Today was a sad day – one I was trying not to think about the whole time, the return of my awesome BMW… and the end to this adventure (but a start to many more)

DAY 16 ITINERARY

A – ELCOT PARK
B – HIGHCLERE CASTLE – aborted!
C – NEWBURY
D – DONNINGTON CASTLE

Z – THE END – LONDON HEATHROW – return car @ 3pm

Last leg back to London was close to 2hrs as I chose to go the smaller A and B roads instead of motorway the whole way

Highclere Castle (or lack thereof)

Private function was on (d*mmit!) – they made me reverse out – saw only the top of the castle! This castle is hard to check out since Downton Abbey and there are limited tickets and events – I tried at the beginning of the trip as well but the tickets were sold out and now again at the end – looks like will be another trip…

And thats all I got! 😂

NEWBURY

Berkshire

What a great find! I wasnt going to stop here but because it was between Highclere Castle and Donnington and the fact that I couldnt get into Highclere I had time, I stopped here for a while and explored, it had a nice feel to it, wasnt a large town and it had an easy going vibe and friendly crowd, chatty and smiling

Motorway the whole way

The town centre around its large market square retains a rare medieval Cloth Hall, an adjoining half timbered granary, and the 15th c. St Nicolas Church, along with 17th c. & 18th c. listed buildings, has its own unique style

A local and I couldnt figure out the parking machine for onstreet parking so had to find another parking lot (circled) apparently the parking attendants like making a lot of money for their money hungry councils and book people all the time)
The start of the High St
plenty of shops and cafes
High st had all the usual shops and restaurants
St Nicholas Parish Church
Swans loving the canal running through the town

DONNINGTON CASTLE

Berkshire

A beautiful twin towered gatehouse once was a fashionable fortified residence of the 14th c.

Built in 1380s for Sir Richard de Abberbury, a knight in service of the black prince and eventually taken under royal ownership

Donnington by drone – Surrounding the castle are remains if artillery defences constructed in 1643-44
Donnington Castle was originally built in a roughly rectangular form, The west facade projected outwards irregularly. It was surrounded by a curtain wall, with a round tower at each of the four corners. Roughly halfway along the two walls running from west to east were two square towers. The courtyard enclosed by the curtain walls probably had a hall, kitchens, and accommodation for guests. Measured from the inner sides of the curtain walls, the courtyard measured 67 feet (20 m) north to south and 108 ft (33 m) east to west
Walking up towards the tower
The castle was badly damaged during a 20month siege in the civil war
The surrounding countryside
Had my english heritage card for free parking and entrance into any english heritage attraction

RETURN OF THE MERC 😦

Bit of a drive to the finish line – 3pm cut off time

London Heathrow – Budget / Avis Terminal 5 location – Bath Road, Holiday Inn location

I really was so grateful to have had this awesome car, and I felt like it did really well on the small and narrow roads and beeped out warnings when it had to and kept me on the track, was tough handing him back

Did 1065 miles in 16 days – I wish I had more time! I had so much more things to see and do

The end of the beginning of more roadtrips in the beautiful UK!!