Saturday, 9 November 2013

8 months in glorious Gloucestershire

We've been living in glorious Gloucestershire for 8 months now, and I had no idea when we arrived what a treat lay in store for me. I agreed to (or perhaps, suggested) a move out of the city, as I thought it would be a nice change, save on commuting, and be the right sort of place to buy a house. Before we started looking for a house, however, I don't think I'd ever actually been to Nailsworth. And then we bought the first house we saw. And here I am. I didn't know that Woodchester National Trust Park was a stone's throw from our house. I've spent many a Sunday since moving here wandering along by the lakes and through the woods, sometimes stopping for a cup of tea in the unfinished mansion. I didn't know about Ruskin Mill, a college where the practical skills learning takes place mostly outside, and meandering through the grounds is a pleasure. We've spotted kingfishers, herons, deer, hares and many other woodland friends on our many visits. I didn't know about Minchinhampton Common and the free range cows that make it their home all Summer. I didn't know about all the other commons surrounding Stroud either - Selsley, Rodborough... meaning that we are never short of places to walk. I now know that I can holiday 2 miles from my house, in the gorgeous Thistledown Farm campsite at Nympsfield. I did this with some friends in September, and was met for breakfast by Matt, who had cycled up the hill from ours. The views are stunning there, the air clear, and the surroundings green green green. I've now been to countless country pubs serving great food at London prices, spent entire days in the Summer swimming in Stroud's wonderful Lido, and seen a little of charming Cirencester. At every turn there is another village, woodland or walk to discover, and I love it. I love being able to walk out of the house and be in the countryside already. I love being far from traffic noise easily. I love Glooucestershire, and I had no idea I would.

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