You can’t drive within 100km of Stonehenge and not make a detour to visit it, can you? Of course not! It’s like going to Rome and not visiting the Colosseum. That’s how we convinced Wendy on a sunny Saturday morning, along with hundreds of other tourists, to stop for a look at these famous stones. It turned out they really are all they’re cracked up to be – some big stones in a field, that you can’t even touch, beside a main highway. So after admiring them from a roped off distance, the obligatory tourist photos and look in the souvenir shop, we got back on the road.
Our detour to Stonehenge was actually a great way for us to see some of the English countryside, not just the M4 motorway. It sounds silly to say this but the English countryside is just so stereotypically, well, English! Just like the movies and photos you see, it’s so green and scattered with quaint old villages, stone fences and little quintessential English gardens. Fortunately for us there was none of the stereotypical British rain to be seen.
The destination of our excursion was Bradford-on-Avon, a charming and typically English village with the River Avon running through it. The centre of the village is full of stone buildings dating back hundreds of years and some inhabitants who looked like they dated back almost a hundred years too. We spent the afternoon meandering through the lanes lined with cottages, tea houses and art and craft stores. Being spring it was the perfect time to be in the countryside as trees were bursting with buds, flowers and new green leaves.
Bradford-on-Avon is a tourist destination in its own right, but we chose to go there to have dinner with my cousins who live locally. And what fun dinner was, I had no idea what half the things on the pub menu were! Ignorantly, I cracked up laughing when my cousin Jane ordered “Faggots,” which were really just a kind of meatball. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my meal, “Toad in the Hole,” was sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, with vegetables on the side. It’s an interesting guessing game ordering food here!