For the last 10 days or so we have been taking short driving trips from our temporary home in Melksham, Wiltshire County, to explore the little towns and villages that surround us. On some of our outings, we take our 3 canine charges with us and give them a good walk in parks or fields, and then they happily snooze in the boot of the hatchback car while we take a turn on our own in the village (it’s cool enough here to do this safely).
The roads are fun, winding in and out of villages, narrow and framed by tall hedges, tree canopies, or even buildings that you can reach out and touch. Ken has had lots of practice at roundabouts, since they control the majority of traffic at intersections. It uses a lot of brain cells to drive on the opposite side of the road and from the opposite side of the car from what you are used to, remember whether or not you should signal going in, remember to look right before you do, pick the correct line, change lanes if needed, and signal as you head out. Rinse and repeat as, in this country, where almost everywhere is at least somewhat populated, there are a lot of intersections. I navigate with the help of maps.me (an offline mapping app), which has been great at providing timely Exit the roundabout instructions.
Dundas Aqueduct (between Bath and Bradford-on-Avon)
On the maps below the red circle indicates Melksham, the town where we are staying. The green circles indicate visited locations.
We visited Devizes for the Thursday market, which was small but terrific. We went back the next Thursday sans pups so we could also take in the Wiltshire Museum (£10 for both of us).
We’ve only done the dog-walk part of Bradford-on-Avon, following river and canal paths to a historic tithe barn, built in the early part of the 14th century. We plan to return to walk around the village.
Not exactly a village or town, but the iconic site that is Stonehenge is only about 40 minutes southeast. It was a Pinch me! moment to walk the perimeter of these ancient monoliths.
There are masses of heritage buildings and sites to visit in the UK. At least two organizations, National Trust and English Heritage, own responsibility for many of them, and in some cases they are jointly managed. Each has its own membership program and if you are visiting the UK for a while and plan to visit some of these places, then you might want to consider a membership. Our homeowners have a membership in English Heritage, which gives them free access and free parking to over 400 sites. Membership costs are £54 for an adult, £96 for a couple, with concessions for 60+. Adults can also bring up to 6 children (<19 years old) for free. For perspective, Stonehenge entry is £16.50 per adult. The National Trust membership costs a bit more for >500 sites.