We thank Thee, Heavenly Father, for all thou providest in this good place in which we live – the rolling Cotswold country with its lovely stone to fence the fields and build our homes and barns. The Cotswold Prayer of Praise
A typical day for my husband and me started at 7:30, waking up to the sound of our alarm, and to the unique cooing sounds of the doves of the Cotswolds. By 8:00 we were eating our Full English Breakfasts at our Bed and Breakfast, usually consisting of bacon (which was more like our ham), sausage, eggs, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, baked beans, toast with butter and jam, cereals and yogurt, tea and juice. I tend to eat vegetarian when I travel, so we saved my meat items for my husband, along with some sandwiches and other food that our host prepared for us, as a snack during our day walking in the Cotswolds.
By 9:15 we were picked up by our pre-arranged taxi service which would take us to the beginning of the day’s walk. By 10:00 we were walking. Through fields and villages. Through crops and towns. Stopping for at least at hour at each church, lingering to appreciate the artistic interiors, and to observe the historic graveyards. We ate a picnic somewhere. We stopped to enjoy the scenery of the green landscape, and to look at the views of the rolling hills. It was beautiful.
We passed through gates and fences and stiles. We followed paths and roads. We looked for our directional signs, while following our pre-printed walking instructions. We appreciated the old “dry stone walls,” some built hundreds of years ago with no mortar or cement. We photographed the historic honey-colored homes and buildings. We felt like we were taken back in time.
We walked from three to ten miles a day for 11 of our 12 days, as one day in the middle we were driven around to give our feet a rest. We strolled from towns called Stanton to Chipping Campden. From villages called Guiting Power to Temple Guiting to Snowshill. From Coln St. Denis to Coln St. Aldwyns. Names such as Broad Campden, Batsford, Blockley, Bibury, Bisley, Burford, Buckland, Bourton-on-the-Hill, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Broadway. They all had such great sounding names. The Duntisbournes, Daglingworth, Swinbrook, Farmcote. And more. I know we visited no less than 39 churches during our days in the Cotswolds, so we must have visited no less than 39 towns and villages as well.
We meandered through fields of sheep, pastures of horses, cows, even bulls. We hiked up and down some rolling hills. Through crops of the current growing vegetables or wheat, and the bright yellow of rapeseed. Next to planted flowers and gardens, wildflowers, and flowers literally climbing the walls of homes and buildings. Through open grassy areas, and forests of trees.
Occasionally a river or stream flowed its way as part of our scenery. And the classic red phone booths. And once we even passed by some prayer flags.
Our days also consisted of eating in local restaurants, cafes, or pubs. We looked through an occasional museum, or did some browsing in small shops. And a few times, we were even invited into someone’s home, to either look at their garden or the interior of their historical home – these were the most treasured moments.
We would continue walking till either we reached the town we were staying in for that night, or where a pre-arranged taxi was waiting to take us to our next Bed and Breakfast.
We mostly had blue sky and sunshine, and high clouds, during out walks. We experienced only minimal rain during our whole trip. If it did rain, it usually only lasted a few minutes, long enough for us to get our rain jackets out of our daypacks, and by the time we put them on, the rain would stop. Although one time, it did rain quite a bit more, and fortunately we were already in a restaurant eating lunch. And twice we did see rainbows.
Our evenings were spent going out to a nice dinner, wandering around the town we were staying in, perhaps visiting another church. Eventually we drifted off to sleep, looking forward to our next day, waking up the next morning to the sounds of our alarm and the cooing doves of the Cotswolds.
Footpath Holidays organized our 12 day walking journey in the Cotswolds, and provided a small discount on our total fees. All opinions in this blog are my own.