Thursday & Friday, November 12-13, 2015
Southwest England

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

So we’ve landed at Heathrow, picked up a car, and are driving along, on our way to tonight’s destination, the giggly-named Limpley Stoke, when we both snap our heads to the right – is that…?!? Well, yes, it is! 11121501 airport to stonehengeWho knew we’d drive right by Stonehenge on our way!
Before checking into our apartment in Bath for the Mozartfest tour week, we’re spending tonight at a Best Western in this village south of Bath…and like so many of the European Best Westerns we’ve stayed in, this one is a delightful example of a local establishment, unique to the country – a sprawling manor house in inviting gardens. 11121501 best western limpleyWhen we check in, we’re upgraded to a terrace suite (thanks to being members of the BW loyalty club – we recommend joining ALL the loyalty associations, you never know what you’ll get!) and ooh and aah at the comfortable English country style of the room and the gorgeous view from the terrace. 11121501 best western upgradeAs often happens when arriving from a post-flight drive, we’re too late for lunch, but the amiable and helpful young man who checked us in suggests a meal in the hotel bar – perfect! 11121501 lunchWe can certainly recommend the charming Best Western Limpley Stoke!
After a quick nap we begin our pre-tour research, re-acquainting ourselves with the village of Wells, where we’ll take our guests on Sunday. After a hearty dinner in an historic pub, we stroll  the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace,11121501 wells then through 15th century Penniless Porch,11121502 cathedral passthrough named for the beggars who plied their trade there, and to the soaring cathedral.
On the way to check in to our Bath apartment on Friday we spend an hour or so in Bradford-on-Avon, crossing the bridge over the Avon, 11131501 bradford lockuppeering into the dome-topped “lockup” where troublemakers were tossed for the night centuries ago.
Check out this inn from 1500 – a lively historic pub-with-rooms. 11131501 historic innOn the outskirts of the historic center is a spectacular monastic tithe barn from the early 14th century, 11131501 huge tithe barnwith entries and ceilings high enough for laden wagons to roll right in and deposit a tenth of their production as a tithe (tenth) or tax to the local Abbey.
We’ve noticed several of these dovecotes built into houses –11131502 dovecote I wonder how old this one is?
Our Alfred Street apartment in Bath looks out over the Assembly Rooms  -a perfect location, since our Music and Markets guests will be staying in the lovely Queensberry Hotel, on the other side of these historic rooms where we’ll be for several Mozartfest concerts. We drop our bags, and head out for errands – picking up our concert tickets before spending a minute in the glorious Abbey.11131502 fan vaultingFinding our way to Waitrose for breakfast supplies, we walk  through the Corridor, a lovely old shopping gallery,11131502 passage called corridor check out a Bath-seal approved chemist (a drugstore to us Americans) 11131502 town seal above pharmacy then pause to gaze at the rushing weir by Pulteney Bridge, Bath’s answer to Florence’s shop-lined Ponte Vecchio. 11131502 weirWe’re eager to share this beautiful town with our guests, who will arrive tomorrow!