We were up early again today (damn jet lag) so we packed up and left for Christchurch first thing. We had breakfast at a lovely little cafe (Cheese and Alphie) on the main road. Well, Stephen had breakfast while I glared at the gross pancakes I couldn’t eat (smothered in butter). On the up side, Christchurch has a nice little priory and a ruined motte and bailey castle. We were able to clamber up and around the ruin, it was pretty cool.
After breakfast, the plan was to drive to Glastonbury, two hours away. About one hour into the drive, I noticed I didn’t have my wallet. I realised immediately that I’d left it on the nightstand in the hotel in Bournemouth. I called the hotel, and they confirmed they had it. There was nothing to do but drive back and get it.
So eventually we made it to Glastonbury mid-afternoon. What a weird place. It’s teeming with full-on hippies, mystic shops, tarot readers … that sort of thing. So very in-British, and so very interesting. Glastonbury is the site of a 12th century Norman abbey that was sacked under Henry VIII during the reformation – Glastonbury was staunchly Catholic and Henry had just created the Church of England. The sacking was the punishment for not bowing to the kings wishes.
After Glastonbury was Wells Cathedral – a perfect contrast. It too is a 12th century construction (though Gothic), and it stands gleaming and tall, not a stone out of place. Wells converted to Church of England during the reformation so was spared the fate of churches and monasteries that displeased the king. Wells has been through a recent and extensive renovation and looks simply magnificent. Of particular note is the scissor arch – I’ve never seen one like this anywhere else.
We were hoping to get to Bath Abbey too before closing, but arrived 30 minutes too late to see inside. Still, we had a good wander around the outside, and then found a Wagamama for a good hearty Japanese nosh-up. We will head back to Bath tomorrow to finish poking around.
Our accommodation for this evening is the very posh Winford Manor Hotel. Is clean and comfy and has no drips that I can see! Perfection.
What absolutely awesome architecture. hell I hope we make it to the UK someday, if not we will have to live our trip through yours. This is what we will really miss in Christchurch now. The new buildings will be great but never have the architectural beauty of some of the old buildings. xx
No eartqukes here, aren’t they fortunate to have such great buildings.