The Henges, a Cathedral, and a big garden
4: Tuesday, July 2, 2008
OK, so the title needs a litte explanation. There is the well known Stonehenge, but there is also the nearby Woodhenge. Stay tuned for more.
We start the day at Stonehenge, which is very busy. It looks the same in person as it does in the pictures, so no real surprises about the size or appearance. Pretty neat to see in person, and makes me wonder why the people who built it put so much effort into it.
There are a lot of ideas out there about its significance, but I think it is more fun to just wonder about this one. I would listen to the audio tour via the little playback pod provided, but it is in German. Apparently I look German to the guy handing them out. Must be my new plastic eyeglasses.
Stonehenge is something we were not able to fit in to our schedule last time, but this time I can say I've seen it. So.... I've seen it.
Next we travel a few miles to Woodhenge. No admission, no attendants, no facilities, no problem. There are a few teenagers having a picnic in the middle, and an older couple walking around having a look. There are concrete posts marking the positions of where the original timbers were located. Pretty much the same idea as Stonehenge, but smaller and non-existent. Just well marked with concrete posts. Like Stonehenge, Woodhenge is kinda neat, and worth seeing if for no other reason to compare.
Back in Salisbury, we visit the Salisbury Cathedral. It is kinda old, having been completed in 1258. We don't take the tour, but do have a look at a display regarding the history of the Cathedral. Needless to say, there is a lot of history to be displayed!
We have a small snack in the cafe there, and then run back to the car under light rain.
The Stourhead Gardens are next on the list for today, so we head northwest on secondary and backroads. We arrive at about 3:45PM and enter the gardens. Choosing the longer 1.5 mile walk, we set a brisk pace while taking pictures and video along the way. There are some beautiful structures from different periods and both native and foreign plant life. There are also many huge trees and a sizable lake.
From here we travel to the coast. Arriving at Avon beach around 7PM, we take pictures of the beach for about 20 minutes. The southwestern tip of the Isle of Wight is visible, and makes a nice backdrop in the pictures. This portion of the island is called "The Needles".
We are both hungry, so we travel another 12 miles or so to the White Stagg Inn for dinner. I have fish and chips again. Can't get enough.
The White Stagg Inn is in the middle of the New Forest, which is 150 square miles of forest that was originally set aside to serve as William the Conqueror's hunting grounds. That happened almost a thousand years ago. Now that William no longer uses the land, it is really nice to drive through. No risk of imprisonment, beheading, etc.
We encounter something of a road block on our way to the Asperion Hotel in Guildford. A group of cows are standing in the middle of the road. We reason with them, and after deliberating amongst themselves, they grant us passage. We thank them and move along before they change their minds. We hit the M3 and complete the distance to Guildford.
For the Audio fanatics; this shower head looks like a Sennheiser MD441 microphone!
The Rokeby Guest House
Stonehenge wide shot
Stonehenge close up
Woodhenge wide shot
Woodhenge close up
Salisbury Cathedral wide shot
One of the Salisbury Cathedral towers
Statue on the outside of Salisbury Cathedral
A very ornate gutter spout at the Salisbury Cathedral
3 Statues on the outside of Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury Cathedral Tower from inside
Tall shot of Salisbury Cathedral
Entrance to the Stourhead Gardens
Temple of Apollo in Stourhead Gardens
Lake in Stourhead Gardens
One of billions of flowers at Stourhead Gardens
Another view of the lake at Stourhead Gardens
The Pantheon at Stourhead Gardens
The Temple of Flora at Stourhead Gardens
A tower at Stourhead Gardens
A row of houses at Stourhead Gardens
Another shot of roadside landscape
Beach Huts at The Needles
The White Stagg Inn
Crossing Guard Cows
Another beautiful and varied day in England!