Sunday, 4 October 2015

Cotswold villages and rolling hills.

We came out of Burford churchyard and walked up the High Street - which does actually go up a steep hill.

Many of the houses date from the mid 17th century which was probably when it was most prosperous. They are built of stone with stone rooves and they've lasted well.

We walked up to nearly the top of the hill and when my bones were screaming we stopped at a bench and ate our lunch looking down at the town.

There are courtyards and little alleyways;

Residents only;

I don't think anyone local thinks that Burford is in the Cotswolds but within a mile or so there's no argument about it.

Rolling hills, broad fields, drystone walls and the views go on forever;

We stopped off at Stow on the Wold - we think a 'wold' is a hill and Stow is certainly right on top of one.

Tight little streets and more cook shops than I ever want to see again; one company runs a famous catalogue from here and because people come to their shop lots of other cook shops have come along too.

Then we had a quick look at 'Moreton in Marsh' and 'Bourton on the hill' but we didn't stop, with an October dusk rushing towards us we didn't have time to spare.

We parked in Broadway which is also just out of the 17th century. It's so famous that all the shops have gone 'international' - it's expensive.

We had a walk around the non commercial end of town;

I don't think 'real' people can afford to live here anymore;

I was here in my 20's and I walked up Broadway hill to see the tower and enjoy the amazing view. It was sad to be back in a way - I passed the start of the path but I was in too much pain to think about getting up there this time.

These stone 'mushrooms' are garden ornaments now but they used to each be a corner of a granary or a barn - the wooden building would be raised up onto 'mushrooms' so that rats and mice might not work out a way to get in.

Some chance!

We walked back to the car passing old workmen's cottages that are now weekend homes for the super rich;

And as my little car struggled its way up Broadway hill I saw a sign for the tower and took a chance. We were able to park right by the top of the hill and just stroll to the tower.

So this photo Robyn took is just a cheat - I didn't make it up there myself;

It's still an amazing view - I could just make out the faint silhouette of The Malvern Hills (which I love) on the skyline but it was too faint for my camera to pick up.

We could see for miles and miles;

We came down off the hill and headed cross country - marvelling at amazing views as impatient commuters tried to overtake us on their way home.

We finally stopped at 'Bourton on the water', a little town where a number of clear streams come off the hills and work their way through a system of ditches and under bridges;

It was a chance to enjoy some September weather at last, in October.

Then as the shops were shutting around us it was time to head home.

Dorset tomorrow?


Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)


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