Goodbye Italy, hello UK

Bit of a shock coming from the balmy skies of Italy (although it was raining as we took off) to the grey and cooler welcome of Heathrow.

Loading our luggage into a hire car, we set off on our UK road trip, a month of covering a few few kilometres. We spent a couple of quiet days in Salisbury and its surrounds visiting a few distant relatives and getting used to no longer being part of a tour party. Back to being responsible for everything!

We finally got around to visiting the marvel that is Stonehenge. So much still unknown about this feat of engineering, but we do know it was not used for human sacrifice as people so often say! We made the decisions to become English Heritage members when we saw the cost of entry, which I highly recommend if you are going to be traveling in the UK for more than a week or so. It saved us a huge amount of money and also encouraged us to visit sites we may not have thought about ordinarily.

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A small detour to the well-preserved Dartmouth Castle was our first one of these sites. Small and fascinating with an excellent tea rooms to boot.

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Our first major stop was two nights in a  little fishing village in Cornwall called Mevagissey. A tiny town of stone rising up from minuscule cobblestone roads. No allowance for cars, or pedestrians. We watched  said pedestrians squeeze themselves into shop doorways to let cars go past on that theoretically two way road. (We got quite good at this one ourselves). Eventually we found our way up the hill to our accommodation looking out over the bay.

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The weather wasn’t great but the views and village were fantastic.

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We were in Cornwall to catch up with the boy, his girlfriend and her parents. They had managed to secure tickets to the Minack Theatre, so well-rugged up we set out almost all the way down to Lands End to one of the most unique theatres ever built. We were beginning to wonder if we had taken a wrong turn as we began to manoeuvre down  narrower and narrower lanes, no street lights or road markings and  with only one car following us. Suddenly we emerged into a packed carpark in the middle of nowhere – very surreal. We made our way down the steep stairs to see the theatre literally set into the cliffs of with the  Atlantic Ocean crashing beneath. It is a breathtaking sight.

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Built into the cliffs 1932 by Rowena Cade and her team of gardeners it remains a thriving venue for drama and music. We watching the Cambridge Amateur Dramatic Society romp through The Mikado, with some brilliant changes to the songs where appropriate for 21st Centre England. Sitting huddled together drinking hot chocolates and hearing the surging surf in between the songs was a truly magical experience and well worth the long drive back.

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