We started off half term week,with a trip over to the Somerset, Avon, and Wiltshire area last weekend. We stayed at Corston Fields Farm, a B&B/working farm in a little village just outside Bath - very pretty.
We set off on Friday about 5ish, after James got back from work. The journey was supposed to take 2 hrs 20 mins door to door, lol, now that was an optimistic prediction! 4 hours later we were parked on the motorway somewhere between Heathrow and Reading. It turned out our journey had coincided with about 3 lorry crashes, one after another. After passing each one, we would speed off, only to be greeted a few miles down the road by another. Anyway, we finally arrived in Bath around midnight, and the farm was long asleep. We'd phoned them up earlier to let them know we were going to be late, and they told us they'd leave the key in the door for us. Lol, when we got there though, it was pitch black, so the seemingly easy task of finding the door to our annex posed slightly more of a challenge than anticipated. We completely overlooked the obvious option - the door facing out into the courtyard where we parked the car (didn't even see it!), and decided the annex would probably be somewhere random. We went around the back, and found something that looked vaguely likely, and tried the door. Nope. Wrong door! Probably gave someone a nasty fright! Then we snuck around the other side, still nothing.. slightly concerned we'd found the wrong farm, and anticipating eviction for trespassing, we headed back to the car, looked around again, starting to consider a repeat of the York car camping experience, and that was when we noticed the door -right there -with key as promised! We must have been tired.
On Saturday we tried out the park & ride into Bath centre, good value. We did all the touristy stuff: started off with the Roman baths -listened to Bill Bryson's audio commentary, tasted the warm bath water (yuck), saw the Royal Crescent, ate lunch next to the Pulteney Bridge, had a look around Bath Abbey, and nipped in a few shops to have a look at the Hallowe'en stuff.
In the evening we booked up for a Fright Night at Wookey Hole, some caves near Cheddar Gorge, so we went for a drive around the villages to get over there, past (I later found out) where Anthony Stewart Head (aka Giles from BTVS) lives, and stopped off in Wells for some supper. When we got to Wookey Hole, the whole place was deserted, save for about two cars and some tumbleweed, lol. We sat there for a few minutes, just in case anyone else showed up. In fact, we did see someone, and they left! In the end we decided we'd rather not walk around some caves in the middle of the night while a teenaged tour guide slightly embarassedly tries to scare us, lol, so we went off to Bath again to see what was going on there.
We ended up going to the cinema, as we noticed that Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' was on -really enjoyed it.
On Sunday, we went back to Wookey Hole for a slightly less frightening tour, acompanied by a selection of small witches and Frankenstein's monsters that obtained free entry, and proceded to shed bits of costume along the way. These are really good caves! I remember the last time I went, one of our tour party was this old lady, who was one of the original cave exploring divers, what an amazingly brave woman, you wouldn't catch me diving into pitch black underground tunnels full of skulls.
After that, we went on to Longleat safari park, home of Animal Park, which was absolutely amazing! We had a monkey climb on our car, and a lioness walked right up to our car door to say hello! Incredible. We also saw zebras, giraffes, rhinos, tigers, baby lions, vultures, flamingoes, wolves, all sorts! I don't think the experience was in any way hindered by the drizzle, in fact I think it may have even given us a better view of the animals with less cars about! Highly recommended. =)