It took just a couple of hours to reach Stonehenge and once again we found that Senior Citizens receive a discount. It was just £1 each but if one did a conversion, at that time it was more than R10 each.

We paid the deposit to use the earphones to hear the full history and interpretations of the stone formation and that was really helpful. Our stopover at Stonehenge took about 1½ hours but it was very well spent. From there we drove to the city of Bath, the only place in England where Roman Baths have been preserved.

Once again we received a lovely welcome to our B&B but our room was up 3 flights of ever narrowing and steepening stairs. Once up there we decided to just chill for a couple of hours. It was early afternoon and we had been told by the B&B owner that there was a free tour of Bath led by a member of the University Historical Society from 6pm. We went to the meeting point at the Abbey entrance and found about 10 others waiting for the guide to arrive. We all got quite a shock when a young man of about 25 who had been standing with us all along, introduced himself as the guide. Each of us was rather sheepish as the discussion was all about ‘old, fussy History Professors’. Our guide said that he was quite accustomed to people being surprised to find such a young man active in the Historical Society. He made it clear to us that we were not to give him any form of donation or gift as the Historical Society does these tours voluntarily and to educate all who visit Bath. It was a very worthwhile tour and I remember 3 things in particular.

  1. Jane AustenJane Austen visited Bath frequently and loved the city. She described it as lively and vibrant and she loved visiting the baths. There is a Jane Austen Centre in Bath and it really is worth a visit if you are there and have the time.
  2. Bath is not truly a city in the formal English definition as it does not have a Cathedral but an Abbey. Within the Church of England, it is linked to Wells where there is a Cathedral and the Bishop of the Diocese is the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
  3. Queen Victoria is never referred to as Queen but as Princess for when she made her 1 and only visit to Bath she was still a Princess. She was very conscious about her short, dumpy legs and tried her best to keep them hidden. When she arrived in Bath and got out of her carriage she heard a child say, “Mummy, look at her funny legs.”  This upset her so much that she never went to Bath again.

The following morning we went to visit The Baths. On arrival we discovered that the entrance fee for Senior Citizens was £20 each and Trevor balked at this price. I finally convinced him that we should go in as we would not be here again and this is an amazing piece of history. Well, nearly 3 hours later he finally dragged himself away so that we could drive up to our friends in Tewkesbury where we were to spend the night. We had booked a week at a time-share in Wales from this date but agreed to arrive a day late so that we could spend time with our friends. This decision had interesting consequences which I will tell you about in my next article.