When my husband announced last month, that we were going to the Cotswolds, images of Lilliput Lane style cottages, trickling rivers and stone bridges instantly sprang to mind.
Turned out I was right about those things. But as the trip loomed, and we began planning our route, I soon realised that my knowledge of the area was extremely limited.
I had no idea that the Cotswolds was such a vast area, spanning almost 800 square miles, and five different English Counties – namely: Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire!
Lechlade on Thames
I had no idea either that the River Thames flowed as far away from London as Gloucestershire – and that the village we would be staying in, Lechlade on Thames, was situated on the highest navigational point along the River.
Lechlade is a lovely little town with a friendly feel. It’s full of charming shops, inviting looking pubs and restaurants, and its fair share of stone cottages!
It’s a wonderful place for walkers – St John’s Lock is situated nearby, and we spent a lovely morning ambling along the canal path.
The County of Gloucestershire has so much to offer – we so enjoyed driving past fields of green, and plenty of wide-open space – a welcome change from the London suburb we live in. The Spring flowers were out in full force, and many of the Cotswold villages looked even more beautiful with an abundance of daffodils and tulips.
There are also plenty of towns and cities to explore, including Gloucester, Cheltenham and Cirencester – a handsome and historic Market Town. It was such a wonderful place to browse, with interesting, high-end shops, selling anything from household furnishings to artisan pastries.
Our trip to the Cotswolds would not have been complete without a trip to at least one of the quintessential villages that make this area so famous.
Bibury is arguably the most photographed village in the Cotswolds.
As soon as we got out of the car, it wasn’t difficult to see why.
It’s famous for Arlington Row, an exceptionally old row of weaver’s cottages dating back to the 14th Century.
It’s hard to fully describe or photograph the curved sweep of stone cottages, with the gurgling River Coln which winds its way past them. Pictures really do not do this place justice. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, peaceful and so rich in history – it’s hard not to imagine the generations of people who may have lived in these cottages.
We left the Cotswolds feeling revitalised and rested and as though our senses had been soothed by all the beautiful scenery. We also had the strong feeling that we had only just scratched the surface of all the wonderful places to explore! Not a bad place to end a trip I suppose…
We will definitely return some day.