The New York Times came to the Cotswolds this week, on a 36 hour trip that included some – but by no means all! – of the highlights of our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Their trip was somewhat more of a whistle-stop tour than our leisurely cycling, walking and exploring – with the amount they saw I don’t think their feet touched the ground the whole trip! But they did get to see some of our most-loved destinations…
They did visit a real favorite of ours, Broadway Tower. This magnificent Folly tower rises up from the peak of the North Cotswolds hills giving full panoramic views of the valleys below. And it would seem to have been built to do just that. There is no strategic purpose in its design other than to look fantabulous!
The author managed to squeeze in a coffee and cake in Bourton on the Water, a busy little market town, with golden stone buildings, cute independent shops and a river running through its center. She stopped off at the Bakery on the Water, a long time cake-stop for us on our cycling trips. Without a word of a lie the cakes and pastries there (in particular their shortbread and almond croissants) are the best I’ve tasted. Mind you, cake always tastes incredible having pedaled up an appetite!
A noteworthy stop on her weekend trip was to Snowshill Manor. Owned by the National Trust, this house is full of the curiosities and collections of Charles Wade, an incredible and eccentric man with a flare for the unusual and the bizarre. My favorite collection is (unsurprisingly!) his room full of bicycles. They hang from the ceiling and line the walls, dotted with Penny Farthings, tandems and even pedal-less bikes!
Finally, the NYT visited the National Trust village of Lacock. This beautifully preserved village is well known for its appearances in Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Wolf Hall among others! Walking into the village is like taking a step into the past, and of course you’ll find plenty of places for teas, scones or a good pub meal. We end many of our tours in this village, after an enjoyable ride or walk, visiting the Abbey and having a good look round cements the picturesque image of the Cotswolds in your mind’s eye, the perfect end to an enjoyable Cotswolds experience!
We would, of course, add many other essential destinations to a Cotswold tour, with a little bit of biking and walking thrown in too! From Stratford and Hidcote Gardens in the North, to White Horse Hill and Bath in the South there is a wealth of stunning places to see.
Read the full NYT article here.