Pennines to Cotswolds

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September 4th 2012
Published: September 4th 2012
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We left Holcombe Brook this morning and travelled to The Cotswolds via Warwick. 'Tis a touch different here to the villages around Bury - more of that later.

Our last few days in the Bury area were quite relaxed. Terry is almost over his cold, the weather improved and we're just about in the swing of being on holidays. On Saturday we spent the day riding the rails on the East Lancashire Railway. This is a tourist railway that runs a couple of steam trains backwards and forwards between the towns of Rawtenstall and Heywood, passing through Bury, Ramsbottom and a couple of smaller villages. We bought tickets that allowed us to get on and off at will so it was a pleasant way to see a couple of other villages and the countryside between. Rawtenstall was okay, just a relatively small village. Heywood was a pretty unimpressive town and very down-at-heal. Last Saturday they were having a 1940s festival in the town and so a number of locals were dressed in war-time fashion or army uniforms. There were a couple of large tanks in a display in a side street along with a Spitfire. We'd have liked to see them

getting the Sptifire into and out of the side street. The highlight of the trip was the couple of beers that we had at "The Trackside" bar on the railway platform at Bury. They had about a dozen different cask beers on tap and the two that we had were pretty good. Unfortunately we had to rush our last beer to catch the last train back to Ramsbottom.

On Sunday we went for a walk across the valley and up to a small village called Affetside. I quite like walking in England as it's quite easy to break your walk with a beer, coffee whatever at a local pub. On our walk to Affetside we found ourselves walking along overgrown paths and through water and so by the time we reached Affteside we were both quite wet. The main street of Affetside is part of an old Roman road that ran from Manchester to Ribchester and the pub dates from the 1400s. On a more macabre note a human skull sits on a shelf at the back of the bar - legend has it that the skull is that of the executioner of the 7th Earl of Derby. The Earl

was executed by a local man in the nearby town of Bolton because of his activities during the Civil War.

On Monday we drove down to Bury and caught the tram into Manchester. What a great service - wish we had something like that service from Frankston. The trams run every 10 minutes and take about 20 minutes to get from Bury into the centre of Manchester. We went into Manchester to buy Terry a pair of walking boots and for him to visit the Museum of Scince and Industry. It was obvious during Sunday's walk that Terry's shoes are not going to last the distance if he continues to walk through water on our countryside walks. Since we hope to do a bit more walking over the next few weeks it was a no-brainer and we got him a pair of "waterproof" shoes. We spent a couple of hours at the museum before heading back to Ramsbottom for one of the worst meals that I've ever eaten - even worse than the worst college food that I've experienced.

Thank God for the GPS - it made our trip south today so much easier. The trip from Bury to Warwick

Lord Leycester Hospital, WarwickLord Leycester Hospital, WarwickLord Leycester Hospital, Warwick

This is not a medical hospital but instead a retirement home for ex-servicemen.
was along a spaghetti trail of motorways and while I know that we'd have coped OK with an atlas of road maps the GPS made life much easier. About twenty-five years ago I drove much of this route by myself, going in the opposite direction, using just a map of the UK. Looking at it now I wonder how I did it without getting lost. We booked a B&B this morning before we left Holcombe Brook but check-in was not available until after 4:00pm and so we spent a couple of hours in Warwick walking around the town. I'd visited Warwick many years ago and remembered it as a pleasant place. We didn't have time to visit the castle but we did visit the local church, and generally sightsee in the town itself. After we left Warwick we had a short drive to the Cotswolds village that will be our base for the next 3 nights.

The village that we are staying in is called Ebrington. It's close to a slightly larger village called Chipping Campden and pretty much in the middle of a triangle formed by Oxford, Gloucester and Coventry. We certainly had good luck in choosing this B&B

Collegiate church of St Mary, WarwickCollegiate church of St Mary, WarwickCollegiate church of St Mary, Warwick

View from the high alter through to the nave of the church. The tomb in the foreground is that of Thomas Beauchamp and his wife. An impressive organ sits above the main entrance to the church.
and luck was really all that it was. This was about the 4th B&B that I called and we chose it based on a quick look at the Tripadvisor list and price. We managed to choose a B&B in a very attractive village complete with a great pub that serves the best food that we've had so far in the UK. This may not be the most chocolate box-like village in the Cotswolds but I think it must be up there. There are a number of thatched cottages along the main road through town; they come complete with roses over the front door and cottage gardens in full bloom out the front. Over the next few days we will explore the area a bit more, hopefully complete a couple of walks between villages, and we'll definitely be back to the local pub for evening meals.

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5th September 2012

Food Worse than College food??
Gosh, Deb what was this hideous meal? I can't believe it was worse than "Trifle Awful" or Fish Pie!!! Honestly I am enjoying reading about your travels as it takes me back to my time over there. Cheers Karen

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