Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Day in The Cotswolds

We treated ourselves to a day out recently - we live on the very edge of the Cotswolds and at this time of year the landscape is beautiful. One of our Antipodean customers was in England with her family and whilst they were here to enjoy the sights and sounds of London, we offered to show them the beauty of the English countryside.

After collecting the travellers from Oxford station and getting acquainted in person (we'd shared many emails over the months so it was lovely to meet them in person!) we set off for Chipping Norton, the gateway to the Cotswolds. This historic market town is known for its famous landmark, Bliss Mill - shown above - a 19th century Tweed Mill - now converted into apartments.

Our first stop was the Station Mill Antique Centre - of course!! We enjoyed a browse and a few purchases were made, all destined for down under! We had hoped to enjoy a coffee and cake in their cafe but time had flown and we were booked in for lunch at The Falkland Arms in Great Tew.

This beautiful 16th century inn has everything you could want in a traditional English pub; an inglenook fireplace, flagstone floors and beams - and great food!

Great Tew is often referred to as 'the most beautiful village in England' hopefully these photos will give you an indication of why this is. Despite the rather overcast weather that day, the sun did show its face a few times!
We nicknamed this cottage 'the gingerbread house' - the roof is such a lovely shape!

Many of the houses in the village are thatched.

Most of the hedges are shaped and manicured!

This sign amused us!

This house drew our attention - if you enlarge the photo you will see that housemartins have been nesting under the eaves of the thatch - and have a handy ledge for their toilet!!

After a wholesome and filling lunch at the pub, and a stroll around the village, it was back in the car and off to the eerily named Lower Slaughter. The name actually refers to the old English name 'slothre' for a wet or muddy place! The village is set beside the Eye stream and has a 19th century mill as its attraction.

Plus of course, some very pretty houses!

We then set off for Burford, one of my favourite Cotswold towns. We are regular visitors and enjoy the variety of shops that it has. Our first port of call was a cosy traditional tea shop - but when our friends spied the nearby antique centre we decided refreshments could wait! We rounded the day off with tea, coffee and cake, before squeezing into the car alongside their many vintage purchases (how did they get everything in their suitcases?!!) and then setting off for the station!

It was a fantastic day and a real treat to see England through the eyes of visitors - it is easy to take things for granted when you live right in the midst of the English countryside! We really enjoyed our time with them and were totally enchanted by their lovely little girl!

After such a wonderful day out we are now back at work and busy adding lots of vintage stock to the website - the latest treasures have been added today and more will follow in the coming days..!

Until next time!


  1. The beauty of blogging is that you can sit in your armchair and still travel around this lovely country!
    I just did that whilst having my cuppa..thanks for the fab trip!!

  2. What a lovely trip around the cotswolds, when you live in the county you tend to take it for granted don't you? I love Burford especially the garden centre at christmas just to get ideas, but haven't been to Great Tew.....must add that to my list.

  3. This all looks gorgeous. I will add those places to my burgeoning list of "must go" places!
    Hen x

  4. Clare - thanks for the lovely pictures. I never get tired of viewing the English countryside from afar. I'm totally obsessed with books about England in the 13th centry to present.

  5. I have just begun sending comments this week and wanted to introduce myself to a few people who inspire me, I love your photos, the countryside is so beautiful, such a great time of year to be in the cotswolds. Margie.

  6. Such lovely pics Clare. I have only been to the cotswolds once, many years ago. I really do want to get back there again.

  7. Hi,

    I love vintage floral patterns as well - anything with pink roses I think is just perfect! You may like my lamps:


  8. Your pictures are great. Looks like you had a great site-seeing day. I am jealous. The english country side is beautiful from blog pics I have seen. I just loved the "stop for kittens" sign.

  9. You've just written about some of my favourite places. My Mum and Dad live just outside Moreton in Marsh and we travel through Chipping Norton(or Chippy as it's know locally) on our way there. I love the mill, especially as it always reminds me of the Yorkshire mills set in the valley like that. Burford is totally gorgeous too. We looked at a Hotel in Lower Slaughter for our Wedding but unfortunately it was not quite right for our needs. Simon was glad as he thought getting married in a place called 'Slaugher' wasn't a good idea no matter how pretty it is! Glad you had a lovely day.

  10. Thank you so much for taking me on your trip through beautiful English countryside!!!

  11. Oh what a fun time that must have been for you. Those buildings are all so beautiful and the scenery...gorgeous!

  12. Hi Clare, Station Mill antiques is a place you can find me most weeks, I love it....especially the tea and scones. I think we do take our countryside for granted some times, I love this time of the year..misty cold mornings enroute to my sons school passing the sheep in the fields and rushing back home to light my fire...bliss.Julie Bell x

  13. Love the slow kittens sign.

    Is that slow for kittens that may be in the road or kittens that are a bit stupid?

    Love pixs by the way..

    i'm off to have a look in your shop!

  14. How sad I am feeling to have missed out on visiting the Cotswolds...4 years ago we visited the UK, and it was pouring for a week straight when we were there, and we just didnt have time to go back! Beautiful pictures, and so nice to meet up with your friends from downunder!

  15. what a delightful blog you have! i kind of "stumbled" upon it, much to my delight!!!!
    i would love for you to hop on over to my blog and enter my giveaway! the mixed media painting has a sweet little black cat in it....and i just happened to notice you have a beloved black cat!!!
    i will be returning to travel in your beautiful countryside via your blog!
    thank you!

  16. I love the Cotswolds - I haven't been for ages, I used to visit Burford as a child with my grandparents, its lovely to see pictures of the wonderful houses again

  17. Will definitely add Great Tew to my list of places to go! This is all around my stomping area too.

  18. I loved the tour of the Cotswolds. It is one of my favorite parts of England. We've been to Burford and Great Tew so it was fun to see the photos. Thanks.