Our second night in the Cotswolds we spent in Bourton-on-the-Water and we stayed at The Garden Room at Strathspey. We loved our stay here – the family who lets out this room was very friendly! It was one of our favorite accommodations of our trip.
Bourton-on-the-Water is a beautiful town! It has a beautiful High Street (actually, all the towns have a “High Street” – that’s where the main village center is) with the River Windrush runs through the center of town.
The river, and the many sloping bridges are why this town is often called the “Venice of the Cotswolds”. (While I’ve never been to Venice, I’m sure this is an exaggeration. Bourton-on-the-Water is incredibly beautiful in it’s own way.)
We enjoyed a lovely meal of Fish and Chips at the Old Manse Hotel – this was also the best deal we found on food, and you know we love a good deal!
I’m still not sure why they insist on pureeing their peas though.
Fortunately we were able to explore Bourton-on-the-Water a little bit on Friday night, because on Saturday morning it was definitely buzzing with tourists. We did spend some time in town, but ended up moving on more quickly than anticipated due to all the people that arrived as the morning went on.
The next town on our list was Bibury – hailed the “most picturesque place in the Cotswolds”. Bibury is super tiny (it is basically a trout farm and an inn – at least as far as we could see) but is famous for the Arlington Row.
The Arlington Row was built in 1380 as a wool store. Now they are cottages. And I’d LOVE to live in one… if loads of tourists wouldn’t be outside my window everyday at least.
(Isn’t it funny how my pictures look like no one is around when it’s just really skillfully timed shots? Does that ruin the mystique for you?)
Our last Cotswolds stop was in Burford – about 30 minutes from Oxford.
We had a “proper tea” at the Burford House Hotel. That was fun! I read a glossy (magazine) on Kate Middleton (we were there for Will & Kate’s one year anniversary so she was covered on every magazine that trip).
There was a big group of people getting ready for a wedding while we were at the Burford House Hotel and they were all inside with their big hats and fancy outfits on!
(And of course we looked really super good-looking in our 10-day-old jeans and fleece jackets and puffy rain-hair…not!!)
We also visited the Burford Bazaar – it was a kind of a rip-off! You have to pay to go inside and it wasn’t even that great. What WAS great was Mrs. Bumbles of Burford – clotted cream fudge – yum! chocolate covered orange peel – yum!
Okay, in the UK they do this weird thing called pollarding trees, as displayed on the main street in Burford:
Naturally, we are weirdos and had to find out why they did this. Apparently it started as a need for firewood (since you can lop off branches without killing the tree) but now they just kind of like the way it looks and it keeps the trees at a certain height. We thought it was the strangest thing we saw over there. But supposedly it’s very common in Europe and other urban areas. Who knew?
After Burford we headed towards Oxford to return our rental car. And that was the end of our 2 days in the Cotswolds – it was beautiful, and certainly too short!
All of the towns in the Cotswolds that we decided to stop at were about 10-30 minutes from each other. And there are plenty more we had to pass by! The drives themselves were a pleasure – everything in the Cotswolds is gorgeous!
We wouldn’t have been able to see everything that we did without a car and we both agreed that the initial stress of driving was totally worth it.
Although, I’m not sure a month in the Cotswolds would be enough!
Our next (and final) stop: Oxford!