Yes, this one was easy. Without a doubt, the prize ribbon goes to Chipping Campden for Cotswold charm and scenic beauty.
Granted, our contestants were limited to Moreton-in-Marsh, Chipping Campden, and Stow-on-the-Wold, but we understood them to be a nice representative sampling.
We took a bus to CC this morning, and were quite impressed with its pristine High Street, which seemed to resist the temptation to fill itself with tourist shops. Quite the contrary, it seemed like a working village with just what you need to live there, rather than racks of tourist tee shirts. A rich wool trading town of the Middle Ages, its market hall has been in use since 1627. Today you could buy animal hides, which weren’t too charming.
We had elevenses in Badger Hall, and made a startling discovery – namely that we are becoming addicted to elevenses, twelveses, thirteenses, fourteenses, and any time that tea is served with a confection. Someday soon we may have to enter an eleven-step recovery program, I suppose. In the meanwhile, we have our eyes on the clock…
Want thatched cottages, brilliant flowers, quaint shops and ancient houses, once owned by wealthy wool merchants? Then Chipping Campden is your place to marvel at it all.
No surprise that it was tough for our next stop, Stow-on-the-Wold, to compete successfully. However, no doubt that this is also a very charming village, also deserving of tourist admiration. Wool made this market town, but horses took over later, and horse fairs continue to this day.
“Stowe-on-the-Wold, Where the wind blows cold. Where horses young and old are sold, Where farmers come to spend their gold. Where men are fools and women are bold and many a wicked tale is told. High on the freezing Cotswold.”
We had a lovely stroll through this town, and give it full marks for history and preservation. The Civil War is much noted here. A number of fights took place around the area, the local church of St. Edward being damaged in one such skirmish. On March 21, 1646, the Royalists were defeated at the Battle of Stow-on-the-Wold with hundreds of prisoners being confined for some time in the church of St. Edwards.
All in all, we had a lovely time in the Cotswolds. We are still stunned by the beauty of Kent and the glory of Rye, but we know we do have to expand our horizons. Onward to Bath tomorrow!