Monday, July 30, 2012

UK Trip 2012 - Urchfont, Wiltshire

Uphill Cottage from the back garden

View from our room - gorgeous!
Wiltshire is located to the west of London and it took us around two and a half hours to get there from Windsor. We took a leisurely drive since it was mostly on small country roads that we were unfamiliar with. The scenery was beautiful, it was all rolling green fields dotted with sheep. We passed a few villages with really nice, quaint cottages. My Uncle's family lives in a village called Urchfont, in Uphill Cottage, which was more than a 100 years old. We were given a small but very comfortable bedroom and attached bathroom. They had just renovated the cottage, so while the outside looks quite old, the inside was full of modern amenities. We also had very good food there, my aunt did most of the cooking, or maybe it was the country air making us extra hungry, I don't know. But we ate very well.

View from Salisbury Plain

They first place they took us to was the Salisbury Plain, a large chalk plateau, which has quite a bit of history of you want to Wiki it, but now it's used as an army training area, and has trails for walks and mountain biking.

Oakrith Wood
Next my Uncle drove us to Oakrith Wood. It's a beautiful, very peaceful piece of woodland where the villagers fell trees and chop up wood for winter. I didn't think people did that anymore with gas heaters being cleaner and easier to maintain nowadays, but I was wrong. I did learn a few things though. Chopped wood can't be used immediately. It is left in the forest for almost a year to 'season', only then it's taken and used as firewood in winter. So they have a schedule and it's very community based where everyone pitches in and makes sure that only mature trees are felled and they are very strict about safety.
Lacock Village

Lacock Abbey
The next day we visited Lacock Abbey which is located in the village of Lacock. We were told the abbey was used to film a few scenes in the Harry Potter: The Chamber of Secrets. The village itself still looks like it's in the 13th century and is a TV and film location. It's very picturesque and being under the National Trust, the owners are not allowed to make any changes to their houses. So if you take away the cars, you might think you're in medieval times.

We stayed only for two nights in Uphill cottage, but there were many other things to do in the area. Bath and Stonehenge are just a short drive away. And being in the country, there are many activities such as walks, visits to museums, shopping and good ol' English food to try.

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