United Kingdom

Here you’ll find travel reports about Stroud. Discover travel destinations in the United Kingdom of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

14 travelers at this place:

  • Day61

    Housesitting in Nailsworth

    July 1, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 77 °F

    We are in the Cotswolds now, taking care of a dog named Mavis. She is a very sweet 12 year old lurcher. We walked around the town this afternoon--there isn't much here but it is a nice little village surrounded by hills. The main industry used to be woolen mills.

    Here are some views from around our neighborhood!Read more

  • Day67

    Wool Cloth Finishing, Steps 1-2

    July 7, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    On the second tour, we learned about how cloth was finished by felting techniques using water-powered machines. There are three steps.

    Step one: The material is basted together into a loop, and put through a Fulling machine. The machine soaks the cloth in water with a small amount of soap (they used Fuller's earth in the old days), and then pounds it. This shrinks, softens, and loosens the fibers, and the cloth becomes thicker.

    Step 2: After the cloth is dry, the nap is raised using dried plants called teasels. It used to be done by hand, of course. Manufacturers have not found or invented anything better than the dried plant, so they are still used today.
    Read more

  • Day13

    Dursley to Wotton-under-Edge, June 11

    June 11, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    A very nice breakfast, a very nice host, and two other guests enjoying a 40th high school reunion.

    A most enjoyable way to travel in England as we've met the nicest people and received much appreciated assistance. Today was no exception.

    After breakfast, and after lugging the kitchen sink down stairs, we left with a full stomach and headed uphill (we are always walking uphill, or so it seems) towards Stinchcombe Hill and the golf course. A tough uphill walk on a full stomach. *#@$##. At the top, we ran into a ladies foursome ready to tee off, but they detected a non-British accent and chatted with us for a bit, then we walked off to see the sights. A long downhill opened into a series of fields where we could see Tyndale Monument, erected to honor William Tyndale who translated the bible into English. A long pull to climb up the hill, but before we did that, another story.

    We were walking into North Nibley reading the guidebook which said to walk along The Street. That caught us by surprise...the street? What was the name of the street that we were walking along? Cannot believe the street sign that we soon passed as it was indeed, "The Street". With all the locations in England and all the famous people over the years...to call it The Street! Such modesty.

    Anyway, we were looking for a coffee and scone cafe, the Black Horse B & B was mentioned in the book, but it was closed. Bummer twice over!

    While discussing our predicament, a young man was making deliveries and Arlene asked if he knew of a coffee shop that would be open. He replied yes, that he worked at the Nibley House and he said to walk back the way we had come and at a corner, to make a left, then go by the nursery and knock on the kitchen door. He mentioned a name, but I cannot remember. Anyway, we briefly discussed not walking back, but decided to give it a try. I knocked on the kitchen door (I would call it a back door), an elderly lady came to the door and I relayed the story. She looked pleased and invited us to have a seat at the outside table, enjoy the view and she would brew us a pot. She ran a B & B so it was not quite like knocking on a private home door.

    We had an entertaining conversation and learned that she had lived there for 55 years and her husband had been there longer. We were invited in to have a look and received the royal treatment. This was special! The house was rebuilt in 1763 so you get an idea as to its age.

    Afterwards, we walked down the road to St. Martin Church which dated to the 15th century (and it needed some TLC).

    We carried on and climbed the hill to see Tyndale Monument. Quite a view from the top, then along a reasonably flat stretch meeting four folks out walking the dogs. They asked us about Trump, how concerned they were and we shared our concerns as well. No guns were drawn so we felt safe to be Americans :)

    Our way continued through the wood passing the Brackenbury Ditches (an old fort dating to the Iron Age), fields and distant views, then down the trail passing Wolton Hill, a commemorative circle of trees now called the Jubilee Plantation which provided more outstanding views of Wotton-under-Edge.

    Once we got into the village, we were discussing the directions to the B & B when our host drives up and asks us if we wanted a lift. "Sure do" was our response.

    We got there, were shown around, offered fruitcake and beverage and told to make ourselves at home.

    We did!

    We later walked into town to the tourist info center, got the story on the large painted hares (rabbits to us), checked out an ice cream shop, the alms house, and visited the church of Saint Mary the Virgin.

    We are tired and looking forward to a nice meal provided by our hostess.

    And a very good and special meal it was as we had dinner with our hosts. Conversation was interesting and we had a most enjoyable time.

    Tomorrow is the longest walk...13 miles so we are winding down.
    Read more

  • Day67

    Nailsworth Village

    July 7, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 81 °F

    Here are some sights around Nailsworth:
    -Gunbarrel Alley

    -The Copper Kettle, once the sign for the Copper Kettle Tea Shop. Capacity is 80 gallons, and the tea kettle on top of the knob is a normal sized tea kettle.

  • Day10

    Painswick - June 8

    June 8, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    Our hostess is a "hoot". She's been to America many times with her husband and has stories to tell. Basically, she loves it and would like to move there, but then her grandchildren are here so it would be a challenge to visit with them.

    The B & B is loaded with signage she brought back from the States as the first picture indicates. John Wayne is on her wall (not in my pictures) with a typical John Wayne quote, but then it's all in fun.

    A cloudy day and ideal for walking around town.

    After breakfast, we walked down the street (Painswick is built on hills) towards Saint Mary's Church looking for the tourist info center (open Monday to Friday, but closed this Friday and no explanation) as it was located in the grave diggers cottage (perhaps closed due to grave digging). Anyway, the church was quite beautiful and its history goes back to the 1300's. During the English Civil War, cannons damaged the bell tower and one can see the damage today (just below and to the left of the clock). The cemetery also contained a war memorial, for both world wars.

    We visited the few shops that were open and ran into a gentleman in his 80's whose wife was born here and remembered when, in 1941, the Germans dropped eight bombs which destroyed most of the homes along Friday Street. Quite a memory as she was about six when the bombing occurred.

    We had coffee and scones at a cafe, checked out the menus of several restaurants, but decided to again make reservations at the bistro as the food was so good and our hostess recommended also. We did not care for the other menus that we saw.

    Walked by the Painswick Hotel (told that it is a five star hotel) and enjoyed the view before we walked to the Painswick Rococo Gardens (the only rococo gardens in England). If you do not know what a rococo garden is, we challenge you to Google it. We enjoyed the walk, the flowers and the structures. It dates to the 1740's.

    Once again, dinner was a delight. Chicken stuffed with brie and ham for Arlene while I enjoyed pork tenderloin and potatoes. We can get used to this!
    Read more

  • Day11

    Painswick to King's Stanley, June 9

    June 9, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    Excellent breakfast. We are coming around to the thought that we are being served too much food. Arlene ate about half of her omlette and I struggled with a very large pancake...and I was asked if I would like another. Very good, but enough is enough. She even gave us two bananas to carry to eat later. We both agree that the Troy House is outstanding and one of a kind. There are 43 places to stay in Painswick and she must have the best.

    We walked down the street leading out of town, following the trail signs when we saw, running towards us, the first of 1300 runners who were doing a double marathon...all the way to Broadway Tower. We passed it last Saturday and those folks have 52 miles to run along the Cotswold Way. We're glad that we're not running. We cheered them on, holding the gates open for them and they were so appreciative that people with our funny accents would do that. What a blast to watch them.

    We told them all that they were looking good (not really, but nice to hear as we've run many races and it's always nice to hear the cheers from the crowd) so one runner yells that he had never been told that he was looking good and I yelled that we occasionally tell little white lies. His day was ruined!

    After all 1300 runners passed, we had the trail mainly to ourselves for a couple of hours, enjoying the views until two runners came blasting past us running uphill. At the top, they paused to wait for others and we inquired if they were training for next years Broadway Tower run. They said that there was a relay race next Saturday along the Cotswold Way that covered the entire length (102 miles) and they were part of one of the 113 relay teams. Each team member runs 20k (12.4 miles). That will be a tough race!

    After enjoying the 360 views at the Haresfield Beacon (an old Roman fort), we crossed a field...there to see was an ice cream stand. ICE CREAM ON A HOT DAY! The owner of the stand (said he owns three) works six months of the year and relaxes the rest. Said he was once a paramedic, but did not like the hours so he initially tried a stand, it worked out, and he purchased two more. Nice that he can enjoy life and the outside during the summer months.

    We had a couple of horses pass us in a forest, followed the trail through a vineyard, across the train tracks, across an ancient canal, pass an old (1891) textile mill and stopped at the Kings Head Pub for some refreshment before arriving at our B & B. Time to clean up and get ready for dinner...the very best time of any day (perhaps breakfast is equally important).

    We had to take a taxi to the Old Fleece Inn as the distance was too great to walk. Pretty good food so the tank is again filled and we await breakfast in the AM.

    Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!
    Read more

  • Day14

    Wotton-under-Edge, Old Sodbury, June 12

    June 12, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 61 °F

    Another excellent breakfast with a little action to boot. While sitting at the breakfast table, our host ran outside with a scoped rifle and bi-pod feet which he proceeded to balance on the stone ledge, and aimed at something. He shortly came in without firing a shot and his wife said he was squirrel hunting. Pretty pesky squirrels and he wanted to get rid of them, but he said he did not have a good clean shot. The squirrel lives another day and out of the stew pot that was planned for him!

    We got away a little before eight and had a cool and chilly walk downhill through town (we love those downhill starts), beside the church, the creek, and started the proverbial uphill track. Glad it was cool!

    We followed the trail which was partially on the road, being careful to walk slowly due to the toads and frogs (see the pictures :).

    There was also some fog which we both were delighted with as it made the uphill effort much easier as it was cooler.

    The trail continued with excellent views on all sides. We soon came to a deep, woodsy and dark track described as an "unquiet mystery ". Go figure. Did not see anything mysterious about it except for the girl walking uphill and the high schooler who was running downhill. They both looked quite normal and not mysterious at all. Those English travel book writers are always exaggerating!

    We noticed farmers working to move fencing and Arlene suggested that they move the cows and leave the fence alone. The farmer, with perhaps a bit of sarcasm, said that he had not thought of that. Sounds like the Irish versus the English. About an hour later, we again saw them working in another field with the cows partially blocking our path. Arlene said that she liked the cows better when they were further away, and he said that he liked them best when they were between two slices of bread. Meal versus safety, but I prefer the meal idea.

    We continued walking along, just the two of us with an occasional hiker walking the other way. The fields were green and some were overgrown making walking a bit difficult. At one point, I almost stepped on a bird that must have been injured as it did not move so we captured a picture and carefully moved away. Nature does what nature does and who are we to interfere?

    We walked beside Somersault tower which was built in 1846, had lunch in Hawksbury Upton (much better than we could have imagined), walked along Bath Lane, entered Horton, met an English walker who we walked with for a couple of miles and saw him again enjoying wine at dinner, saw lots of sheep and cows, visited the church in Old Sodbury, walked through the Sodbury Fort (dated to 577 AD), and reached our destination for the day...The Dog Inn. A long day and our dogs were really tired.

    After relaxing, we had a wonderful dinner of fish and chips, and steak and ale pie. We were both stuffed and no room for dessert...that is a triple bummer.
    Read more

  • Day71

    Newark Park, National Trust

    July 11, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    The National Trust preserves historic homes, gardens, and other special places in the United Kingdom. We joined when we went to Snowshill, since we will be in the UK for the summer, and we have time to take advantage of the membership. We can get in to all these places for free, so once we've been to 4 or 5 of them, the membership has paid for itself.

    Newark Park was a Tudor hunting lodge that was added onto, becoming a Georgian manor. Over the years it fell into a terrible state before it was bequeathed toThe National Trust. In 1970, a Texan architect began living in it, paying rent of one pound per year, and restoring the house and gardens.
    Read more

  • Day67

    Nailsworth: A Wool Town

    July 7, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 72 °F

    The valleys around Stroud (just north of Nailsworth) once had about 150 woolen mills. There are a few in Nailsworth that offer tours, to show the process of making West of England woven felt, which was dyed "Stroud Scarlet" and made into military uniforms.

    First we learned the how weaving was done, from using hand looms in cottages, to larger cottage looms, and finally powered looms in factories.Read more

  • Day67

    Wool Finishing Process: Step 3

    July 7, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 79 °F

    The third step is shearing the excess nap to make it an even thickness. It used to be done by Shearmen using heavy shears. This was the best paid position in the wool industry. Then a Cross-Cutter machine was developed for this process, powered by the water wheel.

    Edwin Budding, a mechanic for the mills in Stroud invented the lawnmower using the same type of rotary blade used in the Cross-Cutter.

    Another mill in Nailsworth, the Egypt Mill, has been converted into a popular hotel and restaurant.
    Read more

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