That line had been going around in my head all weekend! My hubby and I were in Gloucester for one of our date weekends. It was driving me mad, so I decided to look it up on Google! And there it was! A nursery rhyme from my childhood:
Doctor Foster went to Gloucester,
In a shower of rain,
He stepped in a puddle,
Right up to his middle,
And never went there again.
Thankfully for us, the weather was dry. It was quite cold, but the sun was out. In fact, I would go as far to say, a perfect spring weekend.
It got me thinking though, how the nursery rhyme came about. I have a fascination with these things, as well as phrases and words. I decided to research the nursery rhyme a bit more!
There are many stories about how it came about, but my favourite is about King Edward I. He apparently was travelling to Gloucester on his horse, when he fell off into a puddle, and refused to go back there again!
I have to say to most, Gloucester wouldn’t be many peoples first choice of a destination for a date weekend. It certainly wasn’t mine, but when my hubby suggested it, I thought, why not!
I couldn’t remember ever going to Gloucester in the past, so it would be a new experience. Also, the whole purpose of a date weekend is to spend time with hubby relaxing, seeing new things.
We had heard that the Quays and Cathedral were both worth a visit, we love photography and exploring, so we set a date in the diary.
I went to my trusty website – Booking.Com, to see what hotels were available. Initially, we wanted to stay near the Quays, so we could go out in the evening for a nice meal and drinks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that was either still available, in our budget or nice.
I did see a beautiful old hotel called the New Inn which was in the centre, unfortunately, it didn’t have parking on site. Check out my Youtube video of our trip to see this hotel. It really is stunning. Another hotel kept popping up though! Hatton Court Hotel. It was a beautiful old manor house, about 10 minutes drive from Gloucester, with panoramic views of Malvern Hills and Gloucester. It looked perfect.
The rooms all looked lovely, but as this was our first break in 6 months, I decided to upgrade to the Junior suite to get a spa bath! My Youtube video doesn’t do the place justice!
With the dogs being looked after, on Saturday morning, we drove the 50 miles to Gloucester. We decided to head first to the Quays. Old warehouses were now converted to places to eat, drink and shop. Many of the top names had outlet stores there. Hubby and I are not shoppers so only did a very quick walk through the shopping area, but if shopping is your thing, I think you would really enjoy it.
The warehouses had been restored beautifully. Photography is our thing, and we were able to get some lovely pictures of not only the warehouses, but the docks too. It certainly was worth the visit. Some warehouses are still in need of a bit of love, but you can still see their beautiful and feel the history behind them.
It is so nice to think that this area has been preserved in such a way that its history can still live on with modern life.
If you have watched the recent Alice in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass, with Johnny Depp, you may even recognise it!
We next headed to the Cathedral. As we walked up to it, it took my breath away. It was absolutely beautiful. We expected to have to pay to go inside, but was pleasantly surprised that the only charge was £3 to take photos.
The man in the shop selling the photo tickets was so lovely. Very warm and welcoming.
The Cathedral inside was magnificent. There was so much to see. There were rooms everywhere, plus a viewing balcony over the whole of the cathedral.
The Cathedral is the resting place of King Edward II but the king that never was! The son of William the Conqueror!
When you look at my Youtube video of the day, you may even recognise some of it from Harry Potter! I have to say, as I walked down the corridors, I was waiting for Harry to pop out of his invisible cape!
Mary Queen of Scotts, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who were also filmed there!
The stained glass windows are amazing. It is worth taking time to look at them in detail. They all tell some amazing stories. Some of my favourites are captured on my YouTube video for you.
The city itself is a city of 2 halves. There are a lot of modern/60’s buildings around, but every once in a while you will find a little gem! There are still some beautiful old pubs and buildings worth a visit.
I am glad now we went. It was certainly a memorable visit. If you are ever visiting the Cotswolds or Cheltenham, I would certainly say stop off there for a day visit.
The hotel for the evening – Hatton Court was beautiful. The views were to die for. Our room looked right out across the Malvern Hills. As I said above, I had upgraded us to the Junior Suite. At first I was a little disappointed as I was expecting a sofa and coffee table in the room. That was purely because of my own expectation, but when I got over that, the room was lovely.
If I had one criticism (except the sofa!!), it was that the bed needed to move to the opposite side of the room, so you could lie in bed looking out at the views across the Malvern Hills. That said, you still had nice views over a field.
The bed was sooooooooo comfortable and big. I don’t think I have ever slept in such a comfortable bed!
The Spa bath was definitely worth the upgrade. After a day of walking around, to relax with a glass of bubbly in the bath was divine!
We booked dinner in the restaurant. I have to say, that was outstanding too ! Service was second to none as was the food.
In the morning we went down to breakfast. There was a lovely array of cereals, pastries, fresh fruit and juices, plus a comprehensive hot menu to order.
The waitress was busy, so we told her not to worry when she apologised for a short wait in taking our order! Hubby and I were chilled after a fabulous day and evening, so were not in a rush.
After 45 minutes though we were a bit concerned. I asked the manager! Our slip had fallen off in the kitchen and been missed. They were so apologetic. I think we had 3 separate apologies in total. I don’t mind if things go wrong when you get this kind of service.
This hotel is certainly on my top 10 of UK hotels to visit. If you want to try it yourself, visit http://www.booking.com/s/42/mariaw59 to get £15 off your next booking.
So our date weekend to Gloucester was a huge success. Sometimes, the less obvious of places have the biggest surprises!
Check out my video to see what we did and saw. https://youtu.be/v7UUH6Stu58