Some people say the most beautiful part of England is its countryside. Cotswalds in the midlands is where you’d find some of the most picturesque English country scenery. Bibury, according to William Morris – an English artist of the Victorian time, is “the most beautiful village in England.” Along that line was Burton on the Water. We… …visited the two small towns on the day.
It was quite a bit of a drive across the rolling hills country roads. Have to thank dear T. for this 🙂
By the time we got to Bibury, it was lunch time. So we stopped by the Swan Hotel in the heart of Bibury for some nice warm food.
The Swan Hotel is as old as it looks. It was originally a 17th century coaching inn. The town has a few small hotels like this but this is one of the most famous one.
Courtyard and entrance to Cafe Swan.
Lunch at Cafe Swan in the Swan Hotel.
Appetizers and main course. Pretty good for countryside I think.
Inside Cafe Swan. This is more like the bar seating area with some nice cozy fire place.
Bibury is a pretty small town….and I mean… small! But it is one of the most visited villages in Cotswolds. The Arlington Row at the beginning of this post is often featured on the front cover of books on Cotswolds.
Small path by the Rack Isle leading to the Arlington Row. This isle was seasonally flooded by the small river. Now it is a natural habitat for wild life. Rack Isle is right beside the Arlington Mill and River Coln. It used to be the place whethe cloth from the mill was hung to dry.
The most photographed place in Cotswolds – The Arlington Row. This row of houses were weavers’ cottages in the 17th century.
Details of the Arlington Row. The houses are quite petit and the doors are quite small!
Arlington Row by River Coln. The cottages are still inhabited.
River Coln and St. Mary’s church in Bibury’s town centre.
To be honest, there are not many places to see in Bibury because it is such a small place. But other than the ones I mentioned above, you can also go to its trout farm. You can learn to fish trout or just feed the trout in the ponds.
Or if you don’t want to do any fishing or feeding, you can buy some trout for yourself in the trout farm store.
We walked on a quiet street that had a sign to the Bibury’s town centre. You could hear owls. The cloudy weather makes everything a bit grayish.
The cottages in Cotswolds all have honey warm yellow/honey colour characteristic of the Cotswolds stone when it weathered.
Our next stop was Burton-on-the-Water. As “little Venice of Cotswolds”, It is another Cotswolds town that receives many visitors.
Burton on the Water is also by the water. It is also regular voted as “one of the prettiest villages in England.”
There are so many stores in this town that make it look almost a bit commercial. There’s also a perfume factory here that you can check out.
Just couldnt resist and wanted to take a photo of this sign.
It was after Christmas but you could still see all the Christmas lights and festive street decor.
The River Windrush flows quietly through the centre of the town where you’d see cottages lined along the small river. The image somehow reminds me of the small towns I visited in the Fujian province of Chins some years ago ( see the post on that here-> [ China ] Hakka Countryside in Fujian. )
It was getting dark around 4pm and was time to head back.
This would complete my to visit places list for Cotswolds. The weather was not too great (no blue skies!!) and there were surprisingly not many tourists flooding the streets (I suppose they’re all going crazy in London with all the sales promotions now). But I guess we get to see the real English countryside as it is, in December days.