Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gloucestershire, England

Gloucestershire is a fair county, she extends her borders amongst some of England's finest Cotswold towns and villages, across a landscape that changes almost imperceptibly as you travel her modern highways and ancient by-ways. It is the birthplace of the River Thames, which slowly tumbles through quiet water-meadows studded with dream-like cottages, and at her heart lies Gloucester, an important city since the Romans first wrapped it in stone walls. Within the city lies Gloucester's towering cathedral, a place of pilgrimage and prayer almost since it was first begun in 1089, and yet quite recently shots for the Harry Potter movie were filmed here, adding a modern day lustre to this gloriously ancient house of God.

Along Gloucester's busy shopping streets, above a jewellers shop, light relief is brought by a colourful collection of bell ringers, representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and at centre stage, Old Father Time rings the hour. Busy Gloucester is vastly different from the elegant neighbouring Spa town of Cheltenham. This thriving town has joyous gardens and fine regency buildings decorated with graceful statues. Along its sweeping promenade are luxurious shops, and cafe's with outside tables and chairs giving the town a continental feel.

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