Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The English Countryside : Cotswold

Cotswold is an area to the north west of London, about 2 hours drive from there, right into the heart of the English countryside.

Such a picture-perfect area existed in England, I never knew (and was unable to visit even though I tried several times!!)! It is just so unreal, so unbelievably stunning.. I was completely mesmerised and bewitched when I reached there!!Went there for a one day weekend driving trip and ended up staying another day!!
The drive is pretty, and in the summer such a rich green, its very soothing too!
Once you cross Oxford, you get into the Cotswold area and you feel you are in a different world altogether.. Small narrow lanes through small villages.. strewn with cottages and sheep and cow.. just what I always visualised the 'countryside' to be like which we read in countless english novels .. you just get that feeling when you reach this area...
Anyways we drove on randomly and landed up at a village called Broughton-on-the-River.. A small cosy village next to a small stream.
Our first view of the village was of a local group playing cricket. Wouldn't you want to play in such a setting too? Then we walked to the village centre. And this is how it looked!
Isn't it unreal, a placid small stream with stone houses in brown on both sides:). And of course the English pubs and food places. And lots of people just sitting next to the river, enjoying the sun and a drink and the complete peace and calm all about.

We were to come back to London the same day, but I just couldn't. I had to stay back, I think I had no choice:). Went in to a couple of hotels round the stream
but they were all 100% occupied by old people:). [Most such places in England are almost always full with retired people enjoying their old age]
Anyways I got a place to stay at the Rose Cottage with an old English couple, and so I got another day to explore this area. There are lot of walks you can do around this area, walk through the fields up and down through villages, to enjoy the fresh air and the countryside living.
Anyways next day, I did a short walk around as I lacked time for a longer one. From Bourton to Upper Slaughter to Lower Slaughter, a 3-4 hour walk through hills and fields and villages.
Lower and Upper Slaughter were again small queer little villages, with a famous Chapel at Upper Slaughter and a mill with freshly made icecream at Lower Slaughter. With the weather being pleasant, you just feel like clicking everywhere! Here are some shots I took, on the way. Not much I can express in words, can I?

Walking through that area, the calm and peace you experience is something you miss so much in today's life.. An ideal place for a weekend away from everything...And wouldnt you just once want to spend a long week being there, just doing nothing?Am surely going back there once more...There are some more villages to visit, maybe next time:)

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