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Saturday, July 31, 2010

England in a Nutshell

The beautiful Cotswolds...words cannot describe the beauty of this part of England. From the lush rolling hills to the grazing sheep in the meadows, to the pristine little villages and country cottages built of honey-colored stone, the Cotswolds are your quintessential England. Today was a visit to Anne Hathaway's cottage, a beautifully kept 15th century cottage with gardens beyond compare. There I succumbed to a counted-cross stitch picture of the cottage. Thankfully, it is very small, so it's possible I will finish it in my lifetime. Last night we saw a production of Julius Caesar by the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Again, no words for this. It was a highlight of the trip. Here are few pictures of Anne's cottage:

A few days ago we did a 10 mile hike from Bourton-on-the-Water through the Upper and Lower Slaughters; through hill and dale, meadows of sheep and cows, to a well deserved pub lunch 1/2 way through. Could I walk the next day? Barely. Was it worth it? Yes.

We have walked through the little villages of Broadway and Chipping Camden. In Burford I scored big time, finding a needlework and yarn shop all rolled in together. I bought Elizabeth Bradley needlepoint, and some counted cross stitch. The yarn was upstairs, and passed this time, but in the next yarn shop I bought some Rowan. The shopkeeper, Pat, was more than happy to listen to me prattle on about my new book, and even said she was going to order some for the shop.

Ducking into 15th century buildings for a spot of tea and a sweet treat, or just strolling the side streets and marveling over the beauty of the old houses, this has been a trip filled with a million gorgeous sights.

We are now at our last B and B. The view from our bedroom is that of a rolling meadow with grazing sheep. Ditto for the view from the john in the bathroom.

Today I fulfilled my dream of sitting in an English country garden sipping tea and working on my English needlepoint. Why does tea taste so much better when served to you in a garden filled with roses? Why do the English have such gorgeous gardens, and all I can grow is stones? The, never too hot, and apparently just the right amount of rain. True, it does rain almost every day, but so far, we have not encountered torrential downpours...just light drizzle or showers. The sky can clear as fast as it can cloud up and rain.

Tomorrow we are visiting Hidcote gardens, maybe another beautiful little village, maybe we will have a grand tea in the afternoon...who knows. On Monday we drive back to Southampton where we will catch the QM2 to steam home, having the much deserved rest from too much sight-seeing!!
Cheers to all!!

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