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London Day 3

This day was all about the trip to the Cotswolds. An early rise at 6:30 had us out the door and getting an Uber to Victoria Coach Station where the bus was due to leave at 8:15. John actually awoke to the sight of a fox playing with things on the roof of the abandoned building next door. It looked skinny but seemed to have plenty on energy! We thought we had allowed plenty of time but closed roads and peak-hour traffic meant we only met our 10 minute pre-departure time schedule. As it turned out the bus had electronic issues and we had to swap buses and left 30 minutes late. Our tour guide Lucy turned out to be agreeable and informative. Her patience was strained on three of the four stops by useless bastards who did not know what "be here by..." meant - one couple were 10 minutes late on one of the stops! Our first stop was at a wee village named Bibury which took us a little over two hours to get to. Unfortunately the views there were spoiled by roading work being carried out along the little road fronting them. Most of these houses are owned by the National Trust that maintains them for obvious reasons. The Cotswolds main source of income used to be wool (Cots meant sheep, and Wold, Hill), now it is tourism. After that we were bused to Burford were we had a nice two-course meal at the Cotswold Arms - olde English pub to the tee. At Burford, Rupert Murdoch's daughter has bought one of the manor houses in the village and is now trying to have all the tour coaches removed from adjacent to her front gate - bloody typical! After lunch we had a wander around the village looking for photo opportunities for about an hour before moving onto Bourton-on-the-Water about 30 minutes away for another hours stop. In our view Bourton-on-the-Water was probably the most picturesque of the four villages, but totally overrun with tourists which to some extent detracted from its beauty. However all were nice in their own ways and to our mind fitted the image we had of quintessential country towns. We then moved on to Stow-on-the-Wold and had a drink at an old pub there 'The Kings Arms' (where Charles the 1st used to stay regularly). Another Inn a little down the road claims to be the oldest in England 'The Porch House' - circa 947 AD. Both Burford and Stow-on-the-Wold have strong links back to the Civil Wars in the middle 1600s. Charles the 1st was a regular visitor to both and actually holed up on Stow-on-the-Wold before surrendering to Oliver Cromwell's Parlimentarians there. Charles was later beheaded and Cromwell became the closest thing to a dictator England has ever had. He died though within as few years and the royals were reinstated a few years later. This trip even at 10 hours long was well worth it and very enjoyable, and learning a bit about each place's relevance to English history was a bonus. We were dropped back at Grosvenor Station around 7:50 where we caught the metro back to Tower Hill and home base. After a freshen up we went looking for a meal and ended up back across the road at the Chamberlain Hotel across the road where we had another very agreeable meal.

Posted by 3kiwisabroad 21:49

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