Sunday, December 15, 2013
There is a free gravel/dirt parking lot at the NW River Avon trailhead off A439/Warwick Rd. The flat footpath/trail goes south along the river and turns west into town onto Bridgway. This scenic river walk has great views of the open green meadows and marshlands. Canada Geese are especially abundant in the grassy fields and in the river.
The trail weaves its way alongside the tall bare trees with the natural scene of red tinted fallen leaves scattered all about, it’s great groundcover.
The trail crosses the river and continues pass a grassy green field leading up to the Bancroft Cruisers at the landing stage at the Holiday Inn.
The Shakespeare Memorial by Lord Ronald Gower sits at the far side of the garden with four smaller statues of characters from his plays; Hamlet, Lady McBeth, Falstaff and Prince Hal, each representing philosophy, tragedy, comedy and history.
The Canal Basin sits at the south end of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal; the narrow canal is 25 miles long with 53 locks and takes 3 days to travel from Birmingham. The canal is home to a flock of gorgeous white swans and other waterfowl.
The local rowing club can be seen out on their morning run along the river.
You can also see the large tree in Bancroft Gardens that has been yard bombed; the Remembering Tree. This trunk of the tree and some branches are fully covered by bright colorful yarn blocks! It’s a visual masterpiece that reminds people to celebrate those you love, have loved and lost. You make a donation and have a square dedicated to anyone you want.
On Waterside, the Sunday Market is in full blast with thirty plus vendors selling a variety of items from hand-made crafts, hats and scarves to chocolates and cupcakes.
The walk continues up Sheep St; this street has a mixture of small retail boutiques, charity shops and service oriented commercial businesses. This street is also known as Restaurant Row with plenty of dining options; Lambs of Sheep St, The Vintner and The Oppo are some of the local favorites.
On this street, you will find Tudor World; a museum that brings the 16th century to life! The town hall sits at the corner of Sheep St & High St.
High St is rich in architecture with black & white timber Tudor styled buildings dating back to 1595. This street is great for window shopping as it offers something for everybody. There is a unique variety of independent boutiques, coffee/tea shops, cafes and bakeries to chain stores such as Lush, WH Smith, The Body Shop and Ecco Shoes.
The north end of High St runs into the town circle at Bridge St. Bridge St is another shopping street with big name stores like Mark & Spencer to Laura Ashley and my local favorite place-Poundland!
From Bridge St, we retrace our steps to the River Avon Trail and make our way back to the car.
Our late afternoon snack included some candies/chocolates from the Sunday market, pastries from a local bakery, fruit, roasted toffee peanuts and English tea. For dinner, we had roast beef with vegetables, potatoes and Yorkshire pudding-delicious!
All good things usually come to an end; tomorrow we all have an early morning flight back to SFO. Super “thanks” to Sister #10 for accommodating us-I had a wonderful time!