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I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot!
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Stonehenge & Bath

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

We ventured outside the city today for a private tour of Stonehenge and Bath, with Sue, our remarkable Blue Badge tour guide. Our first stop was Stonehenge – a site that has surprisingly changed dramatically since I last saw it 30 years ago.

Stonehenge was constructed 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period, and is presumed to have evolved in structure and formation for more than 1,000 years before the site was “completed.” There is still so much unknown about this unusual site, from how they moved these massive stones (long before the invention of the wheel), to how it was constructed, and what its true purpose was. While Stonehenge is the most well-known, the UK has thousands of Neolithic sites around the country.

After a tasty lunch at The Bell pub in Standerwick, we arrived in Bath to tour the Roman Baths. This incredible site was built around natural hot springs by the Romans when they first came to England around 50 AD. They built a temple and large bath complex around the springs and continued to use this site for 300 years. When the Romans left England, the site fell into disrepair and was “lost,” and then was rediscovered during the Victorian era by the British in the 1800s.

The Grand Pump Room, a neoclassical grand ballroom, was constructed as a salon for visitors to drink the waters and host social functions. It was said that Jane Austen, who lived in Bath, frequented the Pump Room for social gatherings. The room would be lined with two rows of chairs on either side of the dance floor. Ladies would sit in the front row and wait to be asked to dance. Those with wealth or beauty, or both, were the first up. If there were no takers after a short period of time, the host would ask these ladies to move to the second row. If still no takers, they would be relegated to standing along the wall behind the chairs…hence the term “wallflower.” It was said that Jane Austen had neither the wealth nor the looks and was likely deemed a wallflower.

Before leaving Bath, we drove around this lovely city to take in the magnificent Royal Crescent and Circus residences.

On the drive back to London, Sue shared one of her favorite drink recipes with us – for Sloe Gin. Did you know that Sloe Gin is actually made from the sloe blackthorn drupes – a plum-like fruit? We never knew that a “slow gin fizz” was actually referring to the fruit-infused flavor of the gin from the sloe.

Another great day is in the books. Tomorrow’s agenda includes a visit to the Churchill War Rooms, and a special surprise evening out with Hannah to celebrate her upcoming 21st birthday. Can’t ruin the surprise – more to come tomorrow! Cheers!


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