On route to DK’s wedding we decided to go day earlier and do some exploring. A chance to show the kids some of the major history of South West England. History you just cannot get in Singapore. And boy did we get it all on such beautiful sunny days in so many different counties of England from Kent to Surrey, to Somerset, to Wiltshire, to Hampshire to Gloucestershire.
1st stop was a must as we were in this area of England.
Off to Stonehenge, a place I have probably not been to for 10 or so years. Completely changed now with them losing the visitor centre, replacing that 1 mile away, and allowing Stonehenge to ‘return to nature’ as it was back in the day some 4,500 years ago. Apparently a lot of debate and controversy re that decision – in my opinion it is absolutely the right choice as it now sits alone in a field, no cars, no car-park – basically nothing apart from it, the rolling hills around, the 3km man-made avenue bringing the visitors to Stonehenge and the surrounding barrows (graves) making the countryside around very bumpy looking.
I have gone a little artsy on some of these of course, but still it does not detract from the sheer beauty and wonder of this place. So many unanswered questions and ‘guesses’ associated to the history and origin and indeed reason for building this structure all those thousands of years ago.
Truly a baking hot day for exploring this amazing site.
No longer allowed to be near the stones themselves now – but I remember being 10 or so and being in the stone ring, touching the stones and even laying on the slaughter stone. Do you remember the UK TV program ‘Children of the Stones’. Yep Nikki and I would pretend to touch them and be flung back with the supernatural powers of the stones. Not today though as we can’t get near them.
But still it does not take away the WOW!!!
Go approx 2 miles West of the beautiful village of Amesbury and you will now find Stonehenge standing alone in a field. Amesbury is in Wiltshire. Stonehenge now boasts being one of the most popular historic sites in Europe and in fact the world, as it sits in one of the most complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments and several hundred burial mounds – barrows.
Get this archaeologists believe it was built somewhere between 2-3,000 years BC, with the surrounding back and ditch having been carbon dated to 3,100BC – just incredible. Back in 1986, along with Avesbury, Unesco added Stonehenge to the list of World Heritage Sites – just like Melacca and Penang, but different reasons of course. It is owned by our Queen Lizzy, managed by British Heritage and the fields surrounding it are owned by The National Trust.
It is believed that it could have been a burial ground from its earliest beginnings, again with some carbon dating of cremation remains getting to 3,000 BC when the ditch and bank were first created and then it continues with similar cremations remains for at least the next 500 years.
A first time for Mary and Jude.
Walking round listening to the audio guide which was great.
And first time for Amy…
Spot the difference now.
No buildings in site, no cars in site with the road diverted away now, just the stones themselves likely looking as they would have done 4,000 years ago with just surrounding fields.
Druid or Amy?
Amy or Druid?
Or one of the same?
Well anyways hey nonny noo Amy – you hippy chick!!!
Off to Amesbury now for lunch.
A much needed and demanded English country pub lunch, and this place did not disappoint.
Amy = the winner with her smothered chicken. Chicken breast , bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce – oh yes!
Mary = Joe’s favourite of Gammon Steak.
Ollie – chose the Chef Special of lasagne.
Yours truly = went for Scampi, something you really do only get from pub food experiences.
Here is the wonderful place – The George Hotel, Amesbury.
Actually an old coach house and Inn for travellers to and from London.
See the entrance to the right – yep that is the entrance for the coaches to get to the stables in the back.
Here you go a better view.
17th Century meaning this is 1600’s when built – 300 years old approximately.
Funny though was that Mary wants to go back next week as a troupe of strippers is a holding a ladies night there. Just in case you happen to be there and want to stare at scampi in speedos – ha ha!!!
Well Jude loved scampi too – welcome to your very first pub lunch Baby Jude.
“More scampi please Dad, and yes with tartar sauce please…”