My cousin brother and his wife are here from India to travel to some new places. They plan to visit a few places in UK and cover some places in Scotland and Ireland, while they’re here. So we decided to sightsee with them, to some of the touristy places that we ourselves hadn’t been to! The last weekend was great weather wise, so we decided to take them to see Stonehenge and Bath in a day trip on Sunday. This is how it went, our highs and lows, excitements and disappointments and some travel tips in the end:)
8 am: The 4 adults, one toddler and one stuffed animal, managed to get ready miraculously by the planned 8 am hour. We must be getting better at this. lol..The first stop was Stonehenge, which took us 1.5 hours to drive down to. I had packed some basic cheese and PB&J sandwiches for breakfast for all of us and we had fed the toddler some Cheerios before leaving. She pretty much watched a lot of cartoons almost the entire drive, while my cousin and I took a short nap (ahem, power naps are very important!)
10:30 am: Just as we were arriving at Stonehenge, we saw the structure on the road itself! My cousins commented that if they ask tourist to pay to see the structure, at least they could’ve have hidden it so people can’t see it just like that when they drive through! haha, fair point:) We were early, which works good since you get a shorter queue and there are less people taking pictures. All of us were excited about different things when we got off the car. My cousins were armed with their DLSR cameras to take lots of touristy pictures, my husband was being the responsible care taker, I was excited about the coffee and to see these mysterious structures finally, and my daughter was excited to sit on ‘Wheels on bus’!!(in her words) <Rolling eyes in humour> I think our daughter entertained us and the other tourists there, more than the stones themselves!
We spent about an hour there, marvelling at the size of the stones and the symmetry of the structure and the mystery behind its origins. We took a lot of photos and my daughter pretended there were dinosaurs and crocodiles hiding behind the big stones! 😀 And we also ran around in the flat grasslands surrounding the structures. It was such a beautiful day too. We did get our coffees, but it wasn’t that great- I wouldn’t recommend the coffees here.
12 pm: We bundled off again in the car, and set off towards our next destination to Bath. But before that, here are my highlights/lowlights and tips for Stonehenge 🙂
- If you want to visit here just for the pictures and have no kids in tow, I’d suggest going to see the sunrise or the sunset here instead
- Else, don’t bother buying the expensive tickets- you can literally see it on the road!
- The coffee at the coffee shop isn’t that great, probably a better idea to stop at a Starbucks before hand for your coffee, if you haven’t had it
- Preferable to walk down to the structure than taking the bus- it should be a 20 minute walk, but if the weather is good, the walk looked blissful! Unless you have a toddler who is really excited about ‘Wheels on Bus’!!!
12:45 pm: We reached Bath and found a parking near the University of Bath. Even the entrance to Bath was beautiful! The reader in me instantly started dreaming up scenes from all the books I have read! It is up in a hill and there are rows of trees forming an archway leading up to the city. And you can see a skyline of the city right before you enter and it is breath taking! My daughter had taken a short 40 minute nap, so that gave her some energy as well. We walked down towards the town centre and found a Pizza restaurant for lunch. We ordered some beers and ginger beer for myself, some plain flatbreads and two pizzas- one with pesto and another with chicken and avocado. The food was delicious, but we were a little disappointed with the service, since I think they had forgotten our order and took a very long time to get the pizzas 😦
2:15 pm: Since we had the toddler with us, we decided we’d split up, to let our younger cousins do more touristy sight seeing and not be hampered by a kid in tow, who may not want to stand still in a long queue…lol! I wanted to see this Jane Austen museum very badly, since on the app, it showed that there is a Jane Austen museum in Bath. The walk towards it was lovely, with this water fountain on the way, which my daughter loved! But when we reached the place it was just one of the flats marked with a plaque that said Jane Austen lived here in this period, but no museum. Either I was in the wrong place, or this was it. Either way, I missed it and was really sad. I couldn’t go to see the Crescent either since it was another 20 minutes of walk from where we were and my toddler was starting to get cranky being in the buggy for so long. So we decided the next best thing was to enter the park right in front of us- Sydney Park, and just walk and laze around there for some time. Clearly a great idea, since the sun, the trees and my happy toddler instantly brightened up my mood!
4 pm: We finally decided to leave the park in search for some tea and cakes. Changed my daughter’s nappy before leaving the park and then headed back. We found this really quaint little tea room serving cream tea – tea with home-baked scones with clotted cream and jam, and got a seat overlooking the river! Oh my gosh, I literally had goosebumps sitting there. I told my husband that I could totally imagine myself coming here every afternoon for tea and scones, and reading for hours, sitting and thinking. That place was made for reading, I have to tell you that! The joy of that beautiful tea room view and the delicious scones was short lived though, since my toddler was really tired by now and she let up on our way back. I had to carry a wailing toddler all the way back to the car park (you know how it is, if you’re a mom..hehe), where our cousins were waiting for us.
4:45 pm: We said goodbye to Bath and started our drive back home. My daughter had some more snacks in the car, some milk and watched a ton of cartoon until the batteries of all the devices we had, had outrun! Lol! The drive back took us 2.5 hours, and we reached home by 7:30 pm and were completely spent! We gave a quick bath to my daughter and she was promptly asleep by 8 pm:) It was a great outing and a great day overall! Here are my tips for Bath 🙂
- First and foremost, it isn’t made for a day trip. Many tourists like us would think there is nothing much to see here and all the touristy spots can be covered in a day. Which is true. However, that might seem boring to many people in the end. Bath is a city and has its own vibe and life. You have to live here a few days to really experience it. Just within that afternoon, I knew I wanted more time to take a walk by myself, along the whole city, along the riverside. Spend one afternoon having tea and scones and reading, spend one night experiencing the pubs, go on some of the night walks, or enjoy some of the theatre performances, have lunch alfresco with a yummy cocktail, spend more time at the park with my daughter 🙂 You get the picture. So the best tip is- go here at least for 2 days if you’re without kids and at least for 3 days if you are with kids:)
- Do try tea and scones at that tea shop, overlooking the river view- it is hard to miss:)
- You can eat at any of the multiple alfresco places in the town centre- it is lovely if the weather is good
- Carry cash- there were many places, including parking slots, which accepted only cash and coins
- Travel with a buggy, if you have a toddler. They might want to walk too, but they might get tired too
- Carry lots of snacks, juice, water, milk for your toddler and keep hydrated yourself, if you’re traveling during these hot summer days
So, how was your weekend? Have you travelled to either of these places? What are the places you would recommend in Bath for a reader like me, if I get to visit there again? 🙂