I’ve lived away from England long enough to be tourist so place names such as Limpley Stoke, yes there is an Upper and Lower Limpley Stoke, and Monkton Combe seem quaint. I passed signs for these villages when I took the bus from Bath on to Bradford on Avon.

Bradford on Avon is a picturesque village at the southern end of the Cotswolds. The Kennet and Avon canal runs from reading to Bristol and, if you don’t want to take the bus, you can walk the 9 miles along the section of the canal from Bath to Bradford on Avon. It was a centre for weaving wool and cloth for 6 centuries and the workers stone cottages are still lived in. They probably all have nice bathrooms and central heating now and will be described by real estate agents as being ‘des res’ but on the outside look unchanged. This isn’t one of them!

I also took a bus to the city of Bristol. Like Newcastle in Australia the city has undertaken a big renewal of its dockside. There are lots of apartments and cafes built along the river. I took the little ferry to the end of the floating harbour. It was built to allow ships to remain in water when the tide went out. There is a difference of 12 metres at low tide. In 18 century Bristol was part of a triangle of trade. Ships picked up slaves from Africa and took them to America, returning with goods such as sugar. On of the wharves is called  Bordeaux Wharf. That city was part of the same triangle of trade, slaves and sugar.

As well as quaint place names, I’m loving the gorgeous hanging baskets of flowers. I have no hope of growing anything like them in our hot Australian climate.


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