Wincanton, Cheddar and Bristol

Posted: August 25, 2009 in Ramblings

Before we left the Weymouth area the next morning we drove along Chesil Beach, a shingle beach on the other side of the Weymouth Bay.  We took a few pictures from the scenic overlook there.

chesil beach overlook

family at chesil beach 

Following on, we drove up to Wincanton, stopping to look at the Cerne Abbas giant on the way.  It’s hard to see from my photo, but it’s a caricature of a man carved into the chalk of the hills.  Some say it’s ancient; some say it’s a caricature of Oliver Cromwell!  Apparently cows are too vicious when it comes to trimming the grass around it, so only sheep are allowed to graze up there.

chalk man

Wincanton is a small town that we wanted to stop by because it’s a twin city with Ankh-Morpork, a city in the fictional Discworld of Terry Pratchett.  It also happened to be almost directly on our route from Weymouth to Bristol.  Unfortunately, the one store I wanted to stop at (The Cunning Artificer) was closed for some reason, at noon on a Wednesday, so I simply took a picture of it, and of the Wincanton town sign with the Ankh-Morpork logo, and we drove on.

ankhmorpork sign


Moving right along, we drove through Cheddar Gorge.  Yes, this does conjure up unpleasant lunchtime experiences!  However, this was a beautiful road that meandered down to the bottom of the gorge, where we (yes) stopped to have lunch at a pub.  Alex and I had burgers with cheddar, and I got my first taste of Strongbow cider.  Yum!

cheddar gorge 1

cheddar gorge 3

across to cheddar gorge  

Alex and Ant played a round of minigolf while Chris and I looked around at the tourist shops.  I got some beads to make a necklace, which I have made, but have no picture of (yet).

After this pleasant diversion, we continued on to our hotel in Bristol.  It was actually in Clevedon, with a view of the Severn Estuary.  Here is the view from our room.  The beach was completely mud.

view from hotel room in bristol

At this point we decided to drive into Bristol to see the SS Great Britain.  Unfortunately it closed to the public about 10 minutes before we got there!  We weren’t even able to see it because they had it hidden (more or less) behind big signs and part of a building.  Hard to believe such a big ship could be hidden from view.  Guess even the views cost money these days.

near the ss great britain

happy anchor boy 

So we drove off to find dinner.  The hotel lady had given Chris and Ant some info about restaurants, so we let them take the lead in finding them.  After we’d left the Great Britain parking lot, we ended up in downtown Bristol rush hour for a LONG TIME.  Very frustrating to all concerned.  Eventually we somehow got out of the traffic, found a parking garage, and grabbed some dinner.  Why is service so slow in British restaurants? 

Tomorrow, Bristol Zoo and Colinette!

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