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:
Boring journey pouring with rain, mostly along the A40:
We planned to go to the nearby Asda to stock upon food and drink, but no chance, the place was packed with not much room to park a vehicle like ours, and no doubt crazy queues at the checkouts.
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.
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.
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.
We are on a bit of a tour of the Cotswolds. A few days in Moreton-in-Marsh again. Wandered around the antique shops as usual buying nothing. Friday took us (on the bus) to Stow-on-the-Wold, where we looked at the Cotswold County furniture place, since we need some bedroom and dinning room furniture. Amazing showroom and we may go with them for the dinning room, but probably not for the bedroom.
Stow-on-the-Wold is not too bad, but the chances of getting run over are high, tourists wander aimlessly, and selfish pedestrians are just selfish.