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Published: September 19th 2006
Our great accommo
Thanks to Hilly!!
As a continuation of my efforts to see more of the UK as well as European nations, I headed to the Cotswolds this weekend with a group of friends. Although we were all Aussies - it seemed like a much more international affair. Three of us are now living in London, two were here on holidays from Australia (but had just flown to London from a 'great Alaskan adventure'), one is living in Geneva and the other in Zurich.
We stayed in a cute little bed and breakfast in Winchcombe, a cute English country town among the rolling green hills (and yes - they are green at the moment now that there has been some rain) about 2.5 hours from London. The rooms were all decorated in ‘cute English country’ décor - in my case including a sloping floor. However, all is forgiven, seeing as the premises date from 1435. We had dinner at the B&B, where the food was excellent, and the brekkie did not disappoint either.
Winchcombe has many lovely ‘English’ houses, with slate roofs, roses growing on trellises, chimneys and flowered gardens, lots of Tudor looking houses and cozy pubs. There is also a nice old
church with its own weird and wonderful gargoyles (one even had a top hat) and a castle!!
We all headed to Sudeley castle for a Sunday stroll. Now, I love castles, but I was surprised that the museum at this one was surprisingly interesting. Katherine Parr, the sixth wife on Henry VIII lived in the castle with Thomas Seymour, Earl of Sudeley - the love of her life, who was her fourth husband (after Henry). It is a real love story. She wanted to marry Thomas (who was described as ‘dashing and unscrupulous’ in the blurb under his photo) but when Henry picked her, she had to follow her duty. Luckily for her Henry didn’t last long, so she was then able to marry Thomas, although she outlived him as well (and she only lived to be 38!!!).
In terms of the castle, Henry had also visited there earlier, with Anne Boleyn (by the time I leave the UK, I am determined to be on top of the stories of all of Herny VIII’s wives), and Elizabeth I and Charles I had also dined there. It was also a strategic headquarters during the English Civil War, so it
with its snazzy gargoyles
has really been at the centre of things!! Apart from that, the gardens of the castle are lovely and the people who lived there after Katherine Parr and Thomas Seymour, a woman called Emma Dent, was a big collector of nearly everything and a massive letter writer, there are letters from all sorts of random people to her, including Florence Nightingale, which is kind of cool.
The other interesting thing, is the awesome names of all the English regions/towns. For example, Winchcombe is not far from Upper and Lower Slaughter.
All in all, had an excellent time on the great Cotswolds adventure. Was great to go away with a group of friends where the food, wine and location are excellent, the conversation ranges over all the important (and unimportant) topics and the laughs are plentiful.
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