UK rail trip – 2022
Day 28 – 30th April, 2022
Today I’m off to Salisbury! It’s been almost 25 years since I last visited Salisbury. Salisbury is the closest city to the world-famous Stonehenge. I wouldn’t be visiting Stonehenge today, so no searching to find out whether the Pandorica actually exists. I would be starting from London Waterloo, today. So, a quick trip on the London Undergound and I was there. As usual, my BritRail Pass failed to activate the automatic barriers. So, as I’d done many times before, I showed the pass to the barrier attendant. Annoyingly, he made a big deal about it. In the end, I was allowed through. My train was a South Western Railway class 158. The last time I travelled on this particular set, it was operating for First Transpennine Express in the north of England.
Much of the route was very familiar. At the beginning of 2003, I travelled between London Waterloo and Basingstoke several times a week while I was looking for work. Ultimately, nothing came of any leads in the London area. That’s when I moved on to Manchester and subsequently found work there.
Leaving the station, it was a pleasant half-hour walk to the Salisbury Cathedral. On the way, I passed through the Queen Elizabeth Gardens.
I continued walking towards the cathedral, meandering around the gardens. The path was by no means direct. But that’s ok. It was a nice walk on a rather sunny day.
I crossed over the River Avon. There is more than one River Avon. This is a different one to the River Avon that runs through Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. To many, this could be a little confusing.
After walking into the old town, I stopped in for lunch at a pub called Carwardine’s. I had a pint of cider and some tasty fish and chips.
After a few hours wandering around Salisbury, I made my way back to the station and caught the South Western Railway service back to London Waterloo. This time, it was a class 159. They are quite similar to the 158s,
The return journey was much longer, due to some delays. But that was ok. I was in no hurry. I wasn’t heading back to the hostel straight away. Once I arrive at London Waterloo, I decided I’d walk to the Thames and just watch the river traffic pass by. With the day’s weather, it was an ideal way to spend a couple of hours.
I left the station and found my way to the KFC just across the way. After picking up some chicken, I continued on to the river. It was nice watching the river traffic go by.