Cirencester, never heard of the place and had it not been for visiting family in the Bristol area it may have been some time before discovering it, as it was we decided to combine a few days away seeing some of our nearest and dearest with hopefully doing a little walking or sight seeing.
We’d booked 5 nights at Cirencester Caravan Club site a few months before and as it was November we didn’t really expect any issues or for it to be very busy.
Set off Saturday morning and stopped off at Frankley Services on the way down, we had blue skies and clear roads and were making really good time, so much so we had a little mooch around the shops and Mr.B ended up buying a ¾ length coat for a very reasonable £20.00.
LB took over the drive and we arrived at the site just before 12, perfect timing. Booked in and we were given the map which showed all the free pitches, we then began the slow drive round the site looking for our perfect spot.
Included in the directions we were informed that the park gate closed at 5pm and if we didn’t make it back before then an alternative route would have to be taken back to the site which would involved a walk along the main road, in essence, round the outside of the park. This wasn’t an issue and if anything else it would afford us another view of the town.
The walk was a peaceful one, down the side of the site, past the cricket and lawn tennis club and onto the main broad footpath through the park and past the old barracks.
On this occasion it was found in The Fleece located not too far from the Parish Church and on the main fairway through the town. Very cosy and bigger than you’d think from the outside, once in, the property extends way into the back and we later found out it’s also a hotel with beautiful rooms above.
A pint of 13 Guns and Hoggit were ordered and they went down extremely well whilst watching the world go by.
They went down so well in fact we ended up staying for dinner and sampling a few more of those specialty ales. People came and went and much to our amusement one of the locals arrived with her two dogs. The dogs were definitely the celebrities and even had a jar of dog biscuits on the bar. It was fun to watch as every new customer who came in would be nudged by the dog, who by now was very comfortable on a bar stool, the nudge would then be directed with a stare to the jar of biscuits and without fail this would result in a biscuit or two being given.
After talking to the bar staff and the owner we discovered this was nearly a daily occurrence and to our wonder it was amazing how the dog, a collie, remained so svelte like.
We eventually left our comfy seats and as it was way past 5pm we took the walk through the town and along the outside of the park, this was easy enough to follow as it was a 7ft high brick wall, more or less all the way to the entrance of the site.
The rain had started and we had warnings concerning Storm Angus blowing through so a few more pegs were driven into the ground securing the awning and we made a dash for the showers, once back we were soon tucked up snug in Pod.
We spent the day in Bristol, driving under the Clifton Suspension Bridge was incredible and we would love to have spent more time around it but today was about family and the bridge would have to wait for another visit.
The highlight of the day was visiting MrBs Grandad, 96 years old and still as independent as ever. Lunch out was great but it was soon time to head back to Pod and leave Mr.B’s G to his long awaited afternoon nap.
The rain continued for the day and it didn’t look like it was gong to let up, after visiting other family members we eventually returned to Pod and scoured the weather reports for any kind of improvement. It didn’t look promising but that wouldn’t stop us from getting out and about the following day.
Monday arrived and the terrible rain remained, people were leaving the site in droves, we presumed they were weekenders and it wasn’t necessarily due to the poor weather.
We stayed snuggled up in bed with large cups of tea watching the weather reports, the decision was made not to venture too far, just walk into Cirencester and attempt to do a little site seeing with a few photos thrown in.
We walked along the narrow stoned roads looking at the wonderful architecture and all the fantastic small local shops that were dotted amongst the bigger retailers, we didn’t see one empty shop which considering the current climate was brilliant to see.
Called into The Fleece for a pint, just the one, and eventually walked back to Pod for steak and stir-fry. Pods little two ring burner worked miracles yet again. Dinner was eaten listening to the church bells ringing, the lack of leaves on the surrounding trees and the prevailing wind made them feel like they were actually nearer than you’d think. Thankfully, those practicing were very proficient, it was rhythmical and very pleasant to listen to.
Following day we woke to more rain and the weather for the day wasn’t looking any better but we decided to spend the day in Bath.
Roughly an hour later we arrived and headed straight for the Abbey, our words will never be enough to describe this incredible building. Slap bang in the middle of Bath, not far from the river Avon which was fast flowing and looked dark and menacing as it sped down under the bridge and away.
LB spent most of her time looking up at the ceiling commenting on and photographing the incredible patterns worked into the surrounding masonry. We wondered if this kind of work will ever be seen again.
Now, we couldn’t be in Bath without at least casting our eyes over the Roman Baths, as it was nearing lunch time and we were both slightly peckish we decided to catch two birds with one net.. so to speak and headed for the Pump Rooms and afternoon tea.
Once seated we were soon presented with sandwiches, paté, scones, clotted cream and cakes, very enjoyable whilst listening to the pianist playing the odd request.
With full bellies it came to leave, we strolled back through the busy shop lined city to the car and we were soon back at Pod looking through our photos of the day and still marvelling at Baths tremendous architecture.
Wednesday arrived and it had actually stopped raining, at this we jumped at the chance to finish a modification we had started a few weeks ago but had been planning on for a while. In short, we planned to secure the awning down the sides (the top is already secured with an awning rail) with a press-stud type fastener.
This was done without too much hassle but couldn’t be fully tested until our next planned outing. Shan’t go into detail on here, but if you’re really interested it can found on our blog page under ‘Modifications and Accessories’ or January’s section, ‘Studs, Poppers and an Epiphany’. That’s enough on that.
Towards the end of this process we were joined by an Airstream to our left and opposite a very large motorhome, ‘twas great to see the variety of mobile homes and caused some comments and discussions amongst the owners.
As we wondered round the museum the history of Cirencester unfolded and the beautiful mosaics discovered underground told their own stories. Great place to visit, very educational for young and old.
This was followed by a walk around and into the Parish Church of St. John. It was very festive inside, the pews were lined with Christmas trees in various states of decoration and a volunteer at the church willingly explained the history of the building.
All this sight seeing and stocking up on history was hungry work and called for a visit to Café Nero where a huge hot chocolate and mince pie were devoured before we continued our walking tour of Cirencester.
It wasn’t particularly busy but we decided to order food anyway only to find out what we were after was no longer on offer, not to be put off we selected something else and ate what was delivered, typical pub food, a little disappointed but quashed our hunger.
From here we moved to The Fleece for a final pint, lots of reminiscing of our great visit to the area and the fact we would be back, maybe for Christmas one year. We then began our last walk back to Pod and our very cosy bed.
Thursday morning broke and low and behold it wasn’t raining, this was great as it meant the awning could be dismantled dry and boy believe us, this was fabulous. Nothing worse than putting away a wet awning because once home, at some point it would need drying off.
Goodbyes were said to our fellow caravaners and one in particular who had taken the opportunity to photograph Pod with his drone. For this he was thanked and we awaited the footage with baited breath.. and it was well worth it. Take a peek at the below link and see if you can spot Pod ;).