Day 4 – Stonehenge, Oxford and the Cotswolds

Posted by in Travel on June 4, 2013 0 comments

Yesterday we jumped in a hire car and took to the road! The boys were happy to finally be sitting looking at the scenery after 3 days of endless walking and they were quite exhausted, happy to be in the car and sleep (at 9.30am!) It’s hard, because the light comes into the rooms as early as 4.40am and it’s hard to get back to sleep… hence the reason why I’m blogging at 5.40am!

Our first stop was Stonehenge. Built in 3000BC, somehow orientated to the sun, but the mystery is ‘why was it built?’ It truly is a mammoth construction from 5000 years ago, knowing what technology we have now, and what they didn’t have.

We grabbed a light lunch and headed to Oxford for a meeting I had. We were a little early, so we decided to check out the University, which is considered to be a ‘city university.’ Such a majestic place of scholars riding bicycles and 17th century buildings.
After my meeting, we set our trusty GPS to take us to our hotel for the night. For some reason, it told us that it would take 2.5 hours, and I was sure it wasn’t right, but I followed the road it took us, hoping we would get somewhere close! I also decided to avoid the motorways, as the true experience of the English countryside is off the Motorways… check the difference…
(sorry, a little blurry, but ‘not the motorway!’)
With an hour to go, and 83kms suggested on the GPS, I saw this tiny little sign leading to ‘Painswick.’ There was no way a sign that big would suggest a town was 83kms away unless it was actually closer. So I took the turn off, and came across another sign saying that there was only 2.5 miles to go to ‘Painswick.’ Yay! I just followed the signs and we came across this gorgeous little town that was even prettier than I expected with most of it built in the 1400s.
We just happened to get to our room an hour before our GPS suggested, which pepped up my boys (who again, had fallen asleep in the car!). We were given a room that was 3 times the size of our last room (plus a bed each!) which made everyone happy, plus it had cathedral ceilings, a fireplace and a bath!! Yeah! We were all so excited about having a bath, considering we don’t have one at home. The boys are starting to get my taste in furnishings – old world antique, but light coloured, not heavy dark timbers.
We were lucky to have arrived early enough to get a table at the hotel pub before a booking at 8pm that was reserved, so we indulged in some of the local fair, and it was such a proud moment to see my little one eating something besides ‘chips.’ He had a beef and mushroom pie with mash potato, carrots and snow peas. And even through the beef was in chunks (which is his usual pet hate, as he hates chewing!), it was braised beef, so easy to chew and he loved it! It’s only taken almost 10 years!
So with two happy boys, we took an evening walk around our little town, came across a meadow with the cutest gates, a mini castle tower, a graveyard with people buried in the 1700s (and probably earlier, but their graves were unreadable), as well as many other charming residences, shops and buildings. We came back, did some homework, had a bath and we were all happy just to sleep in the comfiest down duvets and pillows.