Eurotrip Day 12 – The English Bus Tour to Bath and Stonehenge

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On Eurotrip Day 12, we enjoyed a full-day tour from London to Bath and Stonehenge aboard The English Bus.  Brooke and I were excited to see these historic sites, and I was looking forward to letting somebody else do the driving!  The city of Bath features old Roman-style baths and a beautiful abbey, and Stonehenge is an absolute marvel of the ancient world!

Adventures

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We looked into a few options for our trip to Bath and Stonehenge.  Renting a car would be quite a frustrating process, because we could not find any convenient rental locations near our hotel.  Additionally, traffic in London is intense, and I did not have the patience to deal with it.  A few tour companies offer charter bus tours out of London, but they all seemed quite large and rushed.  We decided to go with The English Bus tour because of its small group size (maximum of 16 people), compared to the much larger tour companies.  Like our snorkel tour on Maui, we much prefer the high-quality, customized experience that a smaller tour company provides.  We do not want to feel like sheep in a herd!

Our day started early with a brisk walk from the hotel to the London Eye to meet our tour bus driver, Johny, at 8:45am.  He pulled up in a brand new Mercedes bus named Albert II and did a roll call as our group stepped inside.  The bus was very nice, with plenty of personal space and comfortable seats, but it was not HUGE like a charter bus.  Another plus was that we could bring food and drink on the bus!

The bus set off toward Bath while Johny taught us about “football” (Go Aston Villa!), houses of parliament, London bridges, real ales, Chelsea icebergs, David Beckham, English castles, the Oxford goat race, and much, much more.  He is truly an excellent tour guide!  Our group rode through the beautiful English countryside, through small towns, and down back roads that the big tour buses can’t navigate.  We stopped at two secret places along the way, which I will not be telling you about!  Sorry, you must take the tour to find out.

I will say that when we got back onto the bus, Johny had some tasty chocolate/marshmallow treats to share!

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Yummm!

Bath

We arrived at the city of Bath around lunchtime, and we had time to explore on our own for a bit.  We grabbed a couple savory pastries at the Cornish Bakery and sampled delicious hard ciders at the West Gate Pub.  Before meeting our tour group for a walk-through of the actual bath area, we walked across Pulteney Bridge, down to the river, and then through Bath Abbey.  The ceilings in the abbey are incredible… be sure to look up!

Johny met us outside the abbey doors and led us into the Roman bath area through a side door.  Here, we were able to view the spring-fed baths from a balcony and actually taste the mineral water (not bad!) from a fountain in the attached restaurant.  Tip – You can pay an extra fee to enter the Roman Bath Museum for a self-guided tour, or you can wait and see the bath from a balcony with the English Bus group at no extra charge!

Stonehenge

Next, we loaded up for the ride to Stonehenge.  On the way, Johny told us about the history of Stonehenge and the many theories of its origin/construction.  We arrived just before the last entry at 5pm (smaller crowds!) and paid our 15.30 GPB entry fee at the visitor center (not included in the tour price, but we did get a group discount).  We marveled at the stone circle and tried to imagine how the builders hoisted the large cross-bar stones to the top.  To get a feel for exactly how heavy each stone is, the visitor center has a display to test your strength.  It would take 95 of Brooke or 80 of me to move just one stone, using logs to roll it!  When you visit Stonehenge, be sure to bring a coat – it is VERY windy there!

We stepped back onto the bus exhausted from the long day, and we snoozed for most of the ride back to London.  It was soooo nice to be able to relax while someone else handled the driving!  We awoke as the bus entered the London metro area around 8:30pm, and Johny did a 4-minute recap of the day.  It is amazing how much we covered in a single day tour!  If you want to visit Bath and Stonehenge, and you want a truly excellent experience, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking a tour with The English Bus!  You will not be disappointed.  Cheers!

Quote of the Day – “Don’t Worry Mate, It’ll Buff Out!” – Johny

Here at Loophole Travel, we want to share products that we travel with and experiences we have enjoyed.  Some we’ve purchased on our own.  Others have been graciously offered to us, free of charge, by companies that want the unbiased review of travel enthusiasts.  This tour of Bath and Stonehenge was offered to us, complementary, for our honest review and feedback.

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