England 15: Marlborough & Devizes; last pre-!DISASTER! entry

I really will get to the impending !!!DISASTER!!!! next entry. I just want to get pictures of Marlborough in since we were there every day, and also stick in a glimpse of Devizes. THEN I’ll relate the !!!DRAMA!!!! that was Tuesday and Wednesday. And do an Avebury entry later as of course it needs its own.

SO. Marlborough is wonderful. I looooove Marlborough. We all loved it; Baker B and I decided we are moving to England and that’s where we’re living. It’s probably expensive; we don’t care!! It’s gorgeous. It’s a small town, a market town as the city website calls it, with a really nice High Street (what we in the US would probably call a main street). Tons of shops, and apparently most are local businesses. It’s close to Avebury and Stonehenge and in the middle of all the amazing ancient artifact areas and breathtaking scenery. Way back during the First Big England Trip, Kim and I ate dinner in Marlborough on our way back from Stonehenge to our Canal Boat in Sawley, and we were so impressed with how pretty it was, and regretted not having much time to spend there. So we were thrilled to go back for a whole week.

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Oddly I seem to have only taken that one picture of the parked cars on the high street– how strange. Especially since I took about ten million pictures of Marlborough.

The street is one-way, each direction, and cars are parked along the sidewalks as well. It made getting out of the central parking spots a little difficult with the Weirdly-Wide-Hard-To-Steer Focus. The parking spots are quite narrow, and people fold their side mirrors in to keep from banging them on other cars. You have to put money in the car park box which I actually thought was fun since it allowed me to practice counting out pence without feeling like I was making people wait (usually I either used my debit card or just shoved notes at people). By the time we left I felt like a pence-counting-pro. There’s another big parking area off behind the high street on one side too. Marlborough is a busy little town!

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And it has fantastic alleyways and back roads:

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Baker B and Kim. Baker B will not ever let you take a nice normal picture of him.

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The Bear:

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We went to The Bear quite a lot. It had excellent beer and excellent (and surprisingly affordable) food. I had a mushroom stroganoff one day that was so delicious I was tempted to lick the plate. It’s very non-fancy.

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Marlborough has its own White Horse. It’s not as mysterious as some of the others; it was cut out in 1804 by boys at a local school.

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And there are pretty paths around town. And adorable lambs….

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And of course lots of beer! Kim got hooked on ginger beer, which IS delicious, if a little sweet — the extreme gingeryness helps balance out the sweetness. I have not been able to find ginger beer anywhere here. We have non-alcoholic ginger beer, but after having the real, alcohol-full thing, the non-alcoholic is kind of pointless. Baker B was drinking the Stella in this photo, and I had the pint of… something else. I love bitter beer, and I remember this was the house beer at the Castle and Ball hotel, but can’t remember what it was. I DID write it down, though — maybe I’ll remember to come back and update this. Hahahaha.

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AND … Devizes! Devizes is maybe 7 or 8 miles from Marlborough. Baker B stayed in Devizes while we were in London. He wasn’t crazy about it, mostly due to the impossible parking, the crazy-making, too-wide car, his weird messy landlord (who was a nice, although odd, guy) (and the room was ridiculously inexpensive, so he really can’t complain too much) and the whole getting-accosted-at-the-old-church thing which kind of freaked him out. So we were viewing Devizes through Baker B’s glad-to-be-away-from-there eyes. It didn’t look like “Wiltshire’s Hidden Gem” to us, but it did have some nice old buildings. AND I was just reading about the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, which is in Devizes and has just opened a wing containing the largest display of Stonehenge-era artifacts anywhere, most of which have been packed away till now.

It is about the size of Marlborough — some 11.000 people. But not nearly as pretty. Or as busy.

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The Accosting Church:

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A castle up on the hill! It’s a private residence now.

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The Wadsworth brewery. It looked VERY impressive:

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Baker B’s lodgings! Not a very good view. The Hare and Hounds is the pub; his lodgings were in the attached white building on the left- his room was the top window on the right – the dark looking window right by the upstairs of the pub. Sadly we just found out that the kind pubowner died a few weeks ago, of cancer. I think it was quite sudden. Baker B liked the pub (with the exception of the BIG LOUD PARTY the last night) and hung out there a bit.

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We also made a friend:

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Ok, I think that is quite enough. Longest entry yet?!??!! And maybe, maybe, I will finally get to DRAMA!DAYS!!! this weekend. How amazing would that be???


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November 8, 2013

Loved the photo with cars parked on the street, ON THE WRONG SIDE, heh heh.

November 9, 2013

no wonder you want to live there!

November 10, 2013

It is all so clean. Wow. I heard an interview with David Sedaris (he lives in England now) who say folks throw trash from their cars all the time there. Maybe not in town? I so need to go there. Absolutely must.

November 10, 2013

Thanks again for taking the time to document all this and sharing it with us. That is one handsome fellow there at the bottom but don’t tell Sam that, k?

gorgeous 🙂

November 14, 2013

So that’s where Willow got to that night …… Well I’m just glad to know he was in good company!