Author Archives: Kenny Mitchell

Slimbridge to Cirencester – 28 May 2019

We wanted to go to Tewksbury but it was full, so booked into the site at Cirencester instead.  Took the most obvious route along the A419, which is an utterly dreadful road.  We won’t be going on that one again.

Cirencester is nice, but on the Wednesday it rained cats and dogs.  Nicer on  Thursday and great pizzas at the campsite for dinner.

St John the Baptist, Cirencester

Bristol to Slimbridge – 24 May 2019

We didn’t want to be travelling too far on a Friday before a bank holiday, especially around the West Country and M5.  We found a campsite at Slimbridge a few miles up the road so we went for it.

Tudor Caravan Park is a very nice site with a pub next door and a cafe across the road.  However, unless you fancy paying lots of money to look at otters, ducks and other similar animals at the local wildlife trust, there is very little to do.

Swans on the canal

Bristol – 18 to 23 May 2019

We went round the SS Great Briton which is a very cool ship.  There is nothing amazing about it in this day and age, but it was built in 1843 and was in service for 90 years.  It was the first of just about everything in anything of this scale – propeller driven, iron hull, and the Cutty Sark, elsewhere in this blog was built at around the same time.

SS Great Britain

Madman up a mast – he paid money to get to do this

Then we went to the flight museum at Flinton, which was a little bit of a let down.  It has a Concorde which is great, but it could do with another hanger with more planes to make it better value.

Concorde

Obviously we also visited the Clifton Suspension bridge:

Clifton Suspension Bridge

Cheltenham – 09 March 2019

Day four in Cheltenham and it has finally stopped raining. It is still freezing and windy but at least the sun is out, so after a few days tramping round the shops, off we go to Gloucester to see the docks:

Gloucester docks basin

Gloucester docks Warehouses

Gloucester docks Signpost

On the subject of the Falkirk Wheel, here it is.

Late evening and it is pouring with rain again.  Tomorrow we head for Birmingham, with high wind warnings and threats of snow and hail.  Great.

Oxford – 05 March 2019

Got the bus to Oxford, 5 quid each return. Grey miserable weather, loads of people, cyclists going for the kill made this not a pleasant experience. Also, the town centre maps are not really very good.  Oxford is probably very nice, but the odds were stacked against it on this visit and we couldn’t wait to get back on the bus.  Note for the future – don’t get off the bus back at the roundabout, carry on to the next stop at the palace and walk back as there is less chance of getting run over.

Oxford

Visited Blenheim Palace – 05 March 2019

The trouble with places like this, where the landed gentry or aristocracy fling open the doors of their country piles to the hoi polloi for a fee, is that it seems like it is all a cynical attempt to get money to finance their lavish lifestyles.  Granted,  it costs a lot to keep a house like this and its gardens in good order, and there has sadly been a lot of such structures fall into disrepair, there is always an argument that these places are too important to be left in the hands of families, and should be passed to the state for their upkeep and preservation.

When you wander around a French Chateaux and marvel at the opulence of it all, while thinking about the poor peasants who suffered building it, at least you know the aristocrats got their comeuppance in the end.  In the UK that process didn’t happen, so we got Boris Johnson as a reward.

Anyway, in the case of Blenheim, it has to be said they should have a few more rooms open to the public, give this size of the place.  Also, with all the history going on, it is very Winston-oriented – understandable, but a shame.

Good points are that there a plenty of staff, the eateries are good value with decent produce, and the shop has good quality items at not too ridiculous prices.

Blenheim Palace facade

Statue at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Duck

We get to Woodstock – 03 March 2019

After an uneventful drive from Moreton-on-Marsh we got to the Caravan and Motorhome site at Woodstock.  It took about 20 minutes to walk to the village, which was a typically attractive Cotswold affair, with some small independent shops selling interesting looking stuff.  Also a Co-op for the basics and plenty bars and coffee places.

Tomorrow we will do Winston’s birthplace.