Have just gotten back from spending 3 nights in the Cotswolds – a lovely country-side area of England. Got a train and bus to a town called Moreton-in-marsh and then a bus to Bourton-on-the-water. (they seem to like using ‘-‘ here in the Cotswolds alot!!) I had a few hours to spend in Moreton-in-marsh as the bus service here, although sufficient could maybe be a little more frequent as it only goes every 2-3 hours. But it was nice walking around this town and seeing their shops and houses. The bus ride to Bourton-on-the-water was pleasant – it was great looking out at the countryside. Got into Bourton (i’m going to leave out the -on-the-water part as I think you will know where I mean) and I walked around and found the Bed and Breakfast I had booked, it was only a five minute walk from the main section of the town and looked right across a beautiful field and river (called Windrush – hence the name of the B&B was Windrush View). The owner had left a key under a flowerpot for me as she was going to be away til late so I let myself in and left my luggage there. I then walked around the town (it is only small) and located the Information Centre (although it was closed as it was a Sunday). I saw there was an evening church service on at a local church which I went along to and then after having some dinner I went back to my room where I found a note saying breakfast would be at 9am and I read my book and then went to bed.
The next morning I woke to a delicious cooked breakfast downstairs and I read the local paper. There were two couples also eating breakfast and although we had separate tables we talked for a bit. Then I packed up my things and walked around to the info centre where I picked up a lot of brochures and organised a second nights accommodation at another B&B nearby which had a vacancy. I took my bags there and met the owner who was another lovely lady. The room was so nice!! This B&B was at the other side of the town so it was nice to get a different view. Anyway – went back to the main strip of the town and sat by the river Windrush (which runs through the whole town) it was so nice – there was grass of both sides and lots of benches to sit on. There were quite a few tourists there having a picnic or just sitting and lots of children paddling in the water (as it wasn’t deep) but one boy, maybe 3 yrs old jumped in and then burst into tears and when his mother lifted him out and asked him what was wrong he sobbed ‘Its just so cold!’ Sat and read the brochures and decided to to go to the Cotswolds Perfumery first and booked a guided tour of the place. It was great, first they walked us around their garden and got us to try and identify different herbs (Rosemary and Lavender I knew but didn’t recognise Fennel or another which the name has escaped me for now). They showed us the laboratory where they had all these vials of oils and compounds where the owner creates and modifies new smells – it was all done so precisely by weight so they would be able to recreate it exactly. It was crazy some of the things they told us about some of the oils – like how many rose petals it takes to make a small amount of rose oil … and therefore very expensive!! They also explained the perfume genealogy and then showed us the compounding room where they make up larger quantities of the perfume they have designed. The aroma was quite intense in that room!! But luckily we didn’t stay too long in there and then went into the factory room where the perfumes are filtered, filled, boxed, given a label and then boxed. It was only a small room and what surprised me was that all of it was done by hand – no machines! They were quite proud of the fact that they had been asked to create a perfume for the Queen! After the tour I had a look around their shop and smelt their perfumes which were really nice but also really expensive – them being a private perfumary and all!
Then I had bought a walking map which had commentry-like paragraphs to read about the towns history or info about a certain building etc as you walked around – It was good being able to go at my own pace so I could stop and read about things that interested me, or take a photo etc when I wanted to.
Had a nice coffee and then walked over to the Dragonfly Maze (sounds intriguing doesn’t it!!) It was a proper green hedge maze like in the movies and actually quite hard as it all looked the same when you were in there!! Took me about 20 mins to get to the end. On the way you had to write down picture clues that were hidden on the ground which gave the instruction to stand in a certain spot at the end and cover a plaque with your hand to see the dragonfly come out from its hiding place 🙂 There was a little time where I kept going around in circles and kept coming back to the same picture clue!! Wasn’t too worried but it did make me wonder if they have a checking system at the end of the day to make sure everyone was out as you couldn’t climb under or over the hedges!!
Then I caught the bus to Cirencester – another town about 45 mins away, I enjoyed bus ride looking out at the countryside as it passed – although a lot of the fields were ‘golden brown’ and reminded me of Cooma because of some crops were being harvested. The sheep here are so cool and they look just like the ones in the James Herriot picture books with black faces and white wool. This town was much bigger and had more shops, so I walked around and browsed the shops, went into their big church cathedral which was being renovated (more beautiful stained glass windows) and then after being told by the bus driver when he dropped me off that the bus comes back at 6:35 (So be there are 6:20) I sat and waited for the bus. Was there for about half an hour and starting to get a little worried as it was raining and the town was starting to get deserted … looked at the timetable and found out that the only bus was at 6:00 – and that the 6:35 bus was only on a Saturday!! After getting annoyed for not checking myself I started to wonder what to do!! I ended up catching a taxi back costing my thirty six pounds (nothing like the one pound sixty bus return ticket i had purchased) The taxi driver was sympathetic and nice to talk to on the way back – I tried not to look at the meter. I guess its a lesson I have learnt… alway check bus time myself!! Got back to my B&B and then went and had dinner. Skyped with Bec before going to bed – tried to find something good to watch on TV but I guess I don’t know the British shows yet so wasn’t interested in anything other than a news update.