What do I love best about England? It might be all the time travel. The other week we managed to work our way back to Regency England, and then medieval England, and then finally the Stone Age, all in the space of a day.
We started in Lacock, an English village used as the location for the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice and for a host of other films and series, including Cranford. Jane Austen fans, hold onto your hats!
We arrived so early that only the locals were about.
It was easy to imagine how Lacock looked in Lizzie Bennet’s time.
From Lacock village, we walked through gardens to reach Lacock Abbey, a grand manor built around a former abbey dissolved by Henry VIII. It has a real Northanger Abbey feel to it, with bits and pieces added to it over the centuries. Until 1946, it had its very own copy of Magna Carta on the premises. (The founding abbess was a widow on one of its signers.) Lately its biggest claim to fame is that it was used as a location in the Harry Potter films.
The cloisters were my favorite part.
But lots of other parts were spectacular, too.
After a spectacular meal of toasted local brie and tomato sandwiches, we then headed up the road to a very ancient site indeed: Avebury, a stone circle thought to have been built over 4500 years ago. We reached just as a thunderstorm was sweeping up, but it would have been a dramatic place at any time. The sheer scale alone is awe-inspiring.
How on earth did they drag these stones here? No one knows.
But there are a lot of them.
And you can see how time has carved them all.
It was a lot to cram into one day, I suppose, but it gave me the feeling of being in a time machine, and traveling further and further back into English history with each stop. And now I’m home again, with my mind full of sights and sounds and smells that I can use for my usual kind of time-travel… the kind that happens at my writing desk.