Sunday, September 25, 2011

London to Stonehenge to Sidlesham: 15/September

Thursday: Hubby's 0/5 birthday! What a great year he's having; first Egypt and now London and the Goodwood Revival. Makes me gleefully anticipate my next 0/5!

We got up early since we had a 9:52 train to catch. Things got derailed a little bit (pun intended, ha) because there was no hot water. Nothing like a good cold shower to start you off in the morning. Hubby spoke with Christina from Londonconnection but she couldn't do anything to help.

We finished packing, cleaned up the apartment and headed out to catch the tube to Victoria Station, dragging our bags up and down stairs—where are the escalators when you need them? We sent one last appreciate glance at the beautiful Westminster Abbey façade telling ourselves we'd be back soon!

I had prepaid our Southern Railway tickets to Gatwick (bargain price of 5.55GBP each!) where we would pick up a rental car. Other than maneuvering all the stairs, we had no problems catching our train.

Victoria Station
We arrived at Gatwick around 10:30am and dragged our bags through the construction/smoking zone to Avis. We got a manual transmission Renault something. It was roomy and fine for our purposes. Going to Gatwick was an easy way to pick up a rental and we avoided central London traffic.

I had written down step by step directions from Gatwick to our first stop, Stonehenge, because our Michelin map didn't have enough detail but we didn't want to pay for GPS. The drive was pretty easy—hubby didn't take any wrong turns. We kept saying "stay left/look right." His experience driving in New Zealand certainly paid off in England!
Hubby's 2nd "wrong side of the road" driving experience

Proably going to Goodwood Revival!
I would have preferred to visit some gardens or historical homes but hubby, on his birthday, overruled me and Stonehenge it was. The weather again was lovely—mostly sunny, windy and cool. We stopped at a gas station for lunch supplies and picnicked in the Stonehenge parking lot.

Arrival at Stonehenge is cool—you're driving along and all of a sudden, there are the stones! After lunch, we paid our entrance fee, grabbed the audioguide and went to walk around the stones with many other tourists. Hubby was stoked; me, not so much. I didn't get any "woowoo" feelings like he said he did. I guess my spirit is more comfortable in Santa Fe than Stonehenge…The audioguide was good, the stones are photogenic so we took lots of photos, most with no one else in 'em. What more to say about Stonehenge? I'm glad I went but I don't need to return.

Lots of people but not in our photos

Afterwards I enjoyed some ice cream while we decided to go to the B&B in Sidlesham instead of Salisbury (where I wanted to see the Cathedral and its copy of the Magna Carta). I had step by step directions again and we got there with no problems.

Pam welcomed us to the Jolly Fisherman B&B where we had booked two nights. It's a ramshackle comfortable place and she's a lovely hostess. Our double room upstairs was very comfortable and sweet except for the low doorways which hubby kept forgetting to avoid (he ended up with a cut on his scalp). I'm short enough that I didn't even have to duck!

Hubby kept forgetting to "watch yer head"

Comfortable room for two nights
It was a lovely late afternoon and our dinner reservation wasn't until 8pm so we walked over to the Crab and Lobster for drinks. Really pretty walk. We sat on the patio with our pint/half along with a few other people. We had noticed a gorgeous Austin Healey when we came in and had a long chat with the owner, Dennis, who said it cost him around 100,000GBP to restore! He was in for the Goodwood Revival and would be parking the car there to be admired.

Beautiful scenery on the walk to Crab and Lobster

Idyllic setting

The Crab and Lobster

Beautiful Austin Healy car

Pretty sunset
 Back to the B&B to refresh before dinner at Buckingham Arms. Pam kindly dropped us off so we wouldn't have to worry about drinking and driving; we cabbed back. Dinner was very good in a lovely atmosphere. Not as crowded as we expected given the Revival starting the next day. We had a nice chat with a local family who told us some back roads to take to avoid the A27 which backs up terribly with Revival traffic.

Delicious, not fancy, food at Buckingham Arms

So ended our day in the lovely English countryside. Hubby had a great birthday and was looking forward to Goodwood Revival in the morning!

No comments:

Post a Comment