Stonehenge – The Iconic Pre-Historic Stone Circle

Two years ago, while on the World Cruise, we called at Southampton and contemplated taking the ship’s tour to Stonehenge. However, friends from Dorset and Isle of Wight came to Southampton, joining us for lunch. This turned out to be rather fortunate, as the ship’s tour only visited Stonehenge, completely missing the other local pre-historic attractions in the area.

This post will focus entirely on Stonehenge, with the next post covering other local sites – West Kennett, Avebury, to name just a couple of them.

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Salisbury, Cathedral and Magna Carta

Driving through Salisbury, while heading to our first stop of the day at Boscombe Down, we noted the Petersfinger Park & Ride, right off the A36.

After a couple of hours at Boscombe Down Aviation Collection, we returned to Salisbury, arriving at the Petersfinger Park & Ride about 13:00. Parking is free and the return fare is UKP 4.00, for groups of up to 4 persons. Buses depart about every 15 minutes, with the last bus from town about 18:40, so that gave us about 5 hours to explore.

The bus dropped us off on Milford Street, which is right downtown and a short 5 to 10 minute walk from the cathedral. This post will cover our walk to the Cathedral, tour of the Cathedral and finally the Magna Carta, of which Salisbury has one of the four remaining original copies.

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Boscombe Down Aviation Collection

While staying at 15 Bed & Breakfast in Fareham, we drove up to Wiltshire for the day, visiting Boscombe Down and Salisbury. The Boscombe Down Aircraft Collection is truly amazing, and when visiting UK back in 1995, I can only wish the collection was already open. At that time, our son was about 10 years old and loved planes, so we visited the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force Museums, which were both big hits, seeing all the aircraft. However, I can just imagine his delight had he been able to climb into the cockpits at Boscombe Down.

Yes, this is no stuffy museum with, “Please do not touch” signs everywhere, in fact, it is totally the opposite, they encourage you to touch and experience the exhibits. For me it was somewhat of a trip down memory lane, as I seriously contemplated RAF pilot training rather than the marine industry. Continue reading

HMS Victory – Portsmouth Historic Naval Dockyard

Visiting and being able to walk through HMS Victory was definitely the highlight, of our visit to the Portsmouth Historic Naval Dockyard. For me, it was the culmination of a couple of previous visits on our current tour – the Battle of Trafalgar Exhibit at the National Maritime Museum and visiting Chatham Historic Dockyard, where the ship was built and refitted.

At over 250 years old, it is well maintained and in remarkably good condition, actually it is in better condition than many of the ships I sailed aboard. Continue reading

Portsmouth Historic Naval Dockyard

While enjoying our breakfast at 15 Bed & Breakfast and chatting with hostess Lorraine, she asked about our plans for the day. Since it was a rather dull and overcast day, with heavy rain forecast late afternoon, we planned to visit the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth. Rather than driving around to Portsmouth, Lorraine suggested following the Solent around to Gosport, parking in the long stay lot and taking the ferry across to Portsmouth. Sure beats the congestion around Fareham.

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Kent Battle of Britain Museum

While researching UK attractions, I find it hard to believe, but I actually missed this museum. Fortunately, a couple of days ago, after departing Samphire Hoe and changing to the eastbound carriageway, for the return to Dover, we spotted a sign for Kent Battle of Britain Museum.

On checking the website, we both said, “We gotta go there”. When departing Kent for the Southampton area, we took a detour via Hawkinge, an old RAF base and home to the museum.

Note – no cameras are permitted, so all photographs are courtesy of their website. Continue reading

15 Bed and Breakfast, Hill Head, Fareham

After an exceptional 5 nights at The Willow B&B, Canterbury, we said our good-byes to hosts Tony & Jackie and headed off to embark on another adventure.

We had booked a B&B in Hawkhurst, but unfortunately this establishment wasn’t the best, so I immediately started searching for alternatives.

Couldn’t find anything in the immediate area, so I started looking around Southampton, settling on 15 Bed and Breakfast, in Fareham. Giving them a call, they mentioned having recently received a cancellation, so could accept our booking for 5 nights. Continue reading

Chatham Historic Naval Dockyard

Good friends of ours served in both the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy, and during their RN days they served at Chatham Dockyard. They highly recommended the Historic Dockyard as a place to visit, while we are in Kent.

Our plans for today were a drive around Isle of Sheppey, then onto Chatham and the Historic Naval Dockyard. Read on to find out why this probably wasn’t the best plan. Continue reading

Walking the Iconic White Cliffs of Dover

The subject of a 1942 hit song by Dame Vera Lynn and featured prominently in films about the Battle of Britain, the White Cliffs of Dover were definitely on our list of must see places to visit. Having sailed through Dover Straits many times, I have seen them before, but from 10 to 20 miles through binoculars, or at 35,000 feet while flying across the channel, it just isn’t the same. We definitely wanted to experience them up close and personal. Continue reading