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Posts tagged ‘The Cotswolds’

A Cottage in the Cotswolds: Stanton to Stanway House

Gateway to Stanway House

Gateway to Stanway House

 

Gateway of Stanway House

Gateway of Stanway House

Front Entrance of Stanway House

Front Entrance of Stanway House

Today we are visiting Stanway House, an outstanding example of a Jacobean manor house, owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years and then for 500 years by the Tracy family. Their descendants, the Earls of Wemyss, still live here.  The manor was built with the warm soft yellow stone known as Guiting Yellow and has a stone roof and a jewel-like Gatehouse. The oldest part of the house is the gabled west end which includes the great hall, a light-filled room due to the full height bay window. Most of the furniture in the house has been here since it was made, which includes a pair of Chippendale day beds and exercise chair from 1760, many rare paintings, and two Broadway pianos. More spectacular than the house are the gardens, created in the 1720‘s by garden designer, Charles Bridgeman, who became the Royal Gardner in 1727. The garden includes fine specimen trees, broad terraced lawns with herbaceous borders, eight ponds, a brewery, and a 14th century tithe barn, now used for events and as a theatre. Through a restoration project during the last decade, the manor claims title to one of the finest water gardens in England, including the single jet fountain at 300 feet, the highest fountain in England and the highest gravity fountain in the world. Thanks to it’s location at the foot of the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile footpath from the Cotswold Edge to the Cotswold Hills, primarily from Chipping Campden to Bath, this area has been protected from many changes of the 20th century. This is what makes the Cotswolds so charming! It’s unspoiled!  J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, was a regular visitor to this lovely village on the Cotswold Way and stayed at the Stanway House often. I can just see Peter and Wendy flying out of the windows and over the beautiful grounds of the Stanway Manor! 

Close by is Stanton, one of my favorite villages in the Cotswolds! It was hard to choose my favorite because I just loved all the villages, but arriving in Stanton on the tiny village road, too small for tourist buses to come through, we circled lanes of Cotswold  cottages!  The rose covered cottages flowed in a gentile sweep across the countryside of horses.  There were the most unusual lamps and lamp posts here, it was just so picturesque! It is a horse lovers paradise and the B&B’s offer horse back riding and stables.

I hope you enjoyed the travels through the Cotswolds and for another look at the English countryside consider doing the Cotswold Way! For an interesting adventure into finding a cottage in the Cotswolds, follow Diz White in her book, Cotswolds Memoir; Discovering a Beautiful Region of Britain on a Quest to Buy a 17th Century Cottage. In addition to finding the cottage of her dreams it gives a personal tour of the Cotswolds with a visitor’s guide!

Cotswold Memoir by Diz White

Cotswolds Memoir by Diz White

A Cottage in the Cotswolds: Broadway

The Fuchsia is Sooooo Beautiful!

The Fuchsia is Sooooo Beautiful!

 

The Parsonage in Broadway, UK

The Parsonage in Broadway, UK

Broadway’s name fits the village.  Village life is lined along a broad grass-fringed, red chestnut way, so we started at the end with the Christmas shop and made our way to the center of the village. Broadway will not disappoint you, as it is chock  full of restaurants, inns, pubs, antique stores, coffee shops, and gift shops. Whew!  In one gift shop we had a big time looking over one gift item in particular! Here is one. Can you guess what it is?

The Nose Knows

The Nose Knows

A porcelain, hand painted nose for  glasses/spectacles!  Never lose your glasses again!  The nose knows! The English have such a sense of humor! It is a gift for my mother-in-law!

There is also a local market, the Broadway Deli,  and a larger grocery, called Budgens, located down a narrow strip of walkway deep in blooming lavender and pale pink shrub roses! It was the first large grocery we were to find in our Cotswolds travels. More dogs lounging here! The dogs are either sleeping under the benches or waiting patiently at shop doors!

The Village Deli in Broadway, UK

The Village Deli in Broadway, UK

Shopping at Budgen's Grocery in Broadway, UK

Shopping at Budgen’s Grocery in Broadway, UK

The Pathway to Budgens in Broadway, UK

The Pathway to Budgens in Broadway, UK

 

Shrub roses and Lavender in Broadway UK

Shrub Roses and Lavender in Broadway UK

My favorite discovery in Broadway was a public restroom right next to the large central parking lot.  Maintained by a meticulous gentleman, he promptly made us aware that the restroom had been declared, “Loo of the Year.”

The "Loo of the Year," Broadway, UK

The “Loo of the Year,” Broadway, UK

The sign was proudly displayed and rightly so. The loo was spotless and the squarish Cotswold stone building fit right in with the architecture of Broadway. Who wouldn’t want to live in a place that can boast the “Loo of the Year”?  My other delight were all the hanging baskets of pink fuchsias and purple cascading vines. They were beautiful and hanging outside several of the shops. We spent a lovely and lively afternoon in Broadway. You will want to add Broadway to your Cotswolds calendar!

For your reading enjoyment I have selected a hand printed and watercolored book by Susan Branch, titled A Fine Romance; Falling in Love With the English Countryside, that I literally devoured. A travel journal of her two month ramble through the backroads and small villages of the English countryside, it is filled with pictures, witty captions and charming detail of her dream to visit her long awaited England. For more information on Susan’s work see: http://www.susanbranch.com

A Cottage in the Cotswolds: Snowshill and Broadway Tower

A Cottage in Snowshill

A Cottage in Snowshill

 

There are so many lovely villages in the Cotswolds! Every time we explore a new village  I think, “Oh, I love this one!”  The village of Snowshill was like that! We made a slight turn into the village, up and around St Barnabus Church and Cemetery and then past the Cotswold stone cottages, laden with bursting roses, to admire the tended gardens and the sheep grazing in the pastures. It’s truly hard to believe there are still villages to be found like this! 

Visiting the Snowshill Arms, the local friendly pub, I see the featured Donnington beers can be found in seventeen pubs in the area!  We could do a pub crawl!  Better yet, for the more adventurous, there is a 62-mile circular walk, called the “Donnington Way,” from fifteen pub-to-pub sections, where you can join the walk from any pub. Some Donnington Inns offer B&B’s, so you can walk distances of your choice. There is a map available for purchase called, the OS Outdoor Leisure 45, the Cotswolds, that covers the entire route! What a grand way to see the well-kept countryside and hidden villages!

 

Snowshill Arms

Snowshill Arms

The Only Pub in Snowshill

The Only Pub in Snowshill

Next we visit the fragrant lavenders fields of Snowshill Lavender Farm. Rows and rows of sweet fragrant lavender! There is also a retail shop and small restaurant here. A very relaxing way to spend the afternoon! Returning to Chipping Campden, let’s round out the day strolling the meadows of Broadway.

Broadway Tower is a folly located on Broadway Hill, near the village of Broadway, UK. The tower was the brainchild of Capability Brown and designed by James Wyatt in 1794, in the form of a castle, and built for Lady Coventry. The tower was built on a “beacon hill” where torches were lit on special occasions. Lady Coventry wondered if a beacon built on this hill could be seen from her house 22 miles away and sponsored the construction of the folly to find out. Broadway Tower could clearly be seen! Today the tower is a tourist attraction with a country park of deer. There is also a restaurant and gift shop here. The grounds are a perfect place to picnic!

 

For more information on Cotswold Lavender see: http://www.cotswoldlavender.co.uk/

For more information about Snowshill Arms see: http://www.donnington-brewery.com/the_snowshill_arms_snowshill.htm

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

Not every monument is going to be one of grandeur. In the cemetery in Snowshill, UK, this tall, proud monument is one of remembrance. Won’t you join me on the travels through the Cotswolds? Enjoy!

Snowshill Cemetery Monument

Snowshill Cemetery Monument

Travel Theme: Clean

Today for Travel Theme: Clean, we are in the woodlands around Broadway, UK.  Seeing the windmills like this is pleasant! Clean fresh air!  Join me as we travel to “A Cottage in the Cotswolds.” Enjoy! 
Refer to: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/04/11/travel-theme-clean/

Clean Air, Broadway UK

Clean Air, Broadway UK

A Cottage in the Cotswolds: Ebrington

 

Oak Cottage Gate, Ebrington, UK

Oaks Cottage Gate, Ebrington, UK

 

I met a lovely man in a Chipping Campden clothing shop on High Street, who asked me what brought me to the village. When I answered, “my ancestors,” he invited me to his village and church in Ebrington. You see, I am making my way to Kinlet, Shropeshire, UK and St John the Baptist Church, where my ancestors, Sir Humphrey Blount and his wife Elizabeth, are buried. 

Ebrington, UK

Ebrington, UK

 Ebrington, a village of narrow lanes and tiny streets of Cotswold stone cottages and thatched roof cottages, is a just a short walk from Chipping Campden. The Ebrington Arms Inn and Pub, is a great place to eat and quench your thirst before exploring.  The Inn features guest rooms, a restaurant and pub, the hub of village life. The Inn was packed and will not disappoint you.   Walking up a short hill I came to a narrow lane, walked past the Church Steps Cottage and on into the gate of St Eadburgha, named after Eadburgha, the daughter of King Edward the Elder. The tower and south doorway of the church are believed to date from the 13th century, but the church, like most ancient churches, has been enlarged and restored over the years. Stepping inside the church, which is not locked like so many these days, there is  a stone coffin, lepers seat, and other ancient  architectural  details. Be sure to read St Paul’s Admonitions to Wives and Husbands to the left of the font! St Eadburgha’s  Church stands on a commanding position on one of the highest hills in the Cotswolds and the tower can be seen for miles around.  We loved the thatched cottages, stone walls, garden gates and abundant flowers in Ebrington. I discovered that the bird, that I thought was rather still for a long time on one of the cottages, was part of the thatched roof and made of straw! Every cottage had a name, and upon returning home I was determined to name my own, The End Cottage. Not far from Ebrington, is Hidcote Manor, a National Trust Garden, one of the most lovely gardens in the UK.  The day we were here it was closed, bummer, but what a wonderful excuse to come back to the village of Ebrington! Enjoy!

For more information about the Ebrington Arms Inn and Pub see:

http://www.theebringtonarms.co.uk

 

The Church Cat at St Eadburgha's

The Church Cat at St Eadburgha’s

A Cottage in the Cotswolds: Chipping Campden

Walking through the village of Chipping Campden, we come to St James Church, a beautiful golden-yellow colored stone sanctuary set in the meadows. The path to the church is flanked with old tombstones that have been moved here and huge trees that seem to have another tree growing inside them!

Then we walked along the lanes and through the hamlets of straw covered cottages, gardens, and old street lamps. It felt like walking in an old English fairytale! Proud holly hocks were basking in the dappled sunlight everywhere!  After our walk we took a short stroll off High Street to the Eight Bells Inn for dinner. Originally built in the 14th century, to house the stonemasons that built St James Church, it later was used to store the peel of eight bells that were hung in the church tower! Hence the name, Eight Bells! The Inn was rebuilt using most of the original stone and timbers during the 17th century. In front of the Inn are bountiful hanging baskets of flowers to welcome you and usually a fancy car of some kind outside!  Enjoy the day in Chipping Campden!

 

For more information about the Eight Bells Inn see: http://eightbellsinn.co.uk/

A Photo a Week Challenge: Backlit

Plas Mawr, the “Great Hall” in Conwy, Wales, was built in 1576 for Welsh merchant Robert Wynn.  It is the finest surviving town house of the Elizabethan Era to be found in Britain. Follow me as we travel through Britain beginning with “The Cottages of the Cotswolds.”

Plas Mawr, Conwy, Wales

Unfinished Section of Attic, Plas Mawr, Conwy, Wales

Travel Theme: Misty

The Stanway Fountain opened in June, 2004. The single-jet fountain which rises over 300 feet is the tallest fountain spray in Britain. The fountain has a two inch bronze nozzle and the water is driven from a 100,000-gallon reservoir, 580 feet above the canal in which it is placed, and is operated by remote control! Follow me as we explore the “Cottages of the Cotswolds.”

The Fountain at Stanway House, UK

The Fountain at Stanway House UK

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold.  Where will the Cotswold Cottage gate takes us?

The Cottage Gate

The Cottage Gate

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