FAMILY: Bristol & Surrounds

After our lovely stay in southern England and Cornwall, we made our way a few hours north to Bristol. Bristol is a vibrant city, and was a great location to stay for a few days of exploring.

We spent a day exploring Stonehenge. I've always wanted to see Stonehenge and I honestly was not disappointed. We booked our visit time and managed to find our way there with a few minutes to spare. There were so many people there. Regular tourists drawn to this ancient site, along with some quite large school groups from Australia, the US and France. 

Stonehenge is a marvel. To think that that the stones were erected 4,000 years ago and are still standing is quite amazing. It's a place where you can visit and just imagine life and the people, all of those years ago. The visitor centre is nice and new with a great big cafe and souvenir shop. We bought a fridge magnet (as we do at each place we visit) and discovered free WiFi. I just had to check in to Stonehenge on Facebook to show my friends and family back home where I was. There were mixed reviews from them about their thoughts on the place - but it didn't matter to me as I quite enjoyed myself.

After our morning in Stonehenge, we ate our picnic lunch and then made our way to another English Heritage site - Farleigh Hungerford Castle

We found an old well, so all made a 1p wish 

This was another castle which I absolutely loved visiting. We discovered this was originally a manor house which was later fortified. The weather was glorious and we spent a little while going around, reading all of the informative signs and imagining the lords and ladies who lived there all of those years ago.

From the garden of the castle ruins, we saw the most gorgeous little thatch rood house for sale. The house is as you'd imagine a little English cottage to look with a beautiful flowering garden. A river flowed along beside it and it did make us wonder if the owner could just sit in their garden and catch fish for dinner.

Another drink back in the car and we then found ourselves heading to our third English Heritage site of the day - Bradford on Avon Tithe Barn. This was another wonderous space built in the 14th century to serve a manor farm belonging to Shaftesbury Abbey in Dorset - the richest nunnery in medieval England.

There was a lovely little selection of shops selling handmade pottery and offering classes in making stained glass. As I was looking in all of the store windows, the kids discovered their first ever, real life squirrel. Oh the squeals of delight! We don't have squirrels in Australia, so this was probably the kids highlight of the day.

The next day, we made our way to Bath. Sam had just finished working on a school assignment about the Roman Baths, so walking into the top level of the Bath House and looking down into the water felt very familiar after all of the hours spent helping him with his work.

We paid the entrance fee, got our audio guides and enjoyed exploring the complex for the next couple of hours. There was a lot of see, learn and experience. The commentary on the audio guide were available for both adults and children... and I must admit, I really enjoyed listening to the kids guide as it was quite funny in places and easier to listen to and absorb.

The displays were very interesting and informative. Some of the items found in the waters and pipes of these ancient baths include jewels and gemstones, the largest finds of ancient Roman coins and 'curse notes' written on lead and thrown into the water. These curse notes, were thrown in by people who felt they'd be wrong done by or had things stolen or broken. Some of them were really quite funny to read.

Curse notes written on lead sheets

I took about a bazillion photos and enjoyed visiting this ancient roman site immensely. It's another place marked off my bucket list and I highly recommend a visit.

Bath itself is a gorgeous city with lot's of old monuments and buildings, lovely stores to visit and the Avon river flowing through centre. We ate ice-cream and enjoyed looking around. Bath if famous for it's coloured glass and after a lot of indecision, I came home with a beautiful blue glass vase. I hope that I manage to get it home (in one piece).

After a few big days of 'history' we spent our last day in Bristol exploring the local area. It's a nice place to visit and if we'd had more time there, we'd have visited so many more things and possibly even crossed the bridge into Wales. Oh well, there's always next time.

With our stop in Bristol finished, we checked out of our AirBnB and headed to our next destination - Royal Leamington Spa, Stratford upon Avon, Oxford and the Cotswolds... but more about that next time.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful photos - it certainly looks like you are having a fabulous time.

  2. Fantastic! Our country seems so young in comparison! Loved tagging along and that blue glass is gorgeous x


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