OK I’m gonna cheat so I can catch up a bit as I’m a couple of months behind. Fewer words and more photographs! A photo essay of our travels through Southern England, Part 1.
For this leg of our travels we hired a small vehicle and stayed in hotels and this proved to be an expensive exercise in hindsight and would influence our decision to change the way we travelled through the UK and Europe in the future.
The Roman Baths in Bath at £14.00 each we felt was a little steep but once inside we discovered so much more than the one main outdoor bath. There was an excellent exhibit and steam rooms and changing areas all used by the ancient Romans as more of a social meeting place rather than a place of cleansing. Well worth the time and £’s.
The Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Bath, commonly known as Bath Abbey, is an Anglican parish church and a former Benedictine monastery in Bath, Somerset, England and has THE most amazing wall of stained glass I think I have ever seen. A donation of £2.50 per adult is welcomed on entering.
We met up with some fellow travellers in Bristol, Rob and Kellan, they kindly showed us around their home town and a highlight was another Cathedral (the best according to our somewhat biased friends!). The Bristol Cathedral didn’t disappoint with it’s stunning vaulted ceilings and patterned marble floors worn down in places where worshippers and visitors of many different faiths had walked before.
We had heard and read much about the woods full of bluebells and whilst heading down a backroad late one afternoon (I don’t think we were lost this particular time), we took note of some cars parked along the side of the road and decided to investigate. A short walk into the woods and a thick carpet of blue/purple lay before us, made me feel like I was in a fairytale. Sometimes the most impressive sights are not written up in a guide book but stumbled upon by chance.
You could only describe Beer in the county of Devon as a quintessential British seaside town, complete with a “solid” pebble beach intermittently interrupted by aisles of carpet so you can gain access to the beach chairs and kiosks selling ice creams and snacks.
Saint Catherine’s Chapel, Abbotsbury, Devon stands high on a hill not far from the seaside. Built by the monks of the nearby Abbotsbury Abbey it acted as a pilgrimage chapel where they could withdraw to during Lent for private prayer and meditation.
Portland, located in Dorset, is a castle town but continue down to the coast and you will be met with the magnificent Portland Bill Lighthouse perched on the top of ocean pounded cliffs. The lighthouse acts as a waymark for ships navigating the English Channel and guides others entering the ports of Weymouth and Portland.
On a very miserable wet day we decided to take in Windsor Castle in the shire of Berkshire, on our way back into London. Whilst the weather wasn’t overly conducive to photography, perhaps more appropriate for ducks, we headed inside and visited the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Dollhouse, and St George’s Chapel.
Part 2 to follow in a couple of days…..promise!