Stonehenge, Bath and ?

Landed inner circle access tickets for Stonehenge May 21 early AM. Will have a car.
Now the question is how to best fill the time from arrival at Heathrow May 20 till depart May 25. Will probably rent car at airport so we can head West ASAP after arrival. Figure we will head back to London / Heathrow the morning of 23rd (details not final on rental car return and train options) so am looking for Hotel and sights suggestions "out West". Want to see Bath based on Steve's video but other than that we (2 seniors) are wide open. This is first and probably only trip to Europe. England will be at end of 2 weeks in Germany, Switzerland & France.

Posted by Kevin
near Ringwood, Hampshire, UK
521 posts

Roger, if you are interested in Stonehenge and you have a car, then you should also visit Avebury. It is a very different kind of stone circle, partially encircling the village, and is around 4,600 years old. About a mile away is Silbury Hill, the tallest pre-historic man-made mound in Europe, which is about the same age. Next to the footpath between the village and Silbury is a bronze age stone tomb (or possibly older, it's a few years since I was last there). Beyond that, what are you interested in? The Cotswolds aren't too far away, and huge numbers of visitors go there. Or perhaps, given your landlocked home location, you might enjoy a day or two beside the sea?

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
218 posts

I was there for the sunset viewing in May of last year - in some rain - and it is a great experience. I think what you'll want to do is head to Salisbury from Heathrow for proximity to Stonehenge the next morning. There's plenty to see and do in Salisbury for that day and then get out to Stonehenge (very early) the next morning. In Salisbury I can't over recommend the Cathedral BnB - great, great hosts and right across the street from the Cathedral close. You can see the Cathedral (maybe with evensong if you time it right), Old Sarum is great site slightly out of town if you like ancient stuff and ruins and don't miss the Archeology museum inside the cathedral close. This overlooked museum has the best Stonehenge exhibit including some of the remains removed from the site and a lot about the development of English archeology. After that there is the drive to Bath with many sights - some grand houses/palaces along the way depending on what you feel like stopping to see. In Bath take the mayor's town tours as early as possible to get the lay of the land, see the Roman Baths and the Abbey and I enjoyed the hike to roof of the Abbey as well. If you are just ready for some peace and quiet at the end of your trip - which is a distinct possibility - I would round it off with a day or two of lazy appreciation of the Cotswolds and their slow motion quaint charm. Sounds like a great trip!
=Tod

Posted by Roger
Ravenna, OH, United States
21 posts

Thanks for suggestions. Tod, Do you have street address or web site for the B&B?

Posted by Tod
San Diego, CA, USA
218 posts

Found this place based on RS recommendation: http://www.cathedral-viewbandb.co.uk/ You won't lack for ideas of things to do when you speak to Steve - his enthusiasm for all things Salisbury is contagious. We wanted to stay a second night but couldn't so he referred us to another place on the edge of town but was convenient with a car. Beautiful Victorian place but not the same charm as their little place. Hopefully they have an opening,
=Tod

Posted by Lee
Dallas
898 posts

I second the idea of the Cotswolds after Bath. It's under two hours to Broadway and Chipping Campden, and the same from there back to Heathrow.

Posted by david
washington
837 posts

Roger, you have had some very good suggestions. However, as you have said that this is your only trip in a lifetime to Europe and that you will be spending four days in England, with really only one in London. It appears that Stonehenge is your top, and perhaps, only priority. Fine, but, having seen all the places suggested, I would see Stonehenge and hot foot it back to London. I believe London to be Europe's, and probably the world's, finest city. One could spend months exploring. With this trip, and since you apparently have no ideas apart from Stonehenge, I would stay in Salisbury, see the cathedral (by the way, an original copy of the Magna Carta is available for viewing in the meeting room), see Stonehenge, and return immediately to London.