07 August 2011

The Cotswolds (Burford, Bibury, Burton-on-the-Water)

Hearing: drone of building aircon...

I'm in the Sandpit on the last 2wk stretch of my holidays. While waiting for a friend of mine - O, to arrive for a day of what I am sure will be a good catch up (I haven't seen her in 2 years!) I thought I would post about a trip I did when I was back in London to the Cotswolds and some of the villages there.

Our first stop was Burford. The main attraction here was the High Street lined with old houses, pubs, tea-shops and cute little stores. While walking along, I found that there were little laneways to access homes behind these shop fronts, they were always marked "private" and cordoned off but they were just so pretty that I had to sneak a photo.

Burford - The old building where 'tax' was paid at the end of market day
Burford - The Cross at the entrance to the village is an old reminder to merchants to trade fairly in the market under the eyes of god
Burford - an example of the cordoned off residences
Burford - one of the old homes along the High Street
There was a little arcade of shops that i wandered into mainly because the storefront to a lolly shop caught my eye. It was what you expect old fashioned lolly shops to look like...shelves upon shelves of glass jars filled with all sorts of sweets, chocolate, toffee, nougat and more...see for yourself in the pics below. I saw one jar that was filled with what looked like small yellow beads called Millions and just had to try them. I bought 100gms in the yellow, lemon flavour, and the same in raspberry (though that one didn't taste as good as the lemon) and the assistant put them in cute little paper bags.

Burford - Old fashioned lolly shop
Burford - Old fashioned lolly shop front
The cute wrapper for my "Millions"

My "Millions"
Burford - the courtyard at the end of the arcade
Another place that i stopped off in was Huffkins. Our guide told us that it was famous for its baked goods...i needed a coffee so i grabbed it from there along with a strawberry tart...very yummy :)

Next on the agenda was Bibury. This place...my word...so beautiful. We only had a short time here but i could have spent longer. Its a very small village but blessed with such natural beauty that while I'll let the photos do the talking on this one, bear in mind that they really don't do it any justice.

Bibury - the swan asked for a hefty fee to be in the picture
Bourton-on-the-Water was our last stop and the place we had the most time. There are a lot of attractions here such as the Dragonfly Maze, Birdland (not as lame as it sounds i am told), the Model Village and more. But forget all that. Its beauty is in the river that runs alongside the village High Street. And as luck would have it, that day the weather was perfect! It was sunny and warm and it was as though the whole village was out on the banks of the river socialising and soaking up the sun. Kids were playing in the water, chasing and trying to catch trout while parents took photos of them trying to capture the innocent pastime. The water itself was crystal clear and shallow, i was tempted to find a spot on the edge of the river and let me feet dangle over the edge into the water it looks so pleasant. Crossing the river were many little foot bridges and alongside were little pedestrian paths. It really was just so picturesque, i can understand why it has been regularly voted one of the prettiest villages in Britain.

Bourton-on-the-Water and the river Windrush
Bourton-on-the-Water - the little kid was determined to get that fish!
Bourton-on-the-Water - a local band came out to play for the people out enjoying the sun
The Cotswolds are not so far from London, if you are there on a holiday, make the effort to visit some of the villages or even join a tour if you don't want to drive around yourself. My tour for a full day only cost me 40pounds which i think is quite fair. Anyway, that's all for now, hope you enjoyed your virtual trip through the Cotswolds with me.


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