In Europe the best wool is English and in England the best wool is Cotswold
– 12th century saying
We returned from our vacation over a month ago, but I can’t leave out a post about the Cotswolds! I last left off with our tales of 2 rainy days in the Lakes District.
I actually started writing this post and it was so long and there were so many photos I wanted to share, I thought I’d split it up into two posts.
We had a foggy and rainy drive from Ambleside (in the Lakes District) to Chipping Campden – for the record it took us four hours. (Mapquest says three hours and online forums I read said it would take as long as six hours.) It’s funny how different people are with driving over there – no one we asked could tell us how long it would take to get to the Cotswolds from the Lake district and they looked at us like we were mad for taking such a long journey for so short a time. (My husband commutes half that time every single day!)
Our Cotswold itinerary was quite relaxed compared to the rest of our trip – drink tea, walk the unbeaten path, see loads of sheep and pop into shops to escape the rain.
Our 2 day Cotswolds itinerary was as follows:
Day 1: Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, The Slaughters
Day 2: Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, Burford
Our first night we stayed in Chipping Campden at The Volunteer Inn. Chipping Campden is a small market town full of buildings made from honey-yellow limestone (also known as Cotswold stone). The “wool market hall” can still be found in the middle of town (full of baskets for sale).
We walked past the Alms House and the church of St. James (and the creepy cemetery). The entire town is very picturesque (we even saw a few straw rooftops!).
From what I read, I was worried Chipping Campden would be crawling with tourists – but since we were there on a rainy Friday, it was very quiet and relaxing!
We went on a long walk around the town and went sheep-siting. Baby lambs are so cute!
Our next stop was Moreton-in-Marsh. Moreton-in-Marsh is full of lovely shops (and rude people trying to steal your parking spaces!) We didn’t stay here long because it really started to pour!
We pressed on through the rain to Stow-on-the-Wold. We stopped in Huffkins Tea Room until the rain stopped – and devoured some delicious treats!
We spent the next several hours window shopping, and I don’t think we even got to see all of the town! This was the largest (and hilliest) Cotswolds town we visited.
The Upper and Lower Slaughters is where we spent most of our afternoon – while I’m not sure we ever really “found” the town of Upper Slaughter, Lower Slaughter was beautiful! We saw the Water Mill and toured around the creeks.
In fact, I found my dream home in Lower Slaughter:
The sun decided to come out (hoorah!) so we hiked for a while along a path you can take all through the Cotswolds. We made some more animal friends and wondered why life preservers were attached to trees along this tiny creek.
Then we drove along the “Romantic Road” for a ways. The Romantic Road in the Slaughters (aka Copse Hill Road) was very pretty, and narrow.
Very, vary narrow. And curvy. With blind turns. (Did I mention we were driving on the opposite side of the road with the clutch on the opposite from usual side?) Nevertheless, the views were breathtaking and I enjoyed it (then again, I wasn’t driving!).
Stay tuned for part II of the Cotswolds…