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  • Writer's pictureKeef Hellinger

Blog 196 A Week Away in Wiltshire, A Travel Blog

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

Created by KeefH Web Designs, August 5th, 2023, 17.33 PM


A Travel Blog by KeefH Web Designs Motorhome trip No56: 30th July - 4th August 2023


NOTTS-> Witley Court and Gardens, Worcestershire, Plough Lane Campsite, Kington Langley -> NOTTS 385 miles


This Travel Blog slideshow of our week away in the lovely county of Wiltshire, one we didn't know that well before hand, gives some highlights of the week away.


Prefer to listen to the Travel Blog than read a blog, click HERE for the audiobook.


MENU

INTRODUCTION

As our grandchild minding duties were off this week, extended family on holiday, we took the opportunity even though the weather was predicted to be "not great" to get away, the reality is apart from the Tuesday when we were with friends the weather was awful, leading up to the UK's first named storm of the year, Storm Anthoni. Anyhow we drove the 165 miles down to Wiltshire stopping about half way at the English Heritage site outside Droitwich called Witley Court. It was then onto our Tranquil Site at Plough Lane, Kington Langley near Chippenham. Whilst there we visited Bath, what a lovely city both for architecture and history. We had a day with friends visiting the lovely quaint, but touristy village of Castle Combe, can't imagine being a resident, with all those tourists (us included) peering it at us, must be like living in a goldfish bowl #help The next day although raining we visited Kington Langley village, Morrison's (the nearest supermarket to the campsite) , Kington St Michael village, Marlborough and its exclusive college (Royalists that we are, NOT apart from our fabulous old queen), Avebury and its standing stones, Silbury Hill (what is under there I wonder?) , Devizes (home of Wadsworths) and Caen Hill locks just outside, amazing, puts our local Foxton locks ( in Leicestershire) to shame. If you want to read more focus on each individual section here on teh blog, I hope that works for you?

Listen to some of the Talkies videos we made whilst spending a week in Wiltshire, a fun accompaniment to this travel blog. We caught Miranda singing Nessun Dorma in from of Bath Cathedral / Abbey, what a treat, what a voice, give her a listen why don't you.


PANORAMAS

Here are a couple of panoramas we took of English Heritage's Witley Court and Gardens, which we visited on the way down to Wiltshire, you can see some more history on this place which is now just a shell after a fire in 1937 HERE

witley court and gardens panorama taken 2023
witley court and gardens, lovely laid out gardens
witley court and gardens panorama front on taken 2023
the shell that is witley court after the fire in 1937
view of bath off great pultney street during our quiz
typical bath street off great pultney street during our quiz

ENGLISH HERITAGE SITE, WITLEY COURT AND GARDENS

Here is a slideshow of our time at Witley Court and gardens, quite interesting to visit and obviously with a lot of history , shame it is now just a burnt out and stripped shell of a building but lovely grounds, boathouse, lake and swans with still the ornate plaster work on the walls and intricate stone masonry (if thats a word?) #smile on the outer walls and palisades. Well worth a visit even in the rain. Loved the lavender gardens, water feature and formal gardens and information boards. Shame they didn't say like other English Heritage properties that the audio apps on your phone don't work and you need the old Skool audio kit to go around with, indeed they never even offered it , you have been warned #recommendation #takecare

It made a nice driving break on the way to Wiltshire, in fairness for the subject of this blog about half way. Here is a slideshow of the history of the place and a very brief summary however click on the links below for "full scale fact overload" . Witley Court, Great Witley, Worcestershire, England is a ruined Italianate mansion. Built for the Foleys in the seventeenth century (c 1630) on the site of a former manor house, it was enormously expanded in the early nineteenth century by the architect John Nash for Thomas Foley, 3rd Baron Foley. The estate was later sold to the Earls of Dudley, who undertook a second massive reconstruction in the mid-19th century, employing the architect Samuel Daukes to create one of the great palaces of Victorian and Edwardian England.

The declining fortune of the Dudley's saw the sale of the court after the First World War to a Kidderminster carpet manufacturer. In 1937 a major fire caused great damage to the court, the estate was broken up and sold and the house was subsequently stripped of its fittings and furnishings. We noted that English Heritage had their own ice cream van, now that is enterprising.

Here are some links if you wish to read more. Witley 1. Witley 2. Return to MENU


PLOUGH LANE TRANQUIL SITE


Here is a slideshow of our overview of the campsite at Plough lane, an allegedly Tranquil site which I'm afraid it wasn't the A350 outside could be heard all day and night even with the windows and blackout blinds down, so in our humble opinion that is a no no #justsayin

Here are the site details and details of the Tranquil sites book we found it in. A walk down the road to the right from the main entrance will take you to the lovely village of Kington Langley, there is also a very limited bus service the 91 that will take you there but it is only about 20 minutes walk. On the other side of the A350 (tricky to cross) there is a 30 minute walk to Kington St Michaels , not in our humble opinion as nice as Kington Langley but it has a village shop and pub. Here are some campsite details, we were on pitch 7, it now has 52 pitches (2023) and I'm afraid no where near enough facilities, no matter what time of day you go the 2 showers and 1 privacy cubicles are ALWAYS full , the site when we were there wasn't even full, who knows what it would be like if it was. This is another great no-no so overall despite the price being less at £33 / night than C&MC sites at average £45-£50 nowadays we would NOT recommend. Sorry Plough lane. However getting out from it it is a great location for surrounding areas of Wiltshire. Read on McDuff!


BUS TRIP TO BATH, VIA CHIPPENHAM PLUS QUIZ


Don't forget to listen to Miranda, just amazing

Here is the bus timetable for the X31 to Bath which we caught from Chippenham bus garage after a false start drop off in town, none of the buses from outside the Plough Lane campsite actually stop at the main bus station so be warned, it's all very confusing, we also found that despite the very limited time table the buses actually run longer than it tells you, however as they aren't that reliable I would not base your journey on that level of trust #hintsandtips PS Corsham and Box are lovely, the bus does however take a while to get into Bath as it travels many backstreets and housing estates. Indeed the 44 we caught in from Plough Lane (there are 3 to choose from 91,99 and 44) went through the whole estate that is currently under construction, very weird! Still, we oldies are racking up the miles on our free bus pass #jobdone

Here is a slideshow of our fun times in Bath, what a lovely city. We used the town Quiz to basically guide us around. We did about 4.5 miles and by the end of pounding the streets for a couple of near septuagenarians, knackered!

Here is the cover of our quiz that led us around, we have done quite a few whilst away in the motorhome, both fun and a great way to be led around all the major sites, gets you closer that the traditional hop on hop off buses you see everywhere however you could if you wish do that around Bath as well. We loved Bath!



DAY OUT WITH FRIENDS, CHIPPENHAM, CASTLE COMBE & BIDDESTONE


A lovely day with friends Julie and Martin, here is a video of our day out in Castle Combe and Biddestone. Julie very kindly picked us up from the campsite and took us back to their house where we had a lovely meal and chat and a look around their lovely garden, I am well jell at the amount of space and wild flower meadow (maybe thats a little exaggeration, but its lovely with all those fab insects as well) and especially their veg plot. After lunch Martin kindly drove us to Castle Combe, a place we have wanted to visit for ages. We had a great walk around, watched the brown trout enjoying the crystal clear stream, had fab ice creams and even a drink in the pub, my first pint of Wadsworths 6X in almost 20 years. How good was that. We even fought off the wasps whilst chatting in the pub garden. All in all a fab day and a great chance to catch up.

Fun with friends #friends


WILTSHIRE IN THE RAIN


Here is a slideshow of our fun day out in the van touring admittedly mostly in the rain, but hey we saw a lot

We visited in order Kington Langley, a lovely village with Manor houses just along Plough Lane, then Morrison's for provisions (oh OK lets confess - some cake as well #naughtybutnice, Kington St Michael's, then we drove along the M4 to the very busy (and I mean busy) Marlborough, there was an open day at the exclusive mixed public school there. Want to read more about the college and the Royals and alumni click HERE. Was nice to slowly go thru the town in the driving rain however because we got to see all we would have done if we had parked up (fat chance) and walked through the town. After Marlborough we went and visited the standing stones at Avebury, a Neolithic henge monument and UNESCO world heritage. Interesting in comparison to Stonehenge which is also in Wiltshire. A real area of history. Fascinating! Want to read more. After that we went to see the Silbury Hill, which is English Heritage and also UNESCO which with the City of Bath makes 3 UNESCO sites visited in one trip. #classy Want to know more ? Then it was onto the wonderful Caen Hill locks before returning to the campsite for a dry out and a well deserved cup of tea. On Route we stopped off by a weird old campervan site possibly illegally used on a by way, some of the van conversion reminded us of those we had seen often in New Zealand. Wooden horse box conversions with engines. I love quirky vans like that.


DAY OFF CHILLING IN THE VAN & SITE

After all the travelling yesterday and with a long drive back to Nottingham the next day we decided upon a day of rest, the morning weather was great, and we even managed a late trip to the ever busy showers post brekkie but the afternoon p**ssed down. Soggy bottoms oh yes! So reading, family research / genealogy and watching the Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix (we love it ) were the order of the day. Cheese and bikkies for lunch, salad for tea and a few odd drinkies during the day. We have both acquired a liking for Port and Lemon, old crusties that we are #smile

No pix, it was a day off even from my well worn motto, if it moves snap it, if it doesn't move snap it!


MAPS ETC.


Here are maps of both Chippenham and Bath we collected on our travels from various tourist handouts, some from the campsite, some from elsewhere.

Feel free to use this scalable map to delve deeper, hope it helps

This is our travel route


AUDIOBOOK


Here is my Audiobook of the Blog number 196, all created by KeefH Web Designs for this travel blog. The first is published on Soundcloud. The second on my You Tube channel as a slideshow video with the audiobook overlay. The third is the soundtrack from the amazing Miranda performing Nessun Dorma in such a lovely setting, I have remastered it with Dolby and published on Soundcloud!



THE END



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