Friday, June 3, 2011

Why I Love the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds are comprised of numerous villages, gardens, historical sites and lots and lots of flowers.  Thatched roofs abound as do ancient churches, castles and ruins left behind by civil wars and royal decrees over the centuries.

The area is located about an hour west of London.  Although larger towns such as Stratford, Oxford, Bath and Gloucester are close by, the real beauty of the area lies in its picturesque villages, beautiful scenery and rolling hills.

Some crops are grown in the area including wheat, barley and lavender but the main farm industry is sheep.  The area is also known for its numerous stables with the most beautiful horses you have ever seen (fox hunting is a popular sport).

Many royals, movie stars and wealthy Londoners have homes in the area as do families who have lived here for generations.

This is Kate Winslet's house.

And this is Tim, our driver's childhood home.  His family has lived in the area since the 14th century.

Tim told us that his family didn't have electricity until he was 14 years old but he had a magical childhood.  He can tell you the name of every flower, bird, stream and village.  He takes us down gorgeous, obscure back roads and gives the name and Anglo-Saxon derivative of every typeof village feature.

Tim has been driving us around the area for the past three years and is an incomparable guide.  He is fun, patient and tenderhearted with a great personality and a touch of mischief.  (Actually, maybe more than a touch!)


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