=Sep. 2013=

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Since I started (during the 1970s) visiting and vacationing in England, I have come across the Cotswolds but had never taken the time to visit it in earnest.
This time, inspite of expectations to be exposed to an excess of tourism, allowances were made for a visit. By one night stay we
spent two days in the area and visited some of the famous places here.

The Cotswolds
We started in Burford.

The Cotswolds

Burford is a small town on the River Windrush in the Cotswold hills in West Oxfordshire, about 29 km (18 mls) west of Oxford.
The toponym derives from the Old English words burh meaning fortified town or hilltown and ford, the crossing of a river.
The town began in the middle Saxon period with the founding of a village near the site of the modern priory building. This settlement continued in use until just after the Norman conquest of England when the new town of Burford was built. On the site of the old village a hospital was founded which remained open until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII. The modern priory building was constructed some 40 years later around 1580.


The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds
In 1649, the church was used as a prison (during the Civil War), when the New Model Army Banbury mutineers
were held there. Some of the 340 prisoners left carvings and graffiti, which still survive in the church. [Wikipedia]

Burford: Inn For All Seasons
We found lovely accommodation a few kilometers outside Burford, in a historic Stagecoach Inn: Inn For All Seasons.

Inn For All Seasons, Burford
Is that cosy or what?!


The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are a range of hills in southwestern and west-central England, an area 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long.
The area has been designated as the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Cotswolds lie mainly within the ceremonial counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but extend into parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire, and Warwickshire.


The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

Stow-on-the-Wold is a small market town and civil parish in Gloucestershire. It is situated on top of a 244m (800ft) hill, at the convergence of a number of major roads through the Cotswolds, including the Fosse Way (A429).
The town was founded as a planned market place by Norman lords to take advantage of trade on the converging roads. Fairs have been held by royal charter since 1330 and an annual horse fair is still held on the edge of the town.
It is said to have originated as an Iron Age fort on this defensive position on a hill. [Wikipedia]


The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds
The church was evidently less medieval in appearance, but was a welcome shelter from the cold & windy conditions.
We loved the large stained glass window.

The Cotswolds


The Cotswolds

Bourton-on-the-Water is also a village and civil parish in Gloucestershire. It lies on a wide flat vale within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The village has a population of a mere 3.297 inhabitants (2009 estimate), making it a rather large (!) village in the area as its population actually exceeds those of nearby Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford, both of which are considered small market towns.

The village of Bourton-on-the-Water is known for its picturesque High Street, flanked by long wide greens and the River Windrush that runs through them. The river is crossed by several low, arched stone bridges. These arched bridges have led to Bourton-on-the-Water being called the 'Venice of the Cotswolds'...

The earliest evidence of human activity within the Bourton-on-the-Water area was found in the Slaughter Bridge gravel-spread, where Neolithic pottery (dated c. 4000 B.C.) was discovered.


The Cotswolds
Venice of the Cotswolds: if there ever was an exaggeration..!

Bourton-on-the-Water often has more visitors than residents during peak times of the
tourist season, which was notable on our visit too.


The Cotswolds: Bibury
Arlington Row

The Cotswolds: Arlington Row
Bibury is situated on the River Coln, about 10.5 km 6.5 mls) northeast of Cirencester.
In the Domesday Book (1086), a record of survey done under William the Conqueror, the place is named Becheberie.
The village is known for its honey-coloured 17th century stone cottages with steeply pitched roofs, which
once housed weavers who supplied cloth for fulling at nearby Arlington Mill.
The picturesque Arlington Row cottages were built in 1380 as a monastic wool store. These were converted
into a row of cottages for weavers in the 17th century. [Wikipedia]


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