A manicured village with lots to do, this was a pit stop on my way to Bourton-on-the-Water. I underestimated how this place would make me feel. With little boutique shops and pubs lining the main street, it was difficult not to just take a seat and people watch here. I don’t make a habit of saying “I have regrets” but I do have regrets when it comes to not allowing more time to explore here. It is actually my favourite town out of the four I visited. Why; because it had everything. There were small bricked streets that you could get lost down, pretty, picturesque spots that were blooming with brightly coloured flowers, but there was life that could happily keep you entertained if you we’re crashing down here.
Are you wondering why I called it “Hillstarting Burford”? Well when you take a look at the picture below this; you’ll understand why. When I travel home to England, I don’t usually hire a car to drive around in because if I go anywhere; I am typically with somebody from my family or a friend. But for this trip, the easiest way for me to experience England how I did; was by car. By train could have been easier in terms of not needing to drive, but it would have been much more complicated with the logistics of every town I stopped at (if there was a stop). Driving was much easier. Here in the U.S I am used to driving my automatic car so when faced with an unfamiliar car rental AS WELL as gears to shift into, it did take me a hot second to get used to it again. Muscle memory works like a dream when you need it. But that doesn’t mean to say I didn’t stall once (or twice). This hill was no exception, and with the amount of people around me; I felt pretty embarrassed. Anyway, moving swiftly on…..
Burford. Known for the hill that drives down into the famous high street, famous not only for its shopping and beauty but for its history too. You’ll find The Tolsey Museum, St.John’s Church, and old medieval bridge, and England’s oldest chemist dating back to 1734. Also very much known for the antique stores that boast quite a collection; so if this is your thing then you’re in luck!
Levellers Day is held in May here; a colourful procession marches the street celebrating with music and speeches for the freedom and speech and human rights.
This medieval town is known as the “Gateway to the Cotswolds“. Which is ironic really because this was one of my last stops instead of being the first, like its title suggests. Travellers often talk about the quality of air and the idyllic views Burford has to offer.
I read from other travellers that you get a wonderful view of the town (and photograph) if you stand on the top of the hill looking down. So I did just that. As I walked up to the top of the hill, I noticed so many little cottage houses all with stone fronts which are Tudor and Georgian style. With it being summertime; the greenery laced the cottages beautifully and gave a warm glow.
Did I mention free parking here? When it comes to parking in the U.K, some towns can be really tight and make you pay the meter. But Burford doesn’t, so park up and enjoy a walk around.
Coming to the end of this blog but I just want to finish with a little tip. When seeing these idyllic towns, try to be as mindful and in the moment as possible. I know it is great to have a full list of everything you want to see and do, and to a degree that is an amazing structure to have. But if we allowed ourselves to be more in the moment; we stumble upon so so much more. At this point in my trip I had gone over on time restrictions and I initially had another two towns lined up after this. Only one was doable so I made the choice to take a lovely walk around Burford and I am so glad I did. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have come across these super teeny doors up on the hill side. If you’ve seen a past blog of mine in Dublin; you’ll know I have a bit of an obsession with doors. Afterall, it is the “gateway” to somebody’s home and I just find them fascinating.
Continue living in the moment fellow travellers and click here for the next town on my trip.