Wiltshire, Day 11: Stourhead



















Since we had our car until the end of the day Saturday, and had to clear out of the cottage by 10:00 AM, we figured we’d be silly not to stop off somewhere on the way back to London.    Using my trusty National Trust handbook, I located Stourhead House and Garden, in Wiltshire (so not too far from Stonehenge), just off the A303.      I’m so happy I we decided to stop here.

So, big Pride and Prejudice fan.     And I totally got my Lizzie Bennett visiting Pemberley house visit (though I have to say, the house itself actually reminded me more of Netherfield in the Kiera Knightley P&P movie).     The garden here is a classic, Capability Brown era landscape garden, complete with grotto and artfully placed faux-Roman temples.     It was completely wonderful to wander around (especially after about three hours in the car at that point).    They did have a really neat walled garden, though Heligan’s was still better.

The house was really neat, too.   First: it’s still lived in.     There’s a lovely drawing room on the tour with amazing furniture and tons of art on the wall, and the current owner’s tv in the corner.    Second: again, I totally got my P&P experience.      Everything looked straight out of a Regency-era movie.     It was probably even more special because I’d literally looked it up the night before, and had no expectations of visiting a place like this.     Totally made the England portion of the trip complete to me.


Stonehenge, Day 4







On Day 4, we headed back out to Heathrow to pick up our car, so we could drive to Cornwall.    And since it was right on our way, we decided to stop at Stonehenge.

Stonehenge has changed a lot since I was there last.    It used to be in the Y formed from the junction of the A303 and A334 roads, but they’ve actually removed the A334 (there’s a round about that takes you there a little further up the A303, and you go down that road to then back track to the Stonehenge visitor’s center).    So you still crest a hill while you’re driving on the A303 and see it ahead of you, but everything else looks different.

We got the English Heritage Overseas Visitor’s Pass while we were there.   It basically makes you an English Heritage member for nine days.    It’s well worth looking into if you’re going to a place with a lot of ancient monuments – English Heritage tends to be in charge of places that are in ruins, so you can quickly pay back the entrance fees if there are a bunch of those around.