We left Andy's house in his MX-5 with the top down and first went to Donnington Castle in Newbury, not far from his house. Only its side towers & front gate are still standing but it's a cool castle way up on the hill. The fog never lifted today so the view was misty, but it was still nice to see. I think I've seen at least one castle per day on this trip, if the Windsor Castle Pub yesterday counts...haha! ;)
We got out the road atlas & decided to head to Salisbury on the backroads, since I've been across the Salisbury Plains before, including Stonehenge twice, but never actually to Salisbury, and Andy had heard there was a large cathedral there. It was a fun road trip just to see what was there, including following a sign to a "12th Century Church" and finding it closed but a cute chapel & interesting graveyard. We made it to Salisbury, found the city center, then promptly found a snack to hold us over until dinner, making it over to the cathedral. Quite an impressive spire, that's for sure! I walked backwards for ages & still couldn't fit it all in my camera's frame! We didn't pay to go inside the cathedral itself, but we walked around & found the Chapter House that had artifacts like old silver and things...and one of the only four surviving copies of the Magna Carta! Who knew? So, just by luck I've seen two of the four copies now, one in Lincoln Castle on the choir tour, and now at Salisbury Cathedral...nice surprise! There was also a black cat with green eyes posing for tourists in the graveyard courtyard at the cathedral, but by the time I got to try petting him, he was obviously bored with the cameras...darn!
Since Andy had found online that some Sainsburys supermarkets carry Addlestones cider, we looked in the Salisbury Sainsburys (say that five times fast!), coming up short on the cider, but since I had already repacked, I decided I did have room for a bottle of my beloved Archers peach schnapps, so we also bought ourselves some pasta to make for dinner to go with the Saratoga wine I had brought for Andy. We got back in the MX-5 with the top down again, headed back up the A343 to Newbury the same way we came, stopping at a sign for Figsbury Rings, which were giant earthworks of mounded rings from a Stone Age settlement. Again, if it wasn't so misty, it would have been an amazing view! We made our dinner & chatted a bit while sharing our tasty wine from 15 minutes away from my house. Now it's to bed early since it's an early morning to get me to the airport!
Britta at Donnington Castle, Newbury
(full Day 17 photos start here)
I'm all checked in online, and we plan on driving to Heathrow by 8am for my 11am flight. Hope you enjoyed reading my stories as much as I enjoyed the trip itself! Thanks!