A full day’s tour to sensational Stonehenge,
charming Salisbury and its magnificent Cathedral
plus a close-up view of the famous Magna Carta
...with the bonus of several fascinating Jewish aspects too!
Join me for a wonderful day of touring that certainly delights all ages! The day begins with my collecting you from your accommodation in London and then, travelling in a comfortable vehicle, we head west crossing into the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.
It will be a magical journey back in time as we visit some of England's most fascinating and famous iconic sites that have delighted visitors for centuries.
Our first stop is the most acclaimed prehistoric monument in the world and now one of the selected few and prestigious World Heritage sites. The Stonehenge Circle of monumental stones stands alone in a vast empty tract of Salisbury Plain, its origins dating back nearly 5,000 years.
It has been home to pagan religion and spiritual worship, not to mention public debate ever since as to what this vast collection of giant stones was really intended for? Was it to observe the moon, a temple to the sun or an elaborate cemetery? Who were the incredible people who carried these massive 40 ton rocks for over 100 miles and then hauled them into position before setting about carving them?
I will unlock the secrets of this remarkable feat of ancient engineering and design. After enjoying a wander around the giant stones we will step inside Neolithic huts to discover the tools and everyday objects of prehistoric life ...and then it’s a visit to the adjoining world-class Stonehenge Exhibition and Visitor Centre with its 250 ancient objects.
From Stonehenge we take a 20 minute journey through Salisbury Plain, the vast flatlands where American, Canadian and British troops mustered before the D-Day landings of World War 2. We then arrive at picturesque Salisbury, known as 'the city in the countryside' because it is so quintessentially English. It's easy to understand why Salisbury is named by the Lonely Planet guide as one of the world's Top 10 cities to visit.
Our first stop in this delightful historic city is for a lunch break. Clients have the choice of either a free hour to explore Salisbury or, if preferred, we call into a quaint timber-beamed 14th century family pub (it’s the white building in the centre of the picture on the right). On offer at this charming hostelry is not only tasty lunchtime food but also a host of thrilling tales which I relate as we step from one quirky room to another, including the little-known secret chamber where Winston Churchill and General Dwight D. Eisenhower discussed the Allies’ impending Normandy Landings of World War 2. (A kosher packed lunch can be arranged if required)
After your lunch break we stroll through the quaint lanes and alleyways to Britain's finest medieval Cathedral set against a backdrop of the beautiful Wiltshire countryside and surrounded by historic buildings and museums within the spectacular Cathedral Close.
Marvel at the stunning Gothic architecture as we discover both the past and the present within this breathtaking Cathedral and while I recount one enthralling tale after another. There are the spectacular stained glass windows to behold; the exquisit vaulted ceilings; the awesome tombs, one after another; and Salisbury Cathedral also boasts the oldest working clock in the world plus the tallest spire in the UK.
Then we step inside the Cathedral’s grand Chapter House to view close up what many clients say is one of the highlights of this visit to Salisbury ...it is the best preserved original copy of the illustrious Magna Carta, dating back eight centuries to 1215 and not only the basis for democracy in England but also a document that is treated with near-religious reverence in the USA. The rights that are proclaimed in the Magna Carta found their way into the American Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
As Stephen Zack, past chairman of the American Bar Association, says: "Magna Carta is extremely important to Americans who learn about it in grade school. Our Supreme Court judges in the United States say how crucial Magna Carta is to American law."
I will also point out astonishing Jewish references in the Magna Carta and while we are in the Chapter House we will gaze at some remarkable wall reliefs depicting recognisable Jewish scenes from the Five Books of Moses.
From Salisbury we take the ride back to London full of wondrous memories of a truly exciting and enthralling day.