We enjoyed a week of quaint coziness in the hilly rural area known as the Cotswolds (approximately 40 miles wide and 120 miles long east of London). We stayed in an Airbnb apartment above an eighteenth century inn/pub known as Tipputs just outside of Nailsworth. The Cotswolds are full of thatched and stone roof medieval villages, patchwork quilt hedgerows and dry-stacked stone walls, grazing sheep, public pathways with kissing gates, quintessetial English gardens, and narrow country lanes.
Walking, or rambling, is something many people do here on a regular basis, and it’s made much more delightful by the rights of way that crisscross the UK. We took in a bit of rambling ourselves when we visited various villages. We parked our car in one village, then walked to other villages each day on our outings. We were in the Cotswolds not to check off all the villages and say we’ve done the Cotswolds, but instead to experience them with a bit of a ramble, a pop into a spot for something to eat, and just soak up the atmosphere.
Nailsworth – one of many old wool trade towns from the 1800s in the area. The water mills that dot the countryside were used in the wool trade, as flour mills, and breweries. Today the mills have been converted to hotels, restaurants, and shops. We enjoyed a lovely walk on a slightly damp day from our pub home, down through the valley floor and up into town.
Bourton-on-the-Water (Venice of the Cotswolds), Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter
Blenheim Palace - home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. We spent the day strolling the gardens, touring the palace, and finally popped in at the beautiful Orangery Restaurant overlooking the formal Italian gardens for a bite to eat. At one time this lovely orangery was a greenhouse at the palace.
Chipping Campden we took a 90-minute self-guided walking tour all about the village which took us nearly 2 hours to complete and marched us all over town. After stopping at Butty’s Sandwich Shop we ate sausage rolls while sitting on a park bench then took in a walk on the Cotswold Way Public Footpath through the wheat fields to Broad Campden. We spent close to 4 hours In Chipping Campden and voted it our favorite village out of the eight we visited.
Speaking of driving...D’s first time driving in the UK on the left side of the road and I’d say so far he’s done quite well with the narrow roads and tricky roundabouts. He says it may be more difficult for me as a passenger because I’m used to paying attention as if I’m driving. I should note here that I’ve worn out the carpet as a passenger on the right side of cars by using my braking foot on the right tire well – can’t help it as it’s an automatic thing with me. The problem is, I brake far more often than Dennis does, and fortunately he loves me and tries to overlook my braking habits! As a passenger sitting on the left, I’m having quite a time of it braking with my left foot as that’s where the tire well is and my right foot has no place to go!
You may be wondering why the British drive on the left? In the past, people traveled on the left so swordsman would be at the ready to grab their swords (the majority being right handed) and fight off the nasty scoundrels coming at them. So the question really is - Why do some countries drive on the right? Well, in a nutshell, it goes back to Napoleon and his not wanting to do anything the British do, same goes for the Americans. And there you have it!
Thank you for joining our journey.