Today’s picture was taken by Dropscone while on a solo bike ride the other day. The jumble of roofs conceals the fine school where I spent thirteen years of my teaching life.
Today our daughter went home and in sympathy, the sun refused to come out for the first time on our holiday. Luckily, it was still quite warm enough to be pleasant. We were slightly delayed when we were about to leave for the station by an arrival on an electricity pole on the far side of the field.
We saw Annie off at the the station in Frome and then headed up to Bath to tread in the footsteps of Jane Austen, though I don’t suppose that she used the Park and Ride bus as we did.
We visited the Roman Baths first….
…but although there was a gentle steam rising from the waters, we didn’t fancy a dip in this…
…so we settled for coffee and a Bath bun in the Pump Room instead. We were entertained by a very tasteful string trio while we sipped and felt very pampered with waitress service at tables with shining white cloths under glittering chandeliers.
We strolled out of the Pump Room with a superior air and walked down to Bath Abbey which has had a life of successive dilapidation and restoration. It is now a parish church and looks very fine.
We continued down to the river where we admired the covered Poulteney Bridge over the Avon.
I also admired the horseshoe weir in the river below the bridge.
From the river, we walked uphill to the Assembly Rooms. This had a modest entrance for such an important element of Bath’s social life.
The main room was in use so we walked on to the Royal Circus. Sadly, it had no jugglers or tightrope walkers but it did have an elegant circle of houses.
Just past the Circus, we came to the most celebrated street in the city, the Royal Crescent.
This certainly has a most impressive facade and even the terrace ends are built like temples.
I liked the general view of the street but I found the houses rather oppressive and unsympathetic close to with their huge blocks of stone.
We turned back and walked back down to our bus stop along Walcot Street, described as an artisan quarter and home to many nice furniture shops, the prices in which give some indication of how much money is washing round this part of the world in these hard times. We were both struck by how much parts of Bath resemble Edinburgh.
After the purchase of a sandwich, we caught the park and ride bus back to our car where we ate the sandwiches. Then we drove to Radstock and got the bikes out of the back of the car. There are three bike paths leading out of Radstock, all on old railway lines so we were spoiled for choice. We chose to take the Greenway to Midsomer Norton first.
In fairness to Mrs Tootlepedal’s trim figure, I should point out that a stiff breeze in our faces was inflating her yellow jacket when I took this picture. A firm gravel surface made for good cycling. The end of the track decanted us rather abruptly on a very busy main road but we managed to navigate safely to Midsomer Norton’s handsome high Street.
We struggled through busy roads back to the Greenway and returned to Radstock with the wind behind us. This wheel in the centre of the town celebrates Radstock’s coal mining heritage.
We rode past it and on to National Cycle Route 24 which goes to Frome along another old railway line.
This one was surfaced with tarmac and in very good condition. We think it must have been a double track at one time because to one side of our path, you could see a complete railway line emerging occasionally from the long grass.
We spotted yet another handsome church and left the line to go and look at it.
There were piles of cars and vans around it and we saw that they were filming in a garden beside the church.
The film is called The Other Wife and is being made for TV. We would be keen to see it when it comes out but we may have to wait a long time as it says on the internet that it is being made for German Television..
After a short and pointless diversion to find another way back onto the track, we retraced our steps (or whatever cyclists do when they go back) and joined the track again.
Altogether we cycled eleven miles and after a week of tourist activity, we felt that that was quite enough and drove back to the cottage. The day was rounded off by a nice meal in the Pub at Vobster.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I have voted this an excellent holiday with something interesting to do and see every day. Personally, I will need a jolly good lie down when I get home to recover from all the excitement.
Sadly there was absolutely no opportunity to catch a chaffinch of the day today.