An Abbey, a visit to Broadway, and another Castle…

Somewhere in The Cotswolds
Somewhere in The Cotswolds

I’ll always remember my first proper day in England on that visit way back in September 1995.

Aunt Anne and Uncle Tom took us across from Gloucester to the markets at Chepstow Racecourse. It was raining and we bought cockles with vinegar and pepper in these little plastic bags to eat as we  walked around. When it was time for lunch we stopped at the big hotel in Tintern, overlooking Tintern Abbey, and ate roast pork that tasted more like pork should taste than I’d ever had.

I couldn’t comprehend that:

  • there were things that were as old as the Abbey
  • we’d passed into another country (Wales)…just like that
  • any river could be as tidal as the Severn was.


Now twenty years later as we crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales and I said, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen- welcome to Wales where the local time is 10.32am and the temperature on the ground is a balmy 9 degrees. Tracey Airlines thanks you for flying with us and wishes you a safe onward journey,’ I expected Sarah to show a little of the wonder that I felt. Perhaps it was because we’d already had Scotland. Perhaps it was because she hates my predictable airline farewell whenever we arrive anywhere. Perhaps it was because she was all historied out.

I suspect it was the latter as when we looked at Chepstow Castle, we said at the same time, ‘abc…’ Another bloody castle.

Anyways, here’s a pic from the back- in cloud,


and one from just twenty minutes later from the front- in sun glare.


With city walls


and some nice streetscapes


and more than the usual number of hills, this is a good town to get your daily step target happening in.


On to Tintern Abbey


When we were here last, you could wander around. Now, like many other things, the abbey is fenced off. I get that it’s for preservation and conservation reasons, but I did manage a couple of photos…


Back to the Cotswolds, and a shopping trip to Cheltenham. Both Sarah and Grant were missing their retail therapy, and Cheltenham is a lovely place to indulge it.


The best part of a shopping trip to Cheltenham, is the villages and fields you drive through and past getting there.

Rush hour

One of the prettier of these is Broadway.


Filled with rows of homes constructed from warm Cotswold stone, the photos and the dull light don’t show just how beautiful this place is. But here are a few pics to give you an idea.







Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

3 thoughts

  1. I didn’t go o/s until my mid-late 20s and went to Portugal to learn Portuguese before going to Africa. I remember being gobsmacked at the age of everything and it all reminded me what a young country Australia is.

    And then later at Angkor Watt (etc) in Cambodia – I felt that way even more so!

  2. Its such a shame that Tintern Abbey is fenced off. From the first time I visited, back in 1979, it’s always been a favourite of mine. A place that, when I stood in the shafts of light beaming through what’s left of the windows, I really felt something, some sort of calmness …. I have a photo of exactly that scenario (yes, the sun was shining), it’s on my desk and it’s just …. I dunno …. a reminder of how lucky I am in life, I guess.

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