Well we’re back from the Cotswolds. We had mixed weather with Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday being sunny and warm and Thursday and Friday overcast with some showers.
We drove from home to Chipping Campden, where we were staying for two nights, but stopped off at the Rollright Stones, just over the Gloucestershire border into Oxfordshire, on the way. These 77 stones form a perfect circle 104 feet across and stand on a prehistoric trackway at the edge of a ridge.
We continued on to Chipping Campden arriving at around lunchtime. It is a proper working town, not having to survive on tourism alone, but has a lot to offer the tourist. There were many typical cotswold golden stone buildings including the Market Hall.
The following day we walked up Dover’s Hill on the edge of the town which gave some stupendous views over the surrounding countryside.
There were plenty of sheep and lambs about and this lamb seemed pretty ingrigued by us.
A little way north of Chipping Campden is Hidote Manor Gardens – one of the National Trust’s properties. We spent a half day here and what an amazing place it is.
We also had a trip to Broadway as it’s one of those well known picturesque Cotswolds places. Neither of us liked it very much. It is attractive in that it has the typical Cotswold buildings of golden stone but that was it really. It seemed that most of the people there were tourists and most of the businesses lining the main street were aimed at relieving tourists of their money – not a proper working village at all.
Broadway Tower was a bit different. Set out in the middle of nowhere on the top of a hill it’s an interesting feature. We didn’t go up the tower but the views from the top of the hill were amazing.
Thursday turned out to be a cloudy day with showers so we thought that ‘indoors’ would be good and so Snowshill Manor it was. I don’t know quite what to think of it. It’s certainly an extraordinary place with every room crammed with a whole range of artifacts from furniture to bicycles. Apparently the chap who owned it lived in a separate cottage next to the manor and used the manor to store his collection. You’d have to see it to believe it and, no, I didn’t take any photographs because it’s not permitted.
This trip was a good one and more details will appear on the web site pages in due course.
The day dawned bright and sunny – but not for long. The cloud soon blotted out the sun although it was still bright.
We drove the few miles to Wetton Mill in the Manifold Valley which meant going over the border from Derbyshire and into Staffordshire although there was little difference in the countryside. We were still on limestone but the ‘dales’ are now called ‘valleys’.
Having parked the car we walked on a path along the Manifold Valley which, like the Tissington Trail, was once the track of a light railway. We started from near this bridge.
Within about 500 yards all that water in the river disappears underground through the river bed. There is no discernible hole but disappear it does leaving the river bed virtually dry except for the occasional small pool.
Some way further along the path we caught sight or Thor’s Cave and, before you ask, no we didn’t climb up to it. We were both still recovering from yesterday’s exertions.
After walking a few miles we creaked our way back to the car and drove to Alstonefield an attractive little village, typically built of stone in this area, just a few miles from the Manifold Valley.
After walking round the village we moved on to Youlgreave back in Derbyshire by which time the sun had started to break through again.
Near the church there was a narrow lane which descended the valley side to the bottom of the valley.
At the bottom is the River Bradford.
We walked along by the river which had Brown Trout swimming in the most amazingly clear water.
After climbing back up to Youlgreave and the car we moved on to Arbor Low, an ancient stone circle and our last stop for the day.
I’ll leave you with this picture. Tomorrow we return home.
We returned yesterday from our latest trip having been to Brecon and the Brecon Beacons, Carreg Cennen Castle, the City of St. David's, the Pembrokshire coast and finally Marlborough in Wiltshire which included the Avebury Stone Circle. I took about 400 photographs in all but not all of these will appear on the site.
Here are some sample pictures:
One of the views from our hotel bedroom window showing Brecon with the Brecon Beacons (the hills) in the background.
Carreg Cennan Castle perched on it's rocky crag.
Solva Harbour on the Pembrokeshire coast.
Avebury Stone Circle. Unlike Stonehenge you can walk around where you like and touch the stones. It's older than Stonehenge as well.