Roaming in the Cotswolds and Beyond.

Just over two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Cotswolds, England with a group of friends. Normally fascinated with cityscape, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did some initial research and found that there were quite a number of charming towns and villages to visit in the hilly region (the term “wolds” refers to a range of hills), and was pretty much ready. The one thing I was a bit worried about was driving on the ‘other’ side of the road (and the fact that I couldn’t drive a manual shift didn’t seem to help either). In any case, we all arrived safely at London’s Heathrow airport, got into our rental vehicles (a Prius and a Passat) and we were off on the M4 motorway heading west.

footbridge, bourton-on-the-water.

While we visited many small towns and villages, there were a couple I found notable. The first of which is Burton-on-the-Water, also known as “Venice of the Cotswolds.” At the center of town the River Windrush flows through, under charming footbridges made of Cotswold stone, which is a type of limestone native to the area. Even in the light rain we still enjoyed a walk through town and then some afternoon tea.

burton-on-the-water, the cotswolds, england.

In the evenings we prepared (well, I was really part of the cleanup crew) dinners at our temporary home in the ‘wolds and shared good conversation and laughter. What more can you ask for?

dinner in the cotswolds.

We then went off the next morning to Avebury, which is one of the lesser-known henges in Britain. The stone circles in the town are over 4,000 years old, with many re-erected in the 1930s as part of a restoration project by archaeologist Alexander Keiller. There are of course many theories as to why these stones were erected in the first place, but like Stonehenge, the henges at Avebury still remain a mystery. With less tourists, the site here at Avebury is definitely worth a visit.

avebury, england.

Our last stop in the Cotswolds was the city of Bath, most famous for its Roman baths (hence the name) that still flows with hot water from the only natural hot springs in Britain. The city is also famous for one of its residents, novelist Jane Austen — there is even a Jane Austen Centre in town that offers walking tours to places around town that were settings for her novels. After all of that, you can still enjoy the vast shopping options in the center of town, as we did.

shopping in bath, england.

walking in bath, england.

It’s now time for our next stop, Paris.