Sunday May 9th dawned a beautiful sunny day following a rainy Saturday so we set out for a lovely day in the Cotswolds.
We started near Winchcombe, Cheltenham, at Hailes Abbey. Founded in 1246, this was a centre of monastic life for nearly three centuries.
Not far from the Abbey is Toddington Station on the Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Railway, a volunteer operated heritage railway. We stopped for lunch (a bacon and sausage bap) at the Flag and Whistle Cafe, just in time to see a train pulled by a steam engine arrive.
After lunch we carried on to Sudeley Castle and Gardens, now the home of Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, and her family. We were particularly keen to see the 30+ life sized elephant sculptures that have made a trail through the gardens.
The elephants form part of the environmental art campaign, CoExistence, which highlights the loss of biodiversity caused by humans as they encroach on wild spaces across the globe.
It was launched by the conservation charity Elephant Family, set up by Lady Ashcombe’s late husband’s nephew Mark Shand, who dedicated 27 years of his life to saving Asian elephants.
The elephants, part of a 100 strong herd, were created in India by the Adivasi tribal community, and are set to transform London’s Royal Parks into the Nilgiri Hills of Southetn India this summer, before migrating further afield to the USA.
We had a lovely day out, beginning to feel that things are slowly getting back to normal and better times are ahead. We have missed travelling, although we know we were really lucky to get to India and Scotland last year.
Over the next few months we are travelling to the Wirral, Knutsford, Porlock, Norfolk and the Isle of Man so hopefully there will be more posts to look forward to!
Enjoy the new freedoms that are coming,