6. Down South

Having spent a fabulous seven weeks in Derbyshire, up North, we spent our last 9 days going South. Two days in Shropshire, six days in the Cotswolds and the last night in London to make sure we didn't miss our flight.



On our journey we wanted to stop at Cheddar where they make REAL Cheddar cheese. The village is at the bottom of a spectacular gorge



It is now full of tourists and outdoorsy types but it has one cheese shop and the cheese is excellent.



We continued on to our B&B



Next day we made a long trip down to Northern Cornwall. Those of you who have not watched the Doc Martin series should do so, but the next few slides will not make sense. We visited Port Isaac, the Portwenn of the series. A beatiful little Cornish port



They were well aware of why people came - note the inscription on the window of the café where we had lunch.



…and the van parked across the street.



Doc Martin's surgery has now been sold to people who, I'm sure, are fed up of their notoriety



The main street



The school



The pharmacy in its everyday guise



But enough of TV. We struck out across the peninsular to Tintagel. This is a normal country road except there is not usually grass in the middle



Tintagel head has a castle which is rumoured to be the birthplace of King Arthur who is probably the most famous English king - he brought the tribes together in the 6th Century a couple of hundred years after the Romans had left. He used the sword Excalibur and led the Round Table in Camelot etc.



Driving back home. We encountered this sign. I guess they wanted to make the three blind mice feel safer. Actually, cats' eyes are the British name for the lane markers in the middle of the road - they used to be made of two glass reflectors which shone in the headlights just like two cat's eyes



On the way to our next home - a Self-Catering cottage in Wyke Rissington in the heart of the Cotswolds - we ran across this sign



There was indeed a hill



And there was a well at the top. As we climbed up we met various milestones…



Next stop was Avebury. The hill here is a burial site for an important Bronze age person. Imagine the effort to build this with your shovel being a deer antler!



Avebury is mainly famous for its HUGE stone circle



It is about a third of a mile in diameter…



…and contains many huge stones. Nobody has yet figured out all the whys and wherefors of the building.



Having settled in to our new quarters we needed sustenance. Pub food in Britain is excellent



So are the cafes - this one is in Stow-on-the-Wold, our nearest town. It is no longer true that Britain has awful food - we have great food -Indian, French, Italian and Chinese, and they are all really good. Kidding aside, the fish and chips were magnificent as were the lamb shanks and the steak pies. Just don't expect an Omaha steak.



We visited dozens of villages.All beautiful. This is Lower Slaughter, within walking distance of Wyke Rissington where our cottage was.



Children seemed to enjoy the beauty



In Lower Slaughter (great name isn't it?) we ran into an example of repurposing - this is no longer a telephone kiosk..



Just along the road we ran into a beautiful manor and decided to explore





Decidedly worth the exploration as long as cost was no object.



Broadway was another delightful stop



Cirencester was a real find. The Corinium Museum (the Roman name of the town was Corinium) was great





Mosaics galore were found as the town was changed in the 20th and 21st Centuries



This is what the amphitheatre looked like



And here is what we found



On the way back we found a Roman Villa (with great difficulty, I might add). They have excavated part of it





The road said "NO ACCESS TO...". Of course this means a wonderful find. The church was being prepared for a wedding the next day. It is the "personal" church of Lord WhoEver who is Nth cousin to the queen.



This was an interesting tombstone with the carvings of his trade.



Next day we just happened on a very old craft - thatching



They said it would take about four weeks for one man to do the thatching job.



We were in the vicinity, so why shouldn't we be tourists? Anne Hathaway's Cottage. Of course, she married Willian Shakespeare.



One of the more bizzare exhibits was a "womb??



One of the problems with being a tourist is the trinkets. Well, we bought a set of place mats that said how great the Cotswolds were. We had not been to Snowshill. We went. It's great.



We had been overcome by the number of stone "mushrooms" we had seen. In America these are used as supports for a barn to lift it off the gound so the rats don't get the produce. They are now being used as decoration in England.



Another pub. (Just between us girls this is a picture which was taken merely to tell us where we are)



Over Broadway is a ridge and the Broadway Tower is the highest castle in the County. I would love to try to assault this "castle". So much for marketing. But while we were there, one of the "challenges" for ALS occurred - a guy was responding and the ice-bucket was dumped from the top of the tower



Our final day in the Cotswolds was spent near Bibury









And we were lucky enough to see a Water Vole



Au Revoir to Wyle Rissington



Looks Great. But …



We are on our way to London. Why not stop at Blenhaim Palace



Yes.. The birthplace of Winston Churchill







with wonderful gardens



and fountains



we caught one guy skinny dipping in the fountains



Next was Oxford with a glimpse of one of the campuses



And the Bridge of Sighs modelled after the Venice bridge which was so called because the prisoners were led there to jail



The Bodleian Library - the oldest in Britain



with the adjacent Church of St Mary.

After eight weeks of a fabulous vacation it is time to go home to our lovely cottage in San Antonio now called "The Schofield Manor"

Click to return to the Table of Contents