Our host at the Lorne House did not disagree with our proposed stop at Castle Combe, however, she suggested that we should also consider visiting Lacock, 6 miles away. As such we headed for the village at 0900hrs and were very pleased with her recommendation. We walked the town and visited the small country church where Camilla Parker Bowles daughter was married. We did'nt have the time to visit the Abbey which opened at 1030hrs. This town was more open, flat and had the feeling of support to the local farming community.
We next drove to Castle Combe, 12 miles away but in the direction of London, which turned out to be smaller, surrounded by trees and a creek within a hollow. A scene of greater serenity than Lacock. It had the feeling of isolation from the rest of the world. We did not stop as we felt the full impact could be seen from the road. This town was filling with Japanese tourists, Lacock had been filling with Americans.
We then drove the 86 miles to Heathrow via the M4 - an incident free quick trip that started with doubt as to where to find the Avis return depot. The road signs for rentals for terminal 1-3, were sufficient to get us to the Emirates round about. We lucked in and spotted a refuelling station where we were given directions to the depot. Our driving trip in the UK totalled 1260 shoulder aching miles in the Mondeo Station Wagon ( overall happy with the car).
We smoothly, signed the car back in; hopped the ferry vehicle back to terminal 2; purchased our Oyster cards; took the 40 minute Metro to Gloucester Station arriving exactly at 1400hrs. Our hotel was insight of the station and after a relatively smooth checkin we made it to our room to rest.
Late afternoon we walked North via Gloucester Road to Kensington Gardens, walked Kensington Palace and along Palace Green past the sumptuous embassy homes before returning to the hotel via Kensington Gate - a very nice area.
We had early drinks in the hotel bar at 1800hrs awaiting Brian, Ann and Toni who arrived around 1830hrs. A pleasant dinner in the Hotel's restaurant followed with probably a bottle of wine or more too many. We were in bed by 2300hrs after a good catch up - Brian & Ann off to Cambridge in the morning- we plan to visit Toni and "Olive the Barge" - Toni's floating home, on Saturday Morning.