I’ve always been interested in the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians and I cannot wait for my son to learn about each civilisation at school. He briefly covered the Romans when he learnt about Pompeii last year and we’ve shown him lots of Roman artifacts in museum visits over the last few years. But there’s nothing quite like seeing something in situ. When we visited the Cotswold Water Park recently I noticed a sign, and just knew we had to spend some time exploring Chedworth Roman Villa before we headed home.
The National Trust run property is found within the rolling hills close to Yanworth near Cheltenham. It’s well sign posted, with a small on site car park, and additional parking along a lane close by. We arrived about an hour before closing time and parked easily.
There’s a small cafe area within the entrance building along with toilet facilities. There were a number of different trails my son could have tried out, but he was eager to just explore by himself. So we picked up a map and headed off to spend some time exploring Chedworth Roman Villa.
We’d seen some wonderful Roman ruins on our last trip to Portugal, so my son is used to having to visualise what might once have risen from the ruins he was looking at.
There’s a great orientation model of the site close to the entrance which is also great for working out what the Villa complex would once have looked like.
The ruins of the villa were discovered in 1864 and the site contains one of the finish mosaics in Britain. I’ve seen lots of mosaics over the years and they never cease to amaze me with their designs, colours and the skill involved with creating them all those years ago.
When you spend time exploring Chedworth Roman Villa you’ll see that the mosaics are housed within a sheltered building and you walk along a suspended walkway to enjoy the remains.
As you walk through the rooms, it’s important to look down to see what gems lie beneath your feet.
The floors really are stunning.
It was nice to see my son slow down and actually take in what he was looking at.
There are also information points around the site which are useful to read.
We talked about the concept of going from a really hot bath to an ice-cold plunge pool, we both agreed that we’d prefer to stick with a warm bath without any shocks to the system! Although my son was really impressed with the idea of underfloor heating dating back that far.
Once outside there was still plenty more to see whilst exploring Chedworth Roman Villa, starting with the water shrine.
There are various rooms to see the outline of as you walk along the north wing bath house.
My little engineer looked on in wonder.
There is a Victorian Museum within the grounds which houses some of the items that have been found on the site over the years.
There was just time to have a game of hop scotch,
and time to test his balance before we needed to head home.
We’d had a lovely time exploring Chedworth Roman Villa and it was a great way to end a full day out.
I bought my son a little make your own mosaic coaster set from the shop before we left and he set to work creating his design last weekend. He’s very proud of his creation and has just a little bit more of an idea of how hard it must have been for the mosaic designers in Roman times.
Are there any Roman ruins you would recommend we should visit?