Thursday, May 27:  Bath to Cotswolds

Photo 158  Robert Works the Locks
Photo 159  David at Stonehenge
Photo 160  The Circus, Bath
Photo 161  Pultney Bridge, Bath
Set out first thing for replacement cash, replacement sunglasses, replacement umbrella and a decent electrical adapter. And popped by the library to see if David’s pouch had been located. (The answer was no.) Back to Prior House and I paid the bill, loaded the car and took Robert out for another run at some errands. Dropped off my laundry for a “service wash” and took Robert to the sporting goods store I’d been hunting for ever since I’d seen it on the comedy walk. He procured a Manchester United jersey, shorts and a woolen cap as an early birthday present. This all took us to just about noon.

Met up with Pat and David and exited town along the long route, since the short route seemed to be all clogged up. Pat spotted another NT property along the route, so we ducked into Dyrham Park. It was a “family day” at the house proper, but we walked along the avenue while the boys examined the herd of cows and the herd of deer. As we crested the top of a hill, the large house itself appeared below. It looked very impressive from afar, and we never got much closer since we knew we couldn’t go in.

Lunch was a wayside guess -- the Kings Arms somewhere south of Circencester. We ate in back in the very nice garden and it was very good. We convinced the kitchen to make grilled cheese sandwiches for the boys, and they had a vanilla Belgian waffle with white chocolate ice cream to split for dessert.

Our other stop on the drive was a NT property recommended to us at the last one, a Roman Villa near Chenworth. Off an “A” road and onto one of those narrow one-lane roads England is famous for. Eventually we came to the site, which could be best described as a micro-Pompeii. The base of walls for one large U-shaped building are present, outlining the size of the building, there is spring water collected in a corner shrine and there is an excellent example of baths and the mechanisms by which they heated their floors. However, most notable were large rooms covered with nearly complete mosaic patterns, in the place they were originally created. The site was also interesting for the valiant attempts to study and preserve it in the 1800’s.

With stops and lunch, we managed to stretch a two-hour drive into about six hours. We located Chipping Campden easily, and only had to make one tour of the extensive High Street to get back to The Old Bakehouse. We have the “family room” in the attic, complete with exposed beams and contours following the roofline of this 600-year old house. We’ve plenty of room to spread out, but on entering the door to the room, one cross beam has about a four-foot clearance! (Photo 167) (Photo 168)

Dinner, once we headed in the right direction, was at the Volunteer Inn. Pat and I did extensive taste tests of the local ales, in the abundant garden in back.