England Trip Days 1-5
Many of you know that I recently took a trip to England with a longtime friend who grew up there in Devonshire. Our first 5 days the weather was cool in the 60s with a nice drizzle of rain every day. Perfect weather as far as I was concerned. We had also purchased a English Heritage pass which got us into most of the sites we visited. It easily paid for itself within the first two days of our trip.
Upon arrival, we headed to Salisbury which would be our base for the first three days. On our way to Salisbury we stop by an ancient hill fort on the Salisbury plains. It was a beautifully green place surround by wheat being blown by the wind so that it looked like the green ocean. After a little time, we headed onto Salisbury to our hotel and stopped to see the cathedral but were unable to get in as it was already evening.
Our second day we headed over Stonehenge which I think everyone is familiar with. But we also hit Avebury Henge which was huge. So, big in fact that there was a small village in the middle of it. We had lunch in a pub there. We also saw Silbury Hill which is an ancient man-made hill and beside it was the burial chamber that is called the West Kennet Long Barrow. We also hit Winchester the old capital of Saxon England and the spot famous for Alfred the Great and to my surprise the burial place of William Byrd the composer, Izaak Walton the author of “the complete angler”, and Jane Austin.
Day 3 we headed south to the old castle of Portchester, an ancient site that became a Roman, Saxon, and then Norman Castle. We then headed over to Portsmouth historic Dockyard and saw the HMS Warrior, and Victory along with a number of other smaller ships. We finished the day by visiting Old Sarum the original town of Salisbury just north of modern day Salisbury. It’s another ancient sight that eventually grew into a well-fortified Norman town.
Day 4 we headed over Evesham the site of an English Civil War battle but more importantly the home of Gripping Beast miniatures. We spent a good amount of time visiting with the folks there who were very kind and generous. Evesham is just a little southwest of Strafford upon Avon which is the home town of Shakespeare. We then headed on up to Nottingham. We saw the castle and the old pub called “Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem” this was one of the spots the crusaders met at to beginning their journey.
On Day 5 we woke up and headed over to Foundry figures just north of Nottingham and visited with the folks there for a while. It was also a site of an English Civil War battle. We then headed over to the beautiful town of Lincoln and saw the castle and cathedral. This town really was beautiful and we had great weather. We finished the day by traveling to Cawood castle the old sight of the Archbishop of York’s palace. We were actually able to stay there for the next two nights. Cawood is the spot that Cardinal Woosley was arrested by Henry VIII.