Road Trip Day #18, The Cotswolds to Bath.

Following Anthony’s itinerary we leave Gloucester and head directly into the Cotswolds heading for The Butcher’s Arms pub via Painswick.

Painswick is best known for its parish church’s Yew trees.
The village is mainly constructed of locally quarried honey colored Cotswold stone from the bedrock of Jurassic limestone which defines the Cotswolds.

The 2.5 mile drive from Painswick to Sheepscombe was the most hair raising drive of our trip for Sandy.  See the video below, but thank you Anthony, it was all worth the terror once we reached The Butcher’s Arms.

The Butcher’s Arms is a traditional free house and pub.
This is the view from the front of the pub.

IMG_0490We arrived at 11:30, ½ hour prior to lunch service.  We had drinks and listened to the bar tender interact with the regulars as they arrived, an absolutely priceless experience.  There was one regular sitting at the bar when we arrived, we heard another patron tell him that he had been sitting on that bar stool every time she had been here for the past seven years.  Lunch was spot on delicious, especially Sandy’s Shepherd’s pie.

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This is how the bar looked on our arrival, empty except for the regular sitting at the bar bemoaning the changing times and yearning for the good old days.
Less than an hour later it looked like this.

After lunch we braved the narrow road again heading for our next intermediate destination of the day which was the home of David Hemery in Marlborough, Wiltshire at Fyfield Hill.  David is a two time Olympic medaler in hurdling at the Munich and Mexico City Olympics.  We first met him at the home of our neighbor in Boston, Peggy Scott.  Anthony Howick who planned our itinerary for this tour of England is married to David’s sister Judith who we met while in London.

The idyllic Cotswolds.
The home of David and Vivian Hemery.
David getting a kiss from one of his alpacas.
The curious one on the right came running up to Jim and spit grass on him.

We had tea and home made fruit cookies with David.  We missed seeing his wife V as she was driving home from Scotland.  After a very pleasant time with David we headed to our final destination of the day, Bath, where we have booked a very unique stay in a toll keepers house on The Cleveland Bridge.  Wow, this trip just gets better and better.  How can you beat this accommodation.

This is our home for the night in Bath.
Living room on the top floor.
We had three floors of living space right on the bridge and river.
Had to drive between the bollards to reach our parking place on the sidewalk.
The river Avon.

We settle in and take an evening walk exploring beautiful Bath.  We are only booked one night here but after our evening stroll we are so taken in by the town that we book another toll keepers house on the far corner of the bridge for the next night.

All of these shops are on Pulteney Bridge, kind of like Ponte Vecchio in Florence but on a much smaller scale.
This picturesque horseshoe weir was first built in the 1600s to prevent flooding in the town of Bath. The weir—a low barrier built across a river in order to control water level and regulate flow—was completely rebuilt in the early 1970s.
Pulteney Bridge at night.
Bath Abbey at night.

What a great day we had, not a lot of driving, spectacular scenery, wonderful lunch, visiting with friends and such a pleasant evening wandering Bath.  Really looking forward to more exploration tomorrow.

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