The Cotswolds

We took a guided tour of the Cotswolds, a picturesque area of England that is one of the top Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the world.  The tour met us at the Morten-in-Marsh train station and took us to morning coffee at Secret Cottage, then around parts of the northeastern Cotswolds, back to Secret Cottage for lunch, more touring, and finally tea at Secret Cottage.

A view of Morten-in-Marsh

After another harrowing drive from Swindon, we arrived at Morten-in-Marsh with almost an hour to spare.  While Tom and Sam slept in our car, Candy and took a short walk around the town.

Along high street (main street) in Morten-in-Marsh

The English seem to be able to have a manicured garden (yard) that also looks natural.  It’s an art.

Church in downtown M0rten-in-Marsh along the high street.

Below are some views of byways and towns within the Cotswolds.  The Secret Cottage tour took us to places where the large motor coaches do not go.

An example of a dry-laid wall made of Cotswolds stone
A manor home once occupied by the principle black powder plot conspirator (another conspirator was Guy Fawlkes) just around the corner from Secret Cottage

Claire, our tour guide, had lived in the US for five years with her husband, who was in the Royal Navy. She is also the etiquette lady in a talking portrait in the Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios.

The Secret Cottage
Polly in front of the breakfast spread she laid out for us

It was interesting to see how the owners of this house had trained their pair trees to grow along the walls.

...And a partridge near a pear tree
The Malt House

In this town, there were no pubs allowed by the lord of the manor, so this enterprising person brewed beer that the farm workers would buy on their way home from work.

Nick, the other tour guide, provided a great deal of interesting information about various areas of the Cotswolds.
A view of the Cotswolds
A portion of a picturesque town along the Eye river
Sam has decided she would love to live in an area like the Cotswolds. Tom is not convinced.
An old mill

The charity allotment behind an old church. Food grown here is brought to the church for the poor.
Candy would like to make this our Summer home. For a mere 4 million pounds it can be yours.
The lunch buffet at Secret Cottage. While all the food was terrific, the pasties and Scotch egg were especially good.

We finished the day by driving to the town of Hasely, near Warwick castle and walked around to see a church and manor house.  The nearby pub was booked for the night, so we drove into the town of Warwick to have fish and chips at the Chip Shed.  They were very, very good.

The church in the town of Hasely

Our rooms were the old coach house and stables.  The proprietor was very nice.  We recommend this bed and breakfast establishment.

We let two rooms at the Hasely Coach House Motel