I have already mentioned in this blog my liking for derelict buildings and their leaving traces that form and invisible bridge between the past and the present. This is precisely why I went out of my way to visit Hailes Abbey, situated between Cheltenham and Broadway.
Only the vaults outlining the outside of that 13th century Cistercian Abbey are left standing but they give an idea of the fair size of the place. However, I have to admit to having been slightly disappointed as the place does not have the atmosphere I find so enchanting in Mister Lovell Hall. I found it a bit bare and my imagination could hardly convey how pilgrims and monks would have lived there. For me, this is a place to visit if you are either a National Trust card holder, are a little short on time but want to see a place of interest or are looking for a moment of rest when en route to someplace else. I spent about 10 minutes walking around the place and then 5 minutes in the exhibition that shows remains of mosaics and bas-reliefs.
An audio tour can be taken and people are allowed to picnic in this unusual setting, which would be very pleasant.
All in all a nice place as it is still amazing to think the full abbey was once standing there, being a large centre for religious life though what is left is rather a painful reminder of the mortality of all things.