A Mini Tour of Britain, part one

So OH and I went on our first holiday of the year (oh yes listen to me, madam two holidays a year - we're off to Belgium and Amsterdam in August). But back to June - we hired a car to start our annual pilgrimage to see friends in both Cardiff and York. This year though we thought we'd mix it up a bit and stop off and stay in other places on the way. 

OH had the great idea of taking the scenic route of the A40 rather than the motorway. This was great in theory but after an hour to get from Oxford to Witney we decided to cut our losses and head to the motorway. Ironically we went through Faringdon which is where my friend Chris used to live and I haven't been to in over 20 years! It's a funny old world!

So our first stop was Cardiff and the sun came out to play. Fantastic start. Now our friends have two young boys so Saturday morning was pretty lazy as the boys went off to play football but in the afternoon we went to Roath Park and hired two pedalos. I've never been in a pedalo before but it was awesome! Fun and exercise - who knew!
And look I spotted one of my favourite birds whilst on the water, a Great Crested Grebe, fun, exercise and wildlife - what's not to like!
I also got some great shots of seagulls taking off. I would have loved to have taken more photos on the water of birds but it meant I had to stop peddling which meant OH wasn't happy!
 A very random but a brilliant afternoon. 

Sunday OH asked if we could go to Castell Coch which is a bonkers Victorian castle built in a medieval style. The guy who built it was meant to be the richest man in the world but once built the family didn't really stay in it. But it is an amazing space using pure imagination. 
How crazy are these ceilings: 
And here is my sneaky holiday pic of OH with our friend's kids admiring the view! 
There was also a short walk through a lush green wood. Again such a lovely sunny day and was good to stretch the legs as well as chatting with friends and hopefully burning off some of the extra calories I was consuming on holiday! 
Our time in Cardiff soon came to an end and we were off again, this time our destination was Stow on the Wold. We went up the Severn Valley and had a quick loo break in Gloucester. Since we had paid for an hour in the car park we figured we should go and look at the Cathedral was stunning. 
I didn't realise (until someone commented on my instagram picture) that it was also where they filmed part of Harry Potter - corridor scenes in Hogwarts. I would have loved to stay longer but our was up and we were back on the road again. 
After a leisurely drive up to the Cotswolds I suggested that we stop off in Bourton on the Water which was on my 'list' of pretty Cotswold villages to see. Now don't get me wrong the village was lovely, with a small river running through the centre criss crossed by numerous ancient bridges but it was heaving with tourists and tea rooms. It was a bit of  a shock to the system to be honest and certainly not OH's cup of tea!! 
We quickly retreated back to our car and finally found our B&B in Stow and went straight to the pub for a pint! I stupidly forgot to take many pictures in Stow but here is one of the most amazing cloud I spotted in the evening. 
This is it close up
Now when I go on holiday I always identify something that I really, really want to do and this year was no exception. Looking at the map I realized that Stow was incredibly close to Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park. You know Adam Henson, him off Country File. Now I love Country File and I love any kind of farm animal so I was in seventh heaven so bare with me while I show you lots and lots of pics of cute animals - I dare you not to say awwww. 

I should also add that we did actually see the man himself, well actually I heard his laugh from behind a wall before I saw him. Fair play him for actually being there as he was stampeded by women of a certain age.

OH and I realised that we weren't the target audience for the farm as the other visitors were either under 5 or over 70 so when we set off on the wildlife walk we didn't see a soul except a few blokes on tractors. It was a truly magical walk and I have never seen so many butterflies before, either in quantity or species. 
One of the things that I really, really wanted to do at the farm was hold a chick. This really takes me back to my childhood as we used to have chickens and I loved it when the chicks hatched. 
Finally (from Adam's Farm at least) when I first saw this photo once we got home I have never laughed so hard. My sides were hurting and was almost crying I was laughing so much. I looooved these geese - they just look like Teddy Boys with massive quiffs but the expression on this one was priceless! 
I was sensing that OH wasn't as in love with the idea of picturesque Cotswold villages so I didn't push it but I did want to see what Upper and Lower Slaughter looked like. How could you resist somewhere called Slaughter! There was no parking that we could see in Upper Slaughter so we stopped off at the very pretty village of Lower Slaughter. After a expensive sandwich and drink in the local pub we had a wander before returning back to Stow so OH could carry on watching the football. Note to self don't go on holiday in the UK during the World Cup as this is all you will see in the evening....  
Blimey, are you still with me! Yes that was part one!! Part two coming soon....


  1. Love the pictures, don't go on holiday during the World Cup in Canada either!

  2. Oh blimey looks like there is no escape!