Our departure from London was temporarily halted as Teddy got car sick as we crossed the Thames. In true London style, it started to pour rain as we jumped out of the car, undressed Ted and redressed him, all the while getting soaked. He calmed down and we headed south to drop off a bag a friend was minding for me. Once we cleared the city and headed west, the green hills rolled in and the countryside came trickling down the highway towards us.
We decided to base ourselves in Bristol for 48 hours to see the surrounding towns and explore the west of the UK. Upon arriving at a crumb bum hotel, our first impressions were a little glum. Our key cards didn’t work over and over again which became hilarious and we were sprawled over 3 rooms with a mass of crap in between. A recommendation from the concierge landed us at a local chinese restaurant about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. We ordered a feast, not knowing if the food would be any good. The kids gobbled up rice and lemon chicken while Marlee had a curry and I slurped my chilli noodles.
After we devoured the greasy meal, we waddled back to the hotel and called an early night. The kids were tired, James was too after driving all day. The next morning we rose early and headed to Bath, home of the famous Roman baths. The kids enjoyed wandering through the town which was being set up for market day with food stalls, coffee carts, toys, balloons and street performers.
We dropped some pound and entered the Roman baths, completely in awe of the ancient construction and uses for all the different pools. It was a very cumbersome and slow process though, you had to wind around several paths, bridges, and tunnels before you could really appreciate the baths on the sideline. Despite many signs advising people not to touch the water, I witnessed so many people nearly falling in as they dipped their hands in, sprinkling it on their faces, some even taking small sips! A local guide told us the water is filthy and she said people get sick from coming in contact with the contaminated water.
After lunch, we drove to a nearby park that looked promising. We arrived at the Royal Victoria Park, which has been the best park we have visited during the entire trip! The kids jaws literally dropped and despite the freezing cold weather, we let them run wild for hours. Hundreds of kids shared the amazing slides, swings, tunnels, climbing ropes, it was hard to keep an eye on them and not lose them in the crowds. Hours passed, the wind got cold and the sun started to set.
We drove back into Bristol in search of dinner. Jamie’s Italian caught our eye and we went in for an early dinner. It ended up being a tiresome and disappointing process but we were so tired and hungry that we endured the long delays and finally crawled into bed after a long day.
The next morning, we checked out early as the rain poured down. Huddled in the car, we navigated north into the Cotswold region to our amazing country home in Cheltenham.