Locations: Bourton-on-the-Hill / Chipping Campden / Stanway House, The Cotswolds, England, UK
If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed that I spent this past long weekend up in Montreal, Canada. While I work on getting those images ready to post, let's head back to the English countryside for one more day.
On our only full day in the Cotswolds, my travel partner and I enjoyed our delicious full English breakfast at the B&B before hopping in the car for a simple day of pulling over whenever a cute village or beautiful view called to us. We used my trusty OL45 map (I talked about it in my last Cotswolds post here) to make a nice loop around the various towns and villages starting from our B&B near Stow-on-the-Wold and working somewhat counterclockwise.
Our first stop was in Bourton-on-the-Hill. It's a small town, and as we drove through we saw a sign for Bourton House, saying that the garden was open. One thing to note about the next part of this post... my best friend loves England, and arguably her favorite part of any trip there is visiting gardens. So with her in mind and my trusty 35mm f/1.8 lens on my Nikon, my friend and I pulled into the parking area and decided to go enjoy the flowers. The following overload of flower shots are for her.
My trusty travel companion was definitely in touch with his inner gardener during this visit. Who doesn't love a beautiful english garden?
I could definitely spend casual afternoons here, sipping tea... can I move in?
After enjoying the Bourton House gardens, we took a quick stroll around the short main street before hopping back in the car. When peeking inside the bus stop awning, we saw these interesting signs. For any Hot Fuzz fans out there, you know what I was automatically thinking about. Here's hoping this town didn't require saving from Simon Pegg!
After Bourton-on-the-Hill, we made our way over to Chipping Campden. This is one of the biggest of the Cotswolds villages, so we spent at least an hour walking around the main square, going down side streets to find some classic thatched roofs, and even stopping into the Eight Bells Inn for lunch. The center of town is marked by the historic Market Hall, seen below.
After lunch, we passed through Broadway and Stanton before making another stop, this time at Stanway House.
The house is only open 3 hours a day, 2 days a week, for the three summer months. (Tues & Thurs, 2-5pm, June-August). So if you happen to be driving around at one of those exact times, it may be worth a stop! There is a great audioguide that takes you around the house itself, but sadly you can't take any pictures inside.
You can, however, take as many pictures of the grounds and of the 300 foot tall fountain (the tallest gravity fed one in the world) that erupts twice during a typical visit.
Stanway House is a somewhat odd look inside a still working manor home, complete with a resident Earl and his family. I say odd because the Earl and his family still live in the house, but during your tour you go through some private areas, including a few bedrooms, so that you can see the historical furniture. If you want to see the inner workings of a large manor house and enjoy a nice afternoon strolling or even picnicking on the grounds, definitely add this stop to your list. If being inside someone else's home without them sort of weirds you out, then they do sell grounds-only tickets.
After Stanway, we called to make a dinner reservation, and spent the hour or two before that simply enjoying the afternoon weather and the various vistas we came across.
For dinner, we made our way over to the Plough Inn at Ford. We had gotten a recommendation from multiple people, and the food did not disappoint! With all locally sourced meats and vegetables, we were in for a culinary treat.
After dinner we made our way back to the lovely Little Broom B&B to relax and re-pack before moving onto Oxford the next day.
Thank you for coming with me on a drive through the Cotswolds, I hope this inspires you to go and have a driving adventure of your own (even if it is on the other side of the road)!
Date & Locations: Tuesday, 30 August 2016 - The Cotswolds, England
Photos taken with: Nikon D5300, Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 Lens (Rented from BorrowLenses.com), Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f1.8 Lens