A week in Wales

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Once we were finished exploring the Roman Baths, we left Bath taking the M5 to Tewkesbury on an overcast but dry morning but, by the time we were halfway there, it was pouring with rain. (You may think that my memory is fantastic but actually I got this information from the journal I kept at the time. Now I am really glad that I did).

We arrived in Tewkesbury in time for a late lunch with Steve and Maryanne and after that we visited Tewkesbury Abbey which was built in the 11th Century. It has been extremely well maintained. Fortunately the Abbey is built on a mound as in 2005 there were devastating floods in the area but the Abbey was not affected, only access to it was for a couple of weeks. We returned home to a lovely dinner and spent that Saturday night with them as planned.  The next morning, Sunday, they took us for a wonderful drive through the Cotswolds, stopping in Bourton-on-Water for a tasty tea (well, coffee for me). In the town we visited a delightful shop dedicated to Peter Rabbit and his friends. A super day which was not planned at all.Bourton

We returned to Tewkesbury and said our farewells as it was time to leave for our Timeshare in Wales. We had told the Manager of the resort that we would be arriving a day late, Sunday instead of Saturday. He said that it was no problem and told us where to find the key to our unit. We planned to do a bit of grocery shopping on the way there but what we did not know and had not found out in advance was that shops in small towns in Wales are closed on Sundays!  We had some absolute basics such as tea & coffee but the only meal type food we had was some pasta and a jar of sauce so that was not only our supper but our breakfast too. On Monday morning we went into the nearest town where we found a Spar and found food for the week we would be in Wales . As I have suggested in previous blogs, always be ready to have to think of a different approach or activity if what you had planned does not work out. "Expect the Unex[ected". Remember that everything you do is new and exciting.

The resort was in a really beautiful setting in mid-Wales with hills all around and a lovely place to go for gentle walks and lots of country air. The only, though minor problem, was its distance from anywhere. We had to drive 10 miles, along a narrow winding road, to reach any main road or town. We decided not to let that deter us and we visited a number of towns and interesting places. These included going to a Red Kite (bird of prey) sanctuary and saw these beautiful birds being fed and we learnt that the Kite is the National Bird of Wales. I purchased a fridge magnet with a Kite and every day it still reminds me of our visit. Other activities included a train trip around a reservoir (lake) and a beautiful drive down to Brecon returning home via the stunning Brecon Beacons.

Two very special activities were near the town of Knighton. First was a visit to the Knighton Tourist Information Centre where the reign of King Offa of Mercia was shown in pictures and models. This was special for me as a descendant of King Offa, who actually was not a very nice fellow. He had built a dyke, now known as Offa’s Dyke, at least 130kms long to prevent the Welsh from rustling English cattle and sheep. A large portion of it is still visible today. The second place we visited near Knighton was The Spaceguard Centre which is specifically for the study of near earth objects. Well worth the time that we spent there. We once again took a different route back to the resort so as to see as much as possible.

Saturday came around very quickly. It was hard to believe that a week had gone by. We packed our things once more and started the final days of our wonderful trip. We set off for Stratford-on-Avon where we found a lovely B&B to spend the night.