After a good night's sleep and a relaxing day on Sunday, Monday dawned damp and threatening. I didn't care. I set off with a vague plan to visit Bowood Rhododendron and Azalea gardens, but not really sure exactly where it was. On the way, I suddenly found Silbury Hill. You couldn't really miss it if you were on the right road.
It is very noticeable how many hawthorn bushes there are in the area, which is not surprising when you remember that it is a tree of Celtic mythology and magic. Apparently, you should have sprigs of hawthorn among the rafters of your house to protect it from evil spirits. I did move on from the layby to the Silbury Hill viewing spot, which was beautifully set out and very peaceful. I don't think many people bother to go in there, and just make do with the view from the main road.
I carried on from there towards Calne which is supposed to be a good place to look around, but I wasn't in the mood for towns, so I tossed up whether to head for Chippenham or Wootton Bassett and at the last moment turned the wheel to Chippenham. Then I realised that I had arrived at Bowood. Unfortunately, as I pulled onto the field that acted as the main car park, I realised the ground was very claggy and the rain had arrived with me so I drove straight out and carried on, passing the sign to Lacock on the way. So that is two possible places to visit next time I am down there.
From there, I literally just took whichever lane looked interesting, and quite by chance came to somewhere I had been trying to find without success. I had seen West Wood on a leaflet as being very pretty with loads of bluebells. Trundling along a very narrow lane with half a dozen cars behind me (that was good as it meant I had the weight of numbers if we met anything coming towards us), I suddenly saw the Forestry Commission sign saying West Wood. I didn't get out of the car, as it was very muddy and I did not want to fall and possibly cause an injury, especially as phone reception was non-existent again. It was a lovely spot, quite dark and mysterious under the heavy tree canopy. These photos really do not convey that feeling, but it was very beautiful.
From here, I reset Jane to take me back to the pub at Oare for another lovely lunch, which meant that I just did not want to eat again for the rest of the day. From there, it was back to more trees, this time at Postern Hill in the Savernake Forest, just outside Marlborough.
As it was raining quite hard by then, I expected it to be very quiet up there. I was totally wrong. I was amazed and pleased to see so many families there with young children, sitting out at the picnic tables in the rain, just having fun. None of the children (all ages) were glued to their technology, and none of them were whinging. They were all having fun, as I was watching them.
Once I got back to Burbage, it was a case of rejigging the car to clear the back seat so that I had room to collect the dogs from the kennels on the way past Evesham, which saved me an hour of extra travel and fuel.
Despite a lot of traffic on the road, I had an excellent journey home with no holdups anywhere. A good end to a good break.