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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Wiltshire Adventure, day 1

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How every trip with Kate begins. Waiting for the bus to Amesbury last Monday morning.

I wasn’t online last week (apart from a few 30-second email checks) because my sister and I were walking in Wiltshire. This trip came about thanks to this New York Times article and the fact that I was already in the UK doing some book research.

Instead of walking two days on the Ridgeway Trail, we decided to begin at Stonehenge and end at Bishopstone, a village between Avebury and Wantage. We had a few inevitable hiccups along the way (darn you, landowners who ignore public rights-of-way!), but it was a great trip–rolling green farmland, prehistoric stone monuments, picturesque villages, big delicious breakfasts, friendly locals and local ales (for me, anyway). From Bishopstone, we went to Oxford for a night, then returned to London for another day and a half of sightseeing with Seanan before heading home yesterday morning.

Last Monday we (eventually) found each other at Heathrow and took the bus to Amesbury, the closest town to Stonehenge. After checking in at our B&B, we took the scenic route to the monument. I’d say we walked about seven miles, arriving back in town just before dark.

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It must be the time of year for rethatching, because we saw several roofs being worked on. Below: tumuli in a field opposite Stonehenge.

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I had heard that a busy highway runs very close to Stonehenge, but it still seemed amusingly incongruous (our favorite word on this trip). We got there about 5:30, after closing time, but the sidewalk is only five feet farther from the walkway around the stones that you have to pay £7 to access. We got a great view at sunset and didn’t pay a penny.

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We stayed at The Anchorage, now one of my very favorite B&Bs—and you know I’ve been to a few! [Edit, 2013: no longer operating as a B&B, sadly!] Nothing better at the end of a long walk than a hot bubble bath, especially when it’s in that tub. If you are planning a trip to Stonehenge and want to stay in the area, you MUST stay here. Sheryll is one of the most genuinely friendly B&B owners I’ve ever met–she plotted our walking route for us, the breakfast was almost too generous, the rooms are incredible, and she brought us tea and chocolate treats in a cozy sitting room (with open fire) when we got back from dinner that night. (We found a very good Indian restaurant on the high street.)

Next post: Amesbury to Manningford Abbots, where we stayed in a wonderful 17th-century farmhouse.

3 Comments to Wiltshire Adventure, day 1

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    March 22, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    The bench was more comfortable than it looks 😉
    A week ago today we were enjoying Margo’s farmhouse! Sigh.

  2. March 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    OMG. That view of Stonehenge makes me so jealous. SO. JEALOUS.
    (Apparently it’s a lots-of-caps day.)

  3. March 27, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    What an exciting trip you had. I’m sure you had lots of fun.:-) The pictures were all beautiful especially the one with the Stonehedge. Makes me want to go on a trip also.:-)

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.