Friday 25th February – Friday 3rd March
The site we are on is a ten minute walk from the stunning village of Broadmarsh
On arriving at the site of Friday we took a longer walking route into the village and stumbled upon The Crown and Trumpet before the village. It was sunny and warm (ish) so we sat and I supped a pint or two and Angie had to force herself to drink two dry white wine spritzers.
The village is a typical Cotswolds village – or so we are told – as it is the first that we have experienced it was hard to say but very pretty. Old Yellow limestone buildings each individual and impressive and most of them very large Manor House like lining the roads around a lush village green with a war memorial in the middle. Lots of curiosity shops bistros and tea rooms yet quiet as its mid February. We are sure it would be heaving in the spring and summer.
Saturday -the weather was not as good so we decided to do a whistle stop tour of some of the other villages in the area by car. Morton-in-Marsh, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Chipping Camden and Stow-on-the-Wold were the first to be ticked off and each of them vying for the top spot on the ‘pretty scale’ each with their own character and each totally different from the last, yet all of them picture perfect in their own right. Each of them were allowed a cursory wander around but ‘Stow’ as the locals call it won our patronage for lunch today and a cream tea for me was hastily ordered which consisted of egg sandwiches a scone with cream and jam and a slice of carrot cake, Angie trying to be good had an omelet. The drizzling rain meant that Angie had the perfect excuse to go into most of the shops.
Sunday – a good weather forecast stimulated a longish walk to burn off the calories that I added yesterday. Angie decided that the mundane duties of washing our clothes was now definitely needed and as she was doing to be site bound would also have a go at making one of her much loved Sunday roasts in the motorhome. We have been able to cook nearly everything so far but this was the first attempt on roast beef, her famous crispy fluffy roast potatoes, 4 veg, gravy and Yorkshire puddings. Sounded like a plan for me, a long winter walk with Molly followed by a swift warming whiskey and then a prepared Sunday roast and a bottle of one of our reds from France. I use a great app on my phone for planning walks and tracking our progress to make sure I don’t get lost. I headed out to the Broadway Tower at a fast pace to keep away the cold it was a long a arduous climb all the way to the top but the views were stunning. The walk down was equally steep but rewarded with the best roast for months on my return.
Monday – A quick drive to Stratford-upon-Avon to see Shakespeare’s birthplace but the weather was awful and we decided to not get out of the car a wander around as most of it was just a big town albeit with some lovely buildings and the river Avon of course. Definitely a place to spend a day when it is not persisting it down, but not today! A longer visit to Morton-in-Marsh as the rain had stopped by the time we got there, a slice of cake and coffee to replace the calories used wandering around the ‘countless’ Nic nac shops! Then on to Chipping Norton.
Tuesday – one of our prettiest days with visits to Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter (they sound horrible but are really stunning) followed by Bourton-on-the-Water which was very quiet with the only visitors being mainly Chinese photographing absolutely everything including shop windows, signs, menus etc – what is it with them? We then went on to Buford to complete a lot of walking and some great photos taken in some of the loveliest villages we have seen.
Wednesday – started by spending a lazy morning surfing the net and having another go at trying to find a long lost friend and walking buddy. Having tried numerous times in the past by different ways including Facebook, instagram, linked-in and google even ringing an old number and leaving a message but all to no avail we were shocked to find a blog on the net and on opening it there was a picture of Trevor. Unbelievably he is full timing in his caravan and has had some amazing experiences over the last few years. I pinged him an e-mail via his blog but as he had not added a post since December was not sure he would receive it. We then went to Evesham – not great! Enough said! We decided to head out to the local Gin distillery and try to get on a tour but we had missed the last tour of the day and the shop was deserted apart from a few very highly priced bottles of gin. We made a hasty retreat. A further wander around Broadway concluded the day.
Thursday – Whilst lazing over our morning coffee in bed (this lifestyle means a lot more lazy slow starts to the day) I started reading Trevor’s blog again and spotted a photo of his site which I recognised. A quick phone call to the manager at The Camping and Caravaning club site in Tavistock confirmed that Trev was indeed there. We changed our plans again and booked in to visit on Wednesday asking him to pass a message on to Trevor of our intent. Really pleased to have found Trevor again after at least 10 years. Thursday is our last touring day of the Cotswolds as Friday is forecast heavy rain all day and Saturday we leave for Devises. First on the list is Bibury, this was no 1 on our hit list as it looked so pretty. The day was a beautiful spring like day and when we arrived at the village there was a group of teenage Chinese girls in front of us in the small car park by the church. We purposely went into the churchyard to get away from their excited squeaking chatter. They followed! Lucky they disappeared as we wandered up to the small green. When we walked down to the small stream and the row of cottages that it is famed for they were there taking picture upon picture upon picture upon picture. I waited and Angie went to look in the small post office and gift shop coming back proudly holding two mouthwatering hot sausage rolls which were the best I have ever tasted. We munched on them by the stream and waited. After a while we decided to walk past the girls who were now taking pictures of themselves in stupid poses in front of the cottages. We walked up the hill and explored the rest of the village. On returning they were still there! There were a few people waiting to take a picture of the cottages without their group in it. We joined them. After a while we decided to walk back to the car and drive back to the spot hoping that they would have moved on. We parked up again and they were still there still taking photos! We waited again and I was just about to go and ask them to “bugger off” when they finally moved to the end I quickly took my shots ( the other people must have just given up and took photos with 5 Chinese girls front and centre) but they were still in the background -you can just see them in one of the attached . After the stunning village of Bibury we did a whistle stop tour of Lechlade and stoped for a pint on The River Thames before driving through so many pretty sandstone villages en route to Highworth, Fairford and Minster Lovell.
We returned home to find an e-mail from Trevor with a phone number – he had obviously been passed my message. I called and after a 10 minute chat over the phone we confirmed that we will see him on Wednesday which we really look forward to and catching up on his travels and experiences.
In conclusion we have truly loved the Cotswolds and have tried to exhaust it without success. It’s a great place to visit whatever the weather or time of year and although it would be stunning in better weather the additional crowds would spoil it especially if they were Chinese!!!!