Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Cotswolds - Weekend in the Country

This week we decided to get away from the busy cities and head to the country side. My boss, Mick, is away on vacation for a couple of weeks and, as they say, "When the cat's away..."

Actually, he offered to let us stay in his "little" cottage in the country. Up above is an ariel view from Google Maps. This place was surrounded by thick trees and beautiful hills. Like everything else in England, the house was built a long time ago, but it was very nice. Friday morning we went for a jog through the fields and up Beacon Hill. In medieval times Beacon Hill was used to light a huge fire and send messages from one city to another (just like in Lord of the Rings!).

Friday, I worked from Mick's home office and that night Allyson and I played in his "games" room and watched a movie.
Saturday morning we drove an hour north-west of Mick's home into the region called the Cotswold. Men beware! Cotswold is just another name for a 90-mile radius of what Allyson would call, "little quaint villages dotted with antique shops and other cute stuff." In spite of this, I still managed to have a good time.

Our first stop was in a little town called Chipping Campden. They had awesome buildings and tons of shops to walk through. They also had a very cool church complete with grave yard, ruins, and sheep grazing throughout and in near by fields. (Eat your heart out Mum!)

Our next stop was to a town called Stow-on-the-Wold. Supposedly it's the coldest and highest of the Cotswold towns placing itself on top of a very lofty plateau at 700 feet above sea level. (Doesn't sound very high to those in Utah does it?!?!)

They had even more shops than the first town, a beautiful church with stained glass windows (and a super cool north porch door as seen below) and . . .

. . . best of all was the "tea and crumpets!" (or Hot Chocolate and scones - that counts, right?)

For sake of time we just drove through the villages of Upper and Lower Slaughter. They had amazing buildings though and were very "quaint!"

One of our favorite parts was the parking lot that we found in Lower Slaughter. In a lot of probably about 40 parking places there were 16 Porsche cars. Jared was in heaven (and believe it or not, so was I)!

The procession continued with us heading to the town of Bourton-on-the-Water. This town is know for having a whole bunch of bridges across the River Windrush - It was very cool!

We should also say that this town is also now know to us as the land of bird poop! (Sorry for the language!) All Allyson can say is "Aargh, YUCK!!!" But, once we got that cleaned up, we still really got to enjoy the 1/9th scale model of the village and walking the beautiful streets!

The last of the villages that we were able to see before dark hit was Bibury. It was sure beautiful!

We were amazed at the beauty found in the church yard and bet that the rose bush trees are fabulous in bloom. Sadly, we didn't see them that way, but amazingly we could still smell some of the fragrance. Peculiar, huh?

We also appreciated the signs written to the dogs that said "DOGS PLEASE DO NOT FOUL THE CHURCHYARD." We wonder if that really works?!?!

They had beautiful trails and water all around!

What a nice quaint, quiet town!

We also stopped by one more town called Tetbury, but we didn't really see any sights, we mainly just went for our first dinner in a pub! Yeah, crazy huh? We had pork loin and pizza - guess who had what.

We love you all and miss you tons!

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