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a Gloucestershire staycation


We took a week off at the start of July - with a relatively new dog we decided it would be best to not actually go away.  Staycation time!

Here's a brief write up of some of the stuff we got up to.

Chedworth Roman Villa

Having been to Rome and Pompeii/Herculaneum last summer I've built up a knowledge of Roman buildings.  It's a bit different for a villa in Britain though - more of a stately home than 'normal' life.

We arrived just in time to join a guided tour, with a very chatty and enthusiastic guide.  I got bitten several times by some sort of evil horsefly type creature, grr.

mosaic at chedworth

The darker patches on the mosaic are from where later occupants lit fires on the floor of whatever state of ruined building they were living in.  Something I'd never have thought of!

National Waterways museum

I lived a two minute walk from this for three years when I first moved to Gloucester, but hadn't ever considered visiting.  It's a big building, but it turns out only two floors have museum stuff, which is a bit disappointing.  We managed to spend an hour here, and what was there was good - but I think if I'd paid £8.50 for an adult ticket I'd be feeling a bit put out (instead we paid £10 for a pass for all four of Gloucester's museums, so it'll be fine as long as we get round to visiting at least one other in the next 12 months.. watch this space.)

Sudeley Castle

The one thing I remember about visiting here as a kid is that the play area was amazing.  It still is, but sadly not for adults.  Boo.  Luckily the castle and gardens are both impressive and interesting.

sudely castle 'romantic ruins'

We also went to Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, but I managed to forget my camera!  Unfortunately we weren't able to say for too long as it was all a bit much for Tilly to cope with.

As well as days out, we ate a lot of nice food (meal out or takeaway every day!) had nice dog walks, painted the new garden fence, and generally relaxed and enjoyed the weather.



I took this photo a couple of weeks ago before heading out for a run, to show how my funky new running leggings clash with my shoes.  And our newly block paved driveway.


That was the last time I ran.  I had to cut my run short and limp home because the gentle ache in my left shin that I'd been ignoring for a few weeks suddenly got a lot worse and turned into a stabby pain.  Roughly where that badly doodled black X is.  Ouch.

Dr Google convinced me it was either a shin splint or a stress fracture, and it turns out the actual doctor/physio agrees.  I've avoided having to go for any diagnostic scans as it had already started feeling better by my first appointment (after four days of rest).

I've had two physio sessions now, involving some evil calf massaging on both legs.  Apparently my muscles were very tight, so potentially causing extra strain in other places.  I hadn't suddenly changed running frequency, technique, or speed and my shoes aren't badly worn, so this has probably been building up for a while.

I'm now on a regime of stretches several times a day, and avoiding high impact exercise.  I never thought I'd miss going for a run!  I've had to resort to swimming, though I was pleased to discover last weekend that road cycling doesn't seem to cause any pain.

There are two important lessons I should learn from this:

  1. don't ignore niggly pains in the hope that they'll go away
  2. when people say stretching is important, listen!

Sadly this means I'll be missing out on Gloucester 10k this year.   I'm aiming to find another race later in the year when I'm up and running (groan) again, so watch this space...

Glevum Way, part 1


The Glevum Way is a 39km (24 mile) loop around Gloucester.  Many years ago (seriously, it's at least 6!) I picked up an information leaflet about the route from tourist information and have somewhat miraculously managed to keep hold of it over three house moves and a lot of decluttering.  And yet until now I'd never got round to properly walking it (some bits do often feature on our regular dog walks)

Along with a few friends we started in Cooper's Edge where the route crosses the M5, and walked clockwise through Upton St Leonards and around the bottom of Gloucester, to eventually finish at the Docks. This covered nearly 3 of the 5 sections the leaflet splits the walk into - though that describes the route going anticlockwise.

friendly cowsfriendly cows.. not so much the field of bullocks we found half an hour later

The walking is easy going and mostly flat - we skirted around Robinswood Hill rather than going up and over. The route generally seemed to be well signed, mostly with round 'GW' stickers on the usual yellow arrow footpath markers, but sometimes with a properly named green signpost.  We only went off track once, at Naas Lane, and I think that was something to do with having just taken a deliberate detour to avoid going through a field of bullocks....

At this point we were getting closer to civilisation again, although given the amount of rubbish strewn on the road side I'm not sure that's the right choice of word - let's go with 'urban' instead...  Walking through Hardwicke, we stopped to grab sandwiches for a picnic as we'd realised we weren't going to make it to a pub for lunch (it was about 2pm by this point).  We did stop at the Pilot Inn for a drink though.

Lady's Well
Lady's Well, Hempsted

From here the route crosses the canal and continues along the tow path before heading back into fields around Hempsted.  You walk right past Lady's Well, and after the next road crossing walk alongside the household recylcing centre.  Yup - the tip!

It's actually nicely hidden, and if you ignored the air vents and vast numbers of seagulls you might think it's just a normal field...

gloucester tip

Soon after we found ourselves at Tank,  finishing our walk with another well deserved drink.  24km in about 8 hours, including stops.  Both dogs were suitably exhausted once we got home!  Plan is to finish the rest of the Glevum Way over the summer, probably in two smaller sections.