England: Part 2- Cotswolds and Bath

Since we didn’t want to start the driving part of our trip dealing with London traffic, we took a train to Reading and picked up our rental car there. Other than the fact that our GPS stopped working about 20 minutes after we left the rental car facility, we were driving on the wrong side of the road,  there are roundabouts everywhere (sometimes one right after another), and some two lane roads are really only one lane, everything went fine.

On the way to our next hotel in Thornbury, we stopped by Stonehenge.

Archeologists believe the site was constructed from 3000 BC to 2000 BC.

Each standing stone is about 13 ft high, 6 ft 11 in wide and weighs aboutd 25 tons.

The next photo was taken in the visitors center but shows how precisely the stones are aligned.

The stones are aligned to the sunset of the winter solstice and the opposing sunrise of the summer solstice.

Our lodging for the middle part of our trip was the Thornbury Castle. The building was begun in 1511 as a home for Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. However Edward got crosswise with Henry VIII and was beheaded. Henry took over the property but only stayed here for a few days with Anne Boleyn, after which the castle fell into disrepair.

The castle is now a 26-room hotel and restaurant.

Wonder if Henry and Anne slept here?

A room with a cozy fireplace.

Cocktails before dinner.

One day we took a tour of the Cotswolds with a family run company, Secret Cottage Tours, named after the home of the owners. It was a great way to see the Cotswold countryside with a local guide and not have to drive!

Lorette in front of the Secret Cottage.

Local codes require that thatched roofs be kept.

The ‘cottages’ of former mill workers now sell for upwards of a million pounds.

Phone booths have been repurposed to become defibrillator stations.

Walking along a country lane.

A nice sunny day. The next day it was raining.

And the best thing about the tour: We started with tea and pastries, toured a little and came back to the cottage for a buffet lunch, toured some more, and concluded the day with a traditional Cotswold cream tea.

The other highlight of this part of the trip was a visit to Bath. The city became a spa in 60 AD  when the Romans built baths and a temple here to take advantage of the natural hot springs.

The museum has done an exceptional job of preserving the history of the place and uses photographic projections to recreate scenes of how the various rooms were used.

The water is still 115 F.

Another major attraction in Bath is the Cathedral, Bath Abbey.

Impressive fan vaulted ceiling created in the 1500s by the king’s master masons.

In the late 1500s memorials stared to be placed on the abby’s walls,

Some of the more than 1,500 memorials.

Next stop: Cornwall.





England: Part 2- Cotswolds and Bath — 3 Comments

  1. We love being able to travel vicariously through you guys to exotic places. The fan ceiling at the Bath Cathederal was stunning. So unlike anything I’ve ever seen; words alone would have fallen short to accurately describe the design or impact on the viewer. A code that requires thatch is impressive, but repurposing phone booths as defib stations is cause to celebrate modern day creativity.
    Thank you for sharing your photos and commentary.

  2. Felt like taking the trip with you. Beautiful pictures and commentary. England feels like home to me, and we have especially enjoyed Devon several times.