I am fortunate to have a transition day - on a 6 hour train journey from Cheltenham Spa to Edinburgh - to catch up on my blog. We covered so much ground yesterday that I split the post into two, leaving the Cotswold section for today rather than snapping fleeting shots of countryside from a train window.
From Cheltenham and Tewkesbury yesterday we headed out towards the Cotswolds, with our first destination being Stanton. I haven't visited the Cotswolds before and was taken aback by the warmth, unity and richness of the stone which became more golden the closer we got.
As I mentioned yesterday, I was needing to be very selective in what I photographed, as I had not brought a back-up battery.
We passed through Stanway
I am now comfortably established in my Edinburgh hotel with time to relax.
and into Stow-on-the-Wold
to Bourton-on-the-Water where we stopped to have lunch and walk around. It was a lovely place to stop, with the clear, narrow, shallow stream running right through the town, traversed by a series of low stone bridges.
where we watched mothers play in the water with their kids, little kids getting very wet, people walking their dogs and lots of people enjoying the sun.
Back at the car park, Eddie took a photo to prove we'd been here. I'm glad to have proof that I finally wore the only short-sleeved top I brought with me!
After lunch we went looking for Sudeley Castle, where Christine had been a volunteer guide. It was once Catherine Parr's home. Jane Grey, Ann Boleyn and Elizabeth I stayed there, as did Richard III and Charles I.
We found the carpark and visitor centre twice, but never found a vantage point where we could see the Castle. We kept being diverted by roadworks and we laughed a lot. My battery was by now low, so I do not have photos of our loops and diversions. I can confidently say that the Sudelley Castle lands are extensive, that you dress up in Tudor clothes at the visitors' centre and there are pretty views. The castle has a number of Tudor Treasures.
We came over the hills, through Guiting and back into Cheltenham where we stopped off at the Pump Room,
the Cathedral and Town Hall. I was by now saving my remaining battery for the racecourse, so I have borrowed photos from my the school website.
Cheltenham is a very fine city and I was once again fortunate in my guides. I wish I could capture the pleasure of being in the company of cousins and their partners. We have picked up after decades apart without missing a beat, laughed a lot, talked endlessly and shed a few tears. It has done me a great deal of good.