Last week, Greg’s parents came to visit! Their flight got in on Thursday and we had a delicious steak dinner at a nearby restaurant to celebrate. On Friday, they went off to explore Salisbury and Stonehenge while Greg and I worked and wrote. Then the four of us popped into our favorite restaurant in Southampton, The Stable, for some meat pies and cider. The next day, it was off to our adventure in the Cotswolds!
Greg and Tim picked up our rental car and we were on our way! Tim was driving, which was good, because he’s the only one with some experience driving on the left side of the road. I’m not sure I could have done it.
Our lakeside cottage for the weekend was about a two hour drive from Southampton, but we stopped a couple times on the way. Once for lunch in the cute little town of Cirencester and then again to check out the Broadway Tower, which was so cool! We climbed the tour and took in the beautiful view of the countryside around us (complete with deer and sheep), and then toured an old nuclear bunker, climbing 15 feet below ground on a teeny tiny ladder.
That night, we stopped into the Chequer’s Inn for dinner. It was tasty, and we got to try some of the the local asparagus that was growing literally all around our cottage.
We slept in a little bit, and then made our way over towards Ledbury to check out the Eastnor Castle. Much like the Inverary Castle we toured in Scotland, Eastnor is still lived in, but allows visitors for a certain period every year as a way to make extra money to help pay for upkeep (which is actually one of the reasons Downton Abbey was filmed on location at the now famous Highclere Manor…which Greg and I still need to see!). Anyway, the castle was really cool, and even though there was a crazy chili festival taking place on the grounds, inside the castle wasn’t too busy at all!
We toured the castle, strolled around its lake, and then made our way to Gloucester to see the cathedral.
Gloucester Cathedral was used in the filming of Harry Potter!! So, you better believe I had a lot of fun exploring there. At one point while walking through the cloisters, I felt like I really was inside Hogwarts. It was magical! Harry Potter aside, the cathedral is impressive. Full of intricate details and amazing stained glass windows, I’d say the Gloucester Cathedral should be on your list if you’re ever in the area.
That night, we sampled some more local asparagus at a quaint restaurant near our cottage called The Bell.
We sadly packed up our bags and began the trek to London. On the way, though, we stopped at Stratford-upon-Avon for breakfast and to see the birthplace of Shakesspeare! The house sits right in the middle of a busy high street, with shops and restaurants all around it. It’s crazy to think how different that area must have been when Shakespeare was around.
Once we made it to London, we dropped our luggage off at Tim and Roxanne’s hotel and then made our way over to the Winston Churchill War Rooms and Museum. Greg and I have been dying to check it out, but were waiting to do so with Greg’s parents, and it did not disappoint! Being down in the bunker, among the offices used by Churchill and military strategists during WWII, was beyond interesting. The museum is huge, too! You could spend hours and hours down there reading all about Winston Churchill’s life. Eventually, we got hungry though, and made our way back above ground.
After dinner, Greg and I said goodbye to Tim and Roxanne and caught a train back to Southampton. We had a lot of fun exploring a side of England with them we had not yet seen, and we were sad to see them go!
That’s it for visitors for now until Tracy flies over in June. Greg and I are busy planning a trip in the meantime, though, to Germany!