Gloucestershire is a remarkably varied county. Cut in two by the River Severn, the western part of the county comprises the ancient Forest of Dean, reserved for royal hunting in Saxon times and latterly associated with coal mining. In the north lie Gloucestershire's two biggest settlements, the cathedral city of Gloucester and Georgian Cheltenham with its elegant architecture. In the far north of the county can be found the half-timbered buildings of Tewkesbury. To the east lie the Cotswolds, stretching from Chipping Campden in the north down to the mill town of Stroud and the old Roman city Cirencester, both mid-county. Further south still lie the ancient settlements of Berkeley, Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury. This evocative journey through this gloriously rural county also features the canals that became the spine of the region, as well as the bridges than span its most important waterway, the Severn.
Stephen Lambe has been co-promoter of the Summers End Progressive rock festival in Lydney Gloucestershire since 2006, and has seen it grown to an event of genuine international stature. He writes regularly for "Rock Society" the magazine of the Classic Rock Society, for whom he is also secretary. He also heavily involved with Welsh Progressive Rock band Magenta, running their online presence. Born in Kingston Stephen first spent time on the Thames when his parents holidayed on the river a few weeks after his birth. His family has an intimate connection with the River. He first read "Three Men in a Boat" as a teenager, and has a lifelong fascination with the book and its author. He lives in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire - close to both the Severn and the Avon.