The decorations are up at Daisy Chain – everything is prepared for our guests over Christmas.
Photo be Naomi at cotswoldfamilyholidays.com
The Thames and Severn Canal passes along the edge of Cotswold Water Park. It was completed in 1798 and was planned as part of a canal route from Bristol to London. At its eastern end it connects to the River Thames at Inglesham Lock near Lechlade, while at its western end it connects to the Stroudwater Navigation at Wallbridge. Since 1972 the Cotswold Canals Trust has been working to restore the canal and the Stroudwater Navigation so that there can again be a navigable link between the River Thames and the River Severn.
A walk along the section of Canal that passes along the edge of Cotswold Water Park will bring you past Cerney Wick Roundhouse. It is one of five distinctive buildings that were built for use by lock-keepers and lengthmen. The roundhouses have 3 floors, the lower floor would have been a store, while the first floor provided a living area and the second floor a circular bedroom. The roundhouse at Cerney Wick is now privately owned.
A 5 mile circular walk starting at South Cerney takes you past the Roundhouse along the disued Canal and the old railway line. For more details http://www.theaa.com/walks/around-the-lakes-of-the-cotswold-water-park-420502
Visitors walking around the Lower Mill Estate will find another roundhouse in Mill Village, the oldest part of the estate.
The Cotswold Cheese Company have shops in Moreton-in Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford. At the centre of each shop is a fabulous cheese counter stocking more than 80 different farmhouse varieties, including a number of excellent local cheeses. These include St. Eadburgha, a gold-medal winner at the British Cheese Awards, Cerney Ash and Burford. Whether you prefer a slice of tangy cheddar, a wedge of stilton or something milder and creamier, The Cotswold Cheese Company is bound to have something to suit you.
Visiting on a Saturday (the best day for tastings!) gives you opportunity to stock up for the weekend. As well as stocking amazing cheeses the shelves are also full of local artisan produce including local ales and pies.
More details http://www.cotswoldcheese.com/
Sunday 28th May 2023sees the return of the Lechlade Duck Race. The event was only started last year and was a roaring success. Over 6000 ducks are waiting to be launched into the River Thames. There are a range of family friendly prizes for the top 20 ducks. Once you have watched the ducks bobbing their way down the river your family will be entertained by funfair rides, inflatables, children’s crafts, a go-kart track and a dog show which will include a dog agility course.
The whole event will be raising money for a range of charities.
The duck race starts at soon after 2pm. It is well worth checking the website for details of where to park. You can even pay for your duck online to save queuing on the day. http://lechladeduckrace.co.uk/
The progression of April has brought the return of Nightingales to the Lower Mill Estate. An early morning or evening walk in the enclosed woodland around Flagham Fen (just a 10 minute walk from Daisy Chain) may reward you with the sound of their distinctive song, a fast succession of high, low and rich notes. A recording of this can be found on the RSPB website http://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/n/nightingale/
Nightingales are secretive birds which often hide in the middle of thick hedgerows. They arrive in April and sing until late May / early June. Once they have bred they return to north Africa between July and September.
Photo credit: creative commons licensed (CC BY 2.0) flickr photo by Kev Chapman: https://www.flickr.com/photos/25553993@N02/5670165909
We had a fantastic day yesterday exploring 3 amazing places to see spectacular wild flowers in the Cotswolds. We started off at Barnsley Warren SSI where the Pasqueflowers are looking superb. They are on a beautiful Cotswold hillside – the setting is stunning.
Next, we moved on to North Meadow~ in Cricklade which is an amazing meadow overflowing with Snakeshead fritillaries I hadn’t realised just how large the meadow is…or quite how many Snakeshead fritillaries there would be.
In the afternoon we went to Clattinger Farm – an ancient meadow. It is a carpet of cowslips at the moment and the first Green Winged Orchids are making an appearance.
An amazing day – if you want to see the Pasqueflowers or the Snakeshead fritillaries you will have to move fast. They are at their best now!
We’ve been having such fabulous weather over the last couple of weeks it made us think of this brilliant photograph of the Lower Mill Estate in Cotswold Water Park where Daisy Chain is. Daisy Chain is set on the lakeside with perfect uninterrupted views across Somerford Lagoon, the largest lake on the Estate. Guests can enjoy using the Canadian Canoe to explore and enjoy a different view of the wildlife. There are lots of peaceful walks to enjoy as well as cycle rides and then there is the ArtSpa where you can take relaxation to the next level. Indoor and outdoor heated pools, a sauna, steam room and Spa treatments. Hmmm….holidays.
To view an interactive version of this photograph visit https://cotswoldfamilyholidays.com/lower-mill-estate/
Otters in Cotswold Water Park
Cotswold Water Park is home to a healthy population of otters, but it remained a mammal that I hadn’t ever seen in the wild…until yesterday morning. We had a magical time by one of the lakes on the Lower Mill Estate watching the otters diving for fish. There were four otters who were went about their fishing with our family being a very happy audience. We were amazed by the number of times they did synchronised dives. Enjoy watching some of the footage we took!
Over the next few weeks there are some 5* Bores coming up….ok – so that could be read more than one way. Let me explain! The Severn Bore is far from boring – in fact it is quite amazing! The bore is a large surge wave that can be seen in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the second highest in the world – as much as 15 metres. For a bore to occur you need the river estuary and the tidal conditions to be just right. The Severn Estuary is shaped in such a way that the water is funnelled into an increasingly narrow channel as the tide rises, which leads to the formation of a large wave. The river follows a course past Avonmouth where it is approximately 5 miles wide, then past Beachley and Aust, then Lydney and Sharpness where it is approximately 1 mile wide. Ever narrowing, by the time the river reaches Minsterworth it is less than a hundred yards across. As well as the width decreasing rapidly, the depth of the river also changes rapidly and so a funnel shape is formed. The incoming tide travels up the estuary, being funnelled up an ever decreasing channel, so forming a surge wave – a bore.
Surfing the bore has become quite a sport with dozens of surfers competing to record the longest ride. Distance records have been broken on numerous occasions with the Guinness World Record holder, Steve King, recording a ride of 9.25 miles! With the bore reaching speeds of approx 10mph that’s quite a long ride! Canoeists and windsurfers also love to take a ride on the bore. The huge difference between surfing the bore and surfing at sea is that if you miss the bore you’ve got a long time to wait until the next one…ohhh…and don’t forget to have someone ready to meet you at the other end. It’s a walk back to the car with a board!
For great information about where and when to see the bore visit http://buff.ly/15Qhc1O The weekend of 20th February at the end of half term is due for two top rated 5* bores.