kevin” although the voice is female. "Kevin" had been purchased on the proceeds of PM Kevin Rudd’s economic stimulus package.

FirstI went in search of the rhododendrons that Barbara had suggested might be in bloom at Windsor Great Park. I also wanted to see Runnymeade. This involved getting a bit confused and going along busy crowded narrow winding roads before finally giving up - there were no rhodies out. Was then ensnared in traffic past Ascot racecourse but eventually made it to the M4. So already, despite all my planning, I have deviated and put all my timing off – a trend you’ll see again and again.

First stop was West Kennet Long Barrow and the first ‘attraction’ I come across which is very low key. A sign, parking roadside for a few cars, a path leading through a field. A real “This is it?” moment. An icy wind had me reach for my coat and I think this is where the cold wind affected my ears and the beginnings of the cold that I had for the next week.

The ambience was enhanced by numerous ribbons and things tied to a tree and a hippy looking guy playing the flute. Won’t go into details, you can Google it this is not going to be one of those educational trip reports. Suffice to say there are many archelogical sites in this part of Britain. Prior to that I had looked at the burial mounds (a bit like Gamla Uppsala ) and Silbury Hill

I reached Avebury by lunchtime. This was way cool, wandering among the standing stones and the sheep droppings. Many of the sheep had little black lanbs - so cute. I was surprised that there were so many twins – I’m told this is a feature of he breed, along with the black lambs. It looked very strange as an Australian to see adult sheep with tails (and lots of dags).

The stones here are very extensive and you can walk among them and touch them etc. They form a ring around a lovely village with a pub, The Red Lion, where I had lunch. I think 40% of the pubs are called The Red Lion and 40% are the White Hart.

OK being me, on leaving, a sign jolts something in the memory bank of all the reading I’ve done and I decide to go ‘the other way’. Can't remember what I was hoping to see but nothing eventuated and the road degenerated into a very bumpy farm track and no place to turn around. When I eventually got back on the road, it was the wrong road and I was half way to Chippenham - almost the opposite direction to Salisbury, before I realized.

'Kevin' got me to Salisbury but I had intended to visit Stonehenge on the way and my new route was very much by back roads. It was a few days before I realized the GPS was set to avoid motorways and freeways etc. I told myself I enjoyed being on minor roads but it was slow going and there’s nowhere for a solo driver to pull over and check maps and planning documents.

In Salisbury I stayed at Websters B&B which was great value. I had dinner at an Indian restaurant recommended by John and another early night.

http://www.websters-bed-breakfast.com/
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 5th, 2010, 01:28 AM
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How very thoughtful of you to include your B&B websites. No one has ever done this for mine, and I would love to host Fodorites, not that Lincolnshire figures large for most American travellers.
tarquin is offline  
Jan 6th, 2010, 12:57 AM
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Tuesday 7th April, 2009. Salisbury, Stonehenge and Sarum.
After a delicious and filling B&B breakfast, I began a very busy day with a brief visit to the Salisbury markets, where the most surprising thing for me was seeing meat just out in the open on trestle tables. Then on to Salisbury Cathedral, one of the main items on my “must-do’ list and it didn’t disappoint. I had just enough time for a quick walk around the cathedral’s perimeter before joining a tower tour. This would have to be one of the highlights of the trip.

It’s a guided tour and there are lots of stops along the way so you get to rest up while hearing about the history and building of the cathedral, especially interesting if you have read Edward Rutherford’s “Sarum” There were three young boys on the tour and the guide was obviously a teacher in another life so she explained things in great detail. Unlike other tower tours where you just go up and up, on this we stopped often to examine the architectural details etc so it was easy to get to the top with all the rest stops on the way.

The three boys were very nervous, one in particular, and at each rest stop it was touch-and-go whether they would proceed. This was obviously a bit of a security and safety issue as members of the tour party are supposed to stay together. However, each time they were persuaded to go the next stage and we all felt proud ad emotional when they all made it to the top and even looked out at the amazing scenery.We reached the bells right on midday - oh my ears. Well worth doing, great views from the top and if you've read Sarum, interesting to see all the insides of the building.

I ate lunch at the Cathedral then visited the Chapter House and saw the Magna Carta. then, because I had missed them the previous day, I walked back to the B&B and picked up the car to visit Old Sarum and then onto Stonehenge. Three bus loads of French schoolchildren and other holiday makers were also at Stonehenge but nonetheless it is an awesome spectacle sitting there on the top of all that rolling countryside. I probably would agree that the audio guide is an unnecessary distraction.

After that I thought I had time to visit Wilton House. I knew the house was still closed (it opened at Easter, in three days time) but thought to see the gardens. Arrived at 4.33 and last entry was at 4.30! Since I had my Great Britain Heritage Pass and didn't have to pay - the till was closed- I was allowed in. Some people (ie the Earl of Pembroke) really knew how to live. For details about Wilton House, and indeed Salisbury and Stonehenge, yk’s trip report is a great resource.

http://tinyurl.com/yfstfw2

On the way into Salisbury that morning, a lady had stopped me on the street to ak directions! We had a short chat and she told me about a performance of Rose Tremain’s play “Restoration” at the Salisbury Playhouse. I was able to buy a ticket and had just enough time, after checking emails at the library, for a baguette at Starbucks. Don’t shoot me – we don’t have Starbucks at home. I quite enjoyed the play and it was interesting to see a play other than in the West End with very dressed up middle class crowd of, presumably, local people.
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 09:09 PM
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Day Four - Wednesday, April 09, 2009

Following The Trail of Thomas Hardy and TE Lawrence - and Enid Blyton

For this day I had a huge list of possibilities planned and no idea how much I could reasonably accomplish.

I set off in the direction of Southampton – destination the New Forest. I easily located the Rufus Stone and after I had had my fill of scruffy ponies attempting suicide by grazing on the verges of narrow winding roads, I headed west. Not sure if GPS Kevin was helpful as I seemed to drive on and on for ages without any idea where I was. Then I spent a happy hour or so wandering the roundabouts and narrow streets of Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole. I’m sure there must have been an easier way.

My next destination was Corfe Castle. I was somewhat misled by a park and ride sign – it turned out to be the start of the Scenic Railway. I caught the tourist train to the seaside town of Swanage, and then back to Corfe Castle. I clambered all over the ruins of Corfe Castle and admired the view from there. I would have liked more time to see something of Swanage and the village near Corfe and I don’t think catching the train was really efficient use of my time. For most of the families and groups there, it was the day’s outing.

However, train passed through some lovely countryside and farmland which I was able to enjoy without fear of head-on collisions or running off the road. It's the kind of countryside where you can imagine the Famous Five going to the farmhouse for eggs and milk and indeed, at the Corfe Castle station, there was a poster with the FF pointing to a sign to Smuggler's Cove.


Next I ventured through army land near Bovington, slightly alarmed by warning signs of “Warning-Sudden Gun Fire" and "Do Not Stop" and "Beware Tanks on Road" etc. I Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. This is an archway in a cliff formation dropping into the sea. This was a fantastic view of chalk cliffs and rolling grassland and people on the beach chipping at rocks in search of fossils. Lots of holiday makers enjoying the lovely sunny weather.

This part of the day turned stressful when I realized I was very low on fuel and then, of course couldn’t find anywhere to refuel. I aborted my mission to find TE Lawrence’s former home “Cloud’s End” and headed to Wool to get some petrol. Slight technical hitch when I couldn’t figure out how to open the little door where the fuel cap was. No release catch, no key hole, nothing. Checked the manual – nothing. I was reduced to having to -gasp - ask. Turns out you just pull it open – it doesn’t lock at all!

Feeling somewhat more relaxed, I headed onto Dorchester where I visited Thomas Hardy's house Max Gate. You only get to see a couple of rooms and the garden including his pets' graves! I drove through the town centre through, you guessed it, peak hour traffic. Time was marching on so I gave up on seeing anymore of.Dorchester’s attractions. Here I took the wrong exit out of town (those roundabouts again) and it was some time before I realized and had to back track.

Next I detoured to see the chalk giant at Cerne Abbas. If I hadn’t gone on that scenic train earlier in the day, I would have made it in time to visit Sherbourne Castle but I did drive past it! Sherbourne looked very pleasant, I thought, and by that stage of the day I was grateful that Shaftesbury had a by-pass.I drove back to Salisbury via the Fovant Badges, which are chalk carvings of army badges - there was a lot of military stationed in this area in WW2, including some Aussies.

It had been a long day and about now I realized that I hadn’t had proper meal since breakfast so I stopped at a pub called “Earl of Pembroke” for a swordfish salad and a Ribena squash. This reminded me somewhat of the kind of thing my kids had as a treat – Ribena with bubbles but I was driving – and tired.

Last item of the day was checking my emails and thank goodness I did as I found my next accommodation had had to cancel my booking. An alternative had been booked for me and I was supposed to have confirmed the previous day. Panic. Fortunately I rang and they were still able to take me. This was probably the busiest day of my trip and maybe just what really kicked my cold into a full-blown variety that Vitamin C couldn’t ward off but few regrets.
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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Loving this report! And really identifying with you and your experience. More please!Kerry.
KERRYAJS1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 04:03 PM
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Glad to see you dropped by, Kerry. We seem to have a lot in common. I forgot to mention, when responding to your TR, about the way people react to you and your gleeful expression. I know in Rome when I was very tense it wasn't helped by the way people treated me. Then I caught my reflecton in a window - whoa, I looked grim. But photos of me in places where I've been having a great time, viewing everything with wonder, I've looked ten years younger and everyone's been nice. It makes me wonder about those reviews were people complain about the service.....

But back to the report. I notice the previous day should have been Day Five

Day Six – Thursday April 9th -I Am Excessively Diverted

The fantastic weather I had so far couldn’t last, and the fact that I had a travel+ garden day sealed the deal. Cold , bleak, rainy.

I reluctantly left the very pleasant B&B I had in Salisbury, with the news that my accommodation in Bath had fallen through. An alternative had been arranged for me but right in the city centre not on the main road in as my reserved choice had been..

First I followed Kevin's (my GPS) instructions along narrow country roads to Stourhead. Unfortunately the House was closed so, not too deterred by the drizzle, I strolled the gardens. Truly a case of "You should have been here yesterday" - but more likely in a month or so when things are in leaf. There's a lake and a picturesque bridge and various parts of the garden are familiar from various film locations. Very pretty. Nonetheless, I made the best of things in a light rain and had lunch in the Spread Eagle Inn - just cause I liked the name. It still amazes me how well the pictures taken in the rain and at dusk when the light is failing have turned out.

Then 'Kevin' and I set off for Glastonbury. Here I nearly lost confidence in him as the road became a track. We passed Alfred's Tower a very interesting brick tower in the middle of nowhere, not exactly on my agenda but apparently Kevin thought it was not-to-be-missed.

Glastonbury Tor suddenly loomed on the top of the hill. Very impressive, as you can see it from miles away. I found a parking spot in town and took the Tor bus shuttle to the top of the hill where the Tor is situated and climbed from there to the very top. Up and up and up. Awesome views even in the gathering mist. It was extremely windy up there I thought I might get blown into the Channel - not sure whether it would have been the English or the Bristol Channel. Glastonbury itself was interesting with all the shops selling New Age paraphernalia and reeking of patchouli, plenty of buskers and cool ambience. Put it on the To Be Revisited list.

As the weather was poor and it was getting late in the afternoon and it was, after all, the beginning of the Easter holiday, I reluctantly cancelled my planned stop at Wells Cathedral and headed in to meet the peak hour traffic of Bath.

The B&B I had booked was on the road into town and had parking available. This one is in the centre of the city with no parking. Kevin did me proud and led me to the 24 hour carpark right behind the B&B. Now I even know the shortcut so you don't have to go right round to the entry to get to the street but naturally when I was loaded down with luggage I didn't know that!


After checking in at Waltons B&B on Crescent Gardens, I walked past Royal Crescent and Camden crescent where there were great views over the town and back to have a meal at a tapas restaurant called la Tasce, which I later discovered is a chain.

http://www.bathguesthouse.com/

And coming up, it's Bath time
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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I am excessively diverted by your report! Thanks for all the helpful information!
Barbara_in_FL is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 05:37 PM
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Lovely report. eigasuki.
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 06:06 PM
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Thanks Barbara and stokebailey. It's reassuring to know someone is reading

Day Seven – Friday April 10th - Jane Austen’s Turn

I had a very pleasant day in Bath without having the worry of driving. First to the Roman Baths whereI was very pleasantly surprised with how interesting it was - I thought it would be one of those touristy "Been there, done that" places. A couple of men dressed up as stonemasons were explaining their role to a couple of delighted children.

After touring the baths, I partook of the waters, though I can’t say that had any effect. I had a Bath bun and tea in the Pump Room and listened to the piano trio playing, among various classical items, Mamma Mia. A very pleasant interlude but, onwards. This was Good Friday and I emerged from the tea rooms to catch the last part of a Salvation Army service being held outside the Abbey, complete with choir in costume and real-sized.

I decided to catch the Hop On Hop Off skyline tour bus as it seemed the easiest way to get to Prior Park, yet another attraction covered by the Great British Heritage Pass. The park was as lovely as it could be in the rain! Manor House must have an awesome view. There are three and I think I have now seen most of the Palladian bridges in Britain, at Wilton, Stourhead, Prior Park and of course Pultney Bridge, and it’s only Day Seven.

Because of the rain, I didn’t complete the circuit around the lake and back to the entrance and the bus stop, but chose to exit by the lower gate and walk back to town. Interesting but I don’t think I chose the most direct route. I then completed a city circuit on the HOHO bus ( very impressed by a very extensive children’s playground) and then to Assembly Rooms and Fashion Museum. I really enjoyed seeing where all the balls took place and had fun visualizing Jane A and her characters milling about. The Costume Museum was quite interesting too.

I walked back via the Royal Crescent again and through the Gardens, where I admired the colourful beds of polyanthus growing in full sun. Eventually I located an internet café (near the station) and, being Good Friday, I attended a service at Bath Abbey. A choir of men and school girls sang a-capella various miserere etc. There were also readings Very well attended and suitably sombre. Then, dinner at a little French bistro, La Papillion. In my photos, it’s still light outside - I am only gradually becoming used to the concept that there’s still useful sightseeing time in the evenings.

Next stop, the Cotswolds.
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Thanks, Eigasuki, for a most interesting trip report. You're very game to have gone driving around England on your own. Looking forward to more.
taconictraveler is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 08:01 PM
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I like the looks of all your B&Bs' websites. Love the way the Salisbury one has photos of bedrooms fading into ancient stones and then back again. It does look like a good deal.
stokebailey is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 09:02 PM
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tatonictraveler, this is probably my sixth trip solo. I still haven't overcome a problem with eating solo. Once I'm seated, I'm fine but have trouble walking in and asking for a table for one. Hence, I tend to eat on the run and neglect meals. Therefore, the hearty B&B breakfasts were invaluable.

I was pleased with almost all the places I had booked, stokebailey. The Salisbury place was particularly pleasnat and excellent value. Would thoroughly recommend it I think it's No 1 on Tripadvisor.
eigasuki is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 02:59 AM
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hi eigasuki,

i'm "listening" too!

still enjoying reading about your experiences in the UK.

"would to god the gift he gi'us, to see ourselves as others see us" [R. Burns, allegedly]
annhig is offline  

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