Day 12: Day Trip to Windsor, Bath and Stonehenge

Today we got out of London to explore the English countryside!! We took a bus tour to see Windsor Castle, Bath and Stonehenge. The first stop of the day was Windsor Castle. This is the official residence of the Queen. It was built in the late 11th century by William the Conqueror. We were able to view the lavish State Apartments (no photography unfortunately). The Queen Anne's Doll House is also housed at Windsor- this scaled model of an English manor home complete with small books, portraits and a Hoover vacuum (one of the newest inventions when it was made). The castle exterior is absolutely stunning. St. George's Cathedral is within the castle grounds and features tombs of many Kings and Queens. The interior was beyond beautiful- unfortunately no pictures were allowed there either. The Royal Windsor Horse Show was also going on so seeing that from a distance was pretty cool for me. From the flag flying high above the round tower we knew the Queen was at Windsor today. We think we may have caught a glimpse of her driving out but who knows for sure.

St. George Cathedral
See the flag? The Queen was in

After Windsor, we headed to Bath to view the ancient Roman Bath House. There is a natural hot springs that flows in this area and the Romans harnessed it into a bathhouse during their rule of England. The water runs at a constant temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The ancient baths were not uncovered until the mid 1800's and were soon turned into the current tourist attraction. It gives an interesting peek into the lives of the ancient Romans during their rule of England. We were able to try a bit of the water from the natural hot springs and it was disgusting. To see such an old site preserved so well was amazing. It is truly a man made wonder of the ancient world.

It was gross :(

Our last stop was one of the 7 wonders of the world just tucked away in a typical english field. Stonehenge is a UNESCO world heritage site and dates back to approximately 3000 BC. The ring of stones is believed to be some sort of holy site to those ancient peoples and also a burial site.  Some of the 1 ton stones were hauled from as far as 150 miles away in Wales. This circle of stones has mystified and wondered people for thousands of years; we still don't know why it was placed there or how exactly these people completed such an amazing feat of human engineering in such an early period. Walking up over the hill to this very famous site was more breathtaking then I could have imagined. We had a beautiful, sunny, clear afternoon and the view was breathtaking. It is beyond mystifying. I cannot describe it well enough with words so I will leave the talking to the pictures.

A little fun with the stones :)

After Stonehenge we headed back to London. The whole tour was wonderfully run and gave us a very nice view of the England countryside. It is so picturesque and beautiful. Overall the day was wonderful- I crossed more things of my bucket list and feel blessed to have been able to experience one of the 7 wonders of the world. The only issue with the day was a screaming child on the bus, some parents really need to utilize duck tape or not bring their terribly behaved children on buses to make the other people miserable. But it is what it is- it was still a great day and well worth the trip to see such amazing sites!

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