05 Dec Through England. Part 2
As promised on the first part of this article today I will focus on my 2 days spent driving thru England, a day spent in Shrewsbury and the last day of my trip for which I chose Warwick Castle as my destination.
Day 4: First day driving. Stonehenge. Avebury, Cherhill White Horse, Silbury Hill, Castle Combe and Lacock.
I won’t dwell on Stonhenge because I have a post about it that I will publish on a later date but rather start with Avebury and move from there.
What must be said in the beginning is the fact that even though Avebury size is bigger than Stonehenge’s it is less famous. But less famous doesn’t mean less interesting at all.
Here at Avebury you have one huge advantage. You get to touch the stones. That’s right. Unlike Stonehenge where the circle is surrounded and you cannot get very close Avebury rocks are free to touch, to take closer pictures with them, etc.
You can walk right thru them, see them closely and watch how the rocks align and all that from the distance you want.
With two more short stops you can visit Cherhill White Horse and Silburry Hill. Now I have to be honest I didn’t get very close to the horse but rather stopped the car on the road, walked a bit, admired the surroundings and took some pictures from there.
Next I took a shot at Castle Combe and Lacock. Dubbed the most beautiful village in England by many Lacock was for me a small disappointment because almost all the village was in works. So not much to see besides men at work and lots of dust.
However if you got close to houses you could see or at least imagine how this place would look when it will be finished and I must say I’m very curious about the end result.
Here in Lacock I also served lunch but that will be covered in another blog post detailing the meal I had here (hint: English pie).
Castle Combe is another lovely little village. Village is much said since the place unwinds on both sides of a small road so you can easily cover it in 20-30 minutes.
Now before going into day 5 I must mention something. You will see me not giving away too many details about the Cotswolds and that is for a reason. When you look at them, they are simple, small villages that you can easily move thru in 30 minutes to an hour/village. However once you get there each village will be different and you will feel them different too. Yes, they all are kind of the same due to construction, shapes, sizes of the houses but each place has something special, something wonderful and that you need to discover for yourself.
Day 5: Chipping Camden, Moreton in Marsh, Stow on the Wold, The Slaughters, Bibury.
Before starting the details I must tell you a simple thing. You need to visit the Cotswolds. This part of England is not as highly advertised as others but this area is magical. For me this day was like stepping into a fairy tale interrupted from time to time by the sound of the cars driving thru these places.
First stop was Chipping Camden and it was a lovely introduction to the Cotswolds. I managed to park on a back street and move in the morning hours on the street admiring the old houses and the beautiful flowers.
One thing I love about this area is how beautiful the flowers are. Pictures in my opinion don’t do justice to those beautiful wild or grown plants that decorate all of Cotswolds.
I did not stopped for a long time in Moreton in Marsh and that is because I found it to be the busiest village of them all. I managed to secure a tight parking spot and watch as a little jam was starting to build in the village.
However if you get past this aspect you will discover a village as nice as the others albeit more crowded.
Stow on the Wold. For me this has been love at first sight. I can’t tell you exactly why but this village resonated most to me.
It has everything… small beautiful houses, lovely pubs and restaurants, beautiful flowers and to top that I ate a delicious baguette here that really left me smiling.
If I were to go back to the Cotswolds to see the remaining villages I would surely stop here again for a bit just to walk on its streets.
Lower Slaughter. I think this has got to be the quietest village from all that I visited. Fewest tourists and a peaceful atmosphere due to the fact that not many cars were present. I would surely add this to the list if I would think to visit the Cotswolds.
Last stop on that day was Bibury and all I can say is that a picture makes for a thousand words.
This little “street” is just magical and to my knowledge it has been featured in many movies.
As a matter of fact many movies used the Cotswolds as a location and I will jut name a few from the movies and locations used by them.
So we have “The Cantebury Tales” filmed in Chipping Camden, “The Remains of the Day” filmed in various locations on the Cotswolds, Badminton House was used for “ Pearl Harbour”, the first Harry Potter movie was filmed in this area, or scenes from “Die another day”. Also Bridget Jones’s Diary included scenes from Snowhill or Crush who used again Chipping Camden.
The first two villages I visited on day 4(Lacock and Castle Combe) saw plenty of action also. Between them scenes from Harry Potter, Wolfman, The other Boleyn girl, Doctor Dolittle or War Horse were shot here.
And last but not least Bibury was one of the locations used when filming Stardust, a movie that I loved and let us not forget an incredible book by a huge writer, Neil Gaiman.
With all this being said I hope I convinced you or at least the pictures I took convinced you to consider this area as a destination for your next holiday.
Day 6: Shrewsbury.
I reached Shrewsbury by train since I returned the car on the previous evening. While many cities/towns can be reached by trains or buses if you plan to visit the Cotswolds or Stonehenge and the other sights I seen on day 4 you either book a guided tour or rent a car.
Shrewsbury is nice, already a bigger city so after two days of little to no people this has been as a wakeup call. I cannot say many things about this place because I frankly wasn’t that impressed. Yes it is nice, yes it had nice buildings but something didn’t tick for me. However you could spend 2/3 hours moving around, walking and admiring the buildings then move to another destination.
Day 7: Warwick Castle.
I remember taking the train then a bus to Warwick to reach the Castle and I remember thinking the entrance price being a bit high but then again it is England so I just paid the money and enter the premises of the castle.
And I’m glad I did. The whole castle is impressive starting with the outside wall which you can see right after you check your ticket in at the entrance gate to the vast place that is the castle itself.
If you ever visit this place take your time. Climb its walls, enter the open rooms, spend some time on the grass enjoying the sun (if it’s not a rainy day), maybe catch the “arranged tournir show” or sit by the water enjoying the nature.
One thing I can say is that even though I arrived early the castle is pretty full with people regardless of the time of the day.
Regardless of that it is really worth paying this place a visit. As you walk inside the place or climb its towers you can feel history throughout the place.
There are a lot of things to see inside and there are also many places where you can sit down, take your time and relax.
If ever nearby or just looking for a half day trip take this castle into consideration.
And I guess this is it. My trip to England split by days and locations. When I look back or when I read this again it sure does seem like a lot of places. And you know what? I’m happy with it and wouldn’t change it.
It can get a bit tiresome but my curiosity and desire to see new things help a lot. And I sure can rest after, sitting on top of my bed and looking back at the pictures from these amazing places.