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Published: August 7th 2010
I had 3 days in Salisbury. I stayed at, Alabaré Guest House
and ran by a Christian charity. My room was at the back and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet of place. This was such a contrast to the hotel I stayed in at London.
I got up to quite a bit in Salisbury. In contrast to York and Bath, Salisbury has not got that many attractions to the city's name but the Cathedral and Stonehenge pushes Salisbury in the top rankings for a city break.
On one of the days, I purchased a ticket for The Stonehenge Tour
where the bus took me to Stonehenge and Old Sarum. Stonehenge
I spent an hour or so looking at the ancient monument and listening to the complimentary audio tour. I learnt how the monument were evolved between 3,000 BC and 1,600 BC and that the circle stones are aligned with the midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset. I learnt other facts about the other stones on the tour. There are conflicing claims regarding the monument's purposes because no one is exactly sure of the reasons why Stonehenge was built. For example, William Stukely, an archaeologist surveyor claimed that the sites had been
built by the Celts and led by the Druids. The Druids believed that they are Noah's descendents who made Britain civilised before the arrival of the Romans. Stukely also claimed through his Romantic vision that the Druids have lasted to the present day. I saw protests and a protester outside the site claiming that the site belongs to the Druids. The protests demanded that the site ought to be a sacred one and requested for the Druids to be buried at the site in peace. The tour guide vehemently denied that the site belonged to the Druids because of the archaelogical evidence that supports burials and rituals took place by different people alongside debates on different religious and scientific theories. I think this debate on why it was built and how it was used will go on with generations to come as new evidence emerges. Apparently, there have been some more archaeological discoveries nearby for another site similar to Stonehenge. Anyway, no matter what is and is not believed, the monument attracts so many tourists and my experience was spoilt a bit becuase of this. I felt I could not appreciate the monument on my own because of the volume
Salisbury Cathedral, UK
of people! But there is nothing I can do about that. However, despite how I felt, I highly recommend visiting Stonehenge. Old Sarem
I hopped back on the bus at Stonehenge and rode through the amazing Wiltshire countryside and Salisbury plains to reach Old Sarum, just outside the city centre. Old Sarem is situated above the Salisbury Plain. It is an important landmark in the region's history where Salisbury first originated and where a castle, a palace and cathedral were built before the site was moved elsewhere to present Salisbury today. It was interesting to wander round the castle ruins and the cathedral's foundation ruins. At the top of the castle ruins, you can see Salisbury in the distance with the cathedral dominating the skyline. I spent an hour or so exploring the site until I caught the bus back to Salisbury. Salisbury Cathedral
Intially, I booked a Tower Tour of the Cathedral but I decided to cancel because I was a bit under the weather and already had done a lot of walking that day. Maybe travel fatigue was creeping in? However, I had a wander outside and took tons of photos. The spire is
the tallest in England at 404 ft (123m) and, from what I learnt, the spire is slightly leaning. The cathedral was built in the English Gothic style, the fashionable architectural style than in the 13th Century. Only six centuries later the architectural style would have been renewed with Pugin using his style in the 19th Century. On another day, after the service, I looked insdie the cathedral. The interior is beautiful! I checked out William Pye's new font that was installed in 2008 for the 750th anniversary of the cathedral. The water flows constantly and I got some great reflective shots of the water of the cathedral's interior. I also checked out the Prisoners of Conscience Chapel with the stained glass reflecting that issue; The Chapeter House which houses one of the best preserved 1215 Magna Carta, an important document which inspired the constitutions of some democratic led countries in the modern era; and had a wander around The Cloisters, the largest in Britain. I was very happy that I checked out the Cathedral. It's one of the largest I have come across on my travels. Mompesson House and Gardens
I was able to visit this National Trust
property on Cathedral Close. Being a member of The National Trust, it didn't cost me anything and didn't take long for me to wander around the house. The house was built during Queen Anne's reign in the 1700s. It was built for Charles Mompesson and eventually became the home of the Townsend Family. I learnt on my visit that the house was used as a London home in Sense and Sensibility
movie starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslett. Afterwards, I had a drink in the tea room gardens afterwards.
Eventually my time in Salisbury came to an end where I got the train back to London Waterloo then waited a bit for at London Kings Cross for my train home.
I had an amazing time and hope I can return to Salisbury sometime in the future but for the time being I look forward to returning to London very soon!!!
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