On to the Cotswold

brighton-20After a relaxing weekend with friends and hearing Ian sing in the choir at the Winchester Cathedral it was another overcast day as we revised our plans for the next couple of days. Originally we intended to head to Cornwall before going to Berkshire and Oxford area to explore the area we’ve seen on all those Midsomer Murders we’ve watched over the years. So based on the forecast we figure we’ll explore the Cotswolds.

Just down the road from our friend’s house we saw the first thatched buildings of our trip. These are alms houses originally for the deserving poor. I suspect that’s not who occupies them now. The sun couldn’t quite decide whether it wanted to come out or not.

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Salisbury Plains, sort of like Kansas – NOT. Well okay, there is some winds and it is gently rolling but instead of cattle and pig feed lots you’ve got tank crossings. Yes, you read that right tank crossings abound since there’s a large army training base that uses the area for tank training and testing. Between this and other trips I’ve crossed the Salisbury Plans half a dozen times and never once seen a tank. I have seen tracks once the paved section of the crossing ends but that’s the closest I’ve come to one.

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Note you want to make sure you have at least 40-50 miles of gas in your tank because gas stations on the plains are few and not easy to find.  Traffic on a Sunday when you stay off the M and single digit A roads is light. The views were sweeping and posted speed was 60mph. Not too shabby a way to spend the day. Though it wasn’t long before we were back on equally scenic roads but without the sweeping views.

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Dinner started calling our names so we headed to the Colesbourne Arms gastropub for a traditional Sunday Cavery. My lamb was fantastic but Steve was disappointed that his first choice of beef was already sold out before we sat down to eat at 7. He did say his chicken was excellent enjoyed with real ale.

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Next morning we headed over to Stratford upon Avon where we had booked into a service flat so we could do some laundry. With only limited packing space you need to do that fairly often.

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brighton-26brighton-20-3Not having breakfast provided by our lodging for a change we decided to ride to Broadway Tower and see if they had a tea shop. They did though I wasn’t particularly wild about the thick gravel in the parking lot.

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Lovely breakfast of smoked salmon with scrabbled eggs and good coffee. 

For a complete change for the modern interior and square brick service flat our lodging for the night was at the Faulkland Arms a 16th century pub in the small village of Tew.

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One of the reviews said that the rooms were nice with modern bathrooms but getting to them with luggage could be a challenge.

stairsThe widest section of those stairs is about 7” and if you had large shoulders you’d have trouble walking up without turning sideways. View from our window is a school but at night all the local single scene took place at the smoking tables outside and underneath our windows.  Good thing their food and beer was decent. I have to admit was impressed at the number of women in 4-6” stilettos who were managing to drink and walk on less than ideal surfaces in them.

img_3298_28221After a good breakfast we headed off the next morning for our first National Trust property visit.

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