A week in August, checking out the Cotswolds

Great week, this camping lark could catch on.

All set up at our first campsite, Forest and Wye Valley Camping Site, in the Forest of Death (according to Rionna, I think she misheard).  And the sun shone.

First night, walk to the local pub for some grub, and found a castle!

And back to the campsite in time for bed

The next day we visited Puzzlewood, a unique and enchanting place, reminiscent of the forests of Middle Earth apparently, as Tolkien came here first.

Rionna mixing up a witches brew.  

This is more like it - Symonds Yat Rock (a scenic viewpoint towering 120 metres above the river on the Gloucestershire side).  Some silly Englishman reckons this may be the best view in the world!  Don't think so mate, but it was quite impressive.

Not pictured, but while we were up there we saw three Peregrine Falcons flying around - most impressive.  The nest on the cliff side over there.

Took a walk down to Symonds Yat East, to see the ancient hand ("pull") ferry where the ferryman pulls people across the river using an overhead rope.

Apparently it was good watching this guy do all the hard work!

It was very pretty.

Start of the climb back up to the rock.

Made it.

Another little stroll got us this great view of the River Wye

And back to base to get the barbecue fired up for tea

David, go away.

I'll shut my eyes and it will all go away.

Enjoying the evening, away from all that technology.

Well at least Rionna was without phone.  Warming herself on the barbecue.

On the Tuesday we visited a rather lengthy and not overly impressive Art Sculpture trail at Beechenhurst Lodge.  Couldn't really see any of the sculptures.

Not sure this is getting many points out of ten?

Liked the colours, not impressed with the waymarker!
Then the girls went Go Ape at Mallards Pike and I went for a most enjoyable cycle round the Forest (and to the pub).

In the evening we visited Lydney Harbour on the River Severn.  I guess the tide was out?

No comment!

As it was our last night at this campsite we took a walk down to see the "famous" Slade Brook which is a Site of Scientific Interest with it's unusual 'Tufa' formations, formed from calcium carbonate deposits -The system of Tufa dams and plunge pools form the longest series of such structures in Britain.    
Wasn't really that impressive at all!

Recognise this - Gloucester Cathedral was used for  filming the first, second and sixth Harry Potter films, and some other stuff.  Made someone's day.

Can see how Doctor Foster fell in a puddle - a wet place!

Forget falling in puddles, this place is a time tunnel - Roman babes on the loose.  

Then onto our next campsite, Folly Farm Camping near Bourton on the Water.  

Rain was off the next day, so we strolled around Bourton-On-The-Water.  Very picturesque but rather twee for me.  At least we added a sparkle of colour.

Visited the Cotswold Motoring Museum, which was far better than it sounds, recommended for a rainy day in Bourton-On-The-Water

Everyone was happy!

Then onto Stow-on-the-Wold for a nice lunch.  I liked this place better.

And back to base for some relaxation.

No rest for the wicked though!

This is the life.

And another dry day- breakfast : before we struck camp and headed for Cheltenham.

Final bit of countryside view (maybe).

The Neptune Fountain was built in 1893 and designed by Joseph Hall. The fountain is probably fashioned on the Trevi Fountain in Rome.  And while we were there some bloke proposed to his girlfriend (and she said  yes).

After our first night at Craig and Linda's, the next day we visited Sudeley Castle, and enjoyed their medieval pageant.

Manly pursuits.

Like this?

Impressed yet?

Selling the girls to the church - well why not?

And there was a castle, partly ruined.

The tomb of Catherine Parr, the last of  Henry VIII's wifes.  This is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds.
And on with the pageantry

And a pretty watery view of the castle.

And finally England got beat and Scotland won, so Craig got out the hoover!
Thanks to Craig and Linda for putting us up, and allowing us to enjoy a rugby extravaganza as well as their hospitality.  Until the next time....

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