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Above image depicts ladies in latest fashions from the 16th century at Berkeley Castle.

Today proved ideal for touring, with continuous sunshine and mild temperatures.

We commenced by departing our Cheltenham lodgings and drove for about 30 mins to a roadside parking place to reach Belas Knap Neolithic ( Stone Age) Chambered Long Barrow on Cleeve Hill near Winchcombe. This is a four chamber elaborate burial monument dating from 3700-3600 BC. To reach the site entailed a hike along woodland paths and field tracks which were steep in parts.

The short hike proved memorable in context of the crisp, early morning sunshine, bird song, woodlands carpeted with mature bluebell flowers, dewy grass and church bells ringing from Winchcombe in the distance.

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The Long Barrow is a great credit to the stone age builders whose key resources were manpower and antler horns for tools. The site sits on a high elevation and is roughly contemporary with Stonehenge.

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Next, we moved forward to the 18th century AD by visiting the restored Painswick Rococo Garden which was at its peak around 1748 but subsequently went out of fashion and was re-planted. Aided by existence of a painting of the original garden restoration commenced in 1984 Painswick now represents a unique example of the flamboyant style of the 18th century when the rococo garden was intended as a haven of peace and tranquility and a place to stroll and soak up the ambience throughout all seasons.

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Next we moved to Berkeley Castle which has been occupied by the same (Berkeley)family for 900 years. The Castle’s origins date back to the 11th century when it was constructed as a Norman fortress. Edward II is reputed to have been murdered at Berkeley.Inside can be found a Great Hall, Norman Keep, State Apartments, furniture, rare paintings, tapestries and silver. Outside are eight acres of landscaped gardens. There is also an interesting Tropical Butterfly House which we visited.001

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At Berkeley, we encountered three ladies attired in ‘high end’ fashion of the 16th century.

Berkeley concluded our touring activities for the day after which we returned to Cheltenham.

Tomorrow we plan to visit Tintern in Wales.

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