Friday, January 2, 2015

Back in England

We arrived back in England and had to head straight down to Reading to give Andy a chance to catch up on what had been going on with his staff and meet up with a number of them.  While he was working I took the opportunity to go to the National Archives at Kew (when they were open) and do some of my own sightseeing.

We also took advantage of the chance to visit some lovely country pubs for dinner.

The Tally Ho in Eversley - one of the good finds
On the Sunday we took one of Andy's Indian employees sightseeing.  It was her first trip to England, so she was keen to see some of the countryside on a limited budget.

Poppies galore

Wildflowers by the road
One of the things on her bucket list was Stonehenge.  For those who haven't visited Stonehenge for some time you now have to drive to a visitors' centre about a mile west of the monument, pay £7 to park (though that is refunded off the entrance fee if you actually decide to go in), pay £14.90 per person, then wait for ages for transport to the monument (unless you want to walk) and then you are still not allowed close to the stones themselves. It was also incredibly crowded.  I don't know if that was purely because it was the Sunday before midsummer, but it was certainly the case that the place was full of "Druids".

We contented ourselves with looking around the visitors' centre, which has some interesting recreations of huts of the time etc. We then found a secret spot from where (courtesy of a telephoto lens) we could see the stones.  Our overseas visitor was satisfied with that.

Interior of Stone age hut

We then found somewhere to have the obligatory pub lunch and then headed off towards the Cotswolds.  
Getting the drinks in

Shaded lanes in the Cotswolds
After driving around for a while we stopped at Bibury and got out to explore.  Our Indian guest was very impressed, particularly with the gardens.

River Colne going through Bibury

Finally, it was a stop for a cream tea in Burford.

Note the crooked window

The next day I took myself for a drive down the A4, stopping at antique stores and having a nice time.

Kennet and Avon canal

Silbury Hill

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