European adventure travel blog

A drive in the English countryside

"Spreading Eagle Inn"

Frozen Lake

Grotto

Pantheon

Sitting on the castle walls

Old Sarum Castle


Left London yesterday and headed southwest to the Salisbury, home to Stonehenge and the ancient kings of England (http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury/about-the-area/medieval-city). Salisbury is a middle sized town which has retained its "village" charm. The hotel we are staying in, Millford Hall, is a converted middle ages residence, quite charming. By the time we settled in it was time to go in search of an olde english pub for a pint and a meal. Found one called The Cloisters where they serve great food and pull beers direct from the cellar (http://www.visitwiltshire.co.uk/salisbury/food-and-drink/the-cloisters-p437973).

We were going to stay just one night, but after reading the info about the area, we decided to stay 2 nights and do some exploring.

First up was a place called Stourhead Gardens, a house and garden complex built around a lake by Henry the Magnificent in the 1740's (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-stourhead.htm). The lake and gardens were shrouded in fog, so you weren't too sure what lay ahead until you were almost on top of it. It gave the area an ethereal quality.

Next up was an old hilltop fort called Old Sarum (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/old-sarum/). This was an old Celtic fort, and later castle, believed to be some 5000 years old. If you had visions of old forts and castles being something like the mythical Camelot, forget it. They were in fact quite small, functional, and spartan in terms of home comforts.

The whole day of sightseeing was quite wonderful. Apart from the historic sites, just driving through the countryside and passing through small villages was worth the drive.

Back to Salisbury and time to plan the next phase of our trip (nearing the end now, but still time to cover a few more km - 5000 so far).



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