Our journey down was good. Longer than I thought at 4 hours, but nothing to complain about. We arrived, checked in and took a taxi into Chippenham for a walk and a look around. This is the River Avon and it's the best photo I took because we'd only been here for 10 minutes when it absolutely poured down, so we spent the remainder of our time in and out of shops.
The day after was Avebury. I'd been really looking forward to this. The village was lovely, although this was as much as we saw of it (more of that later).
The stones were everything I thought they would be.
And even though they are older than Stonehenge you can walk around them and touch them.
As long as you're not afraid of sheep or sheep sh!te that is. We tried to avoid it for the first 5 minutes then decided it was a lost cause and happily waded through without a second thought, our shoes covered in the stuff (remember that for later).
A touch of the envies. Some people live in such beautiful places don't they.
After the stones, we visited the museum and then the Manor House which I highly recommend. It's one of those museums where you can touch things - my favourite sort. I think it had 11 rooms and each one was kitted out from a different era. We only saw 4 of them though (soon to be revealed why).
The first was a 1930's room, the second a kitchen dated 1910 where Thomas ground coffee beans and Amy ground peppercorns. The third room was a dressing up room.By now Thomas had thrown himself well and truly into the spirit of interaction although all me and Amy could think about were nits and fleas!
The fourth room was where it happened. Encouraged by one of the lovely volunteers to jump into the four poster bed and put on his nightcap, Thomas kicked off his shoes and leapt straight up there.
He was having a fantastic time. In fact we all were. We were well and truly into the spirit of this museum until he jumped out of bed, shuffled across the floor and......2 of the biggest splinters I've ever seen went straight into his foot. No kidding they were about 1inch long and fairly thick.
No photos of the next bit I'm afraid but it went something like this. "Don't touch them, get them out, no don't touch them, get them out, it hurts, get them out, no don't touch them". By now we were becoming as much of the 'show' as the actual house.
There was no choice but to put his shoes on (remember the sheep sh!te, dried but still plenty of it) then get him to hop/walk on the side of his foot back to the village shop, where miraculously they sold tweezers and savlon (thank you all relatives who have passed over for looking down on us).
Then it was up onto a wall, sheep sh!ite shoe back off, sock off and first aid administered, all the while surrounded by a group of school children and a Japanese tourist group.
Exhausted by all this malarkey, when Mark suggested we resume where we'd left off I declined. It was lunchtime anyway and I was in need of a glass of vino. I ended up having 2 and falling asleep in the car on our way to our next tourist attraction which is very unusual for me.
Anyway, shoes firmly on, our next place was Lacock Abbey. We had no intention of visiting here, in fact I've never heard of it but the taxi driver told us they'd filmed some of the Harry Potter scenes here and as it was only a few miles from where we were staying and a National Trust site it seemed a shame to miss out.
Amy and Thomas recognised some of the areas where scenes were shot straight away.
I've seen all the films but attention to detail isn't really my thing.
But I'm sure avid Harry Potter fans will know that the cloisters, the courtyard, the Mirror of Erised scenes and Professor's Snape and Quirrells classrooms were all filmed here. For the not so well versed in Harry Potter, well, you learn something new every day don't you.
And so that was Avebury, splinters, stones, sheep sh!te and all. I have decided one day I will return and finish off what I started. But that day will very much be in the future. A future where children have left home and no longer come away on holiday with us.
Apart from our holiday to Ireland every trip in future will be in our caravan and I'm sure there will be tales a plenty to tell from those weekends away!