En route from London to Bath
Around 7:30 A.M. on a Thursday, my British Life and Culture class set off by bus (large coffees in hand) for a day of adventures. Our first stop was the city of Bath, a world heritage site located about two and a half hours west of London. We said goodbye to the flat city streets of London and said hello to the countryside hills. The roads we travelled to Bath were near empty but the green farmland fields were full of sheep and cattle. It was a picturesque and peaceful beginning to our busy day.
Once we arrived in Bath, we remained on our bus and took a short tour through the town. I was immediately struck by the charming characteristics of the town. The cobblestone streets were full of restaurants and boasted an impressive shopping scene. We drove through the Royal Victoria Park and got off for a glimpse of the Royal Crescent. The Royal Crescent is home to terraced houses built in the late 1700s, organized into a crescent shape. We only spent a couple of minutes gazing from afar, which was all we needed to see the impressive architecture. Next, we then headed to the Roman Baths.
Once inside, we grabbed our audio guides and wandered around the ancient building and structure. I was amazed to learn about the unique differences of each room in the bathhouse. We spent about an hour taking in the baths’ beauty.
My roommate and I found a quaint restaurant, The Clifton Sausage, with an unbeatable view for our quick lunch break. We ate our food on the terrace as we looked out at the city beneath us and across to the hills in the distance. There is so much to see in Bath. I would’ve loved to spend more time in Bath, but it was time to move on to our next stop: Stonehenge.
Embarking for Stonehenge
There was plenty to see during the one hour journey to Stonehenge as we drove through the scenic Cotswold countryside. We spotted the white chalk horse etched into a hill nearly 1,100 years ago when the Vikings surrendered to King Alfred the Great. We also passed England’s smallest temporary prison where prisoners were held overnight in the late 1700s.
Once we arrived in Stonehenge, we boarded yet another bus for a quick ride up to the famous site. I am a strong proponent of audio tours in general, but this one is a must. The tour provided a plethora of information as I walked around Stonehenge’s perimeter, and pointed out the history I would not have otherwise known. After we completed the tour, we headed into the exhibit to learn a little more about the mysterious monument.
To say Stonehenge exceeded my expectations is an understatement. Stonehenge is surreal to see and it is amazing how much is left to be discovered and learned about the site.
This day easily climbed towards the top of my list as one of my favorites during my study abroad. In six hours, we drove through the English Cotswolds, saw two world heritage sites as well as a world wonder and had a glimpse into the ancient Roman lifestyle. The day left me in complete awe of how much history there is to be explored while in England.