It’s FA Cup Preliminary Round Weekend, when the big boys come in, and Prescot Cables v Trafford looking the tie of a storm-assisted round. I’ll be there if my car passes it’s MOT*.
Prescot is a long way in every sense from the western Cotswolds and Cirencester and where I finished my latest excursion.
Despite some furious digging up of roads (still going), central Cirencester’s beauty cannot be diminished, particularly around St John the Baptist. It’s the colour of the stone that dazzles. I’ve still never been to the Roman amphitheatre, but I did watch Cirecncester Town play Cinderford a few years back which is probably comparable.
The town seems to be finally getting the tourist hordes it deserves, with coachloads of Japanese visitors in town, attracted by its 43 coffee shops and branch of New Look. A bit of sun goes a long way on a town of bright flowers and pale colours.
The parks are particularly good, benefitting from the addition of huge bunnies this year.
If all that fails, Cirencester has the ultimate tourist draw next month.
There was a dearth of tourists in the pubs, which are noticeably less pubby year-by-year. Mirroring Bewdley, Arkell’s Golden Cross is a shadow of the basic boozer I enjoyed a decade ago.
Each year see one new entry in the Guide, and the Marlborough Arms looked promising.
On the face of it, it’s a cracker. A huge, interesting beer range, brewery memorabilia and proper pub seating.
But as with a few too many beer exhibitions recently (Stroud excepted) the beer wasn’t up to much. Not off, just tired and not cellar cool. By the time I’d had two sips of a half of the North Cotswold, it just felt too late to start a debate with a young friendly barman who I’d just been happily chatting to. I hope the beer didn’t kill of too many plants.
The pub was late opening, and no-one joined me for a lunchtime drink. I’m surprised it hasn’t joined all the other pubs opening at 4pm. The lunchtime drinker is deceased in Cirencester.
* Prescot can call off the welcome party for me. My car survived its MOT (not that 32,000 miles last year did it much good apparently) but might not survive the expected tornados.