Day two of a tour of the Cotswolds

Published: October 18th 2013
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The sunrise this morning was one out of the box and just amazing.

Most of the days recently have started with cloud cover but this morning there is nothing to stop the sun make that spectacular rise in the east. What made it different were the trees in our eastern view that filtered the bright sunlight.

So with prospects of a sunny day ahead we got ourselves up and had breakfast to be on the road for day two in the Cotswolds than we did yesterday.

Checking the weather forecast confirmed the day was going to be fine and sunny but with a high of just 11C later in the day. A cold breeze was going to keep the temperature at a level where we will need to be protected from the chill.

Our plan is a little simpler today with a visit to Bibury and a walk around the area and then onto the town we didn’t get to yesterday, Stow-on-the-Wold.

We always seem to achieve another route by programming the GPS with a different option. Today we have chosen the shortest route which will mean we won’t be following the main roads.

On the road, we were soon onto the narrow back roads and climbing up run along the ridge of the main line of hills that separates the east and west Cotswolds. With the sun shining brightly and clear skies we had some grand views over the green countryside dotted with the small villages and towns.

Our first call was Bibury, a town that is recorded in the Doomsday Book of 1086.Many of the houses and other buildings are from the 17th century and built from a different honey coloured stone than the villages and towns we visited yesterday.

Like yesterday there were plenty of tourists around all doing what we were doing and that was photographing the charming buildings. Most people seem to be travelling by car although there was one bus which had disgorged its load of tourists and then parked in front of the hotel which spoilt the opportunity to get a full picture of the building.

We found what we thought was the starting point for the walk we had read about although there was no actual sign to say that it started here.

Heading off through a lane behind a row of houses the path took a direction towards open and recently ploughed fields.

Similar to Scotland, where you can freedom walk anywhere as long as you respect the property you are on, the pathways in England also travel over peoples private property and as long as you obey any signs to close gates etc you are pretty much free to roam wherever.

This track followed the edge of the ploughed fields and as it was gently uphill we soon got warm despite the cool breeze still blowing. The sun, although bright, wasn’t doing a lot to raise the air temperature which we reckoned was barely nudging double figures.

The walk we had read about was supposed to be around 7km converted from miles as given in the book we had read and although we couldn’t find any markers we decided to walk as far as we could in a straight line through the fields until we came to a road that we thought we could make out way in the distance and then follow that back to the village.

Following the hedge row on the side of the field also took us past patches of brambles with ripe berries ready for the picking and eating and we indulged in a few to keep us going to lunchtime.

In the last field before the road and with the protection from the wind of a wooded area we stopped for lunch to refuel for the walk back to the village.

Our walk had taken us up above the village but due to it being down in a hollow and there being tall trees we couldn’t get a good picture of the quaint houses and other buildings.

The path back to the village was in fact a narrow lane and a couple of times we had to take evasive action when cars sped by heading for the main road from the village.

After such good exercise in the fresh, open air, we were ready for some afternoon tea and so headed for Stow-on-the-Wold to find an English tea room for a classic afternoon tea or in our case, coffee.

We found just the place at the very busy Huffkins (since 1890) which was a bakery as well as serving afternoon teas.See also

We could have had the full version complete with cake stand but that all looked a bit too much to eat and we had a dinner at home to cook in a couple of hours so we opted for coffees and carrot cake and an iced cream bun.

We had been to Stow-on-the-Wold 4 years ago but had hardly been able to move because of the tourists and locals who go there on a weekend and of course it was summer.Today,it was still busy with people but nowhere near like it was on that first visit.

Again we managed a different road home than yesterday even though we were in the same area.

We had ticked off all the places we had wanted to see and with the good weather today we felt well satisfied with our stay in the Cotswolds which is certainly one of our favourite parts of England.

Tonight we need to work out a plan to get into London and to our apartment in Lewisham, which is south of the Thames to drop off the luggage and then a route to take the car back to Kings Cross without crossing into the congestion area and face a GBP10 fee for doing so.

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