Sunday, June 24, 2012


We had a lovely week in Cheltenham at the end of May. I'd been here several times before, for Greenbelt (blog posts for Greenbelts 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011) but never actually been into the centre before.
I managed to fit in a large number of yarn shops during our holiday, but I think I'll leave them for another post.

We explored various Cotswolds villages (along with their yarn shops). This is in Bourton-on-the-Water, where we managed to arrive before the coach parties...

We went in the Cotswold Motor Museum (more the OH's cup of tea than mine, but it was actually quite interesting!). It's very quirky, with lots of interesting displays (not all about cars).

 And wandered along the river looking for somewhere to have lunch.

We spent a day in Cirencester, apart from the yarn shop(!) there was the excellent Corinium Museum, where we could have spent a lot longer.
It is mainly Roman, but there are also sections on prehistory, the Anglo-Saxons, Civil War, and more recent history of Cirencester.

And wandered over to find the remains of the Roman walls around the town.

We revisited Chedworth Roman villa (last visited over 17 years ago by me on a school trip, and even longer for the OH!). It has certainly changed quite a bit since then. There's even a café now.

A lot of the  more fragile mosaics and things are housed in a proper building now.

 But I did remember looking down the site, the length of the villa.

 There was an audio-tour, which I usually avoid, but we're thinking about getting some at work so I thought I ought to test it. That's the spring behind me, still supplying water to the site - which is why they have to use disposable plates and cups in the café!

 And look - a hypocaust! Brings back happy memories of the Cambridge Latin course...

 And there was even someone dressed up as a Roman demonstrating natural dyes used on local wool and some weaving.

On another day we went to Gloucester, and apart from the yarn shop handily situated next to the cathedral, we explored the cathedral itself.

 You may recognise the cloisters if you've seen the Harry Potter films.

 Unfortunately there was a large seating platform set up right in front of the organ which disrupted the view down the nave, but you still get an idea of the scale.

On another day we did a slightly mad rush around three National Trust properties, as well as having lunch in Broadway (another Cotswold village, with, ahem, a yarn shop). I think my favourite was Hailes Abbey, a 13th century Cistercian Abbey - all in ruins now, but a very beautiful and evocative site. Although probably best avoided if it's raining as there isn't much cover!

Then onto Snowshill Manor, which is a completely insane house, stuffed full of collections of one man. I found it decidedly odd. Although the gardens are nice. It was a bit too dark to take pictures inside the house.

 And finally, Chastleton House, which was lovely, although a bit crazy as we arrived at 15:50, with last admission at 16:00 and then had to speed round the house before they closed up for the day. It started raining whilst we were there, so it was probably a good thing there wasn't time to look round the garden too.

I don't appear to have taken many pictures in Cheltenham itself. We arrived to find that the museum was closed for refurbishment, so the only pictures I took in the town itself were of the yarn shop(!), the church I went to on the Sunday morning and the park we found where the Transition Town people had set up communal vegetable plots.

And finally, on the way home we stopped off at the Uffington White Horse. This being Britain we'd gone on holiday in 29°C heat the week before and returned in cold fog so there wasn't an awful lot to see there.

And I think that's all for now. I have pictures of yarn purchases still to go, plus another weekend away we had in mid-June, and a day out we had on the bank holiday weekend.


Nic said...

Wow, you have been busy!! I used to work in Cirencester and spent a fair bit of time in Gloucester too. The Cotswolds are such a lovely part of the country!

Sue H said...

Are you Greenbelt-ing this year? My yarn-aholic daughter will be there for the umpteenth time!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks beautiful, thank you for sharing the pictures and your comments. All of it is lovely, and I'm looking forward to the yarn shop purchases post!

We don't have a yarn shop near here, so I'm always jealous and intrigued to see others post about yarn shops. I hope to visit one someday... maybe...

Mary deB said...

I was in Bourton-on-the-Water when I was 5, and that's a long time ago. We have favourite family pictures of my toddler sister peering in the miniature church windows, and I believe my brother still has a scar from the parrot at Birdland snapping at him. Ah, those were the days.

Mary Anne said...

It seems you've had a wonderful holiday with all those visits to manors and churches and museums and yarn shops! Lovely links to visit too.