The day started with a disaster! We missed our tour group, not once, but twice!
We normally don’t like taking tours, only because the tours try to cover way too much ground within a very short time duration. Ideal for people who like to “check off” places in their list. Since we don’t have any to-do travel lists, we normally like to spend time enjoying places that we like, rather than jumping from one tourist spot to another.
It was a grave mistake that we booked this tour. Stonehenge is located in the middle of nowhere, so I was looking for tours only to Stonehenge. But also found the tours go to Windsor Castle and Bath as well. So, we just booked it without giving too much thought.
These tours normally pick you up from London, but since we stayed closer to Windsor, we decided to join the tour at Windsor. First, we missed our tour group at Windsor and ended up joining another tour group (by the same tour company).
Windsor is huge; one needs at least 3-4 hours inside the Windsor Castle and another hour or so walking around in this beautiful city. But with a tour group, we had only 2 hours inside the Castle and we literally had to rush through. The audio tour explains the history behind each of the furniture and paintings inside the Castle rooms and I was interested to learn about them, but couldn’t because of the time crunch.
The Castle is like a community and this was the first time we were seeing a castle in person. And the cool part is, it is still active castle. Stone walls soaring into the sky; the Royalty flag victoriously waving in the winds, the British guards dressed up in their uniforms and guarding the castle; everything was just so different and incredible.
Parts of the castle display a breathtaking view of the green valley below. One can also visit the Doll House, which is collection of miniature artifacts for Queen Mary by her granddaughter. The miniscule artifacts are created with so much care and attention that is almost unbelievable. Some are even made of silver and expensive stones.
It was time to return to the bus, and though we wanted to see more, we couldn’t and literally ran to the bus stop. And guess what, we were a few minutes late and the bus had already left! I am not kidding.
While frantically looking around, we noticed two other people in our group who had missed the bus, just like us. Another tour company graciously offered to take us to Bath, so that we could join our tour group there. I slept through the 2 hour bus journey from Windsor to Bath – jet lag!
By the way, if you are in Windsor, don’t forget to do the Garden Walk at the back of the castle. We came back another day, just to do the Garden Walk. Neatly trimmed green grass all around, trees lined up on either sides of the walkway equidistant from each other, paved walkway right in the middle of the park stretching as far as the eye can see, leading up to the Windsor Castle. A sight to behold and a walk to remember!
If this post sounds like me grumbling, please forgive me. I was mad and still am. Bath is romantic, beautiful and everything in between! A place where you can spend an entire day or even a weekend. Imagine being asked to tour the Roman Baths in 1 hour?
Built by the Romans in 1800s, the Bath is a pool naturally rich in minerals. There is so much history here and the artifacts inside the museum were obtained centuries ago.
The Roman Baths is just one part of Bath. There is more to do, such as Roman churches, beautiful bridges spanning across the stream, gardens and the city itself is beautiful and is best enjoyed by walking around.
As we boarded the bus, I was doing nothing but griping and regretted booking these tours that are ideal only for people who wish to check off things in their lists. Our next destination was Stonehenge, and by that time we knew we wouldn’t have enough time to spend there, so we decided to make the best out of the time available.
Stonehenge is something we were really looking forward to! After we got off from the bus at the parking lot, we took another bus to get to the Stonehenge. I anxiously looked out through the window to see the mysterious stones and saw them as we drove closely. I nudged my husband’s elbow and asked them to look out as well.
When we walked closer to the stones, we gaped at them and went “Wow”! The neatly paved path took us all around the Stonehenge. To me personally, the beauty here is in the unraveled mystery behind these sarsen stones and blue stones. Why was it built? Who built it? How did they carry these ginormous rocks and place it on top? As more questions popped up, the more we basked in its mysterious glory.
Right by the café shop at the entrance, there is a sample of sarsen stone and blue stone. An opportunity to touch them!
After a long and unsatisfactory day tour, we returned home to a home-made delicious meal that my sister-in-law specially cooked for us!
I’d recommend spending an entire day in Windsor and Stonehenge and an entire day, or even two at Bath. It’s worth it!