Royalty, Writers & Relics
Leaving Windsor, we soon drive alongside a pretty stretch of the River Thames that takes us through Runnymede where I shall tell you about King John and the Magna Carta.
It takes about an hour to get to Chawton where Jane Austen lived for the last 9 years of her life. Chawton is a pretty little village, so have your cameras ready for photos of thatched cottages as well as for the charm of Jane Austen’s house and museum. Entrance is included, and you have about 45 minutes free to wander around, finding out about her life and works.
From there, we journey down 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 between 2 and 3 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…
There are plenty of dining options to choose from, from sandwich bars to a 3-course meal in the 15th century Chesil Rectory.
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.
Hopefully you will have enjoyed the day’s tour and tired but happy, you can relax back in my comfortable car for the 90 minute (traffic allowing) journey back to Windsor.
Depart Windsor at 09.45;
Arrive back between 6pm - 6.30pm
What extra costs should you factor in?
- Admission to Winchester Cathedral = ‘Donation’ of £6 per adult requested (children free)
- The Great Hall is free
- Lunch prices vary but as a guide:
- Shop sandwiches & drink = about £3
- Pub sandwiches / lite bite = about £6
- 2 course restaurant meals = about £10 - £15
- Entrance to Stonehenge = £6.90 adults; £3.50 children (English Heritage & National Trust cards = free)