JUNE 17

A travel day.  We were on the train by 5:15 am after a brisk 15 minute walk from our room. The direct trip would get us into Paris by 10:45 where we could catch the 11:15 Eurostar going through the Chunnel to London's Waterloo Station. The plan was foiled when they told us the train was full but reservations were available for the 1:30pm.

Picking up an hour because of a different time zone, we arrived in Waterloo Station around 3:45. After taking "the tube" to Paddington Station we boarded another train that would take us to Morton-in-Marsh in the Cotswolds of England. Toting our luggage (as little as it is), we went door to door looking for a room. There was a wedding in town that was taking up a good many of the rooms and with the good weather tourist activity had increased and no place could be found. The Redesdale Arms had a suite not yet taken for only this one night and Robert, the hotel's director, said we could have it for the regular double rate. His manner was kind and welcoming and we were grateful to have a place to rest our heads .... We had been up and on the go since 3:10 am and we got into our room after 8:00pm just in time to wash up and go out for dinner before the kitchen closed at 9:00. We are not in France any more where 8pm is just the beginning of their dinner trade.
It is a shame that we were too late and too tired to enjoy the lovely suite and what, up to now, has been the most comfortable bed in Europe.
JUNE 18

We checked out of our room. Robert was kind enough to keep our luggage in the hotel office while we scurried across the street and down a bit to the Tourist Office. Accommodations in Moreton-in-Marsh were impossible for the next two nights. We went through the book of accommodation places checking off the ones that were suitable to us (keeping in mind that we are relying on public transportation). Finally after a good half hour (in which we questioned our sensibilities of coming to the Cotswolds) we were able to secure a room in Bourton-on-the-Water at a little place called "Mousetrap Inn".

The bus for Bourton-on-the-Water was to leave Moreton-in-Marsh in twenty minutes so back to the Redesdale we went and found Robert's dog, Maggie, handling the reception desk.

The little bus zipped along the winding narrow country roads, passed numerous B&Bs (of which some dangled "vacancy" signs) and deposited us near the centre green of Bourton (you know the rest of the name). Consulting a map we began our walk to The Mousetrap Inn and in the process passed more B&Bs. Deciding to educate ourselves, we dropped into two of them and inquired as to availability and price. We continued on and checked into The Mousetrap Inn ... but with a new appreciation that it would not be necessary to panic again.
The tourist office only lists those that are prepared to pay them a 10% referral fee. Smaller establishments with less profit margin are not on their list and welcome people like us who drop by without a referral or reservation.
We had spent enough time worrying and looking for a place to stay and we were anxious to get out and explore.
Rather than heading back into town along the busy High Road we came on, we went a bit further down the road to where a pedestrian pathway put us on one of the local walks that would circle back to the town centre.

The Cotswolds play host to more than 3,000 miles of public pathways and walking is certainly one of the best ways to appreciate its distinctive character.

For dinner we went to the pub that is part of the Mousetrap Inn. It's been said that the English treat pubs more like communal livingrooms than places to drink, and indeed that seems to be the case. We tasted pints of the local favorite brews and shared a plate of fish, chips and peas. To our delight the meal was fresh and not greasy. The batter on the fish was thin and crisp and the peas not overly cooked.

After the meal we lingered ... Terry with an ale and a newspaper ... the first good read since leaving home (he has only been able to get tidbits while reading the headlines over the shoulders of people on trains) ... and Sherrie had a Canada Dry poured from a tiny little bottle while reading the Bourton Browser.

This charming twelve page monthly newsletter covered subjects like Council notes, upcoming community events, reports by the Wildlife Trust, the churches, the Horticultural Society, Women's Institute and Cotswold School News among other items. It seemed to be a reflection of the town we had walked through earlier ... one that is real beyond its tourist image yet still retaining the charm, dignity and caring we witnessed in the tidy upkeep of their properties, the nurturing of their gardens, the smiles and words of greetings they expressed as we dealt with them in shops or passed them on the streets. The Bourton Browser's want ads included "For Sale Bissel Carpet Shampoo - used once, complete with shampoo, good reason for sale". Ads on page 4 are put in "on a first-come first-served basis so if your ad has not been printed it will be in the July issue. If you should sell your item before this please let Jane know".

One article we found delightful to read was:

"Bourton Panto News -- Our summer show 'Me & My Girl' has now been cast. It comes as a bit of a shock to some that they are having to learn to tap dance.

A little about the show. Bill Snibson, a Lambeth coster monger, is revealed to be the new Earl of Hareford, and his newly discovered aristocratic relations are horrified. Bringing him to Hareford Hall, they attempt to educate Bill into the ways of the gentry, and to separate him from his cockney girlfriend, Sally. The result? Chaos of the most comical kind! Lots of well known tunes that will send you home humming.
Our mini fete was a bit of a washout. There were very few people about on a cold and wet Bank Holiday. Lets hope we fare better on Sunday 22nd August for our main fete.

A new three tier seating platform paid for by the Panto Group, will be in place for the show. The Victoria hall committee have brought new chairs for upstairs, for which we have made a donation of a thousand pounds. We will soon be as good as any concert hall! Hope you will all come and try out these seats -- we will be interested in your comments."

 

If we were going to be in Bourton-on-the-Water on August 22 we would indeed be filling two of those seats ... and enjoying every tap of their shoes.

Before saying goodnight to Jimmy, the cook, and master of all pub trades, we asked what a "coster monger" was. "A monger is a person that sells things ... and a coster. Well a coster is." There was some discussion around the table as to how to translate the word. The consensus was a coster is a vendor who sells fish, fruit or vegetables from a street cart or stall.

JUNE 19

Jimmy was up bright and early cooking breakfast for the guests. We were told that he makes breakfast for the guests and then cooks lunches for the public as well as dinners and pub grub for evening guests ... and does so seven days a week. Jimmy told us he's been with The Mouse Trap six years.

We walked into the village. Bourton-on-the-Water is mentioned as the most popular village in the Cotswolds and often referred to as the Venice of the Cotswolds. They don't seem to tire in Europe of nicknaming any place with a street crossed by a couple of arched bridges "the-Venice-of-wherever". We do agree, however, with it being the most popular because of its beauty.

The River Windrush runs right through the centre. The combination of its clear sparkling water being crossed by attractive low bridges are picturesque fodder for both camera and paint brush. We appreciated the charming scenes of children feeding ducks and parents tending babies in buggies and older children running after balls while elderly couples sat on benches holding hands.

These peacefully tender vignettes are most likely crowded out come July and August when hordes of tourists come to see what we witnessed today.

After picking up a written route guide at the Information Centre for thirty pence off we went on our Bourton-on-the-Water to Upper Slaughter and Lower Slaughter walk.

We followed the directions of the walk guide:

Go left through a thin line of trees and bushes. This is the track bed of a disused railway." We stopped to admire some wild roses.

"Cross the busy main road with care, and go over the stile directly ahead to enter a field with the river on the left." ... other directions .... then .... "Go through a wooden gate. 

Later "After a short distance follow the sign 'Gloucestershire Way / Bridle Way' to walk uphill through trees. After leaving trees behind, continue to walk ahead up the track, keeping the wall on the right. 
Ignore the path that goes right.

A pheasant on his own walk was on the trail up ahead then made a left turn into the tall green crop. We checked to make sure we had closed the metal gate securely behind us. 

For a little while we walked up one of the many roadways that link the Cotswold's stone villages, passed the entrance to a grand manor house hidden behind privacy hedges and then passed the entrance to the manor house's many outbuildings that looked as though they could be a small village in themselves. "Where the road makes a sharp turn to the right and a sign post, 'Lower Harford' points along narrow lane on the left, turn right along a track to pass behind a house." It felt as though we were indeed going down someone's driveway. A car stopped and the gentleman asked us if he could be of help. He knew right away why we were pausing and assured us that going down the driveway was the correct direction. 
Behind the house a black stallion was watching a young lady, her horse and instructor  working on the first stages of horse jumping, but took a break to check Terry out more closely. 

"Take the second gate from the left and walk downhill to the road." The oats were lush and tall and green making a striking contrast to the golden hue of the local limestone.

"Walk straight ahead to enter Upper Slaughter." The church tower was seen through the trees. "Take the next turn through a small village square."

"Walk ahead and go through a gate to enter a field. Continue to walk ahead until confronted by four gates." Between the first gate and the four gates, we were side tracked by a mare and her foal.

A mailbox was embedded into a stone wall and front doors were festooned in vines and roses. "Go down the steep hill to the river and cross by the stone bridge." There is a bridge for pedestrians but cars drive down into the water and up the other side.

"Turn right to pass the houses on the left." Some of their gates seemed to say, "Come in and admire my English garden." We continued to follow the written directions. Other than the one drive-way-hesitation we felt comfortable we were on the right track. 
"Cross a narrow stone bridge and bear to the right." A pretty pause for pictures. "Walk across three fields, then the riverbank, which will bring you to Lower Slaughter." We did just that and entered Lower Slaughter through a kissing gate. A couple were out walking their grandson. In a half-hour one of their daughters was getting married (not the mother of the child they hastened to add). Their daughter had wanted to be married in a small English village and had selected Lower Slaughter. We asked them if they might recommend a pub or cafe where we should stop. He pointed to one close by, and told us of another, "... but," he said, "if you want to push the boat out, there is another place that is very good." "Push the boat out?" we asked. "Yes, but it is very nice," he answered. "Do you mean by push the boat out that it is some walking distance from here?" He smiled a patient parental smile at these foreigners who had difficulty with understanding English. "No," he said in a soft kindly tone, "it means that it is a little more expensive than the others." and added, "but very nice." "Oh," we said nodding with new understanding, "... however, we do like to go to places that the locals frequent." "Well, then that would be here," he motioned to the one close by. 

Following written directions (we were getting very good at that) we checked to be sure our shoes were clean and then browsed through the shop and purchased an ice cream from jazz musician, Patrick. "Follow the river through the village." We watched ducks and trout and peeked over the fence to watch the wedding celebration. We weren't the only ones. A Manchester couple were also looking through the bushes to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom in the beautiful garden setting. 
More ducks were preening themselves on the side of the river. Were they going to the wedding or 'pushing the boat out' at the stylish hotel restaurant which had diverted some of the river for the exclusive enjoyment of their guests.

The directions took us out of Lower Slaughter back through more fields and paths until we were once again in Bourton-on-the-Water. 

 

On the way back we admired the devotion so many English have for their gardens and the passion and talent they have for growing roses.

JUNE 20

We left The "famous" Mousetrap but not before we asked, "Why the 'famous'?" Apparently mystery writer Agatha Christie had once stayed here. Keith, the present owner, showed us a wall of memorabilia on her play "The Mousetrap" which has now been running in London for 50 years. Perhaps we will get a chance to see it ourselves while we are in London.

The bus took us to Stow-on-the-Wold where we went door to door looking through a plentiful supply of bed and breakfasts then settled on Tall Trees. It is a big home on some acreage just at the edge of town. 

Our room was one of two in the separate cottage. We got settled in and then went out to explore the village.
Stow-on-the-Wold (eleven century title meaning "holy place on the bare hill") is a hill-top town (230 metres above sea level) ... the highest town in the Cotswolds and a famous centre for antiques. 
Stow has a long history, probably dating back to a prehistoric fortified settlement on top of the hill. The Roman Fosse Way from Cirencester to Leicester passes through it.

The stocks (which Sherrie tried on for size ... just in case), are on the only green space on this huge square ... the rest, once a busy market centre, is now an extensive parking lot and turnabout for buses plus the main road through town.

JUNE 21

It was a "Swell" day.

The weather looked unsettled when we walked from our cottage room to the main house for breakfast. Over breakfast we visited another couple, this time Dutch, who had been to the west coast of Canada and exclaimed it's beauty.

A few drops of rain fell as we entered the tourist office followed by a sunny break. When questioned about the weather, the tourist information clerk just said "more of the same". We decided to take our chances in the outdoors and purchased a map for one of the area walks.

The walk started in Stow-on-the -Wold's square. Since Stow-on-the-Wold developed at a crossroad it became a communications hub and a market centre. Its square, lined with inns and hotels, has seen 20,000 sheep sold in one day trading as far away as Wales.

The square's 15th century Market Cross was placed there to inspire honesty between buyers and sellers.

The Royalist Hotel (circa 947 AD) is the oldest hotel in England. Besides boasting its age, and 1000 year old timbers, it is purported to have hosted King Charles I in 1645.

Quite near our B&B we walked down a tree lined laneway and out of Stow-on-the-Wold.

Some black cattle seemed to have picked their dry spots and settled down to wait out the rain but just as we passed the sun began to shine, the birds chirped and a cool breeze kept us comfortable.

The next animals we encountered, besides the rabbit that darted across our path, were alpacas. Their coats had been harvested. Their necks seemed so much longer as did their legs which had lower legging puffs like a poodle.

The road came to stone gate posts and just outside there was a sign saying "Private Road", however, the map we purchased from the Tourist Information Office assured us that it was a right of way and marked as such.

Past the "private" gates and nearing the River Dikler we passed our first field of sheep. Beside, and over the river, an old mill has now been converted to an impressive home. Looking upstream we saw a graceful white swan swimming in a setting of tranquil greens.

Leaving the old mill behind, we made a right turn at the chicken coop with the rooster crowing his objection to our passing. Passing through a couple of paddocks following the clearly seen trampled trail, we made sure all gates were securely closed behind us.

More fields and more pastoral scenes brought us to Lower Swell.

On the edge of a field it seemed as though one of the Royal telephone booths was attempting to hop the fence and run away from town. 

Further along we popped into a pub. It had been recommended to us by a gentleman from Lower Slaughter. As we settled back with our tasty half pints of brew, made only a mile and a half down the road, the cloud thickened up and it started to rain. Of course such an event detained our departure from this warm and dry establishment; so we ordered another half pint.

Along with the last drop the sun peaked out again, so we continued our discovery of Lower Swell.

People have been making the area of Lower Swell their home for the past five thousand years. Bones of animals consumed by these prehistoric peoples have been unearthed.

Lower Swell's St Mary's church also stands upon history. This church replaced a Saxon church, which had been built upon the ruins of a Roman cremation site. Above the door there is a tympanum displaying 'the tree of life". 

Inside a Norman chancel arch shows twenty-six carvings accented by "roping". On the supporting pillars there are more carvings.

Behind the church the map guided us along the public pathway through another field, currently occupied by grazing sheep, that rolls in many directions ... the result of a medieval settlement.

Over a stile and onto a paved driveway, we passed Lady's Well which is believed to have been part of the medieval settlement.

The Bowl Farm, which we were passing through, dates to the early 19th century (and it is reported that somewhere on the grounds is a Roman Villa). 

The farm's original creamery was built to resemble a dovecote.

Our walk continued for sometime over the farm's acreage and past its modern dairy buildings, between fields green with grain crops and through kissing-gates until we reached a place where a decision had to be made. We could either continue our walk the way we had hoped or head back to Stow-on-the-Wold.  We looked up into the sky and with tiny patches of blue sky and a lot of optimism we continue through more fields and up a road until we reached Upper Swell (we told you up front that we had a "Swell" day!).

Upper Swell is a hamlet that clusters around the ancient church of St Mary's (yes, another St. Mary's in another Swell). The church's door is Norman as are the south and north windows (different in style). The flagged stone floor, trussed roof and font are all medieval. Again we tried to imagine the centuries of people who had come to this place to give thanks for their blessings ... most of which would be deciphered as hardships in today's world of conveniences.

The dullness of the cloud packed sky and the increasing wind and the time made us doubt our decision, so we doubled back to where the decision was made and headed upward to Stow-on-the-Wold. (Don't you just wish it were that easy to back track on any decision!)

We entered Stow-on-the-Wold on the opposite side from whenst we left just as the rain started to fall. We nipped into a couple of shops and then sat down, to the most English of traditions,  afternoon tea with scones with clouted cream and jam.

JUNE 22

The morning sky promised a day of good weather with high wispy clouds like a regatta of jets had passed above the English Cotswolds.

We retraced our steps to the "decision place" by going down the broad boulevard, climbing over the stile, crossing through the pasture of ewes with lamb and over another stile. 
From there we again traveled through the two fields to St Mary's church in Upper Swell where we had stopped the forward motion of our journey yesterday and retreated with the threat of rain.

Onward to the Donnington Brewery alongside the Dikler River. This brewery has been at this site since before 1874 and the water for its bitter is drawn from the river. Their brews are sold in most local pubs ... we like strong and mild beers but didn't care for the bitter.

The walk took us through a wooded area, over a stile and into a field with a hill rising on the other side. 

On the hill a cairn supported a plaque to signify the importance of this hill in England's history.
The civil wars of the mid-seventeenth century were fought for constitutional, religious and political reasons. King and parliament fought each other for control. By the spring of 1646 the King's field armies were disbanding but Charles I clung to hope through the use of foreign forces. If they could fight their way to Oxford from the west they may have a chance of holding on to power. On March 21, the King's 3000 man force was confronted by a much smaller parliamentarian army just north of Stow-on-the-Wold. 

Charging up this hill, the parliament's army was fought hard and had to drop back. 

The Parliament's cavalry made a decisive attack on the right flank. The royalists fled ... the cavalry escaping and the foot soldiers retreating to the square in Stow-on-the-Wold. The battle in the square was the last one of the civil war. King Charles surrendered near Newark in May 1646.

Further along we walked into Donnington and stopped to admire the parish pump (restored in 1998) and thought of the pump that Sherrie's dad had restored from the little prairie house in which he was born.

Even in Donnington new construction and renovations are prevalent. We stopped where a man was working with piles of the local honey-coloured limestone bricks.

He took time to explain the addition's construction. Two parallel cement brick walls are filled with rebar and concrete. Both outside and inside walls are faced with the stone-shaped brick. The finished thickness is about fifteen inches; plus they often plaster over the rock-brick on the inside.

Their boss has purchased this 1718 home to renovate and resell.  In the front yard we found a low semi-circular staircase leading to a covered well ... the roof being only high enough to maneuver a bucket. In 1718 this was most likely a highly valued feature of this, then, newly built home.

Down the street gate pillars topped by stone greyhounds mark the entryway to a manor house.

Broadwell was the next village on our circle tour and contains the grounds of St. Paul's Church. The building of this church began about 1150 with major work being done from the 12th to the 14th centuries. 

Over one of the exterior doors there is a Norman tympanum and tucked inside the entryway is a fragment of Saxon stone tile.

In the graveyard tombs for members of the Chadwell family are topped by incised rolls representing corded bales of wool. Dorothy Chadwell's tomb inscription was fascinating to read. The letter "U" was printed as a "V" and "A"s are upside down; if a word didn't fit on the line the left over letters were carved into the next line -- and the spelling is different than today's English.

Creating a sheltered shadow over a goodly portion of the church grounds is a enormous 1300 year old yew tree. Christian missionaries preached to pagans under such trees so this one supports the notion that this place was an early Christian site. 

The trunk of this ancient tree is huge and split ... so much so that we were able to stand within it.

Still in Broadwell we stopped at the Fox Inn and had a brew ... a half pint of Donnington's best from the brewery we passed this morning.

By the time we left the Fox Inn clouds had moved in and the wind was moving tree branches. We wondered if we could be as lucky as yesterday and get back to Stow-on-the-Wold before it rained.

The map directed us along the road and through a 650 metre tunnel of trees. 

Close to Stow-on-the-Wold we stopped at the Roman wells which supplied the town's water until 1867.

We finished our two episode walk back in Stow-on-the-Wold's square where the last of King Charles I foot soldiers were captured. Around 200 men had died in the Stow-on-the-Wold battles and 1700 prisoners were held overnight in the square's St Edward's Church.

It wasn't quite tea time, but, being only temporary inhabitants of England, we forgave ourselves and found a lovely table in the bayed window. 

We were back in our room before the rain began to fall.

 

JUNE 23

Today turned out to be a travel day. The plan was to go to Chipping Campden ... an eight mile trip as the crow flies - but we're not crows. 

To take a bus to Chipping Campden, we first had to take a bus from Stow-on-the Wold to Morton-in-Marsh.  Time in Morton to have tea and then the bus to Chipping Campden. 

We went without accommodation reservations. It is the shoulder season, the weather is drizzly and wet, "chipping" means market and it was once an important centre of the wool trade and we had been told that there are plenty of hotels and bed and breakfasts.   Indeed, all that is true, however, except for those hotels and B&Bs asking very dear prices, they were all full.
After spending time in a telephone booth and visiting the Tourist Information Office we caught a bus back to Morton-in-Marsh and became well acquainted with another telephone booth. The results of our efforts in Morton looked as though they might mirror our results in Chipping Campden. 

We got down to our last choice in accommodation. It actually had earned a four diamond rating ... but some other B&B owners had suggested to us that it would not be pleasant place to stay. 

We made the call and they had a room when so many others had not. Why? What did the other B&B operators know?  On the phone we booked for one night saying we would consider a second and hoofed the five minute walk from town.

One of four hosts, Alf, met us at the door and showed us around emphasizing to make ourselves feel at home, in the lounge, the breakfast room and on the property which also had accommodation for caravans and tents. He then showed us to our room. A large corner room with windows on two walls, lots of cupboards and drawers, a desk, two chairs, a table (with tea, coffee, hot chocolate and candies), a stool and two arm chairs plus a three piece ensuite bathroom (and of course ... the bed). Not too shabby. Alf spent time with us singing the glories of the area after finding out what it was we wanted out of our stay here. So far it has exceeded our expectations. 

JUNE 24

While it rained and gale winds blew outside, we spent the day snug in our spacious room. The breakfast they served was plenty to keep us content until an evening dinner for which we made our way to the closest pub. We caught up with our journaling.

    
JUNE 25

Our hosts were unable to offer us a third night. We phoned our London accommodations and asked if they had room for us to arrive one day earlier ... but no, they were full. 

We took our bags to our favourite Moreton-in-Marsh telephone booth. A room was secured for the night at a B&B at the other end of town (near the railway station). On the way to Townend B&B we stopped in at the Visitor Information Centre and picked up some directions for walks in the area.  Townend said they would keep our bags in the tea room until our room was ready. 

One of the shorter walks was picked - three miles and estimated duration time of one and a half hours so that we could return, get settled in and take in a longer walk in the afternoon. On the way to the start point of the walk we poked into some of the antique shops along the main street as well as looking at the legs of lamb hanging in the butcher's shop and line up at the bakery.
Off the main street we passed a line of  St Davids school children heading for an outing in the graveyard. Four of the girls stopped and posed until we took their pictures saying "Hello, Canada" ... and they ran off giggling to catch up with the others.
The route directions told us "follow the enclosed path beside the railway, cross the line with care and double back on the other side of the track. Cross the stile and go ahead to cross the bridge over the R. Evenlode ..." The bridge was tiny and the water  ... a mere trickle of a stream ... surprising after all the rain that had fallen. The route directions continued "...then go slightly diagonally to the right to cross a stile onto a gravel path." That's what it said. That is not exactly what happened.
The field looked innocent enough. We could see the next stile and headed towards it. Two-thirds of the way across the field, we stepped into a puddle. Not a worry and something that should be expected after yesterday's rain.
Two steps further Sherrie sunk down and called out that it was over her boots. Pulling up her pant legs she, with effort, pulled her feet one by one up and placed them down again, each time sinking further. She stopped not knowing whether to continue or turn back ... the result of inactivity was to sink further. 
Terry called out "walk on the clumps and keep going!" We worked our way across. Terry's method of crossing and his boots kept his feet dry. Sherrie's boots, although comfortable, were full of marsh water.

We continued on our walk. There wasn't really anything we could do but laugh and make light of it. Well, we did it ... we found the "marsh" of Moreton-in-Marsh"!

We continued passed some allotments (like our community gardens), up and over the railway again, skirted a ripening wheat field and through a field of peas (tasting the odd one for ripeness as we passed), through a residential area and back into town.

They had our room ready but no hose to wash down Sherrie, so, with care, we washed her boots, inside and out, pants and socks in the shower. Marsh water is black and took some time to clean off.  We couldn't have done it in the sink. It was so tiny that washing two hands at the same time was a squeeze. Townend B&B is one of the oldest buildings in Moreton-in-Marsh and our room reminded us how people have grown taller over the last couple of centuries and how we have become accustomed to roomier spaces.

We located the town's laundromat but rather than taking daylight hours to do a drying, we opted to go on another walk. Sherrie put on a thick pair of dry wool socks and her clean but wet boots ... they could dry along the way.

Our second walk of the day started out at the duck pond. Thankfully "at"; not "in".    It was a five mile walk that, without stopping, would take us about two and a half hours. 

It was a good country walk through fields, passed cows and sheep, through pastures of young steers, passed stone barns and farm houses with pastures signed "Warning: Bull in Field", through grazing cows, over stiles and through kissing gates. We reached the little village of Bourton-on-the-Hill looking forward to tea with scones or perhaps a pint. We found the pub closed (doesn't open until "half-seven"). Through directions, we did however find a garden open to the public offering tea and refreshments. We tried a drink of elderberry crush ... so good ... so refreshing ... will have to try to find the recipe.
Through more pastures, fields and over more stiles and bridges and through more kissing gates and right through the middle of an oat field until we were once back in Moreton-in-Marsh ... and not once through this afternoon was it Thornes-in-Marsh.

The laundry was dried at the laundromat and we celebrated our last night in the Cotswolds by going to a franchised café called ASK ... Italian food (nice but not impressive).

  

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