Set off mid-morning for a leisurely drive to East Woodlands (Frome) leaving the motorway asap after crossing the Severn into England. We found a pretty route through the Mendip Hills and stopped in a lovely little village called Blagdon for a tea-break.
Our main stopping point was Wells which has what must be one of the most spectacular cathedrals in Britain, dating back to the 13th Century. The Bishop’s Palace and grounds are almost as spectacular, surrounded by a moat. A bit of a clue to the rôle of the Clergy in medieval England.
The town itself is quaint in its own way and we’d arrived on a Market Day which made it even more of an interesting place to stroll around.
Our AirBnB is super clean, comfortable, well equipped and feels miles from anywhere, even though a good sized town (Frome) is about 5 minutes away. The only complaint is Wi-Fi that’s slower than a geriatric carrier pigeon with a wooden leg. Oh Well!
The weather was very mixed today with some seriously heavy showers. However, our luck was in. During both of our stops, the rain held off and the sun even did its best to break through the clouds.
Our first stop was Glastonbury, hippie-central for the UK and maybe Europe. You get high just walking past the shops (not really but there are more CBD products, crystals and kaftans on sale than bottled water!)
Legend says that it was the centre of King Arthur’s Avalon and is awash with myths and legends related to The Tor, Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Grail.
Joseph is said to have arrived in Glastonbury and plunged his staff into the ground. It flowered miraculously into the Glastonbury Thorn. A landscaped zodiac was said to exist around the town but no evidence has been discovered. Because of all this new-age paraphernalia, both religious & pagan hippies flock to the place. The town also gives its name to the Glastonbury Festival held just outside in Picton Village.
Just 10 minutes from our base, is the pretty little Market town of Frome. It still has the narrow, local stone built streets of pre-Victorian times (one even has a stream running down the middle!), with lots of interesting independent shops. The national chains have mostly been banished to the outskirts.
We feel a little lucky having beaten the weather forecast and had a super day out.
The weather was still a bit changeable, so we decided to take a stroll around Warminster, about 10 miles from East Woodlands - not far off the most direct route home.
We’d remembered it from journeys to the New Forest, more years ago than is decent to remember, when motorway links were few and far between. Then it was a pretty small town, very much typical Wiltshire. The more mature may also remember in the late 60’s and early 70’s it was the UK’s number 1 spot for UFO sightings (best explained by how near it is to the Army bases on Salisbury Plain).
It’s gone downhill a bit since then. Of course, most of the buildings are the same, but it now has a tired rundown feel achieving just 50% of the shabby chic epithet. The first half! Could be that the pandemic caused the smaller independent traders to shut up shop?
The rest of the journey home was easy and uneventful. Another short-break we enjoyed very much.