Wednesday, March 27, 2019

England: The Cotswolds

"So, when I think of the Cotswolds, I will think of BIG hills, tall hedgerows, lots of sheep, stone walls, charming cottages, pretty rivers and streams, lots of tourists but not too touristy, if that makes sense."


Those were the words in my travel journal on the day I took a day trip bus tour to this beautiful area that looks like the setting for a Miss Marple or British telly mystery.  If Mad Max Tours weren't so good -- or the Cotswolds so beautiful -- they would only merit one post. But we're going to stick here for a couple of posts, even though my tour was just one day! We met at the Abbey Hotel in Bath and soon after were on our way through city traffic...


...and emerging into the beautiful countryside with tunnels of trees...


...and wonderful stone walls.


I think there were nine or ten of us on this mini-bus -- enough to have fun with, not so many that you could neither see nor hear the driver. That would be a shame, because Colin, our driver, was four star!


He was a font of knowledge, good humor, bad (and good) jokes, songs and royal impersonations. He talked enough, not too much. Just perfect. He also managed to squeeze the bus through narrow roads, even in the face of oncoming traffic!


Our first stop was Castle Combe, which was beautifully preserved and a town you may well have seen in films like "War Horse" and the original "Dr. Doolittle." Colin explained it was like many of the Cotswold villages in the day -- fully dependent on sheep for its economy.


The village dates back to Roman times and then experienced a revitalization after the Norman Conquest in 1055 and again after the Black Death in 1349.


Like many such market towns relying on the wool industry, the town was built on a river. And was most picturesque.


It was tremendously prosperous, as were many such villages until the industrial revolution, which led to economic collapse of the wool industry and ultimately the town's preservation.


The homes were charming -- picture-perfect English storybook homes with thatched or slate roofs and window boxes.


One of our first stops was the town church. Along with being quite lovely, outside...


...and in...


...it had displays that highlighted the production of the film "War Horse"...


...and a tomb of a knight.


The description indicated that this knight had participated in two crusades and had died in battle.


We then went into the center of town and admired the market cross where farmers and weavers would bring their sheep and their wool to sell.


The town is also home to a former manor house that now welcomes guests.


It was quite beautiful with its autumn ivy.


Everywhere we went, autumn was in full flower.


The foliage was lovely with brilliant reds...


...and quieter golds.


Even the cemetery felt as though it belonged right here in this quaint hamlet.


But this was a shorter stop. We had other towns to visit -- and we will, next time!

Sharing with:  Pink Saturday     /     Let's Add Sprinkles    /     Take Me Away!      

42 comments:

Pamela said...

What gorgeous photos! I feel like I am on the tour too.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

I just have one question: Why did you ever come home, surrounded by so much beauty and history? Those flowers alone in the bottom photos would have rooted me to the earth below my feet.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I have visited The Cotswolds a couple of times and have little recollection of the towns, other than a general sense that they are picturesque, but I have very vivid memories of the wonderful rolling countryside. The bird life was terrific and there was especially an abundance of Skylarks. Whenever I listen to Vaughan Williams' "The Lark Ascending" I always think that the initial several minutes is a musical representation of The Cotswolds and as the piece progresses the Lark is there as clearly as if I were standing in a meadow watching it ascend. It is indeed a beautiful corner of the world, and the music very evocative indeed. I am glad that you enjoyed your visit there and I am looking forward to the next episode.

William Kendall said...

Idyllic settings, and beautiful shots!

Pam Richardson said...

Jeanie, I have anticipated the Cotswolds through your camera lens and you didn’t disappoint my friend. I love quaint and it really describes the beauty. Looking forward to your next post!

Susan Kane said...

Seeing the knight's form and all the meanings really impacts the viewer. He did so much, changed the turn of history.

bobbie said...

I want to meet Colin, and go drool over that gorgeous golden stone! This area is one I have always wanted to visit ~
Lucky you!!

krishna said...

I visited there back in 2016. We were in a rush, I couldn't spend much time there to know the details of Cotswold. But I was completely blown away by the beauty.

Sandra said...

These pictures just take my breath away.
Another place I want to see now, if we ever get back to England.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jeanie, I loved this post of a beautiful town that was mentioned to us on the Queen Mary 2 on our crossing over by the Captain. When we were talking to him, he mentioned this lovely town where he grew up. How wonderful to see it! Your photos show the true beauty that England possesses. Thank you for sharing.

Pam Jackson said...

Everything looks so interesting but the two pics of the windows would make cool paintings. You might want to shoot for that and see what you turn out..

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

How picturesque and histotic! I've heard so much about the Cotswold area and town over the years and it was noce yo see ot thtough uour eyes, Jeanie.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh Jeanie!! When my husband and I went to England two years ago, we "did" the Cotswolds for the week. Our first stop was Castle Combe! It was so incredibly charming and beautiful. I love that I was in the same places as you. I know exactly where you took the pictures. Can't wait to see your next post! -Jenn

Joanne Huffman said...

Definitely a place on my list to visit.

Lynne said...

Have you ever thought about leading a tour . . .
I think you would be excellent.
Loved this post . . . seeing the terrain, colors, changes . . .
country, the old, very old . . .

Iris Flavia said...

I love sheep! When Ingo and I still lived with his Grandma there were neighbours with sheep and in the evenings we visited them and "talked" - fun times :-)
Oh, yes, good, informative driver and fun company is priceless (we had this in Tuscany)!
Just imagine those times back then! Sheep everywhere! And I just see the cup of tea :-)
My Grandma used to make "poor knights" (she used old buns, butter, sugar and cinnamon) and as a kid I enjoyed them.
I love the reds! And looking forward to more :-)

Valerie-Jael said...

You visited a beautiful town, the Cotswolds are always well worth a visit. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos. Hugs, Valerie

BeachGypsy said...

The cottages, the churches, the cemeteries, the paths, the hills and fences, villages, and ALL OF IT---just looks like the scenes in the fairy tale books I read to granddaughter! Such an amazing journey you had and you captured some gorgeous pictures. I'm so glad you are sharing them with us! I have fallen behind in my reading, will hopefully be catching up in the next day or so! Enjoying your posts very much.

BeachGypsy said...

I just read of Rick....oh my gosh!---how is he doing? Hopefully improving and is he still on the medicine? Hope it's working and they can get him all fixed up very soon!! Are they still planning on a surgery? Please keep us posted ok?

My name is Erika. said...

The Cotswolds look at beautiful as people say they are. And I think that knight's
tomb is amazing. What the world must have been like then? I picture it from books I have read, but they sure created some gorgeous old tombstones, didn't they? What great fall colors you had too. I am enjoying this arm chair trip. Hope we still have a bit more to seee. hugs-Erika

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,

What a lovely tour, your photos are beautiful. The village is very picturesque! Thanks for taking me along virtually. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day and weekend ahead.

Miss Val's Creations said...

I really need to add the Cotswolds to my list of places to visit. This looks like perfection in my eyes! The charm looks overwhelming and it even has a gorgeous river.

La Table De Nana said...

A place I would love:) That first pic is screaming:"Paint me!"
Go on IG DanielSmith artists Cindy Briggs does a tutorial on Provence windows,,:) This suits the bill perfectly!I think it's on Youtube too.

Bonnie said...

Loved the tour. I'm ready to pack my bags for the Cotswolds.
I look forward to Part 2.

Marilyn Miller said...

We once traveled through the Cotswolds for 5 days and I loved every moment. I am going to love seeing your pictures and remembering. The fall colors were beautiful.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

You captured some dreamy scenes! It would be hard to leave. How lucky for folks who live there.

Wandering Wren said...

Yes, yes and yes - I love this post. There was a time when all our big family celebrations were held at the Manor House in Castle Coombe although it's expanded a bit since our day. Did you stay for lunch, the food was always lovely. Your tour sounds wonderful.
Wren x

The French Hutch said...

This is what I think of when I dream of visiting the Cotswolds. I'm sure you were not disappointed with your tour guide, they do make or break a tour. Your visit sounds perfect. I've strolled back and forth with these lovely photos enjoying each one. Thanks for the tour and reminding me I need to seriously think of a trip there.

Sandra said...

Isn't that tree tunnel amazing?

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

The tree tunnel is my favorite picture! So pretty! And all the fall foliage is beautiful, too! Makes me pine for fall, which was such a short season here last year!

Cotswold always makes me think of the movie "The Holiday" as that's where Cameron Diaz stays in the movie. It looked so charming in the film (although who knows where they actually filmed that part of the movie!). We have seen "Cotswold" style homes come on the market here in Minneapolis. They don't have thatched roofs but have a lot of the characteristics of homes in that area.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Jeanie, I might have been wrong. This might be my favorite or maybe we shall wait for next time!..xxoJudy

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

Castle Combe looks like a beautiful place to visit. Very interesting how it thrived on wool and then because of the industrial revolution it collapsed. I also enjoyed the visit to the Cotswolds. You sure had a dreamy visit!

shoreacres said...

All right. I confess. I laughed aloud when I read this: "The village dates back to Roman times and then experienced a revitalization after the Norman Conquest in 1055 and again after the Black Death in 1349." And we think we have problems!

Clearly, a beautiful area, and a perfectly wonderful day. I'm looking forward to more.

Cathy Sherman said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos and great commentary! I visited the Cotswolds once decades ago, and you have reignited my desire to return as soon as possible!

roughterrain crane said...

It's so nice to see old houses in good condition.

Jenny Woolf said...

Your blog gives such a wonderful picture of your tour, I'm really enjoying going along with you ...we were wondering what you were doing and seeing at the time - and now we know!

Debbie-Dabble Blog and A Debbie-Dabble Christmas said...

WOW!! Another beautiful post with so much lovely eye candy! Simply charming!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
hugs,
Debbie

Lowcarb team member said...

Eddie and I visited the Cotswolds many years ago, it is so lovely, and seeing your photographs makes me (us) want to go back and re-visit.

All the best Jan

Kitty said...

I feel like I am getting to know a bit about England through your posts! Thanks.

Beverly said...

Happy Pink Saturday, Jeanie. This is everything I imagined. Such a beautiful place. Thank you for sharing.

This post is featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as "the one with the most clicks".♥

Katie Mansfield said...

I just loved Bath. The Cotswolds were just gorgeous. I wish we'd had more time to explore. I love seeing your posts about your trip. I've been very negligent and haven't finished writing about trip last summer. I better hurry before I forget. Thanks for sharing at Keep In Touch.

Calypso In The Country said...

Every photo is gorgeous! What an amazing place! Thanks for sharing at Take Me Away. I will be posting my June recap this weekend and our July party is up and running. Enjoy your weekend!
Shelley

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