Day 26. – Salisbury to the Brecon Beacons in Wales

Salisbury Cathedral

So this morning is foggy, not cold, just a little cool, not shorts but jeans and long sleeves, maybe a jumper type of weather. Breakfast at the Cricketers Arms B&B is fantastic, fruits, cereals, breads, and a cooked egg, sausage and bacon if you want it.

Paul takes the keys to the Mercedes, he’s decided he’s driving today.

First stop is to Wilton House to have a peek through the gates at the well used Victorian period movie and tv shows, The Crown, Bridgerton etc etc, the women brave do the reconnaisance mission and aren’t chased away by the security, it looks like filming is going on at the moment, the public aren’t allowed in and out in the workers area there are lots of pantek trucks.

Salisbury is a city of 45,000, about Dubbo size. Its about 30km from Stonehenge, is an old market town and a bit of a mix of old and modern.

The Bumping Stone at Salisbury Cathedral, where a new boy in the choir has his head gently bumped on this stone 7 times as his acceptance into the choir

Next stop is the Salibury Cathedral, 10 quid to park and 9 quid to enter. The 123m spire of this cathedral is the tallest in Engand and has been since 1561, the church was built in the 13th century, a bit younger than a lot of the others we’ve seen in the last week. The cloister at the side of the church is huge, larger than Westminster Abbey we’re reliably told by a local volunteer guide. Its huge inside and I see the name Montacute on the list of rectors from 1382 to 1404. I recall the name from my family tree and dig into my info and find that my 18th Great Grandfather was Sir William Montacute the 1st Earl of Salisbury, I’m guessing there is a connection but I’ll have to check that later. The big thing thats in this Cathedral is the only publicly displayed actual copy of the Magna Carta. The others are at 1 x Lincoln Castle and 2 x The British Library. It is a document that came about in 1215 to make peace between an unpopular King John of England and a bunch of rebel Barons who were sick of John. Its the basis of a lot of Bills of Rights type documents in the modern world even though it didn’t survive as a working document in Britain.

We move on from Wiltshire via the Stonehenge site and turn left to run through the villages and towns of Shrewton, Tilshead, Devizes, Chippenham, Hulavington before stopping for lunch in Cirencester in The Cotswalds. This is a lovely part of the world. After a quick lunch in Cirencester we drive to what is reputedly “the most beautiful village in England” – Bribury. And it is quite stunning, the Cotswalds houses, the stream through the middle of the village with swans and ducks, the pub, I bet the real estate is expensive with a capital E.

The Reids in Bribury today

We hit the road and head for Wales for tonights stop in Talgarth, we were meant to be going to Hay On Wye but the momen decide it too expensive. After numerous backroads, a few wrong turns and many roudabouts we get to Wales and drive through the now more mountainous country to Talgarth. Sheep in the paddocks, hedgerows and stone fences and at the back the stunning Brecon Beacons Mountain Range. They booked a room at a small pub called “The Castle”, prophetic you may say. We see no pool room, and “the vibe” ain’t that good. The person in charge has advised The Navigator that only single rooms were booked, not doubles, does this bloke have a death wish? The Navigator does what she does so well, starts to work on making him understand that she knows what she booked and if there is a f…up its his and it would pay for him to resolve it. He returns after consulting the faceless, nameless manager who we never see, with an apology that yes “he was wrong” and his manager has miscommunicated the booking. I think he saw that this was one battle he wasn’t going to win. Its hardly a great pub and the rooms are up a narrow set of stairs, so thats the landlords revenge on Genelle because she has to carry her bag up, he helps Liz and Paul but not Genelle or me.

Dinner is in the pub, Paul has retired to bed, the stress of todays driving has burnt him out. We have a few drinks, some dinner and chat to a fit looking fellow who is about 50, he’s working in the Brecon Beacons with the military on a contract job, has just retired as an ambulance officer and prior to that was in the military, and a couple from south Wales who own a backpacker accomodation operation. Its nice to chat to other people and find out who they are and what they do, I do suspect the single “ex military” bloke is possibly still proper military, the Brecon Beacons is the British SAS training and selection ground, I’m probably wrong but I just feel he could be something to do with them.

Tomorrow we head for the coast somewhere near St David

Hwyl Fawr (Welsh for Goodbye) from Talgarth in Wales – Paulo


One thought on “Day 26. – Salisbury to the Brecon Beacons in Wales

  1. Daryl Green says:

    Cirencester is such an interesting place and where some of my forbears came from ( no Earl’s or Kings – just us common folk to the best of my knowledge). It has the best Roman relic museum that we saw over there. Sue had to drag me away to go and meet my 90 (in 2018) year old ’32nd’ cousin and then visit dead relatives at the Saxon built church at North Cerney! Marvellous area! I am jealous!


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