Today (Monday, 8/29) was a Bank Holiday (i.e. day off). I've pledged to not let an opportunity pass so we headed south for a 3-day weekend. This was notionally a weekend in Bath but we really only spent Sunday there. On the way down on Saturday we stopped in Cheddar, Wells and Glastonbury before ending up at our B&B near Bradford on Avon just outside of Bath. On Monday we visited Stonehenge and Avebury before heading home.
Bath is around 3 hours drive from Derby. I expected horrendous traffic as bank holiday weekends are notorious but it wasn't that bad. We had a little traffic on the way down that cost us 30 minutes tops; none on the way back.
We all had a great time. Bath was fascinating and we clearly could have spent more time there. In fact, this was somewhat of a "survey" weekend as each of the various stops could have used a little more time. However, those are the choices that have to be made. Kuk's already planning a return visit with her sister (whenever she comes).
website, "The land around the village of Cheddar has been at the centre of England's dairy industry since at least the 15th Century with the earliest references to Cheddar Cheese dating from 1170. With the absence of refrigeration or adequate transport the problem of what to do with surplus milk was solved by turning it into cheese. Cheesemakers discovered that if you pressed (squeezed out moisture with a heavy weight) the fresh curd, the cheese lasted much longer. This method of cheesemaking along with other refinements was perfected in the Cheddar area and so the first authentic Cheddar Cheese was born."
We enjoyed the behind the scenes tour/video and free samples (though some were a little mature for our simple tastes).
The kids along Cheddar Gorge.
more scenery in Cheddar Gorge
Alex spotted this water vole in the creek along the way back to the car
Next stop, Wells, and its wonderful cathedral. England's first completely Gothic cathedral, dating back to ~1200.
unique double or scissors arch
vast stained glass
another shot of the scissor arch
family shot outside (too bad the photographer clipped the top)
Next stop, Glastonbury. Here the ruined abbey (Henry VIII ruined all monasteries).
In the distance, you can see the tower atop the Glastonbury Tor (hint: foreshadowing)
Holy Island that the kids also got to hold an owl. Nicole really enjoys this as the owl is one of her favorites.
Nicole's wouldn't look at me so I had to move around.
great shot with the little guy
hmm, bacon (prop in the kitchen on the abbey grounds)
kids and the abbey
A ha, we made it up to the top of the Tor.
view down to Glastonbury below
a reflective (okay, resting) moment with mother and daughter
tour provided by the Mayor's guide which focused on the change from medieval mud pit to tourists mecca in the 1700's.
Ah, but there is some stained glass as well.
standing where Roman's once did ~2000 years ago
From the Roman Bath looking back at the Abbey (quite close).
Alex drilled this poor Roman soldier with about 20+ questions. Nice photo afterwards.
This was not your ordinary street performer. He just climbed up a 10 foot unicycle.
Now on his own power, though he jokingly used the street signs to balance at first.
adding in a little fire juggling -- we happily shared a few coins with him
Bizarre Bath, a wonderfully funny comedy walk (the kids liked it too even with 1/3 of the jokes flying over their heads). It made for a long day, but we paced ourselves well (sleeping was not a problem either).
On our drive from Stonehenge to Avebury, we saw this white horse cut into the clearing.
Of course, I had to get a sheep shot. More photos with the stones of Avebury below.