Stonehenge & Cathedral City
This tour is ideal if you don’t have much time, but have a desire to see Stonehenge along with another part of England that isn’t London. Now, although I think Stonehenge is an amazing place, it is still a long way to travel just to see some old stones! So this tour gives you the opportunity to visit either the historic cathedral city of Winchester or Salisbury, as well as Stonehenge, with enough time afterwards to see more of Windsor, traffic conditions allowing.
We journey as quickly as possible to Winchester, the ancient capital of Wessex and England. This area will be forever linked with King Alfred the Great, the Anglo-Saxons and even the mythical King Arthur, providing a wealth of history, legend and lore. We will drive around the town first giving you an overview of all that it offers. Then you have 2 hours to explore on your own.
A visit to the 900+ year old cathedral is a must – It is Europe’s longest mediaeval cathedral and houses the beautiful illuminated Winchester Bible, 12th-century wall paintings, medieval carvings and caskets containing the bones of some of our earliest kings, bishop and queen. For admirers of Jane Austen, you will want to visit her burial place – touchingly simple for someone of such talent. She is not the only author to be buried in the cathedral – on the other side is Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler.
You may also like to walk up to The Great Hall, a magnificent 13th century hall, in which you will find ‘King Arthur’s Round Table’. Is it real or a fake? The reality is no less awe-inspiring…
I think you will find Winchester a fascinating small city to explore, and give us enough to chat about all the way to our next stop – Stonehenge. Nobody knows with absolute certainty why Stonehenge was built and for what purpose, but on the way I will happily discuss the latest research and theories with you, as well as the legends. Stonehenge provides audioguides with commentary available in 10 languages, and you will have up to an hour to visit the site and gift shop.
We shall leave the busy A303 to journey through small country lanes to drive through Wherwell - an unbelievably beautiful village with chocolate-box thatched cottages leading down to the clear babbling waters of the River Test. If you think the Cotswolds are quintessentially English, then you need to see Wherwell. Simply breath-taking.
Half an hour later we arrive in Salisbury where you will have up to 2 hours to look around this wonderful historic cathedral city, with its tallest spire in England, the superb magna carta, and row upon row of mediaeval buildings. Visit the church of St Thomas to see the Doom Painting, or maybe just relax awhile at one of the many cafes, restaurants and pubs (would you like to know which one is haunted?) for lunch or afternoon refreshments depending on time of year.
Following this visit we travel to Stonehenge for a 45 minute visit, as mentioned above, before journeying back to Windsor, to arrive between 5pm-6pm (winter) and about 7.30pm (summer).