Phase 6 Day 2

Trip Start Feb 26, 2012
Trip End Jun 30, 2012

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Where I stayed
Tudor Caravan Park Slimbridge

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Well. I did not want to get out of bed this morning. I was quite happy snuggly and warm but jobs had to be started. Stewart was up and moving early to get a venison casserole into the slow cooker for dinner tonight- yummee. Lunch needed to be made for today, a job that normally gets done the evening before so out of bed I got!! Breakfast eaten and away at 8.40 to head to the top of Coaley Peak. The cloud was low and it was mizzly and cold as I set off down through Coaley Wood to the Vale Of Gloucester which I would be walking across on my way to Gloucester today. Even the wood anenomes looked as if they were shivewring in the cold breeze. However a shimmer of purple appeared from the early bluebells and the beech leaves that I was walking over made a soft cushion to walk on. The path down through the wood was gradual, a complete contrast to the hard uphills of yesterday and very welcome. 1km through the wood I turned left and headed along the lanes towards King's Stanley.The view changed completely and instead of wooded valleys and the wonderful green fields I was looking towards roof tops and industrial chimneys which belched out white smoke. Welcome to the real world!! King's Stanley was a mix of old, older and new. Old were the Victorian terraces, older was the Manor House and small cottages, new were the Cotswold stone houses being built in the High St. Toward the end of the village stood Stanley Mill, at the moment unused and derelict but in the hands of English Heritage for restoration. After crossing the River Frome the path took me alongside the Stroudwater Canal which at one time had joined into the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal although now stops short of the M5 at Chapmans Platt. The Gloucester and Sharpness Canal had been built to avoid the dangerous currents of the River Severn. Used to transport grain which was being stored in the warehouses at Gloucester Docks the canal was started in 1793. However it was not completed until 1827 due to alack of money. I crossed the A419 and headed to Stonehouse. This was a very long village, the Main St being lined with small shops of all kinds. The Building that stood out for me was the Doctor's Surgery that was now housed in a former pub. It was even complete with Surgery sign outside!! Link up for coffee this morning was at a telephone box of all places at Stroud Green at 11am after 5 miles. I was bang on time. The walking had been fairly easy and the weather had warmed up. Coffee was good and made even better by the two chelsea buns that I had purchased on the way through Stonehouse- delicious. I headed off again towards Hardwicke 5.5 miles away and planned to be there about 13.15. I was walking along the B4008 towards Standish, quite a fast B road, the villages being delineated by white gates that filled the verge at either end of the village. Standish was very old, a Manor House, and a very old gateway. I crossed the M5 on my way to Moreton Valence again an interesting village that also used to boast a castle and a moat next to its church. The moat and mound are still there but the castle stones are now part of a house in the village and the gent I was talking to who was digging post holes has two of them in his kitchen! From Moreton Valence I headed across a field to link with the lane to the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. The field had been spread with slurry that had dried hard. It was waiting for rain so it could be washed into the ground, the water desperately needed. I crossed Park End Bridge, a lift bridge that connected the villages of Epney, Longney and Elmore, the other side of the canal. They were tucked into the curve of the Severn River and the only way off this flat plain was via Park End Bridge or Pilot Bridge 3km further north. I was to finish the walk at Hardwicke 2.5 km along the canal. However the tow path was on the opposite side of the canal and I discovered that I was on the wrong side to link up with Stewart!! I had to go a further 1km up the canal to cross at Pilot Bridge and then 1.5km back along the road. The one bonus was that I saw the first cowslips of the walk- they were a pale yellow and very delicate. We eventually met for lunch at 13.45. The end of the walking day and 17.6 km walked. I had read on a sign earlier in the day that the National Waterways Museum was in Gloucester so guess what-that is where we headed. We were about 8km from the docks so jumped on the park and ride into Gloucester. We spent a super couple of hours exploring the city, so much to see and so little time. It oozed history from the Cathedral where Edward II and Hogwarts was filmed to Beatrix Potter and the docklands regeneration. It would take me another 4 hours to tell you about Gloucester properly so all I can say at this point is go and see it for yourselves if you get the chance. It is a truly beautiful city. Home to venison casserole, the aroma wafting through as we opened the door to our home about 17.30. It was superb- thanks Roadie. It was another really great day. We are seeing so much on our journey and it is lovely that we can share it with you all. Thanks Claire for the skype this evening. It was great to catch up with you. To A7 look forward to sharing your news when we are back. To Helen and Roy enjoy your weekend with Rachel and Johnny. When do you get home? Love to you all ttfn
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Claire on

Gloucester looks beautiful - cannot wait to explore it if we do end up there in a few years time! I recognise the Cloisters from Hogwarts - I take it the writing from 'He who must not be named' had been removed!!
Nighty night, loads of love.x.x

Anne Canada on

I follow your adventures with great interest ,I am almost walking them my self, I thank you so much for bringinging a little bit of home over the sea to Canada,the photos are lovely , your energy ever lasting , look forward to more regards Anne

sue and chris on

Morning Heather and Stewart, can't believe you are already in Gloucester. Very well done keeping to the plan and becoming fitter by the mile. Interesting combination around where you are of countryside and industrial, and as you say welcome to the real world. Great Britain, a country of great contrasts, with the landscape and the weather.....freezing overnight here in Yorkshire. We are off to the Lakes now for 2 weeks and will finish our last Wainright top of the 214 on the11th April. We are so excited, however we think about you everyday and how you are feeling and what you get up too. Be back in touch after the hols. Enjoy the Melrose Sevens and the well earned rest. You both deserve...xx

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