On day two of our summer trip, Pam, Darlene, and I took a day-long coach tour to Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge with a stop in the village of Lacock for a traditional pub lunch. There wasn't as much walking as the day before (only 10,301 steps), but we got to see the beautiful English countryside and quaint little villages with thatched-roof cottages and lovely little gardens from the comfort of a lovely coach.
The first stop was Windsor Castle. The Castle and grounds are beautiful, and St. George's Chapel is gorgeous! I wish we'd had time to do a little shopping in town, because it looked like there were some fun shops. We got to see a bit of their Changing of the Guards ceremony as well!
Next we went to Bath and got a coach tour of the town before stopping for an hour or so for some free time. I'd already seen the Roman baths on a previous trip, and the lines were really long anyway, so I was planning to tour the Abbey instead. Unfortunately it was closed for a private event, so I just did a little shopping and sight-seeing. They were having a public art event called Minerva's Owls of Bath so there were painted statues of owls scattered around town. I was able to see just a few of them, including the one called "J.K. Owling"!
For lunch we stopped in the adorable village of Lacock and enjoyed a traditional pub lunch at The George Inn. I had the cottage pie with peas and carrots along with their own house-made ale, while my friends opted for the fish and chips. Mine was delicious, and theirs looked good, too! After lunch we had a few minutes to wander around the village which is famous for being the location for several movie shoots including "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". In fact the home I photographed below was used as the exterior for Horace Slughorn's house! One of the residence has a food stand set up on their block which contains cookies, baked goods, and jams and preserves. It was set up on the "honor system" with a box for you to leave your payment and made change, if needed. I couldn't resist, and picked up a jar of Raspberry Jam!
Our final stop was Stonehenge! I was really looking forward to seeing this again, and wasn't disappointed! Stonehenge is simply awesome and beautiful! Even with the crowds of people, I was still able to get a couple really good shots of the circle. They have significantly improved the Visitor's Center since I was last there, including a large cafeteria and Gift Shop, and have added a life-size replica of the type of village that might have stood on the sight to house the labourers who worked on the site. There are also maps and other educational information around the area.
All-in-all this was a really fun day filled with lots of sights, attractions, great food and drink, and wonderful information provided by our guide, Leon, and great driving from our coach driver Fernando. We got home late, and collapsed into bed to rest up for our next action-packed day which would include Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Oxford University!