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Chris & Lindee see the world

Bath Countryside

UNITED KINGDOM | Tuesday, 10 January 2017 | Views [213]

Stonehenge...bucket list ticking

Stonehenge...bucket list ticking

We got ourselves up early to meet Colin from Mad Max Tours. He was charged with showing us the best of Bath's countryside. We were just a little bit excited to be exploring some ancient and beautiful sites, and Col was entertaining, knowledgable and passionate about his homeland.

Stop 1:  Castle Combe - a pretty little village that, during medieval times, did it tough. As a result there was never any significant development and the village has remained unchanged through centuries. There are no streetlights in town so it was important for us to visit early as, later in the day, in winter, it is dark very early. Many movies and television series have used Castle Combe as the perfect setting. Think Dr Dolittle (the original), Agatha Christie's Poirot, War Horse and Downton Abbey. Exploring the local parish church we found a headstone for a "Garrett"; and the one of the earliest clocks. The lovely Manor House and grounds is now luxury accommodation and a golf course. The Bybrook River meanders its way through town and was once used extensively for the woollen trade, and is now home to many local ducks and other wildlife.

Stop 2:  Avebury & Stone Circles - Another beautiful village. This one, though is in the centre of a circle of prehistoric stones. A remarkable feat of engineering as the stones wer place meticulously with none of the modern lifting and carrying mechanisms that we have access to. It is understood that the process was one of community spirit creating a space for ceremony and celebration and dates back to 2850BC to 2200BC...really old! I escaped from the rest of the group and walked around the edge of the circle and the town. Beautiful opportunity to soak it all in and take myself back to those ancient times in the peaceful countryside.

Stop 3:  Lacock - Lunch time, and another quaint little place to explore. So lunch first and, out of many places to eat, we chose the George. The little pub has been in Lacock for a very long time and oozes medieval features...open fire places, low beams, and out the back an original well. Right in front of the fire with its original spit roaster was the ideal spot to enjoy our hearty pub feed. Once replete we headed out to wander the four streets. Lacock is another perfect movie set and we found James & Lily Potter's house, Professor Slughorn's house; the village also accommodated Downton Abbey, Pride & Prejudice and many others. It's also Camilla's local parish and we managed a visit to the church that she regularly attends.

Stop 4:  Stonehenge - This was a big bucket list tick for me. The anticipation and excitement was high and the relic site didn't disappoint. To stand beside and experience the energy of this ancient place was beyond thrilling. The stones remain strong and silent with their secrets, because we still really don't know the full story of why the circles were created. Although, as with Avebury, the assumption is that they were used for ritual and celebration.

A drive back through the darkened hedgerows and highways had us back to the Abbey Hotel weary but very satisfied with our day.

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