Andrew and I headed off to Hammersmith station at about 8 o'clock this morning to catch the Picadilly Line tube to Victoria Station, where we had to catch our bus to Bristol. Our bus was departing at 9:30am so we allowed plenty of time because neither us had ever been to Victoria Bus Station. When we got there passengers had just started hopping on the bus so it was perfect timing and we got a seat right at the front of the bus. We were off for another weekend away with Anne and Richard! We ran into some traffic on the M4 and we were crawling for a while but all in all the bus trip was easy and comfortable, although we both agree that we prefer train travel. It was so much cheaper for the bus though and we would definitely not rule it out for future trips.
We arrived in Bristol at 12:30pm and Anne and Richard met us off the bus. They had been waiting a while because we were running late but that hadn't bothered them because they were in much need of a coffee after a stressful morning of driving. They had a nightmare of a time navigating their way around Bristol and it had taken them all morning to get to the bus station. It was a relief to now have Andrew on board with google maps on his phone and superb navigational skills. He sat in the front with Richard and the girls were in the back of the silver Vauxhall Corsa rental car that was to be our mode of transport for the weekend. We decided to go straight to 'Stanton House Hotel' where we were staying which is situated at the edge of the Cotswolds in the charming village of Stanton Fitzwarren, 10 minutes drive from Swindon and the M4 motorway. It is a perfect place to stay and is wonderful to be surrounded by stunning Wilthire countryside. It is a beautiful Cotswold stone house overlooking Stanton Lake and park with everything we need!
Once we had checked in the Hotel Andrew and I put a bit of juice in our phones before we hit the road! First stop was Cirencester where we wandered around and went to the Visitor Information Centre to grab some pamphlets and information so we could have a look at where we wanted to go over the weekend. Next stop was Tetbury where we fell upon the antique shop 'Top Banana Antiques' that we visited with Mum and John. We had another look here because it is a really impressive place with 5 levels of antiques! We had a drink at 'The Snooty Fox' pub where we met 'George' the Dog who was very large but super friendly! It appeared that he belonged to the owner of the Pub because he was definitely 'right at home' and even had his own water bowl.
We decided to visit Malmesbury next and find a nice place for dinner. We were all getting quite peckish by now! We ate in the restaurant part of 'The Kings Arms' pub in the main street and we all enjoyed our meal. Malmesbury looked quite different to when we were there with Mum and John because it was badly flooded at the time. We went for a quick walk around the village after dinner before returning to the car to make our way back to the Hotel. A lovely first day to begin our weekend re-visiting The Cotswolds!