Archives for posts with tag: UK

From Chipping Campden, we took a local bus to Broadway, crossing over the county line into Worcestershire, and then walked back into Gloucestershire for about an hour to our second National Trust property, Snowshill – immediately heading to the café for a cream tea to help recover from the last long hill!

Another spectacular place, filled with awe and wonder. Charles Paget Wade, architect and collector, purchased the estate just after WWI, and gave it to the National Trust a few years before he died in the early 1950s. The grounds are beautiful: simple walled decorative gardens near the manor, orchards of apples, and pasture for sheep. A tenant farmer still raises sheep on the property, and the apples from the orchard are used for delectable treats in the cafe. Next to the manor is a small priest’s house where Mr Wade lived while he filled the manor with his collections, which are vast; a passion he acquired as a small child.

The walk from Broadway was very pretty, although a bit treacherous on a narrow country road. The cream tea was calling and we persevered!

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The grounds were so lovely, with apples and flowers, a miniature harbour village, and a magical stormy sky all around.

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The collections: everything from bicycles, to musical instruments, to kitchen items, to prisoner-of-war bone carvings, to religious items, to over 2000 pieces of costume, and on and on.

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We ended the adventure with a drink just around the corner in Snowshill Village at the Snowshill Arms, before walking back to Broadway to catch a bus home.

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My first English pub experience. I had a small sherry!

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I am a bit behind on my posts! This week has been filled with adventure, but that will have to wait.

While we were in Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire, we visited two National Trust properties. The first was Hidcote. Our walk took about an hour and 45 minutes, but we did stop to take lots of pictures. We wished we had done more research about the public footpaths, as apparently there is a route away from the roads.

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The garden was created with many arts and crafts garden design principles, with formality giving way to wilderness the further away from the house you wander.

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And even in October, there was much colour to enjoy!

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I am incredibly impressed with the work of the National Trust. The scale of what they take on with historical properties is enormous – each is so unique with its own needs and challenges. Hidcote runs with a team of gardeners, and a magnificent array of volunteers. I was amazed to find that the café tailors its daily menu based on what produce is available from the vegetable garden, and that historical research is ongoing. I would love to visit Hidcote again.

Read all about the fascinating history of this magical property here.

 

 

DetailChippingAs I sit in our next beautiful cottage, listening to the river just outside our door and the rain, I am thinking back to the wonderful seven days we spent in Chipping Campden. There were so many lovely details within the architecture in this picturesque town – I could post at least 50 pictures of door knockers alone!

Chipping Campden has existed since the late 12th century, but the current look of the village dates from the late 17th century when many of the wood-frame buildings were re-fronted in the honey-coloured limestone found in this part of the Cotswolds. Here are a few of the details I found most charming:

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Love at first sight is the correct description of how I feel about this village in Gloucestershire. Our cottage is on a small lane, just off the high street. As I am writing this I can hear the clip clop of horse’s hooves just outside on the lane. There are birds everywhere, mostly jackdaw,  magpie, carrion crowns and wood pigeon, as well as a few robins and the occasional pair of pheasants scuttering along the hedgerows. The village is beyond charming, perfectly situated in the midst of lush rolling pastures. Everyone we have met has been so kind and friendly. Here are a few pics I took on Saturday:

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My first walk of the day, at about 8 am. This is St Catherine Catholic Church, just on the corner of our lane.

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Many doorways on the High Street lead to private courtyards, or hidden shops.

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St James Church.

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The walk up to St James.

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Chipping Campden High Street in early morning light.

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On our afternoon walk we find this gate which leads into the lovely Ernest Wilson Garden. Mr Wilson was born in Chipping Campden and was an important plant collector of the early 20th century.

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These unusual rose hips were interesting.

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A lovely, quiet place.

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The view from St James.

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View back towards St James from a public footpath through a field.

On Friday we had a travel day, hauling too much luggage from London to Moreton-in Marsh by rail and then catching a bus to Chipping Campden. I loved Paddington Station in London. It was so easy to navigate. The journey was interesting. I was surprised by how quickly London gave way to countryside, and by how many people were on a late morning train to the Cotswolds, granted a vast majority were obvious visitors.

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We weren’t long out of London before the quintessential countryside appeared.

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The Signal Box, Moreton-in-Marsh.

We had a bit of a layover in Moreton-in-Marsh, so we found a quaint tea room called The Marshmallow and had some lunch. Willow can’t resist a scone so she had the cream tea. I went for a more savoury lunch and had the most amazing sandwich: cheddar and onion jam on whole wheat. The bread was very fresh and tasty, and the grated cheese blended so well with the onion jam to make every bite a delight. We hope to do a day trip back to Moreton-in-Marsh to explore when we aren’t loaded with luggage.

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The Marshmallow in Moreton-in-Marsh – pretty room, beautiful back garden patio, lovely service.

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Post-rail-journey lunch at The Marshmallow, Moreton-in-Marsh.

Here I am at the airport in Victoria BC, the journey begins! Tomorrow we will be in London. I can’t believe it.

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After Chipping Campden and Mells, we will spend a week in Brockenhurst, the largest village in the New Forest National Park. We will be surrounded by ancient pasture woodlands, and we will cross paths with roaming deer, cows and the famous wild ponies. As with our other villages, we will have ample opportunities for rambling and drinking tea!

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Once we leave the New Forest, but before our last few nights in London, we have two nights in the perfectly picturesque village of Rye. At the confluence of three rivers and just a couple miles from the sea, fortified Rye has held a defensive position on the south coast for centuries (The Mermaid Inn dates to 1156!).

London is calling now! When you hear from me next, that’s where I will be.

 

My second full week in England will be spent in the perfectly lovely village of Mells, to which we will bus from the train hub of Frome.

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The internet would have me believe Mells is idyllic, and I don’t doubt it. “One of the finest villages in England” is a quote from their website. It seems to me exactly the sort of place that will steal my heart and hold it captive forever. Mells certainly checks many of my boxes for a livable place: pretty, quaint, well organized, with a rich history, and a 25-mile walk and cycle trail – Colliers Way – right on it’s doorstep. And it’s less than four miles from the market town of Frome which has a thriving arts scene and regular market days. Other villages nearby include Coleford, Nunney (with it’s castle ruins), Whatley and Chantry. We also should try to get to Glastonbury.

During this week I will also be heading back to London for two nights to meet up with my sister, who will be in the UK at the same time. On the way back to Mells, a day in Bath is also on my agenda. Seems like a lot for a week!