Thatched Roofs and Ancient Stones

Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

The southwest of England is full of intriguing spots – well-known Stonehenge, of course, more prehistoric stones we’ll see later today, and on the way from Bath, headquarters of our November Mozartfest tour, to Avebury a white horse or two carved into the hillside! These aren’t as old as the stones, and this one, the Cherwel White Horse, was cut into the chalky hill in 1780 at the direction of a certain “mad doctor”. It certainly catches our eye from the road!
The Red Lion in Avebury, proudly “the only pub IN a stone circle” now boasts a recently rethatched roof  (2015 – just minutes ago in this part of the world)  –  it was under renovation when we stopped by in September.We wander among Avebury’s rocks, part of the largest stone circle in the world, and sheep, climbing up the berm which winds for miles above a vast ditch (called a henge).We think Avebury is so much more interesting than better-known Stonehenge – we love being able to walk and dream among the stones, here for more than 4000 years. No need to stay at a distance as at Stonehenge.
The village itself is well worth a visit too – just one lane, home to a handsome church, St. James (with an ancient Saxon window or two still intact), and several pretty homes.
Wellies at the ready here, and this one’s reserved for the teacher – nice!
Next stop, the village of Lacock, which is a National Heritage Site in its entirety. Our table is waiting at The George, an historic pub dating from the 15th century.Unlike many popular tourist sites, or a place renowned for its history rather than its food, The George serves terrific British food, such as this quintessential dish, complete with mushy peas. Their authentic Sticky Toffee Pudding is deeper and darker than any I’ve tried – almost a musky taste. The chef shares her secret – a lavish amount of dark treacle syrup – I’ll have to try that at home!
It’s recess time – Lacock’s primary school has around 75 pupils.
The village, with its well-preserved church, homes, and businesses, is perfect for a tv production or movie set centuries ago. Scenes from Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, some Harry Potter movies, and most recently, Downton Abbey have been filmed here – can’t you imagine this lane, minus cars, with actors in period dress stopping by a shop?
What a pleasure to step back in time for a day…we recommend these evocative spots highly!
************************************************************************************The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, learned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.



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One Response to Thatched Roofs and Ancient Stones

  1. Mary says:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely post. It brought much peace to me today, as i am concerned about several friends enduring tragedy. I enjoy reading your stories and learning about all the interesting places you visit…it makes me feel like I am your little fly on a backpack and thus I get to see things through your eyes when I cannot travel along until another time. Keep up the great posts!!

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