Stonehenge and area touring

We’ve never done a group tour before but to see Stonehenge and the villages around Bath, it seemed like the best option as I did not find any private tour operators in Bath. At least this one, Mad Max tours, had a 16 person maximum.

We started out at 8:45 with 14 other people, most of whom were North American except for a young couple who sounded German and a young couple from France.  About an hour drive got us to Stonehenge where there were a fair number of tourists although our driver Dave told us this was hardly any compared to crowds found later in the day.  Since it wasn’t summer solstice, we were kept fairly far away from the stones.

with zoom

In contrast we went to Avebury where there is a huge, almost mile long stone circle which we could walk up to and touch and where there were very few tourists. 
The stones aren’t as big as Stonehenge but there are many, many more set within a circle circumscribed by a deep ditch and a high wall of dirt, clay and flint which you can walk along the top.  The village road runs through the middle of the circle.  Like Stonehenge, no one knows why it was built.

The Silbury Hill is another man made structure, higher than the pyramids, built for unknown reasons.
As we drove the roads in the area, we saw a number of thatched roofed cottages.  In the village of Lacock, we had lunch and looked at the streets with crooked houses and walls. The streets were the location for filming Pride and Prejudice and Lacock Abbey was used in the Harry Potter movies.


Our last stop was the village of Castle Combe, once voted the prettiest village in Britain. Unfortunately, Steven Spielberg was filming the children’s novel, The War Horse, on the High Street in the very tiny place and his security crew and local police hardly allowed us to see the village at all, and were being heavy handed in trying to keep people from taking photographs.  We were allowed to march along the High Street then turned around and walked back while shooting took a break.  No going along any of the (few) side streets. One of the women on the tour almost had her camera taken because she was photographing the street.

I managed a few photos anyhow.

We returned to Bath just before 5 pm as the clouds and cool air were moving in.

For dinner, we went to Rajpoot, named as one of the 10 best curry houses in Britain.  Food was very tasty with a good kick of heat as long as you didn’t, like Scott, eat a whole green chili.

Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for heavy rain.  If that’s accurate, we’re going to have to ditch our skyline walk along Bath’s hill tops.

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