Visit an Historic Castle
If you are in Gloucestershire, why not visit Berkeley Castle.
In 1153 Lord Maurice Berkeley completed this fortress by the Severn Estuary at the command of Henry II, and ever since it has been the ancestral home of the Berkeley family, one of England's oldest families who have given their name to numerous locations all over the world, from Berkeley Square in London, to Berkeley Hundreds in Virginia, and Berkeley University in California.
There is also a Butterfly Farm set in the walled garden adjacent to the car park.
I last visited this castle in 1992, so am unable to give you current admission prices.
The picture is taken from the leaflet we were given, sorry about the poor quality.
Berkeley Castl;e is situated by the town of Berkeley just off the A 38 midway between Bristol and Gloucester. From the M5 motorway exit at junction 14 or 13.
The Victoria Dock was opened to water traffic in 1849 due to increased trade. This dock is also known as the salt basin as salt was once ferried from here to Stoke Pier and Droitwich for export to Ireland and the Continent.
Nowadays this is a really pretty marina where you can take a leisurely stroll and admire the colourful barges which are moored there with the backdrop of the huge warehouse buildings.
Robert Raikes House
Robert Raikes house is a fine sixteenth century building with decorative timber-framed facade and octagonal brick chimney stacks. It has been lovingly restored and now houses a great pub/restaurant with many rooms decorated in period style providing a great atmosphere. The food here really did look nice but as we'd just eaten before our visit, we just called in for a drink!
On the exterior of the building you can see three sugar loaves haning from a cast iron bracket - this is a sign that the building was used as a grocers in years gone by.
National Canal Museum
"Thursday July 25"
Our daughter walked in to work again (as she did on Tuesday because the buses don't run that early in the a.m.), and we took the car and went to the Gloucester Waterway Museum with our grandson. The museum is one of our grandson's favorites (he is 8 years old), and we also thought it would be good preparation for the narrowboat trip we were taking starting on the next day.
Our daughter gave us directions for the Shop Mobility place where we could have parked free (my mother used it), but I didn't feel as disabled as that. So we paid £3.00 for parking.
We left late because I was writing up our previous days for the homefolks
(see London, Greenwich, Salisbury, Stonehenge and Avebury
We got to our goal (the National Waterways Museum) about noon after getting lost a couple of times. I was still very nervous about how close Bob was to the left (he was driving the Rover which is RHD), but I think it was pretty much unnecessary - I was just nervous. He did hit another curb, but managed to miss a child of about 3 who jumped out into the street in front of him, causing the mother to yell (loud enough that I could hear her) "You stupid child.. " etc. I would have said she was the stupid one to let a toddler that age be close enough to the road when her mom was far enough away for that to happen.
After we parked, I saw a huge gaggle of middle school kids about ready to go into the museum, so we stopped and ate lunch at the museum shop first. Our grandson had a milkshake (which is a bottled drink and not ice cream) and chips, I had tea (85p), quiche and a jacket potato, and Bob had a tuna sandwich and Sprite (lemonade). The bill was £8.55 ($13.60).
Then we went to the museum £12 for 2 seniors and one child. We did all the interactive things. This included investing in a canal company (I lost all my money), designing a canal (I did this with my grandson - the first time we did it the computer came back and said something to the effect of "I can't believe that they are allowing you to be in charge of this project - you need to go back and work under an engineer as an apprentice", working a lock (on the computer) by doing things in the correct sequence, and designing your own canal boat.
Our grandson also had a list of things to look for and write down the answers to questions about them, which he turned in at the gift shop to be eligible for a drawing. It was sponsored by a chocolate company.
There were also exhibits on the canal navvies (some boys went to work as young as 8), cargos, a speeon dredger, a coal hoist, a lock gate (a real one - unfortunately so dark that it was hard to take a picture of it - see http://www12.virtualtourist.com/m/4a9c6/4a44a/ for pictures of real ones), information about leggers (when the canal boats couldn't be pulled by the horses through tunnels, the men lay on their backs and walked the boat through - was called legging), and a painted ware gallery (something like Pennsylvania Dutch work). There were also cruises available, but we didn't take one.
After we got home (we are getting better at finding our way back to the house), Bob walked up to the store.