Day trip Stonehenge, Portchester & Arundel Castles

Trip Start May 25, 2008
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Trip End Jul 04, 2008


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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Friday, June 13, 2008

Marvellous free day was enjoyed by 2 x people-movers full of majority of our touring party. Two of our members had toured UK previously, and were enthusiastic tour guides for us.

Stonehenge is a peculiar thing.....to this day, no-one truly knows it's exact origins or purpose seemingly......much hypothesis has obviously been done, resulting in an interesting audio tour around the stones, but one which really can't answer the questions everyone inevitably asks. An interesting place to see, but once you've seen it once....you get the picture.

We then went on to Portchester Castle (said to be built around 285-290 AD) on the northern end of Portsmouth Harbour in Hampshire. Way too much history to list off here...check it out on the web. Great place to see! Village cricket pitch now in one area of the grounds, a church with really old gravestones, museum, more cramped spiral stairways to provide you fantastic views across the harbour in all directions from top of the Keep.

After enjoying lunch in ye olde pub up the road from the castle, we headed off for famous Arundel Castle, occupied by the current Duke & Duchess of Norfolk in Sussex. This is where the touring Aussie cricket teams always begin their campaign on foreign soil, by playing the Duke of Norfolk's XI team in splendid green, lush, gorgeous surrounds (see attached photos).

Arundel Castle was a highlight for many of us...we were not prepared at all for the splendours it holds in every single room we walked thru! It is set in 40 acres of sweeping grounds & gardens, and has been open to visitors for nearly 200years!! Again, see for yourself on the websites, but make sure you get to this place if your interests include history, castles, architecture, wealth, etc...this is a special place!!

Everything inside it is in pristine condition, and the Duke & Duchess still entertain large parties in the dinign room, which is part of the museum section you walk thru. Some rooms & levels are not open to the public, but the numerous ones that are more than satisfy the average tourist's craving to see beautifully preserved furnishings, the exceptional library for example, the armoury room filled with a large range of weapons, etc.

Do yourself a favour and allow yourself more time than we did...it is very well worth it. We, of course, bought the book about the place from the giftshop when leaving and, on reading thru it, now realise just how much of the place we didn't get to see!

This was our final day enjoying the UK....myself, wifey & teen daughter left our cricketing companions the next day & headed to Paris for the next leg of our journey which took us right across Europe...others in our touring party returned to Oz over the next couple of days, or started other travels themselves.
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