Cotswolds Weekend

I have been a bit behind on posts but I am catching up now to round out 2014; this week I plan to post several backlogged posts about some autumn travels I have done.  Here is the first one!

In late October Andy and I took a short weekend getaway out to the Cotswolds. I had never been before and I was struck by how close and easy it was to get to from London, and yet how different and remote-feeling it seemed. The landscapes of rolling country farms, quiet little lanes and well-preserved yellow stone villages was unreal.

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We arrived via train early on Saturday morning and had booked in ahead of time for a cycle hire company to meet us at the station with cycles for the day. That worked out perfectly; we used Cotswolds Cycle Hire and I would highly recommend them.

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We had small overnight bags with us, and first cycled about five miles to our inn for the night, the Lamb Inn in Shipton-under-Wychwood. Since this was a last-minute trip we only booked in a few days ahead of time, and were quite pleased with what we got.

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We spent the day cycling all over, stopping for a cup of tea at an excellent inn in Asthall and then a pub lunch and wander around in the village of Burford. We lucked out with beautiful weather. It was a crisp, clear autumn day with blue skies, green pastures and plenty of crunchy leaves underfoot. Idyllic.

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Around 5pm we arrived back at the Lamb Inn for the evening, where our cycles were collected and we warmed up with a cup of tea before dinner. Our room there, the Provence Room, was spacious and lovely, and really did remind me of when we stayed at Ferme de la Huppe in Provence.

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We retired to the tiny bar for a pre-dinner drink and then tucked into our dinner; the food was fantastic. Super filling though! We spent the night basically lingering over dinner and then went for a short walk outside in the cold, pitch dark night to get some air and see the stars.

The next morning I was up early for a run, which was a great way to explore the quiet country lanes and fields around Shipton. So beautiful and peaceful.

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We had breakfast at the inn, and then my brother came to collect us. It turns out, as a surprise to both of us, that my brother lives closer to the Cotswolds than either of us realized, so when we were chatting the day before we decided to get together on Sunday.  Since he has a car it was easy enough for him to come collect us. So we spent Sunday driving around the area and visiting some more villages and country pubs before catching the train back to London that evening.

This was a beautiful way to spend the weekend and such a refreshing little trip. It amazes me how easy it is to get from London to well-preserved rural places; I am so impressed with how the UK has drawn clear lines around what should be urban and what shouldn’t be. If only the US could be better about that.

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