Long weekends are ideal for lie-ins and lazy days. Then, why on earth did hubby and I start a road trip so early on Good Friday that we were actually competing with the birds who would be up first? (A random robin won by a small margin.) The answer is probably ‘because we could’. The road trip bug bit us properly last year when we explored the Jurassic Coast and Wales, among other places, on drives from dawn till dusk, which were tiring, yet really good fun. As the days are now getting longer, more day trips and random driving on country roads through quaint villages will be on the agenda. (For city trips we’ll still be taking the train.)
We had booked a Co-wheels car for a 4 am start with a rough plan to ‘drive towards Somerset’. Equipped with a flask of coffee, lunch, and snacks we hit the roads that were pretty empty apart from truck convoys. By the time we went past Stonehenge it was getting light, and half an hour later we finally had our morning coffee in a car park by the river. Sometimes the pit stops really aren’t very idyllic! Our trip took us through various towns and villages, some so tiny you could almost miss them if you blinked. Sometimes all we saw was a narrow, winding country road with hedges on both sides; other times we could feast our eyes on spectacular views from the hills, seemingly never-ending yellow rapeseed fields, and flocks of sheep.
There were villages we just drove through, admiring the thatched cottages and gardens in bloom as we went past, and there were towns we now revisited because we had liked them so much in the past, such as Bradford-on-Avon with its canal, hill roads, and charming old cottages. Some sites we came across by accident, such as the remains of Farleigh Hungerford Castle, and some places we looked forward to visiting for the first time, such as Wells with its impressive cathedral and Clevedon with its restored historic pier. Cheddar Gorge looked as mighty as always but it was almost impossible to find a parking place to stop to appreciate it properly and take photos that would even begin to do it justice. I’d like to return at a quieter time and go for a little hike although no doubt I would question my sanity after starting the climb up!
Although we had the car booked until 10 pm, we were back at home a couple of hours earlier: 16 hours on the road was taking its toll. What we both had enjoyed the most was not so much visiting specific places – although that too was great – but simply having the experience and coming across all kinds of quirky little things, such as a Lego-man in Cirencester, a moat with ten ducklings (= a cuteness overdose), or a swan snoozing in its nest whilst its mate was serenely swanning around.! We loved the change of scenery and the liberating feeling of being on the road, away from a daily rut with no destination or schedule in mind. I can’t wait for the next outing!