Visiting the Old Country, July 2016

UK visit number three for 2016!

Although I have a few plans for this trip I am not sure which will be achieved and which will be postponed. While I am likely to have two further visits this year I don’t want to postpone something and then find I run out of time.

I landed back in the England late on Thursday 23rd July. Having applied to renew my drivers license while in Australia, my new one being delivered to Lauren, it dawned on me the evening before my flight that trying to pick up a hire car with an out of date license may not be a good idea, and so I was meet at Heathrow by my smiling daughter with my license and the new DVLA driver history document – what a great idea that isn’t.

Friday was about sleeping and working, but Saturday was about getting out. Lauren wanted to go to a shop in Cheltenham and so we headed up the M40/A40 skirting Oxford and on into Gloucestershire.

The Wholefood Store was apparently some form of heaven, although to be honest it did little for me, after which we grabbed lunch and then took the very scenic route home.

The Cotswold Hills, through which we travelled back, has to be one of the most picturesque parts of England. The rolling farmland, open countryside and little villages with their honey stone coloured cottages. Dotted about are the huge manor houses now owned by the rich and famous, purchased in order to live within a quintessential, but bygone, age. An escape from the hustle, pressure and noise of the modern age.

File_000(6)There are absolutely no bad places to visit, it is all about the time available or any preferences you may have. The Rissingtons (upper and great) or the Slaughters (upper and lower) are all well worth a visit along with the better known locations of Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford.

Our first stop was Broadway. a beautiful small country town with a wide, shop lined street. As you would expect there are numerous gift shops and tea rooms to tempt a visitor.

File_000(7)Having  stretched our legs and visited a couple of our favourite shops it was backed to the car and on to Bourton on the Water, another very special place. The river runs through the middle of the town with small bridges crossing it at a number of locations. Again there are the gift shops and cafes that you would expect, but there are other attractions as well which means it is always busy, especially when the sun is shining.

We took a slow walk all round the town looking in various shops finishing our visit with the essential ice cream by the river watching the ducks swimming up and down.

Saturday was quiet, relaxed and rather easy going ….. Sunday on the other hand was going to be LOUD!!

Goodwood-festival-of-speed-LogoNever having been before, this was a long planned trip. The Festival of Speed is held at Goodwood each year and attracts the very best of cars, manufactures and racing drivers. Nico Rosburg, currently leading the F1 championship, was on site during our visit, Jenson Button having been there the day before.

As well as the sales and display areas featuring every car maker you have ever heard of, and a few you haven’t, there are a huge number of cars on display which take part in one of the key features of the event – The Goodwood Hill Climb. The 1.16 mile track starts in the centre of the show ground and then races past Goodwood House and on up into the woods.

All types of car take part from the vintage pre-war cars to modern Forumula One machines. During the day we saw Martin Brundle take Jenson Button’s 2009 world championship winning car up the climb followed my more recent F1 cars. For the first time I really understood what the fuss is all about over the noise made by modern F1 cars – they are certainly quieter than the older ones!

A great day, a great experience, definitely one I would recommend.

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