Friday, February 4, 2011

London ~ Bath & Beyond

Though I say we spent a few days in reality we mostly toured the surrounding countryside.  So if you were planning to see Buckingham Palace and London Bridge pictured might have to look elsewhere.  We did in fact see those famous London landmarks...but it was raining and the wipers were going...and the pictures aren't blog worthy.  I'll leave you with a few city shots...and then we'll carry on into the country.

At London's favorite landmark...

...time marches on.   And right next door is the building we will be seeing a lot of over the next few months...

 ...with all eyes on Westminster Abbey on April 29th for the royal wedding.

But let's leave the city behind and head out to the countryside.  There's so much to see...and with a most capable tour guide...there was so much to learn.  We hooked up with David from London Country Tours...a good move indeed.  Every morning he picked us up at our hotel bright and early...and off we went.

He took us through ancient cities, where the canals that once served as highways are still used today.

 We passed through Marlborough and Hungerford..where thatched roof buildings that have been around for centuries still stand strong against the elements. 

 Country or city...there's always a red phone booth to be found!

At Avesbury we walked about in the rain.  We stopped by St. James Church...and read the list of church patrons inside dating back to 1085.  Now that is history!

We reached the City of Bath before lunch.  It was established as a spa resort by the Romans in 43 AD...built at the site of the only natural hot springs in the UK.

It is now a World Heritage Site...

...and features many historic buildings in the Georgian style......all built from Bath Stone. 

We had lunch at a wonderful old restaurant...

...where Sally Lunn buns have been a legend for almost 400 years. 

Next stop......Stonehenge.

Dave & Janet...Judy & Elmer 

Who would have ever thought that I would find myself at this site?  It looked exactly as depicted in my textbooks so many years ago!  I was too busy taking pictures to pay much attention to the commentary that was running in my ear.  But this I know...these stones have been here for a very long time.  And how they got one really knows for sure.  It is believed they were erected around 2500 years BC.  They are also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you ever wish to visit Stonehenge...and have the place almost to yourself...go in January!  It was actually quite lovely...and we stayed until the sun was setting. 

Our tour guide had a few more places of interest to show us...but I'll leave those for another day. 
Enjoy your weekend...


  1. Judy I think you were so wise to hire a guide to tour the countryside. You had experiences that most visitors to London wouldn't have had. I'm enjoying being a tag along traveler. Thanks!

  2. Thank you for the tour Judy. Wonderful photos!

  3. I love your photos - there's something so much better about familiar scenes shot from your camera. I've never been to Bath or anywhere outside London, other than on a speeding train, so the village and church scenes were a treat. The idea of hiring a guide was inspired!

  4. Oh, I love the city...but nothing more dear than Country. Those photos reminded me of our time visiting in Germany. We are always up for country tours.
    I had forgotten about those Stonehedges...
    I know who I will need to take along as my next tour guide.

  5. I always enjoy guided tours - even when I am very familiar with the area.

    Stonehenge is so very intriguing. It is so much to even imagine.

  6. My mom and I took in those same sights backing 1983. Seeing the baths and realizing Romans used to soak there...very historically impressive to me. Kinda seemed like it should be a movie set or something.

  7. I loved the title of this post, Judy! :)

    My younger brother has been to London many times and to Stonehenge, so I've seen many photos of all those sights, but the Old English countryside is always a treat to see as it's new to me! A guided tour is a wonderful idea as you learn so much about the history of the places you visit from the guide, and they can always direct you to the best places to eat! :)

    I'm amazed the grass was still green -- even in January!

  8. Wow, you saw quite a lot out there in the countryside. I recognized that little city.

  9. You really got around! All the way to Stonehenge. I'm glad you were able to get these very blog worthy photos. It really is nice to be able to get those shots without a bunch of tourists around! Hiring a tour guide driver is a brilliant idea!

  10. The few times we've hired guides have been well worth the money and effort. They are usually so knowledgeable and give insight into information not in the regular books. How wonderful for you to realize a dream and visit Stonehenge!

  11. That stonehenge does take me back to Social Studies class. It is quite the mystery, is it not... especially when you actually see it.

  12. Brings me back to my visit to England about 14 months ago. When I saw Stonehenge I cried. Unbelievable, beautiful country. The villages, the city, all the sites that I had always heard about and finally saw. Absolutely fabulous. Enjoy your time there.

  13. I have just read through your last few posts and thoroughly enjoyed tagging along with you. What a wonderful trip you had. The produce markets in France look amazing.
    My husband's business partner is from England and we have been there with them as our guides. Your pictures today brought back fond memories of those trips.

  14. I can see that it would be a huge benefit to hire a guide.
    I heard that the queen is going to give some gold to the royal couple from a supply that has now been used up from somewhere in the UK. She was given a block of it and all royal rings are made from this one gold mine. Did you hear about this?
    The stonehenge is lovely in the lowlitye (my word verification)

  15. Catchy title!! Loving the tour...probably the closest I will ever get!! :-)

  16. Pretty cool to have the place almost all to yourselves...even surreal. What a wonderful taste of history you enjoyed! Yup, that's history!

  17. Judy, What a wonderful tour! Stonehenge...socials may have to get a copy of those pictures to your grand kids for their school project. My Mom was a 'Royal' fan....and would have enjoyed seeing were the wedding is going to take place. I'll be sure to get front row seats in my l=family room for that wedding....a girls night may be fun and you could give us added details of the venue.

  18. Well, last fall we were both in Seattle the same day, but we preceded you to Avebury and Marlborough and Bath by 2 years!I did a post here:
    I am enjoying your travel photos!

  19. In looking at these pictures, I could almost feel the quiet, peaceful, solitude of Stonehedge. I think January was the perfect time to visit that beautiful place. Your photography is impressive.

  20. What a fantastic tour guide you are! Great idea to hire someone to take you around. Beautiful photos and thanks for sharing!

  21. Grat photo's so gald you got to see some of our beautiful countryside

  22. Especially loved "Sally Lunns bunns :-)
    You take such great photos, really have an eye for photography..So glad you are sharing your trip with us, I was hoping you would.
    Places I may never get to yet now feel like I've been.


  23. I would love to spend time in that cemetary! Wondering about the stories that lie beneath the tombstones!
    And stonehedge - what a surreal feeling it must have been to stand there.. and take the lovely sunset photo of it !


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson