Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stonehenge & Windsor Castle, England

On our last day in London, we woke up bright and early, Drew took the tube while I slept in (Oh the joys of being sick on vacation) and picked up the rental car.
We rented a car through Sixt. It came with unlimited kilometers and it was our way to catch our early flight out of the airport the next morning.
According to Google Maps, Stonehenge is about an hour and 45 minutes away. An hour on the high way then 45 on little back roads. Stonehenge is in the middle of NO WHERE.
We spent maybe 45 minutes on the highway then the rest of the time on a little two lane road. All the tourist attractions outside of cities always seem to be in the middle of no where.
I had heard it was better to buy tickets in advance because of the tours of people that came, so I went on Stonehenge's website and bought tickets. I would suggest doing this because the lines were crazy when we got there!

Funny thing is that you actually see Stonehenge on your way to the visitor center. You drive right pass it. There were a line up of cars on the side of the road, and people walking right up. We thought about doing that as well, but decided that since we had already purchased tickets we should see what the visitor center looked like.
Parking at the visitor center was easy enough. There was a restroom, a cafe, and a gift store there. They even had Free WiFi!
At the visitor center you check in and receive a sticker that lets them know that you've paid, they also give you your own hand held audio guide that you use when you're at the site.
From the visitor center you can catch a shuttle that will take you out to the site. You could also walk out to the site, but the shuttle is included with your entrance and its a bit of a hike, so I would suggest using the shuttle.
You can see where it's starting to sink in.

Once up at the actual site it's a little surreal. To me Stonehenge has been a wonder of the world, and it has always been on my bucket list. I never thought I would ever be able to see it.
Pictures don't do this place justice.
With the audio guide you are able to walk around the site on your own. There are markers with numbers written on them and all you have to do is type in the number and the guide will tell you all about that portion. I thought it was pretty cool. I don't usually like to stick with the guide, so a go at your own guide is exactly what I like.

Sidles' @ Stonehenge

I really enjoyed walking around and hearing about all the history and how things were created. I kept joking with Drew that it was really Aliens that made Stonehenge.
When we finally made it back to the Visitor center, we checked out the gift store. I found a charm of Stonehenge that would fit on my charm bracelet! :)
Since we had finished with Stonehenge earlier than expected, we weren't sure what we would do next. The day before we hit up everything we wanted in London. So Drew and I started looking online to see what else we could check out on our way back to London.
Windsor Castle

We soon realized that Windsor Castle was on the way back to London. Windsor Castle is where the Queen lives! I could see the Queen!
When we finally made it to Windsor Castle, we missed the last tour of the castle by 5 minutes! I was pretty bummed but we were still able to walk around the outside and get pictures in front of the Castle. So I guess it wasn't a total loss.

Sidles' @ Windsor Castle

We did find an amazing place to have dinner, it was right next door to Windsor Castle! Drew had Shepard's pie and I of course had Beer battered Fish & Chips (Because that's all I are the whole time we were in London)

This place is massive!

After filling up on dinner, we decided to check out more shops. They sure love the royals there. But can you blame them? I love the British Monarchy too.
All in all it was a great day. We had lots to do and even got to check more things off the bucket list. Drew was great about driving back to London, I was ify about it because driving on the left side of the road is not what I am used to, but driving on the left side with a manual car, I wouldn't trust anyone else but my amazing husband in the car.
Stonehenge and Windsor castle was a great combination, next time I'll be able to see a royal!