Thursday, April 14, 2016

Last week, the Cotswolds; this week . . .

Snowshill village in the Cotswolds
The village of Snowshill, in the Cotswolds.
Last week we explored the quintessential English countryside of the Cotswolds. Idyllic farms, rolling hills, quaint villages, creamy stone cottages, and everywhere you look: sheep.

Black-faced sheep in Cotswolds
For centuries, wool was the lifeblood of the Cotswolds.
Great Hall of Blenheim Palace
Inside the Great Hall at Blenheim Palace.
You might think the arrival of a new baby would pause our travel itch. Heck no! When traveling with young children, the newborns and infants are much easier much more compliant than toddlers and preschoolers. You need to stop every so often to feed them and change diapers, but mostly they sleep all day. Easy peasy.

The lil' scribbler celebrated his first month anniversary in style at Blenheim Palace. But, of course, he dozed through nearly all of it in his baby carrier. Typical.

The 4¾ year olds . . . those are the ones to whom you have to cater. It's like they've actually become little people, with real wants and opinions. 

Exterior facade of Blenheim Palace
Fortunately, this 4¾ year old was happy to explore Blenheim Palace inside and out.
Rose Cottage in Lower Slaughter
Our cottage.

We rented a lovely cottage in the even more lovely village of Lower Slaughter. Quite a name for a town, don't you think? If you're like me, your first thought was about slaughtering the ubiquitous sheep. But apparently the "slaughter" part derives from an old Anglo-Saxon term ("slough" or "slothre") for mud.

Which makes sense for the village, given its position on a low-banked river that runs through it. In truth, the "River" Eye looks more like a stream, crisscrossed by bridges skimming the surface.

Lower Slaughter along the River Eye
Lower Slaughter cozies up to the low banks of the River Eye.
Biking in Stanton, Cotswolds
Jackson biking through the village of Stanton.
From our central location we crisscrossed the Cotswolds, trying to do more than merely skim the surface. We rambled through castles. Delved into ruins. Petted farm animals. Reconnoitered old villages. Chugged on steam trains. Investigated neolithic barrows. Strolled through gardens. Climbed up towers.



Drank coffee.

The Old Mill Cafe in Lower Slaughter
A mid-morning refueling.
Broadway Tower
Charging up to see Broadway Tower.
Arlington Row in Bibury
Sometimes Jackson grew bored exploring yet another village (e.g., Bibury) and the silliness overtook him. And his grandmother.
Hidcote Manor Gardens
Hidcote Manor Gardens were gorgeous even in early spring, before most of the blooming.
Holding rabbits at Adam Henson's Cotswold Farm Park
The Cotswold Farm Park provides plenty of hands-on experiences.
Parish church in Temple Guiting
We searched for hidden gems, like this ancient Templar parish church in Temple Guiting.
Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water
Have Kate and baby Finley grown to giant size, or is this the remarkably (and painstakingly) accurate Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water?
Steam train on the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway
Our train-mad boy steaming along the vintage Gloucester Warwickshire Railway.
'Twas a full week.

For the new baby we've had Kate's mom (i.e., Grammar) staying with us since mid-February. This week we've been joined by my parents (i.e., Nana and Grampa Bill), and the explorations continue. Over the next couple of weeks we'll ramble through Bristol, head south into Somerset for awesome places like Wells, and take a quick jaunt or two across the border to Wales.

Grammar on the steam train
Grammar on the steam train.
But I promise, no more month-long breaks in posts around here. Check back next week for more traveling and photographic goodness!

Tintern Abbey in Wales
Nana and Grampa Bill amidst the ruins of Tintern Abbey in southeastern Wales.


  1. I was just thinking today that we need more pictures/updates. :o) Thanks for reading my mind. Your family makes me smile so much. I am so happy for you and all your blessings.

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