Likewise to Castle Combe in my previous blog; this village is also known as “the prettiest village in England”. Although this one is hands down the most picturesque. I was lucky I had such a beautiful day to explore these Cotswold villages, but I can imagine even on a grey, rainy day; these stunning places are still beautiful to look at despite sad weather.
Anyway back to my sunny day. This village was rocking!!! SOOOO many tourists and a coach full of Chinese tourists too so there was little parking. I ended up parking nearby to the church just a small throw away from the riverside. With only an hour to explore I knew my main focus was to see the stunning Arlington Row.
Arlington Row is numerous cottages that is photographed so much that it is known as the most photographed scene in the Cotswolds.
Originally built in 1380, these cottages were used as wool stores. Then in the 17th century they were converted into a “row of weavers” cottages. Totally unspoilt (apart from all the tourists), these little cottages are now real homes for people living in this area. As seen in the video; I decided to continue my walk (mainly hoping it would have quietened down so I could get an empty shot of the row without strangers wandering around (you know you do the same!!). I followed the hill which is just a little steeper than expected but nothing crazy. There were some bigger houses in this section that were still beautiful but not quite as quaint as this row.
Not only is there Arlington Row to see, but there is the Trout Farm, the Mill, and the Church of St.Mary. There are also a couple of tearooms which always make my heart warm when I see them. I always see happy older gentlemen with their wives or friends gossiping over “a cuppa tea” as we say in England. This was never something that dawned on me as something I treasured until I moved away to the States. You don’t tend to see little coffee shops like England has, especially ones in the south of the country. There is just something adorable about them; even though I don’t drink tea. Yes, I am english and i don’t drink tea!
I did however stop in a little gift shop. My ongoing thoughts of Nanna followed me everywhere. Amidst all the cheapy kind of gifts were different sets of sparkly jewellery and of course there were poppies. Poppies signified two things to me. A sign of respect for the soldiers who lost their lives fighting the war for us, and it was one of Nanna’s favourite flowers. I remember growing up and finding the odd poppy would always make me excited because it was that sense of joyful connection that I got to share with Nanna. Naturally I bought some poppy earrings as a gift to myself.
There is so much I wish I had got to do or fit into my list of places to see, but without knowing if I’d ever get to take a trip like this again; I had decided to see as much as I could. The price you pay is not having time to really allow yourself to emmerse into the beauty of these towns. By having a time restraint at each place means you clock watch alot. BUT, I do not have any regrets because I visited four beautiful villages that I doubt I’ll have the chance to see again. On that note; take more time, take an extra day (or two) more than I did and stay in the only cottage for rent on Arlington Row. Allocate more time to these beauties that ooze historical character, so much so that you get lost in it all. The next town I drove to was Burford.