*This post was written in exchange for a complimentary place on the tour.
One of the places I have always wanted to go is to the Summer Solstice Festival, so finding out there are actual Stonehenge tours was a revelation to me. Stonehenge has always fascinated me and I’ve never actually been to see it properly. This was also a wonderful occasion as it marked the first time I was able to take someone other than my Mum on a little blogger trip!
We decided on the tour that took us around Windsor, Bath, and Stonehenge all in one day. Because if you are going to go on an adventure, you may as well go on a good one. I always felt left out before this because it seemed like every single blogger on every single corner of the earth had been to Bath – and I hadn’t! Luckily after I had a B12 injection the other day my tiredness isn’t so bad, because this was an early start. The coach picks you up at 8am at Gloucester Road station, and you need to be there at 7.45am.
First impressions of the coach were very good. Comfortable leather seats, which was appreciated on a day where the mercury hit 27 degrees, and USB chargers for your smartphone, because, pictures! We set off to our first destination, which was Windsor. Because it is just outside of London you get to Windsor quite early. This is nice because you get a chance to have a coffee and sort yourself out a bit when you get there. We did the tour on a Saturday and everything was open so nothing to worry about there. I did have a little chuckle to myself at how many random pictures there are everywhere of Harry and Meghan.
Windsor is a beautiful town. On this City Wonders tour, entrance to the castle isn’t included, but you can pay extra to go in if you want to. Because the weather was so nice, we didn’t because we wanted to explore. I might need to put factor 50 on but I can still enjoy the sun, ok? The tour guide Mark was so knowledgeable about all of the areas and he injected so much life into the tours. I pretty much spend the day napping on the coach, eating and learning things. If there was a Kelly Jackson’s Hierarchy of Needs (I’ve always found Maslow’s one a bit condescending. I don’t need self-actualization just give me a Dairylea Dunker a ten minutes to myself), it would be made up of those exact three things. Obviously, the castle is the main attraction so Mark did a quick walking tour around it. I can’t get my head around the fact the Queen lives there sometimes and we all just kick about outside taking pictures of her windows. Poor Liz! Liz if you are reading this I had a little bit through my iPhone camera but I didn’t zoom.
As we walked around we learned about some of the history of Windsor itself and how the castle was used by royals. Queen Victoria spent the majority of her time there when we went into her massive mourning phase after Albert died. I can’t ever imagine loving anyone that much but if my cat dies maybe I’ll be in the same situation (coincidently, my cat is called Albert). The area around Windsor is lovely. We walked behind the castle to a beautiful little bridge that had a lovely view of the Thames. I’d love to come back and hire a boat here.
Next up on the tour was Bath. It seems like every single person in the whole world who owns an Instagram account has been to Bath. Although City Wonders do sightseeing tours in London, I do think that if you were visiting the UK from abroad, this tour is a great way to see places outside of London quite quickly. The journey to Bath from Windsor isn’t far, it was only a couple of hours. Shout out to Keir for letting me fall asleep on him for an hour and a half and not moving me because he knows I’m perpetually tired.
One of the first things you see when you arrive in Bath is Bath Abbey. It is absolutely STUNNING. I got a couple of pictures of it but I’m disappointed I didn’t get more.
There’s loads to see and do in Bath. The entire town is made in Bath stone because it is an English Heritage site, so wherever you wander it’s a lot prettier than spending your Saturday down Basildon town centre going on a Poundshop crawl to see where has the best make-up wipes. You can visit the actual Roman Baths as well. I only put the two and two together that this is the reason it is called Bath on the coach. You’d be shocked at how often I fire out stupid observations like that. I also genuinely didn’t know seahorses were a real thing until about a year ago. We got a couple of good pics and went for food.
Having the weather we had made it such a nice day. I think I’d like to visit Bath for a weekend to see more of it. Another little good Insta hotspot is the Pulteney Bridge.
The funniest thing is when I came here to take the pictures, a woman was leaning so far over to get a good picture she nearly fell in! The things people will do for the perfect Instagram shot. I mean, I’d at LEAST get someone to hold my feet and tell them my debit card pin before I put myself at that much risk for the gram.
So, on to the part of the tour I was looking forward to the most. . . STONEHENGE. I’m going to admit this freely, I did give it the big ‘un a little bit and say I was going to touch Stonehenge. Rules you say? Not for Kelly Jackson hun. If someone is going to get arrested for Stonehenge, it’s going to be me. I would wear that badge with pride. Unfortunately, when we got there, it dawned on me that you can’t touch it for a reason and that it would be incredibly disrespectful to try (also, it was fairly peopley and I didn’t think I could pull it off without getting caught).
This was another part of the tour where Mark blew my mind. He knew everything. I’ve got a little suspicion he built Stonehenge you know. The games up Mark, mystery solved. There is a visitors centre close to the site and you get the bus up to the actual stones. Entrance fees and the bus are all included in the tour, so this really is the most convenient way to see Stonehenge. I can’t explain what it is I feel so drawn to about Stonehenge. I have the same feeling when I go to the British Museum. I just can’t get my head around the fact that the stuff I am looking at is thousands and thousands of years old. It’s amazing. As the day was coming to a close, I didn’t expect to uncover another talent demonstrated by Mark. But as soon as he took my phone to get a picture of us in front of the stones I found one: he is more or less a professional photographer.
This tour was amazing. I can’t believe how easy it is to see all three of these places in one day. You COULD travel to all of the places separately and pay separate entrance fees. Or you could go with City Wonders on a nice air-conditioned coach and have everything taken care of for you.
You can book City Wonders tours online.