Pub lunch at Cold Aston today, yay!!! We again both had roast beef which was even better than the last. Met a nice group of local people at the pub who were very interested in what we were doing with regards to our travel and asked for our blog site. It is very windy today, however given the size of our lunch have decided to go for a walk to work some of it off. Left the pub to very dark skies so have decided to have a cuppa first and see what the weather brings. 30 minutes later we are going to risk it and went for a walk at the back of the place where we are staying. Again we walked through private properties on the public pathways up to a paddock a little way from where we are staying and made friends with three old horses. They looked very well fed but could have done with a nice brush of their manes. Fed them some grass, gave them a few rubs on their necks and faces and went on our way again, back home. Equine entertainment again this afternoon although it was a different horse today. This one was very pretty but a bit feisty. The lady riding it had a bit of a struggle controlling it. It is lovely looking out our window and watching these beautiful animals perform even if they aren’t necessarily doing as they should. The wind has increased as the day wears on so it is going to be a cold night.
Today we packed up and headed to Warwick leaving the beautiful Cotswolds behind. Only one minor issue with the directions which isn’t so bad considering we are back in a city. Found the Lower Heathcote Farm Caravan Club CL site and have set up after first visiting Sainsbury’s to do our weekly shop. Had a walk around the site which is next to a trout farm. Sadly it is closing in June due to the land being developed for housing. Such a shame. On speaking to the owner we have realised we are in the wrong spot, there are two sites here, one is a CL site, the other private, however we are very happy where we are so are staying put. Doesn’t matter either way as both properties are owned by the same family. The sun is shining this afternoon and apparently we are in for some hot weather. Bring it on!
Today we walked into Warwick. We were originally going to catch the bus however when we flagged it down, it didn’t stop! We later found out it was the wrong bus! Warwick is only 1.8 miles (2.88 kms) from where we are staying, so it was a pleasant walk. We visited the Mill Garden which is positioned on the banks of the River Avon beneath the walls of Warwick Castle. Mill gardens are at the end of Mill Street and is famous for its 15th and 16th century buildings. Beautiful buildings, some with walls you were amazed were able to still stand due to the lean on them.
We then walked into the old town and it had a lovely feel about it. We stopped in the market place for lunch after visiting the stunning Collegiate Church of St. Mary. We climbed the 160 steps of the tower to get an amazing view over Warwick. On a clear day you can see the spires of Gloucester cathedral. We couldn’t however see them today but had a view over Warwick Racecourse, which is surprisingly large. On the way home, we had a walk through St Nicholas Park which had some nice gardens, riverside walks, kids playground, cafe, mini golf, lots to do in a lovely setting. Back to Matilda and we sat outside in the sunshine for a couple of hours, I read and Dave played with his new gas bottles which were delivered today to the site. Just need to install them, which may be another story in itself!
Today we headed off to Warwick Castle with our discount voucher in hand that the lady at the Tourist office told us about. All we had to do was buy a box of Kellogg’s cereal that had a two for one offer on it. It actually saved us £18 so was well worth it although the day was still very expensive having to pay extra for the Castle Dungeon tour. There was a lot to see, the Bowman show where the archer showed a couple of styles of shooting an arrow as well as some of the other armoury used in that era. We walked through the Great Hall and State rooms and went back later to do the tour where we learnt quite a bit about the Greville family who owned the castle for two centuries prior to selling to the Taussaud company in 1978 due to bankruptcy. The eighth Earl of Warwick has nothing to do with the Castle or Warwick and lives in Perth, WA. He apparently is very wealthy in his own right having made his money in mining in Australia. He is also reputed to own quite a lot of property in Bali. We then did the Castle Dungeon tour which was great. Actors role playing medieval characters in five different stage settings, it was a lot of fun. We walked through a few of the towers and the Barbican battlements with amazing views of the surrounding area. Our last stop was the Birds of Prey show where we saw American Bald Eagles, a couple of vultures and the most beautiful owl. Home time and another nice walk home. An exhausting day so hopefully we can have a quieter day tomorrow, Dave just has to fit the new gas bottles, could be an interesting day?
We had a lazy sort of day today. It started with a bit of a lay in, before Dave starting to fit the two gas bottles after borrowing a drill from the owners of the CL site. Everything went well, the only problem was the thread on one of the hoses having been cross threaded so we ventured into Leamington to the Morrisons petrol station where we needed to fill up with LPG. Dave took off to the panel beaters next door who sorted the hose out. Filled up with LPG, surprisingly only £20 for 2 bottles. First time we tried to light it, the flame went out. A bit of a jiggle with the auto changeover valve and everything is now in working order which means we can venture into Europe without any LPG gas problems. Had a walk around the housing estate across the road and visited the display home. Very nice however the standards here appear to be different to home, not sure what the prices were like, we didn’t want to appear eager, so continued on our walk.
Back into Warwick today and a visit to the Saltisford canals and had a nice walk along the river looking at the canal boats. Stopped and had a chat to a nice couple who lived on a canal boat and also owned a Motorhome. They have travelled extensively and gave us a few tips on places to stay. From there we went back to the town and sat outside to have a bit of lunch. We then walked to the Hill Close Gardens which were originally used by Victorians living above their businesses to escape from the crowded town. Their owners went there after work and on Sunday’s to tend to their plots or just to relax. They are now owned by the council and have been restored. A bit of a disappointment as most of the gardens had been hoed and there weren’t too many flowers, but it was a nice walk just the same. We stopped in at the pub to send off a couple of emails and to download a map for our next leg. Another busy day! We are going to make an early start tomorrow as there are a couple of places we would like to stop on the way to Chipping Campden so early to bed!
We were all packed up by 9, we have our pack up routine down pat now. The first couple of times we didn’t check our list and forgot to turn things off, lock drawers but that is a thing of the past now. We drove to Stratford-on-Avon, what a lovely town on the Avon river. Had a good walk around, saw Shakespeare’s birthplace as well as some character old buildings. A market was on as well so we had a walk through that and bought some light blue vein cheese as well as some more Hereford Hop.
Back in the van and off to Chipping Campden and the Wold’s End Farm CC CL site, our home for the next 4 nights, well that was the plan. Got to the site and after speaking with the owners, were directed to a paddock that we were sharing with some old Rams that had been put out to pasture. That was okay. The owners provided us with an extension cord so we could have power as there was none on this sight. Unfortunately the reverse polarity light came on, which is not good. We didn’t have an adaptor to change it back to normal polarity so we now have no power. Running solely on gas and our leisure battery which is what we will be doing when we wild camp, so I guess we are now wild camping for the first time. It’s not a bad thing, gives us a chance to see how much gas we use over the next few days while we are still in civilisation before we venture out into true wild camping. Haven’t yet decided whether we will stay the full four days, we will make that decision tomorrow.
Ok, so the decision has been made. We are out of here! Chipping Campden is a lovely place, we had a big 3 hour 10 km walk this morning up to Dover’s Hill via the Cotswolds way, which is a long walking path that covers about 102 miles around the Cotswolds from Chipping Campden to Bath and is widely used. We walked through Lynches Wood through big oak trees and carpets of bluebells.
The climb to Dover’s Hill was a long one but definitely worth it for the view. The gardens here are stunning, with tulips, daffodils and flowering trees all in full bloom.
We have a couple of minor things that Matilda needs attending to, so we have been booked in to have her seen to on 29th April. The repair shop is near Cheltenham which is our next stop so we decided to leave a bit earlier than originally planned, plus we are both very keen to get down to Bath again. That is the beauty of motorhoming, nothing is set in concrete and we can change our minds as often or as little as we like. The scenery on the way to Cheltenham was just beautiful and on the way we stopped at Winchcombe which was a nice little town. Took a walk to Sudeley Castle but decided against paying £14.50 each ($56.80) to have a look as most of the castle is still used for private residences and you couldn’t visit the majority of it.
After lunch in the car park (you can do that when your kitchen goes everywhere with you) we headed off to Cheltenham which is a lot bigger than I thought it would be and the park we are staying at is lovely. We have all the mod cons, EHU, wifi, laundry and all the motorhome service points so I think we will be very happy here. Currently we are sitting under our awning on a warm sunny day, 19 degrees with clear skies. Ah, the retirement life!
We have had a very busy day today. While I cleaned everything inside, Dave washed and waxed Matilda and she is glowing she is so clean. Took him 7 hours, partly due to everyone who walked past having a chat. Spoke to our kids today on Skype which was fantastic, didn’t realise how much we were missing them until we saw them! Have to mention the Motorhome park again. We are staying at Briarfields Motel and Touring Campsite in Cheltenham. The park is so clean, really hot showers, £4 laundry to wash and dry, anti bacterial wipes at the toilet disposal site, beautifully maintained gardens, strong wi- fi signal, we are in heaven. The young couple running the place have been here for 4 years and are doing a wonderful job getting this park up to scratch. David and I would highly recommend this park if you are coming to Cheltenham.
Had a nice day. After going to Go Outdoors for a couple of things and doing our weekly shop we headed off to the city centre of Gloucester. We first visited the dock area where there were a few canal boats however they also had an area which housed some beautiful old sailing ships, some were dry docked for repair. There was also a paddle steamer that has been set up for boat trips with accommodation, food etc. The dock area is full of old warehouses that have been turned into apartments, nicely decorated from what we could see in the real estate shop.
From there we visited the cathedral. What a building, very large and full of gothic architecture, splendid stained glass windows and a cloister (which was used in the first two Harry Potter movies) that was just beautiful. The ceiling in the cathedral was cross vaulted, which probably doesn’t mean much to most, but check out the photo! From here we had a walk through the pedestrian shopping mall before heading home, an enjoyable day.