Claire and some wisteria in Broadway High Street
Tuesday was wet, and Chris and Claire went shopping in Cheltenham. I had intended to visit the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, but discovered it was not running that day. By evening the weather had cleared up but was still misty. This is the view through the window from our table at the Mount Inn, overlooking the picture-book village of Stanton.
Wednesday was dry, so we visited Hidcote Manor Gardens
The view from the Manor House entrance
In the distance is the National Trust guide who would later give us an interesting talk on the history of Hidcote and the gardens.
The gardens are arranged in a series of 'rooms'. Here are Chris and Claire in one of them.
Claire in the 'Stilt Garden'
Having spent Wednesday morning at Hidcote, after a pot of tea in the cafe there we drove to Winchcombe station on the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway, which was operating that day. Recently restored Great Western 2-8-0 no. 2807, a 1905 freight locomotive, enters Winchcombe with a train from Cheltenham Racecourse station
I had a word with the loco crew and secured a footplate ride on the engine while it ran around the train to position on the other end for the journey back to Cheltenham (Claire's picture)
The view of Winchcombe yard from the footplate of 2807. The line north of here is temporarily severed by an embankment collapse, but the railway are proceeding with repairs and hopefully it won't be too long before trains can travel the entire length from Cheltenham to Laverton, and then on to the proposed extension to Broadway. The railway has plans to eventually link up with the Network Rail main line at Honeybourne.
Claire's picture of 2807 having run around the train using the track on the right, awaiting the points to change so she can advance down onto her train and be coupled on.
Claire catches a similar picture to one on the visit to the Keithley & Worth Valley Railway (see the blog October 2010). There I was climbing down from the cab of BR Standard Class 4 Tank Engine, here it's GWR 2-8-0 2807.
I make my way back to the platform, followed by the fireman and the driver
The train, ready to depart back to Cheltenham
Even though I didn't do any firing, it's thirsty work on a steam locomotive. So we enjoyed a drink in the afternoon sunshine outside The Swan Inn, Broadway.
That evening we had a lovely meal at the Horse & Groom in Bourton-on-the-Hill, bringing our few days in the Cotswolds to a pleasant ending.