Gloucester began life as a Roman town & the layout they chose is still visible in the streets crossing at a right angle in the centre of the modern city.  One of the three Cathedrals called "The Jewels of the Midlands",  Gloucester,  with its magnificent "Creçy window" & the tomb of King Edward II, (said to have Gloster Docksbeen murdered in nearby Berkeley Castle) is unmissable.  The restored Docks, surrounded by warehouses refurbished as shops, restaurants & museums are totally fascinating.

Not far either, is modern, lively, fashionable Cheltenham Spa.  It is still possible to drink the waters in the Spa centre, although these days, most people come for the smart  boutiques or antique centres.

The Cotswolds need no introduction.  The honey-coloured stone buildings which glow in the summer sunshine!   Pretty villages are almost a commonplace here - Broadway, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters, Northleach, Burford,  no  list is fully comprehensive because of tiny, hidden corners like the Barringtons or Hidcote Grevil Mansion, Chipping CampdenBoyce - you really need a guide! - & plenty of time to browse & take photos.   Many were rich wool-towns in the middle ages & their enormous, lavishly endowed churches, with monumental brasses commemorating the donors,  bear witness to their prosperity & their piety.  Perhaps a hefty donation to the church would ease open the gates of Heaven to the giver & his wife?

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