4.8.09 Stonehenge to Salisbury

Salisbury Travel Blog

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4.8.09 Stonehenge to Salisbury

 

Another beautiful Spring day!  We left the lovely Newton Mill Campground in Bath, even though we wanted to stay longer, and headed south for Stonehenge, arriving near Noon.  There were significant numbers of tourists there, although I can imagine the throngs in the summer. There were campervans parked on the road across from the parking lots and I wondered if they were boondocking there.  It looked like a beautiful location down a dirt road, overlooking Stonehenge and the windswept grand green fields.

 

Stonehenge 16.50 L family fee included individual audio tour devices.  You just push the number of the marker and the green button, hold it up to your ear, and it tells you all sorts of historical and magical information.  It makes for a nice, quiet visit as everyone listens to their individual units.  The day was beautiful and we were glad to be at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Charles seemed most enthusiastic about it and called it “fun” which really indicated a good attitude to me.

 

We went just another 10 miles down the road to historic Salisbury.  This is a city that is like a miniature Bath.  It’s as you’d expect Bath to be, but a tenth of the size.  It has cobblestone streets, the river Avon with swans and ducks running through it, flowering trees and blossoming flowers everywhere, and many groups of tourists.  We even saw some from Michigan!  In general, people were basking in the glorious sun and strolling in this most picturesque town.  It really is one of the prettiest towns we’ve ever seen!

 

We parked in Coach Parking, next to the Car Park, for 1L per hour.  We checked with the parking guy, who gives out the 80L tickets if you’re late, and sweet-talked him into agreeing that our oversized RV qualified for the coach parking. 

 

Then we beelined it for the famous 13th century Cathedral, which was built in the amazingly short timeframe of just 38 years!  Most cathedrals took about 200 years to build, so they must have used good Subs.  This cathedral has the highest spire in England (40 feet), probably the oldest working clock in the world (1386), AND the best preserved of the 4 known copies of the Magna Carta from 1215!  It was all quite amazing and well worth the 12.50 L family required “donation.”

 

Nice guy Simon, at Tourist Information, called the RV campground for us (which we could see upon our drive into town).  Hudson’s Field Camping and Caravan Club Park is just about a mile out of town on Castle Road, with very nice Mr. & Mrs. Elliott (formal England!) running the place. 

 

We’re now parked in a lovely field for just 13 L for the night, sans electric (3L) because other than the microwave, we don’t really use any more electric than our coach battery provides (since it charges as we drive).  That is a great deal for this beautiful, top-notch campground.  We qualify as Camping and Caravan Club members (worth 45L) with our Camping Card International, which I bought via Canada’s AAA service before we left.

 

I did buy their book of Certified Locations (15L), which includes the thousands of wonderful Farm Sites for 5 or fewer motorhomes.  Without such a resource, it is difficult finding places to camp, so it was well worth the money.  Mr. Elliott also said that in the morning, they will help us reserve a London Campground location for next week.  The Elliotts are, of course booked for this weekend, and are concerned that we will not find places to stay, so their help will be much appreciated.  Easter Weekend, as the kids are out of school for two weeks, is a popular camping time.  The Elliotts also mentioned that they’ve been much busier this year than last year so far.  Camping is very popular around here.

 

We are in view of Old Sarum, the former town of Salisbury, before it got too populated and they decided to move the whole town down to its present site on the river. 

 

We got to talk to Ned today for about 15 minutes!  Our 5L phone card that we bought yesterday provides 42 minutes of talk time from a public pay phone to the U.S.  We dial the number on the card, the pin number, then 001 for the U.S. followed by Ned’s 10 digit number.  We consider ourselves pay phone near-experts.

 

Today was something of a comedy of errors, but I’m pleased that nothing major happened.  Every few minutes something fluky happened, but Jazy and I reminded each other that today’s issues and stress did not compare with worry about corrupt police around the next corner, as we contended with in Central America.  So worry is all relative, right!?

 

Salisbury is a shockingly beautiful, delightful destination- a honeymoon type of romantic, fun place to spend a time relishing the best of life.  Thanks to Rick Steves for leading us here!

 

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photo by: Vikram