Right, here we go again. Another days sightseeing to tell you about – well, to show you pictures of anyway.
Wednesday, and with the snow still lingering we headed south in to the heart of the Cotswolds and stopped first in Stow – on- the Wold. Just off a main road it is easier of access than some of the tourist spots around here and one can only imagine the coach loads of tourists descending on the market square in the summer. It is a pretty place – though that’s not unusual around here – with the usual attractive buildings and little alleyways. There were a significant number of local hostelries and plenty of independent businesses catering not only for the tourists but the locals too of course.
A little further south is Bourton –on – the water and another gorgeous place with, as the name suggests a river playing a starring role. It is just so pretty and perfect – you could be forgiven for thinking you landed in some American theme parks depiction of a typical English village. We paused for tea and butties to escape the flurries of snow that seemed determined to muscle in on the action.
With tannin and cholesterol levels restored we returned to the car and headed west, to Cheltenham and with the snow slowly turning to rain our plan - to go to the cinema - appeared to be a wise one. We had hoped to be at the cinema by about 1pm but the towns traffic planners put the tin hat on that idea. The whole area was traffic choked and with a baffling array of ‘No Entry’ signs to contend with it was significantly later when we finally got parked up. With two of the films on our list already having started we ended up watching ‘Warm Bodies’. The draw here clearly was Anthony Hoult of ‘Skin's’ fame as the audience was almost entirely young teenage girls – at least until we walked in. For the record, the film was ok, not great but Mr Hoult is quite pretty, if’s that’s your thing.
The rain had eased when we came out, replaced by a damp icy wind that seem to penetrate every corner of your body. I was looking forward to seeing Cheltenham for it’s own sake. Our Lonely Planet promised elegant tree line terraces and we did glimpse, whilst chasing around trying to beat the traffic, a couple of smart Regency squares akin to those that can be found back home in Brighton. Our memories though will be of a non-descript town centre that thanks to the weather was certainly not looking it’s best.
We did however buy a new toy to play with. We’d talked for ages about getting a tablet pc for our travels and finally purchased one before returning, through the fading light, via the pretty Winchcombe to a nice snug Patsy.
Another night in, though not an alcohol free one. Trev continued with the Chardonnay, playing with his new toy, whilst I, having drained the last of the Cab Sauv, moved on to the Shiraz. With the radio on quietly in the background I Idly surfed for a bit of porn on the netbook, disturbed occasionally by the odd expletive from the other side of the ‘van as Trev got to grips with the his new gadget.
Look out for part 5 coming very soon – more stunningly beautiful places, a welcome change in the weather and a visit from a man in a van….