With London as my new home base, I’m really excited by my proximity to continental Europe but at the same time I don’t want to neglect the UK as a travel destination. The BF and I decided to begin our travelling adventures with a quick day trip out to see Stonehenge and the city of Bath, in Western England.
We opted to go for a tour company instead of planning it ourselves due to the high price of train tickets, and general lazines (if I’m being honest). After hopping around a few websites, we settled on Anderson Tour company. They offered the cheapest price (44 pounds/person) and a convenient pick-up locations.
Our pick-up time was 9:00am, and we lived about 10min away which allowed us to get a good nights rest and wake up fairly late. Anderson tours operates by coach (ok, it was a bus), which was full, yet roomy. They didn’t offer luxury accomodations, but it was fine for a day trip.
It took about 1.5 hours to get to Stonehenge, at which point we parked and then walked over to the entrance. The convenient part of the experience was that our tickets were included in the tour price, and we simply strolled in and pick up an audio guide. I decided to be obnoxious and got the German guide, which probably hindered my experience being that I could only understand about 70% of what the audio guide was saying.
Stonehenge is great to see and it was a sunny day. However, unless you are a fan of this particular culture or time period I would not suggest allocating too much time there. To be frank, it really just was a bunch of rocks. However, I was glad that I got to see it.
Bath was our next stop and I was excited to see the ancient Roman Baths that are the city’s main landmark. After another hour on the road, we arrived in Bath and it is probably one of the most beautiful cities I have seen.
From a hillside, you can look down at the city of Bath and really take in the view. It’s full of neoclassical architecture and nearly all of the buildings are made from the same cream colored stone, giving the city a homogenized look.
After a quick city tour on the bus with our guide, we hopped off and entered into the Roman Baths. The entrance fee was, like Stonehenge, included in the price of our tour. The baths were interesting from both an architectural and historic view, but I think the highlight of the tour was the fact that they are set right smack dab in te middle of town square. From the baths you can see a huge gothic cathedral and hear folk musicians playing in the square adjacent to the baths. It was a very lovely experience which was heightened by the fact that we happened to visit on a very bright, sunny day.
After viewing the Roman baths, we were let loose on the city and took in the sights. We walked around and eventually found the Royal Crescent, which is a remarkable structure built in the shape of a crescent. They were apparently some of the first “condos” available for purchase or rent to non-aristocratic people.
Bath was a city that was lucky enough to be built during a time when the sun never set on the British empire, and it shows. Even now, it manages to remain elegant and sophisticated. We topped off our trip with a stop at a cafe for some Victoria sponge cake before heading back to the bus and going home.
As far as convenience is concerned, this is one of the better trips I’ve been on. There was no stress on us as everthing had been planned by the tour company in advance. This did, however, come with a 44 pound/person price tag. Still, I would recommend this tour to anyone who is staying in London but wants to get out of the city for a day.