At the beginning of June we ventured off on a week's holiday to Worcester, a place I've changed trains in before, but never actually visited properly. It was definitely worth a visit, with loads to do to fill up a whole week, and beautiful scenery.
We stayed in this rather nice looking flat. Although it looks nice, it was actually rather impractical. It turns out that having the kitchen in a row down the side of the living room area like that looks lovely, but means you use up quite a lot of energy walking up and down just doing something like getting breakfast, let alone cooking a meal. It would also be fun if one person is watching TV and the other one is cooking/washing up/running the dishwasher/doing a load of washing.
Diglis Lock, where the Worcester & Birmingham Canal joins the River Severn. We enjoyed watching the barges going through the lock.
Going into Worcester was a pleasant 10 minute stroll along the river banks into the centre of the city.
Worcester has suffered from a lot of floods, and these stones set in the wall by the river show how high it has reached some years.
We did a lot of exploring in the city itself, visiting most of the obvious historical things as well as mooching round the shops. A visit to the Commandery had been recommended to us, but we were disappointed with it. Despite being an incredible building with a lengthy and varied (medieval hospital, military headquarters, family home, factory and college) history, it was really hard to get a grasp of any of that, as all that is on display is a load of empty rooms, accompanied by
one of the worst audio guides I have ever encountered. OK, so I hate audio guides with a passion, generally because they involve silly music and trying to "set the scene", tend to assume that all users are aged about ten and cause visitors to clump around exhibits. And I'm really not an auditory learner, I prefer reading things. This one was complicated by having six different "layers" you could listen to in each room, doing all of one layer took an hour, so you kind of had to stick to one. Except some of them didn't really work as the room we were in at the time didn't exist at the earlier periods of history.
Would have been nice to find out more about these wall paintings...
In some rooms there were things to try out, so I took full advantage.
After the disappointment of the Commandery, we were very surprised by our visit to Tudor House Museum, which hadn't been recommended to us, but which proved to be great fun and really interesting. It's in a 500 year old building, with displays about the building's past use, for things such as spinning, weaving, brewing, coffee shop, school clinic. It's crammed full of stuff, with lovely volunteers to answer questions and lots to see and touch.
Just down the road from Tudor House is Greyfriars, a very tiny National Trust property built in 1480 and rescued from demolition after the Second World War. Inside is a delightful mixture of things collected by the couple who rescued it. It also has a brilliant tea room, and you can sit on the patio and admire the beautiful garden over tea and cake!
And, finally, Worcester Cathedral, which we ended up leaving until the last day as we were out and about on other days, or other venues were only open on certain days. Photography inside required a permit, which I didn't buy, so my only photo is of the outside! Inside is glorious, with plenty to look at, including the tomb of King John (of Magna Carta fame) and also Arthur, Prince of Wales (older brother of Henry VIII, whose death really did change the course of history).
More still to come!