Even a rainy day in the UK did not prevent me from visiting the Cotswolds
During many years of taking the short American vacation to London, I have visited the larger towns of Bath and Cheltenham since they are on a train route from London.
The catalogue from HF Holidays* surprised me with additional towns I could reach without a car so off I went to Bourton-on-the-Water, Cotswolds in November.
Taking the train from Paddington Station in London, to Oxford for a quick change to
the local train for Moreton in Marsh I had my first look at a Cotswolds village! The train arrived late so I missed the hourly bus to my destination of Bourton-on-the-Water. This gave me an hour to see Moreton in Marsh in the pouring rain.
Rain does not stop the British nor the traveler with only one day to see everything! A kind woman under the bus shelter suggested I go into town for tea while I waited for the next bus. A short walk from the train station via narrow streets lined by 'charming stone buildings' just what I love about Europe, brought met to the high (main) street of Moreton in Marsh. Since I had not planned a stop in this village, I was not prepared, but I followed the 'T' signs to the local tourist office.
I arrived just as the Tourist office was closing. One of the reasons I try NOT to travel to busy tourist areas on a weekend: open hours are limited and often the trains schedules are shortened.
Arriving in the Cotswolds:
Taking the train from Paddington Station in London, to Oxford for a quick change to the local train for
Moreton in Marsh. This was my first look at a Cotswolds village! The train arrived late so I missed the hourly bus to my destination of Bourton-on-the-Water.
Perhaps the single verbal 'draw' for this area is the
Cotswold stone you see on all the buildings.
A warm golden color that is striking in the sunlight and there was a moment when the sky was cleared to take one photo.
|golden limestone walls|
|Bourton-on-the-Water on the River Windrush|
Even in November the green of the wolds (hills) was striking. The many villages are crisscrossed by water and bordered by the River Thames on the south and River Avon on the north.
Bourton on the Water is called the Venice of the Cotswolds.
Even visiting during November there were many tourists in town but I did not see the ubiquitous tour buses. Along the main street there are a number of shops and even more teashops. hops! Perfect! Visitors must be a large part of the local economy.
A chat with one of the locals confirmed that the crowds in the summer were much larger.
A very helpful clerk at the Paddington station 'future ticket' desk searched for a brochure that outlined a train route through the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds Discoverer: A three day ticket allows you to use the connecting bus service to see many of the other villages in the Cotswolds. You can also pay for a oneway or round trip bus ticket on the bus.
NOTE: there are more trains Monday to Friday and the bus service does NOT run late into the evenings so plan ahead. Of course if you have a car you can go to many
* A detailed story on my adventure with HF Holidays follows
|Harrington House, Bourton-on-the-Cotswolds|