Sunday, 20 February 2011

ENGLAND – Stratford upon Avon

Day 1 ~ 06/07/2006
The start of our summer holiday was announced with a thunder storm and sheet lightening. This slowed our progress, having left home at 8 am. With the roads awash, we arrived at a small site at Marston Nurseries at around 11 o’clock. Of course, it stopped raining as soon as we had set up and the weather cleared in to baking sunshine. The site was formed by two fields adjacent to a horse paddock.

After lunch, we set off in the car for a walk in The Cotswolds, from Mickleton. The circular route of nine miles took us across undulating fields and tacks of typical Cotswold stone with wonderful views only hampered by the hazy conditions. It was a difficult route to follow, with us setting off down the wrong path from the outset. It did prove to be a pretty walk with some beautiful Cotswold stone houses along the route. Once back at the car at about 3.30, we could not find a pub open so returned to the caravan for a warm beer (having forgotten to stock the fridge).

We had tickets to see Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford upon Avon. We had a drink first at Cox’s Yard on the bank of the River Avon, before the play started at 7.30 pm. The performance was a modern interpretation and took us a little by surprise. After, we bought a Chinese takeaway and took it back to the caravan.

Day 2 ~ 07/07/2006
Friday saw a lazy morning with a drive through the countryside to the village of Broadway, anticipated to be a pretty village, but disappointingly over developed in reality. We returned to Stratford upon Avon, enjoying a stroll by the river, crossing to the town via the hand operated chain ferry. We explored on foot, visiting a number of shops and the market, acquiring some books, including two Michael Palin hard back books for the collection.

Our stroll took us to Shakespeare’s birthplace, house and exhibition, in the centre of town and well preserved. Of note, Shakespeare did not have any children and of all the plays he wrote, not one original manuscript exists.

After, we visited the Garrick Arms, a public house dating from the 1600s, before more exploration ending at Cox’s Yard for our last drink.
Later we collected Abigail and Lucy from Ryton on Dunsmore, returning with them to the caravan for an afternoon of games and a BBQ.

Day 3 ~ 08/07/2006
On Saturday after more fun and games in the field, we set off to find a shire horse centre that Jayne had seen, but we were unable to locate it. Instead, at Moreton-in-the-Marsh we found a falconry centre, where we saw many birds of prey and observed two flying sessions, including two owls, a pair of Turkey Vultures, Harris Hawk, Lana Hawk and a Chilean Eagle. This was fascinating to watch and the girls enjoyed it too.

Stopping for a drink enroute back to the caravan, we found it a bit too breezy to sit outside. Later, we had a BBQ.

Day 4 ~ 09/07/2006
Sunday started with showers and blustery weather. We had a lazy morning playing cards before taking the girls home. We then took a cross country route home via Oxford.

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