On Monday, we said a fond farewell to Brook Cottage and the Cotswolds, as we made the most of our last day in what must surely be one of the prettiest parts of England. After a bit of a sleep in, we breakfasted, packed up the car, and went for a walk around the top part of Blockley village which we hadn’t yet seen. It is truly an idyllic spot and as was the glorious little grade II listed cottage we stayed in.
Broadway was our first stop on the way back to Reading. Again, a pretty place with a very relaxed, almost sleepy feel to it, but I imagine on weekends and during the summer it would become very busy. It also had a surprisingly large number of hospice shops, but I have been told since that this is quite common in small English towns. Stanton had been recommended to us by the publican at The Redesdale Arms, so we passed through it on our way to Burford. It is a stunning little village, with what appeared to be a huge manor house, dominating the entry as we drove in. It had a similar feel to Blockley – an unspoiled hidden gem.
Our longest stop was Burford- like Broadway, it is bigger than Blockley and Stanton, and I warmed to it immediately. It has wonderful old buildings and a very large church which was open to view. We took lunch at a beautiful old C16th pub – The Bay Tree Hotel – it certainly had a great sense of history about it, and was quite elegant, with a more upmarket feel than others we had visited.
After a tasty lunch we continued our walked through the town, and in particular had a really good explore in the historic St John the Baptist Church, work on which began in the C12th century. It is a magnificent building, and one of the stained glass windows, while not being really ornate or deeply coloured, was rather beautiful.
Our weekend in the Cotswold was divine – being with such good friends in a pretty and relaxing environment was a perfect way to end our short UK stay. It was over far too soon, but like so many other places we saw on our fabulous trip, we would love to return….