It was time to say good-bye to our tournament tent. I think we were all sad to leave such a lovely place. But, more adventure called.
The next stop was a day trip to Winchester. In case you don’t know, Winchester was the Saxon capitol of England.
It was where the West Saxon kings ruled including, King Alfred the Great. (Shameless plug for my King Alfred book.) So you know we had to stop here!
I found a great walking tour of the city and we started at the famous King Alfred statue.
After the statue, we followed the river walk. Again perfect weather allowed us to enjoy every minute. The walk took us past the town’s old Roman Walls to Wolvesey Castle.
The Castle was occupied by King Stephen’s brother during The Anarchy and the city and castle played a role in the battles between King John and the rebelling barons. All this means William Marshal would certainly have been familiar with the place. (Shameless plug for my William Marshal book.)
Finishing up at the castle we followed the walk to Winchester Cathedral. We opted not to go inside to save time and because we also planned to visit Salisbury Cathedral.
It was time for lunch at the Wykcam Arm. It is an old pub in the town. But, the kids couldn’t eat inside so we had our meal in the garden out back. The best thing I saw there was the toilet. It seems they have an antique toilet and it was made by Thomas Crapper! (No, I am not kidding you. The inside of the bowl had the name printed on it and everything!) The walls of the WC were also decorated with copies of old ads for the toilet. Now I know where the saying crap comes from— a famous British toilet maker. Really, how did I forget to bring my phone to the bathroom?
After lunch we stopped by the Winchester Museum. Each floor of the three-story building covered a different time period from the Romans, to the Saxons all the way to the present day.
The kids got another scavenger hunt and away they went! Cinco had a great time. He dressed up as a Roman Senator and took lots of photos.
We moved on to the Great Hall and West Gate. The gate is from the middle ages and the Great Hall is all that remains of the royal palace in Winchester. The rest of the palace was destroyed by Cromwell.
Inside the Great Hall, we examined the rendition of King Arthur’s round table–that is about 700 years old! When I first planned this trip Cinco was much younger and really loved the Knights of the Round Table. Now, he liked seeing it. But it was NOT a major highlight.
Outside the Great Hall is the Queen’s Garden. It is a recreation of a 14th century, formal garden. It was much smaller than I expected. I was a little disappointed.
After our day in Winchester, we got in the car and headed off to Salisbury. We arrived too late to check out the cathedral (but don’t worry, we saw it the next day). A rest and dinner followed and then it was time for STONEHENGE!
And, yes…. I am making this mom camp day into two posts!