STOW-ON-THE-WOLD, ENGLAND – The Cotswolds are a range of striking hills considered to be an Area of Outstanding Beauty. They are found in southwestern and west-central England, an area 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long. The area is popular for its postcard perfect villages which have homes and buildings built using the local limestone. I recently visited Stow-on-the-Wold and to my surprise found that it has many well stocked antique shops to explore.
But if you don’t want to search for antiques, it’s also just fun for a walk
And a yummy pub lunch.
Can you think of any other village in the Cotswolds that’s worth a visit?
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND – I wasn’t sure what to expect when we pulled up to the Cotswold’s Farm Park near Cheltenham. It’s run by Adam Henson, best known for the tv show Countryfile of which I am a fan. The show farm, founded by his father Joe, is dedicated to breeding rare and historic breeds of British farm animals. It wasn’t exactly my idea of a fun day out especially when I saw all those children lining up outside the entrance.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I dislike children. I get along well with them. But I don’t mix with them much these days. So it’s an adjustment when there are lots and lots of them around.
The farm certainly caters to children as there are plenty of fun play areas, and I would definitely recommend this for a family day out. It’s a great way to exhaust your kids.
The venue encourages children and adults to interact with the animals. They have what’s called a ‘touch barn’ where you can hold animals and ‘make friends’ with them under some supervision. The kids loved this a lot. I’m not surprised, so did I. Well, I didn’t hold any of the animals, but it was still fun to get close to them and it was so sweet to see baby animals, especially the piglets! They have so much character when they’re young.
The one animal I wanted to see was the Highland Cattle (see photo above on the left). Apparently, as a result of waves of invasions by Romans, Danes and Anglo-Saxons, the Celtic people were driven to the remote mountain regions of the North and West and took their cattle with them. Over the years the Highland Cattle developed a double coat for protection which gives it its rather large, hardy appearance. They’re really big and impressive and really stand out in the field, even from a distance. If I was going to buy a cow, it would be this one. Think of all the hamburgers you could eat.
We stopped in a second barn ‘hoping’ to see some ‘lambing’ but fortunately none of the ewes were in labour as we passed through. One lamb still had afterbirth on it and that was already too much for me. That sort of thing is a bit too National Geographic.
It took us about 1 hour to work our way around the farm. We sort of hurried up towards the end as it was a shocking ONE degrees Celcius and we couldn’t feel our fingers. If you do go, pack some wellies and plenty of hand sanitiser. Entry fee was £8 for adults and then you can also purchase animal feed for £1.
GREY’S COURT, WARGRAVE, ENGLAND – I recently watched the second season of Downton Abbey. Remember the episode when the family is on the verge of ‘downsizing’ as the father has lost the family inheritance in a bad business deal? Well, the house they used as a backdrop for the film was none other than Grey’s Court near Wargrave which I visited last year.
Definitely a step down…compared to ‘Downton’. They didn’t do any internal scenes, but the surrounding views are still good.
And I suppose this pink furniture wouldn’t have been authentic for the 1910s…but I do think it’s cute.
WESTMINSTER, LONDON – I love a pretty door. I found these while walking around the streets nearby the Houses of Parliament recently.