Thursday, October 27, 2005

Avoiding the M6

Today we set out really early to travel to Stratford upon Avon. For someone who used to visit there perhaps two or three times a year*, I realized that it must have been at least four years since I last visited and that wasn’t to actually ‘visit’ but to work manning a stand at a Heart of England Tourist Board event at the sports hall.

We decided to travel via Lichfield, Tamworth and Balsall Common towards Warwick. Of course it was slower than the motorway but infinitely preferable, we pulled into the car park at about 10 past 10 and ambled up towards the theatre. At this time there were very few people about to say it was such a lovely day. We wandered up by the river and had coffee at the theatre coffee bar overlooking the river – it was blissful. Then a wander up through the gardens and round to Holy Trinity before setting back towards the town and a look round the shops. We had lunch in a cafĂ© attached to New Place and had it almost to ourselves. At about 2.30 we decided to head back to the car park, struggling through the crowds who were just beginning to swarm into the town obviously encouraged by the good weather to spend an afternoon by the Avon. We set off towards Leamington and on to Ryton Gardens to pick up vegetable seeds for planting next spring. I love the gardens there and the shop, so many ‘goodies’ to be had; it is a great temptation to spend too much money. Arrived home about 6p.m. very tired but happy.

*Why is it that all the years we lived in Mansfield and then Spalding we used to visit so often, not just the town but the theatre too, but now we’ve moved to Stoke and it’s just down the M6 we rarely go? I think I have my answer – the M6.

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